Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Cranberry Pistachio with green tea Cookies

Ever since I soft launched CharmBakes back in May'14, it seems like I never want to looked back. I was asking myself on why didn't i did it earlier since 5 years back. Maybe back then I was still not as confident, inexperience and afraid of the risk. I am still a working mum though , but " when else if not now " right?.

I needed a push and thank god, I made it through. I knew I did not want to do it alone, I needed a partner, somebody I could trust, someone in the family. For years I was asking my only sister if she was interested for a baking venture but you see, she prefers cooking so much more. Then my 22 year old niece who is a dental nurse, showed so much passion in her hobby and of course she was more than happy when I asked. It was the best moved I made. We do it so much better in 2s and we are loving what we do now. So Charm Bakes has a new face. 

I still pray to have a 3rd partner, hoping my sister could open her heart ( hahahaha ) to baking as our dream was to set up that little mini dessert bar of our own, wedding cakes and what not.

The original Charmed ones. Hopefully

So here is a tribute to our venture, a recipe which I adapted in so many ways, tweaked so many times and finally came with the perfect one. It was an ordinary ice-box cookie recipe in general but now it not. LOL!

Since Christmas season is coming, this cookie recipe would be so so perfect.

Cranberry and Pistachio with Green tea Cookies
Makes abt 120 pieces (square / circles)

227 grams unsalted butter, softened ( Use SCS, Unsalted )
110 grams fine sugar
1 large egg
1 teaspoon vanilla essence
300 grams all purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
70 grams pistachios, chopped
70 grams dried cranberries, coarsely chopped
1 tsp matcha green tea powder ( this gives the green color in this cookies)

Beat butter and sugar with electric mixer on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add egg and vanilla extract and beat to combine. Add the flour in 3 sections, salt, pistachios and cranberries. Mix on low until combined.

Divide dough into 3s. Take 1 part and roll it into a log or a 4-sided log, wrap using a parchment paper. The dough will be slightly sticky but it's fine. Repeat with second half of dough. Refrigerate in freezer until firm at least 1 hour or overnight. 

Preheat oven to 180 degrees. Line baking sheets with parchment paper. Remove one dough sheet at a time from refrigerator. Unwrap cookie sheet and with sharp knife, slice dough into 1/4 inch thick. Place cookies 1 inch apart onto prepared baking sheets. Bake 13-15 minutes or until cookies are golden brown around the edges. Leave on cookie sheet one minute before removing to cooling rack to cool completely.

Shelf period : 2-4 weeks in airtight

I added more green tea on this one as i like the intense green tea flavor.

I hope you love it as much as we do. 

Thank you all for your support.  Because of all of you , stuffs we love doing becomes possible.

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Baking a lil' Magic,

Monday, September 8, 2014

Rainbow Steamed Cake

Is it just me ? I feel that rainbow cakes are too under-whelming. Since it started with Whisk Kid since 2010, it went viral worldwide. Everyone love the color splashed. Ok 4 years of seeing the same cake is a little boring for me. It's the naked and rustic look now which are fresh to my eyes. Don't worry, I'm still sharing that Rainbow Steamed cake recipe which is so long overdue. I've shared this recipe at 'Nak Masak Apa' FB page before too. But that was a Malay version.

This recipe is oh so awesome for those who does not like cream much or even at all. Simpler and so much easier to prepare that the stacking Rainbow cake. I honestly feel that doing steam cakes are less work. Less cleaning. So on not so hard working days and if you still want to have a pretty tea time at home, this is the cake for you.
There was a time where I would go crazy for anyone who goes to Bandung, Indonesia just because the Rainbow Steamed Cake from Kartika Sari is to die for. And it only cos SGD$5.50. The minus points for this cake that it does not last very long. 3-4 days and done. Can't eat them anymore. Then... I came across this cake recipe at Kak CT's kitchen. Worth the try though, the cake is soft, moist and delicious with some freshly grated coconut too.

Rainbow Steamed Cake
(Adapted from Dapur Che CT)

6 Whole eggs
2 Egg Yellow
250 grams Caster Sugar
1/2 tsp Vanilla Essence
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp Ovalette
175 ml Coconut milk ( I used KARA) plus abt 50ml water
200 grams Cake Flour

Violet, Sky Blue, Apple Green, Lemon Yellow, Orange and Bright Red

8 x 8 x 3 inch
Grease the tray with some butter and line parchment paper and grease with butter again (This will keep the cake moist). Splash some flour thinly.

Start to boil water in your steamer.


1. Whisk eggs and egg yolk together with sugar and ovalette till reached fluffed volume and mixture is pale yellow. This will take about 5-6 mins.

2. Pour in the flour and continue to whisk till no traces of flour is seen. put in vanilla essence.

3. Remove from the beater, mix in with a spatula the coconut milk till well mix. 

4. Divide the batter into 7 parts and color accordingly. (At this point, i usually weigh the whole volume and divide them into 7)

5. Start with violet, pour in the batter and and steam for 10 mins. Continue with blue, green, yellow and orange , all for 10 mins each layer. Last later will be the red, steam for 20 mins till all cooked.

6. Stop the fire and bring out from the steamer and let it cool before you cut. Cut the sides and it's ready to eat. 

Easy peasy. You can try these for the kids this holiday. They would sure love them!

Baking a lil' magic,

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Tapak Kuda

How was your Hari Raya so far. I hope we all did enjoy ourselves , that too in moderation. I was so so busy last Ramadhan and all that thanks Him for letting me fulfill my wishes.

Unlike any other year, this year, I have decided to take 4 times more orders than any other year.Thank you all for your support and trust for me to decorate your Eid table with my goodies. 

Today , I'm going to share my Lucky Hoof Roll (Tapak Kuda) recipe. It's a simple cake with simple techniques which you just have to follow closely. I did a few versions and this one I'm sharing is the best so far.The cake is moist & soft and it perfectly ,makes 4 per recipe.

And of course, the filling is of your choice. Nutella currently is on a questionable stage as the bottle does not indicate a Halal sign except for the ones in Australia. Of our shelves in NTUC now are mostly from Germany and Poland. But there is also a confirmation from Nutella Singapore that they are on the midst of getting the sign and confirms that Nutella has no animal extracts.Here is a share of the post. Thank you kind soul.

But if you are still in doubt, make your own. It's easy. Buy chocolate cream and hazelnut paste from Phoon Huat. Mix them 3:1 and you will get your very own version of Nutella. Easy Peasy. The choice is yours. 

Here is the recipe.

Lucky Hoof Roll (Roll Tapak Kuda)
Recipe by Aini Salim.

10 egg yolk
5 egg white
225g caster sugar
30g ovalette (cake stabilizer)
*110g plain flour or top flour ( I use Hong Kong Flour )
*1/2 tsp baking powder (I used double-acting.)
135g butter (melted)
*10g milk powder ( I used full cream )
(* sifted together)
1 tsp vanilla essence
1 tsp chocolate emulco  ( I used Strawberry Emulco / Blueberry flavor for different types of Lucky Hoofs)
Nutella chocolate spread OR hazelnut paste OR any Chocolate filling


Prepare baking pans. I spray the trays with a cooking spray & line with parchment.This will make cleaning a little easier. Set aside.

In a mixing bowl, combine egg yolk, egg white, sugar & ovalette & beat until thick & fluffy on a med-high speed.
Add in all sifted flour & continue beating until well mixed.

Add in melted butter & vanilla & mix well with a spatula.

Scoop up 5 big spoons of batter into a bowl & mix it with the chocolate emulco / other flavors. Then pour into baking pans (Refer below for dimensions of pans.). Spread batter evenly.

Fill the rest of plain batter into a piping bag. Pipe batter onto chocolate layer.

Bake for 20-25 minutes at 180 deg C. Once cooked, remove pan from oven. Then remove cake from pan & leave to cool.

Once cooled, cut off the edges of the cake. Then cut into 2 . Spread Nuttela / hazelnut paste / chocolate filling on the cake & fold into two. Wrap rolled cakes with grease paper or cling wrap & chill cakes before serving.

Dimension & number of pans I used :
two 10x10-inch pans - cut each pan of cake into 2, so total rolls yielded is 4

Hope you find the recipe useful. Feel free to drop me a note if you have any questions. 

Happy trying!

Monday, May 26, 2014

Mini Pavlova - The HOT stuff !

I have settled down, Finally! I just ended the week with my son's 1st birthday bash which literally rock the block, thanks to all who helped made it happened!

I would write about that separately as I believe it's going to be quite lengthy since I baked a few desserts myself.

A small preview of my dessert station for a peek-a-boo feel on how the next post going to be.

I want to talk about Ms. Pavlova here. By it's name, it makes me feel like name after a music teacher but I just recently found out that it was name after a russian ballerina, Anna Pavlova who toured the place pavlova was created in 1926. Although this dessert have been around for long but this is now a current craze here in Singapore. We are pretty back dated on desserts don't you think?

I have been wanting to try to make this since 4 years ago but I was just afraid that it was going to be too sweet because of the sweet meringue. And since IG and FB have been huha-ing with bakers and cafes serving pavlovas, Boy, i was fooled. This dessert tasted so light that you would not mind another serving. So here I am going to share with you this easy recipe and if you are a fruit lover, THIS is the dessert for you!

I served this during my son's party and for the first 10 mins, 20 mini pavlovas was gone. I served again another 30 of them 1 hr later and yup, it was gone the next 45 mins too! I believe even some had 2nd servings. Thank you to them. This was the HOT STUFF of the day.

During my first trial, I baked a chocolate pavlova and it had some cracks. And when I was doing my research on why the cracks happened, Nigella Lawson said that it has nothing to do with the hot oven or the cooling process, it was just the chemistry of the cocoa that made it crack. But that does not matter because it still tastes divine. Oh! I love her! 

See that crack! I made a huge one (30cm diameter) with 1/2 batch of the recipe. 

The mini pavlovas was without chocolate so no cracks so far and this is the recipe that I was going to share today. 

Mini Pavlova (from Nigella

make about 30 pcs of a standard cupcake size/ 2 x 9inch pavlova

Pavlova is a meringue cake that has a light and delicate crisp crust and a soft sweet marshmallow center. This lovely dessert is typically served with softly whipped cream and fresh fruit.

  • large egg whites
  • pinch of salt
  • 500 grams caster sugar ( i reduced this to 420 grams )
  • teaspoons cornflour ( i used 2 teaspoons only )
  •  teaspoon vanilla extract ( I used vanilla essence of coz! )
  • teaspoons  white vinegar ( i used distilled white vinegar from Heinz )
  • 750 ml whipping cream ( I used 38% fat content)
  • 1 tablespoon of icing sugar ( I added)

  • Fresh fruit - i used 1 tub of  strawberries, 2 myanmar mangoes , 1/2 box of blueberries .
  • You can also use: raspberries, blackberries, passion fruit, peaches, pineapple, or other fruit of your choice

    1. Preheat the oven to 180ºC/gas mark 4/350ºF.
    2. Whisk the egg whites with the salt until they're holding firm peaks but are not stiff. Gently add in the sugar, spoonful after spoonful, still beating, until you've got a bowl full of gleaming, satiny, snowy meringue. Sprinkle the cornflour, a few drops of vanilla and the vinegar on top and fold in to combine.
    3. Draw 6 circles of approximately 10cm / 4 inch circles (using a pint glass as a guide, if this helps) on each of the parchment-lined sheets. Scoop your meringue into a big piping bag and you can you use whatever tip you like. I used the flower tip. I don't draw the circles coz it's a hassle, but for consistency, swirl your tip twice and finish in the top side to create the indentation in the center.
    4. If you are making a 1 big huge pavlova (this recipe can make 2 of those) . Spoon the meringue onto the baking parchment into the delineated circles, and spread and smooth to fill. You want to make the meringue slightly higher at the rims, or just use the back of the spoon to make an indentation in the centre to hold the cream and fruit later.
    5. Put into the oven, turn it down to 150ºC/gas mark 2/300ºF, and bake for 30 - 45 minutes. Turn the oven off and leave them in for another 30 minutes, then take out of the oven to cool.If you have a small oven like me, just transfer them to on top of your oven so that it stay warm and then after 30 mins to wire racks so that you can bake another tray.
    6. When you want to assemble them, pipe cream into the indentation. Place, one by one, a few strawberries and a few mangoes and blueberries and pomegranate so that they look well filled but not crammed. Dust with cocoa powder.

  • Note: This recipe can be halved or doubled but make sure you have enough whipping room in your mixer.

Hope you will enjoy that!

Baking a lil magic,

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

I am a Baker + Mom + Wife + Employee + Blogger

When I first started this blog in November 2010, my intention was to share recipes and photos of what I have created. Recipes from which I have taken off the the internet, baking blogs and tv websites. After 4 years of having this blog, I posted a good 42 entries which also means that it took me on average 10 post a year. Oh my, and I thought that I have been busy but that's really slow.

I did not stop baking after having another baby, No! But the little man does keeps me very busy. Here's a share of my cute chubby little family.

I have been baking for almost every 2 weeks for 2014 but I just do not have the time to pen (type in this case) all my recipes down. Apart from that , I have been also so busy attending baking classes on my own to increase my knowledge. 

Classes and Workshops that I have attended so far:

  1. Cupcakes ( Baking and decorating with buttercream & fondant )
  2. Swiss Rolls Class ( Commercial Class )
  3. Apam Polkadots and Apam Mekar class
  4. Wilton Course 1 :  Decorating Basics
  5. Pound Cakes Class
  6. French Bread Creation: Baguette/ Dinner Rolls/ Soup Bowls / Batard
  7. Hi-tea Workshops
  8. Strawberry Shortcake Class
  9. Entrepreneurship Seminars
  10. Bake Cakes like a Pro Course
With all the above, which does not include my routine extra-curricular activities like my religious classes, yoga and aqua aerobics,  I also do take orders from time to time. This is really really seasonal and always according to my schedule. I apologize that sometimes I do have to reject some requests if I feel that it's going to be too rushing for me. It's not all the time though and I am sorry. As I promise perfect and delicious products by Charm Bakes, I shall not let time be a challenge.

But , just please do remember that I have 2 young kids now age 3 and 1 , a man-child to care, a helper to manage whom have been a great help in cleaning all my work done and taking turns to take care of my kids while I'm busy trying a new recipes and with all this I am a Business Analyst in a company for 5 years already. Hopefully now you see my time juggling in which I am starting to be an expert on.

I again thank all my readers for even glancing at my unexciting post but I will try my best to upgrade myself all the time. 

Hopefully I could write slowly all those pending recipes throughout the rest of 2014, (on god's will) . I could only do a small collage of it. :-(

To wrap things up, this is actually my 1st post for 2014 and I could not believe my self that I am still going strong and up for new challenges.

I thank you all for your support and do requests for recipes and I will try to prioritize them.

This is my passion and this is who I will be.

Lots of Magic,