READ THIS: VOLUME 5

Why is Divergent worth a watch? There’s action, (a) hot man/men (depending on how you like them) and a non-annoying heroine!

I LOVED this article on how to live well without spending too much. A timely reminder for an already expensive 2014!

This write up about the contradictions of what millennials eat and drink cracked me up. I’m also basically guilty of doing/thinking all those things.

SO awkward. I love it.

Apparently there are 3 different attachment types when it comes to relationships.  Secure, Anxious, and Avoidant. Guess which one I am?? You can pigeonhole yourself here.

Want condensed news so you never look a fool in public again? Subscribe to The Skimm. WARNING: A little too US centric.

Secrets about flying. I don’t know if I find this interesting or if it’s just making me more anxious.

Shhh don’t tell anyone but I’ve been thoroughly enjoying these 2 wedding blogs: Style Me Pretty and 100 Layer Cake.

And finally – there’s a reason why Pharrell’s “Happy” makes us happy.

SO LET’S DANCE.

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READ THIS: VOLUME 4

When you are sick – there is nothing to do except feel sorry for yourself and drink soup.

OR you could feel sorry for yourself, make soup AND a grilled cheese.

Grilled Cheese and Tomato Soup
You KNOW what I’m sayin’.

So, Cuddle Parties? They’re a thing. And they’re now in Singapore.

Being sick has meant time at home to rediscover old TV favorites, like New Girl. I don’t have strong opinions about Zooey Deschanel (except her hair is AMAZING) but it might interest you that the carefree/zany/beautiful women that she typically portrays have a name – Manic Pixie Dream Girls.

Next time you want fancy take-out – consider hitting up PS Cafe Petit at Tiong Bahru. The PS Bolognese Pizza is yums. One tip though – get your wine elsewhere.

I watched Philomena last night – you know that Oscar nominated movie that didn’t win anything (apart from American Hustle) – and it was lovely. A very tightly told story which made it effective.

BTW going to bootcamp with friends is a really fun way to hang out. Especially love/dread battle rope!

Chocolate Cupcakes with Coconut Frosting

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I had never made cupcakes IN. MY. LIFE.

I think the idea that they’re finicky and time consuming and so impractical just made me shy away from them.

Sometimes there are occasions that call for them.

So sometimes, you have to suck it up and make them.

And then sometimes you’re surprised because THEY’RE SO DAMN TASTY THAT YOU’RE PRETTY SURE ITS TASTIER THAN ANY CUPCAKE YOU’VE EVER BOUGHT. Like actually.

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Cupcakes (makes 24)
2/3 cup cocoa powder
1 tsp baking soda
1 cup boiling water
1/2 cup butter, melted
1/3 cup vegetable or canola oil
1 3/4 cups granulated sugar
1 1/2 tsps vanilla extract
3/4 tsp salt
2 eggs
2 egg yolks
1/2 cup heavy cream
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour

Coconut Frosting
1 cup salted butter, at room temperature
1/4 cup coconut milk (I use the Ayam brand coconut milk)
1 tsp coconut extract
4 cups powdered sugar

Coconut Topping
1/2 cup shredded coconut
1 Tbsp powdered sugar
1 1/2 tsps vegetable oil
2 tsps water

Cupcakes
Preheat oven to 175C/350F.

In a large heat proof mixing bowl, whisk together cocoa powder and baking soda. Carefully pour in boiling water and whisk until bubbling subsides and mixture is well blended, allow to cool for 5 minutes.

In another large mixing bowl, blend together melted butter, vegetable oil, granulated sugar, vanilla and salt until well combined. Beat hard. The original recipe calls for a hand mixer. I don’t have one.

Stir in eggs and eggs yolks, mixing just until combined after each addition.

Blend in lukewarm cocoa mixture and then blend in heavy cream.

Slowly mix in flour and blend until combined.

Divide batter among 24 paper lined muffin cups and bake in preheated oven until toothpick inserted into center comes out clean, about 18 to 20 minutes.

Remove from oven and allow to cool in muffin tins before removing to plate to cool. Cool completely then frost with coconut frosting.

Gently roll each frosted cupcake with coconut topping.

Store in the fridge.

Coconut Frosting
Whip together butter and coconut milk as fast as you can until combined. You’re aiming for it to look pale and fluffy. But you know you’re not a machine (see the I don’t have a hand mixer note above) so do your best.

Blend in coconut extract.

Add in powdered sugar and mix vigorously until blended and fluffy.

Coconut Topping**
Whisk dried coconut and powdered sugar together.

Combine the vegetable oil and water in a small bowl.

Pour the liquid ingredients over the sugared coconut. Whisk to combine.

Let the mixture sit for 10 minutes. Stir the mixture once or twice to turn it over.

Use!

*Cupcake recipe adapted from Cooking Classy.
**Coconut topping method taken from Live Strong because I don’t think we get sweetened coconut in Singapore.

***Photography for this blog post is courtesy of Hoi Yee (see more of her work at paper_shins).

READ THIS: VOLUME 3

Cilantro Lime Hummus

 

If you’re in the Tiong Bahru area please go shop at Foodie Market. They have cheap(er) cheeses, salmon, frozen fruit, meat and THINGS. Just go. Ok so I went to the Foodie Market, where I bought cannellini beans, so I can now make the famazing looking Cilantro Lime White Bean Hummus pictured above. Consolidated Cafe List in Singapore. You’re welcome. Things you should stop worrying about in your 20s! Cliche BUT some are especially true. Esp the bit about losing touch with some friends. And get over your FOMO already. Forgive me for another list post – but this Disney gif list of things you learned in your twenties is TOO cute. And here are the MOST FATTENING FOODS on the planet. I need me some super premium ice-cream stat. I’m planning on buying either an IKEA RAST or TARVA chest of drawers and then hacking it so it looks like this or this. Who wants to help? So that viral First Kiss video is basically a staged ad – this video on the other hand, isn’t. This one’s more awkward – but it’s also sexier and I think there’s – more tongue???

Bibingka

Bibingka
Bibingka

I am like an honorary Filipino (as declared by me).

I mean I visited the Phillippines. Once.

I ate balut. And liked it.

I ate halo-halo and buko pandan. And LOVED it.

So when I came across this recipe on The Kitchn – I was all – Hello, Hi there, I think we should meet.

So I called upon the help and experience of my true, blue Filipino friends, Gi and Mitchie to make this desert.

The real Bibingka is made in a makeshift oven to give it a smoky flavor. It takes a very long time. So people generally just buy it from the market.

This version, thankfully, is relatively simple to make, and you can get all the ingredients at any grocery store.

Ok I’m lying, you need to make one trip to Lucky Plaza for the macapuno.

1 packet (200 ml) coconut milk
1 can (397 gm) sweetened condensed milk
1/2 cup butter, melted
3 eggs
1 (12 oz) jar macapuno coconut strings in heavy syrup
2 cups rice flour
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
2 Tbsps finely chopped almonds
1/2 Tbsp vanilla extract
Ground cinnamon

Preheat oven to 190C/375F.

Line a 13 by 9 pan with parchment paper. Grease the pan. We didn’t and regretted it.

In a large bowl, beat the coconut milk, condensed milk, and melted butter until combined.

Add eggs, one at a time, and beat until combined.

Add the jar of macapuno strings.

Gradually beat in the rice flour.

Stir in the brown sugar and chopped almonds.

Add the vanilla extract and stir until combined.

Pour batter into pan.

Bake until brown, about 30 to 40 minutes. We went overboard and baked it for 45 because I forgot to factor in that we were using a smaller pan/scaled down recipe. Don’t tell Gi and Mitchie.

Sprinkle cinnamon evenly over the cake and let cool.

Once cool – cut and EAT.

Store in an airtight container at room temperature for 1 to 2 days or in the refrigerator for 1 to 2 weeks.

*This Bibingka tastes like the sweet potato kuih, found in Singapore and Malaysia.

Cocoa Brownies

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This week was a bit of fail week in the DiniBlini kitchen.

I tried to make carrot cake and it looked amazing.

 

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It tasted? Not so amazing. Think too cheesy frosting, like BAD cheesy.

Then there was this lemon-blackberry cake which was awesome in theory, but exploded and had a faint aftertaste of oil. TASTY.

I needed a win.

These brownies made it happen.

10 Tbsps / 1 1/4 sticks / 140 gms unsalted butter
1 1/4 cups sugar
3/4 cups plus 2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
1/4 tsp salt
1 tsp instant espresso powder
1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
2 cold large eggs
1/2 cup all-purpose flour

Position a rack in the lower third of the oven and preheat the oven to 165C/325F.

Line the bottom and sides of an 8-inch square baking pan with parchment paper or foil and butter.

Combine the butter, sugar, cocoa, and salt in a medium heatproof bowl and set the bowl in a wide pan of barely simmering water. Stir from time to time until the butter is melted and the mixture is well combined.

Remove the bowl from the pan and set aside briefly until the mixture is only warm, not hot. Stir in espresso powder and vanilla.

Add the eggs one at a time, stirring vigorously after each one.

When the batter well blended add the flour and stir until you cannot see it any longer. At this point the original recipe tells you to beat it 40 times. So you know. Do that.

Spread in the lined pan.

Bake until a skewer plunged into the center emerges slightly moist with batter, 25 to 30 minutes. But honestly just watch these brownies. Original recipe said 5 minutes less.

Let cool completely before cutting.

*Adapted from Alice Medrich’s Best Cocoa Brownies on Food52.
** Photography for this blog post was courtesy of my very talented friend Hoi Yee – you can see more of her work on Instagram.