Coffee Connoisseur

Artistry Cafe @ Jalan Pinang

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As Singaporeans, we often lament the lack of support for our local talent. Local artists, designers, singers, musicians, artistes – they never seem to garner enough hype or popularity. It is heartening that a cafe such as Artistry cafe has taken on the mission to provide a platform for the exhibition of the works of emerging artists, as well as a stage for performers. Not only that, the cafe also sources its beans from local roasters, Liberty Coffee, continuing the theme of #sgpride.

Artistry cafe prides itself in its coffee and I must say that this is one of the best places for coffee. Not only is the roast great, it also does a pretty good job with both the quality of the steamed milk and the latte art.

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Cafe Latte | Cappuccino

Instead of walking through a front entrance along Jalan Pinang, I was greeted by a wall. To enter the cafe, one has to enter by the side along Victoria Street which is converted with a deck and some benches. This cafe is housed in one of the many old shop houses in the Kampong Glam area. It has a charcoal grey façade, complete with monochromatic painted planks forming its deck, upping the chic factor of the place more than a couple of notches.

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Seats on the outside are just along the main road, which can get rather hot and dusty. Those seeking the cool comfort of air-conditioned air in hot and humid Singapore will have to share a long communal table inside the cafe. There is some charm in doing so as you get to observe your fellow diners and it is a slightly different experience for Singaporeans, given how many of us are used to simply keeping to ourselves.

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Old used furniture from a clan association adds a retro twist to the interior.

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Some tongue-in-cheek artwork at the doorway reminds us of just how blessed we are to have such an efficient transport system on this little island, yet we see the occasional breakdown as hell on earth. The cup is always half full I guess!

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Walking around the quaint shop houses in the area proves how youth culture has settled so well in a culturally rich area such as Kampong Glam. It has not diluted the cultural aspect one bit; in fact, the two come hand in hand, drawing a rich mix of people to the area, which makes it a brilliant place to people watch or a great place to while away a lazy afternoon.

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I am the baker boy

Passionfruit Meringue Tart recipe

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This is my attempt to delve back into the world of meringue tarts/pies so the next few bakes will pretty much be just this. Yes. Just meringue after meringue after meringue. Oh my. Time to stock up on the eggs and sugar.

This recipe is a combination of 3 different recipes so it’s not exactly easy to pinpoint where I got my inspiration and desire from but I must say Group Therapy Coffee’s passionfruit tart pretty much got me on this meringue spree.

INGREDIENTS: 

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for tart shell
156 g of flour, sifted
1/2 tsp of salt
1/2 tbsp of sugar
113 g of butter, cold and diced
1 egg
1 tbsp of water

for passionfruit flan
1 tablespoon cornstarch
85 g sugar
1 egg
2 egg yolks
62.5 g of passionfruit juice or pulp of 4 passionfruits

for meringue 
113 g of sugar
3 egg whites
30g of water 
1/4 tsp of cream of tartar

RECIPE : 
for tart shell

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ADD flour, salt and sugar in food processor
ADD butter and pulse till crumby
ADD egg and 1 tbsp of water and pulse till ball is formed

FRAISER by pushing dough away with heel of hand and flattening it
FORM into ball
REST in fridge for 30 minutes

ROLL out dough
CUT into shape
SET into muffin tin
USE rice with greaseproof paper as deadweight to prevent middle of dough from rising

BAKE for 25 minutes at 180c

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for passionfruit flan

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ADD all ingredients to a pot and bring under medium heat
COOK till boil (be sure to stir to prevent scrambled eggs!)
COOL mixture

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SPOON onto tart shell

for meringue
WHISK egg whites till 2-3X volume
ADD cream of tartar
BOIL sugar and water till 115C
ADD sugar water mixture to egg whites in needle thin stream
WHISK at medium-high speed while sugar is being added
WHISK at high speed when sugar is completely added
SPREAD over tart + filling

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THE RESULT?
I ended up screwing up the filling so that’s not good. The recipe I am using doesn’t seem to get me a sticky moist passionfruit paste but rather, it gives me a flan. The recipe also has too much egg, in my opinion, thus resulting in a bit of a scrambled egg.

The italian meringue, however turned out amazing well so that’s worth redoing. The tart shell tasted great but it’s shaping and presentation definitely needs some work. I have been watching a lot of TGBB so hopefully I will pick up some tips to work on my baking!

It’s about time for a bake sale don’t you think?

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I am the baker boy

bake sale #1

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Here we have it!

6 different variations // $5 per MINI-LOAF // SELF-collection

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Variations :

  1. Pecan
  2. Rum
  3. Nutella
  4. Peanut Butter
  5. Dark Chocolate Chip
  6. Banana

If you wish to infuse any of the variations, that’s fine too! For e.g,

  1. Rum-Infused D.Choco
  2. Peanut Butter & Nutella
  3. Rum & Pecan


Note: A maximum of 18 loaves will be baked to ensure that quality is not compromised. Sale will end 12 OCT!

To order, email me at amonwong91@gmail.com

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I am the baker boy

Hummingbird Cake recipe

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It is customary for me to do something special for Abby’s birthday yearly. So this year, instead of the usual doorstep surprises and room hijacking, I decided to bake something out of the ordinary for her. The Hummingbird Cake caught my attention after I first tasted the one from Cake Spade. The description of the cake that their website provides also intrigued me, “moist and flavourful, the hummingbird cake….is mostly sweetened with fruits (pineapple, bananas, coconut), you can eat more of it with less guilt! And rumour has it, this cake got it’s name because every bite makes you hum with delight!

A healthy cake. THAT I must try to bake.

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INGREDIENTS :

CAKE

420g (3 cups) all purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
200g (1 cup) white sugar
200g (1 cup) light brown sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
3 eggs, lightly beaten
250 (1 cup) vegetable oil
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
227g (8 oz. can) of crushed fresh pineapple, liquid included
474g (2 cups) chopped ripe bananas
110g (1 cups) pecans, chopped and toasted

FROSTING
15 g of desiccated coconut
190 g of cream cheese
55.5 g of unsalted butter
390 g of icing sugar
1 orange zest

RECIPE : 
PREHEAT oven to 180 c and grease and flour 9-inch cake pans

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PREPARE toasted pecans. ( Chop pecans in small pieces and bake for 10 minutes at 170c. Cool it. )

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WHISK together flour, soda, salt, sugar and cinnamon in a large bowl.

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ADD lightly beaten eggs, oil and vanilla to the dry ingredients and stir until combined.
ADD crushed pineapple and bananas, and stir until combined.
STIR in 1 cup of chopped toasted pecans.

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DIVIDE batter evenly into 3 and bake in order for 25 minutes.

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REMOVE and let cool.

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BEAT creamcheese and butter
ADD icing sugar and BEAT till smooth and fluffy

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ASSEMBLE cake  

To assemble: Gently level cakes using a large serrated knife to remove any mounded tops. Place first layer cut side down and spread frosting & desiccated coconut on top with an offset spatula. Continue with the remaining two layers and then frost the sides. Store in fridge.

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The initial comments I received on its taste is that the banana featured too strongly amongst all the other flavours. The recipe probably needs some tweaking here and there, considering this is my first time doing this.  It’s mainly adapted from Bakerella and DodgyDumpling.

However I am still pretty proud of my creation! Now, what cake should I embark upon next?

SORTED’s Chocolate Cake?

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Coffee Connoisseur, Food Hunter

I Am @ Haji Lane

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A new addition to the already painfully hip Haji Lane area is I Am. I stopped by this small non-airconditioned cafe just off New Bridge Road for a tea time snack, but I believe it has much to offer for main meals.

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The interior of the cafe is kept simple. with a raw white wall, complete with stains, adorned with a simple mural. However this is set to change from the time I visited the cafe!

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Decadent Chocolate | Fries and Mayo

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Decadent Chocolate

Almost all kids love chocolate and the kid I went with was no different. I had initially wanted to try one of their many crepe cakes but she chose this. However, it turned out to be a winner! The cake was moist and melted in our mouths. The chocolate frosting was not cloyingly sweet.

Their fries are served Dutch style, in a paper cone and with mayonnaise on top. Thankfully, these were not frozen fries. Instead, what we got were straight cut fries with bits of potato skin still attached at their tips – testament to the fact that these fries we not processed strips of potato. Crisp on the outside, and fluffy on the inside, these moreish fries were finished in the blink of an eye.

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Iced Latte | Cafe Latte

I have heard that their burgers and mains are excellent as well and would love to return to this month-old cafe soon! If you’re out shopping on Haji Lane, do drop by I Am for a break and a bite!

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Herbed Breadcrumb Chicken Wings recipe

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If you are looking for a quick fix and you happen to have chicken wings at home, why not try this simple recipe? Guaranteed to impress your girlfriends, in-laws and siblings.
INGREDIENTS :

8 chicken mid-joint wings
1 egg
1 tbsp of water
1/3 cup of bread crumbs
1 tsp of basil leaves
1 tsp of italian herbs
1 tsp of coarse black pepper
1/2 tsp of salt

RECIPE : 

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COMBINE bread crumbs, basil leaves, italian herbs, coarse black pepper and salt in bowl
COVER with cling wrap
SHAKE well
BEAT egg and ADD water to another bowl
DUNK chicken wings in egg batter
COAT both sides with breadcrumbs and herb mixture

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GREASE pan with vegetable oil
BAKE in oven at 220c for 30 minutes, turning once

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SERVE HOT.

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Food Hunter

Durian Snowskin Mooncake @ Goodwood Park Hotel

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The Mid-Autumn Festival is a Chinese festival when people get to eat mooncakes as part of the festivities. The mooncakes are traditionally baked with lotus seed paste or red bean paste filling and may contain salted egg yolks. Interestingly, I found out that the sharing of mooncakes among family members signify the unity of families.

Apart from the traditional ones, there are those with different flavours and exotic variations!

I have heard so much about Goodwood Park Hotel’s famous durian snowskin mooncakes but only had my first taste recently when a colleague bought it. Only 1000 boxes are available each year for this durian combo (D88, Red Prawn, ‘Mao Shan Wang’ and Butter).

Being a fan of the king of the fruits, I must say that the amount of durian flesh was really generous and fresh. The skin was soft and not sticky. But by the fourth slice, I was quite full and some hot green tea was required! While the price is a deterrence to some, do give it a try if you have the chance to!

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