Tuesday, April 28, 2009

April Daring Baker's Challenge

Today's your lucky day, dear readers, because I have 3 more papers snapping at my ass, and not enough time, so you get to see many delicious photos without having to sieve through [much of] my ramblings and rants.

I kept it simple, as my body demanded no nonsense delivery of fats and chocolate to my fried brain cells.

There's a walnut-digestive base, which is simply out-of-this-world, REALLY.

A vanilla cheesecake layer, which is really great, even if I didn't use to be a cheesecake fan.

And finally, the piece de resistance, a layer of caramel dark chocolate ganache. Can I say YUM?!

The April 2009 challenge is hosted by Jenny from Jenny Bakes. She has chosen Abbey's Infamous Cheesecake as the challenge.

Thank you, Jenny! This is truly an outstanding recipe and challenge, which bowled over even a non-cheesecake lover!

Also, folks, I've got no time to type out the recipe, so please get it at Jenny's site. Trust me, if you want a cheesecake recipe, this is IT.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009


I love waffles, and my earliest memories of waffles were those from A&W. Till today, my mom still insists that no other taste better than A&W's, but since the chain no longer operates in Singapore, there's nothing to compare to.

I dislike eating waffles outside, because they almost never taste good. They are either soggy, or taste of baking powder, or too sweet, or just not good, not crisp on the outside and fluffy on the inside.

My own attempts to make waffles have also frequently ended in disaster, but those days are over, because I found a great waffle recipe!

A few tips about waffle-making:
  • Pay close attention to the amount of steam coming out of your waffle maker to determine when to remove the waffle. Right at the beginning of the cooking time, loads of steam will be emited. When the steam slows down to a gentle stream, that's when to remove the waffle. It also depends on how brown you like your waffles to be
  • Mix with a whisk. Actually, this applies to all things. Whisks mix really well!
  • Don't fill the waffle maker to the edges. Drop the batter in the middle, close immediately and tip the waffle maker to spread the batter around instead.
  • If you want to try other recipes, always use one where the egg whites are beaten and folded in separately. It's just not the same without =)
My mom made a banana chutney to go with these waffles, but I think they are sooo good, its great to eat just with honey/syrup and butter/margarine!
Also, leftovers make such a great snack [toasted, with some chocolate chips thrown on, a drizzle of honey...], so don't worry if you can't finish one batch!

Recipe from Mr. Breakfast =D


1 and 3/4 cups flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 Tablespoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 beaten egg yolks
1 and 3/4 cups milk
1/2 cup vegtable oil

3 egg white, beaten stiffly

  1. Mix all the dry ingredients, set aside
  2. Combine all the wet ingredients, except for the egg whites. Add vanilla extract if you want, I think it makes the waffle so much better =)
  3. Combine dry and wet ingredients. Beat away, no need to be gentle
  4. GENTLY fold in the egg whites.
  5. Cook in the waffle maker. Done!

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Girls Night Out

Exams are fast approaching, and I am currently holed up at home busy with revision. But, yesterday I took the night off for a well-deserved night out with the girls! You guys rock, by the way, but I'm sure you know that! Oh, and you guys are all barking mad too, and I mean that in the best possible way =)

First, we began the night with some fantastic mexican food at the fabulous Cuba Libre at Clark Quay. 1-for-1 mojitos, whole night on mondays! Look how pretty Singapore River looks at night =)

Then, because the band doesn't play at Cuba Libre on mondays, we headed for Timbre Art House for some chillin', some live music, some beer and some crazy good pizza

And then, after the final set from the band, craziness and too much good food set into the lovely, crazy heads of my girlfriends. We decided that what we needed right then, was some good old KTV!

And so off we headed to KTV!

Dear friends, I eagerly await our Cashmere Mafia days, and those after it! Gotta love crazy nights out on the town with girlfriends =)

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Vietnam and Cambodia 2007, part 2

Yes, I know its been ages, and I also know that I'm a lazy ass. Now that we have the self-flagellation out of the way, this post will be about Hue in Vietnam!

Once I tell you what Hue is known for, you'll immediately know why I love that place. Hue is the 'historical' city of Vietnam, because it was the capital of Imperial Vietnam way back in the days. The Imperial palace and tombs are still there, and those are the main tourist attractions which we visited.

The interesting thing is you can find incredibly old gates all around Hue, remnents of an imperial past, and they are still standing strong and in use, as you can see below

First, we went to the Palace. Its nice and 'historical', even if it has been completely 'tourist-fied'. Back in the days, when China's tributary system reigned supreme, Vietnam was China's most valued vassel state in Southeast Asia, and the palace reflects the importance Vietnam placed on Chinese influence as well. See the Chinese-style architecture?

The girls and I having a little fun in the palace =) Can you see us as cheeky princesses running around the palace? Ok, maybe not princesses =P

Isn't it fascinating to see traffic and everyday life just running along their business right beside a centuries old palace? Not simply a building, but a piece of history that is hardly remembered today. Who knew that Vietnam had an imperial past, had Emperors and dynasties?

Next, even more interestingly, because of the [slightly] morbid nature of the attractions, we visited the imperial tombs of past emperors. As these tombs are located right on the fringe of the city, its much simpler and cheaper to join a day trip instead of trying to DIY.

While I was really interested in the tombs, I found, to my surprise, that these are not really tombs.

Yes, the Emperor commissioned it for himself, and designated it a 'tomb', but they function more like Summer palaces than tombs. They are huge, with lavish water features and pavilions and gardens. The royal family, when bored with city life, will come here for a little R&R, kind of like the ton do with their country manors.

And, the tour guide tells us, the Emperor isn't even buried there! This is for fear of grave robbers and such. So, in Imperial Vietnam, 'tomb' is actually lingo for 'holiday chalet'. And each Emperor had one. If I remembered correctly, there's 10+ of these around Hue, all beautiful, all lavish, all empty.

And after a hard day of sight-seeing, nothing more welcomed than a steaming bowl of soupy noodles, cooked lovingly with a special recipe, filled to the brim with ingredients.