Happy Easter 🙂

Hot cross bun is traditionally eaten at Easter. In Australia, chocolate easter eggs and hot cross buns always make appearance about 1 month or so before Easter until Easter period. Most bakery shops here sell the hot cross buns during these times and the supermarkets have an abundant choice of chocolate easter eggs.

I remember there was only 1 type of hot cross bun a few years back, it is the spiced bun with sultana. Now, there are also chocolate chip, mocha and coffee hot cross buns (all with chocolate chips) :D. I love the chocolate and mocha ones from Bakers Delight.

The buns are best served warm in my opinion. They are soft and for the buns with chocolate chips, the chocolate is melting and gooey and so irresistible.  Some like to have it with butter, but for me, I really enjoyed it on its own as breakfast or snacks 🙂

This is my first attempt to make chocolate hot cross bun, I like the recipe as it does not contain much butter and sugar. I also used dark chocolate for both chocolate chips and melting chocolate (for the cross on top of the buns). I am happy with the result :); well, they cannot beat the hot cross buns from Bakers Delight, but I feel good when eating it because they don’t have too much butter and it has the goodness of dark chocolate 🙂

Happy Easter, everyone 🙂

Chocolate hot cross bun

(from recipe by ‘Achieve Easter Success’)

(makes 12 buns)

  • 1½ cups warm milk
  • 2 x 7 gr-sachet dried yeast
  • pinch of salt
  • 4 cups plain flour
  • 1 tablespoon cocoa
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • ½ teaspoon cinnamon
  • 60 gr butter, melted
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • 1 cup chocolate chips
  • 1/3 cup water
  • 60 gr melting chocolate (for cross on top of buns)

Step 1. Combine milk, yeast, salt and a pinch of sugar in a bowl. Whisk together until combined. Cover with plastic. Place in a warm place for 5 to 10 minutes or until the top becomes frothy.

Step 2. Sift flour, cocoa and cinnamon together into a large bowl. Add 2 tablespoons of sugar (the remainder of the sugar will be used in the glaze), yeast mixture, butter and egg. Stir with a wooden spoon until dough almost comes together. Mix to a soft dough with your hands. Turn onto a lightly floured surface and knead for 10 minutes or until dough is smooth. Place into a lightly oiled bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Set aside in a warm place for up to 1½ hours or until the dough doubles in size.

Step 3. Punch dough down to its original size with your fist. Add chocolate chips and knead until well combined. Divide dough into 12 even portions and shape into balls. Place into a baking tray lined with baking paper about 1 cm apart. Cover with plastic wrap. Set aside in a warm place for 30 minutes or until buns double in size.

Step 4. Preheat oven to 200°C. Bake buns for approximately 20 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the centre of one of the buns comes out clean.

Step 5. To make the glaze, heat water and remaining 2 tablespoons sugar in a small saucepan over low heat, stirring until sugar dissolves. Bring to the boil and then boil for 5 minutes. Brush warm glaze over warm buns.

Step 6. Chocolate cross – Melt the chocolate as per the instructions on the package. Then spoon the chocolate into a plastic bag and tie the plastic bag (or use snap-lock bag). Snip a corner off bag (not too big) and pipe chocolate crosses over buns. Serve chocolate hot cross buns warm or at room temperature.

I like my hot cross bun warm; to warm the bun, place it in the microwave for 30 seconds. The chocolate chips are melting and it’s finger licking good 🙂



Ahh… we got a butternut pumpkin again in the fruit and veggie pack from Aussie Farmers Direct last Thursday.
No, I am not sick of pumpkin yet… There are so many dishes can be made from pumpkin. Sweet or savoury; main, side dish or dessert; breakfast or snack…

Pumpkin is so cool!

On the night I got the pumpkin delivered, there was ‘Jamie at Home’ show on Lifestyle Food on Foxtel and the main ingredient he tackled on the show was pumpkin! So I watched the whole show, and one that caught my eyes was the butternut pumpkin muffin 🙂

It caught my eyes because it’s a super duper easy snack to make. In the show, Jamie makes the muffin mixture totally in one food processor. The pumpkin is processed in the food processor until fine and then he adds the rest of ingredients into the food processor and blends them all in it. Also, Jamie mentioned there is no need to peel the pumpkin. I told you, it’s a super duper easy to make 🙂

The food processor I got is so small that I processed the pumpkin in it and then move the pumpkin to a big mixing bowl and mix it with the rest of ingredients in the mixing bowl. If you have a big food processor, just follow what Jamie did (mix everything in the food processor). A little less washing up 🙂

Butternut pumpkin muffin

(recipe by Jamie Oliver from ‘Jamie at Home’)

(makes 20 muffins)

  • 400 gr butternut pumpkin. Brush the skin and chop pumpkin coarsely (about 1cm cubes), no need to peel
  • 300 gr brown sugar
  • 300 gr plain flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon ground
  • 1 pinch of salt
  • 4 eggs
  • 175 ml olive oil

Step 1. Preheat the oven to 190°C. Process the pumpkin in a food processor until fine. Place the fine pumpkin in a big mixing bowl and add in the dry ingredients (flour, baking powder, sugar, salt, cinnamon) and mix well. Beat the eggs in a separate bowl and add in the oil and mix well. Then, pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients’ bowl. Mix well.

Step 2. Prepare a 12-muffin tray with paper cups. Fill up each hole with the muffin mixture until ¾-full. Bake for about 20 minutes or until the muffins are cooked and golden (To check, test with a skewer. The muffins are ready when the skewer comes out clean).



I love having scones for breakfast or for a snack in the afternoon. I have made strawberry jam scones, coconut scones, chocolate scones and my favourite is pumpkin scones. I have tried this recipe once before and I reckon the pumpkin scones are really nice; they are light, not too sweet and have a gorgeous colour, thanks to the pumpkin 🙂

Pumpkin scones

(adapted from Gourmet traveller, recipe by Sophia Young)

(makes 12)

  • 250 gr pumpkin (after peeled and seeded), chopped
  • 60 gr soft unsalted butter
  • 50 gr caster sugar
  • ¼ cup milk, plus a little extra for brushing
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • 350 gr self-raising flour
  • ½ teaspoon cinnamon

I made double the recipe.

Ingredients for pumpkin scones

Step 1. Put chopped pumpkin into a microwave-safe bowl, and microwave until the pumpkin are tender (I chose ‘vegetable’ option in the microwave program). Using a fork, mash the pumpkin to a smooth purée. Let it cool.

Chopped pumpkin

Pumpkin mash

Step 2. Place butter and sugar in a large bowl and, using a wooden spoon, stir until combined. Add pumpkin mash, milk and egg and combine well. Sift the flour and cinnamon over pumpkin mixture, then, using a dinner knife, stir mixture until it just comes together. The less you handle the scone mixture, the lighter the scones will be.

Scones mixture

Step 3. Place dough on a well-floured surface and, with well-floured hands, pat out until 2cm thick. Using a floured 5cm-round pastry cutter, cut out rounds of dough and place, touching, 4 wide and 3 deep on a baking paper on a baking tray. Gently press dough scraps together and continue cutting out dough until it is all used.

Pumpkin scones are taking shape

Step 4. Brush tops of scones lightly with a little extra milk, then bake at 220ºC for 15 minutes or until golder and risen.

Ready to bake

After putting them in the oven, next is to clean up the kitchen… It took me around 15 minutes to do it, right on time the scones are ready… Hmmm what a reward 😀

Pumpkin scones


One of my fave breakfast dishes is fried egg. Fried, scrambled, sunny-side up or omelette served with toast, bacon, tomato, mushroom, spinach or baked beans… whatever you fancy.

The omelette I often make was inspired by the omelette I had in Marriot hotel, Jakarta. I stayed there for about 3 months during my work assignment in Jakarta. I had the buffet breakfast in the hotel every morning and loved the omelette they serve. The chefs cooked them in front of the guests. And after 3 months I saw them making the omelettes, it would be so wrong if I can’t make it myself, wouldn’t it?

Be creative with the ingredients to compliment the egg; diced tomato, diced mushroom, diced bacon, diced capsicum, etc.. This morning I made the omelette with diced tomato, chopped parsley and grated parmesan.

(serves 2)

  • 4 eggs
  • 1 ripe tomato
  • 2 tablespoons grated parmesan
  • 1 tablespoon chopped parsley

Ingredients for omelette

Step 1. Cut the tomato into 8 wedges and discard the seeds. Dice the wedges.

Step 2. Crack the eggs into a bowl, add chopped parsley, season with salt and pepper and beat lightly.

Step 3. Heat a drizzle of olive oil in a small non-stick frying pan over small fire. Pour half of the egg mixture onto the pan, add half of the diced tomato, leave for about 10 seconds, then lightly scramble the egg and fry for about 10 seconds.

Pour the egg onto the pan

Add chopped tomato to the egg mixture

Lightly scramble the egg

Step 4. Push the egg to half of the pan, scatter 1 tablespoon of cheese on top of half of the egg, then fold the other half of the egg on top of the cheese.

Scatter the cheese on top of half the egg

Fold the egg

Step 5. Fry the egg for about 30 seconds or until golden brown, turn over and fry for another 30 seconds or until golden brown. Do the same for the remaining ingredients.

Fry the omelette until golden brown



Mango is in season and quite cheap this time of the year in Australia. I bought some mangoes from Aussie Farmers Direct for 98 cents each last week! They are really sweet… Combined with passionfruit, they make a nice and refreshing summer smoothie 🙂

Mango and passionfruit smoothie

(serves 2)

  • 1 ripe mango
  • 2 passionfruits
  • 2 scoops of Bulla frozen vanilla yogurt
  • 1 cup of milk. I used soy milk
  • 1 tablespoon of honey

Slice or dice the mango. Put the mango and all other ingredients except the passionfruit to a blender and blend for 30 seconds or so until smooth. Pour the smoothie into 2 glasses and top with the passionfruit pulp.

Smoothie ingredients

Ready to blend

Mango and passionfruit smoothie



This one is another healthy drink that not only is very easy to prepare but also tastes so yummy. It can be enjoyed for breakfast or for refreshment in the afternoon. It’s a very refreshing drink for a hot summer day. If the deliciously deep purple colour doesn’t tempt you, you will be glad to know that it contains about 1 serve of dairy and half a serve of fruit of your daily intake recommendation. If it still doesn’t do it for you, trust me, it tastes berry berry nice!

Berry berry nice banana smoothie

(inspired by the recipe on the Bulla frozen yogurt tube)

(serves 2)

  • 1 large ripe banana, peeled and sliced
  • 1 big handful of frozen mixed berries
  • 2 scoops of Bulla vanilla frozen yogurt
  • 1 cup of milk
  • 1 tablespoon of honey

Put all the ingredients in a blender and blend for 30 seconds or so until smooth. Transfer to a glass and oo la la…

Ingredients for the smoothie

Ready to blend

Berry berry nice banana smoothie



One of  my favourite breads is bagel. Bagel has a shape like a doughnut and it is more dense , chewy and a bit sweeter than normal bread.

Bagel is nice to be enjoyed on its own. Just simply halve, toast them, and spread with margarine.

This morning I added an omelette and avocado slices on the toasted bagel. I thought this combination works really well.

Avocado is considered as one of the best superfoods. Nutrients information of avocado can be found here:

Egg and Avo on Toasted Bagel

(serves 2)

  • 1 bagel, halved
  • 1 avocado, halved then sliced
  • 3 eggs

Step 1. Crack the eggs on a bowl and lightly beat them with a fork. Season with salt and pepper.

Step 2. Put a little bit of olive oil in a small frying pan and heat over a medium fire.  Cook the eggs to your liking. I like the eggs folded, not scrambled. Pour the egg mixture, after 10 seconds, fold the eggs continuously until it’s cooked (but not browned) – this will take about 30-40 seconds.

Step 3. Toast the bagel in the toaster.

Step 4. Arrange the avocado slices on each of the bagel halves and top with the omelette.

Egg and avo on toasted bagel

Served with the healthy juice, this is a perfect breakfast to start your Sunday.



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