Sunday, April 20, 2014


So my so-called 'holiday journal' was a complete failure. But in my defense, I was literally at home for the past two weeks apart from a few outings..
At home/outdoors

- TV show marathons (Falling off my chair when my favourite team gets eliminated from the Amazing race)
- Bake a lot. I made double chocolate hot cross buns twice.. The second time due to my sister's insistent demand of wanting something chocolatey. But I don't blame her. She's studying for her actuarial exams (brainy) and is rather quite stressed.. Chocolate is everyone's friend, people! I also roasted a chicken for the first time, made panna cotta with berries, brownies, tortillas... mhmmm..
- Throughout the week, the weather was really lovely! Blue skies, crisp autumn air. Gave me a chance to wear my favourite sunglasses from Sportsgirl when I went out for some walks.
- Read three books. A little disappointed I didn't read more.
- Holiday hw. How mundane. I struggled to pick up a pen because I felt so lazy.That biology book you see up there? Not the greatest source of reference.. As much as biology excites me, this textbook doesn't. Slabs of writing and an insufficient amount of diagrams (diagrams are usually the best way to learn with bio).

Some interesting outings
- Watched Captain America 2 and Spiderman 2. Some serious good movies.
The most attractive couple I've ever seen.
- Had lunch & dessert with friends.
- Went to the beautiful State library in the city to study for barely 2 hours with friends. The majority of the time? We ended up spending most of our time having brunch at Manchester press club and Starbucks & Cacao green. And a little bit of shopping. #soproductive
Source: Google
OH AND I finally sat for my Learner's driver's knowledge test so I can start driving soon! Probably should've done it.. A YEAR AGO, but I was a little lazy and I'm still worried about being a hazard to other drivers on the road..

So quite an unproductive, lazy 2 week break and I am not ready to go back to reality...

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Oreo cheesecake brownies

I just love baking hybrids; nutella pretzel brownies, cream cheese brownies, cookies and cream cupcakes and I'm dying to make these twix cookie dough cheesecake bars (how ridiculous do they sound?). So this is where brownie meets cheesecake and oreos.. C'est delicieux!

My second sister had to bring most of the batch to her colleagues, in fear that we'd end up eating the whole tray.. Bakers, I'm sure you'd understand the dangers. I love this recipe because you basically smother a nice thick layer of cream cheese in the middle and then put more brownie batter on top. Not only does the cream cheese layer look effortless, it tastes heavenly. Enough said, give these a try!

Oreo cheesecake brownies
1/2 cup unsalted butter
3/4 cup sugar
1 package (8 oz or 250 g) cream cheese, softened
3/4 cup confectioners' sugar/icing sugar
2 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup all purpose flour
1/2 cup cocoa powder
1/2 tsp salt
2 large eggs
1 and 1/3 cup coarsely chopped Oreo cookies

1. Preheat the oven to 350 F/180 C. Butter a baking pan and line with parchment/baking paper.
2. In a saucepan over medium heat, melt butter. Then whisk in sugar and bring to a boil. Whisk frequently, boil for a minute. Set aside to cool for 5 minutes.
3. In a bowl of a stand mixer (or by hand), beat together cream cheese, confectioners' sugar & vanilla extract until combined, about 1 minute.
4. In another bowl, sift together flour, cocoa powder & salt. Whisk until combined.
5. In a large bowl, whisk together eggs until combined. Whisk in melted butter-sugar mixture until well combined. Stir in flour mixture until combined, followed by Oreos.
6. Spear half of the brownie batter into an 8 inch baking dish, then followed by a cream cheese layer. Then, distribute the remaining brownie mixture, spreading it evenly. Swirl with a knife if desired.
7. Bake for 24-28 minutes, until brownies & cheesecake are set. Insert a knife into the cheesecake mixture, and it should come out clean. Edges will be lightly browned.
8. Let it cool completely in the pan on a cooling rack before lifting out the parchment paper to remove the brownies.
*Tip I read from Smitten Kitchen: Freeze them after it has cooled down, so it's easier to cut them.

Adapted from Sweet pea's kitchen

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Holiday diary:Day Four

I thought it'd be fun just to take a few snaps as a 'holiday diary', despite it being the 4th day already. I'm on my term 1 break, for two weeks. It's been pretty glorious. For example, yesterday I did nothing but had an Amazing race marathon (new season of course)..

I baked two types of brownies today; my favourite Baked ones and oreo cheesecake (recipe coming soon)! So decadent. Dw, I'm trying not to eat the whole tray; my older sister is taking them to work for her colleagues to sample..

Melbourne weather has been much colder lately (isn't it strange how we're experiencing fall/autumn while the northern hemisphere is experiencing spring?) so I wore my fluffy robe I received as a bday present a couple years ago, and H & M socks which I bought from Singapore.

I had dinner & dessert with my two sisters in the city after they finished working which was really nice! We went to a ramen bar and then went to the Lindt cafe to share waffles & chocolate lava cake.

I've also been reading my French tutor's book which is quite challenging, despite it designed for les enfants, but it's definitely helping with my recognition of sentence structures. And I'm writing down  new vocabulary.

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Flourless peanut butter cookies

 I always crave for a cookie. Why do you think I have posted 9 recipes of cookies on my blog? Brown butter chocolate chip, being my favourite (and also a household favourite). The Brown butter choc chip recipe is from Ambitious kitchen, and so are these flourless peanut butter cookies! I've also made her snickerdoodles.. All, have been executed with success.
These literally take about 5 minutes to whip up. It uses one whole cup of peanut butter. And a good, hearty amount of oats and dark chocolate chunks! I'm an avid peanut butter eater, so it's only perfect for pb-lovers.
These aren't your traditional kind of cookies. They're a little bit more chewy, and seriously take my advice when I say to warm these up so you have melty chocolate bits and drink with a cold glass of milk. I also like to sprinkle a little sea salt on top (something I learnt from reading food blogs).

Flourless peanut butter cookies
*Makes 16-20 cookies
. 1 cup creamy or chunky peanut butter (not natural)
. 2/3 cup brown sugar
. 1 and 1/2 tsp vanilla
. 2 large eggs
. 2/3 cup rolled oats
. 1 tsp baking soda
. 2/3 cup chocolate chips or chunks

1. Preheat the oven to 180 /350 F.
2. In a small bowl, mix together oats & baking soda. Set aside.
3. In a large bowl, beat peanut butter, brown sugar, eggs and vanilla with an electric mixer (or by hand) until smooth. Mix in dry ingredients and then gently fold in chocolate chips/chunks.
4. Roll cookies into 2-inch dough balls. The dough should be pretty sticky. You can use an ice scream scoop/cookie scoop as an alternative.
5. Bake for 9-11 minutes, remove when edges start to turn golden brown.They will continue to cook once you remove them from the oven.
6.  Cool for 2 minutes on the baking tray, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

Adapted from Ambitious kitchen