26 February 2007

25 February 2007

The Universal Truth

"Call it psychobabble perhaps, but when a woman chops off her hair, it means her life is in a mess."

24 February 2007

It isn't about the places you go, it's about the company.

23 February 2007

White Chocolate Cupcakes with Cranberry Filling & White Chocolate Ganache Frosting

Long overdue, that describes this post so very aptly. In fact, this post was supposed to be on last year. Well, at least in terms of lunar years.

I baked these cupcakes for my friend's order and they turned out beautiful! Alright, they weren't the perfect cupcakes but for the amateur baker in me, the results were more than satisfactory. In fact, i would say they were quite a success. This batch of cupcakes turned out fluffier and lighter than previous batches, probably because i folded in the flour manually instead of using the electric mixer.

For their white counterparts I adapted a basic vanilla cupcake recipe and turned it into a white chocolate cupcake by adding white chocolate, both melted and in chunks, into the batter. I don't know if the addition of chunks of chocolate managed to up the white chocolate factor but the white chocolate did creep up slightly from behind all the buttery goodness. I confess, I'm not an advocate of white chocolate. You see, I'm a bitter chocolate fan - the higher the cocoa content the better - and, well, white chocolate? Let's just say it doesn't have what it takes to be really considered a chocolate. They lack character: not much of a unique identity in terms of the tongue test and most commercially available white chocolate that I've gotten my hands on end up tasting like a solid of overly sweetened milk. I am, however, fortunate enough to find a not-so-sweet white chocolate for baking in the store from which I get most of my baking supplies. Because I used a white chocolate ganache as the frosting, I opted for a cranberry jam filling for these babies to balance the tacky sweetness of all that was white chocolate with a bit of tang.

The end result? Do I really have to tell you?

Breakfast for you?

19 February 2007

"Each one of us here today will, at one time in our lives, look upon a loved one in need and ask the same question: We are willing Lord, but what, if anything, is needed? For it is true that we can seldom help those closest to us. Either we don't know what part of ourselves to give, or more often than not, that part we have to give... is not wanted. And so, it is those who we live with and should know that elude us. But we can still love them. We can love, completely, even without complete understanding."

18 February 2007

perfect domes

ah. so the chinese new year now comes! everybody has been giving me smses packed with lovely new year wishes for the year of the pig. i shall give myself a desperate attempt to be different then. i will shower myself with wishes for the piggy year!

in the year of the pig, i wish myself:
  • sufficient time for me to indulge in the lazy, piggy side of myself by sleeping in late
  • good food for me to pig out on occasionally, but not too often
  • enough spring in my step to strut out of my house without looking like i've come from a pig sty
  • a little enthusiasm on more days of the week to go out and reduce the piggy fats that i have
  • perfectly domed cupcakes like the belly of the pig
  • the pinkest of health, as pink as a pig can get
  • to be as cute as a pig! just not as fat.

happy happy piggy year everyone!

17 February 2007

tears fell today.

14 February 2007

what does it take for you to be content? a little? a lot? how would you measure that? some people are contented very easily while for others it takes much more. but is it better to be easily satisfied or deprive yourself of the feeling of contentment?

i prefer to live life enveloping myself with happiness. the feeling of being lit up inside, brightening up with a simple gesture. i want my eyes to twinkle when my cupcakes rise into a perfect dome. i want to be able to smile from within when nature presents me with a lovely bloom. i want to sparkle with joy when the people i love love me too.

everyday will be a wonderful day.

11 February 2007

the feeling of losing something. have you had it before? a thing, a materialistic possession, an opportunity, a person. it sucks doesn't it? even more when you realise it was gone long before the moment you discovered it's non-existence. whatever it is that you lost, you feel that tinge of sadness over the matter, even though, most of the time, whatever you do next will not make a difference to the fact that you'll never recover it again. it also has to do with the fact that you realise you're too muddle-headed for words. so dense that you did not realise right away, so dumb that you just took it for granted that it would still be there. and you blame yourself.

but that doesn't change anything.


on a lighter note, my friend sent me this sms just when i was feeling sad and dumb over my lost earring.

"in the rhythm of life, we sometimes find ourselves out of tune. however, as long as there are friends like you to provide the melody, the music plays on!"

thanks zima.

06 February 2007

doubly sweet

a few posts and a week ago, i did mention that i was going to do something for valentine's day. what else is a better gift than something homemade and even better, from my oven! the truth is, i haven't immersed myself that much into the gift-exchanging mood of valentine's day this much before and besides the fun, i'm actually doing it for two other reasons: to satisfy my baking crave and also to participate in meeta's february monthly mingle, sweet love. i've since decided that i will bake and give those close to my heart a duo of mini chocolate cupcakes. well yeah, chocolate for valentine's day sounds oh-so cliche and i did, at some point in time decide to lock it out of my baking space for this occasion. but... oh well, i fell off the wagon.

i had, in the beginning, made up my mind to not bake something chocolatey-brown just because i had self-diagnosed a chocolate-baked-goods overdose. it's not that i don't like chocolate. i love chocolate! dark chocolate in particular. it's just that i got a little sick of baking all that was the colour of brown; not any other brown, chocolatey-brown. then i remembered bea of la tartine gourmande had baked a white chocolate and matcha marbled cake not long ago. now that's interesting! it is still chocolate, just not brown! i was never a fan of white chocolate as it always tended to be too sweet for me. but the picture bea posted was just so tempting. the addition of matcha also attracted me. i've always liked matcha ice cream, so why not a matcha cake?

then... something else happened. my friends didn't want to let go of their craving for brown substances in my cupcakes. alright then. brown for the brown addicts and white for the white lovers!

for the love of white

won't you, for once, look at the dark side?

i baked the white chocolate and matcha cupcakes based on bea's recipe. this second attempt(yeah, you read that right) on the recipe was signifcantly better than the first attempt although not perfect. i blame myself for my lack of experience and under-trained hands. for the other half of my mini-cupcake duo, i replaced white chocolate with dark chocolate and matcha powder with steeped earl grey tea. the colour difference in the brown cupcake was not as great as the white cupcake so one adjustment i would make to the recipe the next time i bake them would be to add a little cocoa to the chocolate batter to make it darker for more contrast to the earl grey batter.

as the chinese saying goes: good things always come in pairs. so, why not mini cupcakes?

03 February 2007

this was just too cute to resist.
say hi to the child in me.
is this spring?

is hard not to think that way when these gorgeously pink peach blossoms are smiling at me day and night in tropical singapore on an early february day. i marvel at their delicate beauty and the wondrous miracles nature work on and create every single day.

appreciate the little things in life.

01 February 2007

i had just blogged about my excitement about what this february entails for me and had barely made it through half a day in the new month before a nice little bundle dropped into my lap!

i'm so excited! i have now secured at least a 15th placing and therefore at least a $200 prize and have a 1/15 chance of flying down to paris!

okie, so maybe my parisian dream is not as close as it sounds.