Archive for the ‘Sweets’ Category

Sweet Temptations

August 13, 2010

I baked these for a friend’s cousin.

Dark chocolate cake topped with chocolate ganache

My favourite vanilla cake, topped with sweet and slightly tart raspberry Swiss meringue buttercream. The buttercream is rich and light at the same time, the slight tartness of the raspberry balanced the richness of the buttery cake below. And, who can resist that lovely colour?

Vanilla cakes with vanilla bean dotted buttercream

Day at the Beach

August 13, 2010

We spent National Day at the beach.

It was Xuan’s first time at the beach and she was quite happy about it!

So was Rui who was utterly excited to see helicopters carrying huge flags in the sky!

We didn’t go to the National Day Parade, but I received an NDP pack from work. Inside the bag was a fun pack which include snacks and drinks, temporary tattoo pack etc. I emptied the content in the morning and put mini cakes inside for Rui to bring to school.

I think they were well-received. ¬†ūüôā

Sharing the Love Through Sweets

April 15, 2010

Laz, Young’s hubby, has always been such a kind and¬†wonderful supporter of my baked good. He is so sweet and always has a nice word for whatever I bake. For that reason, I seldom appear at their place without a sweet treat in tow.

Now that they are in Beijing, I have decided a good way to share, other than me sending them cakes and bakes through post, is to give them simple recipes of healthy cakes, so they can bake it on their own!¬† ūüôā

So, Young and Laz, just for you… my new series called Share a Cake with Young and Laz!

OKay, before I start… I know some of the pics I post will have my dear photographer Young cringing. Stay with me, cousin! I am slowly, SLOWLY getting the hang of it. Hey, anyway, I am a baker, not a photographer!¬† ūüėČ

Torta di Mandora

Or Moist Almond Cake. Beautifully moist with a hint of citrusy goodness from orange and nutty flavour from ground almonds.

I love cakes and I do bake often because I need to fill Rui’s lunch box everyday with something. I would rather make him¬†some healthy snacks¬†than to feed him something store-bought. At least I know every single ingredient that goes into my food and I am sure there are no chemical nasties and unneccessary food colourings.

Because of the regularity of my baking schedule, I do make an effort to look for recipes with less or no butter, for simple health reasons (CH is a believer of The China Study). Rather than baking with margarine, I would rather bake with healthy oils.

This lovely cake fulfils both my health requirements and my innate glutton. Made with olive oil, it is light and fruity. The addition of orange juice and zest further enhances the fruitiness. And like all cakes made with ground almonds, it has a great bite and an incredible fragrance that even my fussy PROFESSIONAL baker dad loves.

This recipe is now marked as “well worth repeating” in my ratty note book. The next time I make this, I will substitute flaxseed meal for one or maybe two of the eggs.

I made this cake without the glaze but it is highly recommended by many bloggers out there. Try it and let me know if it is worth the time browning the butter!¬† ūüôā

For the cake:

1 cup all-purpose flour

1/2 cup ground almond

1  1/2 tsp baking powder

1 tsp salt

3 large eggs 

 3/4 cup sugar

1/2 cup olive oil

1/2 tsp vanilla extract

Grated zest and juice of 1 orange

1) Grease and flour a 7-inch round cake tin

2) Pre-heat the oven to 180 degrees celsius

3) Sift the flour, ground almond, salt and baking powder. Set aside

4) In another bowl, by hand or using a handheld beater, beat the eggs and the sugar until the mixture is light and lemony

5) Beating the egg mixture at a medium speed, slowly add the olive oil, vanilla extract and the orange juice and zest

6) With a spatula, gently fold in the flour mixture

7) Scoop mixture into the prepared cake tin and bake for 40 minutes, or until the top is golden brown and a cake tester come out clean

For the glaze:

2 tbsp browned butter

1 cup icing sugar

3 tbsp milk

A few drops of lemon juice

1) Mix all of the ingredients together and spread on top of cooled cake

2) Savour or gobble!

Banana + Chocolate = Yum

March 11, 2009

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J has requested for this recipe.

The Banana Chocolate Tart.

Honestly, not the most sophisticated-looking dessert but the taste of warm, slightly molten chocolate filling with gooey banana slices more than makes up for it.

The original recipe is from Eric Kayser. I changed the recipe a little and made this tart with Pierre Herme’s Sweet Tart Dough, which is my favourite sweet crust recipe. This is¬†definitely an easy, foolproof and ultra-yummy dessert. So far, no one has rejected offers of a second helping, and everyone I served this too, was happy to pack some home!¬† ūüôā

 

Sweet Tart Dough, adopted from Desserts by Pierre Herme

– Makes a 10-inch tart

100g unsalted butter, room temperature

1/2¬†cup confectioner’s sugar, sifted

1/4 cup ground almonds

1/4 tsp salt

1/4 tsp vanilla extract

1 small egg

1 1/4 cup flour

 

1) Using a mixer, beat the butter on low until creamy.

2) Add the sugar, ground almonds, salt, vanilla and egg. Blend on low and scrap the sides of the bowl when needed. Mixture may look curdled but that is okay.

3) With the mixer still on low, mix in the flour in 3 to 4 additions until the mixture comes together in a moist, soft dough. Do NOT overwork the dough.

4) Gather it into a ball. Flatten it gently in between two sheets of cling foil and refridgerate for at least 4 hours (I have chilled it for only 30 minutes before – still tasted great).

5) When it is time to assemble the tart, simply remove from the fridge, roll it out with a bit of flour into a baking pan.

 

Banana-Chocolate Filling, adopted from Eric Kayser’s Sweet and Savoury Tarts

85g dark chocolate

150g butter

3 eggs

200g sugar

75g flour

3 bananas

 

1) Pre-heat the oven at 160 degrees Celsius. Melt the chocolate and butter in a bain-marie.

2) In a bowl, beat the eggs with the sugar. Sift in the flour and mix through.

3) Incorporate the melted chocolate mixture.

4) Pour the mixture into the waiting pastry shell.

5) Peel bananas and cut into 1/4-inch slices. Arrange the slices on top of the chocolate mixture gently.

6) Bake for 40 – 50 minutes. The centre should be a little wobbly.

 

I serve this tart warm with some fridge-cold berries, never with ice-cream. While the creamy hot-cold contrast ice-cream provides is undoubtedly appealing, I feel the tart by itself is sweet and rich enough.

Nostalgia is Sweet

March 7, 2009

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The sure sign of getting old is when you started to feel nostalgic and get all misty-eyed when things from your younger days make an appearance.
When I saw the tray of Hainanese kueh at my neighbourhood sweets shop, I knew I have to confirm my not-young-anymore status.

I stopped in my tracks in front of the tray of kueh individually and neatly wrapped in banana leaves. This is the kueh from my childhood, the ones which my granny would happily churn out during special occasions and when one of her grandchildren (that would be me) begged for a taste.

Well-made Hainanese kueh, aka, the version churned out by Granny, is irresistible –¬†a layer of chewy, gooey, steamed glutinuous rice flour skin, enveloping gula melaka-sweetened coconut filling. The very sight of the kueh filled my heart and mind with warm memories, and my tummy with a mighty strong craving! I bought three and happily went home, planning to savour them after dinner.

Being the glutton I am, I eagerly bit into one of the kueh but was left with an overwhelming disappointment. I was no kueh snob but these were just… bad! While they looked exactly like what my Granny used to make, it is an insult to even compare these to hers. The glutinuous rice skin was tough and chewy in¬†a wrong,¬†wrong way. The coconut filling had just one taste – it was sweet, flatly so, with no nuances. It didn’t even taste like coconut! It tasted like… sweet sawdust. The texture was wrong and¬†the taste was wrong. Wrong, wrong, wrong!

It was then, I realised, I should start to learn cooking from Granny – can’t call myself a true-blue Hainanese girl if I can only eat chicken rice and Hainanese kueh-kueh without knowing how to make them. Gamely, my feisty Granny agreed.

When I watched my Granny prepared the coconut filling, I came to understand that satisfying my childhood craving was not an easy task. It took experience, skill and patience. To prepare the filling, my Granny started with melting a mixture of muscovado sugar and gula melaka in the wok, while I pound a two-inch piece of ginger to extract the juice and a one-inch square of the skin of dried mandarin oranges. The ginger juice and powdery dried mandarin orange skin was added to the sugar mixture (mighty yummy-smelling by now!), then the coconut (Granny had expected me to grate the coconut myself, so the filling will not too mealy. I cheated with supermarket-bought grated coconut Рnot okay by her, but fine by me, the greedy slob).

 

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When the coconut filling was cooling, Granny kneaded glutinuous rice flour with water and canola oil. to make the¬†“skin”.¬†Despite me trying to convince Granny that as an experienced bread-maker, I am good at knreading dough, she insisted on doing it herself. I watched humbly, as I could never argue with her number of years of experience.
Then came the tough part. Granny expertly wrapped the coconut filling with the glutinous rice dough, then wrapped the almost-finished sweet in a strip of banana leave, to prevent the dough from sticking and to impart the fresh, green fragrance of the leaves to the kueh. Sad to say, the two kueh I wrapped came loose while they were steaming.

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I downed two kueh when they came out of the steamer. Oh, yummy! This was exactly what Hainanese kueh should taste like! The skin was delicate and chewy at the same time, the coconut filling is not just sweet with a molassy tone but it was infused with a slight tang from the mandarin orange skin and ginger juice added a certain je ne sais quoi.
Unfortunately, I don’t really have the recipe. Well, while I know the steps, I couldn’t catch up with Granny throwing a handful of sugar here and a dizzle of oil there. What can I say – the experts work from experience and have no need to follow recipes.

Maybe I ought to ask her to show me how to make the kueh again!¬† ūüôā

 

Something New…

September 22, 2008

I am feeling contented with my life now.

Life is simple and rewarding, with the little one surprising us with new things learnt everyday.

I am happy. Maybe even a little complacent.

I was, however, thrown off my feet a little by a talk with my manager. She is someone whom I trust a lot at work. We are friends, not just colleagues.

She gave me a proposition to consider. A new role, sort of, at a subsidiary. More responsibilities. More accountability. More challenges.

It’s like a little jolt, waking me up from my contented being. Not in a bad way… it certainly got me thinking.

What next? What if I do accept the challenge? What if I do not?

**********

I am not one who loves new things.

How shall I put this accurately?

I mean, I love new shoes, clothes, jewellery (darling, are you there? Are you listening?¬†ūüėČ )… new things. But when I find something that works, I stick to it forever!

Like my favourite carrot cake recipe. I have been using one by Martha Stewart for ages! It’s a winner and everyone loves it.

It took me quite a while to try another carrot cake recipe. This one is by Pierre Herme, the demi-god of pastry, no less. Boy, am I glad to venture out to new territory!

This one has no leavening agents, with its structure supported by beaten egg whites. Ground hazelnut and almond add an irresistable nutty edge to the natural sweetness of carrots. The best part about it? It is most delicately sweeten, beautifully moist and ethereally light, like a genoise without the dryness.

A real winner! Sorry Martha, you have been edged out by Pierre!¬† ūüėČ

 

This is the carrot cake, lovely on its own, but I served it with some leftover vanilla bean dotted buttercream and orange-favoured cream cheese frosting for CH, who is anatomically-designed and metabolically-gifted to take all that extra calories.

*********

Maybe it is not so bad to try new things afterall…

The Pastry Revelation

July 21, 2008

No doubt about it.

The Japanese are overt francophile. Just consider the food. To satisfy a craving for Pierre Herme’s¬†Ispahan or¬†Eric Kayser’s walnut bread, there is no need to endure a 12-hour flight to Paris. Tokyo has it all… and more. Displaying their trademark innovation and spirit,¬†the Japanese¬†are fantastic at¬†adopting something foreign where¬†a subtle Japanese touch is added and voila, something unique emerged.

Pastry is one area where the Japanese magic reigns.

While in Tokyo, CH and I made a trip down to Hidemi Sugino’s patisserie in Kyobashi. I have heard so much about his pastry and I just had to try the famed mousse cakes¬†for myself.

My research tells me that his cakes are quick to sell out, so to avoid disappointment, CH and I set out for the patisserie at 8.30am (yes, the things I drag my poor hubby to do to satisfy my gluttony) and reached there about 9.45am. True to what was being said on various blogs, there was already a line snaking outside the pastry shop. About 20 people stood in front of us, patiently fanning themselves, as they listened intently to the store help who came out, presumably to apologise for the wait. (And according to other food blogs, to advise customers to consume the delicate mousse cakes in the patisserie, rather than exposing them to the elements!)

At 10am sharp, the door swinged open and the customers went in orderly. It was a beautiful and elegant patisserie, with a small area in front displaying the pastries (about the size of a small condominium bedroom) and a slightly bigger seating area at the back. Modern, clean lines dominated the design concept. But of course, we were not there for the interior design.

The darling hubby volunteered to stand in line for the cakes, while I looked around for items to bring home for my dad. Flavoured financiers and madeleines were featured quite extensively, together with the most dainty fruit cakes and chocolate grenobles.

Finally, it was our turn to order. Fearing too much of a sugar fest, we ordered 4 mousse cakes to be shared.

While waiting for our orders to arrive, we¬†peeped at what¬†the gentleman sitting next to us was eating. A man of moderate build, he was tucking in 4 pieces of mousse cakes – by himself –¬†at 10am¬†in the morning.¬†Clearly, for him, desserts are not after-thoughts – it is the main event. He ate the cakes slowly, gently slicing a small¬†portion each time and deliberately swirling the¬†portion in his mouth, tasting and appreciating it like fine wines.

He and I… we¬†could have been best friends if we understood each other…¬† ūüėČ

When our orders came, the waitress recommended that we start with the lighter-tasting cakes first. It was such a simple gesture but one that is often neglected at most patisseries, even the high-end ones. The gesture showed the pride and attention to detail the pastry chefs and his store helps dedicated to the fine art of pastry-making and eating.

Here’s what we had:

B-Caraibe – from top to bottom, rum-vanilla mousse, rum-soaked sponge, banana sauce, one more layer of sponge, rounded up with an orange-flavoured chocolate mousse.

The taste of rum was strong. Even with the strong aroma, it blended beautifully with the rest of the components – the vanilla cream and the yummy banana sauce. My take-away lesson from the first bite of Sugino’s cakes – be bold when soaking sponges. His are soaked well and I like the mouthfeel of the almond sponge in my mouth.

Cote’d Azur – A complete jolt to the senses! We were pleasantly surprised at how tart this mousse cake was! A lime and raspberry mousse cake, the mousses almost bordered sour¬†and were refreshingly light, and the flavours extremely bold, clear¬†and upfront. I love it when the pastry chef challenges customers’ perception that desserts have to be only sweet.

What impressed me most was the lightness of his mousse. It was so light that it literally melted on my tongue and left a pleasant aftertaste of lime and framboise. It was also a very pretty cake to behold – light green and pink mousses, decorated with tiny strips of lime peel on top. Pure artistry.

Exotique – One of my favourite! Mango sauce and almond genoise encased by the lightest and most flavourful banana mousse. The cake is finished with a dusting of dessicated coconut which rounded off and complemented the taste perfectly. Again, not overly sweet, so the flavours were clear.

Arabique – The least favourite in our set of 4 cakes. The cake itself is faultless. It’s just that we are both not coffee drinkers nor fan of the aromatic bean. This is a chocolate-coffee mousse cake with a layer of bitter coffee gelee encased inside.

 

With cakes so ethereally light, we felt that we could do with another two more, so these were what we ate:

? – I forgot the name of this one but I love it. It was a grapefruit mousse cake, with a small square of mint mousse encased inside. Who would have thought grapefruit would go with mint! This is a complete discovery on my part and opened my eyes to the possibilities of fruit mousses. Utterly refreshing cake!

Ambroisie – Sugino’s signature. I can’t seem to find the words to properly describe the chocolate mousse – it was rich in its texture¬†but had a¬†light mouthfeel at the same time. Embedded in the luscious chocolate mousse were a layer of pistachio sponge and pistachio mousse, with a thin layer of raspberry puree added to cut the richness. Magic!

 

Unfortunately, photography was not allowed in the patisserie. In any case, we were too busy stuffing ourselves to be bothered with the camera. I found a website which features photographs of Sugino’s beautiful creations. Alas, the text is in French – I would figure it out one day, with the help of my English-French dictionary (the only thing I remember from my college French lessons¬†is that the teacher’s name¬†was Serge and boy, was he cute!¬† ūüėČ )

Before we left, we bought a box of goodies back for my dad. Sugino’s fruit cake is the lightest I’ve ever had.

Having tasted and being inspired by the master chef’s creations, Sugino’s book Le Gout Authentique Retrouve found its way back to my bedside table.¬†The bulk of the book is in Japanese, with only the ingredient list in French.

One day… yes, one day, when I have the time and when I am feeling confident, I will attempt one of his recipes…¬† ūüôā

Clumsy is as Clumsy Does

July 21, 2008

I made my first ever tiramisu on Saturday for my aunt’s little gathering. Based on my dad’s trusty recipe (30 years of experience can’t be wrong!¬† ūüôā ), it was a gorgeous cake with brandy-expresso soaked sponge, sandwiching rich mascarpone cream, topped with a generous sifting of Valrhona cocoa powder. A great symphony, may I say so myself, of bitter and sweet. It’s sinfully rich, yet meltingly light at the same time. Truly addictive, even for someone like me who’d never ever go near a coffee-flavoured cake.

At 6 in the evening, I was putting the finishing touches to my tiramisu, attaching a ring of fluffy sponge fingers to the side of the cake and tying a lovely magenta organza ribbon around it.

Perfect, I smiled to myself. Wait, maybe not… Not quite, I reckoned. I thought a simple chocolate putty rose or two would elevate the cake into the realms of edible elegance.

I mentioned to my helper to clear some fridge space for the cake, while I would proceed to work on the chocolate roses. As I passed the 7-inch tiramisu to her, the cake somehow, somehow, slipped from my grasp and crashed right onto the floor!

I let out a high-pitched scream, watching my masterpiece land unceremoniously on the floor. Much to my amusement, Rui who was playing with CH in the living hall, imitated my scream. I wasn’t sure whether I should laugh or cry. Hours of work was now reduced to a messy, unrecognisable pile in front of the fridge.

I laughed.

Anyway.

No use crying over fallen tiramisu.

The good thing that came out of the fiasco?

I now know that it is POSSIBLE to construct a tiramisu – from scratch – in 2 hours flat, including the chilling time, as I delivered the finshed product (my second masterpiece¬† ūüėȬ† ) at 8.30pm that evening.

PS: No picture as I was too flustered, as I usually am when I anticipate to deliver something. Anything.

Tokyo – A (Too) Short Rendezvous (Part 1)

July 18, 2008

4 days and 3 nights. Or rather 3 days and 3 nights. The shortest trip CH and I have ever taken but it was certainly no less enjoyable than the others. Mainly because we, or rather I, love love love Tokyo Рthe city, the incredible vibe, the efficient, user-friendly transportation system, the blinding bright lights when night falls, the politeness of the people, the availability of top quality products and the excellent, marvellous, fantastic food!

For the accommodation of this trip, we stayed at CH’s ex-colleague OJ’s place in Hikarigaoka which was about two hours away from Narita by train. It was a big place by Japanese standard with three bedrooms, living and dining areas. OJ, his lovely wife Wei, and their two adorable toddlers Min and Sheng made us feel very welcomed, at home and comfortable.

Thank you so MUCH, OJ and Wei!¬†¬† ūüôā

 

And, these are what we were up to in our four days in Japan:

Day 1

Day flight, all of 7 hours to Narita Airport

Day 2

Morning – I fulfilled the glutton in me with a visit to Hidemi Sugino’s fabulous patisserie. Everything there was perfect! More on that in a later post.

After indulging at the patisserie, we took a short 30-minute walk to Ginza to visit Mariage Freres. I just love the look and feel of the little store with its weathered wooden panelling. It was an absolute pleasure to the senses, to be greeted by the aroma of tea, and rows and rows of black and yellow tea canisters once we entered the charming store. Unfortunately, photography was not allowed inside.  

Never a shopper nor an avid  tea-drinker (a light sleeper, he is ultra sensitive to the effects of caffeine), CH nevertheless patiently waited as I indulged, sniffing and marvelling at the aromas and the pure artistry of the teas brought to me by the knowledgable store help. 

By the end of the session, after sniffing countless teas, I bought Sweet Shanghai (a beautiful green tea infused with lychee and flowers), Bolero (the MF book says, “A refreshing blend with the aroma of Mediterranean fruits. Velvety taste” and I say, “Mango and passionfruit scented tea – MUST have it!”), ¬†The Au Sahara (a blend of Rooibos, mint and rose), Bouddha Bleu (beautiful tea – green tea with royal blue cornflowers) for OJ, our wonderful host,¬†and Marco Polo, a favourite of mine, for J.¬†

We met up with OJ later and had a short tour at the Sony Building, taking in all the fascinating new electronic inventions the Japanese¬†are so good in producing. We saw a futuristic looking glass tube¬†speaker that would be a conversation starter¬†in any home. The sound it produced was beautiful and according to the salesperson, because of its design, the volume heard from anywhere in the confines of the living room would be the same (quite true). I am sorry but I so don’t get the Rolly – it’s really cute but do people actually buy that??

Lunch – Our first proper meal in Tokyo, discounting the sugar fest at Hidemi Sugino. OJ took us to¬†a famous ramen place in Harajuku.¬†My noodle¬†connoisseur CH¬†LOVED the ramen. The noodles itself was faultless – springy without being too chewy and most importantly, there was not a strong taste of alkaline. The soup base, in my humble opinion, was the star of the show! I had my noodles in a soup base made from boiling pork bones for hours – a favourite among the celebrities in Japan, I was told by OJ,¬†as the soup was ultra-rich in¬†wrinkle-preventing collagen.¬†Lusciously thick, sweet and deftly seasoned, the soup was absolutely delicious! I couldn’t finish the generous amount of noodles but sipped every drop of that wrinkle-busting soup. Hey, I could feel my crow feet tightening up already!¬†¬†¬† ūüėČ

Afternoon РWe took a trip down to the Shinto shrine, Meiji Jingu. There we took a walk down the tranquil path to reach the shrine where devotees and tourists alike bowed their heads to pray for what their hearts desire.

We walked all the way to Shibuya after that. OJ and CH¬†were wonderful and¬†nice to the glutton in me, as they scrutinised my scribbled address and maps to take me to… Pierre Herme’s main store in Tokyo! Not wanting to over-indulge (can’t abuse metabolism too much after the big THREE ZERO!), I bought just a Plaisir Sucre. ¬†

It was beautiful – so aptly named as the different layers and contrast in texture of chocolate (hazelnut dacquoise, praline, ganache, chocolate whipped cream and chocolate sheets) brought about a glorious sensation in the mouth! One day when I am feeling adventurous and when there are people to share the calories, I will attempt this gorgeous edible piece of art that comes with a six-page recipe in PH’s Chocolate Desserts!

Evening РWe accompanied OJ to Roppongi as he made a short trip back to his office to do some work (yes, on a Sunday! And you wonder why bankers are being paid so much!  ;P )

The main event for the¬†evening was a trip to another famous ramen place in Shinjuku, just opposite the city’s red-light district.

I would just say these about the ramen Рit was GOOD! Everything about it Рthe flavourful soup, the fatty pork that melts in the mouth, the springy noodles. Humble and comforting at the end of a long day but no less impressive. Good food does not have to be fanciful. 

What a fantastically gluttony way to end a fantastic day!

Rui’s Birthday Feast

July 3, 2008

Like I mentioned, Rui’s birthday bash was really Daddy and Mummy’s party. Or in Chez Lim, every family member’s party, with the little one oblivious to the fuss.¬†¬† ūüôā

The two grandmas picked his outfit to be worn at the party.

My helper picked the shoes.

Daddy prepared the guest list.

Mummy prepared the food list.

And I think, Mummy had the most fun preparing for the bash!

For Rui’s party, I didn’t want to do a lunch or a dinner party, with catered food like¬†bland¬†noodles¬†or soggy deep fried food¬†and syrupy punch… no, no, no…¬†too predictable. I wanted to do a tea party, with luxurious but fun¬†desserts and yummy sweets. I¬†visualised a buffet table lined with colourful, bite-sized¬†desserts, elegant¬†finger sandwiches and little squares of exquisite chocolates, with¬†a cupcake tier as a centre piece.

Coincidentally, one¬†of J’s friends,¬†a¬†really nice lady, GH’s son shared the same birthday as Rui. She asked me to make¬†a cake for her boy and I suggested the idea of a cupcake tier.¬†She gallantly accepted the idea and graciously allowed me the freedom¬†to do whatever I feel¬†was best.¬†

I started work on the cupcake tiers¬†a day before¬†the party, painstakingly handcrafting both the cupcake tiers from cake¬†boards, styrofoam, the cutest¬†pokka dot felt¬†and lovely satin ribbons. I basically made¬†GH’s son¬†what I had prepared for Rui – two tiers of cuppies and a top-tier of fondant-covered cake (for cake-cutting). The two sets of cakes were differentiated by colour scheme.

And the flavours of the cuppies? Simple but crowd-pleasing vanilla, some of which were infused or swirled with fruit puree to become a fruity-flavoured vanilla cake, and chocolate, of course. The top-tier cakes were a super moist carrot cake, delicately spiced with ginger and iced with orange cream cheese icing – a recipe modified from Martha Stewart.

 

Besides the cakes, our friends at the party were also treated to:

– jewel-like pink and cream macarons (vanilla with salted caramel – I could taste these in my dreams… mmm…), fresh fruit tarts, durian puffs and brownie bites (made from a batter which includes cream cheese), courtesy of my dad’s magic kitchen

– finger sandwich (some savoury to counter the sweet)

– deep-fried (fresh and crispy!) vegetarian snacks for veggie friends (you know who you are… ūüôā¬† )

– Godiva chocolates (If I don’t spoil my friends, who will… wink, wink…)

Though some of our older relatives missed the usual savoury buffet fare, I was glad most of our guests enjoyed the food and one commented that he felt like he had gone to sugar heaven!¬†Haha…

And the birthday boy? He got a bite from one cuppy. The rest was too sweet for him, so one bite was all he got this year.

Well, there is always next year!¬† ūüôā