Wednesday, 15 March 2017

Mia Bakes: Tofu Chocolate Bread Loaf (BM Recipe)

Haha, yet another baking post up for the week! The thought to bake with tofu started after I came across a youtube video on tofu banana baked doughnuts. And I did ended up trying a variation of it without the banana HERE
Then I wondered if it's possible to have tofu replacing something in our everyday bread loaf, mainly to lower the calories per slice. Well, one fine day I was bored and hence decided to calculate the calories per slice of my usual homemade wholegrain bread, and was horrible shocked to know that my homebaked version is 2x the calories of the store bought loaves. 
No wonder my weight loss has plateau off

And due to denser loaves from wholegrain flour, I usually only manage to cut 9 slices per loaf and that gives me about 176 kcals per slice! 

Okay, calories talk aside, let's first get over the ingredients so we can get the BM started.
For a 500g loaf, you'll need:

125g wholemeal flour
115g all purpose flour
10g unsweeten cocoa powder
1 tbsp vital wheat gluten
10g sugar 
(I used 5g sugarless sugar & 5ml raw honey)
150g soft silken tofu
3g salt (about 1/2 tsp)
1 tsp instant yeast
1/4 tsp ceylon cinnamon
80ml milk

First, soak your wholemeal flour in the milk for about 20 minutes before adding in the rest of your ingredients and let the dough knead on your mix dough function

Due to lower percentage of wholegrain flour in this recipe, I got slightly higher loaf (perhaps switching to bread flour will give me an even higher loaf) and managed to cut 11 slices out of this loaf. That gives me about 92 kcals per slice, almost 50% of my usual sunflower seeds & raisin loaf. 


There's hardly any tofu taste and the bread still turned out pretty soft and chewy in spite of the high wholegrain content. Pretty sure that tofu shall be one of the main ingredients for my weekly bread making from now on!

Till then,
Mia Foo

Monday, 13 March 2017

Mia Bakes: Choco-Matcha Ban Ban Soft Cookies

And so the baking trio met again for another day of therapeutic baking! And if you haven't seen our re-creation of Maangchi's gyeran ppang (korean egg bread) recipe, be sure to check it out HERE.

And of course, the three of us wouldn't be satisfied with just barely 30 minutes of baking for the day, hence here's our 2nd bake. Ban ban (half & half) cookies! This is something like the currently trending brookies (brownie + cookies), but more flexible with the flavours. 

For our first try at the ban ban cookie, we've decided to follow another Korean youtube baking guru, Honeykki's recipe. 

You'll need:

For the green tea dough:
150g cake flour
15g green tea powder
100g castor sugar
100g salted butter
(add 2g salt if you're using unsalted)
3g baking powder
1 egg
a dash of vanilla extract
50g white chocolate chips

For the chocolate dough:
150g cake flour
15g unsweeten cocoa powder
100g castor sugar
100g salted butter
(add 2g salt if you're using unsalted)
3g baking powder
1 egg
a dash of vanilla extract
50g semi-sweet chocolate chips

Prepare both doughs separately in two large bowls. First, cream your butter and sugar until the mixture turns pale and fluffy, before beating in the egg & vanilla extract until well combined. Then, sift in your dry ingredients and fold until just combined before adding in the chocolate chips and folding lightly to mix it evenly.

Drop about 1/2 tbsp of each dough (together) on a baking sheet, spread about 1 inch apart. Using wet or greased hands (the dough will be sticky!), mold the two flavours together (but do not mix them up, just press them together into 1 cookie) and press it down lightly to flatten. Top up the flatten dough with more chocolate chips if desired before baking at 160 degree Celsius for about 13 minutes. 

The baking temperature and baking time will depends greatly on your oven and its setting, hence do start with lower temperatures and keep a watchful eye on your cookie while they bake. You DO NOT want your cookie to brown. 

TADAA~!

These are soft cookies with a cakey texture, not really my kind of cookie as I prefer mine crunchy, but being both a green tea fan and a huge chocolate fan, this was right up my alley!

But I might want to tweak the recipe a little next time to get crunchy cookies, and also try out the combination of peanut butter with chocolate instead. Green tea with Chocolate tasted a little bit... not that much in sync. 


CL suggested of using a flavour that makes red cookies (red velvet or strawberry?) in place of the green tea next time so we can get ladybug cookies!
How cute would that be!

Till then,
Mia Foo

Saturday, 11 March 2017

Mia Bakes: Gyeran Ppang!

Just a couple weeks back at our small gathering at Chicken Up, we were having a small chat over the Korean food we know/like and somehow, Gyeran Ppang popped up and was really popular at the table. 


Not sure of what is egg bread is about, I did a google search on it and stumble upon Maangchi's recipe HERE
If you're also unfamiliar with this trendy Korean street food, it's a type of bread/muffin with a whole egg cracked into the middle and baked together, hence the name Gyeran (egg) Ppang (bread). 

I picked up the mini loaf paper tins from daiso at just $2 for 4 pieces of these 6 x 12.5 x 4.5 cm mini pans and doubled Maangchi's recipe to get 4 loaves.

You'll need:
240g all purpose flour
240ml milk
2 tbsp melted butter
6 tbps sugar
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 tsp cooking oil
6 eggs
(2 for batter, 4 as toppings)
8 cubes of cheese 
(I used laughing cow cheese cube spread)

This is an extremely easy, one bowl recipe. Simply dump ALL your ingredients (2 eggs, not 6!) into one big bowl and whisk until smooth. 
Spoon your batter evenly into the 4 loaf pans, about 1/3 of the pan, stick 2 cheese cubes into the middle of the pan, about 1.5 inches apart. Crack an egg into the middle of the cheese cubes before sending your gyeran ppang into the oven at 200 degree Celsius for about 13 minutes. 


So, total time from nothing to 4 yummy looking gyeran ppang = less than 10 minutes preparation + 13 minutes baking = just a mere 23 minutes!
I'll say this is the PERFECT quick recipe for an effortless, but feels like a lot of effort was put in kind of breakfast. 

Baking for 13 minutes gave us eggs that's almost completely cooked through and the bread/muffin part just nice. So if you would prefer a more moist bread with runny egg centre, you might have to tweak your baking time a little. 

Till then,
Mia Foo

Thursday, 9 March 2017

#fitnessfriday - Fitbit Charge 2

Hello, my fellow fitness junkies. It's been more than 6 months since I embarked on my #eatclean diet (you can read my 21 days detox diet HERE and my tips on sustaining it after the 21 days HERE) and I thought that I should reach out to you peeps again with an update.
And so my total weight loss till date is about 6kg and it has been fluctuating around this figure for a while. Well, I probably could cut out more kilos but I will probably need to go into high calorie-deficit, which I'm really not keen on. 

Anyhow, the huge failure of the accelerometer on my new OPPO R9s phone has made me decided to get a proper fitness tracker. Not like miband or what, but something 'smarter', which can tells me more about my daily level of activities and help me track my calories in and out.

And so, after tons of google searches, quite a few of forced discussions with friends, and a couple days (or was it weeks) of consideration, I finally decided to take the plunge and burn 200 bucks on the fitbit charge 2.
I assure you, I didn't get this just for the salmon pink strap.


But still, it's so chio (pretty), isn't it?
They even have super cool leather straps (HERE) and super pretty metal chains (HERE) for you to switch out as and when you felt like it.

Apart from the usual steps tracking, Charge 2 also track your stairs climbed, daily active minutes, calorie expenditure (BMR and daily activities), continuous heart rate monitoring, sleep monitoring, daily travelled (walked) distance, and allows you to record your daily meals to check your calories in-out, and also allows you to set notifications from your phone to track text messages, calls and set vibrating alarm. Charge 2 also has a few special exercise tracking functions, which includes the ever so popular spinning, running, yoga, pilates, weights and etc.


Charge 2 also allows you to choose your preferred layout on the main "screen" of your tracker and I've chosen the one that shows both my heart rate and steps taken on my main screen, you can easily flip though the screens to check the rest of your stats (calories burnt, distance travel etc) by tapping on the screen. 
And no, it's not a touch screen so... you might need a few taps before it responds. 

Accuracy wise, I'll say the Charge 2 is pretty accurate when it comes to steps counting. I've once checked it against my own manual counting of 100 steps and my charge 2 counted just 1 extra step. As for stairs counting, it can get a little unstable. Certain days it's 100% accurate while certain days it just goes way off. But that doesn't really bothers me as this stairs climbing function isn't what I really focus on when I made the purchase. 

Having a specific spinning and yoga tracking under the exercise tracking function gave this gadget a lot of brownie points IMO, because these two exercises are what I usually do! But it's a shame that there's only ONE yoga function, when we all know there's TONS of variations to yoga and each very different from another in terms of intensity. 
For example, my Charge 2 tells me I burn roughly 266 kcals per hour of Hot Yoga on this particular yoga function, but isn't Hot Yoga supposed to burn more calories as compared to, let's say, Hatha Yoga? And 266 kcals does seem a little too low for hour's worth of near-dying experience in the hot studio too, doesn't it? 

Anyhow, I guess this booboo will actually work in your favour if what you want is to lose weight by maintaining a calorie deficit, because you may be underestimating your actual calorie expenditure. 
So, erm... yay?

In terms of food logging, I didn't feel that their data of food choices is that awesome, hence I'll prefer to log my daily meals on myfitnesspal instead and sync and data over to the fitbit app. 

So after 2 weeks on my Charge 2, I can say it's so far so good. But whether or not it helps in weight management (loss), I can't tell yet. So let's just wait for my next update, yeah?

If you're interested in getting a Charge 2 yourself, do check it out at lazada.sg

Till then,
Mia Foo

Saturday, 4 March 2017

Mia Bakes: 4-Ingredient Rich Chocolate Cake

Yes, you saw it in the title. A yummy chocolate cake recipe that only calls for 4 ingredients, well... 5 if you count baking powder, but... oh well!

Let's get over with the 4 simple (or 5) ingredients to get this rolling. 
You'll need (for an 8 to 10 servings):

200g chocolate of your choice
10g top flour 
(or cake flour)
44ml skimmed milk + 6g cornstarch 
(otherwise you can use 50ml heavy cream)
2 large eggs
1/4 tsp baking powder

As you can see, chocolate makes up a large portion of the recipe, hence it's is very important that you choose a good quality chocolate. I used Hershey's, although some may not feel that Hershey's is a "good enough" brand of chocolate, but it'll do for me. 

And also to control the overall sweetness of the cake, I mixed up their sugar-free dark chocolate (60g) with their semi-sweet chocolate chips (140g) to make up the 200g. I would have wanted to use more sugar-free, but 60g was all I've left. T.T



And so, first up, break up your chocolates (if you're using bars) into tiny pieces and melt them over a pot of simmering water over the hob, constantly stirring until they're smooth and glossy. Be sure that your simmering water does not touch the bottom of your chocolate bowl, or you might burn your chocolates. 
Then, add cornstarch to your skimmed milk and mix until the mixture thicken, before adding it into your melted chocolate and stirring until it's well combined. 
Add in the two beaten eggs and mix until well combined before sifting in your dry ingredients and mix till combined. 

Pour your mixture into a 18x8cm long cake pan (to get a taller cake) or a 26x6.5cm pan (to get a flatter, more brownie-looking cake) and give it a few taps on your counter for any bubbles to rise. 

Send your pan into the oven, heated to 170 degree Celsius for 20 to 25 minutes. 

Now, here's the important thing.

If you're looking for a more fudgey, moist and gateau chocolate cake like consistency, you actually may omit the baking powder and bake your cake for only 20 minutes. There's no need to do the toothpick test to check if your cake is 'done' because your toothpick will not come out clean.

However, if you prefer a more cakey and dry consistency like me, bake your cake for up to 25 minutes (also depends on your oven and its settings) until it's fully baked through. 


Taste wise, it's extremely rich and chocolate like a brownie, but without the usual dense and heavy texture of a usual brownie. 

As you can see, this recipe omitted the usual butter found in most brownie recipe, hence cutting your calories by... abit. Well, there's still tons of chocolate so you can't expect this to be a low-calorie treat. 

Hence, estimated calories per 1 of 8 servings is about 144 kcals, which definitely is not your most diet-friendly snack, but still not that bad for a #cheatdayeat treat, yes?

Till then,
Mia Foo

Tuesday, 28 February 2017

Mia's Review: Chicken Up [1-for-1 Bingsu GIVEAWAY]

After my first visit to Chicken Up some time back while on a food trail event, I finally got to return to their newest branch located at Centrepoint along with fellow bloggers Oyhz, Michhysaurous and Susan Wong


I'm really thankful to be exclusively invited to try out their latest addition to the menu, the snow squid topokki!


But first let's get back to Chicken Up first. Do you know that they first started up in 2010 in Singapore with a vision to provide a casual dining experience and introduce some of the authentic Korean food here, and it's their 7th year with us this year!

 Grapefruit Sojurita - $20

If you've tried their usual sojurita before, you'll fully understand the 'soju problem' when you get to the bottom of the cup, when all the syrup infused portion of the drink was gone and all you've left with is the bitter soju straight from the upturned bottle. But this eliminated your woes!
Replacing the usual soju with grapefruit flavoured sweeten soju, you're now assured with a yummy sweetness down to your very last sip!

Assorted Lightbulb Drinks - $6
Left to Right: Matcha Latte, Mango, Strawberry Banana, Blue Lemon

Seriously, how can you not want to order every single one of them to take a group picture? 
#woesofaninstagramaddict
While the strawberry banana looks really pretty in a dusty, creamy pink colour, it tasted a lot more like a banana smoothie instead. Too little strawberry taste, probably because banana by itself usually overpowers all other tastes. 
I've never had a banana-something flavoured food that didn't taste all banana-ish. Have you? 

Bulgogi Fries - $18

Probably one of their most popular dishes, Chicken Up's bulgogi fries is made up of crispy golden fries piled up and topped with bulgogi (beef marinated in soy sauce), drizzled over with white garlic sauce and added with spring onions and corianders to garnish.
I didn't try this as I do not take beef for religious reason, but I do love their kimchi cousin! 

Ugly Tang (Army Base Stew) - $30 (Serves 2 pax)

The reason why Chicken Up named it Ugly Tang is because.... it's ugly. If you're an instagram-foodie, I reckon you will understand. But not that much of an understanding from me though, because I'm a huge fan of budae jjigae so they look good in all angles to me. 

And before you start to think I'm trolling on you.... It's really called Ugly Tang. 
They even have a U R Ugly Tang Set! 

Well, that was the before pic and it takes you about 15 minutes of simmering to get to this stage. Full of spams, chicken franks, korean chewy rice cakes, enoki mushroom, and ramyun, how can one not fall in love instantly with this incredibly tasty (and unhealthy) pot of yumminess? 
Chicken Up has also added something unusual into their Ugly Tang, and that's (if you haven't seen it at the top right hand corner of the pot) macaroni! 
The macaroni does taste a little bit strange (especially if you aren't a fan of it when it's not drenched in cheese) in the jjigae, but it might just be me for the feedback Chicken Up received on the addition was quite a good one. 
I'll say, try it out and decide for youself! 
But do note that this will serve two pax provided you ONLY order this stew. Servings aren't that little, so it can probably feed up to 4 pax if you'll prefer to have slightly more dishes on your table. 

Snow Squid Topokki (UFO Topokki) - $39 (Serves 2 Pax)

The first word that came from all of us when this baby was served was, "WHOA!"
And the taste of this was whoa indeed!
A huge platter with topokki (spicy rice cake) in the middle, topped with one whole fried snow squid, and surrounded by side dishes such as caramelised kimchi, corn cheese, melted cheese, steamed egg and kimchi bokkeumbap (kimchi fried rice), this is as good as a mini buffet served on stove.

And don't worry about that snow squid, for it shall be cut nicely for you at your table.

The squid is tender, slightly chewy and tasted really fresh. If you're quick-handed enough to not let the fried batter get utterly drenched in the flavourful topokki sauce, you shall be rewarded with a mouthful of fresh seafood that's crispy on the outside and succulent on the inside.
The topokki was super yummy as well, just spicy enough for you to feel the shiokness and yet not too overpowering.

Watermelon Bingsu - $18

Having their watermelon bingsu once again after 2 years, still as good!
(Read my previous review HERE)

And now, do you wish to have a tasty of these yummy, creamy dessert with a friend?
So, it's going to be a bingsu giveaway time!

I have with me TEN numbers of 1-for-1 Korean Bingsu voucher for giveaway, courtesy of Chicken Up!
Just head down to Chicken Up's instagram account (HERE) and FOLLOW, before coming back here and leave me a comment with your instagram handle and email by 8th March. 
It's really that simple!

ps. I will also be holding another giveway for a 4-piece soya chicken wings redemption voucher on my instagram at a later date, so do keep an eye for it!

Chicken Up (Centrepoint) is located at
Centrepoint #01-33H, 176A Orchard Road

For more information, visit their facebook HERE.

Till then,
Mia Foo

Sunday, 19 February 2017

Bioderma Sensibio: I've found the one! [Advertorial]

I've been hearing about Bioderma Sensibio H2O for quite some time but never had the chance to grab one and try it out for myself until Samplestore decided send me one! 


When it comes to micellar waters, Bioderma Sensibio H20 has to be the one. The world’s first non- rinse cleansing solution using Micelle Technology, this derma-cosmetic hit was first launched in 1995, when women were using cleansing milks, oils, and soaps to cleanse the skin and remove their makeup. Today, it is a backstage secret on fashion runways, the cult favourite of top makeup artists, supermodels, and celebrities from Kylie Minogue to Gisele Bundchen.

$15.90 for 100ml, $28.90 for 250ml, $41.90 for 500ml 

Why is this little pink bottle so well-loved? In just one step, Bioderma Sensibio H20 provides superior makeup removal all over our face, including eyes and lips, and gentle cleansing, thanks to its unique restorative properties, skin is always left feeling soft and comfortable. Soap-, alcohol- and fragrance-free, this non-rinse cleanser refreshes, soothes and preps the skin for subsequent skincare. Bioderma Sensibio H2O is also formulated with highly purified water – water that is completely free of impurities and irritants for pharmaceutical use. As the base ingredient, the superior grade of water used makes this cleanser ultra-gentle and a clear winner for sensitive skin.

There's also not one, but two exclusive patents for Bioderma Sensibio H2O:

#1 DERMO-PATENT Bioderma’s classic Dermo-Patent, also known as Dermatological Advanced Formulation (DAF) is found in most ranges and contains active ingredients such as antioxidants (mannitol), moisturisers (xylitol) and anti-inflammatories (rhamnose & laminaria) to soothe sensitive skin and strengthen skin’s resilience.

#2: TOLÉRIDINE™ PATENT Found in selected Bioderma Sensibio products, the Toléridine™ Patent combines active ingredients such as laminaria (golden seaweed) and enoxolone (licorice root extract) to reduce skin’s sensitivity by raising its tolerance threshold, and inhibit the production of pro- inflammatory cytokines.

As our skin comes under constant attacks from environmental pollutants caused by city traffic and pollution, as well as stress and UV radiation, proper cleansing is more important than ever. Women are also undergoing more aesthetic treatments than before, such as lasers, IPL, and chemical peels, so there’s a keener need for a responsible at-home skincare regimen that’s gentle to even sensitive skin. To meet the need, Bioderma is introducing two new additions to its Sensibio suite.

$33.90 for 200ml

The Bioderma Sensibio Gel Moussant is a gentle foaming gel with lipid-restoring properties that hydrates and calms sensitive skin.
The Sensibio Gel Moussant gently cleanses while hydrating and soothing sensitive skin. Enriched with skin conditioning ingredients such as coco-glucoside and glyceryl oleate, it also has lipid-restoring and moisturising properties. This mild cleanser can be used alone or part of a double cleansing routine after Sensibio H2O.

$19.90 for 150ml

The Bioderma Sensibio Dermatological Water is a face and body soothing spray made of highly purified water enhanced with an ideal balance of minerals that calms skin while maintaining healthy skin cells.

Using highly purified water that is enhanced by a perfect balance of mineral salts and oligo-elements, the Bioderma Sensibio Dermatological Water soothes skin while maintaining healthy skin cells.  A remarkable ally for sensitive skin, it combats various skin reactive signs. Soothing agents such as mannitol, rhamnose and zinc also provide quick and lasting relief to sensitive skin. I especially love the cooling, refreshing feeling it leaves on my skin after spraying. Also acts as a good perk-me-up spray when you're feeling a little sleepy at work. HEH!

The Bioderma Sensibio suite products are available at Watsons, Guardian, Unity, Robinsons, Tan Tock Seng Hospital and National Skin Centre. To find out more about Bioderma products, visit their website at www.bioderma.sg

Till then,
Mia Foo
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