Pink Dot 2013

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

No comments

Hi there (-:

This won't be a typical blogpost of mine but I just hope that everyone who stops by and reads this will take some time to watch the video which I have embedded above. It is a publicity video for Pink Dot 2013, a movement that supports the freedom to love in Singapore, whether you are straight or LGBT.

I am well aware that there are many differing viewpoints on such a topic and I am not going to offer any of my own because I respect that everyone probably has their own justification for thinking in a certain manner. However, I'd just like to urge you to watch it and think about how our society here can strive to be more inclusive, not just in this aspect but in many other instances where we are ignorant or fearful of members in our society that might have acted in a way different than we deem "normal".

Thanks for even reading this, and I hope your holidays have been great so far (-: School is starting soon but we'll be able to make it through together! 
Read More

Black Forest Cupcakes

Saturday, June 22, 2013

No comments

Hello friends (-:

Tomorrow is my brother's 20th birthday and I thought that I'd should do something for him since twenty is quite a milestone (I mean, come on - having survived two decades is pretty... dope, for the lack of a better word) and he did in fact get me something for my birthday this year (for the first time!) So, I decided last night that I should bake him black forest cupcakes. Black forest is his favourite cake flavour - it is my least favourite, to be perfectly honest, because I do not get why people would want cherries in a perfectly good chocolate cake! A black forest cake basically consists of a chocolate cake with whipped cream and cherries.

I don't understand why I can't seem to successfully bake proper big cakes and it's too much a hassle for me since I decided to bake only the night before. Besides, cupcakes are much more convenient to make and eat, and are much prettier and much cuter!

If you're wondering where I get my recipes, I actually don't follow any but I do some online research before baking. And in the kitchen, I just do things as I go along and judge what to put in by eye! So these are my own creations (': 

Apologies for another recipe post but I really really enjoy being in the kitchen! (-: That being said, here is the recipe for 


1. 50g chocolate (any kind, preferably baking ones)
2. 150ml milk
3. 175g plain flour
4. 2 teaspoons baking powder
5. 1/4 teaspoon salt
6. 100g unsalted butter, softened at room tempt
7. 200g white sugar
8. 2 eggs
9. 2 teaspoons vanilla essence/ extract
10. 1 can of cherry pie topping
11. 200ml whipping cream
12. 2 tablespoons icing sugar 

(yes I know the ingredients list looks kind of intimidating, but this isn't that difficult, to be honest) 

1. Melt your chocolate together with your milk either in a bowl over a saucepan filled with water placed over a fire or in the microwave. (I used the former because I somehow always burn my chocolate in the microwave)

 2. Line your muffin/ cupcake tin with paper liners.

3. Preheat your oven to 190 degree Celsius.
4. Mix your flour, salt and baking powder well together.
5. In a separate bowl, beat the butter and sugar well till light and fluffy.

6. Add your eggs and vanilla extract/ essence.

7. Once well combined, add in your flour mixture and gently fold it in (please do not overmix! stop mixing even when not all the flour has been incorporated)

8. Drain half of the cherries from the syrup they came in and chop them up roughly into nice chunks.

9. Add your cherries into the mixture and fold them in. 

10. Add the melted chocolate into the mixture and combine well. 

11. Spoon the batter into the cupcake liners 3/4 of the way full and make sure that there are bits of cherry in every cupcake. 

12. Bake them for 15-20mins (mine took 15 mins) - just test with a toothpick inserted into the cupcakes, if it comes out clean, they are done and ready to go! 

13. Transfer them onto a cooling rack to let them cool! 

I'm not exactly sure why the cupcake liners were detaching themselves from the cakes but it wasn't that pretty a sight :( That being said, I think this is the most moist and light cupcake that I have ever baked - to be honest, my cupcakes usually turn out quite dense and hard and I think it's because I used to overmix them to ensure that all my ingredients are incorporated well but today I didn't mix that much! :-) 

Light and fluffy! 

The cupcakes are still not done yet - there's still it's crowning glory to be assembled! 

14. Slice the remaining cherries into half and place them onto the cupcakes, allowing for the juices to seep into the chocolate sponge! 

Now for the tricky part - my whipping cream was a major disaster but I shall just show you what I intended to do and tell you what I did wrong :( It was my first time using whipping cream.

15. Add the icing sugar into your whipping cream and whip it up till stiff peaks form.

Now, in the photo above, I managed to get some stiff peaks after a lot of strenuous beating by hand - my arms were sore and I was tired. Then, I wanted to get even more stiff peaks and beat even more because I imagined that they would get stiffer. No they didn't (I did read this somewhere but at that point in time, I completely forgot) and guess what? My whipped cream turned into butter and buttermilk. It looked absolutely disgusting and I was so upset :-( I'm now reading up on this and I realized that I could have kept the butter for future use - I threw the mess away. 

I was really sad - what would by blackforest cake be without whipped cream? Then I remembered that I had whipped cream in my fridge - those that came in the aerosol spray cans that people usually put atop fancy coffee based ice blended drinks. Those were very much lighter and would disintegrate quickly into a wet mess. But I decided to go for it since it was my last resort and stabilize the whipped cream with heaps of icing sugar. 

It worked (': The whipped cream didn't melt but it was a bit on the sugary side but that's okay with me :-)

16. Spoon your whipped cream onto your cupcakes. 

17. Garnish with chocolate shavings if you wish (I grated some leftover chocolate)

And there you have it (': Black forest cupcakes! I personally don't think that the topping is anything to rave about (partially due to the whipped cream part but if you have more success than me then good for you!) but  everything really came together quite well and it did indeed taste like a black forest flavoured cake overall. 

I added some edible gold balls on top (-:

Read More

Outing with Chris

Thursday, June 20, 2013

No comments
Hello there (-:

The haze has gotten really really really bad here in Singapore, especially during the period of these two days (yesterday and today) with the haze hitting the Pollutants Standard Index of 371 at 1pm today, an all time high throughout Singapore's haze history. This is nothing to brag about (in fact it is quite a silly decision though I regret nothing about it) but I went out the entire day today, when the haze was at a 'hazardous' level. 

In the morning, I had to meet the Dwen An kids as we had a meeting with the in-charge from the Senior Activity's Centre which we were going to work with for the Taiwanese's trip here in July. It was terribly hazy and unconducive for proper work to be done though :-(

That aside, I met Christina at Holland Village later in the afternoon for our holiday-fats-getting-session! We always like to lepak at pretty cool places and eat. I love food and I kinda like Chris? So today was good despite the hazy haze haze. I have never been to Holland Village before but I have always wanted to go so I was very glad Chris suggested the place (it was near her house too so yes) and I think I'm going to go there quite often now - they have amazing speciality baking shops selling baking things that I see online but never ever know where to purchase. Now I know and I am very grateful for this new found knowledge (':

We headed to The Daily Scoop for ice cream first! It was my first time there as well (sorry bbs, I'm not a Holland V person - my only memory of this place stems solely from the local 2003 Chinese drama series I used to watch as a young kid) 

Interior walls (': 

 Yay pretty Chris with her two ice creams (ok la, one of it was mine HAHA) 

 I really really like ice cream (':

Just sitting in the shop with ice cream made me very very happy! The interior design was clean yet cute at the same time and I really liked my ice cream flavour as well. I had 'Salted Mister Brown' - yes I really like salty and sweet things in ice cream (like my Salted Caramel) and this one wasn't caramel but chocolate, which was quite a good combination - I really liked it! The salt wasn't overpowering at all so that was good. Christina got 'Sensual Tiramisu" and according to The Daily Scoop website, you're supposed to "be enamored... captivated... enchanted" and judging by Christina's joyous face, I think it served it's purpose heh heh (-;

We then went exploring Holland V (all the baking shops I AM SUCH A HAPPY KID) and here are some photos! I'm not sure if the place was empty because of the haze or because it's usually like that but if it's a usual occurrence, I think I really like the place! Peaceful and tranquil places are pretty rare in fast-paced Singapore :-( 

 Pretty Chris in her pretty dress (-: 

... slightly sane

not anymore! (-: 

There were many unoccupied shops there though, which I thought was fairly surprising because I thought Holland V is a very good place to set up businesses (maybe I'm wrong)

 Yay (-: 

 The most horrible shot (we both didn't know what to do so we decided to act like gangsters)

Demure (-;  

There were many many atas eateries there though, but a lot of them were literally empty. Then again, it wasn't dinner time and the haze situation was bad as well. 

Afterwards, we spotted a shop and I realized that it was Phoon Huat, the baking speciality shop that I have been looking for for ages because it has really affordable and amazing baking equipment and products but I never really tried looking for the shop before so stumbling upon it today was a really good surprise!  

 The cupcake liners sold there were comparatively cheaper than those sold outside and much much prettier! I'm not too sure about the quality though but the cute designs there were half the price of plain designs that I normally use and such cute designs at spotlight would cost much higher (I got around 380 cute blue mermaid cupcake liners at $3.60 and Spotlight sells around 20 liners for $7+). I just hope these liners won't disappoint me (-:

Happykid97 with her cupcake liners (got a cupcake box as well hurhur) 

 Chris (again hurhur) (-:

After walking around, we decided to seek refuge from the hazy air around and head to Wendy's to have dinner! (-: 

 (the sky actually looks quite clear. but NO) 

We both got the Kids' Meal! (-: I got it first because I wasn't hungry at all (it was only around 5.30pm then and I had a pretty filling lunch plus ice cream) and I think Chris was taken in by the cute paper bag which my meal came in (the staff packed it so lovingly seriously, even the way they folded down my paper bag)

 The toy was quite disappointing though, it was just this weird "Spooky Secret Decoder" where we looked through red cellophane paper and could read secret messages on the provided activity sheet. It was however, still pretty cool and I can see why kids would like it (-: 

Hurhur alien Chris (-; 

Happy, full (and fat) kids (-: 

Thank you Chris for today - was very nice being able to catch up with you over food (of course) and I like how we are able to understand each other most of the time! Thanks for being an amazing friend, one of my closest friends not just in Guides but in RG as well; and I love the fact that I'm able to talk to you about anything, really (-:

Read More

Man of Steel

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

No comments
Hello there (-:

First and foremost, if you haven't noticed yet, I have changed the design of my blog! About time as well - I've had my previous template for a really long time, at least a year. For this blog's new look, I have chosen a more professional blogger style kind, instead of having to work my way through long scary looking html codes. I used to love doing that, and was pretty good at it but over time and without practice, I starting losing a lot of that knowledge. This skin would make it easier for me to edit little things like widgets so I'm very happy right now. 

That aside, I caught the new Superman film, Man of Steel today with my Youth Assembly C from the 18th Student Leaders' Convention. (if you don't know what the 18SLC is, it is an exciting event I attended last year which you can read about here.)

I don't usually enjoy watching movies - honestly, apart from Les Miserables which I was dying to watch because of the Literature and History elements in it, this movie is probably the second movie which I have caught at a cinema this entire year. I don't understand it, but I really do not appreciate movies that much, I find it to be a waste of precious time especially if you're with friends. 

That being said, Man of Steel is probably one of the films that have a good number of followers and people anticipating the release of it. I had also recently read an interview that the local newspaper had with the lead actor, Henry Cavill and he seems like such a down-to-earth and humble person. Not to mention he is very good looking. So I didn't really mind catching this show with my dear YAC mates.

The people who came for the outing were Gary, Sheila, Megan, Ryan, Jasper, An Lin, Sam and myself, which is quite a small number but they are the people in my YA that I feel the most comfortable and familiar with so they made quite nice company! We met at Vivocity and caught the movie at GV Cinemas.

While waiting for more people to arrive, Sheila and myself with the "stars" from Monsters' Inc. or more recently, Monsters' University! (apologies for the grainy photo, it was the only one we have)

Moving on to the movie, I personally was rather confused because apart from the basic knowledge that Superman is a comic book superhero and his iconic outfit he always wore, I knew nothing about this guy. I wasn't even aware that his name was Kal-El or Clark. Indeed, that was how clueless I was to start with. (Despite that, he has always been my favourite superhero) I was always under the impression that all Superman did was possess superpowers and save the world from supervillains. Never did I know that he had such an interesting backstory. This origin story is portrayed in this film, and for me, it really showed me that Superman was not just this perfect, muscular, hero but one who has his own insecurities, his own difficulties and what I loved most, his sense of morality. 

Despite my ignorance throughout the entire film, I thought that the storyline was told to the viewer quite clearly although I highly doubt that those little kindergarten kids in the same theatre as us understood anything at all (resulting an awful lot of noise from them). I really enjoyed Amy Adam's portrayal of Lois Lane, Superman's love interest as well - she was feisty and reminded me a little of Amy Pond from Doctor Who. However, I found the visual effects a little too overpowering, neglecting the emotional aspect of the movie. I was also very distracted by the actor, Russell Crowe who played Jor-El, the biological father of Superman as I kept thinking of him as Javert from the Les Miserables film. That, would most definitely be an isolated problem, of course. 

I shall attempt not to spoil the movie but I'd really like to talk about what I felt was the most meaningful theme that I got out from the movie itself. The film truly showcased the reality of our society - that we are not  accepting of something different and we do not like what we do not know. Definitely, I do not expect the world to accept some strange "alien" at first sight but the film does draw some parallels to the narrow-mindedness of the real society. Indeed, I can't say that I am an extremely open-minded individual that can take change in her stride because I am not. However, I personally feel that society's rigid mindsets, especially in a rather conservative country like Singapore, is quite disgusting. There should be room to adapt to new things and new ideas and new conventions. Why must we constantly succumb to society's predetermined expectations of us? Everyone is expected to go through the standard route of life and when someone tries something different, something fresh, something innovative, people tend to judge or not support the person. It's sad, how society in a way limits creativity. 

Perhaps I'm young, perhaps I'm foolish and perhaps I don't know what's best for me but I'm afraid of falling into the same mould that creates humans who have met "society's standards" because they morph into such uninteresting and boring creatures constantly doing routine things for the sake of survival. This has scared me for a long time now and watching the film just made that feeling a tad bit stronger. I honestly believe though, that there are like-minded individuals like myself. That's what I got from 'Man of Steel' - Superman did break out from that mould and show the people who he was. Perhaps we all have a little superhero in us as well (': I sure hope to think so. 

Read More

Apple & Blueberry Jam Tarts

Monday, June 17, 2013

No comments

Hello there (-: 

Haze has been crazy around here in Singapore, with our Pollutants Standard Index (more commonly known as PSI) hitting an all-time high since 2006 of 140 currently. When the air is this bad outdoors, it isn't very healthy so go out so since we're indoors, let's do some baking! 

A few days back, I found a jar of jam in my fridge. I don't normally eat bread with spreads - my parents do though - so I haven't tasted that jam before. It was "Apple & Blueberry" and I took a spoon to try a bit and it was amazing (': Extremely sweet, yet a bit tart and the apple and blueberry flavours really stood out, with small crunchy chunks of apple in it. I wanted to eat it but of course, I shouldn't be eating it straight out of the jar without anything and I didn't like bread so I decided to make some jam tarts with it (-:

This is a really simple recipe that only requires five ingredients so this is something you should try. Here is the recipe for


1. 250g plain flour
2. Pinch of salt
3. 100g butter
4. 2-3 tablespoons of cold water
5. Apple & blueberry jam (or any of your favourite fruit jams/ preserves)

To be perfectly honest, I am a person who is extremely unprecise with the measurements of my ingredients. For example, for my butter, I just used roughly half of a 225g block of butter and I rarely measure (if I even do) my ingredients to the exact point. 

The first part of this recipe would be to make the dough for the lovely, flaky tart pastry. Make sure that your butter and water is cold, and not room temperature! 

(sorry but the butter looks really good whole) 

1. Combine your flour and salt into a bowl and mix well.
2. Chop up your butter into little cubes to make it easier for the next step.

3. Place your butter cubes into the flour and salt mixture. Work fast from here to ensure that the butter still stays cold and doesn't melt that much. 

4. Using your fingertips, rub the butter into the flour. (I think my hands were quite warm - I mean of course, due to the heat in Singapore - so the butter melted a bit, which is not cool) You should get a breadcrumb like texture

I had quite a few large chunks of butter that wasn't that well combined into my flour because everything was melting quite quickly so I took them out and threw them away (besides, I did add a bit too much butter, more than the recipe called for)

5. Add 2-3 tablespoons of cold water one by one and mix well, stopping once the breadcrumb like dough has formed a nice smooth ball of dough.

6. Cover this in plastic wrap and chill it in the refrigerator for a good 30 mins! (-: 

- ba da da dum after 30 mins - 

7. Preheat your oven to 180 degree Celsius

8. Grease your tart tray with butter (I don't have a tart tray, so I'm making do with cupcake/ muffin tins, which worked perfectly well so I'd suggest getting this if you intend to make both tarts and cupcakes, if you don't mind your tarts having a smooth rim to them) 

9. Dust flour over your work surface, hands and rolling pin to ensure that the dough doesn't stick when you roll it out.

10. Fetch your nice round lump of dough from the fridge and roll it out fairly thinly (it's quite up to you, whether or not you like thick or thin tart pastry)

11. Use a round glass to cut out circle pieces of the dough.

12. With the leftover dough around the side, gather them and form it back into a round ball, wrap it in plastic wrap and pop it back into the fridge to chill again before taking it out and rolling it out again after your first batch is done.

13. Push your little circles into the tray (I had to stretch mine a little bit before putting it in, and also stretch it up the sides) 

14. Go to town with your lovely sweet jam! (': Fill your little dough cups with it! (note of caution: although jam is amazing, don't be so greedy and put too much because the jam might overflow when baking and that's not a pretty sight.)

15. Bake your lovely dough + jam creations for around 15-20 mins (mine took 20 mins) or until the pastry is golden brown and very delicious looking.

16. When they are done, take them out and let them cool on a cooling rack before digging in (evidently, I couldn't wait and almost burnt my tongue - I always do that when I bake) When they came out fresh out of the oven, the jam was bubbling a little and they looked divine. 

And there you have it (': Lovely apple and blueberry jam tarts! It only took 5 ingredients that you might probably already have in your home and apart from the 30mins that was needed for the dough to chill, this is a really quick and simple recipe. 


Read More