2020 has been a very hard year for many, but at last we are looking towards a new beginning of another year. 👏👏 New Year’s Eve marks a time to reflect and learn, and what a year this has been!
As I was reminiscing the past year last night, I stumbled upon a video on the internet (typical insomniac behaviour lol) that recapped all the old animations I used to enjoy as a child. I have always been a fan of anime. It’s crazy to think some of these animes are over 20 years old (even older than me at that 😬) since I feel like I have been watching them since forever. It’s really a sad, constant reminder that time really does fly by- every small and seemingly insignificant moments in life need to be cherished and treasured before they disappear forever. ❤️
The future is never set in stone, and endless possibilities and dreams lay ahead! So, let’s smash this year! (Like I did to my chocolate ball dessert! 😂) Wishing everyone a happy new year! 🥳🥳🎉🎉🎊🎊🎊 May all your dreams come true in 2021! ❤️❤️
Having not spent many days out the door, I really do dream of the times when one can go outside and wander aimlessly. The way I try to get pass this though is to use my imagination through writing and drawing. I always think that a creative mind allows endless possibilities – a new country, a forest or a cave deep under the sea? It’s so fun just to let your imagination take you there! ❤️
To be honest, I haven’t picked up a brush or a pencil to draw for years now (possibly not since I dropped Art after my GCSE lol! 😂) But I used to really enjoy doing sketches and painting, and it was definitely a big hobby of mine growing up. (My mum and I especially had a fondness for scenery paintings back then.) So today I thought why not do a painting cake? 😉
As you may be able to tell, I was reminiscing my time in Paris last summer when I made this. 😂 The cake is a vanilla sponge covered with a coconut buttercream. The painting was done on edible wafer paper with food colourings. (I used a combination of water-based food colourings and a black food colouring pen to draw the outlines.) Also, kudos to my mum, who pointed out that she didn’t like the initial “baldness” of the lady which is why I added hair to her after! 😂
(Oh, and I just noticed this is my 100th blog post after I posted this! Happy milestone lol! 😂)
A belated happy Chinese New Year from me! 🎉🎉🎉🎊🎊 Work has been very busy since the new year (leading to me neglecting the blog 😅😅) and time really flew in the past weeks. Today though, unlike most of my Asian family that were celebrating Chinese New Year, I was instead away at a friend’s birthday party and playing mini golf.🏌️♂️ Well, it turns out I definitely suck at playing golf but at least I got free complimentary drinks! 😂🍷🍸
It won’t be me without baking a birthday cake for my friend 🎂 and the cake of the choice today was a strawberry red velvet cake covered with the classic cream cheese frosting and desiccated coconut (and a pair of white chocolate wings dusted with edible gold glitters. 😉) It was my first time making red velvet cake, so I guess it wasn’t a bad first attempt (though I did wing the recipe a bit so I guess it may not be totally traditional lol! 😂)
The place didn’t allow us to eat brought in food, though we still ended up sneakily tucking it away underneath the table… 🤫 (‘What’s the worst they could do? Throw us out?’ 🤣🤣 Blame one’s poor judgement after a few drinks haha!) Hence, the awful quality of the pic below! 😛 I swear the waitresses did see us but said nothing, or maybe it was the lucky red colour? 🔴😉
A very big LATE Happy Halloween to everyone here! 👻🎃🕷😂😛😁 (I was absolutely swamped by work this past week, but you are now probably getting very sick of hearing this by now lol!) I hope that you had a chance to celebrate this fun festival. From all those scary costumes to sickly parties, there are many things I enjoy about Halloween, but one of my favourite things, of course, is doing some ‘scary’ baking for it. I didn’t manage to find time to do that this year though, but I thought I will share my Halloween bakes from last year. 😉
These Halloween 🎃👻 coconut biscuits are vegan and made using dairy-free margarine. I adapted a recipe from the allrecipes UK website for the biscuits. (This is the link👉 http://allrecipes.co.uk/recipe/33572/vegan-coconut-biscuits.aspx) The icing is made from icing sugar mixed with coconut milk and food colouring. It’s a very straightforward recipe that I was able to whip up before a Halloween night out, and it was fun to able to enjoy these snacks (with some booze of course haha!) before hitting the ‘haunted’ city. 🌃
Though baking wasn’t on the card this year, I still got to celebrate the festival last night attending a ‘Twisted Circus’ event in Clapham. Didn’t manage to drink much this time, as the price tags were super high! 😅 But it was still a good night out! 😉
It had been so nice this week to catch up with many of my closest friends.😊 But, before I leave London for a couple of weeks, I met up with my best friend for one delicious food date. We (or rather I lol) decided to visit Yauatcha in Soho, a Chinese restaurant that specialises in contemporary dim sum as well as high-end patisserie.😋 Got to say I felt right at home here! 😉
I really enjoyed the Cheung Fan and the black truffle dumplings (though my friend who didn’t like the flavours of black truffle preferred the lobster dumplings and the Cheung Fan.😂) Not only were the dishes really delicious, but they also filled me with many memories from my childhood growing up in Hong Kong. The Cheung Fan (steamed rice rolls) in particular was a common street food I used to eat regularly back then after school.
The desserts though were something that I was the most excited about coming into this place and they certainly did not disappoint. I had the Strawberry Zhu and the Matcha Lychee Pot. I was very impressed by the classic strawberry and cream combination in the former. The flavours worked very well and I particularly enjoyed the surprise of the strawberry-shaped chocolates which were also filled with a strawberry sauce.😋 (I didn’t realise they were not real strawberries until I bit into them.😂) The Matcha Lychee Pot was very light and refreshing, and almost remained me of a granola and yogurt pot but much more refined. The jelly component especially was very delightful to eat.
The only downside here was that this place was a bit expensive. Still, it didn’t stop us going for a frozen yogurt afterwards.😂
Hope you all have a fantastic weekend ahead of you! 😉
The heat wave is finally here in London! ☀️ 🔥 🔥 Now that summer has officially begun, how many of you have planned your holiday already? Whether you’re spending time with friends, families or alone by yourself, summer is an important for one to unwind and enjoy the beauty of nature. For someone who loves exploring new places, you may be surprised to hear that I don’t actually travel abroad an awful lot during the holidays. However, I do dream about lying alone on a beach 🏖🏝 (or next to a hunky companion hehe), staring at the clear water or the bright blue sky, and snoozing under the sun with a cold, tropical drink in my hand…🍹
Meanwhile, I will imitate this tropical feeling at home by making my favourite mango mousse cake. This mango mousse cake is one of my more complicated dessert. Inside the mousses hides a layer of coconut sponge cake and strawberry clear jelly over a buttery digestive biscuit base. The cake is finished with a mango glaze and topped with a tempered chocolate nest filled with coconut white chocolate truffles. It does take a bit of time to make this but it’s well worth the effort!
Tropical Mango Mousse Cake
Quantity: 1 cake
For the clear strawberry jelly:
5g leaf gelatine
5-6 strawberries, chopped
For the digestive biscuit base:
200g digestive biscuit
70g unsalted butter, melted
For the coconut sponge cake:
2 eggs, separated
32g caster sugar
24g flavourless oil
28ml warm water
1 tsp vanilla extract
100g self-raising flour
20g desiccated coconut
For the mango mousse:
11g leaf gelatine
450g mango purée/pulp
50g caster sugar
400ml double cream
For the coconut white chocolate truffles,
100g white chocolate, chopped
30ml double cream
1 tbsp butter
For the tempered chocolate decorations:
300g dark chocolate
For the mango glaze:
47g caster sugar
1 lemon, peels only
16g leaf gelatine
175g mango purée/pulp
Fresh mangoes, chopped
White chocolate stars
You will also need at least a small cake tin and a larger cake tin (both should have a loose base) to create the layering effect.
1. Start the jelly first by soaking the leaf gelatine in cold water. Line the small cake tin with cling film.
2. Bring the lemonade to boil in a saucepan. Squeeze off any excess water from the soaked gelatine and stir it into the saucepan until fully dissolved. Take it off the heat, and add in the strawberries. Pour it into the tin and place it into a fridge for about 2-3 hours to set. Once the jelly is set, remove it from the cake tin with the cling film and continue to chill it in the fridge until use.
3. Prepare the digestive biscuit base by blitzing or grinding down the digestive biscuits to fine crumbs. Mix in the melted butter. Line the bottom of the larger cake tin with a cling film, and spread the biscuit mixture evenly at the base of the cake tin. Chill the biscuit base in the fridge for about 30 minutes so it can firm up.
4. Preheat the oven to 180C/350F/gas 4. For the sponge cake, whisk the egg whites in a large bowl with half of the sugar until stiff.
5. In a different bowl, mix the yolk, oil, water, vanilla extract and the remaining sugar together until smooth. Sieve in the flour and add the desiccated coconut into it, and mix until well-combined. Fold this mixture into the whipped egg whites.
4. Grease the small cake tin and pour in the cake batter. Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until golden and a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean. Remove the cake from the mould and cool on a wire rack.
5. To make the mango mousse, soak the leaf gelatine in cold water and whip the double cream to soft peaks.
6. Warm the mango purée/pulp with the sugar in a saucepan. Squeeze excess water off from the gelatine and stir it in until fully dissolved. Pass the purée mixture through the sieve. Pour and fold it into the whipped cream until smooth.
7. To assemble the mousse cake, pour in some of the mousse into the larger cake tin with the digestive biscuit base. Place the coconut sponge at the centre and flip the strawberry jelly on top of the sponge using the cling film. Fill up the sides with the mango mousse (ensure they are completely filled up, or else you will see gaps later on), and pour the remaining mousse on top and spread evenly. Place the mousse cake into the fridge to set for about 4 hours.
8. To make the truffles, place the white chocolate, cream and butter in a bowl and heat it a microwave in 20-seconds intervals until melted. (Take care as white chocolate is easy to get overheated and burnt.) Cover the bowl and chill the chocolate in the fridge until firm. Grease your hand with a bit of oil. Scoop and roll the cooled white chocolate in your hand to shape into balls. Roll the truffle balls in desiccated coconut to cover them.
9. For the tempered chocolate decorations, warm two thirds of the dark chocolate in a double boiler to 45-50C/113-122F until melted. Stir in the remaining chocolate to cool it to 31-32C/87-89F.
10. For the chocolate palm trees, pipe the tempered chocolate into shapes on baking parchment. For the chocolate sticks, cut out a rectangular strip of baking parchment and pipe diagonally across it to create a net effect, then carefully roll the paper into a tube shape and secure with tape. For the chocolate nest, flip a bowl upside down and covered with baking parchment, then similarly pipe the chocolate in a net pattern around the bowl. Leave the chocolate decorations to cool and set in room temperature before removing and use.
11. Once the mousse cake is set, remove it from the cake tin and pull out the cling film underneath. Keep the cake cooled in the fridge while preparing the glaze.
12. To make the mango glaze, first make a syrup by heating the water, sugar and lemon peels in a saucepan for 2-3 minutes. Remove the lemon peels.
13. Soak the leaf gelatine in cold water. Add the mango purée/pulp to the syrup and heat. Squeeze the excess water off the soaked gelatine and stir it in until fully dissolved. Pass the glaze through a sieve and let it cool slightly before use.
14. Place the cake on a wire rack over a tray. Pour the glaze over in a swirl motion to cover the cake evenly. Dust the sides with desiccated coconut.
15. While the glaze is still setting, decorate the cake with fresh mangos, truffles and the chocolate decorations. (Use a knife to cut open a small gap to insert the palm trees into the cake). Move the cake to a stand and keep in the fridge until serving.
Now, excuse me as I continue to stare upon the bright blue sky. 😉
As we are approaching to the second half of June, summer holiday may have begun for some already. But for the past week, the sunlight was tucked behind the clouds in London. (Maybe it was ’cause I kept complaining how hot it was the week before?) For those of you who live in hot, exotic countries though, I wonder how many of you are sick of the heat by now? (Trust me, having lived in one before, I can empathise haha.)
But for now, how about enjoying a dessert? This mango and coconut meringue is one to enjoy be it cloudy or sunny weather. The combination of crunchy, marshmallowy meringue and soft whipped cream paired with tangy mangoes is one that can whisk you high up in the clouds. And with its vibrant yellow colours, it was as if the sunshine is brought into the house. ☀️ 😊
Mango and Coconut Meringue
Quantity: 1 meringue
75g egg whites
100g caster sugar
50g icing sugar
Yellow food colouring
Half a mango, peeled, stoned and sliced into pieces
100ml double cream
80g mango pulp/purée
1. Preheat the oven to 140C/ 275F/ Gas 1.
2. Make the French meringue by whisking egg whites in a clean mixing bowl. Add the caster sugar a bit at a time when whisking until stiff peaks are formed. (To test if it is ready, tip the bowl over and the meringue shouldn’t fall.)
3. Gently fold in the icing sugar into the meringue.
4. Brush stripes of the yellow food colouring inside a piping bag with a star nozzle. Place the meringue into the bag and pipe small peaks to form two circular discs of equal sizes.
5. Bake the meringue discs for about 1 hour, or until crisp and lightly coloured. Cool the meringues slowly in the oven, then open the oven slightly to cool further before taking them out to cool on a wire rack. (If the meringues are cooled down too fast, it may cause them to crack.)
6. Whisk the double cream to soft peaks. Mix 2-3 tablespoons of desiccated coconut into the cream.
7. When the meringue discs are completely cooled, spoon most of the whipped cream on top of one of the discs. Drizzle the mango pulp/purée over and place the mangos on top. Add the remaining double cream, and place the other meringue disc on top to finish assembling.
8. Sprinkle more desiccated coconut over the meringue before serving.