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Homemade Banana Butterscotch Ice Cream

August 7, 2014

The secret to delicious ice cream is fat content. I love having whipping cream (aka heavy cream) handy; it’s great to make frosting for cupcakes, or just really good on fresh fruits after using a hand-mixer — and you can make ice-cream. If you’re really ambitious and ready for cleaning up post-fun kitchen mess, you could turn whipping cream into home-made butter & buttermilk, where you can flavour your own butter. (So, don’t over-whip the whipping cream; leave the cream to be blended last.)

Sure, I’ve made two-ingredients Nutella banana ice-cream before, where no ice-cream maker was needed. While it satisfied my sweet tooth in a healthy manner, it felt wrong that there was no cream in the ice-cream. I hate buying ice-cream from the store because I get very sick from lactose. It’s hard to understand what “modified milk ingredients” entails. (I’m guessing it’s milk powder?) 

Ice Cream MakerSo, I found this little guy from Superstore between $20 and $30. It’s great because it doesn’t use a lot of space. As fun as a hand-cranked one is (yes, I do dream of owning one), which I’ve come to learn that it’s called a sabottiere, this little electrical unit has a maximum churning time of 30 minutes. However, freezing time would require 16 to 24 hours, with this little unit. (It can vary, depending on your ice-cream maker)

This recipe was adapted from Food and Wine. I substituted chocolate with butterscotch chips, which gives the ice-cream a crunchy texture.

Banana Butterscotch Ice Cream

Banana Butterscotch Ice Cream

3 ripe bananas
1 1/4 cups whole milk (Optional: substitute with any lactose-free alternatives, using the same measurements)
1/3 cup sugar
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup heavy cream
3 ounces butterscotch chips (I learnt this from the instruction manual, after-the-fact that I should have added the chips 5 minutes before turning off the ice-cream maker — Oops!)

Blended Banana Custard

Blended Banana Custard

  1. In a blender, puree the bananas with the milk, sugar, vanilla, and salt until smooth. Transfer to a bowl and stir in a heavy cream and butterscotch chips.

    Banana and Butterscotch Ice Cream mixture

  2. Pour the banana custard into an ice cream maker and freeze according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
    Transfer the ice cream to an airtight container and freeze until firm; mine took overnight.
    Let stand at room temperature for 10 minutes before serving. (I totally ignored this part, but I had fun scraping it with my ice-cream scoop.)

French Toast Waffles

August 4, 2014

Happy long weekend, fellow Canadians!

If you’ve got maple syrup, coffee, as well as eggs, milk, butter, bread and a waffle iron, enjoy staying in for breakfast. This is a great recipe to use up many slices of bread before it goes bad. The Joy of Cooking (1975 edition; 5th printing – Aug 1976) has never failed; I’ve made goose from that cookbook and it was so delicious that our new oven had a brief grease fire. (Goose flambe, anyone?) This recipe is hubby-approved. You can easily double/triple the batch if you’re feeding more than one person. Each batch is good for soaking two slices of bread.

French Toast Waffles

French Toast Waffles

French Toast Waffles (1 serving or two slices)
1 egg
1/4 cup lactose-free milk (or any milk substitute)
2 tbsp melted butter (I melted mine in the microwave)
1/8 tsp salt

Warm up your waffle iron. Whisk/beat french toast mixture.  Soak your sliced bread in the mixture. Cook until golden brown. You would have a crispy texture. It’s delicious with Summerland’s fruit syrups or with maple syrup.

It’s that simple. Enjoy!

Cinnamon Buns

August 2, 2014

Hi CJ Kitchen readers,
I am back! Life’s been rough since I’ve last had the chance to bake appelkuchen. But I’m back now. Losing my father to heart attack still leaves deep emotional wounds — never had the chance to say Goodbye — a flight to Brunei, where I was wishfully hoping to see him at the Berakas airport. During this food blog hiatus, I planned a wedding together with the groom and have successfully completed the CMA Board Report/Presentation with my assigned group.

The Cyn is back! I bring you Cinnamon Buns, from the Disney Food Blog.

Wait, what kind of cinnamon roll is this? Sweet dough, which is soft and easy to chew. The frosting is amazing. I’ve used lactose-free milk in this recipe. If you needed to substitute, almond milk would work fine, which might give it a bit of a nutty flavour.

Magic Kingdom's Cinnamon Rolls

Magic Kingdom’s Cinnamon Rolls

Here is the recipe in PDF

Main Street Bakery (Magic Kingdom): Cinnamon Rolls
*makes 16 extra large cinnamon rolls


1/2 cup warm water
2 packets active dry yeast (which was equivalent to 4 tsp)
2 tablespoons sugar
1 (3.5 ounce) package instant vanilla pudding (I bought Jello’s 100 g box)
2 cups milk
1 stick unsalted butter, melted (if you have salted, skip the 1 tsp salt)
2 large eggs, beaten
1 teaspoon salt
8 cups all-purpose flour


2 sticks unsalted butter, melted
2 cups brown sugar
2 tablespoons cinnamon


In a small bowl, combine water, yeast and sugar. Stir well until dissolved. Set aside.

In a separate large bowl, mix pudding and milk with a wire whisk*. Add in 1 stick of melted butter, eggs and salt. Mix well then add in the yeast mixture. Gradually add in the flour, 1 cup at a time, and knead until smooth. 
(*If you’re using a stand-up mixer like KitchenAid, you can put it on the paddle attachment, which was what I used.)

Place in another large bowl that has been well-greased. Cover bowl with plastic wrap or clean, damp towel and let rise in a warm place until double in size. Punch down and let rise again.

Above: Dough before it rises Below: It should rise/double in size. TIP: Check your use-by date for Madamme Yeast. Mine was past due, so it took me longer for the dough to rise. (Plastic food wrap works better than a wet tea towel for successful slow-rising dough)

Above: Dough before it rises
Below: It should rise/double in size. TIP: Check your use-by date for Madamme Yeast. Mine was past due, so it took me longer for the dough to rise. (Plastic food wrap works better than a wet tea towel for successful slow-rising dough)

Roll dough out on a very large floured surface. Dough should roll out to a long rectangle, about 34 x 21 inches in size. Take the 2 sticks of melted butter and spread over entire surface, using a pastry brush.

Rolled Out Dough

Rolled Out Dough

In a small bowl, mix brown sugar and cinnamon. Sprinkle over top of the buttered dough. Starting on the long end, roll up like a jelly roll.

Roll it up like a Jelly Roll or a "Cinnamon Dough Log"

Roll it up like a Jelly Roll or a “Cinnamon Dough Log”

Using a serrated knife, measure dough every 2 inches and slice. Take each roll into the palm of your hand and gently pack the roll to keep it from coming apart during baking.

Place each roll into a buttered baking pan and allow to rise again in a warm place for about 20 minutes. Bake in preheated oven at 350° for 20 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from oven and frost with cream cheese frosting (recipe below) while still warm. Yum!!

Right (before baking) Left (Once baked)

Left (before baking)
Right (Once baked) – My mom told me that these rolls are better without the icing.

Cream Cheese Frosting Recipe


1 (8 ounce) brick of cream cheese, softened to room temperature
1 stick unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 cups powdered sugar (I managed to use 2.5 cups and it was still good — check the consistency of the frosting before adding more. Remember that icing sugar is pretty potent, when it comes to sweetness)
2-4 tablespoons milk


With an electric mixer, blend cream cheese, butter and vanilla until creamy. Slowly add in powdered sugar, 1 cup at a time. Mix well. After all of the powdered sugar has been mixed in, add the milk, 1 tablespoon at a time to thin out. Blend on low until smooth. Spread on warm cinnamon rolls.

Other notes:
- this is a very large batch. (8 cups is a lot of flour) So, if you don’t have a stand-up mixer, be ready to use your hands. I’m sure this recipe can be successfully halved. Even my KitchenAid Pro mixer had a rough time with the dough hook at the speed of 2 (which is the maximum it can go, with that hook, FYI).
- I will say this again: check your yeast for freshness. I was told that yeast keeps better when being placed in the fridge. Everyone makes yeast mistakes at least once… When I was at an Artisan bread-making class, the instructor really favours Red Star for yeast.
- I will reattempt this recipe at a later time and stuff it with blueberries, with a lemon glaze.

Yeast doughs aren’t terrifying to work with. It mostly takes patience and knowing what’s the best tipping point to rise your dough at. You know you are working with a good dough recipe if it doesn’t dictate how long you should wait. I am looking forward to trying various bread dough recipes. However, if you are terrified of yeast, try this America’s Test Kitchen version.

You can follow me on Twitter (@Cynderbug) for any new posts. Now that I’m a Mrs. and a future CMA, there will be a lot more collaborative effort to make our home more enjoyable. (Housework during hot summer days does equate to plenty burpees, right?!) I will be updating my food blog on a fortnightly basis. So, stay tuned!


October 30, 2013
tags: ,

Like cake but often find there’s too much cake? Kuchen is nice as it is a single layer cake. You will need a spring-form cake tin.

I baked this on August 30, 2013; it was taste-tested and approved by my coworkers.

This is a great late summer/fall recipe. The only thing I would change about this recipe is squeezing a bit more lemon juice and not slicing my apples too thin. (The recipe didn’t specify, but generally the fruit on top of the cake would be moist)

Red Velvet Chocolate Chip Cookies

October 29, 2013

About a month ago, I had troubles sleeping. Can you turn cake into cookies?

There must be a way. I adapted this recipe from !

Red Velvet Chocolate Chip Cookies

I made a double batch and ended up with more cookies since I made the test batch cookies smaller. (Smaller cookies cook relatively fast at 7 minutes)
I’ve made red green velvet cupcakes before and found that by adding coffee, it brings out the chocolate flavour a lot more.

My oven bakes quite fast since it’s convection; 8.5 minutes worked well for me. I wouldn’t go longer than 9 minutes at 375F. Please let me know if you have difficulties reading my handwriting!

And I wrote a recipe card out as I plan to surprise my neighbours with cookies & this recipe card:

Red Velvet Cookie Recipe Card -- right-click, save to your device. Print!

Red Velvet Cookie Recipe Card — right-click, save to your device. Print!

My neighbours’ son answered the door. He tried the recipe three times. It was a hit in his foods class! As his way of thanking me for the recipe, he brought us cookies! How heart-warming, don’t you think? :) It looks and smell delicious. It is delicious and chewy. So, if he can bake these, so can you!

Neighbour's kid used my Red Velvet Cookies recipe a few times and brought these!

My neighbour’s kid used my Red Velvet Cookies recipe a few times and brought these!

Notes: If you don’t have buttermilk on hand, you can get a close enough substitution by using white vinegar + milk mixture. Non-dairy milk works too. The magic proportion: For every tablespoon of vinegar or lemon juice, use a cup of milk. (So, roughly 4 tsp of milk + 1/4 tsp of white vinegar)

Spread the love of baking!! You’d never know who could be smiling from trying successful recipes.


First Attempt at (Successful) Artisan Bread Making

October 29, 2013

Did you miss me? :P I missed my third anniversary of being a WordPress blogger in August! This is a belated post to celebrate how far my journey with food has been. I understand I did ‘promise’ to work on noodle dough for Post #55 — how about, I will work on a dough series throughout the remaining in 2013, with no particular self-imposed order?

Long story short, I’m finally getting used to cooking for just myself while juggling work, accounting studies and fitness. Sometimes, I find that taking a “blog-cation” helps me focus on adapting and testing recipes. It also allowed me to share my passion with friends and neighbours; I organized an “Iron-Chef” cooking event, where I rented a community hall for a Thanksgiving themed potluck. I roasted a goose! You can connect with me on my Recipe Box community on Facebook or Instagram (@Cynderbug), where you get to see live posts of my food experiments for the CJ Kitchen. Stay tuned for more posts (and recipes)!

I have finally conquered my temperamental nemesis: bread. This is a no-knead technique I learnt from Laura Rogerson, who has been baking bread for over 40 years! This was the first time this class has been offered through the City of Edmonton. I must warn you that you might want to take the next day off; I had to wake up at 4 am in the wee hours of the morning to work on this slow baby bump. Well, the French calls it boule, which means ball, literally.

A rustic boule

A rustic boule, being cooled after it sits in the stoneware for 5 minutes

What kind of Equipment Do I Need?
– Pardon the puns, but it will help you remember: you don’t ‘knead’ to use any warm water. This is a long and slow fermentation process. The quality of your flour, yeast and the water content determines your success rate for a bread dough. You can shape the bread in a metal pan inside a cast iron Dutch-oven, with the lid closed — if you so wish to cut your bread into a rectangular loaf. Your bake-ware should be able to withstand 500F. Use unbleached bread flour if you can find it.  Laura recommended Red Star yeast instead of Fleischmann.
– A lint-free tea-towel; from the book Dough – Simple Contemporary Bread by Richard Bertinet suggests that you ought to designate a tea towel for bread-making. Also, just wash it off with hot water in the sink, with no detergent.

After the first 12 hours, you may want to check your dough. Remove the plastic wrap. You should see strand development (TOP RIGHT). Dust tea-towel. Wrap and let rest.

After the first 12 hours, you may want to check your dough. Remove the plastic wrap. You should see strand development (TOP RIGHT). Dust tea-towel. Wrap and let rest.

Here is the BASIC BREAD DOUGH. (printable PDF)

(can also be made without salt)

3 cups bread flour                            (400 g)
1 ¼ tsp sea salt or Kosher salt     (8 g)
¼ tsp yeast                                         (1 g)
1 1/3 cups water, filtered             (300 g) @ Cool Temperature 55 – 65 °F

Optional: use cornmeal for dusting


  1. Mix dry ingredients together in a large mixing bowl. Add water and mix with your hand or use a wooden spoon for about 30 seconds or so to incorporate all the flour.
    Dough should be sticky and wet. (Refrain from adding extra flour)
  2. If you live in drier climates, you might need to add 1 tbsp more water or so. Hydration should be around 75%.
  3. Wrap the mixing bowl with a cling wrap; avoid covering with tea-towel as air would escape through the tea-towel.
  4. Let it rise for 12 to 18 hours. It should double in size; look for dots on surface. Texture is very sticky. If you were to leave your dough for longer than 18 hours, your dough will have no life.
  5. You will know if your dough is ready for second proofing when there are long strands developing as you lift the dough ball.
  6. Flour your work surface. Dust tea towel with flour. Cover the tea towel over the dough and let it rise for an hour (to two hours) on the counter. Let it again double. When you poke the dough, the imprint should just stay. If it springs back, check back in 15 minutes.
  7. Position oven racks 1/3 from bottom. Preheat the oven at 500F and subsequently preheat your stoneware or cast iron casserole pot while you wait for the second proofing.
  8. Flip upside down in Dutch oven. The closed pot creates the environment of a steamed oven.
  9. Bake covered for 30 minutes and uncovered for 15 minutes.

    You should be able to hear the bread ‘sing’ on the outside. Cook until internal temperature reaches 205°F.
    Leave the bread in the pan for 5 minutes.
    (At sea level: 200 to 202° F)
  10. Cool for an hour before cutting on a rack.

To freeze:
Once the bread is cooled, wrap in tin foil to maintain moisture. Wrap in cling wrap and keep in a zipped bag.

For steps 9 and 10, this is a summary of what I did:
For the first 30 minutes, your dough should look a golden yellow. I didn’t get to taste it until I got home from work. It is delicious when served with spinach dip:

A close up of how the boule evolved from steps 9 to 10 to everyone's bellies!

A close up of how the boule evolved from steps 9 to 10, right into everyone’s bellies!

If you want an easy way to serve, dip it with 3 parts olive oil, 1 part balsamic vinegar — add 1/2 tsp of sea salt. Enjoy! (Try red wine vinegar and tell me if you like that too!)


June 25, 2013

54th post: Korean dish. Difficulty level: beginner.

I truly have always believed this: one of the best ways to learn about other cultures  is by learning to cook their dishes. That was how I started cooking German dishes.

There are culinary benefits to exposing ourselves beyond what we know, when it comes to cooking. My background in cooking any Korean dishes is very minimal. Stir-frying frozen Bulgogi Beef from the local Korean grocer store and cooking noodles in black bean sauce from a package were my furthest extent with Korean cuisine. Here is my challenge: a lot of the ingredients are written in Korean only. I can read Chinese, but Korean is a different story. So, I joined this Korean potluck group. Little did I know that it is mandatory for Korean men to join the military.

To my pleasant surprise, I was able to find a Korean recipe that is pantry-friendly and budget-friendly. I credit the hobakjeon recipe to

butternut squash

Wash, Peel, Scoop/De-seed. Then, slice width-wise, then slice vertically against the fallen slices to create a match-stick or julienne cut.

Boy, I have never had so many squashes and zucchini cut julienne. I couldn’t quite manage the flip like Ms Maangchi, but some day I’ll uncover the elusive secret of flipping without a spatula.

I would say that the zucchini version is the easiest to make, but the butternut squash version is much tastier. Typically, you would prep the butter-nut squash version first if you are doing both.

Zucchini version:

1 1/2 cups julienne-cut zucchini
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup flour
1/2 tsp Kosher salt
Drizzle of Sesame Oil, just before flipping

Mix all ingredients in a bowl with a spoon. In a medium-high heat non-stick pan, drizzle a bit of olive oil. When the pan is ready and warm, spoon all the batter onto the pan and push down with the back of a spoon. Let it sizzle until the bottom is golden-brown. During this sizzling process, add Sesame Oil on top. When the sizzle gets louder and you see bubbles, it is almost time to flip! (I use spatula and it’s okay if it gets broken apart. The pancake is for sharing anyway)

Dipping Sauce

Soy sauce, vinegar, chili, garlic and onion

Soy sauce, vinegar, chili, garlic and onion

3 tbsp low-sodium soy sauce
1 de-seeded green chilli (the only ones I could find are baby green chilies; these are hot, hot, hot!)
1 clove garlic, chopped finely
1 tbsp purple onion or shallots
1 tbsp vinegar

Butter-nut Squash Hobakjeon:
About 2 cups of julienne-cut squash
Add 1/4 tsp salt and let it sit for at least 20 minutes. The squash will become moist, so no water is needed.
Add 3 to 4 tablespoons flour. This will hold the pancake together.. (unless you were wanting butternut-squash julienne fries!) I added about a total of 4 as 3 didn’t seem to hold the squash together.

I used olive oil to fry the butter-nut squash pancake, pressing down with the back of the spatula to create a shape. Flip when bottom is sizzling golden brown.

Was my first-try good? Well, there was no polite “Mm, this is good!” It was nearly gone at the end of potluck, so it is passable. I definitely would make more of these for easy snacks and appetizers.

Presentation was definitely not a winner, but it tastes okay:



Next up: 55th-post is slurp fest as I will be making noodle dough from scratch using a birthday gift (pastry board) and my pasta-machine.


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