September 19, 2010

Japanese Strawberry Shortcake

Baking a strawberry shortcake for one of my sisters, Kexian had been on my plan way before her birthday. When I saw the recipe from "Okashi Treats" by keiko ishida, I knew that would be the one I gonna make for her. See the strawberry cake below that I'd made for her years ago before I started baking intensively. Haha I don't think anyone of you (my sisters) remember this?? I can't remember which year was that also! One thing for sure is, despite my lousy baking and decorating skills, you all were always so supportive. :)

I don't know was it a fortunate thing that I got a little helper this time - my nephew. :P I was worried that he would mess things up cos' I knew he just wanted to play and I also have to give him instructions which I thought, things would move faster with me doing it alone. ;) Nonetheless, he's a great help to me in double sifting of the flour and I could see him enjoying himself as he mixed the batter for me and weighed the ingredients. But he soon got bored after a while and I caught him pouring some remaining flour intothe bowl without sifting! Children are indeed so clever nowadays!

I used to call him "my little nephew" but he is not now. He is going to primary one next year and he is a big brother to his younger brother, who is more playful than him!

He was imitating me by also flipping through the recipe book. :)

The recipe was beautiful. I hardly had a sponge cake that came out perfect with no cracks.

...and the sponge cake texture was extremely soft and crumbly. I don't think for this recipe, you can slice the cake into three layers otherwise the layers would break apart. As stated in the recipe, I sliced into two layers. As the texture was very soft and spongy, it absorbed the syrup very well, just like an absorbant sponge. After chilling, the sponge cake taste very refreshing, and remains moist and soft.

The two layers was sandwiched with vanilla cream and fresh strawberries, frosted with freshly whipped ream.

The cake was being transported the entire night, from Demsey Hill's Dome Cafe, to Ben and Jerry's, who didnt allow us to celebrate birthdays by bring homemade cakes. It finally settled at Marina Barrage. Luckily it survived and remained chilled. ;)

This cake was a success! Birthday gal loves it. :D :D

Japanese-style Strawberry Cake

Ingredients for Sponge Cake:

  • 115g pastry flour (I used cake flour)
  • 170g eggs
  • 130g castor sugar
  • 15g glucose
  • 30g unsalted butter
  • 45g fresh whole milk
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

Ingredients for vanilla cream:

  • 150g whipping cream
  • 15g castor sugar
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 4g gelatine sheets, soaked in ice water to soften
  • 20g fresh milk

Ingredients for whipped cream:

  • 200g fresh cream
  • 15g castor sugar
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract


  1. Preheat oven to 170°C. Line cake pan with parchment paper. Sift flour twice.
  2. Beat eggs with a whisk, then add sugar and glucose. Place bowl over a double boiler and mix well.
  3. When egg mixture is warm, use an electric mixer to beat on high speed until light and fluffy. Reduce speed to low and continue beating for about 1 minute.
  4. Place butter, milk and vanilla in a bowl and place over a double boiler until the butter has melted, stir through to mix.
  5. Add 1/6 of egg batter to butter mixture and mix well. Then add butter mixture to remaining egg batter and fold through evenly. Sift flour into bowl and fold using a spatula until batter is glossy.
  6. Pour batter into prepared cake pan and bake for about 40 minutes or until cake has a bouncy texture at the surface. Remove from pan and place on a wire rack to cool.
  7. When cooled completely, trimmed off the top crust, and slice the cake horizontally into two layers.
  8. Place one layer on a flat tray and brush evenly on both sides with 1/3 of the sugar syrup (to make syrup, use 25g castor sugar and 50g water). Set aside.
  9. Make vanilla cream. Whip cream in a chilled bowl until stiff peaks form. Place milk, sugar and vanilla in a small saucepan and bring to a boil. Add softened gelatine and mix well. Let milk mixture cool to about 30°C. Add milk mixture to whipped cream and fold until just incorporated.
  10. Slice strawberries (about 300g) lengthwise. Spread vanilla cream onto the layer that was brushed with the sugar syrup, then topped with strawberries. Place the other cake layer over and press down lightly. Chill in the fridge for a few minutes to set.
  11. Make whipped cream. Whip cream, sugar and vanilla in a chilled bowl until stiff peaks form. Cover cake with whipped cream and garnish as desired.

Recipe adapted from: "Okashi Treats" by keiko ishida


September 11, 2010

One month Countdown

In exactly one months time, dd and I will be saying our vows in the presence of the Justice of Peace and our parents as the witnesses and be declared husband and wife lawfully. :) When we met our solemnizer last week as he briefed us about what is going to happen on that day and as he mentioned the word 'husband and wife', I still can't believe this is true. These two words may sound so significant but I guess to us as a Chinese who still have to follow the Chinese traditions of going through customary rituals such as choosing an auspicious date and paying respect to our ancestor, we would feel that we are married only when we have gone through the Chinese customary wedding. I wonder whether I should introduce him as my hubby or.... I seriously don't know cos' it feels weird! Haha... I think same goes for him.. well we shall see ;)

Not sure if anyone of you had came across the above advertisement about this "I do" Wedding at Sentosa on 10.10.2010. This is an event collaborated by People's Association, Singapore Press Holdings and Sentosa whereby they organised a mass wedding solemnisation for couples on the 10 Oct 2010. Last year, they raganised a similar mass wedding event at Singapore Botanic Gardens on the 29 Sep 2009 (20092009) - "I do" garden wedding at Botanic Garden.
Yeah, we are one of the participants this year, with about 100 other couples at Sentosa! Some of you may be thinking what actually made us want to sign up for this event, to be getting married with other couples, all around Sentosa. Well for us, we felt it was special, because 10.10.10 is a perfect, memorable date for us.

It was one of our initial plans to get married on a special date like this, or we have also considered 20 Oct 2010 (20102010), but we kind of just pushed that plan aside cos' we thought it's a little to soon for us *lol* but when this advertisement came out, dd immediately called me and we discussed about it, and decided to sign up for it. I had always wanted to have an outdoor wedding, such as a garden or beach wedding, however dd and I decided to do away with this plan as we were worried about the unforseen weather conditions in Singapore. Now, I'm so happy that I'm able to fulfil my outdoor dream wedding planned for us :D Let's just keep our fingers crossed that it will be a good weather on that day. Anyhow, the event would still go ahead, be it rain or shine. :) Don't be surprised if you happened to see us on TV. *lol*

Last Sunday (5 Sep 2010), we went for a marriage preparation seminar which was included in the package. It covered basic essential elements on starting a marriage life comprising communication, fertility and financial planning. It was interesting and I'm surprised that the speakers were so forthcoming in sharing their tips and those embarrassing stories on couple intimacy and arguments with us.

After the talk, we went to shop for my heels. I finally found the pair of heels that I like. I love it so much because of the ribbons that can be tied around the ankle in two different ways. I'd wanted to buy a 3.5 inch but decided to just go for a 2.5 inch cos' I knew I would not be used to it and I wouldn't want to carry myself badly just because of a pretty looking heels that do not suit me.

This pair cost me a damage of S$88 but I think it's all worth it. :)

Yesterday (10.9.10) was a well-spent day as dd had a shirt tailor-made, ready for collection next week and we also confirmed our reservation for Ban Heng Pavillion Restaurant on 10 Oct 2010. We would be inviting our family and close friends for a dinner after our solemnisation. Although the wedding package includes a high-tea buffet, we did not opt for that as that buffet is mass catered for every couples and guests on that day and we are expecting the place to be crowded without a personal space for our guests.

Today, I'm putting off my work and doing what I've not done for ages on a Saturday - Baking Bread. I'd just give myself a long weekend break this week and work hard on Monday. :) It's the first time I'm trying out a Tangzhong method. Hope to share with all soon!

September 9, 2010

Homemade Peanut Butter

Lately I'm taking like almost a few days to a week just to get a blog post up. I don't have the luxury of a good few hours to write, or maybe I'm just slow :P Well, I tend to multi-task - blog hopping, checking of emails, and surfing for information or reading forums for my wedding preparation. :D

I wanted to do a decent post on a strawberry shortcake that I baked for one of my sisters but I'm still halfway there, sorting and editing the photos.

I thought it would be interesting to post this random post of my 'innovation' in churning out peanut butter out of soon to expire ground peanuts which I do not know and / or do not feel like making any food out of it.

That was how I turned a packet of ground peanuts that was due to expire in two months time into some chunky peanut butter. I love peanut butter with bread regularly and one fine day this thought of turning the ground peanuts into my favourite peanut butter came to my mind. If you had been to Carrefour at the Plaza Singapura, they sell a small bottle of freshly ground peanut butter on the spot and it's as if you are really having fresh pure ingredients without any preservative. I bought it twice and thought it tasted good, natural without any sugar added as they used a grinder machine to grind peanuts into a paste on the spot although I'm not sure if they added any oil or sugar after the grinding. They even have three grades - smooth, chunky and super chunky.

I have no recipe here. I simply blend the peanuts and some sugar to taste into finer texture and added some canola oil to make it smooth and there, I have a new bottle of chunky peanut butter to go with my bread. :)

The downside of freshly grounded peanut is they dried up quite fast and it would be unspreadable after that. But you can still eat on its own if you want. :P

September 1, 2010

ROM Dress/Suit fitting

If you notice, I had added a page on 'Happy Future Planning', with sub-pages about my wedding planning. I've decided to delete the wedding blog that I've created at because I find that it wasn't very user-friendly and reader-friendly. I was comtemplating whether to create a new wedding blog using blogspot but I do not wish to see it being a white elephant or looking so plain and empty since I know I'd be quite busy to update it. I'm So, here I am, integrating my wedding preparation to my baking cottage. I'd update my wedding preparation whenever I can so that my friends and readers can have a 'one-stop' update of what I'd been doing / baking. :D Meanwhile, I had posted my previous wedding updates in this blog and back-dated to when I'd posted it. :)

I had my ROM dress fitting on a Monday (16 Aug 2010). I was rather disappointed because there weren't many varieties. I thought I could choose one that matches a beach wedding theme, something flowy and light but most were more suited for indoor/ballroom. Some were too simple while some were more elaborate but somehow I just don't look nice wearing those cos' I'm more petite and wearing those longer dresses that falls below the knee just makes my legs appear short, haha. Finally, I shortlisted the above. It's a simple short dress in pure white. As I'm more tanned, off-white or ivory white don't suit me. I've also requested them to add a flower corsage at the waist and some sequins on the bottom of the dress. I do hope they fulfill the promise and I'm gonna check on them again. I'm a picky customer. :P
I'm not allowed to take photos so I begged them to allow me to capture a section of the dress so I could post it online! :P
Alright, I still need to shop for a pair of shoes, and perhaps some accessories, while dd needs to buy a shirt and probably pants and shoes. I'll update let in more details of my solemnisation which falls in Oct 2010 when date draw nearer... ;)