Malaysian Soft Boiled Eggs

So I recently started using a DSLR and white cardboard to take some project photos… and then this happened in the morning.

Malaysian Soft Boiled Eggs

Yes, I somehow managed to make my homemade breakfast look like a marketing ad (totally adding this into the “skills” section of my resume). Well, I suppose I could use it to advertise my uber cute chicken cup like this:

Malaysian Soft Boiled Eggs

… Or to promote the idea of eating breakfast like this:

Malaysian Soft Boiled Eggs

Anyway, this all started last week when I stumbled upon this chicken cup in a random gift store. I was completely smitten (as usual). My initial purpose for it was simply eggs in a cup or a mini creamer jug, but nowadays it has also become one of my dad’s regular espresso cups, which is a bonus for me. I can’t even begin to describe how cute it is to watch my dad sipping coffee nonchalantly from a chicken cup while reading a newspaper in the morning.


Anyway, back to the recipe.

Soft boiled eggs are one of my favourite breakfasts of all time, and my perfect analogy of “less is more”. It’s often the simplest things that give me the most happiness in life.

There’s a reason why I specified these soft boiled eggs as “Malaysian” (or Singaporean). There is actually a technical difference between our version and the conventional (Western or Japanese) version. If you type “soft boiled egg” in a search engine, the majority of results will show egg soldiers with firm egg whites and runny egg yolks.

However, try looking up “Malaysian soft boiled egg” and you’ll notice that both egg whites and yolks are runny, like the ones in my chicken cup. That’s because we remove the eggs from heat just before the egg whites become firm, and then crack them into a bowl to eat – or maybe I should say “drink”. The texture is smooth and runny, and the eggs will literally slide down your throat.

These soft boiled eggs originated from our traditional kopitiam (“coffee shop”) culture in Malaysia and Singapore, in which the typical breakfast menu consists of runny soft boiled eggs, kaya (coconut jam) on toast, and coffee.

We even have a special device invented by Malaysians, for Malaysians just to boil the eggs in this style. If you have some free time to spare, do check out some beautiful pictures on this blog and learn how our ingenious egg boiler works.

Okay, back to the recipe. For real.

In the end, there’s really nothing fancy about this recipe since it’s just eggs being cooked to a certain degree. Ultimately it boils down to the timing (no pun intended).


“Malaysian Soft Boiled Eggs”

Ingredients

2 eggs per person. I don’t know if this applies to my fellow Malaysians, but I’ve always had this general belief (yes, it’s a belief) that one person gets 2 eggs each regardless whether we’re at home or a coffee shop.

Method

  1. Make sure your eggs are at room temperature if you’re taking them out of the fridge.
  2. Boil water in a pot.
  3. Once the water is boiled, carefully lower the eggs into the water and make sure they are submerged in the water.
  4. Close the lid over the pot and boil for 7-8 minutes, or slightly longer if you’re boiling more eggs (my usual quantity is 8).
  5. Remove eggs and let them cool for a minute.
  6. Crack eggs into a bowl and sprinkle with salt, pepper, and a dash of soy sauce.

Tips:

  1. If your eggs are too cold from the fridge, they may crack when submerged in boiling water.
  2. If you are cooking many eggs at once, you may have to let the eggs boil longer as the quantity of eggs will lower the temperature of the water.
  3. When you crack the eggs, remember to scrape the remaining egg white inside the eggshells.
  4. Try breaking the egg yolks and dipping your toast into the white/yolk mixture. That is some amazing stuff.

Get into the habit of kickstarting your days with a healthy and nutritious breakfast, and make sure your loved ones do too!

Have a wonderful day (and breakfast) ahead ♫꒰・‿・๑꒱

Travel Tuesdays

Hellooo, it’s Travel Tuesdays!! … Kidding, I don’t really have a fixed schedule for my content yet – at least not for now. Although “Travel Tuesdays” does sound pretty good and I’m noting this down for future reference (*`∀´*)

I had initially planned to write my first travel post instead of this, but then I thought I should begin with a few background facts about myself beforehand, so that I can provide a clearer context to my experiences and paint a better picture. So consider this an introductory post and please bear with the lack of visual content – I’ll make up for it in the next post xx


  • I was born and raised in Malaysia, attended college in Sydney, did my university degree in Melbourne, and worked in Beijing for a year. I have recently settled down back in Malaysia.
  • During the course of studying and working overseas, I’ve had the privilege of travelling with my family across the globe to beautiful countries / cities such as New Zealand, the States, Germany, Taiwan, Hong Kong, China, and Japan.
  • I am multilingual, as most Malaysians are. I’m fluent in both English and Mandarin, and able to speak and write Malay, Japanese, and Cantonese. I can also understand Chinese dialects such as Hokkien and use selective Hakka phrases to communicate with my grandmother (i.e. “Ok will study hard”, “I’ll buy you biscuits when I come back”, “Working life sucks, grandma!” and “Happy birthday, grandma!”).

Every time I reminisce about the past 4 years that I spent living out of a suitcase and experiencing different cultures all over the world, I always feel an overwhelming a rush of gratitude towards my parents. I never gave much thought about this back then, but they carefully planned my education path and provided me a myriad of travel opportunities, to ensure that I would receive quality education and be well exposed at the same time.

(Pa and Ma, if you’re reading this. Thank you, I love you so much.)

In a way, Whisk & Maps reflects my coming of age, as well as my desire to become a well-rounded individual and to do well in whatever I set out to do. Because I enjoy baking, travelling, and writing so much, I want to be able to share what makes me happy and create content that people will enjoy reading. I can’t say what exactly I’m expecting to get out of this blog – I just know it’s a continuous learning process that I’m prepared to delve into for a long time.

Back then I hadn’t thought of documenting my travels, hence there were a lot of photos I failed to take, and many weren’t taken at the best angles. For now I’ll just be sharing snippets of my travel logs with the material I have at hand, but eventually I want to be able to compile them into a comprehensive travel guide and provide useful information to readers.

I absolutely can’t wait to travel again, now that I have a renewed purpose for Whisk & Maps (*˘︶˘*)

Here’s a sneak preview of my upcoming Maps post. Can you guess where?

Travel Tuesdays

Dark Chocolate Cupcakes w Almond Buttercream Frosting

Dark Choc Cupcakes

MAKE WAY FOR CHOCTOBER!

Ever since my baking projects became edible to the outside world, I realised I could solve one first world problem that I’ve always faced.

Birthdays.

Whenever it comes to buying gifts for other people, I tend to be really picky and hard on myself. We all know how challenging it is to get a gift that’s aesthetically pleasing, reasonably priced, good quality, and functional altogether… or maybe I’m just overthinking as usual.

Thankfully, I’ve recently gotten confident enough to turn my DIY craft and baking projects into gifts, which is an absolute lifesaver since I can never decide properly on store-bought pressies!

Last weekend was my cousin’s birthday, and since his 3-year-old son i.e. my cute nephew is allergic to eggs, I decided to deliver some egg-free chocolate cupcakes to their doorstep. I think my nephew loves me a little bit more now.

I did a quick recipe search online and found that the ingredients were pretty standard, and that they all used 1 cup of sugar. Now I know most homemade recipes already call for less sugar than typical commercial cakes, but I was still mortified nevertheless. “One… whole… cup?”

Wow Sugar

Unwilling to deviate too far away from my Paleo ways, I ended up making a brave decision to halve the sugar despite not tasting the end product, and it paid off! My cousin ate two cupcakes on the spot.

Plus I discovered my favourite baking compliment of all time. Just three magical words. Say it and I’m yours (✧° ∇ °✧)

“Not too sweet.”

Welcome to the dark side xx


“Dark Chocolate Cupcakes”

Ingredients 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour 1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder 1/2 cup molasses (sugar) 1 tsp baking soda 1 tsp sea salt 1 tsp vanilla extract 1/2 cup coconut oil 1 cup water 1 tbsp white vinegar Method

  1. Preheat oven to 170ºC or 325ºF and fill a cupcake tray with cupcake liners (I prepared 10).
  2. Whisk the dry ingredients (flour, cocoa powder, molasses, baking soda, salt) together.
  3. Using a stand mixer, mix the wet ingredients (coconut oil, water, vanilla extract, vinegar) together.
  4. Add the dry ingredients in and continue mixing until the batter is smooth well combined. Scrape down the sides of the mixing bowl if necessary.
  5. Pour chocolate mixture evenly into the cupcake liners and bake for 15-20 minutes. At the 15-min mark, test the cupcakes using a skewer. If the skewer comes out clean, your cupcakes are ready.
  6. Place cupcakes on a metal rack to cool. Do not steal a bite.

“Almond Buttercream Frosting”

Ingredients 1/2 cup almond butter 1/4 cup cow’s milk (can be substituted w dairy-free milk) 1 1/2 tbsp maple syrup 1 tsp salt Method Mix ingredients well using a hand-mixer or food processor. If the frosting is too thick to pipe, gradually add more milk until desired consistency is achieved. Note: Dust cupcakes with a pinch of coconut flour (optional)


I have to highlight the importance of cocoa powder in this recipe here. Not only is it a key ingredient, the quality of cocoa powder you use will draw the fine line between mediocrity and excellence. High quality cocoa powder will result in a deeply flavoured, beautifully dark, moist chocolate cupcake that melts in your mouth. I used Loving Earth Raw Organic Cacao Powder – an Australian brand that sources cacao beans from Peru. Pricey, but so worth it.

Loving Earth Cacao Powder

As the cupcakes baked happily in the oven, the fragrance of the raw cacao powder was unbelievable. In a rich, amazing kinda way. It filled up the whole kitchen and lifted my spirits and I couldn’t help but let out a contented sigh – wait, why does it sound like I was taking crack? (・ㅂ・) Anyway, you get the picture.

(I hate that kind of stuff btw. I’ve never even smoked a ciggie in my life.)

Finally, I decided to make up for my horrible piping skills by creating visual distractions i.e. mini decorative polka dot flags, using toothpicks and some washi tape from Daiso. I think I succeeded.

Dark Choc Cupcakes

Can’t wait to make a Paleo version of these babies.

Raspberry Chia Seed Jam

Raspberry Chia Seed Jam

Full Metal Alchemist: Brotherhood, one of my favourite anime of all time, used to quote the Law of Equivalent Exchange:

“To obtain, something of equal value must be lost.”

Of course things aren’t nearly as exaggerated in real life, but the takeaway message is: You reap what you sow. In order to achieve a desired result, you must be prepared to put in an equivalent amount of effort or more. It made perfect sense to me, and this mindset has brought me a long way.

Little did I know that Raspberry Chia Seed Jam would breeze along one fine day, challenging my ideals and proving that good things can still happen to you occasionally, on days that you don’t try so hard.

So let’s be thankful for little cheats like this, and bid all the pricey store-bought spreads farewell.

This one’s so ridiculously easy I’m giving it a .5 on a scale of 1-10. I could explain the whole thing in one sentence. In fact, its name is already a dead giveaway.

Just like homemade nut butters, I’m well aware that this amazing concoction has been covered by recipe bloggers over a million times. The ingredients are always going to be the same. You really can’t go wrong with this, unless you mistake poppy seeds for chia seeds (I didn’t, I swear). Yet I’m still going to go ahead and contribute another raspberry chia jam post to the Internet. Because I need to archive this in my blog.

Plus I already took pictures, let’s not put them to waste (*`∀´*)


“Raspberry Chia Seed Jam”

Ingredients

1 1/2 cup raspberries (fresh / frozen)
3 tbsp chia seeds
1 tsp honey (optional)

Method

Use a fork to mash raspberries and stir in the chia seeds, then refrigerate overnight and wait for magic to happen.


See. One sentence.

By “magic”, I mean the part where the chia seeds soak up the raspberry juice and produce a gel-like substance, thickening the mixture into jam consistency. No additives needed. Chia seeds will take time to expand though, so just be patient and remember that good things come to those who wait. Or else you’ll just end up with raspberry chia seed juice. Which is not bad either… but come on you can do better than that.

You can also create variations of this jam using strawberries, blueberries, black currants, etc. Feel free to add a teaspoon of honey or any natural sweetener of your choice, though I personally like it as it is.

Once the raspberry chia seed jam is ready, SPREAD IT LIKE WILDFIRE! Spread it on your toast, top your waffles and pancakes with it, pair it with hot scones, make a yogurt parfait… the possibilities are endless.

Raspberry Chia Seed Jam

Paleo banana bread with a generous slab of butter and raspberry chia seed jam are a heavenly combination. And we all know that good days begin with wonderful breakfasts.

Happy Friday, xoxo

Tea Bag Butter Cookies

“With enough butter, anything is good.”
– Julia Child

Tea Bag Butter Cookies

Not your teapical butter cookies!

These are perfect for afternoon tea snacks and impressing your guests. One of my favourites since I had the chance to combine baking with a little art and creativity. Also because I’m a sucker for cute food presentation. Yes that includes kyaraben (character bentos) – I follow heaps of them on Instagram… (´∀`ゞ


“Tea Bag Butter Cookies”

Ingredients

2 cups all-purpose flour
8 ounces (225 g) unsalted butter
1 egg yolk
1/2 cup molasses (sugar)
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt

Method

  1. Using a whisk or hand-mixer, beat butter, molasses, salt, and vanilla extract together until smooth and creamy.
  2. Mix in the egg yolk, and scrape down the sides of the bowl if necessary.
  3. Add flour and mix gently, just until incorporated.
  4. Lightly sprinkle some flour onto a board and roll the dough into a log. To make life easier, shape the log into a long hexagon first so that it resembles a row of teabags stuck together. You can then slice them later on without having to shape them individually.
  5. Wrap the log with cling wrap and refrigerate for several hours until dough is firm.
  6. Meanwhile, draw / print out your teabag labels (I simply cut out small square pieces from a white card and drew on them). Staple or tape some thread / string to the back of the labels.
  7. When ready to bake, preheat oven to 170ºC or 325ºF.
  8. Prepare a tray and line it with baking sheets / parchment paper.
  9. Slice dough into 1/4″ or 0.75cm-thick slices. If they don’t already look like tea bags, shape them with a knife. Using a skewer, carefully poke a hole on top of each dough slice so that you can thread the “tea bags” later.
  10. Place dough slices on the baking sheets. Leave some space for cookies to expand slightly during the baking process.
  11. Bake for 12-15 minutes (varies depending on your oven) or until the edges turn slightly golden brown.
  12. After cookies cool down, tie the teabag labels to each cookie.


Tea Bag Butter Cookies

These hand drawn tea bag labels were extremely fun and addictive to make, and certainly unleashed the inner artist / hipster in me! I cut out square pieces of white card, outlined the drawings with a pencil, and then coloured them using my favourite Muji pen collection.

I basically just drew whatever came to mind. Interestingly, you’ll find yourself drawing things that directly or indirectly influence and inspire you in your daily life. Judging from mine – Twitter, anime, typography, coffee, and The Fault in Our Stars are some obvious ones ꒰•ᴗ•꒱

DIY Ice Cream Stitch Card

DIY Ice Cream Stitch Card

 “Eternal Summer”

I grew up in Malaysia, a tropical country with hot and humid weather all year round, hence the caption. Sometimes I really wish we could experience four seasons, because the daily temptation of ice-cream / cold desserts in this hot and sticky weather is just too damn high.

Then again, it probably wouldn’t change anything because I like to eat regardless of the weather ( *´艸`)

Handmade cards are inexpensive yet thoughtful gifts for your loved ones. They’re also perfect for room decor! This is a no-fuss DIY project that can easily be tweaked and improvised upon.


“DIY Ice Cream Stitch Card”

Tools & Materials

A piece of black / white card, 10cmx15cm (or any blank greeting card)
Pencil, ruler & eraser
A needle
Embroidery thread

Method

DIY Ice Cream Stitch Card

1. Start off by sketching your drawing with a pencil. I sketched on the back of the card instead of the front because I didn’t want to risk leaving any discernible pencil marks. It might not be obvious on a black card, but if you’re using white or light colours, it’s better to work behind the scenes.

Alternatively, you may download the printable template here (right click and save image as).

For black cards –  Ice Cream Sketch (white outline)
For white cards – Ice Cream Sketch (black outline)

DIY Ice Cream Stitch Card

2. Place the card against an old pair of jeans / any surface you wouldn’t mind piercing dozens of holes through. Using a needle, poke holes (patiently) along your sketch. Erase the pencil marks upon finishing. The end product will be an “embossed” outline of the soft-serve ice cream on the front card.

Tips :

Protect the finger you will be using to grip the needle by wearing a thimble or wrapping some tissue paper as a cushion. I failed to do so and the blunt tip of the needle inadvertently jabbed against my finger every time I pushed the needle through the card (ಥ_ಥ) I ended up bruising my finger by the time I finished.

Try to poke holes that are not too far apart from each other and with equal spacing. This is a tedious process that requires precision and a lot of concentration to do well, so be patient and take breaks if you need to.

DIY Ice Cream Stitch Card

3. Let the threading begin! Starting from the back of the card, tie a big knot using some thread and weave through the holes in a random, criss-cross manner using a needle. Secure with another big knot once you run out of thread, and repeat the criss-cross process until you’re happy.

Tips :

 Make sure all of your knots begin and end at the back of the card so that they’re invisible on the front card (refer to the last picture below).

Secure your knots tightly to ensure that they cannot be tugged through the card. Do this by tying the thread multiple times (I usually tie mine 6-7 times) around the same knot so that the knot becomes bigger than the hole you’ve poked and won’t slip through.

DIY Ice Cream Stitch Card

The colour scheme is entirely up to you. I made this for a friend and her favourite flavours are matcha and mango, so I picked green (matcha), yellow (mango), and white (vanilla). I used light brown for the cone because I’m conventional like that.

DIY Ice Cream Stitch Card

Behind the scenes. Alternatively you can repeat the criss-cross pattern at the back card – and it’s probably easier do so – but I chose to keep a nice and neat outline instead.


 I love stitch cards! ♡

Prelude

Hello! Thank you for visiting Whisk & Maps.

Whisk & Maps is a visual diary dedicated for your viewing pleasure and my writing pleasure. This is where I’m going to document my kitchen musings and little DIY projects. I’m also borrowing a small space to pen down my personal thoughts and occasional ramblings.

I hope you like what you see.

Yours truly,
Yan