Cakes and Cookies, Desserts

Victoria Sponge Sandwich

To celebrate the nation’s 55th birthday, I decided to make this red and white cake. It’s meaningful actually. It’s symbolic of the historical ties we had with the UK and it was also the first cake I learnt to bake! I was only a Sec 1 13 year old girl then, and they made us do this for our Home Econs practical test. I still remember this so vividly. I was so scared of the gas oven back then, and made my partner turn it on most times. For the exam, I remember asking my mom for a dollar so I could get a purple orchid to decorate my piece. I put my purple orchid in a small vase on the tray. I never knew how much I got but I will never forget baking this cake for the exam. 😂

And now decades later, I’m baking this again. I don’t have my Sec 1 Home Econs book anymore so I scoured the net and settled on Mary Berry’s recipe. How very British. 😄

However, after this was done, I must say this recipe is really good! The cake was very moist and very soft! I couldn’t bake it as long as suggested because mine was done ten minutes earlier. But the result was perfection! Another trick I got was to buy one of those cake liners with handles! I reckon I’ll be baking now more because of these liners I got from Amazon. They were amazing and come in various sizes. You can get them here: Cake Liners

Look how they fit so perfectly! This is the best thing I ever thought of buying!
The batter is so easy peasy! Just cream butter with sugar and then the eggs and flour. Oh, I did tweak a bit by adding a teaspoon of vanilla. I wonder why vanilla was not in the recipe.
Bake baby bake!
Not bad for a novice baker!
After that, I inverted one cake and placed it on a plate. Then I added whipped cream first then the strawberry jam (because of the national flag). And then put the second cake on and dusted powder sugar all over.
That beautiful plate? I got it from a UK seller on Etsy. So pretty, don’t you think?
Check out that lava filling! Now, one would think I was overzealous and slathered too much. And maybe I did but believe it or not, when we started eating, we wanted more cream and jam! 😂 There’s never a thing as too much.

I really recommend Mary Berry’s Recipe. And to my country, Majulah Singapura! 🇸🇬

Desserts

Apple Crumble

So yesterday was the niece’s first birthday and in small groups of 5, we went to visit her. I thought I’d bring a dessert. She’d probably have birthday cake, so why make another cake, right? So I searched for desserts and came across apple crumble!

And this recipe is so lovely that the family loved it. The thing about Apple crumble is that it really isn’t the prettiest to look at. But it sure tasted awesome! I used Fuji apples (because that’s why I had in the fridge), and cashewnuts/hazelnuts mix (because I didn’t have pecans in my pantry).

The first step is to cut the apples thin. According to the recipe, you don’t even have to peel the apples. And she’s right! It really doesn’t matter. Mix the apples with cinnamon powder, sugar and a bit of lemon juice.
The crumble was easy. Combine flour, salt, brown sugar and the nuts together. And then add the melted butter to combine.
Spread crumble over Apple slices. I had some jutting out here and there but I thought it looked rustic.
Bake till brown and crispy and scatter mint leaves over. Best served with vanilla ice cream over (but we didn’t have any)
I like this recipe because it had the right amount of sweetness and it’s not watery. The apple mixture was just lovely!
For the recipe that I used: Apple Crumble
food, Salads and Vegetables

Vegetarian Dinner Soirée

So tonight I had the pleasure of hosting some very dear friends I got to know since uni days and what’s more fun is planning a vegetarian menu!

I served:

1. Spinach feta cheese phyllo rolls

2. Focaccia two kinds – one with Marion Grasby’s fried onion and chilli flakes topping and the other dukkah topping

3. Hazelnuts with dukkah

4. Hummus

5. Store bought artichoke dip

6. Shakshuka

7. Tiramisu

And one of my friends brought bread and butter pudding she purchased from a home based baker.

I’m pretty pleased to have come up with a vegetarian menu but more to spend a lovely and safe night in with friends. ☺️


Asian Dishes, Poultry

Singapore Hawker Wings

This is a recipe which is so good that you’ve got to make a big batch of it. I only made 1kg and it wasn’t enough so today, I’m marinating the other half so I can have more wings tonight!

If we ever get to travel again, and if you ever visit Singapore, you have to come down and try the food at our Hawker centres at night. Certain Hawker centres have stalls they sell bbq fare at night. Now, this is not US Texas style bbq we are talking about. Singapore style bbq is a plethora of seafood and satay grilled over charcoal. And there’s got to be wings! Marinated and skewered over a rotisserie like apparatus, these wings are flavourful and crispy and juicy all at the same time!

I managed to make these at home using the grill function of the normal oven. The other trick is to skewer the wings till they are straight using wooden skewers (unless you have the metal skewers). And one last thing is to marinade the wings as Long as you can, preferably overnight.

For the marination which I used for 1kg of wings:

1. 2 tbsp oyster sauce

2. 2 tbsp light soy sauce

3. 1 tbsp gochujang sauce (this is my own twist.)

4. 1 tbsp fish sauce

5. 1 tbsp sesame oul

6. 1 tbsp finely minced garlic

7. 1/2 tbsp finely chopped onions

And that’s it. Marinate as long as you can and then skewer the wings and using the grill setting, grill till the wings are nicely browned and crispy. Serve with homemade sambal and calamansi limes.

This is 1kg of wings (about ten wings) which I would leave in the fridge and forget all about it until it’s time to eat!
These are the wings. After they’ve been grilled you can chop them into two pieces. We love the wingtips here – they’re crispy and so yummy!
Bread and Batter

No Knead Focaccia

Ok, I love love love this recipe and Marion Grasby. If you’ve not been following her on YouTube then you don’t know what you’ve been missing. Half Thai and half Aussie, she’s a brainchild of Asian and Western cooking.

Her latest post on making focaccia is amazing. I followed her recipe and it worked perfectly. However, because of the Super hot and humid weather here, I need to cut down on the water and the hours to be kept overnight. For example, a one hour wait for the yeast mixture to bloom only takes less than 10 minutes here!

Some of her tips and tricks like mixing an olive oil and water mixture and pouring it all over the dough before baking also works.

The yeast mixed with a quarter cup of semolina and 80g of lukewarm water. Wait for it to bloom and thicken.
Pour some olive oil and cover with a cloth overnight.
Is there such a thing as over rising? I did the dough at around 11 plus at night and by 6 am it’s so huge! The humidity here does affect baking recipes.
Deflate the dough and make 4 turns from underneath the dough till a smooth ball is formed.
Spread the dough on a lined and greased baking sheet, and add more olive oil all over the dimpled and creased Top that you’ve created from pressing and forming the dough to fit the pan. Add topping of choice. Here, 1/3 of the dough is given the Marion’s topping of fried shallots and chilli flakes. For the rest, I grated parmesan cheese and over the entire thing sprinkled Maldon sea salt flakes.
Bake in a 230 Celsius oven till golden and crispy. Sprinkle with fresh thyme while the bread is still hot.
Crispy with a light and slightly chewy interior. I love this so much! I’m going to bake again this coming weekend but will use a different topping.

For the full recipe, visit her website here.