Sunday, November 22, 2015

Earl Grey Chiffon Cake

Before I begin with the recipe, I'd just be honest and admit that I ain't no big fan of earl grey tea. As you know I am a green tea girl, always have been and always will be.

But I was intrigued with how earl grey tea would taste infused in a cake. So I choose one of my favouritest cake ever - the chiffon cake - and baked an earl grey version of it.

And the result is this tall, fluffy, soft, bouncy... and delicious cake! Oh dear, it was fragrant with aromatic citrusy notes. It smelt so good fresh out of the oven.

As you know, I'm on a clean eating diet so once it cooled completely, I thought I'd take one bite, just one bite, y'know to taste test it.

I mean I don't even like earl grey tea to begin with, but one bite was all it took to change my perspective on earl grey tea. I really, really enjoyed this earl grey chiffon cake, so much that I had 2 slices in one go. #byebyediet

I absolutely love how chiffon cakes are so light and airy. That makes it so... actually almost too easy to eat! The whole cake was demolished in one day, that's how good it was.

I wanted to remake it again the very next day only to find that I did not have enough eggs left. I can't wait to experiment earl grey in more baked goodies, but for now, I'd leave you with the recipe so you too can enjoy this fragrant deliciousness.

Earl Grey Chiffon Cake
Recipe by The Bakeanista - Makes a 22cm cake

6 large egg yolks
90g castor sugar
80ml vegetable oil
120ml water (hot water infused with 1 tbsp earl grey tea)
2-3 tsp crushed earl grey tea leaves (optional)
150g cake flour (substitute w/ 122g plain flour & 33g corn flour)
2 tsp baking powder

6 large egg whites
½ tsp cream of tartar
60g caster sugar

  1. Preheat oven to 170°C. Sift flour once. As I used a substitute of plain flour and corn flour, I had to sift the combination thrice. I sifted in the baking powder as well. Set aside.
  2. Steep 1 tbsp of earl grey tea with hot water, I used two bags of Twinings Earl Grey tea. But if you're using loose leaf tea, be sure to drain the tea leaves. Set aside.
  3. Combine egg yolks and sugar in a bowl and beat until mixture becomes light and colour turns pale.
  4. Add canola oil and mix together. Add the infused tea water, and crushed tea leaves and whisk until well combined. You may wish to omit the crushed tea leaves, but they do add to the strength of the earl grey flavour and I'd highly recommend it.
  5. Add flour gradually in 4-5 folds, and mix until batter is well incorporated without any lumps. Set aside.
  6. To make meringue, beat egg whites until foamy then add in cream of tartar in a clean and dry bowl. When the mixture starts to get bubbly, add half of sugar and continue beating on high speed for a few minutes. Reduce speed to medium-high then add remaining sugar and beat until egg whites are glossy, with stiff peaks.
  7. Using a spatula, add one-third of meringue into egg yolk mixture and fold in lightly. Add in another third of the meringue and fold. Finally add remaining meringue and fold to incorporate completely.
  8. Pour batter into a chiffon cake tube pan (please do not grease the pan) and knock it lightly on the tabletop to remove air pockets. 
  9. Bake in preheated oven for 45 minutes. When cake is done, remove from oven and invert it, leaving it to cool. Please make sure the cake is left upside down until completely cool.
  10. Once cake has cooled completely, carefully run a knife or spatula around the sides of the cake to loosen it before inverting onto a wire rack. You can now enjoy the cake! :)
Happy baking, and of course, let me know if you've got any questions. I hope you enjoy this recipe as much as I did! :)

Friday, November 13, 2015

Matcha Latte 抹茶ラテ hunt in Melbourne

Hello and Happy Friday, everybodehhhh! As the post title suggests, today I am writing about one of my most favouritest (if such a word existed) drink which is none other than matcha latte! :)

If memory serves me right, I reckon it was some time last year when green tea started becoming a "healthy trend" in Melbourne which saw many cafes introducing matcha latte to their menu.

If you've noticed, the demand for matcha latte has also been increasing lately, and more and more cafes are brewing this delightful, green "coffee" which is basically a concoction of matcha powder, milk and a sweetener such as sugar or honey.

As I've been a big fan of matcha from years ago, you can imagine how this is only good news to me. ;) If you too love matcha latte as much as I do and often wonder where you can have matcha latte in Melbourne, then this compilation is for you.

But if you haven't yet heard of what matcha is, it is basically green tea powder that offers a number of health benefits such as being high in antioxidants, helps boost metabolism, assists in weight loss and increases your energy level, just to name a few.

Matcha is originally brewed with water as part of traditional tea ceremonies in Japan, but the modern take on it (which I believe was started by Starbucks) is the bittersweet matcha latte that I love.

I personally love my matcha latte strong without being too sweet and I hope you appreciate that this review is based purely on my personal preference. Regardless, I hope this post helps you find a good matcha latte that'd you enjoy and keep you wanting more! :)


One of the first few sweet matcha lattes I've had in Melbourne was at Tana Cafe which I absolutely love and have returned multiple times since. The matcha latte at Tana have been consistently good over my few visits there. I can still remember how it was oh so creamy and delicious!

I like how tana's version is slightly sweetened, but not overwhelmingly so. The owner mentioned that they make their own mix using matcha powder from Japan and honey but did not disclose further.

One other plus point is that Tana uses bonsoy so there's no aftermath of tummy issues for those with lactose intolerance yay! Even though I don't usually like soy milk in my coffee, but this tasted different, in a good way, of course.

Tana Cafe
Tana Cafe Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato 


Little Rogue is also very popular for their matcha latte which I've spotted all over my Instagram feed so I am glad I finally got around to try. My verdict? I loved it!

The bittersweet matcha flavour was really strong and I like how it isn't too sweet at all. I think out of the lot, Little Rogue's is probably the least sweet. I totally regretted getting it in the regular size. The next time I'm there again, I'm opting for the large!

Little Rogue
Little Rogue Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato 


The next one on my list would be Momo Sushi in Hawthorn. I'd say this is one of my top 3 favourites as the matcha latte at Momo Sushi has the perfect blend of bittersweet with a notable matcha strength. As you can also see in the picture above, it was also very smooth and milky... I gulped it all too easily! Definitely one of the best. For coffee lovers, I've heard they've got a coffee matcha version too if you want a bit more of a caffeine kick. ;) Oh, they also serve amazing sushi!

Momo Sushi, Hawthorn
Momo Sushi Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato 


Since The Boyfriend and I moved to South Yarra, we've been frequenting Maru Shih a fair bit for their reasonably priced and delicious Japanese food. But I often find myself there for their amazing matcha latte. I first tried their matcha latte mid last year and I remember it to be quite good, but I find it even better now as the matcha flavour is definitely stronger than it was before.

Maru Shih's matcha latte does have a deep matcha flavour but please do note that it is leaning slightly on the sweeter side. Although I do enjoy the original version, I have been trying to cut down on my sugar as you all know I am on a diet so I have specifically requested for a "less sweet" version and I am glad to report that it was still good!

Maru Shih
Maru Shih Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato 


Moving on, Operator 25 also recently introduced yuzu matcha latte to their new spring menu. I found that the matcha flavour isn't strong enough for my liking as the yuzu was rather overpowering, but I appreciate how the drink is light and very refreshing. Op25's version is very unique, and it certainly is something different for a change!

Operator 25
Operator25 Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato 


I remember I first discovered The Baba Sus when I was looking for places that serve matcha latte. I was really excited when my matcha latte arrived looking this gorgeous, but after having my first sip, I was a little let down. It was alright, but it didn't hit the right spot.

The matcha wasn't strong enough even though I specifically requested for a strong one. I felt like it tasted just like the ones I can make at home which was why I was disappointed. But thankfully the food there made up for it. We've been there thrice for the food and I absolutely loved every dish we tried there. You can read my full blog post on Baba Sus here.

Baba Sus
Baba Sus Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato 


I've also tried Cafe Carpenter's green tea latte a while ago but whilst I found that it has the right amount of sweetness, I did find the matcha flavour to be a little too subtle for my liking. It was decent, but I did expect a bit more.

I do however love the presentation and tableware used - it's too pretty, don't you reckon? And although the matcha latte did not quite make the cut on my list, they've definitely got the best takoyaki in Melbourne. ;)

Cafe Carpenter
Cafe Carpenter Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato 

Next up on my list is Le Petit Prince's decent matcha latte but if I had to be brutally honest, it was nothing to shout about as I found the matcha strength to be a little weak for my liking. But if you appreciate a weaker version, then you'd enjoy this.

Le Petit Prince
Le Petit Prince Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato 


I was going through my list of matcha latte photos and came across this one I had at Sardi a while ago, which I have very conveniently forgotten about. May I selfishly conclude that if it wasn't at the back of my mind, it certainly wasn't mindblowing. Probably one of my least fav out of the lot. =/

Sardi Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato 


And last but not least, one of the most recent matcha latte I've had was at Kuu Japanese Cafe which certainly did not disappoint. The matcha flavour is quite strong and it isn't too sweet. Another one to go on my good matcha latte list. ;)

With the weather warming up, Kuu's iced matcha latte might appeal more to you. It sure was refreshing but I did find the matcha strength to be slightly weak so I'd personally stick to the hot version. The Boyfriend on the other hand was totally enjoying this. He noted that it was "just right and not too sweet, but was perfect with the ice cream" in his exact words.

KUU Japanese Cafe
KUU Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato 


And that's a wrap! If you've been looking for good matcha lattes around Melbourne, why not try one of the above? Or if you know of any others places, please do let me know in the comments below.

Of course, if I come across any other good matcha lattes worth mentioning, I'll be sure to update this post in the future. Thanks for reading and have a great weekend, guys! :D

Friday, October 30, 2015

Healthy Bibimbap using Quinoa

If I'd have to choose one type of food I really struggled not having whilst on my clean eating diet, it will have to be Korean food.

Being a K-food addict, I crave Korean food every single day! Even though I was in Malaysia, I could easily say no to the local food but if anyone were to offer me K-food, I'd be like "GIMMMMEEEEE!" My Mum thinks I am no longer a Chinese. =| #truestory #notkidding #mymumthinksiamcrazy

After being on the diet for several weeks at the start, I was so sick of eating the same mundane food, so I came up with this recipe for a healthier version of bibimbap (비빔밥) to satisfy my K-cravings and at the same time, meet my dietary requirements with a little bit of flexibility.

This is the real stuff. I had this Jeonju traditional bibimbap in GoGung whilst in Seoul. SO GOOD!
Bibimbap is a popular traditional Korean dish consisting of a large bowl of rice, topped with a variety of individually prepared vegetables (the usual suspects being carrots, cucumber/zucchini, bean shoots, spinach and mushrooms) and meat, then served with an egg (sometimes raw) and spicy chilli paste in a sizzling hot stone bowl known as dolsot.

I believe there are different types of bibimbap as the bibimbap that this lovely ahjumma was serving at the Gwangjang market in Seoul is completely different.

The bibimbap at Gwangjang market uses mostly fresh vegetables instead, and they mix the white short grain rice with barley as well. It was so delicious, and the sauce makes it even more oomph!

Until I can head back to Seoul to enjoy this delicious bowl of freshly made bibimbap, I will have to make do with my own for now.

As you can see, I substituted rice with quinoa, added lean minced beef, and used a variety of vegetables. I also used as minimal oil as possible when pan-frying the vegetables, but this is up to your discretion.

Although it can be rather arduous having to individually prepare the ingredients but it is so worth it. I guess the Koreans would have it much easier considering that they'd usually have the vegetables as side dishes already.

I had so much fun creating this dish and plating it all up. I love how colourful it looks and it made me very happy to be able to break free from the routine for once.

This recipe serves only one person as I was clean eating alone (yeap, alllll byyyyy myselfffff) and my parents weren't keen. My mum did steal a bite and gave me the thumbs up. The next time I made it, she said to me "Can you please make an extra portion for me too?" ;)

Not trying to blow my own trumpet here, but it was pretty good hehe. So yes, feel free to double or triple the recipe as you see fit, depending on the number of people you're serving it to.

Here's the recipe for those of you who loves bibimbap as much as I do, but want to keep the dish as low carb as possible. :)

Quinoa Bibimbap
Recipe by The Bakeanista - serves only one

  • 100g cooked quinoa
  • 150g lean beef mince 
  • 100g bean shoots or soybean sprout
  • 150g baby spinach leaves
  • 3 shittake mushrooms
  • 1 carrot, julienned thinly
  • 1 zucchini or cucumber, julienned thinly
  • 1 egg
  • 2 spring onion/scallions, chopped
  • gochujang
  • vegetable oil
  • sesame oil
  • soy sauce
  • roasted sesame seeds
  • one whole garlic, minced

  1. Make bibimbap sauce by mixing together 1/2 tbsp gochujang sauce, 1/2 tsp sesame seeds, 1/2 tsp sesame oil and 1 tsp minced garlic then set aside.
  2. Prepare 100g of cooked quinoa and place in the center of a big bowl.
  3. Marinade minced beef with1 tsp soy sauce, 1 tsp sesame oil and 2-3 tsp of minced garlic then set aside for 20 minutes while you prepare the other ingredients.
  4. Slice the cucumber thinly, and mix generously with 1/2 tbsp of salt. Set aside for a couple of minutes.
  5. Boil bean shoots for 15-20 minutes in a cup of water, added with 1 tsp of salt. Drain water, then toss with 2 tsp of chopped scallions, 1 tsp of minced garlic, 1 tsp of sesame seeds, 1/2 tsp of salt and a light drizzle of sesame oil approximately 1/2 tbsp. Display on one corner of the bowl.
  6. Blanch spinach in another pot of boiling water for 30 seconds or until wilted. Rinse in cold water to stop the cooking, then squeeze lightly. Toss with 1/2 tsp minced garlic, 1/2 tsp of sesame seeds, 1/2 tsp of salt and 1 tsp of sesame oil. Display on bowl, next to bean shoots for contrasting colour.
  7. If using dried shittake mushroom, ensure to soak it in hot water, then squeeze out excess water. If you're using fresh ones, you can simply rinse them then proceed to slice the mushroom. Saute in a little vegetable oil with 1/2 tsp salt for 2-3 minutes. Plate it up in the bowl, next to the spinach.
  8. Thinly slice the carrots, then saute in very minimal oil. Add 1/2 tsp salt and let cook for 2-3 minutes. Plate it up next to mushrooms.
  9. Now it's time to come back to our cucumber. Squeeze out excess water then saute in 1 tsp of sesame oil. Toss with 1/2 tsp minced garlic and 1/2 tsp of sesame seeds then plate up on remaining space on bowl.
  10. The meat would have been well marinated by now. Heat up enough vegetable oil in wok and cook meat in medium to high heat for 5 minutes or until thoroughly cooked through. Arrange on the bowl; this should take up the remaining space left on the bowl.
  11. Lastly, prepare your egg. I like my egg done sunny side up with bibimbap as I find the gooey yolk adds an additional dimension to the taste, but you may opt to cook it to your personal preference. Place on top of rice.
  12. Drizzle lightly with sesame oil then serve with bibimbap sauce.
This is the finished look of my homemade healthy bibimbap, complete with a golden sunny side up.

And finally of course, once you're done plating everything up, mix all the ingredients together and dig in! It was so delicious and tasted pretty authentic, if I dare say so myself.

You won't be able to tell that no rice was used in this dish. It tasted quite the same for me hehe. Now to hunt for a dolsot so I can complete the authenticity of this dish!

Happy cooking and I hope you'll enjoy this dish as much as I did! :)
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