Category Archives: Food

It’s my nephew’s birthday, LoL

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I decided to try out the technique in this article to draw some of my nephews favourite game characters on his birthday cake. It works like a charm and I am pretty pleased with the results. My nephew seems to like it too as he seems to want to preserve the iced characters for as long as he can – which isn’t that long as the kids love their chocolate brownies!

Ram

Pavlova cravings

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On Christmas day, I had the privilege of eating some pavlova my ex-boyfriend’s mom made and it was absolutely divine! None of the pavlova I’ve tried was close to how good hers was – even thinking about it now makes my mouth water. Almost immediately after I got back home, I started to crave for her pavlova. I tried looking for one here but not one cafe or restaurant serves them! Can you believe it? As I have no luck trying to find it, I made an attempt to bake one myself.

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Peachy pavlova!

It’s alright, but it’s still not nearly as good as hers. I had to substitute strawberries for peaches, as it’s really hard to find good strawberries here. This may well be the reason why the taste is a bit off. Regardless, I miss eating good pavlova…

Ram

Nothing wrong with celebrating love

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There’s nothing wrong with celebrating love – thought I should reiterate the title of this post as every Valentine’s day of every year, someone around me never fails to mention how wrong it is to celebrate Valentine’s when you’re not Christian yourself. I’m not going to go deeper into this topic because religious debate is rarely a happy thing for me, and non-happy things have no place in this blog. I’m just going to go ahead and say that I love celebrations, especially when it makes you think of those you love and give you an excuse to do something extra nice for them.

For Valentine’s this year, I made mini chocolate cakes with surprise hearts inside for my sisters, brothers, nephews, nieces and cousins. I got this idea from the cupcakes made by yoyomax12. I piped lots chocolate hearts for decorations and had so much fun with it. Something about making things for others just gives me a nice, warm feeling inside. This is true during the process of thinking and creating, and long after I’ve given it to that special person. It makes me even happier when the receiver enjoys the gifts too!

Anyway, I’ll stop yapping about how wonderful I think baking or everything is, and show you pictures instead.

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Freshly piped chocolates – hot, hot hot!

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You can never have too many chocolate hearts.

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These hearts are going to be hidden inside the mini cakes.

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Surprise!

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Heart with wings.

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‘Heart’ deco.

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…running out of ideas (and chocolate hearts) at this point – lol!

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Leftover surprise hearts.

Some of the cakes didn’t turn out too well so I had no other choice but to eat them myself! I mean, what else can I do? (Yumm…)

Ram

Cupcake Madness!

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What do you do when you feel like your whole life is collapsing and there’s nothing you can do about it? I don’t really know what you would do, but what I did was bake many little cupcakes and pipe pretty icing on them. It didn’t solve my problems, but it sure did make me high (on sugar!) and feel somewhat accomplished. Yes, I am embarrassed to admit to feeling a bit chuffed for what is a very tiny accomplishment, but sometimes when you’re that much down in the dump, the little things can lift your spirits somewhat. And I’m thankful enough that it did.

If you’ve seen my previous food posts, you probably realised that I don’t do a lot of piping for my desserts. This is because I don’t own any piping nozzles to do any elaborate designs with. Piping nozzle sets have been in my wish list for the longest time, which is why I am really excited to finally own one! Who would’ve thought that I would be able to find a decent set for less than £6 in my tiny country! I was anticipating frustration when trying to find ingredients and baking utensils back home, and am pleasantly surprised to see that you can get most things in the local supermarket nowadays. Things have most certainly changed for the last 6 years I was away.

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Piping nozzle set, piping bags and coupler – all bought from local stores!

Of course, I tried them out the second I got them!

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Some lovely piping experiments.

Once I’m comfortable with the few piping techniques I know, I decided to spend Chinese New Year baking cupcakes with my nephews and nieces and teach them how to decorate with icing. Although, they decided to ice their cakes their own creative way 🙂

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By niece, age 15.

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By nephew, age 14.

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By nephew, age 12.

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By niece, age 10.

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By niece, age 7.

It was such a fun project that we all thoroughly enjoyed. I’m possibly being biased right now, but I love how the kids mix different colours and piping techniques – certainly very cute! I’m a proud aunt 🙂

That’s not the end of the cupcake madness though, as I’ve also made cupcakes in celebration of ‘Chap Goh Meh’. For those of you not familiar with this cultural event, it is the 15th day of the lunar year when, according to tradition, single girls will toss oranges into the river and wish to soon meet their future husbands. Nowadays, people just have dinner, eat oranges and watch fireworks with their family though.

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Instead of tossing my oranges, I added them to my cupcakes! Yum…

As much as I enjoyed making these cupcakes, what made the process special was that I get to drive around the village sending cupcakes to my family. Nothing beats sadness like the smiles of little children at the sight of sweeties!

Ram

My 1.5th Anniversary

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18 months ago, I (most probably) made a stranger slightly uncomfortable by talking a little bit too enthusiastically about fish ‘rape’ and fungal networks. Today, I’m in his flat, cooking dinner and baking a cake. Thinking about the first time we met always brings a smile to my face. He told me then what he thought of free will and I still remember how very impressed I was at how well he can explain himself. He used the right words and the right expressions, which shouldn’t really amaze me as English is his mother-tongue after all, yet it did. I, on the other hand, told him that I like wolves because they’re ‘cool’.

I can write pages about him and us, but that’s not what this blog is about. I just wanted to share with everyone the cake I made today 🙂

1.5 anniversary cake! (Because any reason is a good reason to bake)

1.5 anniversary cake! (Because any reason is a good reason to bake)

This cake was an adaptation of a dessert I made as part of my AS-level food technology coursework. It has a white chocolate and raspberry blondie base, for which I used this BBC Good Food recipe (but halved).

Raspberry and white chocolate blondie.

Raspberry and white chocolate blondie.

I then rolled out a sheet of Sainsbury’s soft white icing to form a border around the base. I wanted to experiment with colour and food colourings so I added a few drops of red in the icing before kneading.

Border made of icing.

Border made of icing.

Cake border attached to base (with raspberry jam).

Cake border attached to base (with raspberry jam).

Next, I poured white chocolate mousse and dark chocolate mousse in alternate thin layers. To make a marbled effect, I gently ran a skewer round the surface in a swirling motion. The cake is then left in the fridge, to allow the mousse to set.

Marbled white and dark chocolate mousse.

Marbled white and dark chocolate mousse.

Last but not least, I decorated the top with leftover raspberries and chocolate shavings. It was delish! (if I say so myself).

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Bon appetit!

I got a bit bored after and decided to ‘play’ with dinner as well…

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Steak and mash, with love.

I wish I can bake more often, but it can get quite expensive (and fattening…) Well, that’s it folks! Hope everyone is enjoying their weekend so far!

Ram

Stumbled Upon Past Me

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I don’t know how it happened exactly. I was looking up travel insurances all night last night and somehow went to bed having found my old Multiply account. At first I cringed with embarrassment at the things that I wrote and posted – I really don’t want to know how I was as a teenager… I have deleted my account but not before downloading the better pictures of my Food Technology projects! You have no idea how excited I was to be reunited with them once more 🙂 I might update the pictures I used in previous posts but, for now, I will leave them here for you to enjoy!

Decorations and picture taken by me during food photography class.

Chocolate meringue torte before decorations.

Chocolate meringue torte after decorations

Caramelising apples.

Caramel sauce.

Mini apple charlotte fresh from the oven.

Mini apple charlotte with caramel sauce

Baking Pear Puff Pastry

Custard Sauce.

Pear Puffs with Custard Sauce.

Making chilled lemon souffle.

Chilled lemon souffle fresh from the fridge.

Experimenting with bases.

Experimenting with fillings.

Chocolate collar.

My very own Blackforest Layers!

I’ve provided recipes for the above and more in my previous posts so do check out my Food entries if any of them interests you 🙂

Ram

Not Sushi (or ‘Sushi’ for The Picky)

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I was feeling rather inspired towards the end of last week to invent new things (was probably rather bored too). Following my ladybird pattern, I had a food idea in mind that I wanted to try out. Since the boyfriend stayed over last weekend, I was even more motivated to carry it out as this particular idea sprouted from his picky-eater nature. Story goes – I’ve been craving for sushi recently. I swear, if I had all the money in the world, I would get me a sushi chef and eat Salmon nigiri everyday! The boyfriend, however, does not like rice, seafood and seaweed (and a lot of other things) which is what most sushi consists of. I actually tried to find out if there exists a variant of sushi without the things that he doesn’t like, and all I could come up with is tamagoyaki (literally translates to fried egg). Then, I had this crazy idea of substituting rice with mashed potato and seaweed with tamagoyaki. As I played around with the idea some, I wondered if it was possible to make some sort of chicken roll with things inside. Only one way to find out!

And the results:

(1) Bear-shaped mashed potato
(2) Tuna teriyaki and mashed peas wrapped in tamagoyaki
(3) Chicken teriyaki and creamed cheese with garlic and chives wrapped in mashed potatoes and seasoned tamagoyaki

(1) Chicken katsu
(2) Potato chips, mashed peas and omelette wrapped in chicken patty

Onigiri-style mashed potatoes with tuna teriyaki filling, coated with breadcrumbs and deep-fried

I was extremely pleased with how well the shapes turned out! Some of the onigiri-style mashed potatoes did crumble apart in the wok so if you want to give this a go, it may help to reduce the size a bit (I made mine a similar size to regular onigiri). Also, do go crazy with the ingredients. There are infinite possibilities for various combinations here – I just went with whatever I have with me at the time.

Ram