Homecooks Spotlight: Iris of Little Bakes

HCP Apple Muffins 1

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Thank you so much for inviting me to this interview. I am very honoured to be able to be feature in Munch Ministry alongside renowned Mom Bloggers cum excellent cooks!

My name is Iris Tan, I am a full time working mum who loves to bake and cook occasionally. I enjoy handicrafts and loves making doll clothes. I have a very supportive husband and two school-going daughters, 13 years old and 6 years old. I am a Certified Practicing Accountant (CPA) and I work as a Finance Director for a local company. Being a mother made me a better and wiser person and I believe the best life lessons I had learnt came from my children.

What inspires you when it comes to food?
Healthy and easy to prepare food.

What do you enjoy about cooking or baking?
I enjoy baking, I usually bake at night when my kids are asleep. I find it therapeutic as it takes away my worries and allows me time to relax. I love how my kitchen is filled with fragrance after baking. I am not a superstitious person but I can be quite “Pantang” when it comes to baking. Like avoiding certain comments while baking, folding the flour in one direction, etc.

Where do most of your recipes come from?
Magazines, Internet and my mother and friends.

What is your favourite kind of food to make?
Stew with generous amount of dark soya sauce.

Do you plan a weekly menu? If so, what inspires your menu?
No, being a full time working mother leaves me little time to cook for my family. Weekends are usually filled with activities for the kids. I make it a point to cook and bake at least twice a month.

What is your favourite kitchen tool/appliance?
My beloved HappyCall Pan!

What is your best tip for getting dinner on the table?
Plan ahead.

What kind of food did you eat growing up? Do you cook the same kinds of things today?
My mother is a full time housewife who prepared 3 meals a day. I grew up in a close-knitted hokkien family, eating hokkien dishes. We cannot live without dark soya sauce.

What was the first dish you’ve ever cooked?
I cannot cook well until I met my husband, who is a “True Foodie”. I tried to whip up my first real serious dish, Curry Chicken, to impress him and my then future mother-in-law. I still remember the horror of having to chop up a whole chicken (with my eyes closed most of the time) but the consolation is, it tasted “Not bad” according to my husband. That was how I started trying out more recipes and learning to improve my cooking skills.

Which are your favourite food blogs/ websites?
The Munch Ministry website.

Please share a recipe with our Munch Ministry readers.

HCP Apple Muffins 1

Apple Muffins baked with HappyCall Pan
(Makes 12 Muffins)
Ingredients :
–         – 150g Plain Flour
–         –  ½ tsp Baking Powder
–         – ¼ tsp Baking Soda
–         –  ¼ bar of Salted Butter, soften at room temperature
–          – 70g Caster Sugar
–          – 1 Egg
–          – ½ tsp Vanilla Essence
–          – 1 Apple, peeled, cored and chopped (1 cm size)
–          – 50 ml Apple Juice

HCP Apple Muffins 2

Method :
1) Combine and sieve Plain Flour, Baking Powder and Baking Soda and set aside
2) In a large mixing bowl, hand whisk Butter and Sugar till smooth and creamy
3) Add in Egg in 2 batches and whisk till smooth, if it starts to curd, you can add in 1 tbs flour mixture
4) Stir in in Vanilla Essence, Apple Juice and Apple
5) Slowly blend in the Flour Mixture
6) Filled ¾ Muffins cup and Baked in HappyCall Pan (HCP) for 10 to 15 mins, low fire on medium-size stove head.
7) Shift HCP from side to side. Test the muffins with a skewer from the 10mins onward by inserting the skewer into the middle of each muffin, if the skewer comes out clean, your muffins is done.

* Optional: You may add Crushed Cornflakes or Thin Apple Slices on top of the Muffins before baking.

Notes :
1) You can substitute Salted Butter with Unsalted Butter + ¼ tsp salt
2) I recommend NZ Royal Gala Apples
3) For the apple juice, you can use freshly squeezed or packet juice bought off the shelf.
4) Baking with HCP require patience and judgement. First batch may take longer to bake while subsequent batches take shorter time
5) To prevent burnt bottom with HCP, I lined baking papers and put small baking/steaming rack in the HCP, then places the Muffin Cups on top of the rack.
6) For Conventional Oven:  Preheat oven to 220 deg C. Line muffin pans with muffin cups and baked for 18-20mins.

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Thank you so much Iris for sharing with us more about yourself with us.  If you want to find out more about Iris and her wonderful food, here is where you can find her!

Website : Little Bakes
Facebook: Iris Creation


All photos courtesy of Iris of Little Bakes

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