CarolCooks2…This week in my kitchen…Chocolate Cupcakes, Morning Glory, Miang Kham, Sea Bass with Fennel

Welcome to Carol’s Kitchen and it just happens to also be Valentine’s Day…For those of you who are being taken out or having a meal cooked for them…Enjoy!

This week in my Kitchen 14th Feb 2020

I don’t cook very many chocolate cakes apart from brownies and cupcakes are little Lily’s forte…

Lily’s Chocolate Cakes… Makes 12.

Preheat the oven to 177 C/Gas mark 4

  • 3/4 cup of all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup of good cocoa powder
  • 3/4 tsp Baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 2 large egg at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup of brown sugar I used raw cane sugar
  • 1/3 cup of coconut oil
  • 1/2 cup of buttermilk
  • 2 tsp real vanilla essence

Let’s Bake…

Add all the dry ingredients to a bowl except for the sugars and stir or whisk to combine.

Lily making cupcakes

In a separate bowl add the eggs and whisk with the sugar and vanilla essence.

Pour half of the egg mixture into the dry ingredients and combine, then half of the buttermilk and repeat stirring until combined the mixture will be quite thin and batter-like.

Pour the mix into 12 cake cases it will only come halfway but will rise… Cook for about 20 minutes…The recipe stated 20 mins but my (Thai) oven needed a further 7 mins…and I increased the heat to Gas 5…

When the cakes are cooled then the fun begins …The icing…

Lily is getting to be quite a little cake maker…

I love Tamarind and it is that time year when the young tamarind can be found on the market stalls …

fresh young tamarind fruit

They are very pretty looking and have a soft nutty texture with just a slight hint of that sweet-sour tamarind taste which I love…

This tamarind sauce is a lovely dipping sauce or you can drizzle it…

 3 tbsp tamarind pulp with cup water in a small pan, bring to boil and simmer 5 mins.
Remove from heat and stand 15 mins you can help break tamarind down with a spoon, strain through sieve extracting as much liquid as possible.
To the tamarind liquid add…
  • 2cm peeled finely chopped ginger
  •  2 cloves finely chopped garlic
  • 1 1/2 tbsp palm sugar
  • 2 tsp fish sauce
  • 1 tbsp chilli/garlic sauce
  • 1 tsp soy sauce
Bring to boil, simmer 5 mins.
Whisk 1 tbsp cornflour with little water and whisk into sauce cook 1 min or until the mixture thickens.
Taste and adjust seasoning add more sugar if required.
Keeps in an airtight container in the fridge for up to one week.
I love this tamarind sauce with my favourite snack...Miang Kham…although I have made it at home some markets sell all the little bits ready cut in bags with the sauce much easier and they taste just the same as much of the food sold on the markets here is made in home kitchens and brought to market…
I just love snacks here as many are just so healthy..fresh ginger, garlic, lime, shallots, nuts and wrapped in a Betel leaf after drizzling with tamarind sauce…definitely a favourite…
If you are at home and cooking a Valentine’s meal how about fish…easy to do it cooks itself while you are either chilling with a cocktail and reminiscing or watching a favourite movie…

This recipe was just sort of made up ..we had a friend staying with us from England and decided to steam some fish the Thai way but it was too big for our steamer so instead, we baked it in the oven covered with foil and just removed the foil 5–10 minutes from the end of cooking and it was very nice.

Sea Bass with Lime, Ginger and Fennel


  • 2  Sea bass/ Bream or Carp – whole, scaled and gutted
  • Bunch fennel fronds or you can use while fennel sliced we just stuffed the cavity with the fennel fronds.
  • 3 Shallots – peeled and halved (for fish cavity)
  • 1  Bulb Garlic – unpeeled, halved (for fish cavity)
  • Thumb of Ginger – Sliced finely (for fish cavity)
  •  Lemon or Lime, (remove the skin because the skin makes it bitter)

This was a tip I picked up after we had made ours… from my  Thai daughter in law…. Always something to learn about cooking…

For the Sauce:

  • Dark & Light Soy Sauce
  • Splash of coconut oil  or a splash of Chilli Oil
  • Sugar
  • Lime
  • Fresh Chilli

Garnish (optional)

  • A few sprigs Coriander chopped
  • Spring Onions – sliced longways


Let’s Cook!

Preheat the oven to 180 C

Place the fish on a baking tray.

Fish with Lime and fennel

Prepare the vegetables and stuff inside the fish and around the tray. Make some diagonal cuts across the fish and push in a slice of lime… Drizzle with some olive oil and cover with foil.
Bake for 40 mins, then remove the foil and turn up to 250 C for a further  5-10 mins till skin is golden brown and crispy.

Fish with lime and fennel (2)
Rest for 5 minutes.

Serve with steamed rice, some morning glory or Thai Papaya Salad…A lovely light meal…

Morning Glory…One of my favourite vegetable stir-fries…

Thai vegetable morning glory

Stir-fried Morning Glory or Pad Pak Boon Fai Daeng is also known as water spinach…It is a very popular vegetable dish in Thailand and one I have for breakfast/brunch quite often with rice.
This is a very quick dish to cook once you have all your ingredients prepared..5 mins at the most.


  • 1 bunch of Morning Glory
  • 4-6 cloves of garlic
  • 3 or more Thai Chillies
  • 2 tbsp of Oyster Sauce
  • 1 tbsp of Thai Fish Sauce
  • 1 tbsp of fermented soybean paste or oil with soya beans (optional)
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 1/2 to 1 tbsp of oil
  • 1/4 cup fresh veg or pork stock

Let’s Cook!

Wash and cut your morning-glory into 4-6 inch pieces.
Bash the chillies and garlic in a pestle and mortar
Heat the oil in a pan until very hot.

Add the garlic and chillies and stir-fry ( stirring) for 15-20 seconds be careful not to let the garlic burn.
Add morning-glory and all other ingredients except for the vegetable stock.
Stir-fry for 40 seconds and add vegetable stock and stir-fry for another 10 seconds.


Have a great Valentines Day however you are celebrating or not as the case may be…xx


Thank you for reading I invite your comments as always xx

About Carol Taylor: Enjoying life in The Land Of Smiles I am having so much fun researching, finding new, authentic recipes both Thai and International to share with you. New recipes gleaned from those who I have met on my travels or are just passing through and stopped for a while. I hope you enjoy them.

I love shopping at the local markets, finding fresh, natural ingredients, new strange fruits and vegetable ones I have never seen or cooked with. I am generally the only European person and attract much attention and I love to try what I am offered and when I smile and say Aroy or Saab as it is here in the north I am met with much smiling.

Some of my recipes may not be in line with traditional ingredients and methods of cooking but are recipes I know and have become to love and maybe if you dare to try you will too. You will always get more than just a recipe from me as I love to research and find out what other properties the ingredients I use contain to improve our health and wellbeing.

Exciting for me hence the title of my blog, Retired No One Told Me! I am having a wonderful ride and don’t want to get off, so if you wish to follow me on my adventures, then welcome! I hope you enjoy the ride also and if it encourages you to take a step into the unknown or untried, you know you want to…….Then, I will be happy!

Thank you once again for reading this post I hope you all have a fabulous weekend xxx

15 thoughts on “CarolCooks2…This week in my kitchen…Chocolate Cupcakes, Morning Glory, Miang Kham, Sea Bass with Fennel

  1. CarolCooks2 Post author

    The pinkish one is known here as sweet tamarind and eaten as a fruit snack …They are from the tamarind family and the trees look the same as do the pods which are similar in shape except the sweet tamarind are pinkish and the other tamarind is brown which we use in cooking the brown tamarind also has a stronger sweet/sour taste than the sweet…Initially I thought they were from the same tree and the brown were the mature fruit my daughter in law explained that although both tamarind they were two types…Hope that helps, Tassie…xx I hope you enjoy the cakes 🙂


  2. Pingback: CarolCooks2…weekly roundup 9th -15th February 2020… | Retired? No one told me!

  3. petespringerauthor

    I tried out your recent brownie recipe, Carol. They are mighty tasty!

    Don’t you find it interesting how much our tastes change over the years? When I was a kid, I avoided fish if I could help it. Now, when we got a restaurant, it is one of the regular things I order. (I thought of that because your fish dish looks appetizing.)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. CarolCooks2 Post author

      Thank you for letting me know about the brownies, Pete… Yes I do believe our tastes change as we grow older… I also think you eat less.. I know I do…Enjoy your weekend 😊x


    1. CarolCooks2 Post author

      Have you not? I had heard of it when I lived in the Uk just not used it…If you like sweet sour flavours you will love it..It is used in Chinese food as well as Thai Food 🙂 x

      Liked by 1 person


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