Monday, 12 September 2011


These pink roses were baked specially for my childhood friend Wai Leng, who celebrates her birthday today. Wai Leng and I have been friends since we were in kindergarten.  We even shared the same classrooms in primary, and most of secondary school.  Not many friendships make it this far.  I cherish what we have.

When I was in Taipei last month, I bought a book by Pierre Herme,  In it is a recipe for Cake Ispahan.  As soon as I saw it, I knew it would be perfect with my new Nordic Ware Sweetheart Rose Cast Aluminium Non-stick Muffin Pan.

The startling combination of raspberries and scent of rose petals make my little sponge cakes clear winners.  I wonder, however, if the book was really written by Pierre Hermé himself because the Cake Isphan in the PH Paris website looks nothing like the one featured in the book!

A side story:  I was whisking egg whites at the dining room table when a fairly large wasp, obviously attracted by the scent of rose essence, flew into our apartment.  Curiously enough it only hovered close to my left shoulder for about 2 seconds then moved into the living room where it was spotted by my parents.  My mother went up in arms, rolling up the magazine she was reading, baton-like, to hit the poor thing with.  The insect, sensing impending doom, fled through the living room window.  It its haste to get way, it didn't fly out.  Rather, it kinda slid off the window ledge and plunged outside.  I hope it won't ever make its way back up 35 floors!

Happy birthday, Wai Leng!  How many friendships truly last a lifetime? 我们要把友情进行到底,知道吗?

Sunday, 4 September 2011


Ever since I read Carole Walter's recipe for Brioche Buns with Dried Pears and Camembert I couldn't get the combination of creamy Camembert, toasted walnuts and candied pears infused with orange and cardamom out of my head.   I think about it everyday but I cannot make it - I haven't got dry pears! 

In our local supermarket there is abundance of dried mango, pineapple, banana, cranberries and once I even came across dried kiwi fruit but no dried pears!  I looked in all the local supermarkets but no avail.  I became obsessed with my search.  I went into depression.  My world stopped spinning. No, nothing else could substitute. Downright silly, I know. 

Then in July, my coworkers Soph and Venna headed off to Sydney to attend a client meeting and yes, they brought me back a small packet of dried pears!  Finally I can make Dried Pears and Camembert Loaves. 

I think I've done those dried pears justice.