Monday, February 28, 2011

ToTT: Celeste Chew's croissants class

I was contacted by ToTT's PR reps a while ago and they asked if I would like to attend one of ToTT's cooking classes. I was more than delighted as I thought that it would interesting to learn more from the professionals. After debating for quite some time on what class I should attend, I finally decided on one - croissants making. I love puff pastry, but have never ever attempted to make my own at home before. So what better than to attend a class on croissants to see how it is made!

Croissants making with Celeste Chew

Saturday, February 26, 2011

ToTT

I remembered how excited I was when I first read the news about a new kitchenware store opening in 2010. The new place was to be named ToTT (Tools of the Trade) and was going to be a subsidiary venture from Sia Huat, another existing kitchenware store that has been around for say quite a while.

ToTT

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Earl grey macarons

I made some Earl grey macarons a couple weeks back. I used a packet of Earl grey tea bag for the shells, and two packets to soak the cream when making the ganache. Yet, the earl grey flavour wasn't obvious. At all!
Earl grey macarons

Monday, February 21, 2011

Cherry coconut bakewell tarts

I had leftover cherry compote from here, and wanted to finish it up. I decided to use it in a tart crust recipe that I wanted to try out. The Sister (and I) has always been in love with Delifrance's fruit tarts crusty crusts. And everytime I bake fruit tarts, she's bound to compare it to the Delifrance's version. So I decided to Google for "Delifrance tart crust recipe". While I didn't found the exact version, I found one that the blogger said tasted similar to Delifrance.

Cherry coconut bakewell tarts

Friday, February 18, 2011

Matcha azuki entremet

Come to think of it, I've been in love with entremets for a year or so. Or should I say, I've only discovered the existence of entremets since a year ago. (Yeah, apparently for a dessert lover, I'm kinda a slow learner.) In common everyday language (to those who might be wondering), in the dessert world, an "entremet" actually refer to the "sweet course" which is always served after the "cheese course" in France. To me, an entremet represents a beautiful multi-layered cake. The allure of such a lovely concoction makes me want to produce such dainty looking pieces on my own.

Some might call me crazy, but I jumped straight into my first entremet almost a year ago, without any basic knowledge on how to assemble such a dessert. Prior to my first Matcha Opera, I rarely ever bake cakes, mostly sticking to simpler goodies like cookies and cupcakes. I wonder what made me so adventurous to explore the complicated world of french patisserie. Hmmm. Madness perhaps? :)

Once I got started, well, my interest in french patisserie styled cakes increased. Like tenfolds. I am constantly thinking of making entremets. For me, I enjoy the process of baking more than the products I make. Not to say I dislike eating the sweets I make, but it's just that the actual baking is much more interesting than just stuffing your face with the dessert. I wish I can make entremets everyday...but then again, who's gonna eat them up for me? Sigh.

Matcha azuki entremet

Thursday, February 17, 2011

P.S Cafe

It was my second visit to P.S Cafe. My first visit was a few years ago, to the Dempsey outlet with my Sister. And the only thing I remembered from it was the famed chocolate cake. Standing tall and proud in its display stand, I was wowed by the sheer glamour of the cake. We ordered a slice to split between the two, and even when we were both chocoholics, we couldn't even finish half of the decadent rich slice. Ahhh. We should be thankful for immensely chocolaty desserts...

P.S Cafe @ Palais Renaissance 

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Tatsuya

Had lunch at Tatsuya a few weeks back. Sis had been there once and she said that the food there was pretty good. Daddy was there, *coughs* so Sis and I shared the Kaiseki set. Heh.

Tatsuya lunch

Monday, February 14, 2011

It's the inner that counts

When you start to know someone, all their physical characteristics start to disappear. You begin to dwell in their energy, recognize the scent of their skin. You see only the essence of the person, not the shell. That’s why you can’t fall in love with beauty. You can lust after it, be infatuated by it, want to own it. You can love it with your eyes and your body but not your heart. And that’s why, when you really connect with a person’s inner self, any physical imperfections disappear, become irrelevant.
(source)

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Black forest macarons

I had extra egg whites and just a little smidgen of cream leftover from a 1L bottle in the fridge. I hate waste. So I put my brain to good use, and the first thing that came to mind was - ding ding ding, macarons. But what flavour macarons should I make? Tough choice. I had a whole list of potential flavours I wanted to try out. Somehow, I have no idea how, black forest came into mind. I don't really fancy anything black forest-y and it wasn't even on my list of flavours to make! Yet, we had just gone to the wholesale vegetables and fruits place recently and got ourselves lots of fresh fruits - a big box of peaches (20 of 'em!), 4 punnets of strawberries and a 2kg bag of huge-ass cherries. Ah. Cherries. Succulent juicy red cherries that dribble juice down your chin when you bite into the  huge red orbs. Black forest macarons it shall be then.

Black forest macarons

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Banana date chocolate loaf

There was a bunch of bananas in the house. Though we tried our best to finish them up as quickly as possible, bananas ripen really quick. And soon, the skin turned really really black (okays, yellow base still but with LARGE patches of black covering the yellow everywhere...). I decided to use the remaining sad looking trio all at one go by making a banana loaf. Googling recipes for banana loaf, I found a recipe that sounds promising. Dates (I bought some Medjool dates a while back!), chocolate (licks mouth in anticipation), and holey moley, it requires three ripe bananas! Now. If that isn't fate calling, what is?

Banana date chocolate loaf

Monday, February 07, 2011

Kimchi jjigae (김치 찌개)

There was just a little bit of kimchi leftover from my previous homemade batch, so I decided to make kimchi jjigae (김치 찌개). Kimchi jjigae is essentially a stew/soup comprising of ingredients such as kimchi (but of course), tofu, scallions, pork belly and other miscellaneous vegetables. It is best to make kimchi jjigae using really seasoned kimchi (kimchi that has been fermented for a while) as the flavour is more pronounced in the stew. I personally prefer to eat fresh kimchi, and I detest really fermented kimchi, which has a sourish taste that doesn't appeal to me. Thus, whenever my kimchi starts to go sour, I'll definitely make kimchi jjigae, cos I really enjoy the dish, and also, it requires quite a bit of kimchi.

Ingredients for making kimchi jjigae (김치 찌개)

Saturday, February 05, 2011

Turkey meatballs

A couple of weeks back, I was shopping at Cold Storage when I happened to spot lean turkey mince at the frozen meat section. I rarely ever see turkey mince, probably because I normally shop at Fairprice Finest and they doesn't stock turkey mince (or if they do, I've never ever seen it in the meat aisle...).

I kinda like turkey meat, cos well, it's reputed to be sort of a healthier lean choice. So I bought a packet, intending to make some turkey meatballs.

Asian-styled turkey meatballs

Thursday, February 03, 2011

Chocolate brioches

Happy CNY 2011! I bet everyone around me is happily enjoying the long Chinese New Year holidays. Well, as for me, as I can't celebrate the festivities this year, the holiday period is just going be just like any other days for me. In fact, I find that as years go by, my excitement at the approaching CNY period seem to be dwindling. Perhaps as a kid, CNY means more - two and a half days break from school, memorising the various festive greetings together with my cousin, getting red packets, buying and dressing up in new clothes, gorging on festive goodies. In recent years, the only thing that remain constant is the getting red packets and gorging on festive goodies? It's like I don't really immerse myself as much into the festive mood anymore. I wonder if I'm the only one feeling this way...

Chocolate brioches

Tuesday, February 01, 2011

Sadaharu Aoki macarons

The weather this week has been really cold. In fact, with the non-stop rain (okay fine, it stopped. Like for what? A few hours? Before resuming again grr.) that has been going on like for the past three or four days straight, I feel like our sunny island is going to get flooded soon or something. If this goes on again for the next coming few days, I think I'm going to run out of clean underwear and laze-around-at-home clothes to wear (supplies are running seriously low, the Sister suggested re-wearing them. :/) cos our laundry (from three to four days ago) had not been able to dry at all!

Even though I enjoyed the cold weather while studying in Australia, I admit that after being back in Singapore for a year plus, I kinda forget Brisbane's winter temperatures. Though not till the extent of being minus degrees Celcius, it was really cold at night (where I'll avoid turning the heater on too much to save money). And now, sunny rainy Singapore is feeling a little like the winter nights in Brissy. Whereby while using the blowdryer after my shower, I'll aim the airdryer at my feet and to keep them toasty warm (albeit for even a mere few seconds). Which was what I actually did last night. In Singapore. I felt like I was back in Brissy again for that short moment. :/

Anyway. Let's talk about something that makes my innards feel warm and fuzzy - Sadaharu Aoki goodies from Taiwan hand carried back to Singapore by my lovely girlfriend! I saw Evan's tweet that there was Sadaharu Aoki in Taiwan, and I was like all, "whaaaaaaaaaaaaaaat, really?". I was that excited cos I knew for one thing, one of my favourite girlfriend was holidaying in Taiwan then, so I immediately texted her and begged her to buy some goodies back for me if possible. And guess what guess what guess what? :)

Sadaharu Aoki goodies from Taipei!
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