shooting stars

Cookie Carnival: Vanilla Bean Thins
so i admit to never using vanilla beans before. A faithful user of the vanilla extracts. I never once picked up one of those unsung heros along the aisles of the bakery shop.

not up till now at least...
with yet another baking event up my belt. its no wonder its getting a little tight.. *gulp* around the waist especially. giggles. But still, the pleasure derieved from churning out goodies all the time, just sets me in high spirits. A feeling that i can never and will never deprieve myself of.

This event names aptly the 'cookie carnival' is set up by our lovely Kate. Every month, we bake up a batch of lovely cookies according to the recipe as chosen by her and posted to us, the loyal subjects. hehe. This month, we were trusted with the recipe for vanilla bean thins.

the recipe as easy as it seems called for the use of vanilla bean pods to be casted into the sea of confectioners sugar to yield a fragrant and black speckled vanilla sugar. i was excited yet scared at the same time. put an expensive bean in my rough hands to scrape out the seeds? now tts gonna be an a-grade task on the 'impossible' list. in the end.. success! and after a few days, the container was filled with the frangrant fusion of sugar sweetness and true vanilla...
damm the weather.. even the nights were to hot and humid to handle. the cookie dough softened almost immediately upon removal from the freezer.. and mind you. FREEZER.. darn the weather again..

and as you can see, these cookies weren't exactly thin.. stupid weather made it almost impossible to roll and cut the cookies whilst still remaining intact. but even so, the cookies emerged from the oven with incredible gusto and a whole load of flavor. it's melt in the mouth texture was incredible.. i reckon its the use of confectioners sugar.. well, definitely a keeper in my books!

Thanks Kate for the wonderful choice!

Vanilla Bean Thins
Gourmet Magazine
Makes about 4 dozen cookies.
1 fresh (moist) vanilla bean, split lengthwise
3/4 cup confectioners sugar
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 stick (1/2 cup) plus 5 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
1 large egg yolk
Special equipment:
a 2-inch cookie cutter (we used a fluted diamond-shaped one)

Make vanilla sugar:
Scrape vanilla seeds from pod with tip of a knife into confectioners sugar. Halve pods crosswise and bury in sugar. Cover tightly and let stand at least 24 hours and up to 1 month.
Make cookies:
Discard pods and transfer vanilla sugar to a food processor. Add flour, salt, and baking powder and pulse to combine. Add butter and pulse just until mixture is in pea-size lumps. Add yolk and pulse just until a dough forms. Gather dough into 2 balls, then flatten into 2 (5-inch) disks and chill, each disk wrapped well in plastic wrap, until firm, at least 1 hour.
Preheat oven to 325°F.
Roll out 1 disk (keep the other chilled) to less than 1/8 inch thick on a lightly floured surface with a floured rolling pin. Cut out shapes with floured cookie cutter and chill scraps. Arrange cookies 1/2 inch apart on a buttered large baking sheet. Make more cookies with remaining dough, rerolling scraps (but only once).
Bake cookies in batches in middle of oven until edges are pale golden, 10 to 15 minutes. Transfer to a rack to cool.
Cooks' notes:
• Dough can be chilled up to 2 days.
• Cookies keep, layered between sheets of wax paper, in an airtight container at room temperature 1 week.

how sweet...

What is Sweet?

Sweet is...

recieving enquiries from your blog readers and having them try out one of your recommended recipes and then returning back to you with pictures!

thanks Deborah! your cuppies look great!
lucky boyfren and girlfrens got to feast on these babies!

Sweet is...

the collection of tea sitting on your table. Chai.. ahh...

Sweet is...

the air-mailed package from a girlfriend.

Now no one can wipe the silly smile off my bro's face with the precious goodies found in it. Not to mention the 'love' it was sent with. *sniggers*. Thx gurl for making the naughty boy so happy.

Sweet is...

having lunch with the most important person in your life almost every other day.

it is no wonder this is only time i ever look forward to in a day. *tee hee*. thx dear.

and last but not least

Sweet is...

the scoops of melting homemade mango sorbet sitting on your counter top.

What's a gurl to do without ice-cream on such a hot day?

so tell me? what are your sweets?

gold fish

guess what my boss told me today (while working on a QM to send off part for upgrading purposes, my scope of work being secondary of course) ?

'you knoe for someone your age, your memory is pretty fucked up.'

haha. like wat the hell.

now I've to face my colleagues who are always on some form of hyena mimicking exercise ard me. All thanks to my goldfish 3 seconds, 'turn around and i don't remember' memory.

Wat rotten luck...
any solutions guys?

TWD: food for bunnie?

Tuesdays With Dorie: Bill's Big Carrot Cakehmph. first things first, no.. i didn't make this cake to look like a nipple. *d-oh!*
But perhaps somewhere else in this world, there exist a chap named Bill who is a reallie lecharious guy with a head full of dirty thoughts?! hehe. You'll never know yeh?

okay okay, i'm full of nonsense (just as my bf puts it, i swear he has something against me. GRRR). So for this week's round of TWD.. we had the honor of doing Bill's Big Carrot Cake as chosen by Amanda at slow like honey . it was a real treat for me since my recent attempt at carrot cake in some weird proportions failed miserably. I reckon its just the fatigue and the boiling rage inside of me; it just figures that everything that you bake turns out horribly when you're in a foul mood. Yep, so I was more than glad to try out a new recipe for Carrot cake since I am such a big fan!

think moist cake full of spices and chopped up carrots. Lovely chunks of orange peeping through the cake with every forkful. YUM! the bonus would definitely be the cream cheese topping.. that is simply the bomb!
the recipe was relatively easy to follow. However i made a few changes here and there to yield certain results that i was rather particular about when it came to carrot cakes. Used a fair mixture of dark brown sugar and brown sugar in the cake (ended up with a darker brown cake), also changed the 2 tsp of cinammon to 1 tsp mixed spices, 1 tsp of cinammon and 1/2 tsp nutmeg. U definitely could use more spices in this recipe!

the end result was perfect with the cakes pulling out of their pans like a breeze with completely even tops and sides, frosting was also made an easier task. I actually enjoyed preparing this cake so much! I bet you a hundred carrots that this recipe would be good! even bunny cldn't get his paws off!
pray that the people at office like the cake tmr!

and please do check out the other works of the amazing TWD bakers over on the blogroll!

verdict: the cake was a showstopper! the entire thing being wiped out in a matter of seconds. people just cldn't stop raving about it. and guess what's the best part about it? I was given the chance to bake the company's monthly birthday celebration cake for the month! *woots!* (pumps fist in the air)

the weeping willow

SHF : Asian Sweet Invasion
as promised..
my contribution to the endless list of SHF (sugar high friday) supporters. It has been a wonderful event so far with the most treacherous themes encountered (however, cupcake hero's earth day theme still takes the hat!) This time around, with a theme like 'asian sweet invasion' proposed by amrita of la petite boulangette , i was stumped.

seriously, there was endless ideas to this theme. With exotic fruits like durians and dragon fruits topping the list, but hardly any of them being able to sink in well with a traditional dessert. incorporating theme into normal western styled desserts was not an easy task though as few of these flavors complimented the heaviness and richness of western desserts. to tell the truth, i scorned durians and never once let it cross my mind to include them in my plans.

Black sesame and Green Tea Cheese Cake

In the end, it was a sweet decision. With the help of Eric over at Do you know the muffin man? , i used and modified a recipe that i had enquired earlier from his blog. Interestingly this recipe was found on the new york times a few months back.. strange where u get asian inspired dessert ideas from. Hence, to say it is entirely oriental. I dare not...

here's presenting to you 'the weeping willow'. To break it down. It is all in all, a black sesame and green tea layered cheesecake. Topped with cream puffs filled with green tea pastry cream and surrounded by a lovely wall of homemade sesame brittle. To my delight, the cake turned out beautiful, with every angle of it reminding me of a majestic weeping willow tree peeping over its shadow casted on the lake. Taste wise, it was beautiful on the palette with the sesame seed studded crust adding a touch of fragrance and crunchiness to the entire dessert. I was floored by the outcome, now i'm just sitting and waiting for the next chance to make it once more.
I would like to thank Amrita for this wonderful opportunity. it's been a pleasure baking this cake. From the strange pairing of sesame and green tea in the cheesecake to the experimental tries at making brittle and profitereles! its been a baking experience of many firsts. And somehow through the night, they all turned out successful. Strange but magical in its own way. Perhaps its the power of the orient at work...

stupid bread

CURSE of the raw loaf.

Being in the good sprit that i was in after making the purchase of my newest toy... the breadmaker. I decided to try out my first loaf of bread using my beloved gadget. trust me, i was way excited to see good results.

Needless to say, judging from the title, i got NONE! *kicks the table and punches the wall with her fists*... DAMMIT! seriously, this is stupid! i did all the steps right.. what could have gone wrong? window pane test check, poofing to double the size check.. what it is?!?!?!

*groanz*.. it just drives MAD just thinking about the possible reasons how things could go haywire! just look at the bloody bread. *bangs head*.. its a mess!!! the insides were hardly even cooked whilst the outside was crisp and golden brown. WTH!!! i dunno anymore?

hmph.. cld it be tt the yeast had expired? *shakes head*

whatever! i'll just leave it at there. Probably try another loaf again soon.

I'll turn my attention to my ode to the chocolate eclair (the one specifically from the deli at the atrium in pan pacific hotel). The most lucious and gorgeous dessert i had in a long time. With the intensity of chocolate hitting the roof with every bite... *yum*.. (feeling the chocolate pastry cream oozing out from under the crisp layer of choux pastry). now that's to die for..

still, i can't forget about my failure. *groanz*
You had said I was gamine
But we didn't mean the same thing i think
Broke my choux pastry heart
Guess life's, no picture post card

dun worrie guys, be posting up my SHF (sugar high friday) post soon. its a head turner i think... can't wait to taste it though. *laughs sheepishly*

never ending eating spree!

its the weekend. wat do you do?
you go on an eating spree!!!

warning: this is a subjective choice on my part so please do not heed this advice and gorge yourself every wkend lest you end up a stuffed pig in the end.

weekends.. most pple wld look forward to this time of the week because it means more freedom, more relaxation time and definitely more time to idle... but as usla, i'm one of the rarest of all breeds. Someone who dreads the weekend for its non-stop back-busting action and its dire state of mind it brings along with it gloomy arrival.

However, as much as i dread weekends. This one turned out to be not so bad after all... perhaps it was the gourmet cusine involved. Baking preceeded on at a blinding speed. With cakes being churned out everyday of from friday to sunday. cupcakes, frosting, chocolate cake, cheesecake. Gawd.. and i thought that i could perhaps experiment with bread on Sunday. FAT HOPE!

Instead, i was whizzed off on a culinary journey. Good food galore! to sum it all up, Japanese buffet dinner on Saturday and yummy fish meals with wicked desserts on Sunday night. Good enough to cure the incoming bombardment of monday blues.

Saturday's Japanese buffet was served up at Akira Japanese Restaurant off tiong bahru road. Situated at the basement of a rather dingy looking hotel, i would have never considered coming here for a japanese meal if my mother had not suggested it. So off we went!

It was pure madness and different dishes; sashimi, tempura, beef terriyaki, salmon teppanyaki poured through the doors of our private room. The frustration of the staff were imminent as they were baffled by the larger than life appetites that our family had acquired.

food was just mediocre with nothing to shout about. at least the pricing was reasonable and paying 30+ (taxes inclusive) for an all you can eat ala carte buffet was definitely not too hefty a price to pay.

okay, no we zoom on to the next culinary experience of the week. gawd.. surely i've got to have alife besides all the food. haha. *fast forwardingggg*


hey wait a min.. isn't tt? oh yeh.. tts not some food item on the menu. just a cupcake order i had for the weekend. White chocolate chip strawberry cupcakes and caramel banana cupcakes for a bf. now.. tt spells SWEET! *cross my fingers* Hope he enjoyed it...

sunday was dedicated to fish as we visted Hooked, a resturant located along rail mall. Just a stone throws down from where i live. It's rather strange how we haven't got down to trying their food ever since they open shopped about 2 yrs ago, even more so despite the raving reviews.

When we got there, it was rather late already and with rumbling stomachs, me, mummy and kor scanned through the menus. digesting its content and its colorful layout. there was just too much on the menu! woah.. this place definitely scores on variety! no fried items here... the fishes cooked in all different ways completed with descriptions are just enough to make anyone drool...

orite, so lets skip the talk now and let the photos do the talking yeh. First up...

Salmon tapas (salmon cooked to perfection with a stroke of pink) served up with cream and a sprinkling of salmon roe on a wheat cracker. -- This was AWESOME man! such succulence in the fish...

mummy's seafood marinara... look at the amount of ingredients they've thrown in! now tts sure worth a try!

and finally my fish en papilloute! fish in a foil parcel steamed in its own juices and a excellent pairing of lemon, garlic and pesto. Divine!

and as everyone knows, dinner is never complete without dessert. So, with under my persuasion, we headed on down to galbati just two shops down to have our lovely sweet endings! Tiramisu for Kor (i dare say its still the best one that i've tried anywhere else) and a cripsy chocolate mint mousse cake between mum and I. *groanz* (not from the pleasure of eating but from the heaving of my stomach from the excessive eating). Still, we wiped out the desserts with gusto down to the crisp flakes on the plate. It was just all too good!!!

With that, i mark the end of my weekend culinary journey. So long my lovely forks and spoons and welcome track shoes. *boo hoo*.. the price you have to pay.. bleah.

on a side note: I just heard the news from the secretary, apparently the MD liked the mango marshmellows so much that he took two pieces home for his wife!!! *cheers*.. now i've got to make more the next time round.

cookie madness


Cookie Madness!

oh yesh! here's a special offer going for you peeps...

Mad about gourmet cookies but can't find them at reasonable prices?

if you're crazy about coffee as well then you're in the right place!

Packets of Freshly baked Coffee Cookies, weighing in at 200g each (about 25 cookies, 5cm in diameter) for sale at a phenomenal price! Each cookie filled with the richness of brewed espresso and a tint of coffee liquor. Topped off with an almond slice. Packed into no-frill ziplock bags perfect for storage. Good for snacking on the weekends or just to pair together with your hot drink on a cold rainy day. Each bag going out for only $3.50 (original: $4.50)!!!

this crazy offer will only be on till thursday night. So do place your orders (sms 96169609, or email me at by then!

collection will be at orchard/ bukit timah/ clementi areas during stipulated timings. Please contact me for further details or special requests.


SugarFairy Godmother


TWD: Marshmallows!!!
Sippin' from a bottle of vodka double wine
Sweet, sugar, candy man

recipe for the week! *drum roll...* marshmallows!!! chosen by our lovely Judy from Judy Gross Eats

never in my wildest dreams have i thought about making marshmallows. Number one, because i ain't exactly nuts about them, even when u pass me a stick and a bag of marshmallows at a barbeque. Number two, I have never thought about nor attempted dwelling into the art of candy making. honestly, im a wimp and it took me ages to start venturing into bread. candy?!?! I find that even more so intimidating since I don't own a candy thermometer. and EVERYONE knoes that you need one in candy making *rolls eyes*

With that pre-notion, i decided to defy the rules and headed on throught the recipe w/o a candy thermometer. making sure to observe for the sugar syrup boiling to a hard boil stage before i stopped the process. Took a little than less than 10mins, perhaps because the fire settings were bigger.

In the end, the marshmallows turned out perfect.. and when i say perfect, i say it from the opinion of a person who has never ever laid eyes on a piece of marshmallow in a lustful manner. Shuns rocky road brownies and ice-creams because of the marshmallows and even attempts to free her oreo cereal of the teenie bits of marshmallows strewened ard. that says it all does it. They were GOOD!

flavored with mango puree (it was babe's idea! *points innocently at zh.. he claims to be a 'fruity' guy. oh well), the marshmallow was light and melted beautifully in the mouth. the light hue of yellow and the fragrance of the mango matched perfectly. the heavenly scent bursting each time i opened the container to steal a whiff. addiction...

I'll definitely be making these again with the different flavorings recommended in the book. cappuccino marshmallows.. yum.. chocolate marshmallows? (hmph, heard it wld lead to some curdling problem, not sure if that is true or not?)

But for now, here is the much loved recipe for marshmallows from Dorie Greenspan's book.

Adapted from Baking from My Home to Yours by Dorie Greenspan

Makes about 1 pound marshmallows

Ingredients: About 1 cup cornstarch

2 tablespoons light corn syrup

2 1/4-ounce packets unflavored gelatin

3 large egg whites, at room temperature

3/4 cup cold water

1/4 tablespoon pure vanilla extract

1 1/4 cups sugar

1/3 cup mango puree

GETTING READY: Line a rimmed baking sheet -- choose one with a rim that is 1 inch high -- with parchment paper and dust the paper generously with cornstarch. Have a candy thermometer at hand.

Put 1/3 cup of the water, 1 1/4 cups of the sugar and the corn syrup in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Bring the mixture to a boil, stirring until the sugar dissolves. Once the sugar is dissolved, continue to cook the syrup -- without stirring -- until it reaches 265 degrees F on the candy thermometer, about 10 minutes.

While the syrup is cooking, work on the gelatin and egg whites.In a microwave-safe bowl, sprinkle the gelatin over the remaining cold water (a scant 7 tablespoons) and let it sit for about 5 minutes, until it is spongy, then heat the gelatin in a microwave oven for 20 to 30 seconds to liquefy it. (Alternatively, you can dissolve the gelatin in a saucepan over low heat.)Working in the clean, dry bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment or in another large bowl with a hand mixer, beat the egg whites on medium-high speed until firm but still glossy -- don't overbeat them and have them go dull.

As soon as the syrup reaches 265 degrees F, remove the pan from the heat and, with the mixer on medium speed, add the syrup, pouring it between the spinning beater(s) and the sides of the bowl. Add the gelatin and continue to beat for another 3 minutes, so that the syrup and the gelatin are fully incorporated. Beat in the vanilla and mango puree.

Using a large rubber spatula, scrape the meringue mixture onto the baking sheet, laying it down close to a short end of the sheet. Then spread it into the corners and continue to spread it out, taking care to keep the height of the batter at 1 inch; you won't fill the pan. Lift the excess parchment paper up to meet the edge of the batter, then rest something against the paper so that it stays in place (I use custard cups).

Dust the top of the marshmallows with cornstarch and let the marshmallows set in a cool, dry place. They'll need about 3 hours, but they can rest for 12 hours or more. Once they are cool and set, cut the marshmallows with a pair of scissors or a long thin knife. Whatever you use, you'll have to rinse and dry it frequently. Have a big bowl with the remaining cornstarch at hand and cut the marshmallows as you'd like -- into squares, rectangles or even strips (as they're cut in France). As each piece is cut, drop it into the bowl. When you've got 4 or 5 marshmallows in the bowl, reach in with your fingers and turn the marshmallows to coat them with starch, then, one by one, toss the marshmallows from one hand to the other to shake off the excess starch; transfer them to a serving bowl. Cut and coat the rest of the batch.

next week's recipe as chosen by Amanda of slow like honey is Bill's Big Carrot Cake! now..tts just exciting! (sam..i knoe you'll be drooling over this one.. MUAHAHA).. Guess i'll be saving up my cravings for this treat then.


PT's Birthday celebration at...
PITSTOP!!! i admit it wasn't any form of a black tie event, no french cuffs or cuff links or expensive bow ties.. in the end, it was just a simple get together games session at PITSTOP CAFE! here's the gang all in one shot!

thanks paulie for the photos... gawd, i was actually careless enough to leave my bag with babe containing my camera before i left to join the gang. boohoo, but thanks anyway yar!

so as I have said just now, our celebration cum mini gathering was celebrated at pitstop cafe at circular road. it was a great idea considering our large group, mundane lives and minimal budget. A games cafe was a sure fit for a celebration like this. the bdae gurl.. Pingting looked as vibrant and bubbly as ever and was appreciative of the gathering tt Serene had planned for her. THANKS SERENE! best part of the whole celebration was tt the party wasn't meant for one but TWO! unfortunately we kept mum about Calvin's bdae.. he must have been pretty disappointed as he thought that we had clean forgotten that his bdae was the next day. NEH.. we wldn't do tt! hehe. So in the end, it sure was a pleasant surprise! (look at his expression as he pumps his fist in the air!)

the bdae boi and gurl with their presents and the 'recycled' cake... hehe
and with most parties that i attend, i offered to bake the bdae cake this time around as well. 'tAHHH!!! (buzzer sound)' BAD MOVE!!! i was practically all over the place this weekend baking, my poor oven went berserk even after some maniac changed the settings to grilling mode (i didn't notice initially till i discovered the strange phenomenon of all my cake attempts burning up to crisps!).. RAWR!!!

then again, after a few tries and some coincidental discovery, i managed to get things on track and sucessfully pulled off a new recipe tt i created from zilch. pardon me for the lack of clean cut corners and leveled surfaces on the cake, didn't have any time for the mousse to set overnight hence it went a bit out of shape after stepping out of its mould.

Ladies and Gentlemen... introducing to you the Strawberry White Chocolate Mousse Cake. Luxurious layers of strawberry white chocolate mousse made of delish white chocolate, fresh strawberry puree with strawberry preserves and my favourite fraise yogurt. now.. tts just presumably healthy. hehe. a bit guilt free especially for a few of frens who loved the mousse and whom i saw digging frantically at it. furthermore i even used a whole pint of strawberries for the entire cake. including the decoration such as the tuexedo strawberries mounted on the top. hehe. those are my fav!!!

more photos!!!

(if you're wondering what the hell Sam, Rooney and I are doing in the picture with our hands clasp, you'll never figure it out... truth is we were imitating mariah carey in her 'touch my body' MTV.. haha. okie.. now's the cue to laugh your guts out.)

thanks to the organisers for such a wonderful get together! it sure was great seeing u guys again. laughing at lame jokes and playing fun strategic games like citadel! lets meet together soon yeh! but.. hmph.. KTV?!?! now i'm not too big a fan yar.. *gulps*
next up: TWD: Homemade marshmellows!!!

i'm late

Tuesdays With Dorie: The Most Extraordinary French Lemon Cream Tart

sheesh.. so technically I'm late again huh? gosh.. the bad things just keep coming. *ouch*. Okay, to cut the chase before i fall flat on my face from fatigue. Lets first introduce the event! Well, with roots from one of its fore-fathers, oops, forgive me, fore-mothers; Laurie from quirky cupcake, also the host of cupcake hero (one of my fav events as u guys shld alr knoe) began this humble event as a booster to start baking from her new book Baking: From My Home to Yours by Dorie Greenspan. Rooting in people to bake along with her as she challenged herself to some of the most mindblowing recipes within the hidden treasure of a book written by one of the most talented writers. Gosh.. trust me on this one. I was a Dorie Greenspan fan, once i laid my hands on 'Paris Sweets' by her as well. okay, back to TWD history.. so the threesome grew to its present size of 150+ members (correct me if i'm wrong, i'm reallie a clutz with statistics) in a matter of months. And therefore, with that this event is a now a major success with its own website (pls refer to the link on my sidebar) and its own recipe rotation list.

Here, members of TWD bake the same recipe as selected by one member every week and post it out on a tuesday for the whole world to enjoy!!! so for my virgin TWD post, I'll be presenting to you 'The Most Extraordinary French Lemon Cream Tart' featured on pg 331-333 of the book. as chosen by our dearest Mary from Starting from Scratch .
the verdict .. my gosh.. melt in your mouth goodness. the lemon cream was certainly a cut above the rest, including the other lemon tart recipes that I've tried in the past. This revealed a creamy, buttery goodness filled with zesty lemons and a pinch of citrus with every bite. What heightened the experience was without a doubt the sensation of cold cream melting with every bite. It was absolutely gorgeous.. best thing is that I've got loads of lemon cream left over.. hehe. *yum*

oh yes, and do pardon me for my slighty shabby efforts. I was rather contented at the taste of the product, think the lovely cream, and neglected the presentation of the tart. Oh well, its the taste that matters most yar? despite its large serving, brother and mum had two servings each at one sitting. haha. it was heavenly.. especially for lemon lovers like us. Can't wait for my Australia trip in June.... imagine the baskets and baskets of yellow lemons.. WAHHH!!!

With that, I've come to the end of my virgin post fort TWD! and i'm already looking forward to next week's recipe!!! marshmellows as chosen by Judy of Judy's Gross Eats. wow.. like home made marshmellows! finally the chance to embark on this one, been procrastinating ever since my read of Paris Sweets. What a sweet coincidence though! thanks Judy for the fantabulous choice!

do check out the other Tuesdays with Dorie bakers on the blogroll! such talents!! its amazing how such a group of people have congregated over a small starting ambition. another miracle at work i must say.

wat more satisfying?

What's more Satisfying?

baking, cuddling with babe, online shopping, lindy hop dance classes, getting praised by your boss at work? neh.. there's no answer to that question i guess coz its ALL of the above!!! my life revolves ard the above following, in no order of merit of course ( in case babe gets jealous of the other non-living objects. *sniggers*)

Just takes a load of your shoulders having your boss praise you at work or grant you tasks that of are rather high importance and leaving them to your own devices to solve and sort out. After which I recieved credit from one of the representatives of Embraer's regional customers Mandarin Airlines for the work done. *phew*.. now tt sure does feel good doesn't it? hehe. lala.

But sometimes here and there, collisions of foul nature are bound to happen along the way. Started the day on the wrong side of the bed today with sequential bad-luck events happening one after another. gawd.. thank goodness babe was there to listen to my crapping and nonsensical rantings (it reallie amazes me how he does that though.. give me a gf lyke tt and i swear i would kick her out the door. haha). But still, miracles do happen. And I'm the most fortunate girl to have one right beside me. *hugz*

so.. been thinking lately about getting a breadmaker machine for myself. Would be great with functions like timer; *hazely dreaming of the aroma of a fresh loaf of bread every morning*.. tt wld be just perfect.. and all these sans the terrible kneading by hand (actually not so..its rather stress-relieving; DIE U SON OF A BAST***, woops. pardon me). yep. so.. breadmachine maker yesh or no?

(left: this one is the Breville vertical breadmaker machine going for $188 at Tangs.)

(right: and this is the Morphy Richards 48245 Bread Maker retailing for $155 at tangs now. apparently its on some sorta promotion)

okie.. now which of the two do you think are better.. hmph.. seriously.. i dun knoe. guess I've got to go about finding out more regarding the functions first before making the jump.. rawr.. sihan doesn't like making decisions!!!

oh well.. lets just say this wld have to wait as I've got more urgent issues on my hands. like... getting the TWD post out!! mummy! pls come home with the camera soon!

I'm only up when you're not down

Don't wanna fly if you're still on the ground

It's like no matter what I do

Well you drive me crazy half the time
The other half I'm only trying to
Let you know that what I feel is true
And I'm only me when I'm with you

sweet bun variations

I K-N-E-A-D Bread!
and the bread experiment saga continues. This time at the spur of the moment, i decided to bake something for babe. Something that was not sweet, something to fill a guys stomach; that way he wouldn't complain that I was stuffing sweet desserts down his throat all the time. *oops* (winks at Deborah) . With that, I did a bit of research, a.k.a blog surfing and found this perfect little recipe for sweet buns off happyhomebaker's website and thought that, perhaps a little addition of savory stuff like ham and cheese and sausage would do the trick. (taking in mind the atrocious sausage croissants that Babe had purchased from carrefour after dance lessons; trust me guys, they were horrid and texture wise, were a cross between a normal bun and an extremely soggy croissant left to stand 2 days ago.)

Armed with the lesson taken from the previous bread-baking expt which was not too long ago, i was determined to squeeze a little more muscle into the kneading efforts. to produce a softer fluffier bread of course. But after kneading for 40mins with my bare hands, i had reduced the sticky dough to one that was very stretchable, BUT somehow unable to pass the window pane test. RAWR... needless to say, i shut one eye. And after a few more tosses and stretches, i left the dough to poof at room temperature for the next hour plus.

When i came back, i was thrilled to see that the dough had poofed up to at least twice the original size. YESH! so i did succeed. This was going to produce some nice bread for sure... hehe. And so it did!. the bread texture was just nice, hot from the oven. Soft and tender... and it stayed that way for a pretty long time.
so in the picture above these were the variations I managed to come up with. Using the dough in the recipe above, I got 9 portions of bread each of about 60g in weight. I decidingly rolled some with sausages (i boiled them for a while before) and some with ham and cheese and lastly with kaya.

Trust me, i was elated upon seeing the beautiful bread. they look like those from the confectionary shops! (erm.. apart from my lousy rolling skills that resulted in rather uneven flower petals. haha) I promised to leave a few to make pork floss buns the next time round. Any other suggestions people?

So without further ado, here is the recipe for those aspiring bread-winners!
Sweet Bun Recipe
Ingredients: (make around nine 60g portions)
150g bread flour
150g cake flour
5g active dry yeast
3g salt
125g milk
1 egg
60g caster sugar
50g butter
(1 egg, beaten, for glazing)


  • Mix all dry ingredients in a mixing bowl.
  • Add in milk, egg and butter. Mix into a dough.
  • Place the dough on a lightly floured work surface. Knead the dough until the gluten is fully developed and the dough is elastic, smooth and non-sticky. It will take about 25 mins to knead the dough by hand. Initially the dough will stick on to the work surface. Do not be tempted to add more flour or even give up kneading! After continuous kneading, the dough will no longer stick to the work surface. (i used 40mins though.. haha..)
  • Place the dough in the mixing bowl and cover with a damp towel or cling wrap to seal in the moisture. Allow the dough to ferment(or proof) until double in bulk. This will take about 1 hr in our Singapore weather. To test whether the dough has been fully proofed, press a finger into the dough and withdraw quickly. It should leave a deep impression and spring back very slowly. For an insufficiently proofed dough, the impression will spring back instantly.
  • Take out the dough and punch out the gas produced. Let the dough rest for about 15 minutes.
  • Divide the dough into 60g portions. Shape and add fillings as desired. Arrange dough in a greased or lined pan. Rest for about another 15 minutes.
  • Brush the top with whole egg mixture. Add almond flakes on the top of the buns, as desired.
  • Bake for about 15 minutes in a preheated oven at 190 degC. Remove from pan and cool on wire rack.

and tada.. you've got bakery shop bread fresh out of your oven. Its not so tough after all! and whats most important was... there was something to fill my Babe's stomach before dance lessons. *yay*.. he likes it!