Carrot Cinnamon Raisin Buns

Carrot Cinnamon Raisin Buns // Mono + Co

These are basically cinnamon buns with the sugary fillings and glaze removed.  I thought it was a good idea to add mashed carrots into the dough since they go so well with cinnamon and raisins in my carrot cakes.

Carrot Cinnamon Raisin Buns // Mono + Co

Because I did not spread butter and sugar on the surface of the dough, there were no pretty swirls on my cinnamon buns. If you prefer to see that on your rolls, brush a generous layer of melted butter, followed by another layer of cinnamon grounds, brown sugar and raisins before rolling the dough up.  The layer of fat will keep the dough from sealing up during slicing and proofing.

Carrot Cinnamon Raisin Buns // Mono + Co

I baked these buns in my 9-inch/ 23cm clear glass pot instead of my round tin as I wanted to utilize the pot more.  It also serves as a great storage container for the buns since it comes with a heavy glass lid.

Carrot Cinnamon Raisin Buns // Mono + Co Carrot Cinnamon Raisin Buns // Mono + Co Carrot Cinnamon Raisin Buns // Mono + Co

I feel great seeing carrots in my breakfast rolls!

Carrot Cinnamon Raisin Buns

235g plain flour
1 teaspoon instant dry yeast
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
3 tablespoons brown sugar
2 tablespoons cinnamon grounds
1 small egg, beaten
95g carrots, steamed + mashed
25g water
25g cold butter, cubed
50g raisins **

** Soak raisins in a bowl of warm water for 30 minutes.  Drain and gently squeeze dry to remove excess liquid before use.

In a mixer bowl, combine all the dry ingredients together (plain flour, yeast, sea salt, brown sugar, cinnamon grounds) with a hand whisk.  Then add beaten egg, cooled mashed carrots and water.  Turn on the mixer to knead with a dough hook.  Once a dough ball is formed, stop the mixer and let the dough rest for 15 minutes.

Start the mixer again to knead for 1 minute before adding cubed butter one by one, and knead till the dough reach window pane stage.  Stop mixer and leave the dough to bulk rise at room temperature for 60 minutes.

After the dough has risen, punch down the dough to deflate and transfer to a clean and lightly floured work top.  Sprinkle worktop and palms with flour if the dough is too sticky to handle.

Roll out the dough to a rectangle sheet, spread raisins on the surface.  Roll up the dough from the longer edge and pinch to seal.  Slice the roll into 8 pieces and arrange them in a 9-inch pan.  Leave this aside to proof for another 60 minutes, covered.

Preheat oven to 170C, and bake the bread for 25-35 minutes.

When done, remove bread from baking tin immediately and place on a rack to cool completely.





Chocolate Ganache Frosting

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I do not own a cake stand, and as if that is going to stop me from picking up frosting skills?

I can always remove the glass tray from my microwave oven, balance it over a large rim bowl to elevate it, and tah-dah: my makeshift frosting station is set up! That’s how much I like to make my stuff “multitasks”.

I have been using this Chocolate Ganache recipe to make my cakes look every inch fancier.  No matter how I spread it, the frosting never appears messy, just pretty and glossy, no piping skills required!

- 10 ounces bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
- 1/2 cup water (or cream, if you prefer it richer)
- 1 and 1/2 sticks or 170g unsalted butter, cut into small cubes


01. Place water/cream and the chocolate in a small metal pot, melt the chocolate by placing the pot over pan filled with barely simmering water.  Stir occasionally and remove the pot from the simmering water once all the chocolate has melted.
02. Whisk cubed butter into the chocolate mixture until they have completely melted.  The frosting should look smooth and glossy.
03. Set aside at room temperature let it cool down to a spreadable consistency.

++ Notes To Self ++
this recipe is enough to generously frost a 2 tier 9 inch cake, with about 1/2 cup leftover.
the frosting appears to be runny but i still manage to use it to frost my cake, sides and all, at room temperature.  However, the slippery frosting between a 2-tier cake makes cutting difficult, the layers appear to be sliding off each other with every slicing motion.  My solution is to chill the cake slightly in the fridge to set the frosting before cutting it.

What To Say At A Lo Hei Session

what to say during a lo hei session

Tomorrow will mark day #15 and the last day of the Chinese New Year celebration period.  Last night, we decided to have a last session of Lo-Hei for 2014 at home, with a prepacked Yu-Sheng ingredients.  I topped up with lots of julienned green radish and carrots, a lime, more ground peanuts (I thought the quantity they provided was too little), toasted white sesame seeds, and peanut oil.  Did not prepare fish, as no one takes raw fish at home.

The other few DIY Lo Hei sessions we had so far, always ended up with the same situation, not knowing what to say, as the ingredients are tossed in.

Not this time.

So asked my eldest daughter to do some Goggle-ing, and we happily tossed the Yu-Sheng ingredients away.




/ the website  for the auspicious phrases.

/ i found this info-graphic later.

/ hundred percent  homemade Yu-Sheng is possible.

A Lovely Long Weekend

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01. We managed to catch the Deepavali Festival Village tucked along Campbell Lane and Hasting Road on the its final day.

02. The bazaar was huge on party poppers, confetti showers, and decorative items.  It got really crowded when we reached the festive snack stall.

03. The block of flats above Tekka Market, interestingly, houses lifts with transparent viewing windows! (Is this a trend everywhere, or have I been living in a cave?)  We took it all the way up (25 floors in all), and could see Marina Bay Sands from where we stood.  I then realized that the lift interior was uncomfortably hot and stuffy, due to the scorching noon sun that was shining through the window.  I silently prayed that the lift would not stall on my way down, for I think it is pretty painful getting stuck in there where the ventilation fan above don’t even work well enough, suffocating while waiting for help. (Touch wood!)

04. I later learned that the Indians have a very, very sweet tooth.  I bought 6 pieces of the sweets back to sample (they have a lot more variety!), but I could only bit a tiny portion off each time, only to find it too sweet for a second bite, before returning it back into the fridge.  It is still there, and I have a feeling that I won’t be able to finish them at all…

++ I passed by Moghul Sweet Shop (48 Serangoon Road) and saw a long queue at its entrance.  Will return for their Kaju Katli, as they look simple amazing with the edible silver foil! ++

Teachers’ Day Printables

Teachers' Day Printables // Makingitblissful

*This post is totally late as Teachers’ Day fell on the 6th September this year.  But I think the links to the printables will come in handy again when the kids give their teachers a gift of appreciation for the end of the school year later in November.*

I prefer snacks like chocolates or candies when it comes to gift ideas.  I’ll either re-wrap them with a customized candy wrapper, or re-pack them into little bags and add a cute gift tag for a touch of personalization.

I decided on this Owl Thank You Teacher printable from Living Lorcurto in the end, after sourcing through the list of possibilities from the web.  The best part is : they are all FREE!

1. Teachers Are Treasures Chocolate Board via I Heart Naptime
2. Chocolate Bar Wrapper via The Celebration Shoppe
3. Tote-tally Terrific Teacher Gift Tag via Uncommon Designs
4. You are the Berry-Best Gift Tag via Love The Day
5. You are an Awesome Teacher Tag/Label via Design Mom
6. Simple Thank You Card via Tip Junkie

Milk Bread Loaf

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This Sweet Milk Bread recipe is a keeper.  Original 元子’s recipe had plain water and whole egg.  After 2 bloggers’ modifications (1st here, then here), the recipe now uses fresh milk and egg whites instead.  My final proof took almost 4 hours for the dough to rise and fill 80% of the loaf pan, but I think the overall texture was worth the wait.

As with all fresh homemade bread (no additives, bread improver, blah, blah), finish it up within 2 days.  On day 3, bread sort of dried out, and turned crummy, even though I only slice it before eating

Made notes below next to the ingredients to remind myself what I have used or tweaked.  So far, all my 3 attempts have been very successful.

The Big Man asks for consistent taste in his daily bread, commented that I have attempted far too many different milk/sweet bread recipes.  I think this is his way of saying that I should stick to this recipe.

//Adapted from Eileenの记事本

250g bread flour (I used Prima) / plain flour (I used Sheng Siong house brand, Happy Family)
50g fine sugar
65g egg white
100ml fresh milk (I used Meiji full cream)
8g milk powder (I used Fernleaf)
1/2 teaspoon instant yeast
1/4 teaspoon salt
25g unsalted butter (I used SCS and Anchor)

Oven Temp : 170C
Bakeware : Bread Loaf Pan

1. In a mixer with paddle attachment, mix well all ingredients except butter at low speed.
2. Change to a dough hook attachment, add in butter, and continue mixing till window pane stage, about 20 minutes.
3. Remove mixing bowl from mixer, cover with a clean tea towel, and leave it aside for 1 hour, The dough will rise to approximately twice its original size.
4. Punch down the inflated dough, and pour it out onto a clean worktop.
5. Evenly divide the dough into 3 portions (approx 160g each), roughly work them into balls and leave it covered for 15 minutes with the tea towel.
6. Flatten and roll out with a pin and roll up dough like a swiss roll from the shorter end.  Leave dough aside for another 15 minutes.
7. Repeat step 6, this time pinching the seams to seal tightly.  Arrange the 3 rolled up dough with seam facing down into the loaf pan.  Final proof till dough rise up to fill 80% of the pan.
8. In a preheated oven at 170C, bake for 35 minutes.
9. Remove the bread from the baking tin immediately after the baking is done.  Leave the bread on a cooling rack to cool completely before slicing.

For a better understanding of Step 6-7, See Photos Here.

Sorting The Laundry Faster

I know some moms who hate sisters wearing the SAME thing together.  But some of the wee clothing are so adorable, I often find myself getting identical ones for the girls, albeit different colors, if available.  They can even take turns wearing different colors for all they want, as I hang them all in the same closet, so there is not much sorting done for the “going out” clothing.

It’s the undies and pj , which we are more particular with.  When the girls were younger, visual sorting was still possible with the obvious size difference.  As they grow up, it’s now down to just one size difference, mmm…not that obvious anymore.

At first, the size labels were doing a fine job, but with more washings, the prints on them started to wear off and could no longer be seen.  I often find myself holding 2 pieces of clothing together to compare the width at the waist band/ shoulder before keeping them into the sisters’ respective drawers.

Then this idea of cutting away one of their labels as a form of identification strikes me one fine day.  And it is so easy.  No more finding and flipping that tiny label to see whether it is a “M” or “L”.  I just need to be consistent, for example, if the elder sister is the one whose clothing’s tags get cut off, stick to this system.

It works on all clothing with tags except another clean laundry sorting spoilsport: school white socks, no tags.  Luckily, the school does not make it compulsory for the children to wear the official socks with the school’s name printed on them.  So I get the elder one to buy hers from the school, and the younger one from elsewhere.