Sunday, March 28, 2010

Dainty Almond Cups


Can you tell what this is? I won't blame you if you can't. It may not look like much (or anything, really) but looks can be deceiving, my friends. Read on to find out more.

Wet & Dry Ingredients

The ingredients are deceptively simple, as are most of PH's recipes which I've tried to date. And like many of his recipes, there lies a secret weapon, in this case, it's marzipan.

First Comes Egg, Next Comes Melted Butter

The steps read almost as straight forward as the ingredient list, however it wasn't without a challenge, mainly incorporating the egg into the crumbled marzipan, that took almost forever, and for the longest time, all I had was a clobbered mess that refused to come together.

But you persist, my friends, you do not give in. When your shoulders are aching and your back is sore, you keep on stirring. When your fingers blister and you can no longer feel your arms, you keep on stirring. Your blood, skin and tears will pay off, when finally the stubborn matters come together to play nice. Until then, you stir.

When the tears have dried and the marzipan and egg form a smooth paste, your melted butter goes in, without a fight. Coz he's seen what you're capable of doing.

From Gloppy To Smooth

The almost-final mixture then gets an overnight chilling while you recover your strength.

Thick, Gooey Goodness

From runny to thick and gooey, there can be no greater satisfaction. Until you bake the mix, of coz.

Step By Step

Mini muffin cups, lightly oiled, filled to the brim, topped with nuts, into the oven it all goes.

Dainty With A Skirt

I gotta say, the almond cups were pretty, and pretty yummy too. A little wet on the inside, it did not come away from the paper as cleanly as I would have liked it to. If I ever make this again, I may add some ground almond to help it hold its shape. An otherwise praiseworthy attempt by my books. :)

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Amber At Hotel 1929

Bamboo Mosaic

My foodie friends and I recently discovered a pretty swanky restaurant, Amber, a modern fusion restaurant of Hotel 1929, tucked in the outskirts of the not-so-swanky Chinatown.

I've never been one for fancy dining, but the night's foray was by no means intimidating. It may have been the company, the wine, the deliberate long pauses between courses as we indulged in conversation and, have I mentioned the wine?

Bamboo clams above, sweet and tender, enough for us four to whet our appetite with.

Healthy & Hearty

First up, the Cesar Salad, a simple dish that often reveals the mettle of an eatery. Fresh, vibrant colors and flavors whose highlight for the guys was no doubt, the bacon. For me, however, never a fan of the hard, salty, oily strips, the Parmesan crisps was my preferred piece on the plate.

Another favourite of ours: foie gras. What's not to love, when it's sliced thick, seared well all around, with its middle still soft, juicy and slightly bloody, paired with sweet orange dressing, flavoursome explosions with every greedy bite.

Seafood Tofu & Pork Belly

Tofu dish was good, light and flavorsome, but pork belly was much more fun dish, served in a test tube for diner's whimsical addition to the already artistic presentation.

Cod In Cream & Lamb Shanks

Fish was a little overcooked, but still went well with the rich cream sauce. I had the lamb, tender and sweet, this was one dish which, in my greedy opition, portion control should not have been exercised.

Cheese For Dessert

We had dessert, but there were only passe compared to the cheese platter. Predictable, since it's me talking. It was a fun meal, one we would gladly do again.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Apple Glory

Somethin's Peekin'

Here's a little something I made a while back, an Apple Yogurt Cake. Well, it's something I made a very long while back so I don't remember where I got the recipe from. I do recall wanting to try baking with yogurt, a much touted but seldom used ingredient in cake making, and see for myself if the result is really all that different.

Thick, Rich Batter

The batter came together easy enough, creamier than usual due to the thick yogurt used.

Love The Apple Chunks!

The cake was moist and well balanced in taste, not too sweet, only very slightly tangy. I quite liked it. I'm not sure if it helped with the browning but the cake came out with a beautiful golden top, just as gorgeous as the cake itself if I may say so myself. :p

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Reunion Feast

Heads Up!

I guess you already know by now, my Mum's a fantastic cook. No other time is this fact more celebrated then during this year's Reunion Dinner. No fancy restaurant dining for us, home cooked food is the only way to go.

Surf & Turf

Slow cooked stewed pork belly, half tender melting meat, half gelatinous fat: the perfect mouthful. And since she just got back from New Zealand, she brought with her the world's best mussels. Huge and oh so sweet with every bite.

Home Made Ngoh Hiang, Simply Cooked Fresh Fish

Yu Sheng

It just ain't Reunion Dinner without it. Happy New Year boys and girls! :)