Monday, August 13

Aug DOTM: A Very Lemony Bundt Cake

Over the past couple of months, Russell and I have been baking weekly. Most of the time, the treats go to his friends and I rarely even try them before shipping them off. I only hear of the (mostly, good) feedback when Russell is home from school. We hardly repeat recipes unless it's something as good as that Chocolate Beetroot Cake.

Last weekend, we made lemon loaves and apparently, those went down really really well with those 6 year olds. I kind of kicked myself for not saving a slice, especially since I loooove lemony treats. But come one Staurday morning, I found myself with a couple of hours to kill and some lemons siting in the fridge and I decided to make that lemon cake and try it for myself.

I pretty much adapted the recipe from Plated Cravings' Moist Lemon Cake, upping the lemon quotient and removing the syrup as I felt it would be sweet enough with the icing. The result is a delectable treat I could have for breakfast, dessert and an afternoon snack.




Here are the recipe, adapted from Plated Cravings' Moist Lemon Cake.

Ingredients 

For the lemon pound cake:
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder 
  •  Zest of 1 lemon
  • 1/2 cup salted butter room temperature
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs room temperature 
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract 
  • Juice of 1 lemon 
  • 1/2 cup milk

For the lemon icing:
  • 1 cup confectioners' sugar sifted
  • 1 1/2 tbsp lemon juice (plus more if needed)
  • 1 tbsp milk

Method

  1. Instructions Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease and flour a 6-inch bundt pan.
  2. In a small bowl combine the flour, baking powder and lemon zest. Set aside.
  3. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment (or using an electric mixer) cream the butter and sugar together at medium-high speed until pale and fluffy, about 4 minutes. Scrape the sides of the bowl as needed.
  4. With the mixer running on low-speed, add the eggs one at a time, then beat in the vanilla extract and lemon juice. Beat on medium-high speed until combined.
  5. With the mixer on low, add about one-third of the flour mixture and mix until almost combined, then add half the milk and mix until just combined. Repeat with another third of flour mixture and then the last half of the milk, ending with the last third of the flour. Beat until just incorporated.
  6. Scrape the batter into the prepared loaf pan and bake for 45-55 minutes until the cake is golden brown and a toothpick comes out clean. I baked mine for 50 mins.
  7. Let the cake cool for about 10 minutes in the pan - allow cake to cool completely. Carefully invert the pan and transfer the cake to a cooling rack.
  8. When the cake is cooled, combine all the icing ingredients, start with 1 tbsp lemon juice and milk and add the remaining lemon juice as needed. Taste as you go along, I liked a strong lemony flavour to counter the sweetness of the icing sugar. 
  9. Pour icing over cake and let dry before serving.
  10. Serve and reward yourself!

Friday, August 10

National Day Dinner

Did you guys watch the National Day Parade? I thought this year's performance was really good. Much less cringe-worthy moments. Of course, you could't get away from themes like "Our Hopes, Our Aspirations" but I love how they featured unconventional everyday heroes. And OMG, Singaporeans are such a talented bunch of people. Why did I use to think those on Singapore Idol were the cream of the crop? I humbly submit my apologies to the wonderfully talented folks out there.

We had our parents over for a simple dinner and just vegged out on the couch thereafter, nursing our food babies. Counting down to the weekend!


Ayam Bakar 
(Indonesian Grilled Chicken)


Thai omelette 


Tumeric rice with pine nuts and raisins


Monday, August 6

Weekend #31 Lunch

Last Saturday’s lovely lunch with the family. Followed by Pierre Herme macarons and Awfully Chocolate truffles. Hope you had a lovely one too. xoxo.


Bruschetta with cherry tomatoes yogurt pesto


Roasted pork belly


Up close and personal


Wagyu MB4 steaks

Wednesday, August 1

HoHo Korean Restaurant, Sunset Way

One Saturday, we decided to venture out of our comfort zone (meaning town and the club) and popped over to Hoho Korean Restaurant for dinner.

Located at Sunset Way, this is a neighbourhood favourite and to come without reservations would be courting misery. Before our dishes arrived, a bevy of banchan arrived fast and furious. If this was an indication of things to come, we were in for a good time.

We ordered a Dolsot Bibimbap, grilled Samgyupsal (pork belly) and Yangmyeom Moksal (seasoned pork collar with soy sauce). The piping hot bibimbap was lovely as hell, with delightful scorched burnt bits. Both grilled meats were gloriously tender and flavourful. Food this unpretentiously yummy makes me giddy with joy.

The dishes were mostly excellent. The only dish that was a salty bummer was the Korean ramen. I ordered a non-spicy version for the boys but on hindsight, they would have been pretty ok with the spicy version. This ramen was inexcusably salty. Sad face.



 




Sunday, July 29

Panamericana, Sentosa Golf Club

Confession: I really don't like searching for restaurants. Each time I have research somewhere to go, I feel like I have sacrificed two hours of my life doing absolutely nothing productive.  Nowadays, my needs are a lot more different - decent food, great service and most importantly, a relaxinggggg environment. I can't emphasise this enough. And perhaps for this reason, I chose somewhere farrr awayyy for my birthday meal. 

My birthday treat with my better half took place at Panamericana. The restaurant that is located at Sentosa Golf Club was expectedly quiet for a weekday lunch. Perfect for a quiet lunch. 

We ordered a few signatures, namely their corn (which was super moreish), bone marrow and only one meat entree, the lamb, as our server kindly informed us that two meats would have been too much. The meal was enjoyable though I would struggle to make a trip out on a regular weekend. Their sticky date pudding was pleasant too but I had a sticky date pudding at PS Cafe the night before which was unforgettable so this rendition was runner-up at best. 

The highlight I have to admit was the surprise from my bae. The man who loathes telling restaurants about anniversaries and birthdays as he dislikes the unnecessary fanfare and attention actually informed the restaurant about my birthday. 

We were gifted a plate of ridiculously amazing churros that take the cake (haha, pun intended) for being one of the best churros I've had in recent memories. 



Corn 
Cuban-style, chilli citrus salt, manchego 


Bone Marrow 
Roasted, eschallot-thyme confit, sourdough 



Lamb 
350g, 7- hour slow roasted, rosemary & thyme glaze


Date Pudding 
Butterscotch, vanilla bean ice cream


Churros 
Dulce de leche 

Friday, July 27

A birthday post


From my Instagram stories

When KW asked me if I was looking to my birthday, I was surprisingly indifferent. I wasn’t dreading it Nor was I eagerly anticipating THAT SPECIAL DAY. Sure, taking a day off from work and having a quiet meal with KW was something I looked forward to but other than that, my birthday was largely devoid of bells and whistles. I guess this day is really a good time to check in on #life.

I’m at peace with what I have. Amazing partner for life, two inquisitive loving little boys and general sense of gratitude for everything I have in life.

This doesn’t mean things are perfect. I still get easily irritated and unnecessarily upset. But the one thing I have to remember is: Don’t let the 10% dull the light of 90%. Not everyone or everything deserves your attention - stay in your light.

Peace out, folks.

Tuesday, July 24

Jul DOTM: Braised Beef Cheeks with Salsa Verde

Hope you guys had a fine weekend. I celebrated my birthday early with my in-laws by whipping a meal and July's Dish of the Month - Braised Beef Cheeks with Salsa Verde. My mother-in-law often to take us out but dining at home is so much more fun these days as I get to try new recipes and we don't have to worry about entertaining the kids.


Roasted beet and grapefruit salad 


Fettucine with portobello and bagna cauda


Cocoa Napolean from The Patissier

My mother-in-law bought a lovely cake from The Patissier. Light mascarpone cheese layered with the smoothest chocolate-flavoured mousse paired off with a crunchy hazelnut chocolate crust.


Fed and happy


Braised beef cheeks 

I absolutely beef cheeks. Beef cheeks are a dish you often find in French bistros though not very often at all. Imagine my delight and surprise when I found some Australian beef cheeks at Giant (Suntec City) at a discounted price. A double win in my books! I greedily bought three packs, with no idea when and what to do with them.

I did finally have a chance to work their magic with an early birthday meal with my in-laws. This is a recipe for keeps. Your patience will surely be rewarded with tender beef cheeks that are still slightly chewy with the tendons running through them. If you want them to meltingly tender, by all means, cook them longer. But we wanted to tuck into mighty meaty beef and not some insipid watered down protein.

 Here are the recipe, adapted from Delicious.com.

Ingredients 

For the beef cheeks 
  • 750ml bottle red wine 
  • 2 tbs olive oil 
  • 6 beef cheeks, trimmed 
  • 2 tbs plain flour, seasoned, to dust 
  • 2 onions, chopped 
  • 4 garlic cloves, chopped 
  • 2L (8 cups) good-quality beef stock 
  • 2 bay leaves

For the salsa verde
  • 1/3 cup (80ml) EVOO 
  • 2 cups flat-leaf parsley leaves 
  • 1 cup basil leaves 
  • 1/2 cup mint leaves 
  • 2 tbs each Dijon mustard, red wine vinegar and capers 
  • 2 anchovy fillets (optional but highly recommended)
Method
  1. Preheat the oven to 170°C. Place the wine in a pan and simmer over medium heat for 10 minutes or until reduced by half. Set aside. Heat oil in a large flameproof casserole over medium-high heat. 
  2. Dust beef in flour, shaking off excess. Brown beef, in batches, for 2 minutes each side, adding more oil if necessary. Remove and set aside.
  3. Add the onion to the pan, reduce heat to medium and cook, stirring, for 5 minutes or until softened. Stir in garlic, then return beef to pan. Add reduced wine, stock and bay leaves, then season. The meat should be completely covered with liquid, so top up with water if necessary.
  4. Cover and cook in the oven for 2 1/2 hours or until the beef is tender. You can always test a piece and see how well you like them done. 
  5. Meanwhile, to make the salsa verde, place the ingredients in a blender and blend to form a smooth paste. Season to taste.
  6. Transfer beef to a plate, then cover with foil to keep warm. Place casserole over medium-high heat for 10 minutes or until the sauce thickens. Serve the beef with the sauce, mashed potato and salsa verde.