I could – I could really do with one of these right now.
last night, a crime happened. my innocent, soft loaf of delicious, seedy (not seedy but seed-y), wholemeal bread was ripped from its sanctuary atop my oven and tossed to the floor, packet ripped open, bits of plastic and crumbs everywhere. when I gingerly lifted it from its prone position, the bread slices fell out like the saddest flood of emotion.
the suspects of this violation? the cat from next door, or a bird – whichever animal which had come in early last week to do the same unspeakable crime to a piece of jerky we had left wrapped on the counter.
pray for bread loaves everywhere, everyone. I hope you get to eat a lovely breakfast yourself full of eggs and ham and delicious things!
p.s. as some quick instruction: flatten your slice bread with a rolling pin, cut into the four corners an inch inward, fit into a muffin pan, and fill with ham and cheese. top it off with an egg, and bake at 175c until jiggly but set. at the beginning, it’ll take longer than you expect, but it’ll finish faster than you’d think (the same can be said of the eating)!
yes, I live in singapore. yes, we have a blazing sun, and temperatures that average the three-zero.
and no, our tropical climate doesn’t allow for the seasons.
but for some reason, I’ve been craving warmer flavors like pumpkin and spices like cinnamon – and those are no-brainer additions to my daily bowl of hot porridge. here’s some inspiration if you’re thinking of shaking up your hot-bowl routine:
toasted almond meal makes for a fragrant protein addition to breakfast (which should help with keeping those hunger pangs away a couple more minutes or so)
mixing store-bought ground spices (yes, the horror) into oatmeal works best when it’s just been cooked thick and hot, before you add your milk – they tend to float above liquidy mixtures without properly homogenizing
and a mixture of grains makes for the best porridge – great texture, nutty flavor, and higher nutrition. my current favourite = pearl barley + cracked wheat + cracked rye = delicious.
p.s. porridge recipe here, if you’d like your own bowl of comfort in the morning. I cook and portion out at night, before a 3-minute nuke in the morning: fuss-free and completely brainless.
I made this cake a while back for a barbecue with friends, and it was born of simple requirements: a non-fussy cake that wouldn’t mess up too many bowls (important when you’re already prepping lots of other food), and no icing monstrosity please – easy enough to finish even after having ate too much.
it’s a soft fluffy tea-cake that bakes up light and fragrant with toasted coconut and vanilla – a great finish after dinner (or for tea!) with its bittersweet chocolate top.
HEAD’S UP if you’re a londoner – or will be in london come october – and love food fests: I have a giveaway happening later today!
let’s start by saying that this loaf is gorgeous. the loaf is a deep golden outside, and the most brilliant pastel green withine green, the icing is a brilliant white cover holding a sprinkle of green pepitas in place.
there isn’t any added fat in this recipe – it’s essentially a pound cake with the butter replaced by a fair amount of mashed avocado (rather deservedly termed nature’s butter) and with only four ingredients to it, it’s an easy task to churn this one out in an hour (and most of that’s spent baking, what’s more). if you’ve ever made a fat-free banana bread, the texture of this one will be pretty familiar – it’s got the sturdiness of a quickbread and a rather elastic crumb, and makes for a heck of a great tea accompainment.
the very talented sophia at silk and spice and michelle at bite by michelle were kind enough to give me this award (thank you very much!) – these women are great cooks and brilliant photographers, so I feel very humble and grateful that they would.
as part of the award, I now have to figure out seven facts to tell you about myself – but safe ones, right, so I won’t have to kill you after telling:
remember the no-microwave, one-bowl curd I made a while back? well – I made these then. and I haven’t gotten down to sharing these with you because.. it got lost in my mountainous stack of drafts.
which is terrible. because these are lovely and adorably miniature and just about one of the most impressive things (well, it impressed me) I’ve made in a while. and they are tasty to boot. make them this weekend!
I’ve already posted my current go-to recipe, and it yields a not-greasy, fine-crumbed, dry-like-a-good-tea-cake specimen of a butter cake – you can get it here.
now for some tips:
lining a strip of butter over the surface will help you control the crack of your butter cake – we’re talking about a 2-3mm width of butter down lengthwise. it’s not full-proof – the crack doesn’t always go where you think it should – but it does help produce a beautiful crack.
for a coffee marble, increase the sugar to 110g when creaming with the butter. proceed with the original recipe, but stop just before adding milk.divide the batter into two; to one half, add 0.5-1 teaspoon vanilla extract*, and to the other half, add (1 tbsp of instant coffee granules moistened with about 0.75 tbsp of water). you can up the coffee to about 1.5tbsp of granules for a stronger flavor, and remember to add milk to both batters for the magical one-thousand-two-thousand-drop.
dollop the dark and white batters alternately, and swirl through with a knife.
*you may omit the vanilla extract if you wish – but I think it makes for a more fragrant cake.
for a chocolate marble, repeat as above, but use 1 tablespoon of cocoa instead of the coffee: sift and fold into half of the batter before swirling.
for a durian butter cake, beat in 160-170g of durian puree (avoid the excessively fibrous bits) after you mix in the eggs, but before folding in the flour. continue as with the original recipe: fold in the flour and add enough milk till you get that plop.
utterly phenomenal. if you ever take anything away from this ol’ blog, take this recipe and make it. I baked it (almost) wholesale with instruction from my favorite domestic spinmeister-o’-words, nigella lawson, and it is the stuff of my chocolate-craving dreams.
deep and dark, and the most satisfying chocolate cake I’ve had – a tightly-bound fine crumb, the lightness of a good butter cake, the rich darkness of good bittersweet chocolate, and it keeps like a dream. and with a name like that, how can you resist? I certainly couldn’t.
I bring you my first cocktail recipe on this blog (and the first proxy guest post), which came after my first experience cooking for a friend’s family. I have dreams of being the sort of proficient hostess who plans and executes dinner parties on a regular basis, and until I have my own house – I’ll take whatever practice I can get.
the friend has a pretty intense obsession with alcohol and the like – not to say that he’s a raving alcoholic (though not to say that he isn’t) – and he made this to go with some broccoli fritters I was cooking that night.