Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Hey bud

One great thing about home (for that, I meant in JB town) is getting to meet up with familiar faces. I sometimes regret being too engaged with my own issues that I often neglected or forgotten about people who truly cares. Though we may have went through certain circumstances, that doesn't mean we care & love each other any lesser.

People often ask "how are you?" as they meet, whether they are genuine or no, you feel it, couldn't  you?


I had a very very lovely Monday afternoon with the buddy. It was just a very quick & short meet up but long enough for us to catch up with each others' life. I mean, we both get the key points. Just so you know, some things are understood even without being told xx

Lunch @ Roost Cafe. One of my fave hang out place since high school.
The cafe is known for its classic vintage style and of course, great food. Heard they recently opened a sister-chain at Stulang, gonna check that out soon!

The corner next to our table.

Thanks for loving. laughing, crying with me through these years, bud. Love you to the back and moon! Xx

Hands down to the best beef noodle in town!

Frankly speaking, I always and only order this dish whenever I visit Roost. (they've chicken one too if you aren't a fan of beef) As for drinks, their Banana Queen (banana yogurt smoothie) is definitely the bomb!


On top of that, since it's Monday, let's just celebrate the Muffin Monday! :D

Baked these lovely muffins, either plain or with chocolate chip, they are delicious all the same!
I call them the brilliant muffins since they are so..

  1. easy (like super quick you can get them done in less than an hour!)
  2. healthy (using greek yoghurt & only ONE tablespoon of oil!)
  3. delicious! (needs anymore explanation?)

It's my own recipe for these muffins, you can add/top it with anything you like (e.g. blueberries, raisins, cinnamon, banana..)

Ingredients: (serves 6) 
2/3 cup self raising flour
1/4 cup caster sugar
1/4 cup greek yoghurt
2 tablespoon milk
1 tablespoon honey
1 tablespoon corn oil (any flavourless oil will do)
1 large egg
1/4 teaspoon vanilla paste 
*Handful of Hershey milk chocolate chips 

Mix all wet, add them into dry. Pour into muffin liners, bake at 175c for 30 minutes. 
Hola! DONE! ;)

It rained as they came out from the oven, what a perfect timing to enjoy these warm & fluffy muffins! Simple pleasures in life xx

Independent cafes are mushrooming or rather, overwhelming the town, hence, urging for more meet ups! So call me, maybe? :p 
TOODLES!

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Diva got hitched !

This year of sheep seems to be an auspicious year to get married for most Chinese. Just last weekend, an uni-mate of mine got hitched so I headed up to KL to witness her big day! :) I still remember we were always talking about the goodness of getting married young (provided you have a stable & great partner) cos you won't have this age gap problem with your kids as well as being in high risk pregnancy. And not long after that, I received her invitation! I was extremely happy for her!

While this trip also acted as my weekend getaway for some fresher air and to meet up with a couple of friends :)


Day 1 - of shopping, food & girls meet up!

I was so fortunate to have Mandy & Ah Bi to pick me up from the airport! Saves me some cab fare as well :p We headed straight to my hotel to get things settled down, then it was time for girlie talks! 

Wheeee! Xx

Lunch @ Capricciosa. I loved the pizza & pasta served here though I've only been here thrice? Heh.

We had a combo of seafood marinara & smoked salmon pizza at 12". Despite the overwhelming tomato base which I loath about, the thin crust and fresh ingredients satisfied me well so it kinda compensated for the setback. Hehe

I was famished I had pizza on one hand and pasta on the other! That was spaghetti vongole btw. The clam broth was flavourful with the freshness of clams & comforting, but the garlic was a bit intense for non-garlic person like me. And it was served with a generous amount of clams which is absolutely worthy!

Aunty Kim & Uncle tan joined us later. But the only gentleman obviously wasn't very interested in our girls talk so he went wandering around the mall while we continued with our munchies & gossips!


As always, the heat in KL is killing me inside out! As recommended by Mandy, New Zealand Natural serves truly delicious ice-cream! Such a shame that I've always walked pass without trying it since i'd always go for my usual BR/HD/McD. 

You won't be surprised that it is currently my TOP fave ice-cream chain! :D 

They've great varieties of ice-cream ranging from the creamy rich flavours to milder flavours like sorbet.
What's better is that they do have my fave RUM & RAISINS! Oh noms!

They are now having promotions. 3 big scoop on a waffle cone/cup at only RM13! How could anyone resist that?!

I obviously can't ! :p
Tried on many flavours and decided to get CHOCOLATE ESTACY, AFFOGATO & BOYSENBERRY DREAM! 

THEY WERE FANTASTIC! Like seriously, you need to try them out to know how amazing they are!  Note to chocolate lover, never leave without their chocolate estacy! It's as addictive as estacy! (p/s- I don't take drugs but I supposed so! lol)


Had some shopping spree before heading back to the hotel.
What a luxury zzz


Day 2 - Jane's big day!

Since I had the whole of my day free before the big night arrives, I of course went on for more shopping! Being a shopping queen, I never fail myself whenever I get to spend without worries! Dad is being generous. Hehe! I mean, why not? It''s been a while since I last shopped. Practically because JB is such a boring place for shopaholic, what more about the implementation of GST argh! While shopping alone could be such a joyous event to do, in my opinion. I never really like getting opinions/comments from others when I shop, unless I ask for it. Because when you really eyed on something, you know that's it! *snaps fingers* and would grab it without hesitation! So yup :)

However, I've never felt so rational when i shop till this time round idky. HEH

The usual obligatory OOTD shot. That necklace & red legging were bought on that day itself! Spotted them thinking they'd match my outfit & indeed :D

Diva is such a sweetie for arranging the "brothers" to chauffeur me :)
Slide shows & videos of their pre-wedding photos & some behind the scenes were played before it all started. Didn't really snap much as I didn't bring my camera along.

My company of the night! We were the only 2 from the class. Thanks for fetching me back, Jess xx

In the midst of the dinner. The groom, Ben singing Ed Sheeran's Thinking Out Loud to Jane. Awwww!!

Diva looking gorgeous!

This is a merrier pic (according to Jess, lol) Wish you both happiness! Xx


It was a pleasant night & I had a very good sleep thanks to the red wine. Got up late the next day thank goodness the management allowed me to checked out at a later time, so much for being a regular ;) and I had to rush to the airport not because I woke up late but I went for my final round of shopping before heading back. Oops!

That's about my lovely weekend. Looking forward to be back in KL real soon! :D
Till then xx

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

NezBakes: Apple Pie/Tart

It's been raining a lot, especially in the afternoon recently. While this pretty much reminded me of the weather in UK, it'd be a real lucky day if the day has no rain! So I've been dreaming of this lovely Brenton apple pie that I always had for dinner while studying there. The hostel kitchen always prepare incredible desserts for us after every meal, which is my absolute fave time to look forward to each day after a tiring day. I love especially the crust! & the layer of custard cream & caramel sauce.


While this apple pie/tart that I made is nothing like that, but still good enough to satisfy my crave for it. A layer of shortcut pastry, top with apple fillings. Simple yet delightful :)

If you're a fan of McD apple pie, this filling is almost similar to that! While i personally prefer a cookie-like crust instead of flaky so yeap!


BTW, I can't really differentiate between apple pie & tart. They look almost the same to me, or is that just how we along with the common terms being called? Like apple goes better with pie while egg with tarts, etc. Heh, enlighten me!


Anyways, that's not really important. Cos I'm more into the taste & satisfaction!


This recipe of mine is inspired by my idol-chef Jamie Oliver!

Yields 6" pie dish 
Pie Crust:80g All Purpose Flour
28g Cold Unsalted Butter *see note4tsp Chilled Water 
Apple Filling:2 Gala Red Apple (de-cored & sliced)
Juice from half a Lemon + 1tbsp of water
2tbsp light brown sugar *see note1/4tsp ground cinnamon 


To make the crust,

  1. Rub in chopped cold butter into the flour till you reach a bread crumb consistency. 
  2. Make a well in the center of the dry mixture, add chilled water.
  3. Mix with a wooden spoon to let the wet & dry ingredients come together.
  4. Knead your dough in a bit on a lightly floured surface. Do not overwork your dough. 
  5. Wrap the dough using cling form and chilled in the fridge for at least an hour. I did mine for about 5 hours. 
  6. Roll out dough and place them onto the greased baking dish. 
  7. Wrap dish with cling form then return it into the fridge. This prevents crust from shrinking while baking. 

To make the filling,

  1. Decore and cut apples into slices/chunks (depends on your preference on the texture)
  2. Squeeze in lemon juice. This gives flavours & prevents browning of the apples.
  3. Add cinnamon, toss the apple to ensure they are evenly coated.
  4. Add sugar and water. 
  5. Simmer the apple under low heat for about 10-15 minutes. 
  6. Pour the apple mixture onto the crust.
  7. Brush the side of crust with egg wash/milk.  


Bake at 170c for 30 minutes.

Seriously, the ideal way to serve a warm dessert is with a scoop of ice-cream! 

I had mine with my ultimate love Rum&Raisin flavour & a huge strawberry :) Yeap, making use of whatever that's in the season is the best!


The best RR ice-cream i had was from Haagen Dazs but sadly, they don't produce it anymore in M'sia! :'( probably cos alcohol is non-halal? I remember having the Bailey's flavour in the UK, RR as well and I can never forget the wholesome goodness of it! Liquor = Life. 
You know that if you're Brits or live like one! ;)


I really really miss England :'(



*Note:
1. The ratio to make shortcut pastry is 4 flour : 2 butter : 1 liquid
Supposedly, i should be using 40g of butter, but I used 28g (appx. 2 tbsp) instead since i don't want it to be too buttery or fattening so you could go with this if you're on a strict diet yet wanna enjoy a good piece of dessert!

2. Sugar is adjusted to your personal liking and since i'm using the Gala apple which is kinda sweet, the amount of sugar i used is just perfect with the small amount of lemon juice I added in.

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

NezBakes: The Heavenly Chocolate Lava

YES!!! I succeeded in making the heavenly chocolate lava cake! :D *jumps over the moon*


Aw man! I can't believe I did it ! This was done half an hour ago and galloped within a few minutes! See my eagerness in blogging about this? Absolutely! :D


It is obvious that I'm a chocoholic & chocolate lava has gotta be my favourite of all types of chocolate cake! It is so luscious, decadent, comforting..and the list goes on!
This dessert IS a perfect dessert to go for when you want something not too filling or when you can't decide between a hot chocolate drink and pudding. A chocolate lava solves all your problems! :D

But I've gotta say, chocolate lava is by far the most challenging dessert I've come across. It's a shame to tell that I've tried it for about 5 times? (yeah I lost count) though of the youtube & blogs that I've read about it are raving about how easy peasy it is to make this. It either turned out to be a tough cake-like brownie with weird egg-ie taste or literally uncooked for my case :/

And this time, I FINALLY gotten everything right! The temperature & timing are crucial, and it is highly dependent on individual ovens. Measurements on the ingredients are important, too. Make sure you use a digital weighing scale to prepare them ingredients accurately.


I've done tonnes of research on this and found that the ratio of 2 parts chocolate to 1 part fats makes up the best lava cake. Flavouring like sugar, vanilla & salt (or even coffee granules) are adjusted and added according to personal preference. Some recipes call for flours to set the structure while some doesn't. I've tried both, the former is on the safer side for non-experts I would say.

I hence came up with this recipe which is brilliant enough for my indulgence.

Serves 2
50g Hershey Milk Chocolate Chips
25g unsalted butter
2 tbsp light brown sugar
1/8 tsp salt
1 large egg
1.5 tbsp All Purpose Flour

Methods:

  1. Melt the chocolate & butter over double boiler. Stir constantly till it reaches a smooth consistently.
  2. Add salt. Stir well.
  3. Set the chocolate mixture aside to cool.
  4. Beat egg and sugar till fluffy.
  5. Pour in the cooled chocolate mixture and mix well.
  6. Fold in the flour.
  7. Pour the mixture into ramekins.
  8. Bake at 175c for 15 minutes. *see note


The end product should look cakey with center unset/unfirm/undercooked (it's like jiggly when you move it) so that you could get the ooooooozing effect !

Like this,
The center sinks a bit after taken out from the oven probably due to the drops in temperature but doesn't really have much effects so yup :)


Tips:

  1. Greased & coat the ramekins with sugar/cocoa powder for easy unmould. You may leave it out if you intend to eat it straight from the ramekin. 
  2. Pairing with milk chips, I used light brown sugar and some salt to reduce the sweetness. If you're using semisweet/bittersweet chips, use white sugar then! 
  3. For better presentation, dust with some confectionary/icing sugar, garnish with mint leafs or berries. 
  4. Best serve with a scoop of ice-cream! :D


Note: I chilled the batter in the fridge overnight. Hence, longer baking time.


So whatcha waiting for? Get into your kitchen and bake yourself a lava cake! :D
HAPPY MIDWEEK YOU LOVELY PEOPLE! xx