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31 Dec 2012

Orange Chiffon Cake


An orange chiffon cake I baked before my term 1 exams! It was like almost a month back and I finally
made the effort to post this up! It did not seems to raise enough but still, the chiffon was soft and spongy
while the orangey flavor was rather prominent as I juiced an entire large orange. I admit that this was my
second attempt because I screwed up in my first attempt. I folded in my meringue into the dry ingredients
and realised that my bowl of wet ingredients was still sitting patiently on the other side of my table. Wth
right? A really dumb mistake that caused me to waste my ingredients and effort!

Let this post be the last for the year 2012 as in a couple of hours time, it would be a brand New Year of
1013! My blog will once again change its focus and new goals awaits me!    

15 Dec 2012

MOF (Ministry of Food)


I often patronise MOF ; ministry of food during my polytechnic days as I really enjoy plain soft serve
vanilla ice cream. Nothing complicated about such Japanese desserts, no extreme flavors or funky
designs that would disgust me. Anyway, after countless time of revisits and trying almost every dessert and
shakes available, I came back for desserts with my mum. It really brought back memories from my past.
Alright, enough of story and time for dessert! My mum ordered this simple red bean paste dessert with
glutinous rice balls and a scope of black sesame ice cream. Besides the paste being a little too sweet, I
have nothing to whine about as everything complimented well with each other.  

As for me, I preferred to stick with my standard shake choice. A really tall
and satisfying glass of  avocado shake blended with hazelnuts and soft serve
ice cream. A perfect amount for chilling, slowly enjoying the creamy mixture sip
by sip.   

28 Oct 2012

Vienna Cookies (Sable)


My first practical test in school had finally passed last week and a part of it was to bake these Vienna
Cookies (Sable)! Sable is French for ''sand'', which refer to the sandy texture of these delicate cookies. I
have been practising to make these cookies at home as I needed to get used to making them. The shape
was not supposed to be that way as I gave them additional loop (I only realised that after my test!
Noooo....). I made 4 batches in total, 2 batches were vanilla (original) and I experimented with cocoa and
milo version too.

The Original Cookies freshly taken out of my oven! My practical test was on a Wednesday and I started
practising baking these cookies on the previous Fri, Sat, Sun and Tue which was the day before my test!
So hardworking right? 

The size affected the baking timing and I tried to standardise all the sizes to be as similar as possible. About 
180 degrees for 12 to 15 minutes.

This batch was the one I tried with 50g of cocoa powder. I felt that 50g was a bit too much as although it
had a really strong dark chocolaty taste, it was slightly bitter. (If adding cocoa powder, you would need to
replace the flour with it.)

This batch was with milo powder. Next time I need to reduce the amount of icing sugar used as milo
powder was already sweetened in the first place. The taste was not that off anyway. Another thing to take
note was that milo powder cloyed rather easily and quickly when left exposed. It was difficult to mix once
they cloyed and they ended up showing up as little lumps within my cookies. Take them as 'chips'!  

I also tried sticking in glazed mocha beans (chocolate) into some of my milo cookies. They definitely boost
the taste, making the cookies more flavorful. The beans melted slightly when being placed in the oven
though. 
           
           The recipe that I followed:

              30g       egg white (1 egg)
         200g       unsalted butter
  225g       cake flour
     75g        icing sugar

26 Oct 2012

Challah Bread


Challah Bread is a Jewish braided bread eaten on Sabbath and on holidays. It was the 1st bread which I
 leaned and baked, and it was done in school! It was a challenge for me to braid the bread as I got rather
confused with the 3 layers, not knowing which over which. Not my fault as I do not have long hair which
many girls do to practise with. Anyway, I took sometime before figuring that out.

This was after baking to a golden brown and the bread were left to continue its carry over baking process.

White sesame seeds were normally sprinkled on Challah Bread and sometimes raisins can be added too.
The photos were taken from my course mate Hinna's camera. 

13 Oct 2012

Honeymoon Desserts


I had the mango pomelo & sago dessert which was kind of refreshing. With the sweetness of the mango
and a really mild bitterness of the pomelo (which I did not like), the combination was not that bad. The
plentiful amount of sagos in there set my jaws moving too!

Nyx went to order a bowl of black sesame paste which looked like a bowl of chinese calligraphy ink.
Although tasted  nothing like ink but of faint flavor, the paste wasn't gooey and it felt rather diluted. 

30 Sep 2012

Pine Garden Cakes (Round 2)


The Hazelnut Chocolate Crunch ($2.60) was not as nutty as I though it would be as the 2 nuts on top were
the only nuts spotted around. Mainly cream that tasted like caramel with nutty tone and many tiny little
chocolates balls which added a crunch. Nothing too complicated about the slices of Pine Garden Cakes.

The alcoholic name of Bailey Chocolate Crunch ($3.10 ; most expensive slice among that rest) tempted
me as I was having some bitter-sweet cravings. Unfortunately, the flavor was quite minimal and I could
hardly detect any traces of alcohol. The pale yellowish-orange fruit remained an enigma to me but I
guessed that it was a gooseberry. It was so sourish that I wanted to spit it out after merely taking a bite and
letting the juice took effect on me. Same as the hazelnut cake, it has many little crunchy balls of chocolate
biscuits which I thought would only appeal to kids. Anyway, my first post on Pine Garden Cakes can be

found here!

*Update* (29/04/14)

Since I was nearby that day, I decided to dine in for a piece of cake to satisfy my sugar craving!
I decided to pick the soursoap moscato since it sounds rather unique and I would love to
enjoy the hint of alcohol taste. Just a simple piece of cream cake I would say, with alternating
fluffy plain sponge and cream that contained bits of soursoap pulp, giving it a slightly crunchy
texture. Skip that lone gooseberry on top if you dislike the tartness.

19 Sep 2012

Pine Garden's Cake


A bakery located around the neighbourhood of Ang Mo Kio which was only walking distance from my
place! I recalled my dad often patronised this outlet mainly because they produced affordable and decent
cakes. The Black Forest Cake has always been my favourite choice and I was glad that the standard
remain consistent. With the plump looking berry, chocolate flakes and icing sugar sprinkled around, the
combination portrayed a winter scenario or maybe a Christmas feel. Chunks of burst but still juicy berries
could be found lying hidden within the cream layer too!       

The slice of Citrus Drop Cake was indeed a product of simplicity. The tangy lemon 'flavoring' laid atop the
cake like a rounded edge star, radiating a yellow hue with the purpose of temptation. Between its layers of
plain soft sponge was also the same lemony taste spread thinly but evenly across the cream.  

9 Sep 2012

Hong Kong Sheng Kee Dessert


The National Day Promotion for the month of August. Golden Yam Roll ($4.90) - Sweet
potato and yam paste wrapped in pumpkin skin topped with gingko nuts and drizzled with
coconut milk. A standard yam paste dessert, only in a more artistic form. The presentation
definitely caught my attention (coconut milk on one side symbolised the yin and yang?)
and it tasted decent too. 


Also on promotion, the Strawberry Mango Pomelo Pudding ($5.90) was not too bad. It was more on the sourish side
because of the mango (strawberry as well). Actually nothing really special about it, as compared to the one above.

Another view of the pudding! More like mango pudding with mango soup?

My mum tried the black sesame paste and she did not exactly enjoyed it. It was so watery and tasted really diluted.
(I did not edit the brightness of the picture and you could tell from the colour of it.) 

Toa Payoh Lorong 8, Blk 211 (Durians)


Finally decided to visit Toa Payoh Lorong 8, Blk 211 to try its durian buffet with Lks. It took us 40 mins at least to walk
all the way from the interchange, using my phone's GPS to finally reach this block! (Shag! We were trained road
marchers!)


When we arrived (like finally!), we were rather excited like little kids peering through the glass window of a candy
shop, eager to spend some saved up pocket money for a treat. This was the article hung outside the outlet which
showed an affordable pricing of only $15 for an hour of durian buffet feast. However, to our great dismay, the uncle told
us that the durian buffet was no longer available! Reason can be either 1) The durian season was about to end or
2) The demand of this popular smelly fruit was too great till they were making a loss. We were too depressed to find out
the reason and anyone knows if there would be a durian buffet again the next season? 

Tables and chairs all set up for customers to enjoy durians. Season ending soon and stocks running low too!

Bread Talk Cheesecake


Bread Talk cheesecake! Something light and soft but I could not really taste any cheese as maybe it was too mild.


Anyway, a simple slice for a quick breakfast before setting off. I disliked it when the base of the cake would normally
tend to stick to the paper (which the cake was on). 

Secret Recipe Macadamia Cake


When you see such a slab of cake, rough texture and multiple layering, which outlet would naturally come to mind? For
me, it would definitely be Secret Recipe. From my previous posts - link 1 and link 2, you would know what I meant. By
the way, this slab of Macadamia Cake was not from Singapore, it was from Malaysia - take away.

The macadamia cake itself was not that sweet and suitable for people who were afraid to have too much sugar intake.
(Although it has a thin layer of white chocolate along its circumference, adding some sweetness to the overall taste.)
It definitely tasted much better than those cakes that I have tried from Singapore's outlets. (Why Malaysia only have
this cake?) Both the sponge and cream had the nutty taste which would make a nut lover go nuts! The chunky bits of
macadamia nuts added a crunch but sadly they tasted like they were kept too long.

Venezia Gelato Italiano


A quick entry before going to work real soon! (I just started work 2 days ago, 12 hours per day, 6 days per week and
hardly had the time to blog nowadays. Luckily it was just a month's temporary job.) I had green tea with red bean and
hazelnut flavour a couple of days ago for desserts. Both flavours had dominant taste and I felt that they were trying hard
to snatch my attention from the other. The green tea's bitterness was not intense enough for me to thoroughly enjoy,
and I enjoyed the nutty-but-light hazelnut.  


As for Nyy, he took a dark chocolate flavour and another chocolate flavour (or maybe he took 2 same flavours in the
same cup). The chocolate button was given as part of it, just like the red beans with my green tea. He was another
big fan of bitter chocolate just like me, the more bitter the chocolate, the better! (I just noticed the shape too, look at the
little pointed part on the top! What shape/object it reminded you of?)

Vietnamese Snack


Bought this basket for 20 USD. Do not 'WA?!' yet as I have not finished my sentence! This 'cui' looking basket was
made by hand, even the handle was rather dreadful to carry as it was too prickly. Inside the basket, it contained 5
handmade boxes of snacks. Nyx and I shared the cost and distributed the snacks evenly. (1 of the box was given to our
polytechnic friends to share, and I did not want to keep that basket though.)  


The reason why the 'xi xi' sticker was pasted on top of the box was because the snack was called 'fu qi bing' (couple's
biscuit).     

10 individual snacks in a box, each individually packed. The fragrant of the leaves that were used to wrap the snack was
strong but sadly, it was not infused into the snack itself.

How it looked like and munched!

I found that it did not taste as good as the first time I tried while I was on the coach in Vietnam. (Maybe during the long
boring journey on road made me lose my senses, especially taste.) The outer was a green layer of tasteless agar agar that
encased the yellow bean paste within. The thickness of the agar agar was a little too thick and I felt like I was eating a
modern style of Ang Ku Kueh.

Antoinette Macarons


After trying out Antoinette's cake the first time, I fell for it. I told myself that I would be back for the other desserts. Just
nice that day after I had renewed my passport for my coming Vietnam trip, I dropped by Antoinette. (Since one of its
outlet is located around Lavender.) My focus that day when I stepped in was these colourful and attractive looking
macarons! Although priced about $3 per piece (a little steep), that did not stopped me from ordering 2 plump looking
macarons.

The 2 flavours which I took away were Antoinette (left) and Praline (right). Pointless for me to dine in for 2 macarons and
to pay for the Gst and service charge!

Look at its thickness! The filling was so thick! Anyway, Praline was actually hazelnut. Sandwiched between the sugary
flavoured shells, the filling contained bits of hazelnut chunks which added to the crunch. I felt like I was eating a cookie
for a moment or two as I nibbled it, enjoying the nutty richness.   

Antoinette, as expected shared the almost similar taste to the cake which I have tried before. The sense of familiarity hit
me hard and made me recalled how I really enjoyed the cake previously. Tasted of earl grey and chocolate which
matched so well, I bit further in to find its centre concealing a small pool of raspberry jam! (Just like the cake, only that
this time the jam was well hidden and appeared unexpectedly.)

Fiesta Japanese Cheesecake


My mum bought this Japanese cheesecake from the Ichiban outlet at Ang Mo Kio Hub. The mere sight of this
cheesecake made me retrospect myself back then when I was young (primary school), when I eagerly peered into the box
as my mum began to lift the cake slowly out of it. I just could not wait for my mum to cut finish and I started pinching off
tiny portions to nibble. 

Alright, enough of past stories. Upon opening the box, I was greeted warmly by the Fiesta's cow with its chef hat on,
smiling happily at me. It just looked too adorable to be eaten!

Sorry cow, but I had to slice you up into many slices in order to enjoy the cheesecake you were 'printed' comfortably on.
My advice is that it should be served chilled. The cake itself was spongy and really soft (even a toothless person could
enjoy). The centre portion is usually my favourite part as the edges tend to be slightly harder. It is also light and airy and
I could have easily finished half of the entire cake. 

Ice Cream Art (Buffet)


Having bought 2 groupon vouchers for $9 each, which entitled Nyx and I to
have an ice cream buffet for an hour at Ice Cream Art. The location was bad
as it required me to travel all the way from my home (Ang Mo Kio) to Tiong
Bahru MRT station, and then a bus to Sports Lifestyle Centre. When we
entered, we were stunned as we did not expect such a small outlet. We started
our 1h buffet spree and the lady boss (I supposed) was really friendly. I also
requested the scopes of ice cream given to be slightly smaller than normal as
we both wanted to try all the flavours. The flavours available that day were
green tea, oreo cheese cake, horlick malt, dark chocolate, raspberry swirl,
cookies and cream, raspberry cheese cake, mango, lychee, soursoap, green
apple yogurt, strawberry yogurt, kiwi and durian! (Only last part than noticed the
existence of durian ice cream.)        

While waiting for the waffles to be ready, I started off with green tea (had slight milkiness and mild bitterness), oreo
cheese cake (thought that it was cookies and cream) and horlick malt (strong taste, but not my type of ice cream).  

Next I went for the dark chocolate (thick and chocolaty, had an unusual smell), raspberry swirl (a bit sour, not much
raspberry though) and cookies and cream (had a little dough texture).

After the normal flavours, I went for the fruity ice cream selections. I had mango (was thick and tasted weird, my least
favourite), soursoap and lychee (both had mild flavour and were rather soothing, great for such horribly hot weather).

Finally our waffles came! We each had 3 scopes of ice cream on it. Freshly made waffles are always crisp and moist,
perfect combination for ice creams!

Nyx's 2nd waffle with 2 of his favourite ice cream flavours from the selection.

My 2nd waffle too, with lychee and cookies and cream ice cream again.