It has always been said, and is a proven fact, I do believe, that you are the company you keep, possibly pivoting on the simple notion of attracting people of similar energy as to that which you project into the universe. Now, if the Law of Attraction is anything to go by, then I must surely have had sent out chocoholic vibes incessantly, because ever since I posted the left photo from the above diptych into my little Twitter universe, numerous chocoholics (loud-and-proud and closet ones alike) openly declared their support and pledged allegiance towards the same cocoa cause. Whilst I may be far from the journey to converting my household to like chocolate, let alone embrace chocolate addiction;– to be perfectly honest, I don’t even know why I bother, since it just spells a greater share for me;– it is most certainly reassuring to know I’m not the only one with a penchant for this dark beauty.
And since I pretty much decided to bake my own birthday cake this year, there was no doubt in my mind that it had to be somewhere along the lines of chocolate on chocolate with chocolate, plus more chocolate. Continue reading
I’m not entirely sure if a ‘dessert person’ is merely a dessert person, thereby grouping all the always-have-room-for-dessert people together, or there are actually sub-categories to identify sweet-toothed people with respective inclinations. You see, I unabashedly admit to having a sweet tooth, which one can easily gather from my posts, of course. And regardless of how appetising and scrumptiously filling a several-course meal may be, I will always have room for dessert. But it only recently crossed my mind that I may not have exactly been the dessert person I reckoned I was, after finding myself somewhat dumbfounded, flipping through the menu of a local restaurant boasting a much-raved array of desserts flown in directly from the States, only to have me thinking ‘Can’t I have just a plain ‘ol slice of brownie with a scoop of ice-cream?’. And you would think that the chocoholic in me would have been easily appeased by the tantalising slices of chocolate cakes sitting by the counter, but no;– urgh cheese, too much cream, there’s coffee in that one, yuck cherries. It was then that I came to the conclusion that perhaps I was not so much a dessert person as I am a brownies-for-dessert person.
Confession: This has been the fourth, or maybe fifth, time I’ve made this recipe, each time with my own variation and adjustments, and to date, I have never shared any of the aforementioned versions. And believe you me, they turned out better and better (well, to my palate, specifically) with each newer treatment, but I never got around to sharing. Judging from the above photograph, I reckon you could guess the reason, yes? It just refuses;– and I mean that in the most horrifying terrible-three tantrum-throwing feet-stamping manner;– to be photographed! The day would start off bright and sunny, but once the brownies were cool enough to be handled (and photographed), the dark clouds would come stomping in, and the skies darken, almost shadowing the hue of these rich cocoa morsels. And then there would be an instance of baking-on-a-whim when the sun is almost retiring, and you postpone photography to the next day, only to be dampened when you find the not-so-pretty ones left. I could of course go on and on, but I’m sure anyone with a penchant for photographing their food can understand what I’m getting at.
Yet as vehemently diva-esque these brownies may act, the more insistent I am that good things must be shared, even at the cost of unjust presentation.
There is always that point in the day when everything seems to be on hold, as you catch what feels like your first breather, watching the world whirl around you in a fashionable slow-motioned gaussian blur, with barely audible murmurs wafting in the background. And just for that split second, your head feels light and afloat, almost fuzzy-like, whilst the depths of your heart feels somewhat heavy, not with grief nor sadness, but beaming much too full with the weight of gratitude to the life you have before you. At times it’s the little reminders you get from reading a news article on a fatal tragedy marring an otherwise perfect family picture; some days it’s scrolling through the plenty of photos you’ve snapped on your phone, reminiscing each antic-filled memory that came with it; other times it’s simply catching the gaze of a loved one in the midst of doing something absolutely nondescript like washing the piled up dishes in the sink.
True, that moment may not come every day, particularly on less-than-sunshiny days when even the thought of taking a breather may seem too much of a hassle. But it never fails to surprise me how the simplest of things, and perhaps even the most inexplicable at that, could bring a gentle smile to a person with the least proclivity to proclaim love;– yes, I’m giving the stink-eye to all you ‘FML’ kids out there.
Before I begin, here’s wishing all my Muslim readers a blessed Eid-ul’adha! I’ve been receiving mails from readers asking whether I’m already married, whether I’m okay, and basically why the silence. I know I’ve been missing in action for almost a month, and thank you for all of your concern, but no, I’m not married yet; yes I’m okay; and I’ve been busy with the preparations. Having said that, while I’d love to say I’m back for good, I’ve actually returned for a very short post, and to let you know that I’ll be pretty silent for a while, but I’ll still be tweeting away, of course, so if you’d like to hear me ramble incessantly about randomness, find me there! Also, I’m not so sure when the next bake [and post] would be, but I’ll be sure the first bake I’ll share as an official missus will be a great one. And apologies in advance if the coming post(s) would be non baking-related.
Not many people know this, but it’s been a personal mission of mine to
pwn bake the marble cake, and not just any marble cake, but more specifically kek marble which basically translates to the same thing in the Malay language, but bears oh-so-much meaning to me. Kek marble traditionally has to be moist, heavy, be firm enough to dip into a cup of tea, yet soft enough to slowly melt in your mouth with every bite. And how do I know this? Because my beloved mom happens to be a kek marble connoisseur-cum-purist, and after having tried 5 different recipes, nothing swept her off her feet, and I was determined to still find the right one. Call it an obsession, but just like how the mister labels mac & cheese as “not as nice as yours [mine]”, I find it personally gratifying to be able to cook/bake a favourite dish/bake of the loved ones in your life. And finally today, for my mother’s birthday this year (yes, all those attempts were for her birthdays and Mothers’ Day), I may have just found the one. She may not have said much nor joined hands with me as we danced around in jubilation with me screaming “I did it!”, but she ate one slice after another, then another, and another. Then said in all seriousness, “Make sure you don’t lose this recipe”. That was enough to end the search for me.
Happy birthday, Mother!
I’m not much of a citrus person;– my closest lemon preference would probably be in the form of a rectangular thin crackly crackers sandwiching a sweet lemon cream of sorts in the bottom of an old-school assorted Khong Guan biscuit tin, which on hindsight may actually just contain artificial lemon essence to begin with. And I’m certainly aware of, but do not partake in the dichotomy between the pro and anti-lemon/citrus camps, since I’ve never actually tasted anything strictly lemon, well beyond my cowardly grating of lemon zest into my strawberry muffins (aside: I’ve added lemon to anything strawberry ever since the discover that lemon + strawberry is perfect). But of all the lemon desserts that taunt me out there, nothing quite intrigues me as the luscious spread known to have even won the hearts of some of my non-citrus fan friends.
I do know, however, that I’m very much a dessert person, and having something sweet seemed the perfect pairing and balance for something tart. Unfortunately not everyone is a self-proclaimed chocoholic like myself, so as much as the sound of chocolate fudge was ringing incessantly in my ear, I decided to opt for a more popular choice of smooth golden brown indulgence, with a little touch (or taste if you prefer) of adult, so to speak.
Things had been pretty hectic over on my end, and I can only imagine it becoming busier with each week inching closer to the day. As of this moment, it is just weeks to go, but with the mister needing to serve the nation a week prior to the wedding, there are lots of loose strings awaiting to be tied within a shorter period of time. The past week or so had seen me playing the role of a postman, or a postlady if you so prefer, writing and sending out invites either through the mailbox, or personally. The best part about sending out invites;– that is, after conjuring what ever little memory you have of your guestlist and re-writing it for the second time after having had misplaced the first;– is receiving all the sincere reactions, along with the thrill of rekindling old ties and making new ones. It’s amazing how within the span of just a week, I’ve met up with old friends from my teenage years, caught up with a close partner-in-crime from my varsity days, as well as fixed a blind date of sorts with some of my dearest blog / Twitter friends whom I’ve never met prior to this. Along with some wedding shopping and final selection of outfits, you could say things had been very much happily hectic.