June 30, 2008

Chocolate Cake Recipe

As requested by Swahili (I'm sure you have a couple of them up your sleeves!), here is a simple recipe of a chocolate cake that I usually bake for my kids (taken from a basic cookbook). My family prefer I bake this choc cake as opposed to buying the ready made mixture from the shops. I think it might taste better as they always finish the former but not the latter.


125 g butter (room temperature)
125g caster sugar (half cup)
40g icing sugar (one third cup) sifted
2 eggs , lightly beaten
1 teaspoon vanilla essence (fresh vanilla pods would be exquisite if you can find them in the shops)
A quarter cup/80g blackberry jam
1 and a quarter cups self raising flour
Half cup/60g cocoa powder
1 teaspoon bicarbonate soda
1 cup milk (full cream preferably if it is for a special occasion, skimmed milk if you're on a diet.)

Chocolate buttercream:
50g dark chocolate
25g butter
3 teaspoon cream (I usually add milk if no cream in stock)
A quarter cup /30g icing sugar, sifted

  1. Preheat oven to 180C. Grease the base and sides of deep 20cm square cake tin and line with baking paper.

  2. Beat the butter, caster sugar and icing sugar with electric beaters til light and creamy. (They don't tell you this but the butter has to be at room temperature, not straight out of the fridge.) Add the eggs gradually, beating after each addition. Add vanilla essence and jam and beat til combined.

  3. Fold in combined mixture of flour , cocoa and soda alternately with milk. Stir until mixture is combined and almost smooth.

  4. Pour into cake tin and smooth the surface. Bake for 45 mins or until a skewer comes out clean when inserted into the centre. Leave in tin for 15 mins , then cool on a wire rack.

  5. To make the buttercream, combine the chopped chocolate , butter , cream and icing sugar in a small pan. Stir on low heat til mixture is smooth and glossy. Spread over cake with a flat knife.


June 29, 2008

Semolina Cake

I made a semolina & lemon syrup cake today- right after I came back from cycling- (ouch! my legs still hurts). I thought I'd do something with the semolina I bought ages ago when I wanted to try to make them. This cake does not contain wheat flour whatsoever, only semolina, grounded almonds, butter and sugar. (Good heavens, didn't think that was possible). Thought I'll do some baking as school is out and I have been requested to bake a chocolate cake for a picnic in the park this week. Hopefully, I still remember how to bake one !

June 24, 2008

Winter blues

(Sorry I haven't been updating my blog lately. I was a tad distracted with a new forum I 'm currently on, (my old secondary school forum actually).. well, it is down today so no chitchatting with old schoolmates today.. )
Anyways, it is winter in Oz and I am feeling the chills. It is freakin cold especially in the morning/evening. Thus, I haven't been going very regularly to the gym as the warm duna/duvet seems more than tempting. Having said that, I have managed to rid of all the holiday weight gain by using the treadmill regularly now. (Should thank the hubby for investing in one.) Though I wonder if it is all going to stay off, as I am also baking muffins again and gobbling them up at alarming rate. I made some plain muffins and also banana and oats muffins. Dd and ds seem to like the plain ones best so I might do some more tomorrow and probably give some to the extended family.

June 06, 2008


Went back to KL and came back in one piece, Alhamdulillah. Kinda hectic living at my mum's place for a few weeks (though we have our own place but not much furnishing there unfortunately). Tis a bit rowdy having our 3 kids and their cousins in one place. Seriously.. not much rest at home as they keep barging into our room. I think the nephews equate us with fun and pleasure of some sort! But the good thing is someone else is doing the cooking, washing and cleaning up. :) Now back in Oz, no more nephews to contend with but have to do own ..you guessed it , cooking, washing and cleaning. :(
I also have to work on my exercise routine again as all that M'sian food did a bit of damage to my waist line again although I did go to to the gym a couple of times a week there, even on vacation in PD and Melaka, I think it wasn't enough , I still suffered from all the fatty nasi lemak and roti canai (dh's favourite breakfast btw.. he took 1 hour to finish with his buffet breakfast (I was timing him)whereas I only took half hour, yet it doesn't do any serious damage to him except perhaps his wallet). I am so glad to be far away from all that food , tis a blessing in disguise teehee.. Although dh will miss his roti canai , he says I make better nasi lemak than the M'sian stalls. How nice of him to say that .. Too bad I don't make it as often as he'd like.

June 02, 2008

Pink ribbon for a friend

I learnt about H's condition a few months ago and tried to find out how she was coping then and whether her health was improving. However, information about her was still rather vague at the time. So when I went back to KL, I called a friend who was a doctor at the hospital treating H's condition. She told me H had received the all clear bill of health and was able to return back to work a month ago . This seemingly meant that her health was improving for the better... but the very next day , I received an sms that she was back in the hospital. So I arranged to visit her the next day with my old schoolmate friend.
It was harrowing to see her again after all these years, as her health was deteriorating before my eyes . How frail she had become and the excruciating pain she was suffering from... what could I say to make it better? Not a darn thing, as tears welled up in my eyes that very moment...
At the end of the visit .. I said my formal goodbye saying I will be going back overseas but assuring her I will ask of her wellbeing from our mutual friends... wishing and hoping in my heart she would recover for the sake of her diligent and loving husband by her side and her two lovely children, but at the same time thoughts crossed my mind whether I could see her again.. alive.. before the end of the week....
The next day my schoolmate friend sms-ed me that she passed away...

I didn't have the nerves to write on the tribute placard the names of people I knew who suffered from cancer when I was running for breast cancer research last month. So this lil blog entry is dedicated to Era, the pretty and fair-skin girl from the East Coast, who always had a sweet laughing smile and not one mean bone in her body, not one! That's how you'll be fondly remembered by your old schoolmate friends. Dear Era, may you rest in peace now in the kingdom of tranquility. Aamin.