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My friend, G left 15 minutes ago and my kitchen seriously looked like a whirlwind just swept though it. A chocolate whirlwind actually.

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Okay, if you’ve ever read my blog, you would know that currently, I don’t post recipes. I know, food blogs are all about the recipes, but hey, my mental well-being (and my report card) is more important at the moment! I promise I’ll add all the recipes after Nov, okay?

Anyway, I told you about my plan for Teachers’ Day’s presents  awhile ago recently. So after much thought, I decided to make a Vanilla (yellow) and Chocolate Cake with Truffle Frosting. Nine Vanilla and Chocolate Cake-lettes with Truffle Frosting. We looked through 3 cook books fill we were finally able to decide what we were going to do.

Truthfully, I was rather apprehensive about baking with G. I very rarely bake with anyone, and I feel just like Elissa does about baking with a friend. After baking with her though, I was really thankful that she had agreed to bake with me. Without her, I probably wouldn’t have finished the nine cakes until 12 midnight. Which would be really bad, trust me.

We had A LOT of problems finishing them. Baking the cakes was easy. Really really easy. We decided that we were going to use White Chocolate Ganache as a filling. Actually, I have never heard of White Chocolate Ganache and I was just going to substitute the semisweet chocolate in Chocolate Ganche with White Chocolate. Lucky G reminded me that White Chocolate’s very sweet, and the cake would most probably make our teachers diabetic.

Yikes.

So we added both Semi sweet Chocolate and White chocolate, and we ended up with a very light brown ganache. Unique, I must say.

Anyway, frosting ONE cake is simple.

Nine?

I started frosting at 1; I finished at 6. The cake was also kind of crumbly so I had a extremely difficult time frosting them as they kept breaking up. After much cursing and screaming, I finally finished 8 of them.

Unexpectedly, the door bell rang at that moment and G’s parents came into the house. I’m not exactly your best hostesses when I’m covered in chocolate and in the process of frosting a cake. So when they came in, I was seriously at a loss of what to do. G’s an Indonesian scholar, and between her parents and I, there was a yawning communication gap. They watched me frost the cake with serious expressions and I nearly fainted from the stress – stressed because G’s mom used to be a caterer, and she had obviously made beautiful cakes before. Being an amateur cake decorator, I was seriously panicking at that moment.

Seriously.

Luckily she didn’t faint or frown at my efforts, so I took that as a good sign. (Hopefully!)

We actually wanted to make rectangular chocolate pieces to top off the cake, but it didn’t work out, so we decided that chocolate shards would actually make a rather elegant topping. So anyway, we put the finishing touches and G’s Mom even helped me clean the cake boards of the excess frosting! YAY! So  all in all, a very fun and interesting experience! Even though I feel as if I have just finished a marathon, which essentially, I did (cake making marathon), I ‘m feeling kinda happy and maybe, I’ll start asking others to help me in the kitchen.

Okay, who am I kidding? G’s probably going to be the only person I’ll ever bake with! 😀

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Random: Sport’s day collage!

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Okay I made a mistake about only wanting to bake with G. I was tired and not thinking straight that day! Sorry to C&S ):
I’ll get back to posting when I have the time. Right now, I have about 10000 maths papers to finish):

The funny thing about having a blog is that I can lie.

I could lie to you about how I’m the smartest, most well liked person in the whole of my school, and what are the chances that you would be able to find out the truth? I could lie to you about how I felt so happy after making these Milan Cookies

Could doesn’t mean would though. Truthfully, I was really looking forward to making these last night.IMG_2143

So today, I happily mixed all the ingredients together and filled up my brand new piping bag with it’s brand new tips.(:D) When the first batch was baked, I kind of felt all the “happy” air go out of me. They turned out looking nice, just that maybe, when I tried this recipe, I expected magic to happen. I mean, I’m trying a Daring Baker’s Recipe aren’t I?

I guess that I’ve always had this dream of being a Daring Baker, such that I thought that when I tried the first Daring Baker’s recipe, I would suddenly become A daring baker. You get what I mean? IMG_2145

I wasn’t sure exactly what the recipe meant. So i piped out one inch lines of batter. They turned out really tiny, so I piped circles instead. They’re actually really cute, the size of a teaspoon. Maybe slightly smaller even. Although they weren’t all circular and perfectly shaped, I liked them. Finding two that were almost the same size was really fun, and since none were identical, it made them look really unique. The chocolate filling was really rich and I also added some cornstarch to make it thicker. It was really nice, actually. The richness of the chocolate complemented the light and crisp/chewyish cookies. Even if they don’t make me feel as if magic had happened, I don’t mind making them again, actually.

By the way, I’ll upload the Sports Day pictures another time. I took a crazy 116 pictures. Even uploading half of them would take ages. Gonna go for my “crabflower club” (???????) play now, bye!IMG_2146

IMG_1955Time flies by so quickly. Tomorrow’s Sports Day, and it seems just like yesterday when I attended last year’s Sports Day.

I used to represent my school for Tennis. Used to, as I’ve stopped training for almost half a year. I played tennis for the first 3 years of Secondary school, and trainings were a big part of life then. Last year, I was given a chance to organise a fund raising project to raise funds (what else?) for a charitable organisation called the Breadline Society. During then, I had already begun baking. I only did simple things like brownies and cookies. (I was too ambitious and tried French Macroons once. Don’t ask what happened) My friends especially enjoyed my brownies, and so I thought that they would make the most profitable easiest things to sell.

Oh, how wrong I was.

The day before Sports Day, my seniors and my friends, all whom were members of my school’s tennis team, went over to my house to make brownies. I didn’t think that it would be much of a challenge. We had 6 people, 2 tins, a lot of ingredients and a whole day to get things ready. After we finished the first batch, then I realized there was going to be a big big problem. We needed 200 hundred brownies. We took 2 hours to make the first 8.

You get the picture.

So from that point on, it went crazy. We baked non-stop throughout the whole night. A bakers dream come true?

Definitely not. I bake because I want to share delicious food with my friends; I put in effort, I take care to ensure that it tastes nice. That night, I did none of that.

We had to cut corners here and there, because we were running out of ingredients at 3 am in the morning. I baked brainlessly. Even if it didn’t turn out 100 percent looking good, it still had to packaged, and sold. It was so heart-wrenching to have to include all the “rejects”. I always throw away stuff that doesn’t taste good enough. Having to put those crumbled brownies into the paper bags was just going against my “I-bake-to-make-you-happy” principal.

After that, I swore that I would never ever bake with putting in my 100% effort again.

This year, Sports Day feels really different to me. There’s no anticipation, no excitement, just that feeling of acceptance that I have to sit through 4 hours of track and field. Maybe it’s because I’ve been so preoccupied with studying for prelims that I’ve totally forgotten how life should be fun and not all about studies; maybe it’s because this year, I won’t be spending it with my lovely seniors.

Anyhow, at least I know I’m going to make a group of girls happy.IMG_1951

I promised my friend C that I would make blue cupcakes for her. Okay, I WANTED blue cupcakes, but I was convinced by my good friend S that they would be look appetizing. So I made white cupcakes, with blue frosting. They had to contain some element of blue as I’m in the “house” Bougainvillea, and our coulour’s blue. C’s a cheerleader, and this year, they’re really hoping to win the Cheerleading Competition. All the best for them!

Anyway, I had a hard time making these. My newly bought muffin tin was slightly too large, and the muffins at the side didn’t bake as quickly as those in the oven. I conveniently forgot that Blue(colouring)+ Yellow(butter) = Green(frosting). Yikes! Luckily the frosting turned a nice shade of blue after adding more colouring. Phew. I thought the cake’s texture was kind of gummy, but Mum said it was fine, so I’m trusting her judgment.

Oh, if you realized that I don’t include the recipes, it’s because I don’t exactly have the time. Yes, I know, it’s ironic that I type such a long post, yet I find it time consuming to include a short recipe.  I think it’s kind of a psychological thing. Makes me feel more guilty knowing that I’m not memorising Redox reactions and preparing for O’levels!

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Yes, I took one. It was too tempting to resist!

Yes, I took one. It was too tempting to resist!

Okay, I admit. It’s been really difficult trying to be enthusiastic about this poor little blog. Practically no one visits it! I don’t have a great camera, and neither do I have interesting posts to keep you hooked! Maybe I’m too ambitious for my own good; maybe I’m just a really lousy baker.

While thinking about that, I sort of realized something: there are very few Singaporean food blogs. I tried searching for some once, but I only found less than 10! Most of them weren’t very well known either. After much thought, I understand why it’s so hard for any  Singaporean to set up a successful food blog.

One of the reasons is that there’s a culture difference between Asia (or more specifically, Singapore) and other European counties. For example,what we eat here is definitely not what you would eat in America, lets say. Every night, my family has rice, steamed seafood, a plate of stir fried vegetables and the occasional clear soup. On Monday, I was rather tired of having the same old dishes, so I decided to make ratatouille as a main dish for dinner. So in went the eggplants, capsicum, carrots, yam, tomatoes and ladyfingers. Yes, it’s not the traditional french ratatouille. I Chinese-ifyied it. So how was it received?

Brother :
(after nibbling on a small piece of yam): ” See Sis. I do try your food”
He then turns to my maid and said, “Can you help me fry two eggs? I’m still hungry.”

Dad:
He dug through the whole dish and asked, “I’m looking for luncheon meat(spam), chicken or beef. Why I can’t seem to find any meat?”

You get the picture.

So how am I going to make delicious Western desserts when even my family isn’t enthusiastic about trying them? You tell me.

Secondly, we don’t have the same type of produce here. We’re flooded with bananas, papayas, pears and apples. How about cherries, strawberries, blueberries and apricots? Oh they’re available, alright. You just need to pay a bomb to make a batch of blueberry cupcakes. Either that, or the fruits are sour as lemons. Papaya cheesecake doesn’t sound appetizing, does it?

Last and most important reason? We don’t speak proper, accurate English. In Singapore, we have our own version of English – Singlish. Our everyday speech  is peppered with lahs, lohs, mehs, and WHOA LAO EHs. There’s no translation for these words; they’re just “add-ons”. Every time I type a post, it feels like I’m writing an English Essay. I’m sure my English teacher would be proud to see how much effort I put into typing a simple post such as this one. Recently, I visited a rather well known Singaporean food website. When I read some of the comments, I cringed. The author wrote well, just that the people who commented didn’t really bother about typing in grammatically accurate English. My English isn’t that perfect either, but hey! At least I’m trying.

Don’t get me wrong though. I’m a proud Singaporean. I love Singapore, the people, places and the characteristic uniqueness about this place.IMG_1776(I’m soo sorry! I really can’t remove the bluish tinge of this picture!)

These are my opinions, maybe you won’t agree. All in all, although I know there are going to be obstacles to overcome, I’m definitely not going to give up.
😀

Baking changes you in ways that are so subtle, you’d probably not even notice it. For example, I’ve only just realized that I’ve become come a more patient person over the past year. I remember the first few times I made brownies – immediately after they come out of the oven,  I would  insert a knife into the sides and before you can say “hot”, my brownie’s already out of the pan. Most of the time, more than half of the brownie would remain stuck inside the pan.

Anyway, after having survived my Physics paper this morning, I came back and I immediately knew that today was going to be a Cake day. So out came all my different cookbooks, magazines, newspaper cuttings and so on. I was trying to think up of a cake that would knock the socks off of my teachers. Teachers’ Day’s on next Tuesday, and I think that having been such encouraging and wonderful people, they do deserve the best.

So I decided to try (again) a simple yellow cake. It’s seriously the most basic cake, and yet, it’s the cake that I cannot seem to make.

Hmmm. My previous attempts always yielded a cake that’s underbaked in the center. So this time, I left it in the oven for slightly longer than the specified time and, this is where my new found patience comes in, took it out of the pan only after it had cooled down. So here’s how being slightly more disciplined paid off:

IMG_1841Even Mom commented that it looked good. It’s the first time that she’s ever said that any of my cakes “looked good”.

IMG_1844IMG_1864This is definitely going to be a part of my Teachers’ Day present.