Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Brief Review of Song-Cho Breadmaker & 1st Loaf of Bread

Breadmaker has been around for quite some time and seems like it is getting popular during the recent years. With its popularity, seems like more brands are coming out with their own breadmaker at affordable price.

My mom got very interested in breadmaker after watching some TV home shopping program. And I understand from my friends that breadmaker is really easy to use.. just dump everything in a particuar order and you get a nice hot bread at the end of about 3 hours.

And so after looking around, we decided to get a Song-Cho breadmaker. Price is one of the attractive factors (below $200).  It comes with a 18 presets functions and the promotor said apart from making various types of bread, it can be used for making Mee Hoon Kueh dough and jam.

The machine is made in China and comes with an English and Chinese instruction menu. Maybe because it is made in China, the menu was probably first written in Chinese then translate to English. The English is not very well translated. Some info are been missed out while some of the translated English are hard to understand. However, if you can understand Chinese, the Chinese menu is quite comprehensive.

Song-Cho Breadmaker
:: Sleek Looking Song-Cho Breadmaker ::

Song-Cho Breadmaker
:: 18 preset menus of Song-Cho Breadmaker ::

Base on the menu, the ingredients should always be placed into the bread barrel according to this sequence:

Water => Oil => Sugar => Salt => Milk Powder => Flour => Yeast

I have done some research on breadmaker and bread making and my understanding is this:

1) Always put in the liquid ingredients 1st
2) Followed by sugar at one corner, salt at the opposite far corner
3) Flour should be put in as 2nd last ingredient
4) Yeast will be the last ingredient to be in, preferably dig a well in the center of the flour and put it in.

It is essential that the yeast does not touch the liquid ingredients, salt & sugar if you are using the delayed baking function.

Using the recipe in the instruction menu.


160ml water
12ml cooking oil
3g salt
12g sugar
1 tbsp milk powder
260g bread flour
1 tsp yeast (I used instant yeast)

How to do:

1. Put all the ingredients into the bread barrel according to sequence listed above
2. Turn on the Song-Cho Breadmaker
3. Press the Menu button twice so that '2. Basic' preset function is selected.
4. Press the Color button to select light, medium or dark color of the bread crust. I selected medium

5. Press the Loaf button to select the weight of the loaf. For the above ingredients, it will be a 1.0LB loaf.
5. Press the Start button and leave the machine to do its job.

Tadah!! After 2hr 50 min, the loaf is done!

1st Loaf of Song-Cho Breadmaker Bread
:: 1st Loaf of Bread using Song-Cho Breadmaker ::

The dark spots on the bread are actually some leftover raisins from baking of my fruit cakes. I throw them in when the breadmaker is at knead2.

So how does the bread from Song-Cho Breadmaker fares against commercial bread? I actually find the crust to be on the thick side esp at the bottom. Maybe I should choose light color crust next time. As for the white bread part, according to my mom (an avid bread eater), it is comparable to commercial bread such like G brand or S brand.

Since this 1st loaf of bread, I have tested other recipes and yield more fluffy bread. Will be sharing in sequence posts.

2015 is coming! Have an awesome new year!

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Merry Christmas!! Fruit Cake in the House!

I have to admit...
I was never a big fan of fruit cake...

Most probably because my first encounter with fruit cake was not very pleasant. I vaguely remembered eating some fruit cake that my mom bought from neighborhood bakery. The fruit bits tasted so artificial and almost plastic-y. I have never touched a fruit cake since then..

Now that I started baking and chanced upon a  recipe that look easy enough, I thought it will be a good chance to change my perception of fruit cakes since I can control what to put into the fruit cake.

Recipe adapted from   Everybody Eats Well in Flanders

This cake is baked using my Toshiba Rice Cooker.


Group A:
180g light brown sugar
240ml water
55g butter
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground cloves  (I used 1/2 tsp ground spice because I can't find ground cloves)
1/2 tsp ground ginger
300g raisins  (I used mixed of Silver Bird Sultanas & Sunmaid Raisins)

Group B:
2 eggs, lighted beaten  (my eggs are approx. 50g each w/o shell)
195g multi-purpose flour, sifted
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
1tsp vanilla extract
50g dried cranberries
50g dried apricots  (cut to approx size of cranberries/raisins)
50g candied orange peels* (cut to approx size of cranberries/raisins)

*Click here on instructions on how to make candied orange peels.

How to do:

1. Pour all the ingredients under Group A except for raisins into a saucepan.
2. Use medium heat to stir till butter melted and everything well mixed.
3. Add in the raisins and bring to a boil.
4. Turn down the heat and let it simmer for about 5min.
5. After that, off the heat and set aside until it is lukewarm.


6. Pour the Group A mixture into a mixing bowl.
7. Add in the ingredients in Group B and mixed well with a wooden spoon or spatula.
8. Grease the rice cooker inner pot with vegetable oil or butter and pour the mixture in.
9. This cake cooks in my Toshiba rice cooker for about 1.5 hours.
10. Once it's done, turn it out from the rice cooker and let it cool.

For storage, I wrapped in cling wrap, followed by aluminum foil and stored in the fridge.

Fruit Cake using Rice Cooker
:: Fruit Cake using Rice Cooker ::
I thought the fruit cake turned out beautifully. I had to wait for 1 day before cutting open it as the taste was supposed to be more settled after 1 day.

:: Beautiful Fruit Cake Slices ::
The fruit cake looked so beautiful, esp with the bits of orange colored peels and apricots. And the best part is, it tasted very moist and yummy! I am absolutely in love with fruit cakes now! I love it so much that I baked a few other batches to give to my friends.

:: Fruit Cakes using Oven ::
The above batch are done in petite loaf baking cups using oven. The recipe works well too! 
These petite loaf baking cups are 8cm by 4cm, 4.5cm height. I only have them filled to 1/3 and baked in the preheated oven at 180 degree for 15 min.

Thursday, December 11, 2014

How It All Started...

It all started with me giving birth to my little sunshine and becoming a SAHM.

Apart from looking after my little one and of coz online shopping, I need to find more interesting to do while at home.. And so.. I started to toy with the idea of baking..

And so.. for the longest time, my mom has been telling me that our rice cooker can bake cakes. We have the same rice cooker. I have never thought of trying it before because in my reality, cakes are supposed to be bake in oven.

But since I am looking for something interesting to do and also to prove my mom's point, I started to search for recipes to bake cakes with rice cooker. And that is when I stumbled Miss B's blog: Everybody Eats Well in Flanders

I am very intrigued by her recipes especially those that can be done without a mixer. Sounds like just dump and bake,  very low risk for failure.. And so I tried her recipe for Rice Cooker Moist Chocolate Cake. I followed everything on her recipe and it really helps that I have the similar rice cooker as Miss B (mine is a Toshiba RC-10NMF) .

The cake was a great success and an instant hit with my family!

RCC-Moist Chocolate Cake
:: My 1st Rice Cooker Cake - Moist Chocolate Cake ::

After that a couple of days later, I tried another of her no brainer recipe: Rice Cooker Banana Cake. Again it was a success and my family loved it! 

:: Rice Cooker Banana Cake :: 

And so.. I started to look for more rice cooker baking recipes. A few weeks later, my mom bought a breadmaker and I started to experiment baking with the breadmaker (Song-Cho) & as well as my underutilized table top oven (Morries).

As I am still a newbie baker, one things I find very tiresome is that due to different appliances, the results of the baking could vary. So I have decided to start this blog 1) to document the recipes that I have tested & 2) to share with fellow newbies who could be using the same appliances as me and hope they find the info useful. 

That's all for my 1st post on my intention of this blog.

So happy baking, everyone!