the little bowl

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Black Bottom Cupcakes December 29, 2011

Filed under: Recipes — thelittlebowl @ 6:00 am

I recently set up an online bakery and decided to name my cakes after my friends and loved ones.
Sue, one of my oldest friends, was super excited to get a cupcake named after her. With no reference to the colour of her bottom and with a number of my signature cakes already named, I suggested trying the black bottom cupcake recipe that I stumbled upon a while ago. 😉
The black bottom cupcake is essentially a chocolate cupcake with a cheesecake core. It sounds good, right?
Sue and I set a date to bake this new found recipe. Filled with anticipation, we measured the ingredients and got down to work!
View the recipe here
The recipes on Joy of Baking are usually pretty good. Unfortunately, this one fell flat. Without the use of eggs or dairy in the chocolate cake, the cake tasted rather blah and one-dimensional. It seems the cake was invented during WWII, when eggs, butter and milk were short in supply.

The cupcake that was meant to be named "Sueannesaurus"

To our sore disappointment, we didn’t get hit with the decadence and intense flavour we had expected from a chocolate cake. And to make matters worse, the cream cheese core was a little chalky. Perhaps it was the cheese I used.
Strangely enough, Sue’s friends really liked this cupcake. In spite of that, we weren’t satisfied with this cupcake. So, it’s back to the drawing board for Sueannesaurus!
Psst… It seems @littleteochew also tried making the Black Bottom Cupcake. Her cakes look better! Her blog post is available here.
Hmm.. technically, I’m also a little Teochew… a little Teochew bowl that is 😉


Foodie Must-Visits in Kuala Lumpur December 28, 2011

Filed under: Travelling Bowl — thelittlebowl @ 12:35 pm

It seems that Kuala Lumpur has become my go-to place when I need to take a break from Singapore. For the past two years, Nick and I have paid several visits to his God Sister who lives there. I must say, there’s no lack of good food, great shopping and wonderful company.


My last trip, just a few weeks ago, was no exception. With the recommendations of a local and hearsay from others, here are my two must-visits for the foodie at heart:


Restaurant Wong Poh
36 & 38 Jln BM 1/2
Bukit Mayang Mas
47301 Petaling Jaya


I had no idea where I was headed on my first trip to this place. Nicholas’ God Sister drove us far away from the tourist area in KL and to this wonderland for crabs. It seems that only locals visit this place and, it’s so popular that it’s always packed!

Restaurant Wong Poh reminds me of my dad’s restaurant – no frills, no service to shout about, just really good food.


Dish #1 – Butter Crab


Perfectly succulent crab with a creamy and buttery sauce that’s enlivened by the delightful fragrance of curry leaves…. It’s quite similar to the Seafood Paradise version except that it’s steeped in cream. The sauce is best eaten with deep fried mantous (buns).

Dish #2 – Salted Egg Yolk Crab

20111226-125937.jpgThe Salted Egg Yolk Crab in Singapore simply doesn’t come close to the Malaysian version. At Restaurant Wong Poh, the chef doesn’t stinge on salted egg yolk, so you’ll get a lovely contrast between the succulent sweet crab and savoury egg yolk.


Oversea Restaurant

84-88, Jalan Imbi,
55100 Kuala Lumpur


I don’t like pork but I seriously love this char siew with all my heart. Nothing comes close to the glistening char siew at Oversea Restaurant in KL.

Once you get past its beautifully charred and caramelised crust, you’ll sink your teeth into juicy, fatty meat that melts in your mouth. It is nothing short of sublime.


My ex-colleague, Aaron, told me about this elusive char siew. He reached the restaurant too late and didn’t manage to try it. So, please, go early (by noon) for lunch.

Best of all, it’s not too far from town. Oversea Restaurant is located round the corner from Sungei Wang Plaza.


As seen on Masterchef: Microplane Zester December 7, 2011

Filed under: Reviews — thelittlebowl @ 3:40 pm

I am truly ashamed to admit that I’ve known the existence of the Microplane Zester, even before Masterchef aired on TV… and I hadn’t brought it back home, where it truly belongs! It wasn’t until after numerous lemons and a few years of slaving over my uncooperative cheap grater, that I finally realised something was missing in my life! *cues dramatic emo music*


My precious....


After harping on the zester to death, my boyfriend and my sister decided to buy this new toy for me (they didn’t communicate beforehand so I have two! *gasp*)! I just tried the zester this evening and am now unabashedly head over heels in love with this new toy.


What’s so good about it?

  • Zests a whole lemon in under a minute (unless you’re zesting really leisurely)
  • Produces fine zest

    A tablespoon of fine zest and a very naked lemon

  • Doesn’t cut so deep that you grate into the white pith, the white part of the lemon peel that is bitter – a.k.a. your cakes are safe!
  • It comes in several tantalizing colours. My favourites are orange and lime green.
  • Best of all – it’s easy to clean! The zest rinses right off and doesn’t get stuck in the grooves. A standing ovation, please!

A thing of beauty

For all these reasons, if you love baking with lemon zest, you’ve got to have it! The price tag may shock you a little but trust me, it’s worth every penny.


Where to get this glorious tool:

Both my zesters were bought at Tools of the Trade along Dunearn Road for S$37.


I haven’t tried other zesters. If you have, let me know if you’ve also found a good one! 🙂


Disclaimer: This review is proudly sponsored by my sister and my boyfriend. 😀


Mum’s Ginger Pork November 27, 2011

Filed under: Home Cooking,Local Bowl,Recipes — thelittlebowl @ 6:52 am

Somehow, Chinese cooking escapes me. My thin black wok just isn’t obedient – things get burnt easily or my food just doesn’t have that “wok hei” or fragrance/chariness from wok-frying.

Not one to be deterred though, I asked my mum to come to my rescue when dishing up Ginger Pork, for a friend’s baby shower potluck. It was that morning that I found myself gushing with a new found respect for my mum. She whipped out the knife and started to julienne the ginger at lightning speed. My brain couldn’t help but chime, “Yan can cook & so can Mum!” 😛

It’s hard to find great Chinese recipes online so let me share one with you. This has been a favourite among my ex-colleagues, even my American and Korean ones!

Disclaimer: Like many seasoned cooks, my mum whips up dishes by estimating the amount of each ingredient needed (or as Singaporeans affectionately term it, “Agaration”) I too, had to resort to agaration to put this recipe together.

Mum’s Ginger Pork

800g                  Sliced Lean Pork

1                     Ginger, peeled and julienned

2                     Shallots, sliced

2                     Chilli padi, sliced

5                     Spring Onions, cut into 3cm pieces

2 Big Pinches     Corn Starch

1 tbsp                Corn Starch Water

1 – 2 tbsp            Sesame Oil

1 tbsp                Light Soy Sauce

1 – 2 tbsps          Dark Soy Sauce

2 cups                Water (add slowly if you’re afraid; it should cover the 3/4 of the pork)

To taste               Sugar

To taste               Salt


  1. Marinate pork with sesame oil, light soy sauce, corn starch
  2. On high heat, stir fry ginger and shallots continuously until they brown
  3. Add pork and stir fry continuously
  4. Add water and let simmer on medium heat
  5. Add dark sauce for colour, chilli, spring onions, sugar and salt
  6. Add a little corn starch water to thicken sauce
  7. Serve up hot, with steamed rice

Feeds 3 very hungry people or 4 normal folks

And off it went to the potluck! Check out the food I had to eat that day. 😀

Final Product: Ginger Pork

I took nicer photos of the Ginger Pork with my DSLR. Look out for these photos soon (if I remember)! 😛




Carrots! January 25, 2011

Filed under: Uncategorized — thelittlebowl @ 5:59 am

Carrots from different parts of the world, brought in just for Sentosa Flowers!


A love affair with Japanese Cheesecake December 20, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — thelittlebowl @ 1:22 pm

My recent trip to Hokkaido had Nicholas and I hankering over beautifully marbled Kobe beef (200 grams for a whopping 9,800 Yen) and Japanese king crab – its legs served raw as sweet sashimi and its body cooked in a steaming hot pot (the smallest went for 12,000 Yen).
The most spectacular of them all had to be the cheesecake at LeTao.


We stumbled upon this slice of heaven at Daimaru in Sapporo. This divine stack of light vanilla sponge, cream cheese and mascarpone cheese had a rich, creamy intense flavour that was beautifully balanced with an light airiness.

These is no cheesecake quite like this. If you ever go to Hokkaido, please please please don’t forget to eat this!


Blueberry Muffins – Take 2! November 25, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — thelittlebowl @ 6:30 am

My quest for the perfect blueberry muffin has led me across websites.

My first attempt was from, which is typically a really good website for recipes. Nonetheless, the yoghurt in the recipe gave the muffin a spongy “bread-like” texture and the lack of sugar and butter didn’t deliver in terms of flavour or aroma. Basically, it was like eating a “healthy” spongy blueberry scone. 😦

My second attempt turned out way better muffins. The cinnamon sugar streusel top (not shown here) was crunchy and simply divine, straight out of the oven! Even though the blueberry flavour was masked by the cinnamon, the muffins were still dense and scrumptious.

Blueberry Muffin without its Streusel Cap

The next time, I’ll use the streusel recipe with a banana muffin base. Please sign up here if you’d like to volunteer to be a guinea pig. (Disclaimer: the signing of a waiver is required.)

Here’s the recipe: