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My Baking Diary - Moist Chocolate Cake with White Choc Topping

>> Friday, March 30, 2012

This is my 1st time baking an actual-sized cake! Since I've done cupcakes numerous times, I thought it'll be good to try out my hands on an actual-sized cake for Gloria's popo's birthday. I've been staying in the same house with her since the beginning of last year. It would be lovely if I can actually bake her a cake for her birthday!

Updated 31 Mar 2012 - The final touched-up cake :D
I'm EXTREMELY pleased! The cake was a winner! Moist chocolate cake that's not so sweet, topped with sweet white chocolate shavings & sweet-sourish fresh strawberries - awesomeness! Combination of soft + moist + crunchy + sweet + sourish = PerutBesi's 1st proper cake!

The successful moist chocolate cake - YUMS!

I was quite worried when the batter looked more "watery"/liquid-ish than my usual cupcake ones, but I just went ahead to bake the cake anyhow. It turned out superb in texture & taste! Pretty much just the way I wanted! Hurray!

Quite liquid-ish batter
I wasn't too hopeful but had that glimmer of hope that it'll turn out alright - and it did! Thank You, God!

So for the icing & topping, white chocolate shavings came to mind since I had a block of white chocolate. I had to have some "cream" to get the white chocolate shavings to stick, so I did up a simple buttercream just to be the "sticking agent" for the white chocolate. I actually used the "fruit peeler" to shave my white chocolate :D I'm gonna finish the cake's deco with strawberries right before serving to preserve freshness of the fruit :D I'm PLEASED!

Hand-whipped some buttercream as "sticking agent"

Covered the cake with white chocolate shavings :D
I think the cake will look quite pretty once I add the strawberries! Red, white & chocolate-brown...ah, lovely!!

My initial plan was to have the cake looking just like those from the shops where there's cream in between (I've to cut the cake into half & put it back together). I also wanted to coat the sides of the cake with cream & cover it with toasted nuts at the bottom & the white chocolate shavings at the upper end of the sides.

I couldn't get my "vision" accomplished this time :( I didn't have proper tools & utensils to get it done. No cake box. No cake tray to place the cake just like in cake shops. I just didn't plan to bake actually, thus I didn't buy.

Oh well, home-baked looking cake, straight from the heart :) *love*

Here's the recipe to share:

For the moist chocolate cake
Recipe taken from Just Easy Recipes :D

Directions to prepare the batter & bake the cake
I usually snap photos of the recipes that I find online & head downstairs to bake :)

Recipe for the icing
I didn't put the cocoa powder as I wanted it to be a plain buttercream kinda icing. I just needed a "sticking agent", not a proper icing per se. Heh. Improvising is something I do really often...

Hope you enjoyed this post! Stay tuned with PerutBesi!

Made with much love,


My Baking Diary - Banana Muffins

>> Wednesday, March 28, 2012

I've been baking mostly chocolate items since I picked up baking, so I decided to give it a change to bake a non-chocolate item instead (I had some time after work last night, so the muffins now are half-a-day-old). I actually bought the banana muffin pre-mix from Bake with Yen & all I needed was some fresh bananas, oil, & eggs. I added some vanilla essence & water too as the mix felt REALLY thick.

The result, a pretty good batch of banana muffins :) The only thing is that I sort of over-baked the top that it became crusty. I'm not sure if it's supposed to be like this or if the whole cake is supposed to be moist (thank goodness the inside was moist). But oh well, supper for last night & breakfast for this morning is served! :)

Ingredients for the banana muffins

Preparing the banana muffin batter 

Scooping it into the cups! :D

Walla! Banana muffins - fresh from the oven!
A 'lil crusty on the outside, moist on the inside. It's not too sweet, but I somehow feel that this pre-mix has "kan sui" (alkaline water), which I didn't really fancy. But overall, it's a pretty good muffin. Best accompanied by a hot cup of tea, I reckon. Coffee & milk would do too!

Still in the mood of baking,


Ipoh Road Yong Tow Foo, Segambut

Venue: Ipoh Road Yong Tow Foo, Segambut
Overall comment: Decent YTF, but it's kinda costly since each piece of YTF is RM1.10! The "paper wrapped chicken" was the most not-worth-eating item on the menu. I wish I noticed the price list earlier before I ordered *sigh* I just thought of trying, but it was quite disappointing. I very much prefer the ones in Serdang/SK...oh, I miss my old workplace & colleagues as well!
Halal: No

I've never been to this part of the world, I reckon (I've been to Jalan Ipoh itself! Does that count?). KL & I aren't the best of friends & we haven't been "keeping in touch" for quite some time. The only reason I would go to KL is to take a bus to Kuantan or to pick my bf up from the bus terminal if he takes a bus from Kuantan to KL. Hahaha. Yes, I can name you the few roads in KL that's on my "Ruth knows" list.

Since I'm such a jakun for a city girl that I supposedly am, my colleagues decided to head to Segambut's YTF for lunch (it's like some educational lunch tour for me). They said it's not too far from office, which sounded quite peculiar to me 'cos all along, KL seems like a faraway & often jammed place.

The YTF place
I was quite excited - not like I've never had this before, but I've never been to this area & this outlet! I actually had YTF the night before at the Section 17 stalls (in my personal opinion, the chee cheong fun & YTF at the Section 17 market area is delicious!), but since my lunch gang wanted to come here for some "good" YTF, I just tagged along :)

Prices of food never go down...from 60cents to 90 cents to now, RM1.10/piece of YTF *sigh* Mahal giler. The "paper baked chicken" is the worst @ RM3.50/piece...it's not tasty & the portion is small. Fail big time :S

Paper baked chicken
If it was at least tasty, I won't feel such immense regret for ordering this...I could cook a better "paper baked chicken" k?

Yong Tow Foo
The YTF here, in my personal opinion, is just so-so. As I'm not a great fan of fish balls/fish paste (as compared to food with pork...hahaha), eating YTF seems like a norm, unless the fish paste is really "bouncy", yet not too "bouncy" with an overdose of boric acid. I won't get overly excited with YTF ;)

More than YTF - "Chan Bao" (RM1.60/piece) & Fruit Rojak
The "chan bao" here is not too bad (baked buns with char siew). It's comparable with the one I used to like in Taman Mayang Jaya, although I feel that the standard has dropped & the price has also increased. The rojak here is also acceptable.I wish the rojak sauce was more fragrant though...it still lacks "umph".

Map to Jalan Ipoh YTF, Segambut

View PerutBesi in a larger map

Will I go there again? Hmm...with colleagues, yes. Alone, neh.... :D

Ipoh Road Yong Tow Foo
67, Jalan Segambut
51200 Kuala Lumpur
Tel: (+603) 6252 6473/ (+6019) 309 8283
GPS: N 03 10.892' E101 40.714'

Presentation: * * *
Price: * * 1/2
Environment: * * *
Taste: * * 1/2
Service: * * 1/2


Perhaps I'm not a YTF fan?,


My Baking Diary - I'm so bored, I made brownies!

>> Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Yup, I bake cos I'm bored (just for tonight, ya)...it's not that I have nothing else better to do, but I thought it would be nicer to take a break from the laptop screen & try out something "new" instead :) It's too hot to just sit in the room & stare at the laptop screen anyway.

While typing this post, my brownies are still in the oven. Ah, I love brownies...since the recipe looked simple enough for a newbie like me to follow, I decided to take up the simple challenge & keep myself entertained.

I used the recipe from this site & it bakes the "Mrs. Quinn's Easy Brownies"! The word "easy" was one of the words that tempted me to use this recipe from the many that I found online. The other word in this recipe that caught my attention were the words "rich fudgy kind". Om-nom!

Here's to share the recipe with you & of course, some of the photos that I took while preparing the brownie batter :D

Prep Time: 25 minutes
Cook Time: 22 minutes
Total Time: 47 minutes

3/4 cups melted butter
1-1/2 cups sugar
1-1/2 teaspoon vanilla
3 eggs
1/2 cup cocoa powder
3/4 cups flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup chopped, toasted nuts
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

1. Heat oven to 350 degrees, grease a 13x9" pan.
2. Beat butter, eggs, sugar, vanilla in a large bowl.
3. Mix in cocoa, flour, baking powder and salt.
4. Stir to combine.
5. Stir in nuts and chips.
6. Pour into pan.
7. Bake Mrs. Quinn's Easy Brownies for 20-22 minutes.

I've no idea who is Mrs. Quinn & am not associated with her, but the recipe works!

The ingredients
Always have the table laid with newspaper to ease cleaning up once you're done ;)

 Snapshots of what happened in the mixing bowl
As I don't have a cake mixer, everything is hand-mixed! Clockwise from top left: Melted butter, melted butter with added brown sugar (I used brown sugar instead of castor sugar), whisk the butter + sugar & you'll get a smooth mixture, added in the eggs + vanilla essence.

Clockwise from top left: Add in chopped, pan-toasted nuts (I used the chopped almonds that I have in my supply), stir in the nuts + choc & pour into the baking tray, brownie baking in the oven.

Welcome to the world, Brownie! Say "hello" to your mama! :D
Yes, I'm mad...and I like it...this IS GOOD! Just what I needed it to be - sides shrink away from the pan. AWESOME!!

Time to cut the brownies & store it up for tomorrow :D Woohoo! There'll be home-baked brownies & chicken puffs (yes, I made these too) for breakfast & tea tomorrow!

1 tray makes roughly 12 pieces
My brownies have the texture of CAKE! *sobs* I think I over-beat them...wergh...too much air that made it spongey :( My colleague said I should fold instead of beat to lessen air...I'll improve it next time...

Updated 21 Mar - Delicious Chicken Puffs
I had it for breakfast...yummilicious!

Supper anyone? ;)

The bored but excited baker,


Dave's Bistro Bar & Grill, 1 Utama

>> Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Venue: Dave's Bistro Bar & Grill, 1 Utama
Occasion: Dinner with girlfriends
Overall comment: As mentioned by most patrons of Dave's Bistro, the food here is worthy of praise & recommendation. I felt that it's a little pricey though, but since I bought the 50% off coupon deal from Hahah.com.my, I thought it was not too bad for the overall bill.
Halal: No

Dave's has been around for as long as I could remember. But surprise, surprise, I have never walked into this restaurant since it started! Hahaha....yeah, for one, I rarely go to 1 Utama unless I really needed to (and I wouldn't be bothered going to a shopping mall unless I have to). This restaurant was previously called Dave's Pizza Pasta Vino before it was renovated & walla! its name changed as well!

I've heard loads about good pasta at Dave's. Since there was a promotion by a coupon deal website, Hahah.com.my, I decided to buy some coupons & try this place out for the very first time (last month - yes, I know, it's another way overdue post). It was intended as a V-day venue thingie, but since AP can't make it to town, I spent the evening at Dave's with 2 good friends ;)

Live Band at Dave's Bistro
We were there on Saturday, so the live band was playing not-too-bad music. It was a 'lil too loud, but still bearable for me. My friends felt uncomfy though...hahaha...If you come over on weekdays, you could actually get 50% off selected pastas - that's quite a deal considering their pastas are on the higher end of prices (RM23.00 - RM45.00/serving).

German-Style Crispy Pork Knuckle (RM60.00/serving)
I didn't find this that good. The skin wasn't totally crispy as its name speaks. Plus the meat wasn't totally tender as well *sigh* Frankly speaking, I was quite disappointed. To pay so much for something that didn't make its worth...wergh...

Squid Ink Spaghetti Olio Style (RM45.00/serving) & Classic Capriciosa (RM32.00/regular)
It's my 1st time having squid ink pasta...well, for one, there's no way to "taste" how squid ink tastes like...when the dish was presented at our table, the 1st thing that came to my mind was "Hokkien-style braised yee mee"! Hey, it does look like it, k? It doesn't taste very much like spaghetti too...perhaps my mind kept telling me that it's "fook kin chow yee meen"...hahaha...
The pizza on the other hand was not too bad. Compared to the wood-fire pizza I had at Desa Sri Hartamas' Pizza Brava (I've yet to blog - soon, soon), which could fetch at least 75%, this one just fares around 50%? There's nothing much to complain in terms of taste, but texture & "umph" somehow is WAY better at Pizza Brava (in my personal opinion). The dough/pastry is thinner at Pizza Brava. It's not as filling at the one at Dave's but somehow it tastes nicer overall.

I think I won't mind going to Dave's again for their pastas during weekdays. But if I want something more pocket-friendly, no doubt, I'll still head to Vary Pasta at Damansara Jaya for their pastas :)

Dave's Bistro Bar & Grill
Lot G209, The Promenade
One Utama Shopping Centre
Lebuh Bandar Utama
47800 Petaling Jaya
Selangor Darul Ehsan.
Tel: (+603) 7725 4017
Business hours: Daily 12:00p.m. - 11:00p.m.

Presentation: * * * *
Price: * * 1/2
Environment: * * *
Taste: * * *
Service: * * *


On snail-pace in blogging,


Vary Pasta, Damansara Jaya

Venue: Vary Pasta, Damansara Jaya
Overall comment: Pretty tasty pasta dishes at affordable prices.
Halal: No

This is a LONG-overdue post, but I'm just gonna make it a point to blog about it cos it's worth mentioning!

Vary Pasta has been around for quite some time & I've been there too many times to keep count, but have not had the discipline to blog about it; I did the draft & that's it! *sigh* I'm feeling so lazy to type blog posts, but I'm quite "hard-working" in cooking & coming out with quirky & what I call as "innovative" dishes :P

My little "innovative projects" aside, to sum it up, Vary Pasta offers decent pasta & chops at very affordable prices. For RM11 - RM20, you can get generous portions of pasta & chops!

Pork Bacon Carbonara (RM13.50 - RM15.00, depending on choice of meat i.e. pork, beef, chicken)
Creamy pasta (linguine) with just-nice pan-fried pork bacon - not fried 'til dry/crispy so that you'll still get to chew on the meat (gives the pasta some "meaty" texture). Fresh chopped parsley tops the humble pasta dish.

Spaghetti Pork Bolognese  (around RM11.00/serving)
If you don't want something too creamy/"jelak", this is actually a good option. You can opt for chicken/beef as well. I find the bolognese quite pleasing to the palate & hey, it's affordable for the portion & taste served!

French Fries (forgot the price, but not expensive)
I love the fries here. It's not too "skinny", not too thick, not over-fried, not under-fried/pale yellow; crispy on the outside, soft on the inside...ah....bliss. I love french fries :)

The simple & "strange" interior of the restaurant (taken at night)
You can totally see that it didn't go through any interior designer! It's like a mix & match restaurant - whatever goes! Looks cafe-ish & coffeeshop-ish at the same time. Nevertheless, aircon is fine, tables & chairs are comfy - pass!

Pocket-friendly chops, pastas & more!

I've tried their chops & mushroom soup as well. On the overall, food here is acceptable (considered quite good) for the price you've to pay. Portion is also generous. It's currently my most recommended place for good, affordable pastas & chops ;)

Map to Vary Pasta 
(behind RHB Bank, next block from Public Bank row)
View PerutBesi in a larger map

Vary Pasta
21G, Jalan SS22/23
Damansara Jaya
47400 Petaling Jaya
Selangor Darul Ehsan.
Tel: (+603) 7710 6100
Business hours: 11:00a.m. -3:00p.m. & 5:15p.m. - 10:00p.m. daily
GPS: N03 07.659 E101 37.047

Presentation: * * *
Price: * * * *
Environment: * * *
Taste: * * * 1/2
Service: * * * 1/2


Enjoying good pasta at affordable prices,


Review: Lipton's Instant Teh Tarik

>> Saturday, March 17, 2012

Date: 15 March 2012, Thursday
Venue: Teh Tarik Place, 1 Utama

"Jom, teh tariklah!"

Lipton Malaysia launched its "Proud to be Malaysian. Jom teh tariklah" campaign for bloggers with emcee, Melvin Aeria, doing an excellent job to build up the excitement of all invited bloggers & the Unilever (M)/Lipton team to celebrate the launch in a mamak-style setting. It's such a great pleasure to be there for the launch & I would really want to thank Kiersten Chaik from Edelman PR for extending the invitation to me.

Emcee, Melvin Aeria

Such mamak-feel
Even the waiter who served us teh tarik wore an apron like those teh tarik guys at the mamak :D

Enjoying my cup of rich, silky smooth Lipton Teh Tarik
Check out the small 'lil cuppa tea...heehee....it's part of the goody bag - a pendrive! SO CUTE!

Frankly speaking, I didn't expect such fun at a launch. All I was informed in the email invitation was that this event is to launch a new product by Lipton. I really didn't expect the "teh tarik"! The event started with Melvin introducing us to the event & product, followed by some pop-quiz, which was one of the noisiest part of the event - with screams & shouts of excitement! Every correctly answered question wins the blogger a pack of Lipton's teh tarik & 1 point for his/her team...PerutBesi got herself a packet of teh tarik by answering a question correctly too! The overall winning team gets Jusco vouchers! *fuh*

Hugo giving his speech

Jess won the "grand prize" by answering a question correctly on Facebook
It's a spa package wei! Too bad I don't subscribe to a data plan (and I'm not bothered to do so for now anyway), else I could have participated as well...hahaha...

Marketing Director, Malaysia & Singapore, Unilever (M), Hugo Verkuil gave an interesting speech, sharing with us how his team were inspired by the all-Malaysian teh tarik that they decided to come up with Lipton's own version of the instant teh tarik. Going from mamak to mamak (for almost 2 years!), drinking all sorts of teh tarik you can ever get in Malaysia, the team took 2 years to research & come up with an extremely fragrant, smooth, silky, & thick instant teh tarik! I'm so impressed - seriously.


Hugo trying his hands in pulling the tea ;)

After the speech & games, all bloggers' attention were brought to the projection to view the premier of Lipton Malaysia's 1st webisode of its teh tarik product. It was pretty interesting :) All 6 webisodes will  be posted every Monday on Lipton Malaysia's Facebook fan page, showcasing familiar characteristics of all Malaysians! Watch out for the 1st webisode in 2 days time!!

Trailer of Lipton's Teh Tarik Webisodes
You can also get the video here on their Facebook fan page.

It was an enjoyable time at the launch & I'll recommend you to try out for yourselves the Lipton's Teh Tarik - instant yet with such mamak-ish "umph"!

Group photo with all bloggers & the Lipton team

Nasi lemak dinner
What other better option to go with a nice cup of teh tarik but the nasi lemak :) The only "sad part" is the lacking of hard-boiled egg! Aiseh...nasi lemak without telur....how can?? :'(

Try out Lipton's Teh Tarik!
You'll get to purchase it from major supermarkets across Malaysia for RM13.50/packet of 12 sachets.

My goody bag + 1 extra packet of Lipton that I "won"
It's been awhile since I had goody bags...hahaha...how fun :)

Stay tuned for more from Lipton Malaysia on their Facebook fan page! There'll be exciting contest(s) with great prizes to be won as well!

Jom, teh tariklah!

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