Prince William’s Biscuit Chocolate Cake a.k.a. Kek Batik [Recipe]

There was much a buzz when Prince William and Kate Middleton got married, given our colonial roots and heritage – it was really no surprise that this buzz would also hit Malaysia. I remembered my co-workers talking about it nonstop with the tv in the pantry area showing the wedding. Of course the most important part of the wedding to me was the food! Lots of yummy delights were showcased.

One in particular stood out which was the Royal Wedding Biscuit Cake:

Apparently it’s a childhood favourite of the Prince and he requested it to be served as an alternative to the official wedding cake (which I believe was a fruit cake. Yucks I hate fruit cakes with a passion!!!). When the commentators were describing the cake  it sounded awfully familiar to a certain Malaysian cake called “Kek Batik” (Batik Cake). I’m really not sure why it’s called Kek Batik, perhaps it’s because the biscuits pieces are reminiscent of a batik pattern? Who knows. A little Googling here and there showed that yes they were indeed the same cake! The difference is in the flavouring  ingredients which have been adapted to suit Malaysian tastes (and also economic costs since Chocolate and Nuts back in the day were really expensive).

The differences are as follows:
 British Recipe:
Calls for teatime biscuits, chocolate and nuts of some kind.

Malaysian Recipe:
Calls for Marie biscuits, Cocoa Powder and Milo Powder (contains no nuts).

I decided to see if I could marry the two. My initial recipe experiments showed that the British version lacked that familiar taste that I like from the Malaysian version and was way too firm but the pure Malaysian version lacked the richness and chocolateyness that the British one had. After several experiments, when I was about ready to give up, I stumbled upon an Australian Recipe (from the Junior Masterchef Cookbook) that uses Digestive Biscuits and Golden Syrup. Aha! The Golden Syrup was the very thing I needed to thin the chocolate without losing the consistency and flavouring! Also the use of the savoury Digestive Biscuits was quite ingenious actually as I always find the McVities Teatime and Marie biscuits far too sweet. So I incorporated those elements it into my next test and voila, I found the Kek Batik that had all the key components that I’d been searching for. Absolutely Malaysian in taste but still having the richness that the British one has.

A note on the chocolate:
I prefer to use semi-sweet or cooking chocolate because it’s less sweet and more chocolatey in flavour than Milk chocolate. I wouldn’t use dark chocolate because it gets a bit too bitter and while I suppose you could use couverture chocolate, honestly it’s a bit of a waste since you thin the chocolate out with Golden Syrup anyway. I’ve used semi-sweet and couverture and found the difference to be marginal and I preferred semi-sweet (or maybe the couverture chocolate we get in Malaysia is nasty, I’m sure if I used a Varlhona it would taste delightful? Who knows.)

A note on the nuts:
You can use any nuts that you fancy but I find that pistachios (which is called for in most of the British recipes) mixed with the chocolate and biscuits are absolutely heavenly. Almonds didn’t really make much of a difference in taste and Walnuts were really interesting for texture.

Hope you guys enjoy it!

Kek Batik Prince William (sorry couldn’t resist with the name!). 

Ingredients:
200g unsalted butter, softened, plus extra
1 tsp salt (if butter is not salted)
20 digestive biscuits (each biscuit cut into 4 quarters)
300g semi-sweet/cooking chocolate (chopped into pieces)
230g ( 2⁄ 3 cup) golden syrup
45g (1/3 cup) roasted pistachio kernels, roughly chopped
45g ( 1⁄ 3 cup) roasted walnuts, roughly chopped
2 tbsps of Milo powder (100% ghetto but 100% Malaysian!)
Cocoa powder, to dust

Method:

1. Melt the butter till it liquifies then mix the Milo powder till you get a chocolatey butter liquid. You’re gonna find the Milo powder to be clumpy when you add it to the butter so just add some muscle power into your whisking and whisk it over medium high heat.

2. Next add to the chocolatey butter liquid, the semi-sweet chocolate and golden syrup and melt everything together until smooth. Don’t let the liquid boil or the chocolate will burn so keep an eye on the fire. Add some salt to taste if your butter isn’t salted. Salt is a good thing when it comes to baking, don’t be afraid of it. 🙂

3. Meanwhile, mix the biscuits and nuts into a large bowl.

4. Add the chocolate mixture to the biscuits and nuts. Mix it evenly (but not too hard as you don’t want to break your biscuits). It’s gonna be really sticky at this point so just put more muscle power into the mixing (goodness you can get quite a workout from baking this cake!).

5. Put into a loaf tin (25cm X 18cm lined and greased so you can easily pop the cake out). Using a wet spoon to press the cake down into the loaf pan so there’s no air pockets and you create an even surface.

6. Put 1-2 hours in the fridge to firm out.

7. Take out the kek batik out of loaf tin and than sprinkle cocoa powder. You can also sprinkle Milo powder if you like it a little on the sweet side.

Selamat Hari Raya everyone 🙂 (taken during the Office’s Buka Puasa potluck where I brought some kek batik)

On a BJJ hiatus


So I’ve been on a hiatus from BJJ and any form of exercise since my sprained ankle. It’s been a real bumpy ride 😦 On the day itself I couldn’t walk much (had to use F as a crutch!) and the day after it was swollen and tender to the touch. I think it was only 3 days after the incident that I could walk around without help… Eek.

Just to give an update, there’s some good news and some bad news…. I’ll start with the good news, which is that the ankle is not too badly sprained. My best friend has some knowledge as a ‘tukung urut’ (traditional massage therapist) cause she grew up in the border town of Kota Bharu (the border in between Malaysia and Thailand). She’s really good and has been massaging me and my friends for ages, so she’s been regularly massaging my ankle with some traditional remedies (i.e. Minyak Gamat, a traditional oil made out of sea cucumbers. Weird stuff but apparently it’s very good for cuts, injuries and bruises). Anyway, her diagnosis is that the ankle isn’t too badly sprained.

But yeah well that’s the good news, the bad news is that the injury is mostly due to ‘bone bruise’. The bone in question that is bruised is the lower foot bone. It’s still swollen and tender to the touch, a week after the accident. I’ve read up on bone bruises and honestly, mine isn’t too bad but the worse thing is that, they take FOREVER to heal. 😦 And they are fragile little injuries, reinjury will just cause healing process to restart. Here’s a good visual picture to what the heck a bone bruise is:

So yeah, I think another week of rest will do my foot some good. 8 days after the injury it still hurts a little to walk and excessive walking usually leaves my foot really sore. F and I were practicing some moves we had seen from a tutorial but ummmmm no, the foot doesn’t like it and I was in pain most of the time. So for now it’s lots of ice, lots of rest, lots of massaging and lots of restlessness. 😦

I’m really hoping this heals up quickly as I’m competing in June for the Pan-Asians in Manila. The tickets were purchased way ahead of time so there’s no turning back. I’m almost gonna write the Pan-Asians off as a lost tournament but Coach always says that it’s a mental game, if you’re defeated in the mind before the match than you’ve all ready lost. So I’m keeping my hopes up and I’m gonna try to train my butt off (or as much as I can without reinjuring my foot) when I get back to the mats. Then again time will tell how hard I can train given the nature of the injury. I suppose I should compete, any tournament experience is a good one but it’s soooooooooooooooo bummy knowing that you didn’t train your full best. But oh well c’est la vie right?

On the flipside, not exercising after work or running off to class has allowed me to catch up with my friends and also snuggle up to my Nintendo DS. Ahhhhh video games, the hobby I was into before BJJ. Do I miss it? Kinda, but I think I miss exercising and BJJ more. 🙂

Injured (and for no good reason too!)

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As I was walking out of the bank after open mats today, I was distracted for a minute and I rolled on my ankle 😦

Malaysia has horrendous roads – full of potholes and uneven pavements and the like. So I landed onto a large crevice on the road and rolled my ankle, it felt like the most excruciating pain ever -it was like my ankle was on fire or something. I’ve always been lucky, I’ve never had a serious injury to my ankle before (the most a strain) so I was screaming and eventually later crying like a little girl (half from worry and the other half from the pain).

Sighhhhh. I’m now hobbling around the house, icing it every hour or so. It hurts like a MOFO when I put the slightest weight on it and that’s no fun really. The good thing is that there’s no major swelling as I rolled on the other side of the ankle joint (had I rolled on the same side of the ankle joint it would have been a whole different story). F says that’s a really good sign and I’ll be back on the mats in no time.

Anyway I don’t really have anyone to blame but myself. Should have been more careful but that’s a little late now – the shoulda, coulda or woulda. This is one of those ‘silly’ and totally ‘avoidable’ injuries. And yeah the fact that it’s a ‘silly’ injury makes me even more mad at myself for being less careful 😦

Hopefully I’ll be able to get back to the mats ASAP. No jits for the next couple of days 😦

Till then maybe I’ll concentrate on baking for a while 😦

Getting dirty in No-gi


My first ever No-gi tournament. FYI I’m the one on the right in the pink rashguard.
Photos are courtesy of BJJ Japanese Journalist Kinya Hashimoto
I’ve been taking my no-gi training a lot more seriously lately though I still maintain that I don’t like it much as Gi. Though I have to admit, I’m just a /little/ traumatized by No-gi… You see in my first ever no-gi tournament in my first match, I had the unfortunate luck to draw an opponent who is a Thai MMA fighter who’s been grappling No-gi for about 3 years. I read all that from Kinya Hashimoto’s blog and how she was suppose to go to Japan for a female MMA tournament called Smackgirl. That’s also where I got the pictures from. Hope he doesn’t mind me posting them here? T_T He also said I was heavy. I suppose in comparison to her (she’s like 45 kilos) I’m a giant. But still he said I was 58 Kilos when in reality I’m only 53 kilos. Uwaaaaaa… Am I bigger than I look? ;___; Hehehehe needless to say that match didn’t end well at all for me.


She caught my hand into an armbar and as you can see in the picture, my other hand is trying to stack her to save my arm but my base was pretty shitty at that point so she thrusts her hip forward, I fall back and bham she inverts the armbar to crank the submission. It’s a beautiful submission to look at I bet for the audience, just not fun to be in lol. Yeah can you say ouch? 😦 It popped my elbow but thank god it’s fully recovered with the occasional ache when the weather gets chilly (or as the Chinese like to call it “fung sap” or “rheumatism” in English). Well the good thing about it is that, I’m very aware of armbars now. My elbow twitches at the first ‘feeling’ of an armbar. Not to say I don’t get armbared now, but I think that incident just caused a hyper awareness to armbars. Or maybe my elbow is just scared shitless of them now lol.


Anyway, to get back to the topic of No-Gi, my apprehension to No-Gi probably stems from the fact that I just don’t ‘get’ No-gi quite yet and everything I’ve learned from Gi (controls, weight distribution) gets thrown out the window since there are no grips. =/ I feel like a total noob in No-Gi. I don’t really get how to play guard, I don’t really get how to pass guard, I don’t get where to grip, grips are totally weird and non existent once the sweat comes into play, etc…. It seems like a whole different planet or something.


Then there’s the whole issue of the ‘comfort’ zone. I’ve never had an issue with rolling with guys in Gi cause the Kimono Gi is so thick so there’s plenty of padding and stuff. But somehow in No-Gi since everything is so skin tight, I kinda feel sorry when rolling with the guys sometimes. Especially when I take their back and stuff….. I’m sure you all know where I’m getting at. It must undoubtedly feel uncomfortable since you have to remain very close to them to get the chokes and stuff so my chest is literally stuck right behind and well you know it ummm squishes lol. Heck it makes me feel uncomfortable to even type this. @_@ I wonder how you female no-gi grapplers deal with the comfort zone? Rolling with guys is a must since there’s so little girls in BJJ let alone those who train in No-Gi. Is it something you just get use to? Is it not even an issue and I’m just making a big deal out of it? Hmmmmm….

But you know, despite everything. I’m definitely going to stick and train No-Gi in earnest as I know it will improve my Gi game tremendously. It also encourages me to work on my conditioning because it’s very fast paced. The other benefit of No-Gi is the fact that I play guards I wouldn’t normally play in Gi such as Butterfly (ugh I hate butterfly sniff sniff ;_;) and the Sit-Up guard. Which is all fine and dandy since I shouldn’t have an over reliance on the Spider or the Knee Shield guard (both of which don’t work as well in No-Gi).

And you know going back to Ann (the Thai MMA fighter I was talking about in my first paragraph), if a girl her size and physique can take down much larger opponents with no problems at all…. I’m sure there’s still some hope for me in No-Gi.

Just got to train harder!!!!!! >_<

Caio Terra 111 Half Guard DVD Set


Caio Terra’s first instructional DVD set looks to be a very impressive set for the half guard game. I’m particularly excited since my half guard game is virtually non existent and every chance I have to play with a knee shield guard leads to getting passed 😦

Lucky for me, someone in the gym recently got a copy of it and I was fortunate enough to be able to borrow it from said person. So far popping in DVD 1, I was blown away with just the first section alone “Getting out of bad spots”. Can’t wait to try it out tomorrow during Gi class!

I must admit Caio Terra’s English is surprisingly very fluent. It’s very easy to understand but more importantly though, the guy is an amazing instructor. He breaks the technique and concepts down brick by brick making it very easy to learn. Quite surprising from someone who is so young. Though the one thing that cracks me up is how much he resembles Elijah Wood. I can’t help but think Gandalf is gonna bust in into the room telling him “Son you have to destroy the one ring dawg” lol…..

I honestly haven’t watched everything (it is 3 dvd’s after all and 5 hours of half guard goodness!). But here’s the complete chapter list I got from budovideos. You can purchase the DVD for USD100.00 from Budovideos.

Complete chapter list:

Getting out of bad spots Part 11. Recover full guard
2. Sweep from head control
3. Recovering knee shield from head control
4. Sweep with lapel and pants grip
5. Recovering knee shield from knee slide pass
6. Sweep from knee slide pass
7. Getting underhook from knee slide pass
8. Hip bump sweep
9. Sweep to mount when opponent moves to inverted half guard
10. Taking the back when opponent moves to inverted half guard
11. Roll over sweep when opponent moves to inverted HG

Getting out of bad spots Part 2 – Knee Shield

1. Taking the Back
2. Roll over sweep
3. Taking the back from knee grip
4. Kimura sweep/submission
5. Straight armlock
6. Collar choke
7. Collar choke to sweep to mount
8. Brabo choke
9. Brabo choke variation 2 with sweep
10. Brabo choke variation 3 with sweep
11. Taking the back when opponent pummels
12. Sweep when opponent pummels
13. Sweep 2 when opponent pummels with Kimura
14. Reverse triangle when opponent pummels
15. Sweep to kneebar
16. Roll under armbar 1
17. Roll under armbar 2
18. To the crucifix

Underhooks and hooks

1. Taking the back
2. Roll under sweep
3. Knee drag sweep
4. Knee push sweep
5. Ankle pick sweep
6. Underhook the knee sweep

When opponent attempts to move to inverted half guard
7. Arm trap with collar to ankle pick or Triangle finish
8. Take the back when opponent switches to inverted HG
9. Leg trap sweep when opponent switches to inverted HG.
10. Roll over sweep

Using leg hooks
11. Taking the back
12. Beating the overhook to the back with arm drag
13. Jumping to triangle from the knees
14. Takedown from knees
15. Single leg to back
16. Single leg takedown
17. Single leg takedown variation

Underhook when opponent pushes head
18. Toe grab to deep half guard sweep to knee bar
19. Take the back with lapel grip
20. Roll under sweep with lapel grip

Half Guard Single Leg

1. Takedown
2. kimura style sweep
3. dive under sweep with sleeve grip
4. Collar drag sweep
5. Collar drag variation with triangle
6. Lapel grip with foot on the hip sweep
7. Tomoe Nage to double leg takedown
8. Single leg sitting and standing

Half Guard Scissor

1. Scissor sweep
2. back roll sweep
3. X-gaurd technical lift
4. X-guard Sweep 1
5. X-guard Sweep 2
6. X-guard to the back

Deep Half Guard

1. Pendulum sweep
2. Pendulum to rollover sweep
3. Pendulum to the back/ sweep
4. Pendulum to Omoplata
5. Pendulum to Technical lift
6. Pendulum to Knee ride to back
7. Homer Simpson sweep
8. Homer Simpson to back
9. Homer Simpson to back 2
10. Collar grip hip bump sweep
11. Collar grip sweep
12. Double under sweep
13. Double under sweep 2

Inverted Half

Opponent attempts to go to Inverted Half
1. Take the back
2. Roll over sweep
3. Leg hook sweep

Inverted Half
4. Back roll sweep
5. Triangle
6. Kimura and Americana roll over sweep
7. Collar choke and sweep
8. Lapel grip sweep to mount
9. Lapel grip to the back

Upside down half

1. Sweep 1
2. Sweep 2
3. Triangle

Terra’s Guard

1. Backdoor escape to back
2. Sweep 1
3. Sweep 2
4. Sweep 3 with armlock
5. Triangle
6. Upside down armbar
7. Sweep to inverted half guard
8. Sweep to knee bar
9. Leg hook sweep

50/50

When opponent prevents back take
1. Kneebar
2. Kneebar to toehold
3. Sweep
4. To the back
5. Straight ankle lock

From cross grip
6. Calf slicer
7. Kneebar
8. To the back
9. Technical lift

Kimura

1. Kimura
2. Hip bump sweep
3. Sweep to armbar
4. To roll under armbar
5. Take the back

Canoodling [food review]

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I admit, I’m a real tomboy at heart. Don’t let the love for pink fool you and don’t let my domestic hobbies trick you either. I’m really a sorry excuse for a female. I spend maybe 10 mins max on my face every morning and I hardly wear make up at all. My weekend clothes consist of a tank top, beach shorts and of course flip flops. Again I’m hardly the exemplary Asian female but I do try every once in a while. Like today, I actually went for a facial and met up with my girlfriend Christy wearing a tank dress, leggings and heels. Goodness me, that doesn’t sound like me at all does it? Anyway we met up for lunch at Canoodling in Bangsar Village 2. The concept of the restaurant being as the name suggest, noodles. 🙂

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20110417-105226.jpg I really admire The Big Group’s sense of branding for each of their restaurants. They’ve always do a great job branding their restaurants from T Forty Two to DISH. The food on the other hand can range from mediocre to excellent, again it depends on the restaurant. But you can always count on these themed restaurants to attract the yuppy crowd (yours truly sadly included 😦 at least I admit it).

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The Yuppies in question lol.

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20110417-105220.jpg There’s a very hipster feel to the restaurant – with it’s bright yellow cutlery to the blackboard walls to the paper ‘table clothes’ where you’re encouraged to doodle. There was even a bean sprout plant to add color to the table. Nice! I really like the attention given to the details. It really does add to create a better ambience.

20110417-105145.jpg Apart from just noodles (soup and dry), the focus is also on healthy salads with dressings inspired from the noodles themselves. There’s also Asian appetizers like pandan fried chicken, salt and pepper squid and thai fish cakes. I was also surprise to find that they had a wide range of Asian desserts like Bubur Cha Cha.

Anyway Christy and I ordered a bunch of stuff to share between the two of us.
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Pad Thai Pasta was quite disappointing. There was hardly any taste of that famous pad thai sauce and the pasta noodles themselves were just a tad bit over al dente. As the picture shows, the pasta does not exhibit the classic pad thai orange sauce that comes from the tamarind paste mixed with fish sauce and palm sugar. In fact the dish itself wasn’t very sweet and was too savoury which in Thai food is a big no no since their obsessed with balancing all the flavours. As long as you don’t expect it to taste like a pad thai, the pasta dish was quite nice to be honest.

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The Pandan Chicken Wings were fried well and were crispy on the outside juicy within. However I really do think they could have flavored it better, it was a bit lacking in the spice department. More cumin, kunyit and salt would have done the trick me thinks. I really appreciate the fact that they gave a separate bowl for the bones. So thoughtful! But the dish itself? Quite 50/50 on it.

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Ahhh this was salt and pepper squids in a flour batter that was cooked Hong Kong style. Again the batter lacked flavor and was a little bit on the chewy soggy side but the sauce that came with it (green chillis in a tangy lime sauce) made up for it. Quite a miss actually.

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This was an interesting dish – Wasabi Sesame Jellyfish salad. I love the taste of wasabi but it was quite lacking in the dish. It tasted more like a creamy sauce with just a little hint of wasabi. The jellyfish itself was under cooked and hard (as you can see in the picture). Edible? Yes. Enjoyable? Kinda. :/

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Overall I think the food at Canoodling is mediocre at best. Not to say that the food is horrible but it just barely passes the average mark. I wouldn’t mind eating here if a bunch of friends wanted to but I wouldn’t go out of my way to eat here for the food. The service though is pretty good and the manager is very friendly and attentive.

Pros: Nice Ambience, Good service, Friendly manager and staff

Cons: Mediocre food (lacking in the flavor department)

Cost: RM10 for their noodles, RM8.90-RM9.90 for salads and RM3.90-RM9.90 for the appetizers.

Recommended: Not really :/