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. ūüėČ
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 ūüėČ


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!” ūüėõ

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 ‚Äď 2 tbsp¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬† Sesame Oil

1 tbsp                Light Soy Sauce

1 Р2 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. ūüėÄ

Final Product: Ginger Pork

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




Lean Pork Soup with Chrysanthemums & Apples: A shot in the dark March 18, 2010

Filed under: Recipes — thelittlebowl @ 9:58 am

I bought a book called “Soups for Beauty” recently. I know, it sounds cheesy but it was only $9.90 so what the heck.
My virgin encounter with this book was with a detoxifying and cooling recipe for soup. With apples, figs and candied dates, this soup is sweet and rather refreshing. ūüôā

This is literally a shot in the dark (dinner time).


Here’s the recipe:
13g dried chrystanthemums
4 apples
5 candied dates
4 dried figs
300g lean pork
(I’m re-arranging the steps so that they make more sense.)
1. Put 8 bowls of water to boil.
2. Rinse chrysanthemums, dates, figs and lean pork.
3. If I may add, cut lean pork into big chunks and blanch them in a separate pot to remove the stinky porky smell.
4. Rinse apples and cut them into big pieces, removing their cores.
5. Once the water is boiling like mad, put all ingredients in except the chrysanthemum.
6. Let the soup rise to a boil again before turning down to low heat and cook for another 1 and a half hours. Add chrysanthemums 10 minutes before the soup is done and season with salt.

Candied Dates & Chrysanthemums


Cinnamon Buns March 15, 2010

Filed under: Recipes — thelittlebowl @ 7:13 am
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Tried making Cinnamon Buns yesterday. Here’s the result:

These babies are packed with butter and cinnamon sugar but they’re oh sooooo good! ūüôā


Found: Dairy-free desserts December 16, 2009

Filed under: Cool Sites,Recipes — thelittlebowl @ 7:12 am
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You must be wondering why I’m so happy to find dairy-free desserts. So it seems the years of food tasting, as a writer and PR person, has caught up with me and I may have developed a¬†mild allergy to a couple of ingredients – most sadly, that means I can’t enjoy milk, cream and butter as much as I want. People with lactose intolerance know my pain.

Nonetheless, as a die-hard foodie, I’ve got to make things right for myself. I MUST have desserts!

I chanced upon TasteSpotting Рa collection of beautiful recipes from different blogs and websites. And man, the food photography is pretty drool-worthy! 


The adventures of Little Bowl and the Fugly Fudge November 13, 2009

Filed under: Recipes — thelittlebowl @ 4:06 am
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Thanks for visiting my blog! This is the start of a crazy culinary adventure with me, aka Little Bowl [my Chinese name literally sounds like this and has made me the butt of all jokes. But who cares? :)]

Strictly speaking, the title of this post is a misnomer. I made the world’s ugliest chocolate truffles (not fudge) last night and I’m proud of them!¬†A bit¬†of rusticity never hurt anyone. ūüėõ

The World's Ugliest Chocolate Truffles

This is what happens when you fall asleep while making truffles (scroll down for another pic)

Holding these fugly bites gingerly with my¬†fingers, I¬†thought to myself, “Oh no! I must have created tooth-breakers.”¬†Nonetheless,¬†these chocolate truffles are delightfully soft to the palate and melt¬†in your mouth into instant¬†bliss.

I made these truffles a few years ago and trust me, they weren’t this ugly. Here are some lessons I’ve learnt from making this batch of chocolate truffles:

#1 Do not fall asleep while making truffles. It was 11pm and I was about to collapse after a day’s work. So I dumped my chocolates in the freezer and went to sleep. Bad idea. The next day, the cores of the chocolates were too hard to mould into pretty little round balls. ūüėõ

#2 Always invest in a chocolate mould. I saw these at Phoon Huat but chose to ignore them. Probably not a good idea.

#3 When the recipe calls for a handheld electric whisk, do not attempt to beat the chocolate goo into shape by hand. Having said that, it made for a really good arm workout.

#4 Always trust your own taste buds because the recipe may not ask for enough sugar (depending on the chocolate you use) or alcohol (for members of AA).

#5 Prepare a lot of ice. It will help to lower the temperature of the chocolate faster to get it to the piping consistency.

After receiving comments from friends about how sad my truffles looked, I decided to finish the rest of my batch by rolling them in walnuts. Here’s what happened:

Chocolate Truffles with Walnuts

Here's what happened when I can be bothered

Kind of hard to believe it’s the same chocolate made by the same person ey? ūüėõ

Go on, help me give these chocolates a makeover.¬† Here’s the recipe: And no, I didn’t make these with Godiva chocolates. They’ll cost me a bomb.