Blueberry Muffins


These muffins are so easy to make that my 13-year old can handle everything on her own.  The original recipe is from Food and Wine, however I reduced the sugar and oil amount to suit my taste.  If you have a sweet tooth, please follow the original recipe.  Although the crumb topping is a little messy, you will be very impressed with the taste and the soft texture of these muffins.

Ingredients for crumb topping:

150g All purpose flour
3 Tbsp Light brown sugar
2 Tbsp Organic cane sugar or granulated sugar
1 tsp Baking powder
Pinch of salt
85g/6 Tbsp Unsalted butter, melted

Ingredients for Muffins:

250g All purpose flour
190g Organic cane sugar or granulated sugar
2 ¼ tsp Baking powder
½ tsp Salt
2 Large eggs
75g Oil
¾ cup Milk (whole or reduced fat)
1 tsp Vanilla extract
1 ½ cup Blueberries

To make the crumb topping:

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  2. To make the crumb topping, combine flour, brown sugar, sugar, baking powder and salt in a bowl.  (Picture A)
  3. Stir in the melted butter.  (Picture B)
  4. Pinch the mixture until it forms pea-size clumps and set aside.  (Picture C)

collage 1.jpg

To make the muffins (12 muffins):

  1. Put eggs, sugar and oil in a mixing bowl, beat at low speed until combined.  (Picture 1)
  2. Beat in milk and vanilla extract. (Pictures 2-3)
  3. Add flour mixture (flour, baking powder and salt) to the egg batter and beat at medium speed until the batter is smooth.  (Pictures 4-5)
  4. Stir in blueberries (don’t beat it, just stir in).  (Picture 6)
  5. Line muffin pan with muffin/cupcake liners.  (Picture 7)
  6. Spoon the batter into each cup.  (Picture 8)
  7. Sprinkle the crumb topping on top of each one.  (Picture 9)
  8. Bake for about 25-30 minutes or until the muffins are golden brown. Insert a toothpick in the center to test doneness.

collage 2.jpg

  • Let the muffins cool in the pan before serving.
  • Blueberry muffins can be kept overnight, you can reheat it by microwaving it for 10 seconds.



Rose Shaped Steamed Buns/Mantou (玫瑰花饅頭)

Rose Shaped Mantous

My friend, Janet who loves to cook and bake, was nice to share her buns with me last week.  It was a lovely purple color as it was made with purple yam.  When food is turned into an art piece, it makes the food more appealing.  Since it tasted and looked so good, I decided to make some, but with carrot juice to get a bright orange color.

I posted a recipe for making the milk mantou 4 years ago, and I used that recipe for the white petals.  Both milk mantou and carrot juice mantou recipes are listed below (for a total of 24 pieces).

Ingredients for orange petals:

500g All purpose flour
300ml Carrot juice
35g Sugar
5g Yeast
1/4 tsp Salt
1 Tbsp Vegetable oil

Ingredients for white petals:

500g All purpose flour
300ml Fat free milk
35g Sugar
5g Yeast
1 Tbsp Vegetable oil


You will need 3-4 carrots to get 300ml of carrot juice depending on the size of the carrots.

Carrot juice

  1.  Prepare all ingredients, one set for the orange petals and one set for the white petals.  Combine all ingredients for the orange petals in a mixing bowl, attach the dough hook and mix the ingredients with low speed.  Knead the dough until smooth (about 10 minutes).  Let the dough rest for 10 minutes.  Repeat this step for the ingredients for the white petals (pictures 1, 2 and 3).
  2. During the 10-minute resting period, make sure to cover the container with plastic wrap.  (picture 4)
  3. Take the dough out, punch down with your hands to deflate, and cut into half.  Cover the second half with plastic wrap to keep it soft.  Roll out the dough and roll it tightly to form a log.  (picture 5)
  4. Cut the log into pieces and each piece should weigh about 20g.  Cover pieces with plastic wrap. (picture 6)
  5. Repeat steps 3 and 4 for the orange petals.  (picture 7)
  6. Roll each piece thinly like gyoza wrappers.  (picture 8)
  7. You will need 3 pieces of the orange dough and 3 pieces of the white dough, alternate the colors. (picture 9)
  8. Roll the dough up (roll from the right hand side) to form a small thick log.  (picture 10)
  9. Cut the rolled up dough in half from the center.  When you turn the dough up, you will see the pretty rose shape and shape the petals with your fingers.  (picture 11)
  10. Pour some cold water in the bottom of the steamer.   Place rose shaped buns in the steamer lined with parchment paper, cover and let the buns rise for 20 minutes.   Make sure to space out the buns (picture 12)
  11. After the final rise, boil water and steam the buns for 15 minutes until they are cooked and puffed.


Mantou 1


  • Don’t skip the final rise, otherwise the bun outer layer won’t be fluffy.
  • Don’t uncover the pot right away after steaming, leave the buns covered in the pot for another 15 mins.  This is to prevent the buns from shrinking.

Pandan Snow Skin Mooncakes

Snow mooncakes

Last year around this time, I made the traditional mooncakes.  If you never heard of the Mid-Autumn Festival (aka Moon Festival), a brief introduction is on that page.

I spent a month in Hong Kong this summer and ordered a customized mooncake mold which engraved with my blog’s name “Gin’s Kitchen”.  So I’m very excited to use it for the very first time today.

As you can see from my posts, I am a big fan of Christine Ho.  I like a lot of her recipes, including this Pandan Snow Skin Mooncake recipe.  Happy Moon Festival!!

Ingredients: (makes 10 mooncakes with a 75g mold)

190 ml
3 drops
2 TbspMung bean filling
Glutinous rice flour
Rice flour
Wheat starch
Caster sugar
Non-fat milk
Condensed milk
Vegetable Oil
Pandan juice
Pandan paste
Cooked glutinous rice flour (for coating)Pls see Christine’s recipe here


(I’m using a 75g mold and the ratio for filling and dough is 2:3)

  1. To make the pandan juice, steam the frozen pandan leaves for about 10 minutes in a steamer, then cut leaves into small pieces and blend with a food processer.  (picture 1)
  2. Use a cheesecloth to squeeze out the pandan juice.  (picture 2)
  3. Combine all types of flour and sugar in a mixing bowl. Set aside.
  4. In a separate bowl, mix milk, condensed milk, pandan juice and oil together and pour into the flour mixture. Mix until there is no lump. Pass through a fine sieve to have the finest texture. (picture 3)
  5. Steam the batter in a steamer over medium-high heat for about 20 minutes. Remove from the steamer and let it cool. Lightly knead dough by hand and until smooth. (picture 4)
  6. Cut dough into 10 portions, about 45g each.  Mung bean filling should be 35g each, roll each into a round shape.  (pictures 5 and 6)
  7. Wrap each filling ball with a dough and shape it into a ball.  (picture 7)
  8. Lightly dust the mooncake ball and dust the mooncake mould with cooked glutinous rice flour, shake off excess four from the mold. Place the mooncake ball in the mold and press to print the pattern. Repeat this step for the rest of the dough and fillings.  (pictures 8 and 9)
  9. Refrigerate overnight.

Snow Mooncakes

The flour help remove the mooncake from the mold easily.  You don’t need to worry about the excess flour (see picture below) as you can use a clean brush to brush it off.



Moon Cake Mold