Tuesday, 26 March 2013

Breakfast: Ya Kun Kaya Toast, Singapore

Breakfast is my favourite meal of the day.
Wake up, stretch and eat is my motto.
Since moving to Singapore, I have spent my weekends exploring all the funky and retro brunch cafes around the city that are serving up thick New York-style pancakes, French toast and fry ups.
Nothing compares though to Singapore and Malaysia's famous Kaya Toast.
In fact, we wake up half an hour early every Thursday (not sure why Thursday?) and head to Far East Square before work for a set of this deliciously sweet breakfast.
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From the outside this breakfast doesn't look too appetizing but delve in to this sweet treat and you will be instantly hooked.
It can't be that bad if the Fashion News Editor of Harper's Bazaar Singapore, Yi Lian Ng, is also raving about it on her blog post for Mulberry.
For the full kaya experience you have to order a set which consists of two soft-boiled eggs with a drop of dark soya sauce and a plate of homemade kaya toast.
You've been warned the kaya toast is addictive!
Kaya is a thick, sweet coconut jam which is made with fragrant pandan leaves, eggs and coconut. 
A LOT of effort goes in to making homemade kaya, with hours of stirring involved.
In Singapore, kaya is served on toasted bread with a thick layer of butter and then dipped into the eggs.
Sounds a little peculiar...but don't knock it 'til you've tried it.
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Ya Kun Kaya Toast is a family run business in Singapore that was set up in 1926.
Moved from it's famous stall in Lau Pa Sat Hawker Centre, it is now located between Chinatown and the CBD in Far East Square with franchises throughout Southeast Asia, Dubai and India.
It is normally busy from 7.30am during the week, serving people from all walks of life before they start their day.
A set costs only 4 Singapore dollars (around £2) each - making it a definite attraction for all foodie travellers to the city.

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Ya Kun Kaya Toast Singapore - 07

See you there next Thursday?
Ya Kun Kaya Toast, Far East Square, 18 China Street, #01-01, Singapore 049560 

Friday, 22 March 2013

Easy Hot Cross Buns - Easter Recipe

Living in Singapore, I had completely forgot that it is Easter next week until I stumbled upon some overly overpriced Mini Eggs (I mean £5 for a tube, come on!)

Once realisation hit, there was one thing for it - I had to bring Hot Cross Buns to Singapore.
I remember Easter's spent as a child sat in the garden with my chocolate eggs melting all over my hands - apparently it's -2 in Britain today, what's going on?!
This is the easiest Hot Cross Bun recipe I could think of and takes no more than 30 minutes to make less than a dozen larges buns.

Hot Cross Bun recipe - 01


For the buns:

350g white bread flour
4 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
100g unsalted butter
2 tablespoons honey
100g raisins
300ml milk
1 egg

For the white cross:

150g icing sugar
2 tablespoons milk
1 drop almond or vanilla extract

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Mix the white flour, baking powder, salt and butter together with your hands to create a crumby mixture..

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Add the honey and raisins and shake the mixture, make a well in the middle and slowly mix and add the milk to create a sticky combination...

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Line a baking tray with baking paper and spoon the mixture into large balls.
Mark a cross on the top of each bun as deep as possible - the sticky texture makes this quite difficult but this helps when you ice the buns.
Create a glaze texture on top by whisking one egg and bushing lightly over the top.

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While the buns are cooking, mix together the icing sugar, milk and essence.
Once the buns have cooled, use the icing to accentuate the crosses and there you go...

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Serve with butter and jam, honey, cream and berries, warm chocolate and berries...the list is endless..

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Happy Easter!

Get Connected

As the world of social media grows and grows, here are some of my favourite platforms that I use.

Twitter @HoneybrookD
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I am so addicted to Pinterest.
An easy platform to share pictures of anything from indulging brunches to tropical island getaways to DIY arts and crafts, I could easily spend all day trawling through the beautiful images on Pinterest.
Here are some of my favourite foodie images that can all be found on my Yummy! Pinterest board here.

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Hungry yet?
Pinterest is a great place for unique recipe inspiration, as well as dinner party decorations.

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Isn't it great how much better a shot can look with a Filter?!
Here are some of my favourite shots:

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Monday, 18 March 2013

Chilled Hershey's Chocolate and Banana Cupcakes

Today is AJ's birthday and what better way to celebrate than with some chilled chocolate and banana cupcakes around the pool? (Sorry European readers...they taste good heated up by a fire too!)

What's special about these cupcakes is that the actual cake is sugar-free.
I don't need to tell you the health risks of eating too much sugar, they are everywhere at the moment and, quite frankly, sugar is getting a bad rep and is no longer cool. 
Obviously the Hershey's chocolate frosting contains sugar (sugar-free icing is almost impossible) but I substituted using sugar in the actual cake with mashed up banana. 
You see, when bananas are oven baked they produce their own natural sugars making them taste sweeter and a perfect substitute for caster sugar.

Chocolate and banana cupcake recipe - 01
For the cake:
150g plain flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
75g unsalted butter
150ml milk
1 mushed banana
For the icing:
300g icing sugar
100g unsalted butter
Hershey's chocolate syrup
Heat the over to 170C.
In a large bowl, mix together the flour, baking powder and butter with an electric whisk...

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Pour and mix in the milk to the mixture and add two eggs, beat well...

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Stir in the mashed banana...

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...and place the mixture in cake tins.
I make the cakes extra big by baking them in a muffin tin.
Fill the cases two thirds high so they have space to rise and cook in the oven for around 20 minutes...easy!

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Make the chocolate icing while the cakes are cooling....get ready for some serious bowl-licking action.

Mix together the icing sugar, butter and chocolate syrup with a whisk until the mixture is light and fluffy.

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Spread evenly over your cakes.
As the temperature is around 33C outside at the moment, I keep them in the fridge and serve cool - surprisingly refreshing in this heat!
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Tuesday, 12 March 2013

Pancake Cake...yep, a pancake cake!

Yep, that's right...I made a pancake cake - it does exactly what it says on the tin.
A tower of a dozen pancakes, each layer separated with cream or chocolate all topped off with a creamy chocolate sauce.
Ideal for impressing friends on pancake day or as a super indulgent Sunday brunch, here's how to make this little beauty...

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Plain flour
2 Eggs
150g milk chocolate
50g unsalted butter
500ml double cream

To start make a classic batch of pancakes, the more you make the higher your pancake cake is going to be.  I've been making pancakes for so long I just make up the quantities but Jamie Oliver recommends 3 cups of flour to 3 cups of milk to 2 eggs, basically you want to make sure the mixture isn't too thick and lumpy.

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Once you have cooked your pancakes let them cool on a plate...

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.....and watch the tower grow.

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Once you've made all the pancakes leave them to one side and now is time to create the  fillings that will separate each cake.

I used melted chocolate and cream.
Whip the cream up with an electric whisk until it thickens and loses its runniness.
For the chocolate, melt 150g milk chocolate with 50g unsalted butter in a bowl over boiling water.  Don't let the bowl touch the water.  Again, let it melt until the mixture thickens.

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Then create the layers.  I start with a cream base on the plate and then place the first pancake on top.
Then a chocolate layer and alternate between cream and chocolate on each layer..

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Pour the remaining chocolate over the top (I made too much) and leave to set.
Obviously you can brighten your cake up with ground nuts, berries and even hundreds and thousands! I went for a cream heart....

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