Cooking Up a Storm

'Collected' TY at the airport (Air Asia is surprisingly early, their services are really getting better and better), and TY was already waiting for more than 30mins when I arrived lol. Next morning got up early for breakfast nearby before heading off to permanently have skin poked and dyed.

My favourite butterfly bun!

 The whole tattooing progress took about 4 hours to complete. Pity that guy. But it's really no joke, the pain I mean... But I assure you, the end result will make you feel like the whole trouble's the worth... until you get the next patch of skin inked.... The whole vicious cycle.

Afterwards dragged TY to a tea place which I've always seen, but never got the chance to try. TWG! They've got about a zillion selection of tea from all over the world...

 A very atas sort of place... sparkling silverwares, shiny gold plated teapots, immaculately dressed patrons with flawless makeup and toting expensive handbags, prim and proper table manners... LOL! Whereas in direct contrast, both TY and I trudged in, with shorts, tie-dyed top, slippers and all kekekekke.

 One macaron is about $2. They all have fancy names which I obviously cannot recall but one is some sort like passion fruit and the other sort of tea-ish blend lol yes I'm hopeless here... After ordering our macarons, I asked the attentive waiter for a tea recommendation (omg, digressing, the waiters at TWG are well-dressed, clean-cut and one in particular, really cute! Hiks.... ok back to main topic...) and he said since TWG's macarons are sour, he recommended a sweet, floral tea with a fancy sounding name (Silk White Tea). 

I thought they will serve us individual cups of tea, and yes they did..... in addition to serving individual pots! Lol... That's about equivalent to 5 cups of tea I think. Both of us lim teh ka pa kekekeke.

 Apple pie with ice cream. The fine layers of I-don't-know-what-you-call-it, crepes(?) adds up to a rich sweet combo.

 Those tins on the left side are just *some* of the many, many tea tins TWG has, and the whole pillar revolves!

 The very nice shot that I took ;) Some of us are born with it...

 We were seated just next to another pillar filled with decoratives.... check out the thin layer of dust!

The macaron shot I got cos I was pretty lucky! lol. After finishing our tea, on the way out and I raised my cam to take this shot but the lady behind the display held up her palm to stop me, only to be saved by another waiter who said it's ok :P Yes I am grateful for the kind-and-non-assuming face that God has given me LOL.

Anyway bill came to about $40+. Steep for just tea for two, an apple pie and a couple of macarons. I jokingly told him to tell his pop that we went for tea that costs us RM100+ LOL.

Sort of as a show of gratitude, we told MCC that both of us will mess up the kitchen and cook dinner for the night! So after almost a full day out shopping for ingredients and miscellaneous items, when we hit home, it was already 4pm!

 Scramble, scramble to task - TY settles the cake while I busy myself with the asam belai. We hitched the carrot cake recipe off Nigella Lawson's site LOL, though the cake does call for some fancy ingredients, but this being Singapore, we could gather all the ingredients easily. Also, I was putting my trust on the curvy Nigella to have simplified the processes to the carrot cake!


Carrot Cake:
1/2 cup regular olive oil, not extra virgin, plus more for oiling pan
3 tablespoons pine nuts (we substituted these for chopped almonds, walnuts and macadamia nuts cos pine nuts are really pricey and we thought it's not worth the price)
2 medium carrots, grated (about 2 cups)
1/2 cup golden sultanas
1/4 cup rum
3/4 cup superfine sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 eggs
2 1/2 cups almond meal / flour
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 lemon, zest finely grated and juiced

Mascarpone cream, optional
1 cup mascarpone
2 teaspoons confectioners'sugar
2 tablespoons rum
1 (9-inch) springform or other round cake tin

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line the base of the springform pan with a nonstick silicone liner or baking parchment. Grease the sides with olive oil. Add the pine nuts to a small dry pan and toast them over low heat.

Grate the carrots in a food processor or with a coarse grater, and put them on a double layer of kitchen towels. Wraps the towels around the carrots to soak up the excess liquid.

Put the sultanas in a small saucepan with the rum, and bring to the boil over medium heat. Lower the heat and simmer for 3 minutes.

Whisk the sugar and 1/2 cup of oil in a stand mixer or by hand, until creamily and airily mixed together.

Whisk in the vanilla and eggs in a large bowl. Fold in the ground almonds, nutmeg, grated carrots, golden sultanas (and any rum that clings to them) and finally the lemon zest and lemon juice.

Scrape the mixture into the prepared cake tin and smooth the surface with a rubber spatula. The batter will be very shallow in the tin.

Sprinkle with the pine nuts and bake until the top is risen and golden and a cake tester comes out sticky but otherwise more or less clean, about 30-40 minutes.

Remove the cake from the oven and let it sit on a rack for 10 minutes before removing the sides. Let cool until ready to serve. Transfer the cake to a serving platter.

Combine the mascarpone, confectioners' sugar and rum in a small bowl. Slice the cake and serve with the mascarpone cream.

 The whole time that TY was busy over the cake, I fussed over the asam belai which was at one point either not salty enough or too sour! Pengsan... lol.

So..... after 4 hours slaving in the kitchen, I present you the final outcome! Jeng jeng jeng!

 Stir fried snap peas with sliced carrots and oyster mushrooms.

 My favourite! Steamed stuffed red chillis with minced pork and bittergourd. Sooo goood.

Le assam belai. Followed the recipe book so did not get any pineapples or cucumber like how Ah Ma used to make. Other than the paste blended a tad too coarse, it was pretty good, cos MCC helped with the seasoning kekekekke.

 The very yummy tau eu bak that has been braised close to 40 minutes, maybe more! Meat is reasonably tender, with a very rich and caramelised gravy. Looking back at this shot, it looks like it has sesame seed sprinkled all over, but it's not. That's just the sheen of the tau eu.... Looks pretty good eh, but the sesame seed is a bit of an inspiration, would be nice too if added I think.

 Stir fried sawi that requires no over the top description. What you see is what you get.

 The whole yummy spread. 


And then finally the cake....

The end product! It's quite a shame that the top is slightly darkened (aka burnt) but only ever so slightly. But otherwise it still tastes good nevertheless! Some parts of the cake is a bit moist at the center. Probably the springform pan is a bit too deep, that's why the top is burnt but slightly undercooked in the center. Love it to bits though ;)

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