Baking #69: Mocha Muffins

I had just booked my multi destinations air tickets for Hong Kong and Shanghai. I will be booking my Taiwan air tickets in a short while when Sister is available on Whatsapp. I purposefully chose to transit at Hong Kong as I wanna travel into Taiwan with Eva Air Hello Kitty Jet. Ever since I knew that Eva Air has this Hello Kitty Jet, I had been intrigued. Even Kaylie asked me to get some limited edition souvenirs on board if available.

Anyways, my leave application was finally approved and the ticket price had hiked up to about B$150 from last seen. Accommodation had been reserved but I am still looking for cheaper alternatives in within the city centre and easy access to the Metro. My colleague suggested Ximending area as there is a Metro station nearby and majority shops and shopping malls are located in the area.

I had even found a Taiwan travel guide book in the office but my colleague told me to not to try those eating places suggested in the book as they were only average and overrated. When it comes to food hunt, try whatever you get to. There is no need to go to a specific place for a specific food as they are mostly similar.

Anyways, enough of my Taiwan ramblings and let’s get started with what I am about to do today – Mocha Muffins. I made these muffins last week but never gotten round to update on it as I had been lazy in the past weeks and work had been hectic too.

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Mocha Muffins (adapted from DessertzHouse)

First batch …

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Second batch …

Without further ado, let’s get started with the ingredients and directions of making these Mocha Muffins.

Ingredients:

  • 340g cake flour
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon *omitted*
  • 2.5 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 tbsp instant coffee granules
  • 140g unsalted butter, softened
  • 180g brown sugar *150g*
  • 2 eggs
  • 260g natural plain yogurt
  • 170g chocolate chips

Directions: 

  1. Mix dry ingredients – cake flour, ground cinnamon, baking powder, baking soda, salt and instant coffee granules together. Sift and set aside.
  2. Cream butter and brown sugar until light and fluffy.
  3. Add in eggs one at a time and beat until well combined before adding the next egg.
  4. Add butter mixture and yogurt into the sifted flour mixture, mix well.
  5. Using a spatula, gently fold in the chocolate chips.
  6. Scoop the mixture evenly with a ice-cream scoop in between paper cases.
  7. Bake in a preheated oven of 190 degree Celsius for about 20 to 25 minutes or until an inserted cake tester comes out clean in the centre of a muffin.

I was pretty disappointed with the outcomes of these muffins as I think I overdid the batter. The muffins turned hard and dry when cooled. I had promised to give Kaylie some in the first place but decided not to when they were so dry and hard on the next day. The coffee taste was pretty subtle in my opinion while parents complained that the chocolate chips were too much and they find the muffins too sweet for their liking.

We couldn’t finish the muffins so Mom gave the remaining muffins away to the workmen working in the next house. But of course, she heated them first before giving them away.

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Review: Lancome Galateis Douceur Gentle Softening Cleansing Fluid Face & Eyes

Decided to blog at this hour as I am still waiting for my current favorite China Mainland drama series to be available for download. I am never a huge fan of China Mainland drama series as I find them rather boring and predictable most of the time but this 千金女贼 (Lady Liar) caught my attention and I had been following every episodes since the day I started downloading it. The series will end on Chinese New Year Eve.

Anyways, I went for a whitening facial treatment at Elizabeth Arden yesterday evening after work. I was supposed to have a complete facial treatment last Sunday morning but Shet Fui could not make it so I rescheduled the appointment again and had whitening facial treatment only. I don’t want my skin to go all red and blotchy during CNY from the pore extractions.

Surprisingly enough, Shet Fui mentioned that my skin condition had improved drastically compared to the last time she did facial on my skin. My pores were visibly smaller in size and best of all, no clogged pores! She did pore extractions yesterday evening but there were not much to be extracted, only one or two whiteheads.

But anyways, I will be doing my virgin review on a Lancome product today. It is rare that you see me buying a Lancome product as I find the pricing to be slightly steeper compared to what I had been using all these while. I got this Lancome Galateis Douceur Gentle Softening Cleansing Fluid Face & Eyes from Sister last September. She had only used half and gave the entire bottle to me as she preferred other cleansing oils over this.

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Lancome Galateis Douceur Gentle Softening Cleansing Fluid Face & Eyes

To be honest, I had never been a huge fan of cleansing milk compared to cleansing oil and water. But I fell in love with this cleansing milk the first time I used it. It is extremely gentle on the skin to the extent that you can even use it on the eyes without stinging or irritation. This products comes in two versions and sizes- dry & normal skin type and 200ml & 400ml.

I had only known about the versions when I was observing the products displayed at Lancome, Hua Ho Yayasan last Sunday morning. The one that I have got here is for normal skin type. The one for dry skin type comes with pink stripe underneath the dispenser.

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The texture is slightly creamy but light at the same time. It has a refreshing scent in which I find the fragrance level still bearable. All you need is two pumps of the liquid to have a perfectly cleansed face. Gently massage the liquid onto the skin in circular motion and make sure that all areas were covered before emulsifying the liquid with lukewarm water.

Instead of turning milky color during emulsification, the liquid turned transparent. You can choose to either wipe off the emulsified liquid or rinse your face with lukewarm water. For my case, I would wipe the emulsified liquid with a piece of cotton pad and then rinse with lukewarm water followed by my usual facial cleanser. It is advisable that you do double cleansing every day albeit you do not wear makeup during the day. I am one who do not wear makeup but I chose to do double cleansing at the end of each day as you would never know what your skin picked up during the day.

After having used this cleansing milk for more than two weeks, I can say that I am extremely impressed with the performance. It leaves my skin feeling soft, smooth, clean and refreshed after each wash. Best of all, it doesn’t give my sensitive skin any breakout after usage. The only downside of this product is the price.

So, here’s what I think of Lancome Galateis Douceur Gentle Softening Cleansing Fluid Face & Eyes in a nutshell:

Pros:
1. Extremely gentle on the skin, can be used around the eyes.
2. A little goes a long way, only two pumps are needed per wash.
3. Light textured and smelled nice.
4. Leaves the skin soft, smooth, clean and refreshed after each wash.
5. No breakout!

Cons:
1. Expensive.

Overall Rating: 5 out of 5

Price: B$55 (200ml), B$79 (400ml)

Repurchase? Definitely!

November, December & January Empties

As promised, here comes my update on skincare products rather than the usual food or baking blog entries. The reason why I am compiling the empties of three months together rather than the usual two months was that I could not remember when I emptied most of them. Anyways, most of my empties here were repeats as I have a few holy grail products nowadays.

It is rare that you see me having repeating empties as I am never a stickler when it comes to skincare products as I love trying out new products. But I had been having a few holy grail products since a year ago when I find that they work wonders on my skin. So, I decided to incorporate them into my skincare routine on permanent basis.

Without further ado, let me show you my empties for November, December and January!

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Kose Sekkisei Lotion | RM260

This has been my holy grail toner for two years or so. I had lose track of how many bottles of this toner I had used so far. I had used a few other brands of toners but none of them were as good as this. This toner contains a higher level of alcohol compared to other toners in the market but my skin felt okay with it albeit I have quite a sensitive skin.

Clinique Moisture Surge Extended Thirst Relief | RMB272

This product is currently my holy grail daytime moisturizer. I am currently on my second tub of this product and I am also planning to get another tub from Shanghai Pudong International Airport next month. It gave my skin the right amount of moisture and hydration, leaving it feeling soft and supple after application. It absorbs well onto my skin and it doesn’t leave my skin feeling heavy even after I applied a layer of sunscreen.

Origins Plantscription Anti-Aging Eye Treatment | RM190 

I bought this eye cream after heavy introduction of Origins products on anti-aging by Sister. She had been using Origins eye creams for quite some time for pre anti-aging. This is one good pot of eye cream as it is minimally scented and works good enough to what it claimed to be.

But unfortunately, the product is not available nearby and I preferred Artistry Youth Xtend Enriching Eye Cream for the same performance but fared better.

Elizabeth Arden Visible Difference Good Morning Retexturing Primer | B$65

This has also been my holy grail for more than a year. It took me approximately half a year to finish a bottle of 15ml. I had never liked this product at first but fell heads over heels in love with it when I found the right dose to use on my face.

To be honest, this product is unlike other skincare products whereby you will see results after weeks or months of usage. For your information, this product gives your skin a protective layer against the dry and cool air from the air-conditional or dirt/dust around you from getting into your skin directly.

The Body Shop Camomile Silky Cleansing Oil | B$24.90

This is a good bottle of cleansing oil but it is not something which I would consider purchasing again. It has a nice floral scent but it is the after feeling which I did not like about the product. It cleanses the skin very well but you could still feel oil residue on the skin albeit rinsing them off with lukewarm water and the only way to get rid of the oil layer is by further cleansing the skin with your usual facial cleanser.

Of Random Things #57

Today hasn’t been a productive day as I did not manage to get what I wanted done. I was supposed to do facial treatment today but it was cancelled due to an unforeseen circumstance. So, the appointment was rescheduled to next Sunday. I intended to do a “complete” facial treatment today and whitening treatment for next Sunday.

But due to the time constraint before Chinese New Year, I will resort to doing whitening treatment only next Sunday as I do not want my skin to look blotchy and red from the extraction during Chinese New Year. By the way, I will have reviews of several skincare products coming up shortly after all the hiatus on updating about the skincare products which I had tried and tested all these while.

As mentioned in my previous blog entry, I had attempted Dried Cranberries Cookies this afternoon after I am done catching up on my latest drama obsession of 千金女贼 (Lady Liar). Anyways, this Dried Cranberries Cookies attempt on mine was not as successful as I anticipated them to be. Recipe was adapted from Nasi Lemak Lover but with my own modifications.

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Dried Cranberries Cookies (adapted from Nasi Lemak Lover)

06022015 / Excapade Sushi, Times Square

Glad that it is finally weekend today and Chinese New Year is just around the corner. I am thinking of baking cookies this year for a change. I had never baked any CNY goodies before. So, I am thinking of baking some cookies for close friends this year. I had only baked cookies once ever since I started baking regularly. If time permits, I shall start with Dried Cranberries Cookies tomorrow.

Anyways, Kaylie and I met up for dinner yesterday evening as I needed to make some cash deposits at various banks. So, we agreed to meet at Excapade Sushi, Times Square as Kaylie wanted to buy some drinks from Ochado and Chickies from Sugar Bun. And coincidentally, I was craving for sashimi yesterday evening.

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Salmon Don | B$10

So, I got my craving fixed with a bowl of Salmon Don. To be honest, this was the first time I ordered raw salmon with rice. But thankfully, it was good and I managed to polish them all off. My order of Salmon Don comes with a small bowl of miso soup. The salmon slices were fresh and juicy. There were some pickled radishes underneath those nicely presented salmon slices. I am not a huge fan of wasabi so I seasoned them with the complimentary soy sauce placed on every dining tables.

Excapade Sushi Times Square
G1, Ground Floor,
Times Square Shopping Centre,
Bandar Seri Begawan,
Brunei Darussalam.
Tel: +673-2342912 / +673-7189912