Monthly Archives: May 2012

First Attempt – Hummingbird Cake

Thanks everyone ;) For letting me whinge, I’m feeling much better now ~ my back is recovering, manager seems better today and as for the rest I’m just trying to learn to forgive and forget :D

Last month, I was extra organised and had planned two things I wanted to bake for Alphabakes :) This month’s host is Caroline Makes and even though she’s already done the round up ~ I still wanted to share this recipe with you because it’s a recipe that I’ve been waiting to make for such a long time and I finally got the perfect excuse to make it hehe!

I made my first ever Hummingbird Cake ~

Hummingbird Cake

For those who haven’t heard or had Hummingbird Cake before, its an American cake and was first published in Southern Living by Mrs L.H. Wiggins in 1979. Unless you’ve tried it, it’s quite hard to explain the taste as it’s got a combination of pineapple, banana and coconut with a cream cheese frosting. It’s got a very similar texture to carrot cake, but in my opinion it’s even softer and MOISTER :)

I had it for breakfast, lunch and dinner the next day :)

I was really happy with how the Hummingbird Cake turned out, however, it would’ve been better if it had spent 5mins more in the oven hehe I have to admit it was ‘slightly’ undercooked but still SO delicious with the cream cheese frosting my favourite!

Recipe – Hummingbird Cake adapted from Good Taste 

Ingredients (serves 10)
Olive oil, to grease
20g (1/3 cup) shredded coconut
265g (1 3/4 cup)  self-raising flour
200 g (1 cup, firmly packed) dark brown sugar
45g (1/2 cup) desiccated coconut
1 teaspoon bi-carb soda
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 x 440g can crushed pineapple in natural syrup/juice
3 small ripe or 2 medium bananas, mashed
185 ml (3/4) extra light olive oil
2 eggs, light whisked

Cream Cheese Frosting
1 x 250g packet, cream cheese soften
100 unsalted butter, soften
450 g (3cups) icing sugar
3 teaspoon milk

1)  Preheat oven to 160°C. Brush a round 22cm (base measurement) cake pan with olive oil and grease well. Line the base and side with non-stick baking paper. Spread the flaked coconut over a baking tray. Bake for 5-8 minutes or until toasted.
2) Combine the flour, sugar, desiccated coconut, bicarb soda and cinnamon in a large bowl. Add the pineapple, banana, into the prepared pan.

3) Bake in oven, covering the cake with foil if it browns too quickly, for 1 hour 25 minutes or until a skewer inserted comes out clean. Leave in pan for 10 minutes to cool before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.
4) To make the cream cheese frosting, use an electric beater/stand mixer with the paddle attachment, beat the cream cheese and butter in a bowl. Add the icing sugar gradually and beat until well combined. Add milk and beat to combine.

Hummingbird Cake

5)  Place the cake on a plate. Spread the cream cheese frosting over the top and side of the cake. Sprinkle with toasted flaked coconut and serve.

Hope you like the Hummingbird Cake and will try to make it sometime, because it’s simply one of those addictive cakes :D Oh before I go I thought I’d share with you a funny story, while making the cake, I realised we didn’t have a can opener which I needed to open the crushed pineapple with. I was freaking out, and even resorted to knocking on our neighbours doors, but unfortunately she didn’t have one either…but at least I now know a lovely couple live across us and I’d promised to bring her a piece of cake ~ I was so close to giving it all up…but then I decided to Google it…and there were actually lots of Youtube videos teaching you how to open a can without a can opener :P

So that’s exactly what Mr Bao did LOL

Thanks Mr Bao ~

Thanks to Mr Bao, he opened my can of crushed pineapple and I was able to finish making the Hummingbird Cake :) WOO HOO! Please excuse the messy kitchen benchtop hehe I haven’t had time to clean up~ That’s it for today, hope we all have a wonderful week!

Bad Week – Cupcake Central

Hello Everyone :)

Hope you’ve all had a great week so far ~ I have definitely had one of the worse weeks this year… people around me just seem to pick fights with me and honestly it’s for the smallest and most insignificant things…then everyone just seems to expect so much from me all the time…and to top all that… I had a pretty bad fall a few nights ago and have hurt my back. So my physio suggested that I stay home to rest…but I don’t think my manager was too happy about that which just puts even MORE stress on me ARGHHH I’m sorry everyone! I just really needed to let it all out!

Anyhow, to make all the troubles go away…the only way was to have even MORE desserts LOL I’m sure most readers in Melbourne would have heard and have visited Cupcake Central ~ but I only tried it for the first time a few weeks ago and all I can think about is going back and getting every single FLAVOUR they have!

Lotsa cupcakes ~

There are currently two Cupcake Central stores, one in Hawthorn Glenferrie Road and the other is at Melbourne Central ~ I love the story of owner Sheryl and how she started ‘Cupcake Central’, she was working at an IT professional until she was made redundant in 2009. She then started her own blog and website selling cupcakes and eventually opened her first store in 2010. It’s very inspiring ~ because it’s a great example of ‘Dreams Really Do Come True! And I can relate because I’m working at a IT company right now and even though I love the people that I work with, I’d eventually love to work in an industry or field that is ‘food’ related hehe.

Mr Bao and I have ‘Date Night’ every Friday so after dinner at Snag Stand (will blog about it soon), I dragged him up to Cupcake Central and got cupcakes. We had a ‘Buy One Get One Free’ coupon from the Entertainment book so it only cost us $4AUD for two cupcakes *WIN*  :)

We got there pretty late, there were only a couple of flavours available – Apple Pie, Butter Popcorn, Red Velvet, Cookies and Cream, Raspberry and Banana split. Mr Bao had craved for ‘apple pie’ and ‘apple crumble’ so he immediately chose the Apple Pie flavour.

Apple Pie Cupcake $4AUD

I was really impressed with the Apple Pie cupcake, it was so moist and there were actual apple pieces in the cupcake! The buttercream icing was so smooth and delish! Mr Bao even said ‘Hey hun, I’ve had my apple pie fix, so you don’t need to make it for me anymore…I don’t want you to make a mess’. Hahaha I was a little hurt…but I agree it was DELICIOUS! Wonder if I can try and make an apple pie cupcake at home too?~

Can you see the apple pieces? :)

I immediately wanted to get the ‘Butter Popcorn’ cupcake, but then…I saw the Red Velvet and I couldn’t go pass a Red Velvet cupcake because I’m STILL reminiscing the one from Crumbs Bake Shop hehe.

Butter Popcorn Cupcakes $4AUD

The main problem I have with most cupcakes is the actual ‘cake’ part…more often than not…they’re really dry and slightly tasteless…but their Red Velvet cupcake really impressed me! It was so so so moist and delicate in the mouth! The cream cheese buttercream was lovely too, but I think it could have had a ‘stronger’ cream cheese flavour. But other than that it was one of the most AMAZING cupcakes I’ve had for a while!

Red Velvet Cupcake $4AUD

SO moist YAY!

I’m definitely going to go back for more Cupcakes ~ and I’m interested in their Cupcake Workshop Masterclasses which they have on weekends, you get a baking kit, cupcake mix, frosting mix and 8 cupcakes to take home YAY! Is anyone interested in doing it with me? :D

Now that I’ve had my cupcake fix I’m feeling much better! Thank you everyone who have left me those kind and caring tweets and comments ~ It means a lot to me to receive so much love and support from you!

Cupcake Central Workshop on Urbanspoon

Alphabakes – Honey Joys

I never use to think there was much difference between writing a recipe post and a restaurant review post… but now that I’m working full-time and trying to blog part-time :P I have much less time and I find recipe posts to be much easier and less-time consuming. That’s because there are usually less photos for a recipe and because my ‘plating’ and decorating skills are so amateur lol I usually just take the photos on the kitchen bench or on a nice plate.

Another reason is with restaurant/café reviews, I like giving you an overview of the restaurant, the history and if I had the chance to speak to the owners share their story and experiences with you that’s why my reviews are usually so slower than my recipes.

Anyhows, I’ve gotta stop blabbering on about nothing hehe just a quick overview, I have survived two full weeks of full time work, slowly getting use to the new life style of getting up early in the morning and sleeping at a decent time. So far so good with the new job I really hope it just gets better woo hoo :) I’ve met some really nice people and made some great friends ~ would like to say a special thank you to Ri Ri for being so supportive from day one!

You may know through Twitter/Instagram that my sister (Win Win) is visiting from HK, so things have been a bit crazy lol working during the day, going out and night and a 6 hour trip to Sydney lol we’re two crazy sisters :D I’m gonna miss her SO SO SO much when she goes back tomorrow :( I managed to do quite a bit of baking the weekend before and one of them was for this month’s Alphabakes challenge, which is hosted by Caroline Makes this month.

The letter for the month is ‘H’ ~ I was so worried when I first saw the letter…uh oh…what cakes and desserts do I like that start with the letter ‘H’…and then Mr Bao said to me the other day when we were at a café…’Can we order a HONEY JOY?’ and that’s it! I was totally inspired to make Honey Joys for this challenge hehe of course I refrained him from getting the Honey Joy, it was $3.80 (AUD) for a single Honey Joy when it’ll cost me around the same price to make him 12 :P

Curtesy of Mr Bao he took the photo :)

Question for all my lovely Readers, are Honey Joys an Australian ‘dessert’? Because I was really surprised when I told Brian (blew1)  that I was going to make Honey Joys, he had no idea what they were ~ I grew up with Honey Joys, not something that you would buy but you would always see them at kids parties :D

They’re SO simple, quick and EASY to make it’s silly LOL it took me all up I swear 3 minutes to prepare, 3 minutes to put them in the little muffin trays then 10 minutes to bake, in which I had time to wash all the dishes while they were baking ~

For Readers who may not know what Honey Joys are they’re cornflakes covered with a mixture/syrup made of butter, sugar and honey, then you bake them for 10 minutes to ensure that they’re crispy! YUMMY!
Recipe – Honey Joys adapted from Kellogg’s Australia

Yield – 12 large or 24 small ones

90grams butter

1/3 cups (75 grams) sugar

1 tablespoon honey

4 cups Corn Flakes (plain not sugar coated ones)

1) Preheat oven to 150 ° and line with patty cases

2) Melt butter, sugar and honey together in a saucepan until frothy

3) Add corn flakes and mix well (be careful because it’s really easy for the corn flakes to ‘jump’ out of the saucepan’

4) Quickly spoon the mixture into the patty cases

5) Bake in over for 10 minutes. Take them out and let it cool before serving.

See I told you they’re really easy to make and I’m sure the kiddies will love you if you made them some Honey Joys :D and oversized kiddies like Mr Bao will also like them ~

We Survived – Live Below The Line :)

I am truly SORRY everyone! For being MIA and also for the missing post! I don’t know what happened, but I had blogged about the Live Below The Line challenge, last week, but somehow it disappeared, and went back into my ‘Drafts’ folder, and the photos and some of my text had been deleted :( It’s never happened before and I definitely hope it wont happen again. I’m so sorry for everyone who have been looking for this post. But I’ve just republished it and really hope it works ~

WE SURVIVED! We survived a whole day – 3 meals and all that for under $2!

Well Done Mr Bao :)

I am so proud of our whole group! As of now Mr Bao and I raised a mere $340 but our team Food Lovers Collective as of now has raised over $3000!!! That is truly amazing!!! I would like to say a MASSIVE thank you to everyone who donated to me or the team! We never would have been able to do it without the support! I was absolutely blown away when so many people offered to donate, especially bloggers who I have never met before in person also donated and support us! THANK YOU!

Would also like to commend Mr Bao because he actually participated this challenge with me and did the whole challenge without cheating! I’m totally impressed, because when I told him about the challenge, he was very apprehensive and wasn’t keen in joining. And I don’t blame him…there’s not much food you can buy with $2 and he has quite a big appetite and he likes his meat. But he went through with it! Well done dear you did a wonderful job for a great cause :)

Now I wanted to give you an update and overview of what we ate yesterday and how we fit it into $2AUD ~

My Meal Plan

Breakfast - Eggs and Bread

Breakfast eggs and bread ~

I usually have muesli and yoghurt for breakfast, but yoghurt is quite expensive so is muesli, I had to find a cheaper option. So I worked out that eggs where actually quite affordable if you buy the smallest and cheapest in bulk, they work out to be around 13c each :) And if you buy the cheapest ALDI white loaf of bread ($1) it works out to be 6c per slice ~ cheapest carbohydrates I could find lol

Lunch - Banana and Bread

A slice of white bread again

Banana ~

I have breakfast pretty early at 6:30am so by the time it was 11am I was STARVING lol but still had to wait till 12:30pm for lunch ~ and instead of the normal salads, soup and sweets I’m use to ~ I had a banana and a slice of bread instead. I never knew bananas were so expensive…even if they’re only $1.99 per kilo, it works out to be 56c each! Pretty expensive when you only have $2 hehe then I had another piece of bread because that was the cheapest and easiest way to fill up. I was so hungry that I didn’t even take a photo of it hehe I loved how FakeGF (Joanna) described it as a ‘deconstructed’ banana sandwich hehe made me feel instantly better!

Dinner – Apple, Egg and Bread

I had tutoring after work, so I left work at around 4:30pm, got there at 5:30pm did my tutoring and at 6:30pm I was famished! But I had no food with me…until I looked into my bag and I found a Pink Lady Apple!

Saved my life!

I was SO happy I WAS about to scream and yell and do a happy dance! I have never been so happy to see an apple in my whole life and hahaha I have never felt so much love before! Mr Bao had intentionally placed it in there because he knew I’d be hungry after work~ YAY! I quickly finished off the apple, went home and Mr Bao had already prepared dinner for me…it wasn’t hard considering he had already boiled an egg for me and I just needed another piece of bread lol

My dinner ~ same as breakfast

And funny enough I had 31c left….and I was still hungry so Mr Bao worked out with 30c, I could have 65g of apple or something like that lol so he cut the apple in half weighed it out and gave it to me lol once again I was so grateful to have an apple because it’s actually quite filling hehe :P

31c worth of apple lol

Total Cost:
Eggs 13c each = I had 4 = 52c
Bread 6c each = I had 3 = 18c
Banana 56c each = I had 1 = 56c
Apples 43c each = I had 1 and 30c worth = 73c
Grand Total = $1.99

I just made it under the $2 mark :) WOO HOO! I was so worried that I was going to go over or that I was going to cave in because so many of my friends, family and colleagues were offering to donate food to me but I had to decline every single one of them :(

Mr Bao’s Meal Plan

Brunch – Eggs, Plain Mash and Bread

Mr Bao’s breakfast ~

Mr Bao doesn’t need to wake up early, so one of his strategy was to sleep in so he can have a ‘bigger’ brunch to make it more sustainable lol so he had a far bigger ‘brunch’.
He started off with eggs and bread, like me (we don’t have a toaster lol), then while he was munching on that he started boiling the potatoes to make his ‘plain mash’, with no butter and no salt lol we worked out that a kilo of potatoes were 87c, so he had already planned out to fill up he was going to eat 1kg :D I was worried that he wasn’t going to like the mash and was going to give up. But nope he ate the plain mash with the eggs, and surprisingly said it wasn’t too bad ~

Dinner – Bread, Plain Mash and Chicken and Ham Sausage

I was sure that with only $2 I wasn’t going to be able to eat any meat, so I had given up on even looking at buying any of it lol but Mr Bao was convinced that he was going to be able to find some type of ‘cheap’ meat and he wasn’t going to do the challenge if he wasn’t going to get some meat hahaha and alas he found a chicken and ham sausage roll thingy from ALDI for only $2.47 a kg!

Plain Mash and Sausage

Total Cost
Eggs 13c each = He had 4 = 52c
Bread 6c each = He had 4 = 24c
Plain Mash Potato = He had 1kg = 87c
Sausage = He had 100g = 26c
Grand Total = $1.89 

I can’t believe it! He spent less than I did and managed to eat MEAT lol I’m so glad we did the challenge, as it was definitely an eye opening experience for us, I know now food can be cheap and affordable if you’re willing to do some research and buy at ALDI or markets :) I have also learnt to appreciate the abundance of food that I have around me and not take it for granted. Hopefully we’ll be able to do the full challenge next year and raise even more money!

Celebratory Dinner :)

Would like to say a special Thank You to all team members especially FatBoo (Bryan) for inviting me to join the team and for the celebratory dinner we had the following Saturday after the challenge ~ It was the first time I’ve met other Melbourne bloggers it was an amazing night, of course most talk was about food but it’s so nice to be able to ramble on about food without feeling bad that I’m boring them :D Bryan was just as intelligent and witty as I imagined him to be, Winston was the most friendly and caring guy I’ve met and Leaf and Simon were the loveliest couple! I can’t wait for our next get-together :D A shame Jade and FakeGF (Joanna) wasn’t able to come but I’m sure we’ll find to meet later on ~

Thank you to all my friends, family and readers who have donated money to this challenge, just wanted to let you know that they charity is accepting donations until August :) 

Our Challenge – Below The Line

Big warm HELLO to everyone :)

I’m so sorry for being quiet once again. It’s really frustrating me! Working full-time has sure made things harder…but the WORSE thing is the internet at home…it’s just hopeless, we’ve been using one of those ‘Pocket-wifi’ things but the reception in our new apartment is just horrible! So I’ll be uploading a photo for my post, then because the connections so slow that it wouldn’t go through and I’ll have to do it all over again and uploading one photo will take more than 15 minutes…and even if I have been able to upload the photos…it wouldn’t let me post….SIGHHH so I’m EXTREMELY sorry! We were supposed to get the internet installed yesterday, but the STUPID company TPG said there’s something wrong with the cables in the apartment and we may need to pay for it! Argh…should have never signed up with them :(

Anyhow, enough of the complaints, I have something exciting to tell you today! Mr Bao and I are participating in the Live Below The Line Challenge tomorrow for a day! For those who aren’t familiar with the Oaktree Foundation and this challenge, we are challenged to spend no more than $2AUD for a whole days worth of food. We’re actually part of the Food Lovers Collective team which consists of Bryan (Fatboo), Winston (Hungry Excavator), FakeGF and Jade :) We’ve done really well so far and have raised over $1300! WOO HOO!

I’d really appreciate if you could please support me by donating any amount within your means :D 

It’s definitely going to be a challenge for us because we constantly over-indulge in food and especially for me lol as you all know. But for a good cause I’m willing to do it :) and I feel horrible that I’m only doing it for one day, because the others have been doing it for the whole week! This isn’t really a good excuse but because I just started at the new job Mr Bao didn’t want me doing it the whole week. Sorry team but I’ll still try my best to get the donations :D

The rules to this challenge is pretty strict, we need to factor in all costs of food and beverages and even condiments such as sugar, salt and any herbs you may use to season the food. Because we’re only doing it for a day, Mr Bao and I only have $4 between us to spend, so it’s going to be pretty tight… we have a fair idea of what we’re going to eat lol and so far we have 3 staple foods – eggs, bread and apples :)

My new best friend tomorrow :)

We’ve worked out, the cheapest eggs that we found at a market were $5 for 3 dozens = 36 eggs.

So it’s roughly 13c per egg. It’s $1 for a loaf of bread so that works out to be 6c per slice and apples depending on the type and price it’ll be around 30c each.

We spent so much time at ALDI today to see if we’re going to be able to get anything else with our ‘$2′ but I think we’re going to be pushing it hehe :P Especially since Mr Bao who loves his meat and I love my sweets. 

Once we’re done with the challenge I’ll write another post detailing the food that we ate, how we made it and the amount we raised.

Thank you once again for your support everyone! :)


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