Sunday, October 31, 2010

Halloween!

Happy Halloween! Well, my buddies and I, we were supposed to have a Halloween themed party. We planned that like a month ago. I know, we work fast. We were going all out for it - a full orange and black party with our food and decorations all centred around the party colours. Anyway, just a few days before the party, one of the mates then stated that he can't make it as he's bogged down with school work. We were all pretty bummed and the remaining four of us then decided to scrap the party and just do a potluck instead. Then the very next day, somehow or rather, I don't know how, but the party was back on. We say onward - who cares about the $^$#%&%#!# who decided to jump plane (okay, kiddin' in case that bugger reads this...you know you'll be missed by us! Haha.)

So, I was in charge of caramel apples, pizza muffin-lets and drinks. As it was only the four of us, we didn't want to prepare too much food (like we always do) and stuff ourselves silly trying to finish the food. So it's mini everything! At least in my case. I decided to make a little extra pumpkin tartlets (more on it when I post about the party pictures!) and some mini chocolate muffins I happened to bake the day before.

I'm going to talk about the exciting part in this post - caramel apples! And this is actually a post-on-the-actual-day-I-bake entry (what a rare case ;) indeed.)

Homemade chewy caramel candies

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Raspberry rose macarons

Yes I know, yet another macaron post? Groan. I promise this is the last one for the time being. I'm a little sick of macarons myself too. ;)

I was thinking of making dual-coloured macs cos I just find that totally adorable. I'm a dork that way. Anyway, I just realised that this post is so going to be very girly pink. You've been warned.

Raspberry rose macarons

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Gattopardo

Gattopardo is situated at Hotel Fort Canning, not quite exactly a very crowded place to head to for a weekend lunch. We made reservations at the restaurant, but when we arrived, there were only a handful of tables that were taken. It probably didn't help the restaurant, but it was drizzling that Saturday afternoon, and also, renovations were taking place and construction workers were working to make the place ready for the opening of the hotel.

Gattopardo

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Caramelised onions and triple mushroom quiches

With all that macaron baking I've been doing, I had some cream leftover from making ganache. I was wondering what to do with them, when I suddenly thought of quiches. They would make a great lunch idea and thus, I happily scoured my lists of "to-bakes" for inspiration. I was drawn to a quiche crust recipe made wholly from whole wheat flour (I substituted with wholemeal), and prepared the dough the night before.

Caramelised onions and triple mushrooms quiches

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Mogador macarons

As mentioned in my recent macaron post, I first started experimenting with using the Italian method of making macarons for this batch of chocolate passionfruit macarons. After hearing from Allie how easy the Italian method was, I was tempted to try it out cos my latest attempts at macaron making here and here produced less than desired looking shells. I had a list of potential macaron flavours I wanted to make (yes I do have a list specifically for just macarons, in fact I have several lists of "to-makes", categorised accordingly as "Tarts", "Entremets", "Ice-creams", "Panna Cottas"...you get the idea), and the very flavour topping the macarons list was Mogador. So, what should a girl to do, but dive straight into the fray.

Summery Mogador macarons

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Ootoya

Finally met up with my one of my dearest girlfriend who just graduated from Melbourne Uni and came back to Singapore for good. In a way, I feel that she's the one I'll talk to most often about Aus/Sg stuff most cos she gets me when I talk about overseas education/lifestyle/experience. So for our first meeting after she came back, we decided to meet in town for some Japanese food...

Ootoya; Black bean side dish; Side dish from part of my set meal; Menu

Friday, October 15, 2010

Farewell macarons

It's the Sis's last day at work today, and we spent the weekend baking macarons for her to give to her colleagues as byebye presents. We made the shells over the weekend and stored them in containers. Then did the fillings over the past two days, and sandwiched them and packed them so she can bring them to work yesterday and today.

Lemon macs with lemon curd filling & Milo macs with Milo buttercream and Valrhona crunchy pearls

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Osmanthas apricot crackies

Following the previous rose and cranberries crackies I made, I was also intrigued by the osmanthas crackies I saw alongside the rose ones. Osmanthas flowers? Should be a breeze to get in sunny Singapore. Or so I thought. It took me a while, but I did eventually managed to find them at Chinatown (and then ended up with a surplus as two other people in the household also bought them for me cos I mentioned that I was looking for 'em).

And so, I revisited the recipe to bake up some osmanthas crackies. As the rose one added dried cranberries, I thought that it would be lovely to add up some dried fruit in these osmanthas crackies too. I went ahead, using colours as a theme, and used dried apricots, as I thought they should complement the floral osmanthas notes. I followed the recipe, just replacing the same amount of dried roses to dried osmanthas and using only plain water (no essence cos I couldn't think of what other flavour would mesh well with osmanthas and apricot).

Osmanthas and apricot crackies

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Kki

Having heard only rave reviews about Kki, I knew I had to try their pretty looking cakes one day. My original plan was to try it with one of my best girlfriends, when we are out for one of our exploring "trips" to Ann Siang Hill. Alas, our session was almost always postponed due to various reasons, and so, my trip to Kki was also always delayed. Then again, the place is within walking distance from my office. So one fine day, Allie was saying that's she's gonna drop by Kki during lunch and did I want anything from there... Sorry girlfriend, but I hear the cakes beckoning me...

Kki at Ann Siang Hill

Friday, October 08, 2010

Oriole Cafe & Bar

Sis was hankering for Oriole for quite a while, so one Saturday morning, we drove down to town, thinking of having brunch there. Alas, Oriole only serves brunch on Sundays, and so, we had to settle for eating a "brunch" (lunch) instead. :( My mind was already thinking of waffles/pancakes/big breakfasts, and I had to readjust my thoughts to focus on the lunch menu provided instead. Sad. How come Oriole doesn't do brunch on Saturdays??? It's a weekend day too isn't it? Grumpy.

Oriole Cafe & Bar

Wednesday, October 06, 2010

Figgy season

I've never eaten a fig before until this year. Can you believe it? In fact, there are so many new things that's just waiting for me to give 'em a try. Scouring for food related matters online has really widened my perspective on how much products are available in the markets. Tons and tons apparently. 

Anyway, I've often seen people mentioning figs, and using them in their baked goods, most often in galettes or jams. Figs are also reported to be very sweet, and some people like to mix it with salty stuff such as prosciutto/parma ham and cheese for a salty-sweet appetiser. There was a small article in the papers that it was figs season now, and that the figs were going to be available for only a short season. My eyes arrowed straight on the words "figs" and "in season". I was on a mission to get my hands on those figs!

It took me three supermarkets, but I finally found those elusive figs from the supermarket nearest my house, the NTUC Finest outlet at Bukit Timah. When I saw them on the fruit aisle, I squealed loudly and dashed towards the aisle, trolley in hands.Yeah, I know. Sometimes, I think my own behaviour mystify myself. Snorts.

 Black mission figs

Monday, October 04, 2010

Exploring Singapore: Little India

I didn't realise Little India was so huge (ironic that it's name should be "little"...) and only after I've spent two to three hours walking along the streets (we didn't finish walking everything!) that I realise how large the area was.

My snap-buddy and I, we were both tired as hell after our photo session. In fact, we agree that everytime we complete one of our photo sessions, it's akin to a workout. Our feet are sore, our muscles groan and even our butts could ache! That's right. Walking is exercise.

Yet, I really enjoyed Little India. It's one of my favourite places so far for explore photos as there's just so many interesting things and details to that place. Vivid colours, flower garlands, temples, fresh vegetables, interesting characters. That's just some of the stuff I felt were characteristics of that place. I took like a hundred odd photos, and posted most of them up on Facebook. I felt that it would be overkill if I post everything here, so I've just compiled some of my favourites into collages to share. :)

Sri Veerama Kaliamman Temple; Floral buds

Sunday, October 03, 2010

Raindrops Cafe

It was a while since I last met up with one of my university girlfriends. We made plans to have dinner on a weekday to catch up with each other. She suggested Raindrops Cafe in town, and as I've not heard of or tried the place before, I was all game for it.

Raindrops Cafe at Scape Park

Friday, October 01, 2010

A girlfriend's birthday cake

I bought two new cooking books recently. What's surprising is that:

1) I rarely ever buy cooking books, most of the time I borrow books from the library and scan the recipes I like to keep as jpeg files in my laptop.

2) The books are in Chinese! (Okay, one is fully in Chinese, the other is English/Chinese). Although I scored A1s for my O AND A levels (don't ask how I did it, I really have no idea), my Chinese is actually pretty sub-par and it's been so long since I last wrote any Chinese characters that most of the time, I find myself forgetting how to write even the most basic characters...(I'm always fearful that I'll forget how to write my own name in Chinese. Haha). I mean, I can read Chinese pretty okay, just don't ask me to write, so to buy the Chinese cookbooks is really a rarity indeed. It's just that I love layered cakes desserts and most of the pretty intricate looking entremets cookbooks are all in Chinese (or Japanese or French, which sadly I know neither). Thus, it can also be that reading the books I buy will allow me to brush up on my Chinese reading? :)

Anyway, exactly a month ago, it was one of my best girlfriend's birthday. Since I've been baking a cake for most of my besties this year for their birthdays, this was no exception. She, who doesn't like sweets stuff muchos, will probably suit a fruity cake yeah? And looking through one of my new books, I decided to make a grapefruit mousse cake.

Leftover miniature cakes...