Bake For Chinese New Year : 5 Easy Goodies

In a couple of weeks' time and Chinese New Year would have dawned upon us and I'm really looking forward to it. It's not just about the holidays, the new additions in the wardrobe or the relatives that you visit once a year but the new year goodies and feasts! Homes would be stocking up the dry goods and new year necessities now so don't miss out on new year's baking! 

I was scouring the Internet for new year's baking and found it pretty challenging to find a list of things to try out especially if you're keen on doing so for the first time. Fret not, I'm here to help!

Pineapple Tarts
This is symbolic of Chinese New Year and are seen in almost every, if not all, household during the festive period. Buttery, sweet and a little sourish, these are so morish, you would have popped few into your mouth without much awareness by now. A definite must-try on every baker's list this festive period!
(Photo Credit : Dodol & Mochi)

Peanut Cookies
Peanuts might not appeal to all but this is yet another common and mouthwatering festive cookie which bakers should put their hand into trying if they keen. Your friends and relatives will thank you for it, also try it for yourself, you might just fall in love with peanuts after this.(:
(Photo Credit : Nasi Lemak Lover)

Crispy Almond Butter Cookies 
Look at the photo, don't the cookies look so crunchy and buttery. This is one of the top things on my baking list this coming New Year so try it out yourself too if you're keen!
(Photo Credit : My Sweet Hut)

Cornflake Cookies (Honey Joy)
I've tried making this various times myself and I can assure you that this is quick, simple but very delicious! In no time at all you'll have a few containers full of this. Why waste the time and money to go out looking for this when you can make this yourself?
(Photo Credit : Singapore Shiok!)

Sugee Cake
This is a traditional Eurasian cake that usually appears during festive periods such as Chinese New Year. I haven't tasted it before and so am very keen on baking it myself. I'll let you know how it goes at a later time, but you can definitely try baking it for yourself and let me know! 

Have a great time baking up these treats and let me know if you have any must try recipes! 

God bless. 

Top 5 Eats In London : Delicious & Delectable!

Fish & Chips
This is an old british classic and is probably so well known that an introduction is unnecessary. A fillet of the fish of your choice and hand cut chips, both deep fried to a crisp, what could be simpler and more comforting? The Brits don't season their batter so you'll have to give a good squeeze of malt vinegar and a few good shakes of salt and pepper like they do, or you'll start complaining that the fish & chips taste bland!

Recommended : Golden Union Fish Bar, 38 Poland Street Soho, London ; Sea Shell Restaurant 49-51 Lisson Grove, London.
With the most famous macaron stores, Laduree and Pierre Herme, having outlets in London, what's there to hesitate when you can't get them in Singapore and you don't have to go the extra miles to Paris to get them. They're worth every effort to locate them, all you need is a bite and you'll be sold, I promise. Note : I much prefer Laduree's macarons over Pierre Herme's though! 
Chorizo Bun
The day before heading to Borough Market, I made the effort to checked the place up online and was duly rewarded for doing so. I was processing through the pictures and words when I picked up the words 'Chorizo Bun' and knew I had to taste it. I practically made this my mission and hunted it down even though I didn't mange to find it initially and was thoroughly disappointed but managed to spot it just as we were about to leave the place. The setup was simple : a crispy bun sandwiching rocket, a grilled capsicum and a pan fried chorizo. The taste? Superb. Pan frying the chorizo released all its flavour and the bun is just the right tool to soak up the flavourful oil. 
Pierre Herme's Desserts
Life is not the same anymore after tasting Pierre Herme's desserts. Touted as the Picasso of the pastry world, his every dessert is a masterpiece, this I concur. I had the Vanilla Tart and it was sublime. No mastication was require, every forkful just melted away on my tongue. Mmmm... definitely must try!
I am Asian and I need rice or noodles. You can wax lyrical all day about al dente pastas, super thin crusted piazzas, creamy risotto or tender, well marbled steaks and roasted potatoes but you know you're Asian when the craving for rice or noodles hits you hard on the 3rd or 4th day. We were so glad and thankful for some delicious Asian food in a land or potatoes and fish and chips. Wagamama is the place to go to satisfy your craving for some Asian dishes, I highly recommend their yakisoba! 

Kith Cafe : Your 'Getaway'

School has just started and the stress is mounting already. If you're like me, looking to escape from the noise and stress of a city dweller... Well, it's simple, start your day with a good breakfast or a lazy brunch at Singapore's many little cafes. Nothing beats a good breakfast to give your day the extra boost you need!

Kith Cafe at Park Mall's perfect for a little escape, the cafe's spacious and quiet. Food wise, I didn't go for much that day just simple toast and eggs. But I did like the atmosphere very much so I'll probably head back on an occasion to try out other stuff available on their menu. 

Kith Cafe
9 Penang Road
#01-01E Park Mall
Tel: 6338 8611
Open daily from 8am to 10pm

Smitten Kitchen's Favourite Brownies Recipe : Simply Moreish!

'Searching high and low for a cakey brownie? Get yourself a chocolate cake then.' I was scouring the Internet for a good old brownie recipe and visualizing how I would my brownies' texture to be like so I would know the recipe I want. Yet looking at the first few pictures, it looked to me that the brownies are too dense and I'm not particularly keen on eating chocolate truffles so I went on to look for a recipe that have its brownies more structure. Then I spotted some really cakey ones and I almost took them when the line above hit me - I'm not looking for a chocolate cake but a brownie, ain't I? So finally, I decided that I wanted a brownie with its chewy and fudgey-ness just a little structure to differentiate it from a truffle or a block of chocolate.

So I went to my reliable friend, Mr Google and blogs such as Smitten Kitchen, Dorie Greenspan, etc. So exceptionally pleased was I when I read about Smitten Kitchen's various posts on brownies throughout her years of blogging and most recently, her favourite one. This is because one thing I've learned through blogging, home bakers who blog about their experiences with a particular recipe have no iota of incentive to lie about the outcome and so honestly they'll blog about it, in hope that it'll be a recommendation not a condemnation. 
Deb's recipe is simple, ticks all boxes and exceeds expectations. Is it that good? Yes it is. No fancy ingredients or tools needed, just patience and love and after tasting it, you'll not regret doubling the recipe. Good for thy tummy, not so for the waistline. Oops.

The brownies have the deep chocolate flavour that we all desire and expect of a brownie, the right amount of fudgey-ness, just a little too sweet for the Asian palette. Here's your brownie recipe if you're looking for one; Try it.

My Favourite Brownies
(Adapted From Smitten Kitchen)

Makes 1 8×8 pan of brownies which you can cut into 16 2-inch squares (shown above), 25 smaller squares, or 32 2×1-inch bites, which is what I usually do.

3 ounces (85 grams) unsweetened chocolate, roughly chopped
1 stick (4 ounces or 115 grams) unsalted butter, plus extra for pan
1 1/3 cups (265 grams) granulated sugar
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon (5 ml) vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon flaky sea salt or 1/4 teaspoon table salt (about 2 grams)
2/3 cup (85 grams) all-purpose flour

Heat oven to 350°F. Line an 8×8-inch square baking pan with parchment, extending it up two sides, or foil. Butter the parchment or foil or spray it with a nonstick cooking spray.

In a medium heatproof bowl over gently simmering water, melt chocolate and butter together until only a couple unmelted bits remain. Off the heat, stir until smooth and fully melted. You can also do this in the microwave in 30-second bursts, stirring between each. Whisk in sugar, then eggs, one at a time, then vanilla and salt. Stir in flour with a spoon or flexible spatula and scrape batter into prepared pan, spread until even. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out batter-free.

Let cool and cut into desired size. If you’re like me, you will prefer these and all brownies, cold or even frozen. But I bet you’re normal and will just eat them hot from the pan. If desired, dust the brownies with powdered sugar before serving.

Dilmah High Tea Challenge : Bringing 'Tea' Back Into High Tea!

It's late in the afternoon, feeling a little hungry yet not ravenous. What do you do? Have high tea of course! A perfect time for a little indulgence and talk time with your close ones. With the attractive high tea sets offered all over Singapore, it's hard not to notice that high tea have gained popularity amongst Singaporean these days. 
Yes, with all the nice petite size delights, we have forgotten about the tea in high tea... Haven't we? The focus of high tea have shifted to the food now and the tea have taken a backseat.  Well, this is what the High Tea challenge by Dilmah seeks to restore. Held annually, this prestigious challenge would test the skills of culinary teams and their creativity. The purpose of the challenge is clear :  to emphasize the original purpose to high tea, the tea! And the challenge is simple : teams must pair different Dilmah teas with different high team food items and present their high tea sets to a team of judges.
The High Tea Challenge was definitely an eye opener and I was honoured to be invited to this event to witness the different teams presenting their high tea sets. It's certainly a challenge to pair the various teas and it only comes through hardwork, experience and talent, no less. Now... for me to consider trying some of the tea-inspired recipes! 

Thanks to Vibe Communication for the invitation!
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