The week held on with more than just a rough draught for me. To those who have noticed or perhaps misunderstood my absence in many occasions. I apologise for my disappearing act. Just need to get some things together. Meanwhile, I've been busy with a few projects of mine. Lovely little baking orders. Standing perched against the counter top peering into the oven, the searing heat casting an after glow on my face.
Last of all, a special mention to the ADM design team for creating such an awesome site for the annual dinner and dance to be held at butter factory. I'm mentioned by the way as I will be catering for this lovely event. Thank you guys for the opportunity!
Bakesale!!!Cake and Crumbs will be headed to its 2nd bakesale in collaboration with Vicki of My Sweet Niblets! Details are as follows above. Menu will include a lovely spread of everything from cookies, madeleines, cupcakes, and brownies to savoury items such as chicken pie and cheese twists with ham! So do drop by and support us!
And as I mentioned in a previous post, I came to attend a friend's party and even gathered the honor of being able to bake her 21st Birthday cake. *woots*. Plus there were the honorory mentions at the end. hehe. But still, given the birthday girl's large exposure to good food and excellent dining experiences (fyi. she writes for the nanyang chronicles), she was indeed one tough nut to crack. Having several expectations and need for the surprise element when it came to cake flavor and design. Well, just another day at work for me then...
So voila.. before I launch into a full episode about the whereabouts of the party.. here's the Cake I baked. Ivoire Lavender as i call it, it comprises of a 4 layered, 2 tiered cake made of lavender white chocolate whisper cake layers sandwiching the most delicate lemon swiss meringue buttercream and christened with a shadow of white ganache. Topped by a few sprigs of iced butterfly cookies (due to the bdae's girls fondness of butterflies) and line after line of colored white ganache.. a sweet delectable eye-candy of a cake popped out. And for once, I was satisfied with my creation...
the party was held in the function room of her condo. It was a little strange given that the room was stashed away on the second floor of the clubhouse rather than the ground floor. But still, the air of excitement and not to mention.. youth was floating throughout. From the vibrant rose petals gracing the steps as we made out entrance to the colorful banners that stretched across the ceiling. Every detail in this party was well thought about and executed. It left the few guests feeling warm and welcomed.
Food was catered in and named special names according to tales from Disneyland such as the Lady and the Tramp Spaghetti and Meatballs, etc.. And to make matters more interesting. Guests were dressed up to the nines in their disneyland themed costumes. Such as the likes of Jasmine, Aladdin, Abu the monkey, Stitch, Princess Fiona in Shrek, Snow White, Belle, Pinochio... It was terrible fun seeing everyone parading in the room with their custumes and assumed personas. But not so fun when you're seriously undressed and slightly scruffy from the baking class you attended just awhile ago... argh.. if only i had known.. i would have erm.. probably throw on a fresh blouse or something... hehe.
Lollipop Cookies that i baked as door gifts for the guests...
Next up, the games preceeded with it being led by a lady in a blue suit.. wait a minute.. *rubbing eyes*.. isn't that stitch?! yesh.. apparently the games commentator was Estelle's friend.. a very amiable girl dressed in a uber thick Stitch suit.. i reckon she must have sweated off a bucket just clambering into the bodysuit. But then again, that is besides the point! Kudos to the team behind the games, thanks for bringing the crowd some entertainment! and i apologise for my very shallow knowledge regarding disney facts..
and then finally.. the cake cutting ceremony begins.. of course headed by an unslew of thank you speeches and award presentations to the party's best dressed. Most furry character anyone?!
so with a darkening of the lights overhead and the lighting of dazzling candles on the cake... it was like magic. the procedure that would otherwise seem so mundane.. enhanced by the presence of so many beautiful people.. supportive in spirit.
When the cake was finally sawed thru with gusto by the fair maiden... i gawked.
'ooo...it has purple layers!', I said.
Now if you think clearly.. that is a rather silly remark coming from the baker of the cake. In fact.. it invited an amountable number of stares from people nearby.. *woops*.. Like what?! I'm just amazed that's all. To me, the cake spelt success.. with a smooth layering and a slight lilac tint to the floral scented cake; it was just bewildering. Apparently the hostess thought it was tad sweet but then again she commented that it was lovely to look at. A consolation for me despite feeling a bit sore. The ingredients and frostings were chosen on the basis that they would and should survive the sweltering heat.. and they did! *yipee*
okay.. so enough about cake talk. Here's a group photo of Estelle and her beloved friends.. Just adore all the costumes featured.
I would like to thank the dear birthday girl for inviting me to the party and even more so for allowing me to bake her 21st Birthday Cake... one of the rare occasions i get invited to a party for which i baked for.. Kinda reminds me of how I got to know Evangeline last time.. But that's a whole different story...We'll leave that to next time.
Now its time to catch some sleep... *yawnz*
This cake is also my entry to Layers of Cake organised by Laurie of Quirky Cupcake. Layered cakes rule!!! Please refer to her site if you wanna take part in this awesome event!
Woke up to a banged up head this morning. Followed by cold stiff feet and puffy eyes. I swore I had never encountered such a strong gravitional force towards my pillow ever.
Thanks dear for bringing over a tub of my favourite Butterscotch Pecan icecream just to please me.
Meanwhile, I have decidingly changed my baking website to a new one! Sugar Fairy has shifted to her new home! So do please drop by for a visit sometime... Cheers!
Round two.. FIGHT! Oops.. lets not bring the taekwondo sparring i've been looking at onto the table alright?
Moving on to the second food review of the week. Again, visited on occasion of my the twins birthdays. The destination, Absolute Haven along princep street. Frankly, this isn't my first visit to the eatery having had lunch there before whilst serving my 6 months Industrial attachment along Orchard. The food as I recalled it was undeniably good, with reasonable prices and not too meagre portions. So when my mum asked me to make a reservation (for the second time) to spring a surprise on my unsuspecting auntie; it was my first choice.
Upon arriving at the resturant on a saturday night. I was surprised to find the entire resturant filled to the brim with customers; apart from our booked table of course. The customers range from mostly the early 20s to early 30s; a considerably younger crowd than what we had observed over the last dinner. I attribute it to the price range of the menu and the more accessible location. But between the two, it was a tough fight with both emerging tops in different categories.
The courses were served up quickly. And to not bog down the whole event of describing the food, i shall jump to the star attractions. For starters, it was the Soft Shell Crab with Beetroot puree sauce that shone thru.. But still it was nothing in comparison to the excellent appetisers we had at Brown Sugar. As for mains, the stars were the pork and the fish dishes. I loved my oven roasted seabass topped with poached egg. The fish, both succulent and flavorful was indeed a delight on the palette. It's a MUST try if you ever visit the eatery.
The finale to the meal was sadly a disappointment. With the Tiramisu being slightly mediocre, passing off as just a normal tiramisu glamed up in a long stemmed glass. The victorian creme brulee was oh wel.. just creme brulee. I'm biased i guess. never did like the dessert to begin with. Then again, the flavor of rose extract was no where to be found!!! The crepe suzette on the other hand, I had a bad experience with the last time hence I avoided it like a plague. At least the fire lighting ritual was mastered this time around.
In the end, the final verdict... BROWN SUGAR wins hands down!!!
*claps*.. So if you guys looking to bringing that special someone to impress without the expense of bursting your wallet.. do give brown sugar a try.
hearing the name of the eatery resonating in your throat already sends a tinge of delightful shivers down my spine. There is something about brown sugar.. its simplicity and yet richness of flavor that intrigues me. And so does this eatery situated in a lovely little corner of stardus clubhouse along river valley road bear a vague resemblence to the contradictory complexity of its name.
With two birthdays on hand, both falling on the same day ( f.y.i. my mum and auntie are identical twins); we had the privilege of trying out two resturants which I was given the honor of selecting. I decided to go ahead with Brown Sugar cafe and bistro. Number one, because I have yet to try it, number two, I WANTED to try it. So ...*tink*.. there goes the green light for me!
Reservations were made way way way ahead to prevent any disappointments and not to mention a whole lot of scolding if I had failed my task (which was to make the bookings of course).
And so that weekend, with a lot of baking orders on hand, my family and I together with my auntie and Trevor came together to Brown Sugar and Bistro with nothing but a whole lot of expectations...
The food was served at comfortable pace.. each course displaying a multitude of flavors and creative pairing of ingredients. Plating was superbly done as well; each dish being layout in a most appetising way. For starters, the soft shell crab with caesar salad was a sure winner; the generous portion of crisp soft shell crab giving texture to the whole dish. Home-made croutons.. i couldn't say no to that as well. I on the other hand had the resturant's famous deconstructed green apple salad with brie, toasted walnuts, argula and balsamic vinegar dressing (if i remember correctly). It was awesome.. with the brie obviously stealing the show. My aunt evidently enjoyed her warm goat cheese tart with salad on the side; with the potent melted goat cheese flowing out of the filo pastry shell, it was no wonder that she would take an instant liking to it.
Main courses were soon served. With a good spread of dishes ordered by the family including Oven roasted lamb rack, Wagyu Beef burger with Foie Gras, Organic Mushroom Linguine in cream Sauce and Parma Ham, Slow Roasted Pork Belly and Tenderloin Steak. If you ask me, the real winners were the Slow roasted Pork Belly and the Oven roasted lamb; despite Brown Sugar's claim to fame for their wagyu beef burger and mushroom linguine. But then again, its coming from a bias source. Someone who doesn't like beef? BAH.. don't count on it.
The night's culinary affair bumped on. With every course building up the pleasure senses to the max and reaching a crescendo at desserts. If you guys must have your sweet stuff. PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE do come to Brown Sugar for their desserts. soooo GOOD! We shared the Sticky Date Pudding soaked in caramel sauce served with a sprinkling of walnuts and a good scoop of gourmet vanilla bean icecream on top, Tarte tartin of pears that is paired off with a generous scoop of honey and fig ice-cream, and finally a molten chocolate cake also served with a scoop of vanilla icecream. These were excellent! with the front two hogging the limelight. The ice-cream on its alone is able to stand up in battle against Goliath! I'm definitely going back for more next time. And to tell you a secret.. the set lunch menu comprising of 3 courses is only $27 a set!!! now that's a steal!
Brown Sugar Cafe Bistro
Address: 277 River Valley Road
#01-04 Stardus Clubhouse
Tel: 6333 6612
Website: Brown Sugar
Baked this for a 21st Birthday Party for a friend of mine. Along with the 30 customised decorated Cookie Lollipop sticks, this was a tough task to tackle. Even more so given complexity of the cake, a delightful cake infused with the floral notes of lavender and an acquired richness from the melted white chocolate added into the batter. It didn't help that i met with several 'accidents' along the way like baking my first batch of cake and absent mindedly forgetting to add the sugar in!!! the end result, a deflated and severely dense cake. *groanz*... there goes all my ingredients down the drain. Arghs..
subsequently, everything worked out fine. And nibbling on the scraps of cake while leveling.. i must say that i absolutely love the cake. Moist and awfully aromatic! Guess this will be my entry to Layers of Cake by Laurie of Quirky Cupcake. But I'll have to wait till i get a cross sectional shot of a slice of cake before the posting! *toodles*
I know this hardly looks like a TWD entry. Especially with the fan of words and no interrupting pictures glorifying the end product. A rather sad story since I don't have my hands on any camera as of now. Apparently my camera is faring much better than me, enjoying a fun-filled trip under the sun in Bali with my parents!!! ARGH.. Hence the missing photos. Pardon me but I guess all the talk will have to suffice. *praying hard that I'll get my hands on a camera the next day before all the ice-cream is wiped out*
(guess you guys are wondering what i'm rambling on about? oh well.. the camera is back from Bali! took some snapshots of the ice beauty.. things got a little hard around here since it had been a week since I had made the leap. But nonetheless, they still tasted darn good! Well... at least the cammy came back with some goodies! a whole packet of wild vanilla beans!!! Woots!)
This week's selection was done by Dolores of Chronicles in Culinary Curiousity. She chose the Blueberry Sour Cream Icecream! Finally the first cold treat TWD entry! I so so so have to try this!
I loved that the recipe called for the use of fresh blueberries that I had fervently stocked up in my freezer the past few months whilst they were in season. Cooking them over the stove, i reduced the recommended sugar as the berries were sweet enough. The Fruit puree alone was gorgeous.. a deep set purple in color. I was already falling in love. A few quick blitzes in the processor with the added sour cream and cream and "HEY PRESTO!" the wonderful custard mixture was ready.
After the required cooling period (and more.. sorry.. i inherited lazy bones over the wkends), i proceeded to try out the David Lebovitz method of making ice-cream without a machine. The method though a little time consuming and little straining on the arm trying to manage the crazy handmixer whirling out of control in the stiff frozen custard each time paid off just fine. And in the end, I yielded a creamy icecream in a gorgeous purple hue. Flavorwise, it was spot on.. with the tanginess of the sourcream shining thru the bursting glory of the blueberries.
I'm telling you.. this is GOOD STUFF! in fact a thousand times better than last week's Black and White Banana Loaf. so please do go over to Dolores's site at Chronicles in Culinary Curiousity for the full recipe. and please do check out the other gorgeous attempts thru the Tuesday with Dorie blogroll! SElf control guys *practising yoga*.. thats all we need to resist all the lovely treats...
just a mental note to myself,
since I rarely have an occasion where I have much thoughts to narrate. fyi, i'm not a empty vessel full of cake notions and nothing but saccharine output..I do have times where thoughts overwhelm me. Yet some of do still surround the reality that I am. One that i live in oblivion and negligance, a wanting to shove away.
Recently, I have been caught up with a bunch of business. Mostly concerning the oven of course. Baking for orders, birthdays and gatherings. Tried out a few new recipes.. tiramisu au vert (green tea) topped with Rich chocolate mousse; and a mango lime cake (light vanilla genoise laced with coconut rum, heavenly lime meringue buttercream and lucious mango curd). The second met with a minor mishap along the way for the party though and i ended up not dishing it up. It wasn't a pretty sight after that bumpy car ride. Trust me...
But still the prospects of upcoming business deals looms ahead. I look forward to them.. Dinner and dance events (catering to 100+ pple seems a little daunting), tea receptions and a few birthdays All the orders, and the expectations that follow closely behind can sometimes throw me off my tracks a little. Have to constantly remind myself that still interest and passion should be my drive. Been harboring many thoughts about my future lately.. they seem a little blurred.
on the hindsight, school has resumed. The first week of school was a tad nostalgic. Still not used to the notion of sitting in lectures after a half year plus of being absent from school. But still the reality of the situation stays the same, what awaits me is my final year of university life. All hands on deck! Dark, threatening clouds are gathering up ahead. Perhaps its time to pray for a little clear skies...
I'm gonna need all the help that I can get.
Was browsing through the newspapers this morning while chomping down my breakfast of honey almond clusters cereal. Not exactly a glamorous scene given that I was in pyjames, hair all over the place and a white bowl clutched in my hand as I shoved a spoonful of the yummy morsels into my mouth. *crunch*...
Guess what I saw that stole my interest completely? nono, it ain't from the political section nor the finance part of the paper. But it was a blown up article about 1-1 deals specially for DBS cardholders. well, with nimble eyes i scanned the list quickly. 'Lawrys', check! 'Big O', Check! 'Cafebiz', check!'... 'Friends @ Chomp Chomp', CHECK!!! oh my gosh.. my big break! 1-1 set lunches/ dinners and on top of that 1-1 housepours/ beer? How could resist such a deal. With that i called up babe to tell him about a last minute plan for tonights dinner that i had conjured up in my head. All the while, dreaming about the spread of food that await me tonight.
So here's a food review on Friends @ Chomp Chomp. And as mentioned earlier. I scored the 1-1 deal for set dinners using my DBS credit card. (so all those holding the card, pls consider making a trip there!) . The set dinner comprised of 3 courses and a tea/coffee to end off the meal. With the usual price at $39.00 (sans the extra charges), I was expecting a quality meal with rather large proportions to boot.
and my selections follow: (sorry about the poor photography as the restaurant was really dark! Guess they sorta like the romantic feel with all the lit candles and rather dim lighting. Yikes)
The smoked duck salad was to die for! I love the stewed green apples on the plate as they added a rich and heavier feel to the entire dish. The duck breast were flavorful, smoky and wonderfully addictive. Wish i had more! Next up, the Coq Au Vin. I loved this dish as well as the red wine stew was hearty and beautifully rich with flavor and aroma. The chicken was tender to the bone and the mashed potatos were creamy and matched my ideal consistency. I was taken by this dish. The desserts on the hand were less spectacular then those promised on the menu. Apparently the warm apple tart and chocolate mousse cake with pistachio cream were off the menu that day. DARN!!! i was so looking forward to licking that pistachio cream off the plate! oh well.. at least the accompanying coffee was of a certain standard.
Overall, the dishes were of miniscule sizes and my dining companion, my dearest babe complained that it was too little. I couldn't agree more though i was filled up nicely. Given the heavy price tag of (U.P $39) set dinners. I was expecting a little heartier a serving. *cold water splashes down my back* Oh well, point of consolation. At least the service was good.. food was served up at a consistent rate. And the wine.. 1-1? now that just fabulous (said with a gayfied drone) isn't it?
Friends @ Chomp Chomp
1 Maju Avenue #01-01A
Serangoon Garden Village
Website: friendsfoodandwineOn a side note, here's my favourite Mariah Carey song of the moment. I know its really old, but I just love her lower register in this piece. Perfect song to walk down the aisle with...
'I have had enough!!!', a vexed voice inside of me screams. Two attempts. Both with less than satisfactory results. The second being a tad better than the first. At least i remembered to line my loaf tin with parchment paper before pouring the batter in to prevent the sticky situation when removing the cake. But still, the cake didn't have its predominant swirls and fancy pattern even though i abided by all the rule of the book?
TWD for this week is the Black and White Banana Loaf as chosen Ashlee of A Year in the Kitchen. (please refer to her blog if you want the recipe). A charming recipe (in print) with a duo batter containing some of the most delicious ingredients you could put together. Rum, Nutmeg, Bittersweet Chocolate, Lemon Rind and Bananas. What could beat that?
In the end, it was all just a shattered dream for me.
What's wrong with me? gawd.. guess I haven't have much luck with loaf cakes. They always turn out either too dry or undercooked! BAH. Did i mention that upon pressing down on the cooked slices of cake, i actually had residual oil staining my finger? where in the world is all that oil leaking out from??!?
A million possibilities are shrouding my head regarding the mysterious failure of this recipe. Had i overmixed the batter? had i added a wrong portion of a certain ingredient? had my bananas been to small (1 and a half banana doesn't seem to accurate a measurement if you ask me)? is my oven going insane? or is my loaf tin not appropriate for this recipe?! ARGH.. Perhaps anyone of you out there got some good advice?
the only consolation, at least the cake was tasty, wonderfully moist. And i love the aroma of rum whiffing thru the cake as you bite into the crisp layer that has built up on the surface of the loaf. *sniffles*. maybe things aren't so bad after all...
to see more cases of success and happy stories, please refer to the TWD blogroll! I'm sure you'll get much more satisfaction there... Better luck next time...
Special note: after looking thru so many other posts. I came to conclusion that the super-moist innards are actually normal! Just that i shld have added less to the chocolate mixture instead so that the marbling would be more evident. Next time, I'll reduce the milk by half too! Thanks to the TWD bloggers who have provided me with all the insights. Now I'm enlightened. Somehow the loaf taste so much better after sitting there a whole day... *smilez*
And as promised! my dessert for this round of sugar high friday shall be revealed in this post. But first lets give a quick run down of the situation (just in case u folks there are a bit caught up in questions like 'what is SHF?' and yada yada..). Firstly, Sugar High Friday a.k.a SHF is an blogging event created by Jennifer at the Domestic Goddess where bloggers and bakers around the world come together to make something sweet out of the surprise theme or ingredient that is decided upon by the host in liason with the Jennifer. The round up will then be posted up on a friday for everyone to enjoy.. and alas the sugar high friday. In this case, the theme as provided by Susan of foodblogga is berries!!! *whistles*.. let the show begin.
So to begin with, a baked this loaf of pretty pink bread using strawberry yogurt as my base for the dessert to come. the recipe is as follows. For you guys out there who are keen on getting a good soft cottony loaf of bimbotic treasures with a slight hint of berries. This is the loaf to try.
250g bread flour
100g flavoured yogurt (i used strawberry)
60g fresh milk
25g egg (about half an egg)
1. Place all dry ingredients into the bread machine and mix using a whisk.20mins in dough cycle
2.Add in all wet ingredients and mix for 20 mins in bread machine under dough cycle.
3.Stop the machine and use a wet spatula to scrape the dough from sides of container, pulling the dough toward the center of the mixture.
4. Remove spatula and repeat the kneading process for another 20mins cycle until the dough form a ball on top of the blades.
5. Remove dough from machine and knead by hand on a well-floured surface till the dough is smooth and no longer sticky. Shape the dough into a large ball.
6. Put the bread dough in a slightly greased large bowl . Cover the bowl with a damp cloth or cling-wrap and leave it to proof in a warm place till double its size (about 1 hour).
7. When proofing is completed, punch down the bread dough to release the air.
8. Divide the dough equally into three portions. Knead each portion till smooth and shape it by rolling it tightly into a rectangular shape (action similar to rolling a swiss roll)
9. Place them into a loaf pan.
10. Cover the loaf pan with a cling wrap and allow the dough to go for second proofing until double its size again.
11. Egg wash the top of the bread and bake in preheated oven at 160C for 30 minutes until the top turns golden brown.
Moving on, i had to wait till sunday (which was regrettably the last day for submission) before i could complete the whole dessert which is a good thing for me since the bread could afford to be a little stale for this recipe.
Double Berry Whammy Bread and Butter Pudding!
now isn't that a mouthful.
With inspiration drawn from Donna Hay's Modern Classics 2. I created my own version of the marmalade bread and butter pudding which was published. Instead of using marmalade, i decidingly used blueberry jam to spread on the breads. Infused a bit of strawberry creme liquer in the custard mixture for that extra touch of decadance and stuffed fresh berries all around the pudding. for the complete recipe. Please refer to here.
This was extraordinary straight out of the oven with the berries burst and overflowing its rich purple juices all over the bread. The peeping crust heads creating such a crisp and crunchy contrast to the soft pudding below. And the icecream.. Burnt Caramel flavoured (from island creamery).. i just can't have enough of that...
so in the wake of an upcoming event. Namestakingly, the sugar high friday. I decided to bake up a loaf of strawberry yogurt bread that would help me out later in the commencement of my sweet dessert with this month's theme being berries of course. Stay tuned for the real deal!
and of course the first component of the dessert is already made using berries; strawberry yogurt!!! CHECK!
Watch out tmr for the emergence of the entire dessert! (trust me, its gonna be the bomb) and recipe for the strawberry yogurt bread (which turned out reallie good! think i'm getting the hang of this... the bread itself had a slight fragrance from the strawberry yogurt used and it was cottony soft on the insides. *yumz*. Given its tantalizing pink nature, i was taken. hope u are too!)
today Babe confided in me. one comment that sent my thoughts on a whirlwind journey across the savannah of a mind; bare and stripped. He requested my help in stimulating his thought process and that I may converse with him in way that would invoke a series of detailed chain of thoughts that supposedly were beneficial for the analytical mind.
It lead me to think.. was i not good enough? I know its a bit far fetched. But somehow, perhaps he found our conversations, not thought-provoking enough? Or maybe even silly at times? Daily mundane conversations that become a manner of life, like a ritual or even custom that we in turn take forgranted?
Worst still, my thoughts lingered on and soon touched my raw inferiority nature. Was it because I didn't talk about stocks, or shares nor equities or bonds? Or was it because I never discuss current affairs and politics with him? Truth is, we hardly talk at all...
why so? easy.. you know how the world is made of those born to speak and those whom are good listeners? Well, coincidentally, we are both listeners. Hence, more often than not, we sit in silence waiting for the other party to say something. I agree it may be non-intellectual at times, but how do you expect me to converse when i have nothing to talk about? If you're talking about rantings and complaints, i keep those to myself. Gossiping, neh, i often get the facts wrong. So basically its not uncommon to find my without a word to utter, not even mutter under my breath. And it ain't my fault...
I'm at loss.. could this be my hurdle? could i lose out to someone else in the future just because i wasn't a good conversationalist? That's a scary thought to harbor.
Yet admist this hurricane of thoughts. My love for this man who stands before me still flourishes. He is my breath of fresh air, my life support in the fiercest storm and my punching bag when times get rough (regrettably). I'm so glad to have you in my life.
still falling in love with you everyday of my life,