Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Every cupcake needs a tier

I'm feeling very excited. So excited that I have to share it with you!

Cocoa & Butterscotch now offers customised cupcake tiers and we just had our first order!

It's for the lovely birthday girl Clara :)

Hi Clara, if you're reading this, here's wishing you a Happy Birthday once again! We really hope you liked the tier.

Here are more photos:

In case you're wondering about the design, well it's original and based on Clara's two favourite colours: blue and white. The birthday tag you see up there is designed by Dot, my favouritest designer in the whole world who happens to be my best friend and baking partner-in-crime! She's awesome - was the one who conceptualised the entire tier actually. Kudos girl!

Here's a shot of the entire tier with a vintage feel (after some colour tweaking). I like it because it makes the blue pop!

And so you must be wondering what are these two girls doing? First they sell cupcakes, cookies and lemon curd, and now they sell cupcake tiers too?

Hey, why not ya? Both of us noticed a surging trend for cupcakes instead of the usual cake. Weddings now order cupcakes and some rather celebrate birthdays with little cuppies. So we thought why not provide a customised cupcake tier option for those of you who order our cupcakes!

It's pretty easy really. Just let us know your prefered colour combinations, what feel you'd like and viola, we will conjure one up for you in no time :D

Of course this option is only for those who order our cupcakes. Seriously, a tier really makes all the difference. I wish I had one for my own birthday! haha...

So, if you have a birthday coming up and would love to have a tier of your own, complete with cupcakes, then email us at cocoabutterscotch@gmail.com

Oh, and you really don't need to wait for a birthday to get one :) These tiers are perfect for afternoon tea parties too.

Do check back on our Cocoa & Butterscotch site for more updates!

Monday, July 30, 2007

My simple, sweet and spicy birthday

I'm a lucky girl, a very happy, satisfied and contented girl who turned 23 yesterday.

So lucky that I ended up with a huge 2kg carrot cake to eat all by myself and that's just what I did.

You know what people say about girls who turn 23? Their appetites grow too and so does their mouths.

That's what happened to me. I made my way through the entire 2kg of carrot cake and ended up with a very happy belly.

And then something interesting happened....

you won't believe me...

a carrot grew out of my ear...



Sorry but I really couldn't help it! Just feel like being silly. Somehow, I think turning 23 is kinda fun - you don't feel too old and you don't feel any younger. I feel the same actually. Maybe wiser and taller than I was at 13? Duh! heh.

But hey, I wasn't lying about the 2kg carrot cake.

The lovely people from Calendar sent me their carrot cake because they had read on my blog about my love for carrot cakes. Apparently their carrot cake is one of the best and I got to try it first hand. My verdict? Darn right they are... those people who rave about their cakes. It's made the typical American way; and owned by an American, no less.

Their carrot cake is moist and chockful of walnuts and raisins; even the cream cheese frosting is delish.

It has only been a day but the cake is slowly disappearing. My family loves it. I had some again for breakfast this morning. They taste really good warm.

I popped mine in the microwave for a while and it's superb. Heard that their apple crumble and apple pies are to die for. Cannot wait to try them!

Thanks Calendar for making my birthday extra special!

So you must be wondering what I ate for my birthday? haha...

Hear this... I had dessert first before having my dinner. :p

Hey, I'm sure you're not surprised! My sis and I were in town and simply couldn't decide what to eat. It's Singapore remember? The food paradise and for me, when given too many choices, I get rather fickle...

We went to Paragon to check out Canele because I had heard alot about it and wanted to check out their macarons (i'm in a total macaron craze right now). Their macarons were sold out though. But we shared a slice of black forest and gateaux chocolat.

Oh my, I tell you the cakes were splendid. Check out the gold foil:

Haha I feel like a queen after ahem eating that bit of gold foil.

Anyway this cake had whole cherries and the cake has kirsch. You should have seen the look on our faces!

The chocolate cake was even better. It was flourless I think.

Simply gorgeous. That's how I'd describe it!

We were so happy with dessert that we walked out of the place with huge smiles.

What about dinner you ask. Haha... we had pasta at Bakerzin. I had the Aglio Olio and sis had the cream mushroom pasta.

The aglio olio had 6 whole chilli padis.

Can you guess what happened to them?

5 ended up in my brave mouth.

Yea, don't you know what a spice queen I am?

But erm, I won't advise you to put all 4 in your mouth at one go. It's dangerous. Trust me. I had a whole spoonful of my sister's cream sauce and it wasn't enough to douse the fire. Tears were trickling down my face. It was seriously fiery but hey, it had that certain kick that I really dig. I'm a daredevil don't you know :D

And so, that's how my birthday went - simple, sweet, and spicy... just the way I like it.

Thursday, July 26, 2007

An Fu Restaurant

Does this scare you???

"Not for the faint-hearted" the email stated.

That disclaimer was quite redundant I thought. Especially since it clearly stated Sichuan. hahaha... not that I would be fazed, but seriously, it only made me look forward to it. The email had a long menu attached to it, most of which just made me curious. Having never experienced authentic Sichuan cuisine, I was more than game.

It was to be a fiery night with a generous amount of peppers and chilli oil.

RED was the colour of the night. Everything looked RED.

I went home with red lips still pounding from the heat and believe me when I say that my lips were still stinging this morning.

This is what you get when you voluntarily indulge in yet another of the deliciously exciting Makansutra gatherings organised by Makansutra forum members. The exuberant K.F. Seetoh was there too. The entire restaurant was filled with us foodies, some of whom are food bloggers like myself.

Perhaps I'll just cut and paste the entire menu here:

Cold dishes:
1) Cold chicken in spicy sauce 口水鸡
2) Sliced pork in garlic sauce 蒜泥白肉
3) Pork tripe in chilli oil 红油肚片
4) Black fungus in Vinegar and ginger sauce 醋姜黑木耳
5) Preserved mixed vegetables 开胃什锦

Hot dishes:
1) Tyrant Crab 霸王花蟹
2) Salt and pepper prawn cake 椒盐虾排
3) Chongqing Fried chicken with dried chilli 重庆辣子鸡
4) Water boiled beef served with plain noodle 水煮牛肉配拌面
5) Hometown style Duck 家乡风味鸭
6) Cold Wok Fish slices 冷锅鱼片
7) Assorted mushroom and fungus in chicken oil sauce鸡油真菌
8 ) Ma Po Dou fu 麻婆豆腐

Water melon with white fungus.银耳西瓜盅

See what I mean? I really didn't know what I got myself into. All I know is that I was going to go with an open mind and empty stomach. Thank God I'm a chilli person. My chilli threshold is rather high.

There are plenty of photos and since almost everything was cooked in Sichuan peppers and peppercorns, it won't make a difference if I try to describe every dish one by one. The food was yummy, though I heard that this wasn't as authentic as it should be. Well well, a Sichuan greenhorn like me won't be able to tell the difference anyway.

Enjoy the photos and if you cannot take spices, I reckon that you just scroll quickly.. haha lest you be frightened by the oily redness. They do use plenty of chilli oil mind you.

People who cannot take chilli should NEVER visit this restaurant. I mean it! hahaha... okay I'll just go ahead and tell you about this person at our table who simply cannot take spices. That poor dude was sweating so much and hardly touched the dishes. I found it hilarious but not in a rude way... haha... oh gosh... I bet he regretted coming.

Anyway, I'll let the photos tell the story...

Cold chicken in spicy sauce

Sliced pork in garlic sauce

Okay, this one.. I have to talk about. The highlight was more to do with the garlic sauce. It's basically this bowl of red chilli oil with minced roasted garlic... Very fragrant and tasty... The pork tasted great with the sauce. Put lots of it on my rice.

Pork tripe in chilli oil

Black fungus in Vinegar and ginger sauce

Preserved mixed vegetables

That which you see is a very webbed duck's foot. I didn't eat the foot but I ate most of the vegetables. The foot looked raw! No way was I going to eat it... Hardly anyone at our table ate it. Well only one but I think he just put it on his plate. haha.

Tyrant Crab

Ahh... this one is HOT. there were sooooo many Sichuan peppers under the crabs. When I was eating it with my bare hands I knew that my eyes would sting when I try to take out my contact lenses from my eyes tonight. This is the bomb.

Salt and pepper prawn cake

A mild dish, this was rather light and easy on the tummy.

Chongqing Fried chicken with dried chilli

Tried to figure out if it was duck or chicken but concluded that it was chicken. The duck one came out soon after and it looked as if they used the same sauce. My duck photo was too blur so didn't put it up.

Water boiled beef served with plain noodle

You cannot see the beef because the thick oily chilli laden soup has covered it! But I like this dish. The beef was tender. The sauce was tasty too. But like I said, there's so much oil.... Half the time we were wonder if the people in Sichuan province really consumed that much oil everyday.

Cold Wok Fish slices

Totally fell in love with the fish. Tender and melts in your mouth. But I made the mistake of drinking the oil. You see that glistening layer on top? Yea that's the oil. I thought it was clear soup. hahaha

Assorted mushroom and fungus in chicken oil sauce

Ma Po Dou fu

This was a tad disappointing. There wasn't enough flavour. Sure it was spicy but it was flat as well. No omph!

Oh the pot sticklers (guo tie) were yummy...

and haha I took the liberty of taking a photo of the chilli oil of one of the dishes so you have a better idea of what I mean when I say oil-laden dishes.

Scared yet?

Here's the harmless dessert:

Water melon with white fungus

Someone actually wondered if the dessert was going to be spicy as well. Haha, I wouldn't be surprised if it were! They served dessert earlier because apparently some peoples' tongues were on fire and needed serious dousing!

Honestly, the food was not that scary. Well to me at least. I thought it could have been spicier. I think I really like Sichuan food. Can't imagine how it must taste like back in their hometown...


An Fu Restaurant
#01-06/07 Balestier Road
Tel: 6254-3266
Open 11:30am to 3am

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Now the KitchenAid rests...

It's 3:05pm on a Sunday dated 22 July and two girls were having lunch at MOS Burger @ Compass Point. Suddenly, one of them looks at the other and suddenly two smiles just broke out.

"We did it!"

Yes we did it. We baked for two whole weeks and packaged God knows how many cupcakes, muffins & cookies. I smelt like cookies and cupcakes for most of the two weeks. And I do think the butter has seeped into my pores. Maybe that's why I feel heavier! This is what happens when you don't have time for lunch and simply feast on your own cupcakes and cookies. Trust me, the smell just calls out to me. But it's okay, I have time to go back to my usual running regime. hahaha....

So how does it feel? Good actually. Both Dot and I are satisfied with the bake sale and we're glad we did it. Honestly, without her help, and constant push I probably wouldn't have lasted the two weeks. I've had two previous bakesales both of which was a solo stint. Now that I have my dear Butterscotch, it's so much more fun. She's not just my lovely assistant but my cheerleader of a friend. I couldn't have asked for a better partner. When it comes to baking, lots of patience is needed! Especially since there's the oven there and you know how edgy people get when it's hot. I know I do. I admit there were times where I just felt agitated for no rhyme or reason. And when that happens, it's good that the people around you understand and remind you of why you're doing this.

This July Bake Sale was Cocoa & Butterscotch's first venture and trust me, there'll be lots more good things to come. In the mean time, I have one small favour to ask of those who bought our baked stuff:

If you're free, drop a comment or email us personally at cocoabutterscotch@gmail.com to tell us what you thought of our cookies, cupcakes, muffins & lemon curd. Feedback is always good! oh yes, and you can always tell us what you like (or not) about the packaging too!

Oh, and THANK YOU for all your support. It was a great pleasure meeting you personally. I'm sorry I couldn't meet you all - but that means you've met Dot :) (that's in case you were wondering). Yea, sometimes when you bake, the oven doesn't have a pause button!

There you have it, a closing post to end our July Bake Sale.

Though we are currently not taking any more orders, we welcome customised orders (ie. weddings) and we're still selling our lemon curd but at a smaller scale - $10 per small bottle.

Take care ya'll and have a fantastic week!

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

bleu & jaune

One week of baking and i'm really feeling it.

and there's still one more week to go!

i'm a perpetual cookie/cupcake scented girl - seriously.

it's getting to me. i haven't had time to run or do much. when i'm not baking, i'm resting. when i'm not doing anything, i'm baking. it's just me, the Brandt oven, a cool white trusty KitchenAid, my two capable hands and Dot.

thank God it's only two weeks.

yea ya, you're wondering, Cheryl! if you cannot 'tahan' (malay for endure) two weeks, how are you going to become an actual pastry chef!

hmmm. good observation.

answer: i don't know!

i'm just taking it as it comes. maybe it's because i don't have industrial-sized equipment. imagine how smoothsailing everything would be if i had huge ovens and huge mixers!?

anyhow, enough day-dreaming. this bakesale, i've sold 3 jars of lemon curd. wonder why it isn't popular. you should taste some. trust me, once you've had a teaspoonful, you'd want an entire jar. try it with some vanilla ice-cream - the result is phenomenal!

Cocoa & Butterscotch do love our blueberries and lemons!

Bleu & Jaune - enchanting both of them!

Do visit our official site: Cocoa & Butterscotch for some beautiful wallpapers designed by Butterscotch (D0t).

Here's a montage of what i mean:

looks untidy here but you should check them all out!

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Bakin' & bakin'

Been baking for 4 days straight but it feels as though I've been baking for weeks!

A typical day begins with me taking the butter out of the fridge at about 7am and me going back to sleep for a bit. I wake at 9am then start to prep the ingredients. The flour gets sifted, the eggs get beaten, the muffin pans get lined and I get my apron and start to get ready for the day ahead.

Surprisingly, things haven't been that hectic. I'm usually done before 6pm. It's been smooth sailing as well - thanks to Dot :) She manages almost all of the packaging. We're pretty satisfied with the way things are going. I've gotten positive feedback about our goods.

But of course, we always appreciate more feedback. So you, if you have bought our stuff and tasted them, please feel free to leave comments ya...

Here's more shots for you to munch on...

Sprinkling crumble topping onto the blueberry muffins.

Man oh man, there's nothing more exciting than exploded blueberry muffins.

Dot and I go ga-ga over them:

I guess their name: Blueberry Burst is befitting!

Then there's our Swirly Whirly Nutella Cupcakes.

I have so much fun doing the swirls. That's the best part :)

I get a kick out of seeing the final product after it gets baked.

There are alot more photos but I'll post them up another time.

For more information, visit my Cocoa & Butterscotch site. We have some cool wallpapers you can download from there too! :)


Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Cocoa & Butterscotch bakin'

Sorry for the lack of updates.

Dot and I have been really busy. Try and imagine two girls trying to bake cookies and cupcakes by the hundreds and you'll understand why I don't have time to blog!

The July Bake Sale has started - the baking I mean.

Last month I collected orders for 5 items and I'm distributing the goods this week and next. It's a huge feat but we'll manage. I'm just glad I'm not alone this time round. Dot has been really patient and really helpful. She's my lovely assistant. Without her help, I think I'd have died. haha. Thanks babe, love ya!

So anyhow, here's some snapshots so you have an idea just what we've been up to:

That's our Skippety Nuts cookie - loads of them.

And here's how our jars look like...

Cocoa & Butterscotch - Together We will make this world a HAPPY, YUMMY place!


All right, back to the kitchen to slave over the hot oven and my aunt's beautiful dutiful KitchenAid.


Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Chocolate Cupcakes

Don't they look like they just jumped off the pages of a whimsical children's book? Well I think so.

Was baking cupcakes for a bbq gathering with some of my old school mates from poly and thought I could experiment a little. It won't hurt anyway, I mean if the cupcakes turned out horrible, at least I won't be sued! :P

So anyway, I realised I have been baking plenty of vanilla cupcakes and no chocolate ones. Then I felt like making some, so Dot & I did a google search and found the most yummy chocolate cupcake recipe ever.

Why yummy? I totally love the texture of these cupcakes. They're springy to the touch and really soft and moist. It was just nice. I was too lazy to make some chocolate ganache so I frosted these beauties with Nutella and topped it off with a cute little 'knob'.

I'm sure it won't take long for you to guess what's that 'knob'. I think it upped the 'cuteness' of these cupcakes. I know, it's nothing compared to those elaborate and delicate designs we find on cupcakes these days. Well, I'm no cupcake queen I have to admit so I'd rather stick to simple raw designs.

They are Maltesers by the way! I think they looked good on my cupcakes - they complemented each other. The cupcakes were a hit and I baked them again the next day for another bbq I attended and whaddyaknow, they were wiped out pretty fast too!

I got the recipe from the Joy of Baking website and you can find the recipe here: Joy of Baking's Chocolate Cupcake Recipe. Simply click on that link! Have fun ya?


Here's a little note to those who bought stuff from the bake sale...

Cocoa & Butterscotch thank all for their kind support and we're in the midst of consolidating ALL orders and will start baking very soon. So please be patient and try to confirm the collection dates if you haven't already. Thank you so much! We love you!

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