Friday, November 20, 2009

Orange Cupcakes

I baked these wonderful Orange Cupcakes for my colleagues on my last day of work. Everyone has been so sweet to me and many of them bought me lunch, which some I never really expected. So, in appreciation of their kind gestures, I ordered my FAVOURITE yummy Chocolate Raspberry Early Grey Cake from Marriott Hotel and baked my own muffins. Nothing beats sharing freshly home baked muffins. I liked them myself!

And what I like about this muffin is it is light, sweet with the fragrance of orange, it is fruity, zesty and delicious. It's a simple recipe that only took me 20min to prepare/bake with the help of my dutiful Yani, my domestic helper.

All you need are :

120g softened unsalted butter
135g caster sugar
185g self raising flour (I always sift them)
125ml orange juice
2 tsp vanilla extract
2 eggs

3 tbsp grated orange zest
shredded orange zest to decorate

Preheat oven to 180deg C
Put all ingredients except orange zest in a bowl with electric mxier on low speed for 2 min.
Then increaase speed for another 2 min until smooth and pale.
Add orange zest. Stir briefly.
Divide mixture into muffin cups and bake for 20 min or till golden brown.
Transfer to wire rack and cool completely.

To make icing, simply beat 60g of softened butter using electric beater till pale. Then add in 60g of icing sugar and 1 tbsp orange juice.

Spread over the muffin when muffins are cooled, and decorate with more zest on top if desired.

I reduced the sugar intake from the original recipe as it was a bit too sweet for me.

(Adapted from Baking: a commonsense guide)

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Wonderful Memories of Thailand (27 Oct) 09

Since this is my dedicated blog on food and only food (including drinks) I shall reserve my earnest desire to input any other things from my recent trip to Thailand here. All other comments on my trip can be found here. Ko Samet is a small island off Rayong province, 3 hrs from BKK. It has 14 beaches on the island and the sand is real fine and powdery. If you like the sun sand and sea, this is the place. But be prepared to travel a bit and get dirty on the roads as this island is still relatively undeveloped.

This is my 2nd trip to Thailand this year, in the same month! I'm embarking on a new career and hope to go for a short getaway before I start. I was off to Ko Samet Island in Thailand under a friend's recommendation, followed by a short BKK trip for 2 days and here's a preview of all the good food I enjoyed.

Day 1 on Samet Island: Dinner comprising Chicken with Basil leaves, pineapple fried rice, vegetables with pork

From top: Chicken with basil, pineapple rice and fried veg with pork and rice

It wasn't very fantastic but decent enough as there were many other patrons at this place. Other restaurants were either empty, or small and dark. They looked very dodgy so it was a no no for me.

From left: Mojito & Tequila Sunrise

Day 2: Breakfast was good at Samed Club. They have scrambled eggs, fried eggs, french toast, salad, fruits, cereals, juices, congee/fried noodles, ham, bacon, sausage, and different kinds of breads with a toaster. I didn't expect this good variety so I truly enjoyed it, esp dining by the beach front.

Dinner was good! Dining by the beach at night, on tatamis on the beach with mats. This is something I've never done before and it was a refreshing experience. To my surprise, this place is filled with Caucasian tourists and some Korean tourists as well. It looked quiet outside but once you step into this place, you see everyone packed at the beach house/restaurants smoking Shisha pipe, eating, drinking and dancing. Seafood was good and fresh, reasonably priced. One meal for 2 would hover around 600 baht (about 25 bucks). I particularly enjoyed the dinner on sand with Fireman show and live band with the waves hitting the shoreline and a cool breeze at night.

Above: Wide variety of seafood with shell fish, fish, tiger prawns, pork ribs, chicken and fish & chips

I got a good tan at Ao Wong Duen the next day with a nice orange shake by the beach. I had fried noodles for lunch. It was yummy. A typical shake would only cost you 50 baht. When you are melting under the sun bathed in suntan lotion, all you need is a can of ice cold coke or an orange shake.
Above: fried noodles with chicken at Sai Kaew Beach

From above: watermelon shake, pad thai and chicken cheeseburger with fries at a cafe near the pier

After we arrived in BKK, we headed to Chinatown for some good local 'zi char'. We ordered prawns. steam fish, crab meat omelette, crabmeat fried rice and a coconut drink. That only only cost $31 for 2. Next was dessert. Who could possibly miss the bird nest at Chinatown/Thailand? Although it can't be the real birds nest, it's still a nice dessert to have after a heavy meal.

From above: steam fish, fried rice, omelette and prawns in Chinatown

Above: Bird's Nest among other desserts in Chinatown

Above: spicy chicken noodle in Nam Tok style

From above: Pad Thai in Khao San

Of course there was shopping and more massages in BKK :)