After having regular checkups at the Orthodontist in the past 2 years, J’s finally ready to be fitted with braces. With that, we need to have a think about our meals with her new requirements in mind.
Soft foods, easy to eat. No super crunchy or hard to chew things that will risk breaking the brackets glued to her teeth. This is especially for the few days straight after each 6-8 weekly checkup where they adjust the individual brackets, and when her gums will be a bit swollen.
We talked about the different things we can have in her lunch box, and this easy sponge cake came up in the conversation. Soft and pillowy, this is perfect for her.
This one is a nod to my childhood, where fancy buttercream or fondant cakes weren’t prevalent, with a good sponge cake being the absolute gold standard for all occasions. Specifically, layered sponge cakes dressed up with whipped cream and seasonal fruits (think about all the mango cream sponges and berries and cream cakes!) They are still popular in Hong Kong, and very much part of the food cultural fabric.
To make those cakes you can easily use this recipe and bake it in a normal cake pan, add whipped cream along with seasonal fruits. Easy. We’ve made after-school-snack-portions here with tall moulds, just like the ones in my childhood days, and you can also use other baking tins, just find something that is quite tall and deep. Perfect lunch box item – sans cream of course!
- 55g unsalted butter, melted (Lewis Road Creamery)
- 60ml milk
- 100g low gluten flour
- 5 eggs (size 7)
- 1/4 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/4 tsp cream of tartar
- 80g caster sugar
- Preheat oven to 180C.
- Separate egg yolks and whites into 2 separate bowls.
- In a large bowl, place melted butter and milk together, whisk lightly.
- Add sifted flour, vanilla extract and egg yolks to the butter mixture. Mix well, ensuring there are no lumps.
- Using an electric whisk or stand mixer, whisk egg whites till foamy and add in cream of tartar. Continue whisking, then slowly rain in the sugar. Whisk until the whites form stiff peaks.
- Add 2 tablespoons of the beaten egg whites into the flour batter to loosen up the mixture. Fold in 1/3 of the beaten whites into the batter, then the second third and then the last of the whites.
- Pour into lined cake tins, only filling 2/3s of the pan (it will rise quite a lot) and bake for 30 minutes.
- Cool on a wire rack and keep in an air tight container.
What kind of chocolate chip cookie do you dream about when a craving surfaces? Mine’s soft and chewy, buttery and chocolatey all in the same bite. Warm out of the oven, I can never resist sneaking one before it has cooled down. I especially love having multiple kinds and sizes of chocolate bits in it with it all melting differently, resulting in gooey chocolate yumminess.
How flat they go will depend on how warm the butter in the mixture is – the colder it is, the rounder and perkier the cookies will be. Better even, leave the dough in the fridge for 48 hours before baking and they will be perfect. You can add any nuts, chocolate or goodies you like to this recipe – just be creative!
- 250g butter, unsalted (room temperature)
- 1½ cup brown sugar (firmly packed)
- 1 teaspoon vanilla paste
- 2 eggs, size 8
- 2½ cups plain flour
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 cup chopped up good quality chocolate (into a variety of sizes)
- Preheat oven to 200c fan bake.
- With a stand mixer, beat together butter, brown sugar and vanilla until well combined.
- Add the eggs and beat until the mixture is well combined.
- Sift flour, baking soda and salt together in a separate bowl and stir with a whisk to combine.
- Add flour mixture to the stand mixer and mix well.
- Stir in the chocolate bits.
- Using a small ice cream scoop, portion and place cookie dough about 5cm apart on a baking tray lined with baking paper.
- Place dough in the fridge for a minimum of 30 mins and up to 48 hours to firm up. (You can even freeze them!)
- Bake in the oven for about 8-10 minutes. If using two trays at the same time, switch the trays around half-way through to ensure even cooking.
- Cool the biscuits on the tray for about 5 minutes, then transfer to a cooling rack. Eat them warm then make some more!
They are good as ice cream sandwich cookies too!
We had several reasons for cookies coming up and not wanting to make the same old chocolate chip cookie, I turned to the Momofuku recipe book for ideas. Knowing it would be something different, I tested the ideas with Miss 8 first.
“How does cornflake marshmallow chocolate chip cookie sound?”
She was sold at marshmallow.
We proceeded to make the cornflake crunch first. It was the most delicious element since feuilletine and easily made too! I can also vary the flavours by mixing in cocoa powder or malt powder. This is going to be something we have ready made in the kitchen from now on.
I have adapted the recipe here so that I don’t end up with half a cup of corn flakes at the bottom of the box, and also adjusted the ratio of ingredients to suit our taste. If you want more toffee-like shards in your cookies, by all means add another 15g of marshmallows in.
- 210g plain cornflakes
- 55g full fat milk powder
- 55g caster sugar
- 6g salt flakes
- 160g butter, melted
- Preheat the oven to 130C.
- Pour the cornflakes in a medium bowl and crush them with your hands till they are about 1/4 of their original size.
- Add milk powder, sugar and salt. Toss to mix.
- Add butter and toss to coat. The butter will bind the dry ingredients and create clusters.
- Spread the clusters on baking paper and bake for 20 mins till they are crunchy and buttery.
- Cool completely before using.
These could be folded into ice creams, sprinkled on top of milkshakes, as a crunchy layer in my entremets, as decoration on cakes…nomnomnom.
- 225g butter, room temperature
- 250g caster sugar
- 150g brown sugar
- 1 egg
- 1 tsp vanilla paste
- 240g flour
- 2g baking powder
- 1.5g baking soda
- 5g salt flakes
- 270g of Cornflake Crunch mix
- 125g mini chocolate chips
- 50g mini marshmallows
- Cream butter and sugars for 3 minutes.
- Scrape down sides of bowl, add egg and vanilla paste, and beat for 7 minutes.
- Add in flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt slowly as the mixer is on low speed. Mix for no longer than 1 minute.
- Scrape down the sides of the bowl. Add in cornflake crumb and chocolate chips and mix for 30 seconds. On low speed add in marshmallows. (It would seem like there is a lot of marshmallows – I have reduced the amount here to keep the toffee taste.)
- Scoop with a small teaspoon to form small balls. These cookies spread like no other so keep them small.
- Place on trays and freeze them for 1 hour at least. Do not bake without freezing first or they will spread too thinly. These can be frozen for 1 month.
- Preheat the oven at 175C.
- Place on baking paper-lined cookie sheets, well-spaced. Bake at 175C fan-forced for 16 minutes as they puff up, crackle and spread. Marshmallows should have melted. (Watch as they burn easily.)
- Let cool completely on cookie sheet before transfering.
- Cookies will be fresh for 5 days and keep for a month in the freezer.