I Am Officially An Auntie :D

Well… I was an auntie before this, because my DH has a nephew, but you know what I mean…

My sister just gave birth to a beautiful little daughter — the first in my family. Both the mother and the baby are healthy, and in an excellent condition. My parents are over the moon for their first grandchild.

I am so overjoyed, but at the same time feel a bit sad that I am not the only one who are not there with my sister to give support. Seems like I am the only one missing the celebration in Indonesia 😦 Not happy about it 😦

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Anyway…

So, I decided to just celebrate it myself here with my husband, by baking a cake 🙂 Obviously we don’t need any reason to bake a cake, but it feels slightly more special when you attach story behind a bake…

And here you go…

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Whoopsie… Forgot to take photo before sliced it :p

 

Cocopandan Cake with Gula Melaka topping.

Yes it sounds foreign, I know. But I feel like I want to make this one because it reminds me so much of home. Cocopandan is basically coconut and pandan (fragrant leaves, very popular in Indonesian desserts and beverages), and gula melaka or gula merah is how we call palm sugar in that part of the world.

It tastes wonderful. A wonderful cake for a wonderful day 🙂

Summer Intermezzo

It is still summer, but I think the heatwave is almost gone. The weather is getting milder, and the temperature dropped a little. It is getting more and more comfortable to work outside in the garden, and have a little walkabout in the city. So, my sister in law (my husband’s sister) asked me if I wanted to go to Wroxham to have a walk.

I went to Wroxham before with my husband, and it was actually a nice place to spend a day — especially during summertime. So, I agreed and she picked me up. Our plan was: we’re going to go to have a cuppa and have a nice natter.

We did pick a little cafe there, I don’t need to tell you the name of the cafe because I didn’t have a nice service there. I ordered a cake — it said vanilla cake with white chocolate something. I misread it and told the lady on the till that I want the white chocolate cake.

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After I paid, the lady on the till asked the other girl to get me the “white chocolate cake” while laughing. The other girl on the counter asked, “what white chocolate cake?” and laughed with the lady on the till.

I mean.. come on. There’s only one cake with white chocolate in there. Okay, I misread, but they didn’t have to act like that in front of a paying customer. And by the way, the cake didn’t taste that nice. It was too sweet for me and I didn’t even finish it.

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Anyway, the walk near the river was much much better. It was a beautiful place and I wouldn’t let the stupid cake and shopkeepers ruin my day.

x ❤ x

I Don’t Like Food Colouring But…

Maybe I have to start learning how to use it.

Growing up in Indonesia I have been taught that not all food colouring is safe. Especially where I came from, the trading standard and the food safety regulation is not as strict as it is in the UK or other developed country. Indonesia was quite third world when I grew up, you see?

Maybe I have to unlearn that knowledge because in the UK food colouring is safe. And it might make my cupcake looks nicer.

Like these ones, for example.

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I didn’t realise that blueberry’s natural colour in a cake doesn’t look appetising at all. Instead of looking purplish blue, it looks quite greyish — especially when the top gets slightly brown. Even my husband couldn’t help himself feeling the urge to laugh when I showed him how creepy looking it is. He mentioned “mold” but I decided I didn’t hear it at all.

And, one other thing… Maybe it is the way it reacts to different ingredients, but it didn’t turn either blue or grey when it is used in the butter cream. It was bright purple, almost pink even. Somehow it was pink-er than strawberry! Maybe someone could help me in this? This is pretty confusing.

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It looks nice with rose pipe thingy, but I thought it was going to be blue. I guess I was wrong.

So yeah. If… If I had used food colouring, the cupcakes might have turned up with a better solid colour. The more blueberry-ey colour maybe. Anyway… what’s the colour of blueberry anyway?

x ❤ x

Meanwhile in The Kitchen…

One of the things that keep me away from boredom stress is learning a new thing everyday. It is important for me to keep my brain working — being inquisitive, being adventurous. Or else, life is just… flat. And I don’t want it.

Not going to moan about how hard it is to get a job now. And not going to preach the importance of being positive either. I’d rather show you what I have been trying to do in the kitchen.

Two colours piping.

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bit stingy with the buttercream there…

Youtube is a great place to learn. It is full of people who are not only willing to teach and share their expertise, they are also willing to teach you for free. So, I’ve been wasting spending some time there and take notes and…

Voila.

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Since I don’t use food colouring, so the colour here is basically plain buttercream, and another one with chocolate or matcha  — for the green one above. Not too bad isn’t it — for a beginner?

x ❤ x

Summer… Is It Here Yet?

Lots and lots and lots of strawberries out there. While I love having them for breakfast with my yoghurt and honey (or having it in the Eton Mess), sometimes I couldn’t just finish it on time. So… I decided to make it as… cupcakes.

It surprises me that there are not that many strawberry cupcakes out there. I saw a lot of strawberry shortcake, or tart, but not cake.

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It was a bit disappointing really when I saw the cake came out the oven not looking either red nor pink — because the cake batter was slightly pink, I expected something with brighter colour. Maybe next time I could use a drop of food colouring… I don’t know. Anyway… it looks brown. Just like the usual cake.

Fortunately, the buttercream icing doesn’t need colouring to make it a beautiful pale pink. It just look pretty with the flower-ish piping. Maybe next time I would add more icing sugar to make it a bit firmer too… *take notes*

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And it tastes nice too… It didn’t last the weekend, if you ask me — as hubby ate them two at one sitting. Ah.. no wonder dieting in this household doesn’t work…

x<3 x

The Quickest Way to My Man’s Heart…

Stomach.

Yeah.

Especially when I am experimenting with cakes.

I can feel that his love to me just quadrupled whenever he sees a dozen of cupcakes in the kitchen. Freshly baked cupcakes. Lucky for him, that I like baking more than I like eating them. As I said before, I do need to lose some pounds — and as we know already, cupcakes don’t help.

I have tried making green tea cupcakes before, but I didn’t decorate it with butter cream icing. Now, I do.

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Yes, I am still learning how to use pipes. I thought, if I want to participate in The Great British Bake Off, I would have to be able to master piping and decorating cakes. For now though… It looks a bit messy, but seriously I have tried my best to make it vaguely attractive. Not that I need to do it to attract my husband attention.

They’re cakes…

x ❤ x

Sweet Interlude

I don’t have sweet tooth, but my husband do. I think it is a great example of a mutual relationship between my husband and I. I like baking but couldn’t eat what I bake (or not too many of them), and my husband is just too happy to support my baking hobby. How wonderful is that?

So, I decided to bake chocolate cupcake. I have the ingredients ready, and the recipe from allrecipes.co.uk was incredibly easy to follow. The word “foolproof” from the maker of the recipe is quite telling.

I wasn’t sure about the batter though, because it looks really thick and doesn’t seem much. The recipe said it would make 24 cupcakes, but seriously… I had to scrape every last drop from the bowl to push 12. Maybe the original recipe owner was making mini cupcakes. I don’t know.

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Other thing that I learn this time is: piping. I suck at it, and I am not ashamed to admit it. My lack of knowledge about nozzles didn’t help at all.

However, I tried. And I think on my last cupcake, I could make up something that barely resemble a piece of pipe work. Tada…

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The verdict? Well it was soft, incredibly soft, and light. I am not sure whether it is supposed to be crumbly or spongy, but mine is quite crumbly. My husband loves it… obviously. The only thing that stopping him to eat more than two in a sitting is the icing — he found it quite rich. But seriously, what did he expect.

It’s chocolate.

x ❤ x