Wednesday, 25 June 2014

Airfryer coffee muffins... oh so tough...

When I say oh so tough, I mean it literally (during the 2nd try), and also it's really hard to make it good tasting!

I tried so-called 5 star rating muffin recipes, but they just don't come out right.

1st attempt was dry and not enough coffee taste - probably baked too long and too little coffee.

2nd attempt was still dry with stronger coffee taste - couple of people said they like it but also a couple said they were as hard as stone! (ok that's an exaggeration but you can see the message I am sure, loud and clear)

This is the 3rd attempt, by far the best. It's soft and fragrant, the chocolate chips are nice. But I feel the coffee flavour does not come out strong enough and could be more moist.

Yeah it's not common to post a recipe that the writer is usually not proud of, but I still do it, so that if any souls out there have a fantastic recipe, or dear children if one day you feel like improving on it, please do....

And don't worry, this recipe is far from bad, still enjoyable.

Adapted from

2 cups all-purpose flour
1/3 cup sugar (I used raw sugar)
1 tablespoon instant espresso powder (I used instant coffee)
1 tablespoon baking powder (yeah you read that right!)
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup (packed) light brown sugar (I used 1/4 cup raw sugar and just added at the same time as the sugar listed above)
1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips (I also added 1/2 cup walnuts)
1 cup strong coffee, cooled (I used 1/2 cup espresso and 1/2 cup yoghurt)
1 stick (8 tablespoons) unsalted butter, melted and cooled (I used 8 tbsp oil)
1 large egg
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract


1) Preheat Airfryer to 180 deg C for 10 min.

2) In a large bowl, whisk together the flour sugar espresso powder, baking powder, cinnamon and salt. Stir in the brown sugar, breaking up any lumps. Add chocolate chips and stir to combine.


3) In a medium bowl, whisk together the coffee, melted butter, egg and vanilla extract until well combined.
4) Pour the liquid ingredients over the dry ingredients and gently but quickly stir to blend until just combined.

5) Fill each muffin cup 4/5 full with batter.

6) Bake in Airfryer for 8 mins at 180 deg C. After 8 min if one or two are not done, remove those that are done and give the uncooked ones another 2 min at 160 deg C.

Tuesday, 17 June 2014

Lucas, a good elder brother (at times)

When Lucas is not busy fighting or snatching toys or bullying Luis, he sometimes shows his 'good elder brother' side.

One time he was staying at home because of HFMD in school (I guess that puts him in a good mood. Yea! No school!). I was leaving home for work when Luis started crying. Lucas came and did 3 good-brother things.

First he told me, "You haven't sayang Luis!". So I did that.
Then he pep-talked Luis, "Luis, Mummy has to go to work.".
Luis was still crying, so he said "Luis, you see..." and proceeded to make a funny face at him.

Well I pretty much forgot if it worked, I didn't think it did but I was so proud of my Lucas.


One day we were at Jarett's house and Luis did something that caused Jarett to gently scold him. Then Lucas told Jarett, "Don't scold Luis."
Well in fact Lucas told me this many times when I scold Luis too.
Seems like the bullying and scolding can only be done by him....

At the end of one of the swimming sessions at the pool.

Sunday, 15 June 2014

Super moist Air fryer blueberry muffins

It took me about 5 batches over a few weeks before I can get these muffins to the right golden brown colour and moisture. I was trying to be healthy and cut fat and sugar but I think the muffins become more dry. So far this is as good as it gets! Oh what a sense of satisfaction!

Recipe adapted from:

Makes 10-11 silicon cup small muffins


1 1/2 cup flour (cake flour may be an option for less dense and fluffier texture)
1/2 cup sugar (less if your fillings are sweet)
1/2 tsp salt
2 tsp baking powder

1/3 cup vegetable oil
1 egg
Top up with yoghurt to 1 cup
2 tsp vanilla extract

1 cup blueberries

1) Wash and drain blueberries then coat with flour. 

2) Combine flour, sugar, salt, baking powder in one large bowl. Whisk well to ensure even spreading of salt and baking powder. 

3) In a separate cup, pour oil in. Then add egg. Add yoghurt till full cup. Then add vanilla extract. Whisk till combined. 

4) Add wet to dry ingredients. Combine with fork. Do not over mix, just till they are combined. 

5) Use a spoon or spatula to fold in the blueberries. Do not add too much else they will burst 'uglily' while baking. 

6) Put 4 or 5 muffin cups in air fryer basket and then add batter to 3/4 full. Sprinkle some brown sugar on top of each muffin. 

7) Preheat airfryer for 10 min at 180 deg C. Bake for 10 min at 180 deg C. Then stick a toothpick in. Those that are not cooked continue at 2 min for 160 deg C. Those that are cooked remove from airfryer. 

1 cup = 250ml

Sprinkled sugar on top of muffin is very nice especially because the top is crispy. 

I realise that different air fryers may have different temperature control. Using the same temperature on my brother's and my air fryer, his muffins always turn out more golden and mine dark. Thus do adjust your temperature up or down, or time as well accordingly. 

My air fryer bakes unevenly. Muffin near the front right gets dark faster. And muffins near the left inner side are not cooked fully at the end of 10min, thus need 2 more min. 

Other variations:
Cranberries and chocolate, with cake flour, is a surprisingly nice combination. 

Lychee is very fragrant and moist. If after adding the lychee and juice it's wet, just add more flour. 

Apple and cinammon can be added when you don't have enough blueberries.

Generally just go with your heart's desires!

Past tries: I tried 190deg C and a small bit was burned on top, and it's a little hard though crunchy on top. 160 and 165 for 15 min is golden brown but dry and lopsided. 

Tuesday, 10 June 2014

Guilt-free Cajun chicken fried vegetables

Husband is on a quest to lose weight. And he said 'no carbs'! And I was in a mood for Cajun chicken so here goes the healthy and delicious Cajun chicken cum vegetables dinner we had on Sunday.

Serves 5.

Roughly 5 chicken fillets (I just used 1 pack bought from ntuc), cut to pieces 

1 yellow capsicum, diced
1 red capsicum, diced
Handful of cherry tomatoes, diced

5-6 long beans, diced
3/4 of a big onion
Handful of bean sprouts (cos I had some left)

1/2 cauliflower, diced
3/4 bowl quinoa

6-7 garlic cloves, diced

Sesame oil (optional, else just use more oil)
Light soya sauce


1) Season chicken with dash of light soya sauce and pepper and Cajun powder. Careful not to use too much soya sauce cos Cajun powder has salt. 

2) Add 3/4 bowl of water to quinoa in a small pot and bring to boil. Then turn to low heat and simmer till water is dried out. 
Note: usually you add double the water, but here I want the quinoa to absorb the liquid from the vegetables. 

3) In a pan on low-med heat, add oil and 1/3 of garlic. Turn to low heat. Stir fry, then add tomatoes. Let juice come out (~3-4 min) then add capsicums. Stir fry then close lid to simmer for 2min, more juice will come out. 

4) Add quinoa to pan and simmer for 3min so it can absorb the juices. Then off heat and keep lid closed. 

5) In another pan at low-med heat, add oil and garlic and stir fry. Add chicken and stir fry, not constantly so that chicken can brown on the sides. Remove from pan when cooked. 

6) In a large wok on low heat, add oil and remaining garlic and stir-fry. Add onions and fry till almost soft. 

7) Add bean sprouts, fry, add long beans. Add a dash of light soya sauce. 

8) Add cauliflower, add a few swirls of sesame oil,  stir fry. 

9) Add vegetable and quinoa mixture. Stir fry. 

10) Add chicken. Stir fry. Add some light soya sauce to taste (maybe 2-3 tablespoons). 

11) Off heat and serve!

It may still be soggy if vegetables has more sauce than the quinoa can absorb. Mine was soggy cos I didn't let the quinoa absorb, so try step 4 and see how it is. 

Monday, 2 June 2014

Airfryer eggless apple crumble bread pudding

I'm not a bread pudding fan. To me it's soggy bread in some eggy mixture that is not tasty. However I have leftover bread and I do not like to waste food. So I made a bread pudding that is not soggy and I added crumble on top to make the overall taste even less soggy-like. It was so good that I had to wake my husband up at 1am after I made it. And it was so good that he sat up and ate it!

Serving size: Around 8 pax, need to bake 2 batches using a 6-inch round pan or ~11 souffle cups.

- 300g bread cut roughly into 3cm by 3cm pieces (I used homemade cranberry bread because that's what I had)
- Roughly 1 1/3 cup of filling (I used 1/2 cup raisins, slightly more than 1/2 cup apple, and some walnuts. It's perfect.)

- 3/4 evaporated milk (because that's what I had leftover from making chocolate cake)
- 3/4 cup water
(Or you can used 1 1/2 cups of whatever milk you want)
- 5 tablespoons honey
- 2 teaspoon corn starch
- 2 teaspoon cinnamon powder
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

- 11/3 cup plain flour
- 3/5 cup brown sugar
- 100g butter

Now we can start:

1) Add dry ingredients together in a big mixing bowl

2) Add wet ingredients in another bowl and mix well. 

3) Pour wet ingredients into dry ingredients and leave it to soak for at least 15 min. Now and then toss the bread to enable even soaking.

4) Put flour and sugar in another bowl and mix. 

5) Now (not before!) take butter out from fridge and cut into cubes. 

6) Add butter to flour mixture. Toss butter in mixture. 

7) Preheat airfryer to 180 deg C for 5 min. 

8) Using your fingertips, rub butter in flour mixture till they  look like breadcrumbs. If too much butter, either throw some away or add flour and sugar. Personally I think you should add flour and sugar because even when I felt the crumble was too much, it didn't feel so when you eat them. 

8) If you plan to move the pudding to another container for keeping in fridge or because you need to use the same pan for the 2nd batch or whatever, line the pan with baking paper and grease it. I made it two layers so that it can keep its shape when I lift it up into another container. 

9) Put crumble on the bottom of pan, then add half the bread mixture. Don't pour in the liquid (because I don't like it to be soggy), just scoop into pan with spoon. 

10) Top generously with crumble. 

11) Bake in airfryer at 180 deg C for 22 min ( I tried 25 for 1st batch and it was a little burnt). 

12) And voila! 

It tastes very much like apple crumble. You wouldn't know that it's made of bread. 

If you are health conscious, skip the crumble because that's where the sugar and butter will add to your waistline. But it's also the most delicious and crunchy part of the pudding. Or simply sprinkle with brown sugar on top instead, might still get some crunch.

I kept it at room temperature for 7 hours before transferring to fridge. Ate it and didn't have any problems. But to play safe you might want to store in fridge and warm it up when you want to eat it. 

Serve with vanilla ice cream if you have, will be even more fabulicious!