Panda Bread: A failed attempt

Just yesterday, Ruth from the mommy cafe posted a picture of the panda bread on FB and asked if anyone could bake it. It got me excited because I have the recipe bookmarked but never got to baking it. So, I thought I should get down to doing it and perhaps bless her kid with it. A search on the internet resulted in a Japanese website but thankfully there are bloggers who have translated it into English.

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I have consolidated the recipe via two sources: one from here and the other one from a blogger who has baked bread as a project. How cool!

I must warn you that this is a failed attempt, a result of poor technique. The next time I attempt this again, I will not be using the normal loaf pan but the pullman loaf tin.

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Adapted from Taro Taro
Ingredients: Makes a 9 x 5 inch bread

230g bread flour
70g cake flour
30g sugar
90g milk + 1 yolk (30g) = 210g
4.5g salt
20g unsalted butter
4g yeast
8g green tea powder dissolved in 10g boiling hot water
8g cocoa powder dissolved in 8g boiling water

Method:
1. Heat up milk and yolk to temperature of 38C or warm to the touch.20130704-133628.jpg

2. In the bowl of a stand mixer, whisk together the flour, sugar, salt, and yeast. Add the milk and egg. Using the dough hook, mix on low speed until a rough dough forms, 1 to 2 minutes. Add the butter. Increase the speed to medium-low, and knead for 6 to 7 minutes. The dough should clear the sides of the bowl, and should be smooth and just a little sticky to the touch. Add a little extra flour or water during the kneading process, if necessary to achieve the proper consistency. Do the window-pane test.

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3. Divide dough (about 560g) into 3 parts: 75g for the chocolate, 210g plain and the rest of the dough which is less than 280g for the green tea.

4. Add chocolate to the 75g dough and knead till the colour is even. Add green tea mixture to the 280g dough and knead till colour is even. (I did this step manually).

5. Proof all 3 pieces of doughs on separate greased plates covered loosely with oiled cling wrap for 30 – 40 minutes.

6. Punch air out of dough and proof for another 20 – 30 minutes.

7. Use 90g plain dough for the face and 2 pieces of 27g chocolate dough for the eyes.

8. Fill the hollow of the eyes with 30g plain dough.

9. Roll remaining plain dough over the patterned dough.

10. Divide the remaining chocolate dough into 2 pieces (17.5g each) for the ears.

11. Use 70g of the green tea dough to fill up the hollow between the ears.

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12. Wrap the rest of the green tea dough all around the patterned dough.

13. Place dough into a well-greased loaf pan and cover it with a lid and proof for 50 – 60 minutes.

14. Bake at 200C for 25 – 30 minutes.

Out from the oven and you know it has failed.

Out from the oven and you know it has failed.

Mine looks more like a monster.

Mine looks more like a monster.

Towards better skin with NIVEA Body UV Whitening Serum

It’s been 14 days since I started using the NIVEA Body UV Whitening Serum with SPF25. In my previous post, I shared that applying body cream is not part of my skincare regime. However, habits can be formed when one does an activity regularly and that is what happened when I apply the NIVEA Body UV Whitening Serum for 2 weeks. What helps is having the tube of serum in sight (by placing it near the sink) and I would apply it when I come out of the shower and also once before I get out of the apartment to run my errands.

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I realised it really doesn’t take long to apply the serum on my body and what keeps me going is the refreshing scent and the smoothness of my skin minutes after applying it. I don’t even need to apply any perfume now!

Although I’m a homemaker, I don’t stay at home all the time. In fact, I can be out of the house a lot. A typical day for me sees me going to the wet market in the morning and that’s when I apply the NIVEA Body UV Whitening Serum with SPF 25. I do have to walk a distance to the market and protection from the harmful UV rays is always welcome. At times, I send Faith to my mom’s to run other errands and yes, even though we are inside a vehicle, our skin still needs to be protected.

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Sometimes, when I’m out for lunch and in the hot sun, that’s when I wish I have brought the tube of NIVEA Body UV Whitening Serum with me. I can only hope that it still works to protect my skin. In the evening, I would go jogging with the hubs and Faith and if I remember, I would apply the serum (However, this activity was shelved when the haze condition worsened). My skin gets its last dose of the nourishment after my shower in the evening.

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If you can recall, the skin on my hand was rough and there were obvious pigmentation on the first day. The pores were big and I had uneven skin tone. Does it look dull to you too? I think so.

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I applied the NIVEA Body UV Whitening Serum religiously for the next 7 days and missed applying the serum only once when I was in a rush. The skin feels supple and smoother definitely. The pigmentation has lightened and can you see that the pores are no longer that big? I was rather surprised by the results and this has spurred me to continue using the serum because I really want to know what will happened within these 14 days.

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On the 14th day, although the pigmentation still exists (hmm, can they even disappear?), they are visibly lighter. The skin feels so much smoother as compared to the first day when I tried the serum. I like the fact that my skin is moisturised and it definitely feels more supple. No more rough skin! Overall, the skin does look a bit less dark (can’t really use fairer because I’m not in the ‘fair’ category to begin with).

I must say that the NIVEA Body UV Whitening Serum works well for my skin and I am satisfied with the results. I’m really not expecting anything spectacular to happen since my skin was rather ‘damaged’ during my 20s; I did outdoor sports a lot without any form of skin protection. However, my skin does improve within the 14 days of using the serum. For a product that is economically priced, it works wonders for my skin.

In short, here’s what I like about the NIVEA UV Whitening Serum:

1. The serum is lightweight and doesn’t feel sticky (very important factor to me). Instead, it is absorbed by the skin within minutes and the skin feels smooth.

2. Love the refreshing scent.

3. My pigmentation is lightened and my pores seem smaller.

4. My skin is protected by the harmful UV rays and it is an assurance for me to know that my skin gets vitamin C to repair the skin cells, especially during the hazy days.

5. No adverse skin reaction!

I will continue to incorporate the use of NIVEA UV Whitening Serum in my daily skincare routine and would recommend it to other mums.

NIVEA Body UV Whitening Serum with SPF 25 is available at a very affordable price of $9.55 if you want to purchase one to try.

NIVEA is carrying out an Instagram Campaign from the 3rd week of July to mid August 2013. During this period, all you have to do is to upload sunshots and outdoor activities – pictures that depict your lifestyle when you are out of the house – and insert with hashtags #NiveaSG #UVWhtSerum #Sunnyfun #Sunshine. The best photos with the hashtags enable you to win Nivea NIVEA hampers worth of $188 weekly! This is so exciting and I’m looking forward to your pictures!

I will continue to post pics on how the product works and fits into my lifestyle. Do follow me on Instagram (@lynninpics).

If you miss my initial review on the NIVEA Body UV Whitening Serum with SPF 25, here it is.

Disclosure: I am participating in a sponsored campaign by NIVEA to try out their Body UV Whitening Serum with SPF 25. Three tubes of the products are provided and all opinions are my own. Do note that results from using any products vary from persons to persons.