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Showing posts from April, 2005

Lunch @ Jaan, The Equinox

I had a wonderful lunch at company’s expense yesterday, but unfortunately, due to the circumstance, I did not take pictures for my review of Jaan, part of the Equinox Complex.

Located at the 70th storey of the Swissotel, Jaan, serving French cuisine, is one of the restaurants that make up the entire Equinox Complex. I have long heard about the good food but the price simply cannot justify a casual visit, until a couple of months ago, when Jaan decided to compete for the lunch crowd by offering a reasonably priced set lunch at S$30+++.

On the way to the restaurant, ushers greeted us on the ground floor. As we came out of the elevator, we had to take a darken passage, pass by the restrooms, up along a flight of short carpeted steps, to the restaurant. That “dark” journey to Jaan did nothing to prepare me for what greeted me inside the restaurant, a bright and spectacular view of the entire Marina Bay and beyond! The restaurant was in a cosy corner of the complex, with slightly crowded…

Nuts for a Chocolate Tart

Since I had permission to be out of action for the 2nd half of the day, due to my left eye infection, I was home just slightly after lunch hour and decided that with nothing else better to do, I shall bake! Baking is good as it helps me to destress. Not surprising, one of the reasons the doctor cited for my sudden eye infection was stress. Yes, work has been stressful for the past couple of days. Some consultant ruined my Monday. But last night was good. My sweetie and I celebrated 9 whole months of togetherness. Th0ugh the ride has not always been smooth but I'm so glad we made it this far. For the special occasion, we enjoyed good food at Restaurant Ember (review to follow soon, promise!) and each other's company for a few hours.

Anyway, I decided to make Nutella Tart by Pierre Herme today, because I had always failed to make it in time to buy the chocolate tarts sold over the deli counter of Hotel Intercontinental during this promotional period. So I had mentally already dec…

SHF #7 - Black and Sticky...Gingersnaps, NOT!

I thought I would have to let SHF #7, hosted by An Obession with Food pass this time around. Although I had gone out to purchase a bag of molasses as soon as I learned of the theme, I was busy for the past few weeks and did not have time to bake the famed Chez Panisse Gingersnaps, that so coincidentally called for molasses. But in any case, I woke up early today and so decided to make a last minute bid for SHF #7. From this experience, I re-learned that baking should not be done when in a haste. The recipe itself was not difficult to follow and make, but in my hurry to get to the end, I made so many mistakes changes that I think it should not be associated with the original recipe anymore, in case I ruin its reputation.First and foremost, I halved the recipe. There's no way I can finish 70 cookies in a time span short enough to keep the snaps, well, snappy. Then, I realised I had bought the crystallized version of the main ingredient. Also, I did not have all-purpose flour at hand…

Surprisingly Good!

Brunch - Sweet Cornbread with Cream Cheese, PB&H French Toast


I did not realise how long I had gone without a post! But anyway, my day started off good. I made brunch for my family, just simply two items, cornbread muffins and a indulgent PB & Honey French toast, perfect for a Sunday brunch.
But the adventurous me, decided to put make the muffins a little different, combining what I had never seen or eaten before - cream cheese topping! The finished product looked quite good and you can see the "flower" forming on the top of the crust, caused by the cream cheese expanding nicely but not exploding! The combined textures of the sweet cornbread, slightly "gritty", went wonderfully with the soft and slightly fluffy cream cream cheese. Hidden bits of roughly chopped semidark chocolate within added an additional element of surprise to your first bite into the cream cheese topping. What a pleasant way to start off my day!
The peanut butter & honey french toast …

Good morning J!

If you recall, I mentioned about J returning from Indonesia after a week of relief work. Unfortunately, he was sucked back to work the following day, without a day of break in between. I felt terrible for him and decided to start his Sunday, by greeting him a "Good morning, dear!", with a breakfast of quiche!

I had made one a while back ago and was intriqued by the simplicity this savoury pie, simple to make once you get your hands on some shortcrust pastry. J loved it so that was encouraging me to make another one too.

The only difference this time around was the ingredients that went into the quiche. Since this is such a forgiving dish, I used whatever I had handy, that I thought would go well together. What ended up into the pie was (listed in order of addition into the pie) mozzarella cheese, shredded iceberg lettuce, picnic ham, sliced tomato and a bit more mozzarella cheese.



Looks delicious huh? The mozzarella cheese was not as full-bodied as cheddar so you probably want…

Chewy Cookies!

Yay! I'm back on my baking spree. These chewy oatmeal cookies were baked earlier this morning for my bible study group. The addition of brown sugar is what makes the difference to a cookie and a good cookie. These were slightly chewy even when cooled, the way I like it, yet also slightly nutty from the generous dose of oatmeal and pretty to look at because I used both sultanas and raisins. You get an extra sugar dose when you bite into a slightly annoying raisin. Not really a huge fan of dried grapes, as you can probably guess now. Anyway, the group gobbled them up with great appreciation. That was priceless :)Old-Fashion Chewy Oatmeal Raisin CookiesA
- 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 1/4 tsp saltB
- 1/2 cup brown sugar, packed
- 1/4 cup granulated white sugar
- 1 large egg
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
- 1/2 tsp vanilla essenceC
- 1 1/2 cup quick-cooking oats
- 1/2 cup raisins and/or sultana
Preheat oven to 180C or 350F. Prepare coo…

Survivors!

I apologize for the previous posts; Blogger has been acting weird on me, since yesterday.

As you may recall, I am in need of a baking fix. Since J was returning today after his hard week over in Indonesia, it was also timely to pamper him a little. Still on a cupcake roll, I decided to make the next one on my list, one which I conjured in my head to be as follows: a chocolate cupcake with hazelnut chocolate cream filling, glazed with hazelnut chocolate icing and topped off with a sprinkling of chopped hazelnuts.

Tata! How does that compare with my description? Ok, I admit, there is tons of room for improvement.




In case you are wondering why the title for this post, I have a secret to confess now. Out of eleven cupcakes, the one above was the only one that made it close to what I had conjured. Ok, read on to find out the full scope:

I was feeling adventurous so instead of piping in the hazelnut-chocolate cream after the cupcakes are done, I decided to bake them with the cream inside alre…

Withdrawal Symptoms and best hot chocolate!

My heart is jittery and my hands itch from lack of exercise. Is this the longest I have gone without baking something? Oh, I don't really care because in any case, I am definitely suffering from baking withdrawal symptoms. I NEED to bake, soon!!

Moving onto my next topic - chocolate! Yep, but it's more specific to Barry Callebaut (BC). I had the opportunity to attend the commissioning of BC's spanking new white chocolate line in Singapore yesterday. Stepping into the facility, I was immediately greeted with the scent of chocolate. It was such a comforting smell and I was immediately elevated into a good mood. The highlight of the ceremony was the dotting of the eyes on a 1-ton(!) white chocolate Merlion (a Singapore icon) especially constructed by the guests of honor. And no, just in case you are thinking and hoping, the white chocolate Merlion is inedible because it had additives in it to make it remain solid.

I am so glad I could attend because initially there was concern …

Ooh, cult chocolates!

I am not really the biggest chocolate chocolate type of fan. Chocolate incorporated into baked goods, yes. Chocolate sauce, yes. But for me to pick up a piece of chocolate truffle or praline, or break off a piece of chocolate bar, that sort of desire, would really be a rare sight.

Having said that, I don't know why I got all excited when I read that the first store to sell the full range of Valrhona chocolate, from nine different types of chocolate bars and assorted chocolate boxes, to more than 30 types of Valrhona pralines. Maybe reading a lot of such posts about all the various haute chocolate shops and their large range of products, each one with a cleverly-thought-out description, has somewhat whetted my own interest in finding out what exactly about those chocolatiers drive people crazy. I hope I don't go crazy too.... because I do not think I can maintain such a lifestyle!

The Makeover!

A foreword: This post is about yet another cupcake adventure. Told ya I was on a roll :) Ok, now you have been warned, please read on.

So this morning, I actually slept in! Thanks to the dark and greyish skies created by the early dawn shower, I lost track of time and actually woke up close to 9am! (I know this sounds silly, but I am usually awake by 7:30am so this is rare!) Anyway, everyone else in the household was still asleep so I thought what could be a better way to wake up to than freshly baked goods? I was debating to make ravioli for lunch or cupcakes for brunch and decided to experiment more on cupcakes if I was serious about going into business.

I had bought a tub of cream cheese earlier, just to try my hands on the oh so familiar black bottom cupcakes. I haven’t had one of those before, so it was doubly exciting, to make them for the first time and to eat them for the first time too!

I chose a recipe found off Leite Culinaria’s website. But alas! I had forgotten to …