Category Archives: 30 for 30

In Retrospect: A Month Of Desserts

In this age of Calorie Restriction and other fad diets, the concept of preparing 30 creamy, luscious, waistline-expanding desserts over the span of a month sounds almost counter-intuitive. Especially if you’re only a household of two. I’ve been asked by different folks a variety of questions about the nuts and bolts of carrying out a project like this, so I’ve listed my thoughts based on the 5 “P”s that I found important to note when creating your own

Macarons

“They have feet!” I tweeted excitedly, after peeking at the rounds of macaron batter in the oven. And it all went downhill from there. I would love to say that the cute little macaron at the top of this post is now sitting patiently in my pantry, waiting to be picked up and shared with a host of friends. But it sadly isn’t so. That picture is from my first macaron attempt last November, an exercise so highly anticipated and intense, I had to find something else to do to

Walnut, Lemon & Cardamom Cake

I suspect that the Cardamom Brigade have been hard at work, stealthily making their way into my list of favorite baking ingredients, judging by the spice’s appearance in a number of desserts I’ve prepared this month. Cardamom is a highly polarizing spice – you either love it or you don’t, and I definitely fall in the former category. I’m intrigued by its vivid aroma, with hints of mint, eucalyptus and citrus. It’s got such personality that deploying it in

A Healthy Chocolate & Green Tea Pudding

We are in the final days of this month-long dessert marathon and I can’t believe I’ve made it this far. Can you? It has been one highly eventful and seriously fun ride, and though I found myself occasionally wishing I had a brood of kids to palm these desserts off to, not to mention helping with the immense amount of dishes and all that cutting, peeling, blending and stirring, M and I made it through without too much pain. Of course there is the exercise bootcamp which I will have

Pączki – Polish Doughnuts

Doughnuts seem to be the cupcakes of the season, judging by the recent spate of doughnut recipes and posts. There were these tempting Nutella-stuffed bunuelos from Cowgirl Chef and an oh-so-pretty banana variation with dried banana streusel from Tartelette and these Apple Cider honey-glazed doughnuts for Rosh Hashanah over at Cupcake Project. Reading all of them, I wanted in, and finally prepared my own batch today despite the hangover after a full day of networking, discussing and

Saffron Cream Caramel

This post is going to be quick as I’m off to San Francisco for the BlogHer Food Conference at the St Regis (very classy!). To match the mood, here’s an elegant dessert that would fit right in with a dessert spread at a top-tier hotel buffet. Best of all, it is so simple to make that you could have your very own home-made classy dessert that might just tempt your guests to stick out their pinkie as they hold their spoons. Personally, I find cold custards for dessert a rather strange

Pandan Bavarian

If you’re familiar with Southeast Asian desserts, you would know that the leaf of the Pandan plant plays an essential role in enhancing the flavor and aroma of many desserts from the region. Despite its distinctive scent, the slender sleeves of this tropical plant usually plays a supporting role to other ingredients such as split green beans or glutinous rice flour and palm sugar, subtly informing you of its presence, but staying well in the background. Except, that is, when it takes

Pecan Pie Tart

Here’s a Pecan dessert that’s a little confused. It’s got a pie crust and a pie filling, but it’s baked in a tart pan, so does that make it a pie-like tart? Or a tart-shaped pie? In the interest of fairness, I’ve christened it the Pecan Pie Tart, but I would love to hear your suggestions! Regardless of the terminology, this recipe from Dorie Greenspan yields anything but your ordinary pecan pie. A host of supporting ingredients – espresso, cinnamon,

Genoise Cupcakes With Lavender and Vanilla

I’ve had lavender on the mind for the past few weeks, playing around with ideas on how best to incorporate these grain-like lilac buds in dessert. I first encountered lavender as a flavor in Barcelona six years ago. Abandoning the crowds of La Rambla for the maze of small streets in the Barri Gòtic on a warm July afternoon, we strolled through plazas dotted with nuns and boys playing football, sipped a coffee at a bohemian-ish cafe with its assortment of eclectic chairs and lamps,

Konafa – Middle Eastern Delights

Despite having its fair share of civil unrest and political instability, the Middle East remains one of the parts of the world that I’d like to visit one day. Yes, I am quite adventurous when it comes to travel choices, but this preference is purely food-motivated. I honestly believe that any culture so steeped in ancient history as the Persians, Egyptians and Turks with their imperialist tales of glory and failures, must also have a refined palate for good food. Just look at the

Tiramisu

Hollywood has propelled its fair share of fresh faces into the world of global fame, but rarely pays the same favor to a specific dish. So the fact that a short dialogue in one movie could pique the curiosity of movie-goers around the world, inspire any decent Italian restaurant to start offering it on their dessert menu and yield an abundance of Tiramisu recipes on the Internet, is pretty fascinating in itself, no? The popularity of this dessert is pretty easy to see. Coffee and

Onde Onde – A Sugar Bomb

As Muslims everywhere celebrate the annual festival of Hari Raya, or Eid ul-Fitr, marking the end to a month of fasting, I thought I’d try my hand at making a popular Malay kuih in Singapore. Less of a dessert (in the contemporary sense, at least), Onde Onde (pronounced ‘on-day’) is a bite-sized pocket of palm sugar encased in a glutinous rice flour and sweet potato dough, coated with shredded coconut. This dish is a real joy to consume, where the explosion of sugar with the

Gajar Halwa

We are off to India for today’s dessert, courtesy of a request from Jackie at Pham Fatale. Responding to my call for dessert requests at the end of August (which is still open by the way, if you’re interested), she listed millefeuille and Gajar Halwa, an Indian carrot pudding, as her two favorites. As my familiarity with Indian desserts is sorely limited – Gulab Jamun just about defines my notion of ‘Indian desserts’ to date – Jackie’s request

Bubor Cha Cha

I know what you must be thinking. No, this dessert is not a joke, and yes, its name actually resembles the seemingly mindless babble of an 18-month old. Don’t let that, or its unusual appearance for that matter, put you off reading the rest of this post. It doesn’t contain anything that you wouldn’t have already tried or come across in a Southeast Asian restaurant. With Malay/Indonesian origins, Bubor Cha Cha actually deconstructs to refer to a thick broth or porridge

A Cupcake Experiment – Lemongrass Cupcakes With Matcha Frosting

Cupcakes are dainty pockets of sweetness, all pink and pastels, topped with cute decorations capable of turning elegant women into girly giggles and pools of mush upon sight. That is, cupcakes created by an experienced hand, which I’m not. As you can see from the durian-like appearance of the cupcakes in this post, my decorating skills still have some way to go before eliciting the same amount of gushing that these cupcakes probably do. I discovered Cupcake Bakeshop a few years ago,

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