The talented and creative JasmineÂ fromÂ Scissors Paper StoneÂ gave me these absolutely fabulous pins and pendants she made herself a while ago and I simply must how lian (That’s ‘showoff’ in Hokkien in case you don’t know this term by now) to everybardee today! Swee boh? Swee right? I also say when I saw it! These also came with another set with black background you know? When I saw them, I was rendered wordless and speechless and stared with my mouth open for a good 1 min! So sia suay (embarrassing) right? Haha! NowÂ every timeÂ I see these, I get goose pimples (the good kind lah) and a goofy smile!Â I LOVE THEM ALL!
Jasmine! You had me beaming from ear to ear for quite a few weeks until my face cramp. LOL!Â DefinitelyÂ the best present I have ever received this year! Thank you so very much Jasmine!
Some weeks back I had the opportunity to learn how to make Hokkaido Chiffon Cakes with the bloggers from Singapore Mom Bloggers (SMB) from the nice ladies from Munch Ministry. The baking class (hosted and conducted by Munch Ministry) was one of the several activities lined up for SMB’s 1st birthday celebration this year. The first was a self makeover workshop where a bunch of us vainpots well deserving mummies got to learn how to take care of our skin and wear the right styles for our body shapes. Being the typical greedy girl, I wanted to find out what was a Hokkaido Chiffon cake and did it taste good as it looked.
The class was held at Civil Service Club at Tessensohn Road and I really like the location because it was big, bright and they use KITCHENAID MIXERS! Have I told you I really love KitchenAid mixers? I really love the KitchenAid Mixers. Imagine my joy and drool when I realized I was surrounded by these beauties (didn’t matter to me that it was not 100% clean on some areas). It felt like meeting that boy you’ve had a crush on for years finally face to face:Â Â I didn’t know if I should hug it or kiss it or take photo with it. I kind of did it all.
I think classes of any kind is always more fun when you are in the company of friends. A bigger bonus if these friends are as big a clown as you.
Ok ok. Enough with the pictures already. I got listen to the teachers lah. Maybe not 100% of the time but enough to bake a decent batch of cakes. Hehe!
The recipe of Hokkaido Chiffon Cake is readily available on the net and I’m sure you will be able to find one that suit you best.
Some of the valuable tips I got from Pauline and Louisa (the 2 lovely ladies from Munch Ministry) were:
Hokkaido Chiffon Cakes are NOT from Hokkaido, Japan. The original recipe called for Hokkaido milk which is smoother and richer than the normal milk we buy from the supermarket. For the class, we used regular milk at room temperature.
All ingredients must be at room temperature or else the cakes will not rise properly or have cracks on the surface. No wonder my cupcakes in the past always look so ugly and oozed all over the oven. Next time I show you pictures ok?
To use only vegetable oil or any oil that has no smell. Oils like olive oil have distinct smells that may interfere with the taste of the cakes.
Use cold water for this recipe. I forgot why. I was busy taking photos with the other girls. 😛
To make sure there is no oil or water in the container you are using when handling egg whites. I also forgot why. Just follow the instructions lah.
Once you have finished filling the cupcake containers with the cake mixture, you must knock the trays on the table to remove any air bubbles that may have been trapped inside. By doing so, you won’t have enormous air bubbles and the cake can rise properly. I think.
Here we are in action. This is a relatively easy cake to make except the part where we needed to separate the yolks from the whites. It was quite a disastrous experience I tell you. You can buy the fanciest egg separating gadget available but nothing beats using your hands to wiggle the yolk in your palm while the whites ooze away through your finger tips. A bit messy yes but it is almost 100% fail proof and your hands get a bit moisturized by the eggs! Wah, this cake good for belly and skin wor, dun play play hor?
While waiting for the cakes to cool on the rack, you can get the frosting done in the meantime. Then ah, you fill it into a piping bag and then you STAB and SQUEEZE the wahbiangsoniceicaneatonitsown frosting into the cakes. Remember to squeeze a bit on the top to make it look nicer. You might want to use fresh fruits instead of sprinkles to jazz it up a bit, buelly nice either way.
If you are on a diet, you can forget about it when you come face to face with these cakes. They are so light and delicate, you will have no problems inhaling them all in 1 sitting. For optimum taste, chill them first before serving them to your guests. The frosting machiam soft serve ice-cream I no bluff you.
I need to thank Pauline and Louisa for hosting this class again. You made me look like a baking goddess to The Husband with these delicate cakes. Now I have one more recipe I can use to bribe him into doing more household chores for me. Haha!
Some weeks back, my mum, my auntie and I visited my grandparents at both the Choa Chu Kang Columbarium as well as the Mandai Columbarium. Gone were the days where we had to trek through hundreds of graves to find my Ah Ma and Ah Gong in the blazing hot sun while carrying bags of food offerings and other essential prayer offerings. Their remains were relocated to the columbariums a few years ago and since then, the rituals have now become a lot simpler and faster. This left us plenty of time to rest and chit chat a bit before we pack up for the next destination.
At the Mandai Columbarium, I decided to talk a closer look at my grandparent’s “neighbours” while my mum and auntie rest and catch up on news about their other siblings. Over the years as folks grew more affluent, the style of the memorial plaques have become fancier. There are still the typical looking black and white photographs but I also saw the rising trend of using really nice wedding photos of the couple instead of 2 individual photos. *note to self, find nice wedding photo to use on my memorial plaque*
At that moment, something caught my attention and I walked towards a relatively new niche. There was a piece of paper pasted on one side of it and on the paper was a face drawn by a child. Why I say that was because the picture was similar to the many Xan would draw for us at home and when he was at school. I can only assumed it was a picture drawn by a child for his/her daddy. Then I turned around and saw another doodle on another niche presumably from a grandchild to his/her beloved grandfather. I couldn’t look any further because I could feel myself about to burst into tears thinking about the children who had lost their loved ones so soon and them sending their love through their little works of art. I recomposed myself and joined my mum and auntie for a bit before I drove them home.
Since we had a little bit of time to spare before we pick Xan up from school, The Husband and I decided to have a cup of coffee and chat a bit about my morning at the columbariums. The conversation started fine until I went on to describe and compare the doodles to the ones Xan draws from time to time. I started to cry uncontrollably and The Husband at first shocked also teared up. He had to get up and give me a firm hug just to calm me down.
I started to think if I were to kick the bucket now, would Xan leave me lovely doodles like this? Will he miss me? Will he still remember me when he grows up and have his own family? Will I even know he missed me or not? He’s not even 5 yet so will these 5 years of memory be enough for him to remember his mummy forever? Have we created enough memories with him for him? Don’t get me started on thinking about losing any one of my family members. I really don’t want to think about it for now.