Tuesday, November 08, 2011


Hello folks... what's up for today? Hmm... let's talk about BREAD? Guess all of you must be staring at me strangely. Why Bread? Ahem... According to the ever-brilliant Wikipedia, Bread is considered one of the oldest food as it has existed well before 30,000 years ago in Europe. Bread is usually made from wheat-flour dough (with salt and water) through the fermentation of natural yeast, allowed to rise and bake in the oven. Moreover, it is one of the Food Monster's favourite staples of all time. It is the bizarre texture of the breads that has built up my curiosity on this flour dough. Although I always like to eat this staple food but yet I haven't got the chance to put my hands down and work with the doughs.

German Dark Rye Bread

In the Academy, I've got the chance to make my very first breads on my own!! Chef Niklesh was our mentor for this yeast puffing session. Chef has even told us that we gotta use our bare hands to FEEL the right fold of the bread dough to determine whether it is ready to bake in the oven. He makes sure all of us are using the right technique to roll the bread doughs in order to avoid any irregular shapes.

Bread dough kneading technique

As illustrated in the figure above, for small soft/hard rolls, we can use our whole palm to roll the bread dough until it comes out with the smooth surface. Whereas, for bigger soft/hard rolls, we have to use both hands to knead the doughs with extra strength onto it.

Hard breads - Note the air holes in the breads

A closer look of the tight air holes

A varieties of Hard Breads 
Cuts on the bread dough for patterns

Apart from Soft/Hard breads, we have got the chance to make our own Focaccia breads! Focaccia is actually a type of Italian bread and is widely famous throughout the high-heeled boot like nation. Focaccia dough is similar to the texture of pizza dough, using high-gluten flour, water, oil, salt and starter. A starter or poolish consists of wheat flour, water and yeast which acts as pre-ferment to prolong the fermentation in bread making process. It is able to improve the lifespan and storage of the baked bread, and it creates greater complexities of flavour.

Plain Focaccia Dough - Full of yeast activity

A wide spread of varieties of Focaccia breads can be found in Italy. They vary by regions and cities as different types of toppings, herbs and ingredients are used to create the uniqueness of their own focaccia breads.   

Focaccia with Tarragon herbs - Must handle with "Care"

Look! This is gotta be Crispy, Crunchy and Tasty!

From top: Tarragon Focaccia, Italian Herbs Focaccia and Olive Focaccia with Extra Virgin Olive Oil. They are just simply gorgeous!! Chef Niklesh was there to assist all the students with the knowledge and techniques of bread making and he demanded us to make another batch of all the breads in order to master the basics of the whole bread making process. We ended up having two huge batches of flour products and part of them have been arranged for charity donation!

Viola~ Here's the whole batch of different breads that we have made... Thanks to the patience and perseverance of Chef N to guide us through the whole 2-days sessions. It was really an inspiring class for the Food Monster, or rather Flour Monster! Don't be jealous as we get to bring all the flour products to savour them ourselves... Put in the toast with fruit conserves or even just eat it plain, it is just like being in heaven! You can have it too, only by private request ;)

Before ending this post, I would like to thank both CheeHung, JZ and Ernie for your generosity to allow me to bunk in your lovely nests in Melbourne and Brissy during my recent trip to the Down Under! Thanks all of you for making this trip a special one and I am looking forward to see you guys soon... Till then, have a great life eating BREADS!

The cheeky Jenny and sweety Chermaine

The Brissy Three Musketeers@
Sirromet Winery, Mt. Cotton, Brisbane

So, dear all... Do you like bread? Or is there any particular type of breads that you adore? Please do share it here ^^


Friday, August 12, 2011

Academy of Pastry Arts Malaysia

Have you ever thought that dessert can be an essential element in life? There is a famous quote by Ernestine Ulmer, "Life is uncertain. Eat dessert first." People would willing to do whatever they could just to savour this little masterpiece. Pastry shops and cafés are the current lifestyle trend where people would spend their beautiful weekends at.

Ficelle Boulangerie & Patisserie, KL, Malaysia

Ficelle Boulangerie & Patisserie, KL, Malaysia

 Being branded as Food Monster, my interest lies clearly on "Desserts". Recently, I have made a leap to begin my culinary adventure by enrolling a part-time certificate pastry course at The Academy of Pastry Arts Malaysia. This initiative has been fully backed by Adrian and JZ as they are always very supportive and encourage me to pursue my all time interest.

The program is comprised of 12 main topics in consecutive 12 weekends. It covers Modern Cake, Plated Desserts, Chocolate, Sugar Art and etc. For more info, please visit Certificate of Pastry & Bakery Arts. My first ever class is the challenging Wedding Cake. In my first impression, wedding cake is really a hardcore topic to start with and I'm worried if I can ever meet the expectation for the completion of the class. Nevertheless, I have bailed it all out to do whatever I could to make it happen.

The office of Academy of Pastry Arts Malaysia

The Baking & Teaching Facility of the premise

The instructor for this session is Chef Tan, who has more than 5 years of professional working experiences as pastry chef in hotels and bakeries. He has tried to make the class to be less stressful and fun to have more interaction with the students. There are four students (including me) who are very passionate to start a career in baking and pastry making. Asha is a full-time housewife with years of experience in preparing the meals for her kids and would want to make a living in baking industry when she migrates to Adelaide end of this year. Emily, who was a marketing engineer, has quit her job to enrol in this course to further enhance her baking skills in her online-business to sell puffs and pastries. Zul, a professional architect who would want to have his own bakery in the near future when he has completed this part time course. Their stories are truly inspirational to be a force for me to pursue my baking dream.

All the ingredients for the recipe are provided by the academy and Chef Tan has explained each baking steps and essential baking knowledge patiently to ensure we have a clear understanding on the specific details.   

1. Two-layered Wedding Cake with marzipan & fondant
2. Love decoration - made of pastillage


Roses & Leaves - Made of gum paste

Fleur decoration with royal icing

Wonderful creations by the students and Chef Tan

Lovely couple figurines by Chef Tan - So much detail on the hair

We have the sense of satisfaction after completing the hand-crafted creation under Chef Tan's guidance. The good thing about this class is that students get to bring back their works for own consumption... hurray! But, the issue here was on how are we going to transport this two-layered fragile cake back without any "cake-accident"? I have to admit I was having a hard time to transport it back home in a winding road with road humps... Phew, it was alright and the cake arrived at home in one full piece ;p

The multipurpose carboot organiser - Transportation in progress

Hmm, I'm looking forward for the upcoming baking topic (Cookies) that will cover different kinds of cookies from different regions in the world - Biscotti, Florentine and many more. I need to practice on how to plan my schedule and utilize the time effectively, while not affecting my full-time work at the same time.

Lastly, I would like to depict another quote, "Stressed spelled backwards is desserts. Coincidence? I think not!" Let's release our stresses that have been accumulated throughout the weekdays by having a cuppa...

Cheeky Sunny Boy on a Cappuccino@ Bee Cafe, Jaya One!

Alright, it's Friday Night... TGIF~ I wish all of you have an enjoyable weekend ;)


Sunday, June 19, 2011

Happy Father's Day

Good Morning! It is a great Sunday and I'm breathing fresh air in my beloved Penang~ Just finished cleaning up the water pump in the fish pond and it is working all good now! The sound of the water flowing reminds me of those days back which my dad will do all the works while brothers and I are busy playing computer games.... Bad sons huh >.<"
When dad is getting older, he will be the commander and gives us the orders to make sure the water pump is working properly. It will be our worst nightmare if we are being told to change the water in the pond!! First, we need to drain the water by half, then catch the Koi fish out and scrape off those thick layers of green algae. Before putting back the Koi fish, we will need to splash a handful of sea salt with anti-chlorine liquid into the fresh water. It will take up a whole morning and I suppose it is a good work out too, haa.

It has been almost 2 years since the day you left us, things have changed with ups and downs in life. We are here to make sure mum is doing fine, so don't worry dad! Recently, mum has fulfilled her childhood dream of going to UK together with Cecilia... We are glad to see her enjoying herself there as well. Likewise, I need to buckle up and focus on my priorities for now! Thanks to everyone beside me, I have gained and learned precious experiences in life. I have to learn to pursue happiness in hard times... 

Dad, when I was browsing through the photos in your camera, I saw a lot of photos that you have taken with the people you have met and people that have helped you these recent years... Sincerely thank them from the bottom of my heart! Among the photos, I find this is really memorable... Trio shot by Dad@Macau in 2008.

I miss you, Dad!

I wish all of you Happy Father's Day!! ;)


Monday, February 14, 2011

Brand New Life@Hoe Pharma and V-Day!!

G'day, mate. Its a such a great day to kick start my much anticipated new career as it is also the V-Day... Thanks to everyone for their efforts to assist, support and encourage me to take up such new challenge in life. What makes me to decide to come down to the capital city and be away from my much comfort crib back in Penang? The answer is DRUG...!! This amazing yet eerie term has always been in my mind ever since I have decided to enrol Biotech course back in uni...Gotta grab this golden opportunity and give all I've got to achieve my career objectives and milestones!

Hmm, Shyang with much sincere apologies for not able to stay at your side on this special occasion. Well, need not to specifically spend an enormous amount of extra expenses to keep the other half happy only on this particular date. Have a great time with family back there ;)

All I want to say is... I love my valentine much and as always~

Orchid@Peranakan House, Church St., Penang


Friday, January 21, 2011

Happy New Year 2011...

Ooops...Guess it wasn't too late to wish everyone Happy New Year 2011. Was busy running errand to forge for my future career (hope this is a valid reason for being procrastination) and had a wonderful trip to Down Under recently. For all the greatest moments, please visit here.

I have yet to sort out my career but I am working hard to make a wise, reliable, correct, justifiable, happy and the best decision soon.
Wish things get better soon for all Queenslanders!! The Sunshine State rocks~ XX

Oh yea, please meet my good boy, Kevvie!!

Thanks mum for bringing me to life !!

Alright, will keep you guys updated ASAP. Till then, take good care mates~


Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Kev's Midnight Bakery - Orange Marmalade Cake

Its 9 minutes past 11pm, its raining cats and dogs outside. Always love to stay indoor when its raining. While waiting for my phone to get updated with iOS4.2, I thought its time for me to BLOG! This time its about Orange Marmalade Cake...a new creation from the Food Monster~

Sweet Sour Orange Zest~

My colleagues keep asking me to make something for their afternoon tea with some restrictions and these are what I have to bear in mind: No banana, no dry fruits (which is my favourite), no berry-based fruit conserved. Well, guess orange is an universal fruit that can stay safe within the acceptance zone. Started baking only at 9.30pm on Sunday, I'm kind of tired to get myself to move my heavy limbs. Such a lazy FM... After an hour of weary baking session, it turns out like this....

Freshly baked Orange Marmalade Cake...Anyone?

The overall texture is surprisingly great and spongy with enough moisture and sweetness. The fragrance of orange is so strong until my 2nd bro left his beloved PC and approached me to have a peep on what I am doing. Yea, nobody would able to resist the piping hot and fresh cake, especially at such late hours (time for some supper, no?). The only downside of this cake is that the butter is not enough as I have forgotten to put an extra of 50g that is supposed to be in the recipe. The base of the cake gets too dry until it has affixed at the bottom of the baking pan ;(
Lesson learned: Must gather all the ingredients beforehand if you are after for a perfect creation!!

Jingle bell, Jingle bell...X'mas is on the way~

The cake is well-supported by my hungry and glutton colleagues. Within 10 minutes, my container is empty and I could barely have one slice for myself. Being the smart FM, I have kept a few slices in advance for mum and bros at home. *Wink*
Guess I am done for the day. Sweet dreams and nitez.


Tuesday, October 05, 2010

A Day to Remember~

The earth is moving, the time is flowing and my heart is pumping irregularly. Just a glimpse of eye, it has been a year! A year that I have to start my lifestyle differently, having had to adjust myself without you around, dad! Things are alright at home, everyone seems trying their best to get back on track...Live strong in life. Mum is cheering up to have herself occupied with Yoga classes but somehow will be quite emotional when she thinks of you...Dad, you never been forgotten by everyone here, instead living in our hearts ever since before! Ya, still have a lot to learn in life, wish you were here when I need you ~ Not to worry, we will take good care of ourselves here...; )

Lovely Dad & Mum@Lotte World, Korea (2004)

Right before going off for work, all my mind is just flashing back all the moments that we have spent together, from young till the day you left us~! It has been a tough day here with 2 colleagues on leave at the same time! Wish Wei recovered soon with her sprained ligament. My concentration tends to distort at some point of time but the heavy workload immediately steered myself back on track to keep things focused. Well, guess I just need more rest for myself...after working in staggered hours for almost a year too!

Trio-shot@St. Paul, Macau (2008)
Dad, I miss you so much...


Sunday, September 05, 2010

Sleep Debt

Guess the phrases above is no stranger to everyone out there? People accumulate sleep debt surreptitiously without any sense of consciousness. We tend to have "sleep debt" when we are in a rush for due date reports or presentations and all sorts of reasons that you can find out for yourselves, just to make you feel better. Sleep debt, by definition, is the difference between the amount of sleep you should be getting and the amount you actually get for each day.

Sleepdex.org has said that a person who loses ONE night's sleep will generally be irritable and clumsy during the next day. After missing TWO night's sleep, a person will have problems concentrating and will begin to make mistakes on normal tasks. THREE missed nights will cause a person starting to have hallucination and lose grasp of reality "like the one we get to watch in L.Di Caprio's recent creation - The Inception." Studies have found that sleep deprivation leads to worsened vision, impaired actions in daily lives and trouble remembering. Chronic effects include obesity and heart disease.

Oh no, is it that serious? Need not worry, there is still numerous of solutions to tackle such intricate issue! The good news is that, like all debt, it can be repaid with proper work being done. Having enough of sleep will enable your brain to undergo a restorative period to maintain the balance within your endocrine system and allows your organs to be back on track to function in an ordinary way.  Tacking on an extra hour or two of sleep a night is the way to catch up with the arrears of sleep. Go to bed when you are tired, and allow your body to wake you in the morning (NO alarm clock is allowed). Experts say that needing an alarm clock in order to wake up is a sign that you are sleep deprived. Yea dear, I shouldn't been complaining all my daily lives frustration and put them into excuses for my "sleep deprivation" throughout this year…Sorry for being emotional and rant over you! I will not starve myself again too. Well, I definitely need to start from here…(; 

I have attached here with a free sleep calculator, please have a go to calculate the right sleep hours for yourselves --> Sleep Calculator

For more in depth research, please visit Can You Catch Up on Lost Sleep and How to Pay Back sleep debt in Smart Way

Fun facts: It is known that law enforcement pros employ forced sleep deprivation to get people to have lower resistance to truth telling. It is hard to lie when you're sleepy…!!

Blue Diamond No.17 Pineapple Tart - even have special certificate to prove it is all man-made from organic pineapple! Thanks Joshua for such lucrative souvenir from Taiwan!! For more info, please visit Dawn Cake.

Yang Can Bake - Sr. 1: Apple Crumble

Was traveling to Ipoh for a day trip with my mum yesterday. I have brought along my Master Chef mag that I've got in Australia last July to avoid those "Foreseen" boredom…Haa, not that serious yet d; Then found a recipe by Junior Master Chef, thought I can be a master chef too?! Therefore, I grabbed the opportunity to make the Apple Crumble that I've been craving for so long.

Zesty Oranges - Subtle magic juice

Crispy crumble top that resemblance crunchy butter cookies~

Warm Apple Delight out from oven freshly~ Anyone?

Will post up the recipe here in the same post, please stay tune ^^ !! Till then, need to wash up all the utensils and dig-in my Apple Crumble...Yum yum yum...One more please !!!  
Just remember, Hot Crumbles are just the ticket for cold nights (;


Sunday, May 30, 2010

SHYANG Can Cook - Sr. 1: Mexican Night~

Buenas noches (Good Evening in Spanish - FYI: Mexicans speak Spanish), all the lovely people out there! Have you ever heard of Yan Can Cook by Martin Yan before? He is just my childhood hero that has influenced me to become the Food Monster today...!! Wonder why I would used YANG instead of Kev?! Because, it is given by my special one...*nod nod - Yes, you are the ONE~*

I thought it will be a great timing for me to make the kitchen alive by cooking a meal for my family. Hence, I have this in mind....Let make it a Mexican Night...

Bienvenido - Old El Paso Fajita Kits
All the cooking steps are just simple like a Finger Flick*
I have promised mum that I won't make a mess in the kitchen and I've become the Head Chef **Grin** Without any hesitation, I took out those frozen minced meat for it to defrost beforehand. Below are those ingredients that are compulsory (its more like a "regulation" for such staples?!):

From left and clockwise: 3 beaten eggs, chicken sausages, bell pepper/capsicum cubes & strips and sweet onions slices

YANG can FLIP! Pan-fry omelet - will provide another subtle texture for Fajitas~

Apart from those raw materials stated above, I thought omelet will be another great enhancement for our dinner, especially with the crispy outer skin and slightly pan-fried fragrance...The normal Fajitas don't seem to satisfy the much-demanding FM, so I gently arranged all the Fajita rolls onto a baking pan and sprinkled with Parmesan Cheese before putting into the oven for 15 minutes. Tick-tock, tick-tock...YIPPIE, time for DINNER, folks!

The Roasted Crispy-skinned Fajitas with Salsa as flavouring sauce...
Is someone knocking the door, asking for some tasting sessions?! d;

Mexican or Italian?! My brain can't even have a justified answer! It tasted exactly like the homemade Italia Pizza~ Mumbo Jumbo...I'm loving it! Everything seems so perfect except the Mexican flavouring powder which is towards the salty side, need some water to quench the thirst~

I really love cooking, baking and of course, EATING! But, when Rationality become a Liability, nobody can escape from the Chef's worst nightmare - CLEAN THE DISHES~ No exceptional even if you have produced a great dinner. Therefore, I have to wash all the cookery and plates by myself....~ Haaa! Ya, let's make dinner as a good practice as it will train up your patience, explore your knowledge on food handling to the widest and so on...at least they are healthy in the way that YOU are the one who knows what ingredients/flavourings that are being used in those dishes~!

Together we promote the Healthy Life~


Thanks Big-Bro Hooi, you are awesome!! POCKIES all the way from HK~

Limited Edition Pocky Winter Chocolate - Melt in your HEART~

O.o Time will never wait for people but its us who need to grab the best out of it! Its time for me to head off to bed...A simple yet meaningful weekends, I'm delighted. :D
Tomorrow will be a better day~ Don't you agree people?! Till then, Adiós!!


Saturday, May 01, 2010

Rhapsodie de Fruit Loaf

Yea, TGIF~ Everyone is ecstatic as tomorrow will be a worldwide public holiday - Labour Day~ It is such a devastating week here and FM is furious to get more YUMMY food to compensate with the tiredness. Due to popular demand and peer pressures, I have decided to have another creation to keep everybody delighted in both visual and physical fulfillment. ;P

Let me present.........Rhapsodie de Fruit Loaf

I have decided to name this recipe as fruit loaf rather than fruit cake as this flour-product contains less moisture. Thus, it creates a great texture which sits right in between a cake and a bread. YUMMY!

Food Monster is also running out of fresh ideas lately. He needs to observe the surroundings and hopefully get to churn out some incredible senses. This time, I have scooped out a portion of the ready-bake batter and added in with some premium cocoa powder from the Dutch Chocolatier - Van Houten. Then, I have combined both portions right before sending it into the oven. It turned out to be.....

A chocolate-butter swirl fruit loaf with my favourite Dried Cranberries~

Cranberries have moderate levels of vitamin C, dietary fibers and essential dietary minerals as well as a balanced profile of other essential micronutrients. Folks, let's tuck in and promote a healthy life around our communities....Alright, perhaps another closer shot for you to drool even more x-p

Comments are most welcome...Food Monster is thinking hardly to improve his current techniques by trying a few more complicated oven-creations!! Hmm, guess I need to fully utilize these much anticipating weekends. They are truly precious for all the workmates, don't you agree?!


Well-fitted in this post  -  Pocky MARBLE

Alrighty, time for the FM to catch back some comfort sleeps in this cooling night. Guess I will put an end for this post, hope you guys like it. Good night, people ;)


Tuesday, April 06, 2010

Tourist In Hometown

Hey pals, have you ever come across such situation where you need to be a tourist in your hometown?! Well, it did give me some hard times when my friend planned to come over Penang, Malaysia for holidays!! A warmth welcome for the special guests, ShanMin and ShuMin from our neighbour land, Singapore.

I've to hook up to the net and google for some local tourist spots...but those attractions can't really interest me much as being a local, there isn't anything much to see?!! ShanMin keep asking me why is the place is not worth-going, why is the area not reachable and so forth. Arh...FM is having headache! She tells me that I need to think like a tourist, not from the locals' point of view! Ermm, OKIE~ **FM is discontented**!! Haa....

I sort of complaining this to Bee and she convinced me back with just a single and simple good reason --> They are my FRIENDS! Thanks dear, you've got the point...and I will always listen to you...Muacks!! Yeap, they are indeed my friends, so I need to learn to be a good tour guide and put on a good smile to all the Penang visitors!

First tourist spot that I could think of is...Fort Cornwallis. Actually, this is my second trip to this well-supported tourist spot since my first time when I was in primary...!

British Fort and Canon...

Tour guide for the S'poreans!! I'm paid with double! LOL...

ShanMin had a request for me to bring them to the film-taking spot in Church St., Penang. I was like...is there any special? But, the reminder kicked in --> we must think and see from tourist-point of view. Alrighty, be a good girl and I shall grant your wish...Here we go to the Pinang Peranakan Mansion! Somehow I feel ashamed of myself, how could I don't know the road in Penang but yet I'm a Penangite! Arh girls, please forgive me...I will train harder and learn by heart next time!

Baba-Nyonya Style Mansion over 100 years ago

Window to the heaven...

Walking Down the Alley of Time...

If only I could Turn Back Time...

The SG people is hard to be satisfied...:P Therefore, I brought them to our proud beach at Batu Ferringhi!! The weather is just suitable for outdoor activities and everyone seems so happy to be here to enjoy the smooth, cooling breeze...

Golden sunset view at dusk...Looking at the sky, longing for someone special! I really miss you!

Coming to the Food Heaven without having authentic delicious food is just can't be compromised! I'll just show some photos here because...Penang is full of local delicacies! If you want to know more, come here and you will get to savour all of these great gifts from the locals!

Nyonya-style Chicken Masak Lemak@Mama's

Oyster Pan-cake....Crispy, crunchy, tasty, yummy and dreamy!

Mouth-melting Tiramisu@Bella Italia...Simply Irresistable!

Well, I hope my performance is satisfied for the much-demanding guests!! Hee...I am more than happy to see you guys again! Next time will be my turn to invade the Lion City...!! Thanks for visiting ya!


Pocky Dessert - Tiramisu Flavour

Remembrance of Daddy:

Dear Dad, these few days have been emotional for everyone in the house, we keep thinking about you and all the ups and downs that we had together are etched indelibly in our mind! Really thanks for everything that you have done for me...Love ya lots!! 

Alright, it is time for me to help out in the kitchen!! Crispy Pork Belly, please wait for me to turn you to be a great dishieeee...Till then, I will be back to blog more in frequent...Cheers buddies!!