Have you seen or even tried any of the wonderful recipes that Cheryl aka Baking TaiTai has shared on her blog? We are so delighted to have her on our interview today. Please join us in welcoming Cheryl in our Homecooks Spotlight today!
Hi, this is Cheryl Lai of Baking Taitai. I am no ‘taitai’ actually as I am a busy stay-at-home-mum juggling two active kids and household chores. With a hectic schedule, the thought of baking has never cross my mind, let alone for one who has absolutely no interest in baking or cooking since young. About three years ago, I got inspired by a few friends who often post their delicious bakes to share on Facebook. Instead of salivating just by looking at those delectable bakes on screen, I decided to give it a shot! Another impetus was after going through a major surgery, I began to be interested in home baking/cooking using healthier ingredients. This is how I began my baking journey in July 2011 and have enjoyed this gastronomy ever since.
What inspires you when it comes to food?
Preparing delicious and yet natural, wholesome and nourishing food for my family.
What do you enjoy about baking?
First, I must thank God for this gift of baking. Baking allows the creativity in me to flow out and it’s a great de-stress for me too! I make time to do baking when my children are in school. I am on cloud nine to see the joy and excitement on their faces when they return home to see the bakes I have prepared for their afternoon snack. They are also proud to bring mommy’s bake to share with their friends in school.
My 6+ year old boy would sometimes ask me to guide him in baking cookies or cakes and I enjoy this great bonding time with him. Here’s my little baker at work.
Where do most of your recipes come from?
I adapted my recipes mostly from baking books, food blogs and some are my own creations. I prefer Taiwanese and Japanese recipes as it suit my palate more than the western ones.
What is your favourite kind of food to make?
Busy as a bee, one dish meal like pasta, fried rice and noodle dishes suit me best. My HappyCall pan and pots (inspired by Munch Ministry) are my great kitchen help in cooking these simple dishes as it can be whipped up in a jiffy and the non-stick property makes washing easy too.
What is your favourite recipe posted on your blog?
My favourite recipe is the basic healthy loaf recipe which can be found here (click on link). This recipe yields a soft and fluffy loaf of bread and you can create variations out of it. I am glad that it is well received by friends and family who have tried it.
What is your favourite kitchen tool/appliance?
My favourite kitchen appliance is the Kenwood breadmaker. I like it’s convenience and simplicity to bake a healthy loaf of bread without much effort and time. Am happy that I have inspired many friends to get one and now they can make healthy homemade bread without preservatives for their family.
What kind of food did you eat growing up? Do you cook the same kinds of things today?
I grow up eating authentic Hokkien dishes prepared by my maternal grandmother. I regretted not learning the skills and recipes from her in my younger days as I miss her cooking now. I am not a good cook and I hope to improve in this area one day.
What is your best tip to becoming a successful blogger?
To be sincere, genuine and willingness to share with others. I receive many emails from my fans and readers regarding baking problems they have encountered. I try my best to help them but sometimes I take a while to reply due to overwhelming emails and do seek their understanding in this.
Will you show us your kitchen? What is your favourite thing about your kitchen?
Here are my wet and dry kitchens. My dream kitchen is fulfilled early this year. The dry kitchen is a present from my dear hubby who has designed and customised it for me. I am also blessed with a new oven, steam oven and induction hob which are sponsored by a kitchen appliance brand.
Which are your favourite food blogs?
My favourite food blogs are Christine’s Recipes and Food For Tots. When I first started baking, Lai Kuan’s FFT blog is the one I visited often for inspiration. She is very creative and sincere. I have learnt much from her.
A recipe to share with Munch Ministry’s readers:
Here’s one simple, healthy & fuss-free recipe that I would like to share. It can be done within half an hour including baking time, great for the busy people! All you need is two bowls, a hand whisk and a rubber spatula.
180g organic unbleached flour (or plain flour)
20g organic wholemeal flour (you can replace it with plain flour if you prefer not to use wholemeal )
100g organic raw sugar (or caster sugar)
25g cocoa powder
1 tsp baking powder
3/4 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1 egg (60g)
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
250g greek style yogurt
85g unsalted butter, melted
1. Preheat oven at 200 degrees celsius.
2. Line a 12 cup muffin tin with paper cases. (You can use muffin cup liners if you do not own a muffin tin.)
3. In a large bowl, combine the first seven dry ingredients with a hand whisk.
4. In another bowl, beat the egg, vanilla extract, yogurt & melted butter together. Gently fold this mixture into the dry ingredients until all ingredients are incorporated. Take care not to over mix, the final mixture is of lumpy texture.
5. Fill the muffin cases till 2/3 full. Bake for 12-15 minutes or until a skewer comes out clean.