♥ Pandan Macarons ♥ Pandan Pannacotta ♥ Pandan Love ♥

There are some flavours that are almost universal in their appeal. Pandan is such a flavour. Pandan’s power lies in its versatility. It is not limited to Asian dishes. I made pandan pannacotta earlier this year, to serve as dessert for my Chinese New Year meal.   I made the pannacotta in a rabbit mould and this resulted in the wobbly little creature above. In the UK, pandan can be bought from most Oriental supermarkets. If you live in London, Golden Gate Cake Shop on Macclesfield Street sells pandan layer cake.  My sister and I have since started obsessing over pandan macarons. Since being back in KL, I have had them twice. They are, as you can imagine, seriously delicious. These can be ordered specially from The Huckleberry Cafe. I have not seen this concoction sold anywhere else.

I  find it quite strange that in a city like KL – where there must be the highest number of foodies per capita in the world and the most interesting mixtures of flavours and fusion food, I have yet to see pandan used in other European desserts. Pandan coconut meringue pie, pandan cream puffs, pandan coconut crepes…mmmm I can see so many possibilities! Someone, make ’em a reality!

Sweet Endings and a Happy Meal

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I love mixing things up. So when the opportunity came to make some cupcakes to look like a happy meal… it was too good to resist.

Sarah came to visit and we baked. The result is the above. Hamburger cupcakes and sugar cookie fries.

Chocolate brownie is sandwiched in between Vanilla cupcake. Attention to detail meant toasting some sesame seeds and scattering them on the top bun; using coloured icing for the lettuce and cheese and jammy jelly for ketchup.

A Happy Meal is a Sweet Ending.

Sticky in the middle

dsc005301This Christmas, I decided not to send out any Christmas cards. I had the idea of making stained glass cookies and giving them out instead of the more traditional paper option.

Starting out with a mixed bag of boiled sweets, Katrina and I crushed the colourful sweets and placed them in little pyrex ramekins to urge us on with this fiddly, but exciting baking job.

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We listened to some  music and worked hard together, waiting to see the end result. It was a satisfying feeling to see the shortbread cookies turn out looking like stained glass. They looked unlike jammie dodgers but in your mouth, the cookies had the unique texture of being both hard and soft.

I’ve always loved the look of sweets. Sugar is wonderful tool for producing edible art (think Papabubble).

I placed mine in little clear bags tied with some Christmassy ribbon and felt a little pride giving them out, knowing that they were homemade delights.

Drink this cake (enjoy Coca Cola)

What do you bake for someone who loves coca cola? This recipe is easy to make and fun to decorate.

I found myself free on a Tuesday night this week and decided that I would bake.

I stopped off at the supermarket after work and walked home with my bag of baking ingredients, excited and impatient to see the finished result.

coca cola cupcake
coca cola cupcake

I bought a bag of fizzy cola bottles and some straws. I sat and listened to Human League and sang along while I frosted the cupcakes. I placed a fizzy cola in the middle and stuck a straw in it.

I love to Jjige, jjig, jjig in Korea

I love living in a big city where it seems like the world is always within reach. After having lived in London for nearly one and half years, I have only just discovered the tiny strip of Korean eateries on St Giles High Street. Here, in this little pocket just off Tottenham Court Road I feel like I’ve been transported into a Korean film.

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And here away from the maddening crowds of Oxford Street, I tried Kimchi Jjige for the first time. This is a dish that uses a combination of ingredients that epitomises the best flavours for my palate- spiciness and sourness.

Traditionally this is a hot pot of leftovers- made using old kimchi and cooked with beancurd or tofu and either pork or beef. It reminded me of my favourite Chinese New Year dish, a spicy and sour soup, again made with leftovers from the Reunion Dinner feast.

Now that the days are darker and the air crispier, nothing is as warming as having a bowl of kimchi jjige with some rice.

The joie in ordinary objects

It was a rare weekend treat for me to have one of the weekend days staying in. I thought that my summer-long hiatus from the kitchen was to come to an end. I was going to rediscover the joys of cooking and baking. I looked at some recipes and decided to bake some muffins (choco-banana and pecan) and cupcakes (carrot with orange frosting).

And always, when baking I would use the little egg whisk that I inherited from Sarah when she moved to NY.

This little egg whisk is by Joie. They design some cute little kitchen utensils and gadgets. I love how giving character to ordinary objects can colour an otherwise mundane job. I was reminded of the little bins we spotted on the way to the Spice Market in Istanbul. Or the little bird clothes pegs  and swallow paperclips I’d spotted on Day-Lab. I looked at my elephant watering can sitting by the fireplace and am reminded that even gardening can be design-oriented.

I can’t think of an easier way to encourage people not to litter. And I can’t think of a better way to make staying in such a pleasure.

Marmite’s Magic

Earthy and yeasty, Marmite’s magic is in its smell and taste. Worked together with another earty ingredient like mushrooms, you are presented with some kind of wonderful wholesome deliciousness.

A special breakfast is nice seeded brown bread, toasted and topped with sliced mushrooms panfried in sticky marmite. Topped with a shaving of parmesan, this is sublime.