Category Archives: randomness

randomness at its best

As luck were to have it, I had been quite busy the past week with the parents’ birthdays, and catching up with the lil nieces who stayed over. I was secretly hoping that I could find the opportunity to snap photos of what I baked for the birthday celebrations, but they were wiped out sooner than I had expected. All’s well, I guess :)

For the mother, I baked an improved version of the peach crumble pie, and a rich butter cake sandwiched with fruits, and decorated with buttercream frosting. Both were easily my mother’s favourites, even though I had deliberately reduced the sugar content in light of the doctor’s advice to her.

For the father’s celebrations yesterday, I baked the tried-and-tested soft and chewy chocolate chip cookies for the little ones to munch on, and tried my first attempt at an ice-cream cake. After several opinions, I went for the same butter cake, sandwiched with a layer of chocolate ice-cream, and another layer of chocolate chip ice-cream, and topped with a layer of Oreo crumbs. Even though it was a total mess (the ice-cream melted during the father’s speech!), I thought it was a good learning point, and I picked up several pointers with regard to the choice of cake (sponge, vis-a-vis butter), and the fridging duration. Oh, and hopefully next time I’ll have enough space in the freezer to use a springform pan :P

I still have a long way to go before I can come close to the likes of Happy Home Baker and Laureen with regard to cakes and cake decorations, but I do hope that I can get more practice soon!

In other news, I’ve been tagged by HHB and Aimei to give 5 random facts about myself. To be honest, I don’t know why anyone would be interested in knowing more about the boring ol’ me, but here goes:-

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a public service announcement

I posted this on my personal blog, but the mister recommended that I posted it here as well to raise awareness and spread the word. Note: This is not a food-related entry.

Why should you read ingredients?

“Because you’re worth it.”

By now I think that would be one of the most over-used statements in reference to cosmetic taglines, besides Maybelline’s “Maybe she’s born with it…” mantra. Incidentally though, as my eyes were stuck on the magic box set this morning, there were several eye-opening information shared with the viewers that got the father exclaiming why the need to go through so much trouble, and the immediate answer to pop into my head was that L’oreal line.

What began as an Earth Day tribute got me frantically reaching into the cosmetic pouch, while waiting for search engines to do their work.

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tens on my hundred

Some time ago, the talented Grace mentioned her interest in seeing my top ten pictures featured on this blog, and I had deliberately put it off (before you kill me, sweetie, read the disclaimer!) because I was saving it for this special occasion. What better way to celebrate my 100th post than to reflect upon some of the best memories I’ve had here.

So without further ado, here are the top 10 pictures, in random order:-

1. Fluffy buttermilk biscuits;
There’s always something warm and comforting in a basket of freshly-baked fluffy biscuits.

2. Fudgey cocoa brownies;
The brownies that not only uplifted me in my down moments, but also garnered a lot of interest (the highest traffic thus far). It makes me happy to hear the chocolatey love these brownies brought to those who tried the recipe out. A charmer, this one is.

3. Peanut butter and chocolate cookies;
The cookies that stole everyone’s hearts for its love, and its aesthetics.

4. Superman birthday cake;
My very first fondant cake, for the mister’s birthday. I’ll never forget his incessant hearty laughter and disbelief when he opened the cake box cover.

5. Marshmallow brownies;
Other than chocolate, I think another lexical word that never fails to catch my attention would be marshmallow. And to marry it with fudgey brownies is just a dream come true for me.

6. Buttermilk scones;
I like this photo because it captures my very personality; being an introvert, I prefer my days spent “far from the madding crowd”, with loved ones, a favourite pastime, and a simple bake.

7. Nutella cupcakes;
Again this is more of nostalgia, for Nutella cupcakes were the very first cupcakes that ever caught my attention, since I’m not big on cream frosting, and Nutella would make me go on my hands and knees anytime.

8. Banana cupcakes;
Fluffy naked banana cupcakes fresh from the oven that was too much a delight that they were wiped out [and reserved] before I could even frost them. I still have no idea how they would taste with frosting.

9. Oreo butter cake; and last but not least,
This photo is a favourite not only because of the lovely Oreo-crusted top and the speckles of Oreo throughout the texture, but because those white papers beneath the cooling rack just so happen to be my lecture notes, which I was supposed to be cramming with for the exams. Epicurean escapism indeed.

10. Chocolate cupcakes with buttercream frosting
My very first photo in my very first entry on this blog; without which, this blog wouldn’t have seen its 100th post.

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chocolate dreams are made of these

I was telling the mister the other day that one of the problems, if one would call it that, of having baking as a hobby is that you’ve practically tried the thousand and one different recipes of your favourite dessert, or at least enough to know precisely the type of texture, flavour combination, and ingredients your palate prefers.

The darkest brownies on my dining plate would be dense and fudgey, shunning the cakey texture of his counterparts. He would preferably be balancing a round ball of ice-cream over his shoulders, and licking chocolate syrup drizzling down his forehead. The prettiest cupcake in my hand would be fluffy yet moist, all drenched under a Nutella ganache umbrella, while guarding a dollop of chocolate in the depths of her hands, a wondrous surprise for those in the know.

And my muffins? They would pretty much look like this.

They would be fluffy Milo (a brand of chocolate malt drink) muffins boasting a sinful overload of Hershey’s mini chocolate chip morsels, teasing every wandering mouth with its temptingly gooey marshmallow chunks. They would be the perfect vehicle to drift me off to chocolate heaven, with its moist texture that never leaves a crumb out of place. Even after a bite, they would be the envy at the party, boasting a flattering ridged skirt that flows perfectly in place all the way to their feet.

I first noticed these Milo muffins from a forum site ages ago, and had only been reconciled with them when the recipe was reproduced here. Based on the reviews and feedbacks, I made the necessary changes to the recipe, and yielded several thumbs up from the Fellowship of Muffin Recipients. Of course having a nondescript Milo muffin was obviously insufficient for me, and I had to include the marshmallows. Just because.

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random things that made my week

1. The OSF recipemail update for the week.

Wikio - Top Blogs - Food and wine

2. A kind email from Wikio informing me of my surprising blog ranking for food & wine blogs this month. The naive me actually never knew such blog rankings existed. *blushes* :P

3. The new Ovenhaven packaging.

4. Cupcakes, cupcakes, and more cupcakes. [And more to come this coming week, Alhamdulillah :)]

I have something brewing for the coming month, and can only hope that everything will go as planned. Thank you to all the dear readers for your support!