for the love of bread!

Yes I know I sound like a broken record, playing on and on annoyingly about how much I love carbohydrates in the form of bread. But yet I think I can’t stress enough how much I enjoy it. Well, I suppose like life, the things that we enjoy eating or our gastronomical indulgences, or perhaps addictions, come in phases. I remember when I was really young I loved eating chye tow kway (fried carrot cake in dark soy sauce with lots of egg) so much that my mum bought it for my breakfast every morning. Until I got sick of it that is. It happened suddenly, one morning when I was eating it as usual and all of a sudden I felt sick in my stomach, like it became too greasy and overwhelming that if I were to take another bite of it I would retch and empty the contents of my stomach entirely.

Isn’t that strange how our body sends such obvious signals but yet they happen in a flash, taking us off-guard? Life does that to us too.

Then in another phase of my life, I loved char siew rice, maybe it wasn’t the rice that I enjoyed so much but the char siew, nicely-roasted pork with the edges slightly burnt and crispy, yet still retaining the juiciness, tenderness and moisture of the meat. The same thing with the fried carrot cake didn’t happen here, because obviously I didn’t eat char siew rice on a daily basis, but now I am not such a big fan of it. I don’t mind having it on and off, but I won’t die without it. Same goes for carrot cake, I can eat it now without feeling the urge to puke, but it has been sometime since I last ate it.

So, with that, I really wonder how long it would be before I get sick of bread. Even for coffee, there was this recent phase where I drank a cup of the local coffee, or as we tend to call it kopi c (siew dai for me), but then one morning my body decided it had enough of this routine, with the same signals with fried carrot cake, so I changed my morning beverage. But coffee still figures as a big part of my life, though on some days I try to curb my intake. However, it is always nice to receive a dose of caffeine decorated with some latte art.

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And pardon the look of this sandwich. It actually looks like a burger because of the bread used, and I cut a part of it out to eat before I remembered to take a picture. There was no way I was going to be able to bring this up to my mouth and take a bite from it due to its sheer height but funnily I always eat my sandwiches by taking them apart. This is a rosemary chicken sandwich on walnut bread, my current favourite bread type. 20130327-090323.jpg

The same question came back to me too, whether I get sick of people after a while, or vice versa. I guess, since we can get sick of the kinds of things we eat, the things we do, the routines we keep, by the same measure, this would also apply on people right? I know I rant a lot about things that I always say are beyond my control and despite that I still go on (again like a broken record) about how helpless I feel about situations and the likes. I can’t expect that the people around me won’t get sick at some point about this ceaseless tirade that will just amplify any negative energy all around. So yes, I realise too that it does come to a point where I don’t meet up with some friends anymore because they would have gotten tired, and grown weary so much so that they would not look forward to each meet-up because it would just be another complain session.

There was this episode in my past where I felt wronged for being forgetful; I was being called out on something I said which I evidently did not remember at that instant, and I considered about how unfair it was that something I said that I don’t recall was being used against me. Going by the same vein, I shouldn’t too hold someone against what they said in the past, whether they meant it or not, or what their words meant. Things like, “I will always be…” and so on and so forth. Words are just words, without actions they don’t mean anything at all, not anymore.

sweet indulgences

 

Back from the weekend! Actually I was already back at work on Monday, but was not really in the mood to write because I was just too tired recovering from the weekend. And I did pen a post but thought to just leave it in draft for the moment, like many others that I have written and not eventually hit the “Publish” button.

The weather has indeed taken on a rainy turn lately. Despite that at times we still feel the mugginess of the air due to the humidity when rainfall isn’t enough or it simply is something we cannot run away from in tropical Singapore, there are times when it was slightly cooler. In fact, there were moments when I actually felt cold and those were the best times when we the citizens of this tropical isle can finally consider more varied forms of dressing in terms of layers, which mostly I choose not to because it just isn’t practical, not unless I want my clothes to be soaked in perspiration and with me swimming in pools of perspiration or melting into a pool of such. Not a very nice sight to be imagined, so I shall spare everyone the grotesque images before they start in your minds.

Over the weekend, we had rather cool weather too! It was such a blessing because just last weekend I recalled traipsing in the heat from Suntec City to the pit building and then back to Millenia Walk, which pretty much had me close to internal combustion. On one cool afternoon after yoga, I decided to give myself a treat, something I think I have been doing too much lately and should probably cut down before the Christmas indulging begins. Or maybe this is an early start to it.

Cedele has a tea break or whatever-they-call-it cake promotion in the afternoons (frankly I am not too sure about the time limit restriction because I had this before in the evenings too), where for S$7.80 you get to have a slice of their wonderful cake and a cup of coffee or tea. Usually, I top up the excess to “upgrade” my coffee to a latte so typically it works out to be S$9. Is it cheaper than if I purchase them separately? I should think so. So on this one afternoon, after having their Red Velvet the last time, I reverted to my usual choice of the Carrot Walnut cake. I just love the walnut bits that coat the side of the cake because of the crunchiness that it lends to contrast against the soft moist spongey cake. I shall really be more resolute in trying out the other cake flavours the next time, perhaps on the next indulgence trip to Cedele. This weekend? Lol.

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On to more sweetness. One stormy afternoon after lunch with the colleagues, we discovered that Starbucks has this festive food item displayed in its glass display with the tag “Toffee Nut Muffin”. Well well well, isn’t this something exciting? To me at least, since every Christmas season, I never fail to become an even more regular patron of Starbucks to get fat on their Christmas drinks such as the Toffee Nut Latte. I thought this was new so I made a mental note to check it out during the weekend… and I did just that.

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From the looks of it, you can’t really tell that it should be a toffee nut muffin, not that I know what to expect how one would look like anyway, but after the first few bites into it, I was sorely disappointed because it tasted just like any other muffin. I would have preferred the banana muffin, blueberry muffin or something that is among the usual menu offering. In the centre of the muffin, you can find what I would think is toffee nut filling, but to me, it just tastes like some fruit pieces. I don’t know how toffee nut in its original form is supposed to taste like but it just feels very different from the toffee nut latte (which of course I didn’t have the two together because I thought I’d have overdosed on sweetness). So, no more toffee nut muffin for me.

And I spotted my very first Christmas tree on Sunday! Ok, I think I haven’t really been out much because apparently trees are going up in many places since we are already into November and Christmas is just less than 2 months away, and a colleague sent a picture of the giant Takashimaya tree that is already erected in the atrium of Ngee Ann City. I am partial to trees that stray from the usual norm of green pine trees with orange lights, etc., so this one in white, or those blue-lit ones, always appeal to me more. Of course, I like most trees but there have been some I have spotted before which were disappointing examples.

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And off the topic of the Christmas trees, these cardboard (or whatever material they are made of) sunflowers dotting the grass patches outside Raffles Place MRT station make for a cheery day! Hopefully they will brighten up the day of those office workers in the CBD!

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Christmas, I can’t wait for it to come but wish these two months will take longer to pass, because I really want to savour the year-end festive mood and revel in the sometimes-cheesy yuletide songs playing in the shopping malls. It is a great season for meet-ups and catch-ups, and yes who can forget about Christmas shopping? It is the perfect excuse, erm no, reason, to buy gifts (cough, for myself)!

Red Velvet at Cedele, Singapore

 

I have always read of and heard of people raving about all things red velvet, cakes, cupcakes and so on. But believe it or not, I have never really tried it. For some weird reason, I thought the cake looks weird, maybe because of its colouring or because given a choice between red velvet and carrot cake with the same cream cheese frosting, at cafes like Cedele, it is almost a no-brainer for me that I’d pick the latter because I like carrot cake, especially with its side coated with bits of walnut. I love the nuts more than the frosting itself, because most of the times, the cheese gets too overwhelming that I would end up scrapping them off and leaving a messy pile of frosting on my plate.

I don’t know what came over me one day, that I decided to give a try anyway. I was at Cedele one evening with my friend and was pondering what I should have, and chose the red velvet over the carrot cake. The latter comes in a larger serving size and perhaps I wasn’t feeling too up to it for such a large dosage of cake. It was apparent too in my choice of beverage, a black coffee. 

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So what’s my verdict of the cake? It didn’t taste as weird as I thought it would, after all it is a cake, how odd can it taste? I read on Cedele’s website that they used natural red vegetable juice to make theirs, whereas I read on wiki that in some versions they use beetroot. That would be interesting, because even though beetroot in its raw form can have a taste that leans more towards the ‘acquired’ type, chilled beetroot juice is actually quite nice, or so I remember. This cake wasn’t too bad, as with most Cedele cakes. The inside was moist, and actually the frosting here is vanilla cream, which was not as overwhelming as the carrot walnut’s. Not too bad a choice for me, so I can consider this in future too when I have a cake craving!

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gula melaka pandan

Following the recent Apple Caramel cake that I got from Cedele for Mothers’ Day celebration, I have now added a fourth cake flavour that I have tried from Cedele. I decided to stick to the safe choice to buy a cake from Cedele (again I know) since it has been validated by the people at home.

Somehow it was another one of those days that I was rushing from place to place and trying to do as many things as possible while lugging a huge sack of things about town. Totally unglam and all, but well I don’t exactly have an image to maintain so to speak, so there is really nothing to lose, dressing sloppily to head to town and doing things that just exacerbate this less-than-stellar appearance. As long as I don’t run into my cousin and risk embarrassing her.

The Cedele outlet at Ngee Ann City is seriously understaffed, or the staff are just not adept to handling a slightly busier day. Despite there being numerous staff members behind the counter, and with just a few customers distracting them with different requests (to buy cake, to enquire about other stuff, etc.), they totally ignored me after telling me to check out the cake display counter. So I went to Wheelock Place instead and started panicking a little when I found out they didn’t have many selections available.

Of course the one recommended by them was the bestseller, i.e. the Carrot Walnut cake, however since this is again going to be something that people of different age groups are going to eat, I didn’t want to buy something that is too overwhelming since this was meant to be just dessert. They didn’t have the Blueberry cake available and although I thought of taking the Apricot Almond/Orange cake, the store manager (I assume) suggested the Gula Melaka Pandan cake.

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I was a bit iffy in picking this because gula melaka to me just connotes extreme sweetness, which is also not something I would like personally. But he assured me this was another popular choice among customers, and since there really was not much choice left, I settled for this eventually.

Conclusion, this is really not too bad! The pandan taste was evident but not too strong and overpowering, and surprisingly it really wasn’t that sweet! The outer coating of the cake was coconut if I remember correctly, however all the tastes did not drown out the tastes of the others and instead complimented one another rather well. All the rest who ate it felt it was ok too. So this choice was a successful one! Or maybe it’s just a conspiracy to have me being the official cake-buyer in future. Oh well, as long as they appear to enjoy it, I don’t mind being the one to buy it. I just need to have more ideas and suggestions where and what cakes to buy.

 

we love cake!

More accurately put, I love cakes. Yes I do, even if these days I don’t indulge in them as much. Where food is concerned, I think it really depends on my mood what I feel like having, but I have come to realise I have a sweeter tooth than I previously thought; I am a more sweet than savoury food kind of person, judging by the sweet pastry stuff that I frequently crave.

There isn’t any particular kind of cake or cake shop that I fancy but I used to love cheesecakes a lot. For obvious health and weight reasons it is not the everyday kind of cake that we can have, besides after a while, chesecake gets too overwhelming and then they lose their appeal.

Recently for Mother’s Day I was tasked with buying a cake that would suit my sis-in-law’s ‘dietary’ requirements, since she is still in confinement after birthing my cute little nephew, so I was racking my brains on what cake to get. I don’t mind when I am asked to get food or other stuff but I really don’t like getting things that nobody wants to have later on. It feels nice to get something that people appreciate, so it makes it really difficult when you ask what they would like to have and the answer you always get is “Anything”. At least this time I had some clearer specifications.

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Finally settled on Cedele since that was one of the first shops I came across when I popped by Raffles City. I have only tried a couple of their cakes before and liked them a lot. Besides, their claim of using organic ingredients, etc., kind of made me sold that this should be an ok choice for her and the rest of the folks.

Anyway last year during the sisters’ gathering for our third anniversary, we also got a cake from Cedele, the Blueberry Maple cake, and the group loved it. I am a big blueberry fan so it wasn’t hard to convince me but I think the others enjoyed it too. Plus the shaved almonds coating the side of the cake, what’s there not to love?!

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So for Mothers’ Day Cedele was having a special cake, the Apple Caramel cake, which after looking through its ingredients and confirming with the staff, didn’t contain things that my sis-in-law can’t take, so I bought this, the last available one for that day. It has sea salt cream cheese coating on the outside of the cake and the top was sprinkled with oatmeal and lined with dried cranberries. Although made of apple and containing caramel, the cake didn’t taste too sweet, maybe it was balanced out by the cream cheese coating, or maybe because I only requested for a very small slice since this was a dessert after a big take-out dinner at my bro’s.

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Besides the Blueberry Maple and the Apple Caramel (which happens to be just a one-off, since I can’t find it on Cedele’s website), the only other cake I have tried is the Carrot Walnut cake, which is typically what I order together with coffee if I am at Cedele and have a cake craving. This is really nice but somehow I think one slice is a little too much for one person to really enjoy; after maybe halfway through I start to feel the cream cheese is filling me out although I suspect that could be a subconscious effort to stop the calorie count from the frosting!

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I really detest Mondays.

we are young. or so we hope to be.

Special edition Apple Caramel cake. Spot the dried cranberries and it’s sea-salt cream cheese coating on the cake. Extremely yummy but equally sinful. Good things seldom come in healthy proportions.

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Kronenbourg Blanc was dry. Kronenbourg 1664 doesn’t taste as good but we have to make do at some point. Grimbergen Blanche comes close but is nevertheless still different. Less fruity and tastes like any other weiss bier methinks.

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Hello porkys and hello late-night carbo-loading. Still one of the best bar grub ever. Second to shoe-string fries, if they are not deep-fried in oil that is too old. Not really a chicken wing person but I can acquiesce sometimes.

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cakes and such

I am quite a big fan of cakes and pastries, more so than any other type of foods, so that will probably rank me together with the general female populace who love desserts and sweets.

That said, I don’t have particularly critical taste buds where my favourite foods are concerned, because from experience I have found that I enjoy what most stores have to offer and seldom ever have too-harsh words for the foods they serve, unless it’s really bad. I believe that most chefs, whether they are gourmet chefs, bakers, or the likes, put care and love into the food they create, so it is only right that we give them the due appreciation.

Cedele is some place that I go to for their all-day breakfast, where most of the time I’d order their blueberry (I love blueberries for some strange reasons) pancakes. The pancakes aren’t the best I’ve had, especially when I am no pancake expert and don’t actually love pancakes that much to eat them often, but they are decent because the batter isn’t too dense to make the pancake overwhelming; I can finish what is served without feeling like my stomach is going to burst from too much flour. The blueberries that are mixed in with the batter probably help to ease the mundane flour taste of a pancake.

Another reason for visiting Cedele is the carrot walnut cake. For a period of time, I was going bananas (or carrots) over carrot cake. I think I’m deluding myself but it seemed like a healthier choice as compared to say, cheesecake (another type of cakes that I love but for obvious reasons I can’t eat them as often as I would have liked). So for a period of time, I was eating carrot cake at various cafes about town. Cedele’s version is one that I liked, because it is encrusted with walnuts, and things like walnuts, cashews or almonds are sure ways to make me favour something because nuts are also something I enjoy (so what is it that I don’t enjoy anyway). The cream-cheese frosting makes it even nicer than it already is, but having said that, I can’t finish one slice of the cake ordered on my own without feeling bloated at the end of it, so it’s good to share.

Just recently, my friends and I celebrated an anniversary. Before anyone starts protesting why I celebrate anniversaries with this group of friends and not others, well for a simple reason, we all met at the same time in a same medium, so it was easy to identify a date as the day when we first met. It’s something like a couple’s anniversary because the date is fixed. If there were no fixed dates then it makes it hard to celebrate unless it’s like a general celebration of sorts that yes, we’ve known each other for x number of years.

So we thought that we’d get a cake for the occasion, and we were honestly at a loss when we got to Parkway Parade. My initial idea was not to just get a cake from any café but probably something from a proper cake shop, but we had limited choices so since there was a Cedele and the cakes do look good in the display Cedele it was then. Since I’d only tried Carrot Walnut and it seemed like too much of an overkill in addition to the food that we were going to be having, we asked for other options and was recommended the Blueberry Maple cake.

It was a pretty good recommendation from the store because I rather liked the sponginess of the cake that wasn’t too heavy even though it’s supposedly made from wholewheat. But I found the layer of maple syrup frosting to be a tad sweet. I know I said I love desserts and sweets but sometimes sugar overload can be too much for me to bear as well. However, since I am so fond of blueberries, that is something that I can let slide easily, especially when it’s a layer that I can easily scrap off or mingle with the rest of the cake to eat. All this is making me want to eat cake all of a sudden.