Wednesday, May 28, 2008

May Daring Baker's Challenge

I am really really sorry that I couldn't enjoy this challenge as much as I'm sure I would if I only had the time. This has been a hell of a month. First, a very very long exam period, and next, a scant 5 days after my last paper, a backpacking trip to Taiwan. While very exciting, I am by nature a person who likes her appointments spaced out, and not all crammed together. So suffice it to say, this is not the best month for a delicate, time-consuming, elaborate, elegant cake, irregardless of how much I would have liked to take the time to really savour the baking process. Nontheless, I must thank our lovely hostesses, Ivonne, Lis, Fran and Shea, for introducing me to this fabulous cake that I didn't even knew existed!

Another thing to be sorry for: I have no time to really write a post worthy of this epic cake, which I made all in one day, and trust me when I say it took me all day. And so, I'll just have to post the pictures in a chronological fashion, and hope it makes sense!

My secret and not-so-common ingredient: Durian! So I guess I made a Durian Opera Cake...

My fantastic buttercream; finally got it to whipped cream consistency, avenging my failure at it the first time =P I had to beat the cream for so long I thought my little handheld mixer was going to explode.

Unfortunately, durian doesn't slice so well...

So basically, I skipped the glaze and piled on the durian pulp, and after that its alternating durian pulp and buttercream. I love this picture =)

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Operation Orange Cranberry White Chocolate Cookie, M&S style

Attempt: 1

Nickname: Operation Procrastination

Comment: More like a biscotti than a cookie, but tastes quite nice. For some reason the white chocolate chips bubbled out of the cookie and formed those bumps on the cookie

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Baked potato chips a la amelia

Just recently, I met Pei Lin, a fellow Singaporean Daring Baker! It was really really amazing, finding another daring baker on our tiny island! As I was browsing through her lively blog, I came across her recipe for The Perfect Potato Chip. That of cause made me very very hungry, and today I decided to come up with my own chips. These give a reaaally nice crunchy outside, and the inside, if not fluffy, is soft enough to satisfy =D


Potatoes [I can't tell which is which; just use whatever kind you want]
Seasoning [you can basically use any dry seasoning--herbs, pre-mixed spices, or leave it plain, with only salt. Whatever you like =P I used cajun spice mix because I just happen to have a bottle sitting in my cupboard]

Pei Lin's recipe calls for deep frying, and as I already mentioned in my prawn post, I live in a strictly no deep frying household, and so mine will be baked chips!

First, peel and cut up the potatoes into desired shape. Generally they should be cut into a shape with the maximum exposed surface so as to maximise the 'crunchy' surface. But again, do them anyway you like them. I like mine in wedges. Or in whatever shape they end up when I randomly slash them with my knife =P

Once cut, thrown the potatoes into cold and very well salted water and boil away [use a pot with a lid]. From the few websites I consulted, they all say to cook only till the outside is soft, but to leave the inside still firm. I tried that today, and the inside stayed a little too firm for my liking, even after a long time baking. So, if you like your potatoes melty inside, as I do, I would suggest cooking them well, if not until completely cooked through, because it does soften up a little in the oven

Once cooked to desired softness, drain the potatoes very well. Drizzle over with just enough oil to coat first. You can always add more if its not enough. Then throw into the cooking pot whatever seasoning you are using and the salt as well. Cover with the lid and shake the pot with all your might. Very good for de-stressing. This is to cover the potatoes in the oil and seasoning, and also to bruise the potatoes a little at the same time, so that the outside crisp up easier.

After everything is nice and coated, tumble wedges [or cubes/strips/chunks] onto a baking pan, and bake at the highest temperature your oven has. After roughly 15 minutes, turn the potato wedges so that the other side has a chance to brown. If you have the time, you can turn it onto all four sides, if not one turn should be enough. Once the potatoes are brown enough for your liking, its done! Taste and season to your liking, then tuck in =D

P.S. These have to be eaten hot, or they lose their crunch =)

Saturday, May 3, 2008

A quick glance will show that this is almost primarily, if not totally, a food blog.

But today, for these three:

And, especially for him:

I'm going to make an exception, and blog about an event that not only rocked my world, but for which I have waited for almost 8 years. Stereophonics LIVE in Singapore, Pull The Pin! Tour. [28th April, of the greatest day of my life =D]

There's really nothing much I can say about it. Rant on about how freaking awesome I think Stereophonics is? As if there's any doubt. Talk about how PERFECT the concert was? Well, that sums it up, it was out of this world. And yes, Kelly, you do have a lot of loyal fans who can sing your songs right here in Singapore, who will stand by you and buy your cds even when they don't particularly like the direction you've been taking lately. And I will hold you to your promise to come back to Singapore.

Truth be told, I'm still shocked that they were here, and I was right there in front of Kelly Jones, who has got to be one of the sexiest AND most talented man alive today, with a to-die-for voice.

Ok then, that sums up all I have to say, I'll just leave you with a couple of videos I took, and some photos. Feast your eyes, fans and non-fans, coz Stereophonics ROCKS.

Sexy new drummer, Javier Weyler, who looks like a younger and slimmer Hugh Grant :

Javier, sans shirt =P If only Kelly had done the same....heh heh:

My sis and I took the following videos, much much more from the same concert and others available on youtube =)

Mr Writer:

Maybe Tomorrow [Kelly Jones solo!]:

Finally, THANK YOU Stereophonics! You guys did a great job, I hope you had a great time, and COME BACK AGAIN!!!