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Shinji by Kanesaka.

Wednesday 19th Jul 2017 Noon.

I met Flo for my ‘surprise’ lunch that he had made a reservation for. I had a little inkling as to where we were going to go but wasn’t entirely certain. We met at City Hall station and headed towards Carlton Hotel. There I guessed we were going for Japanese. Then I narrowed it down to Shinji. I was right!!!!

The restaurant only opens at 12pm on the dot so since we were a couple minutes early, we I took some wefies of me and my beau.

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Shinji is actually an extension of Chef Shinji Kanesaka’s 1-Michelin Star Edo-style sushi restaurant in Tokyo. Only omakase menus are offered to ensure that the freshest, seasonal produce are served at their highest quality. Of course, I expected great things, especially since Flo had visited before and always gushed about how great the food at Shinji is.

We both opted for the smallest Setsugetsuka Sushi Course Menu – Hana, which consisted of 9 pieces of Nigiri Sushi, one dish of Maki, Soup and a Dessert. I was a little apprehensive about how much rice I’d have to consume, but overall, I was excited.

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We were seated around a 17-seat counter where we could see the sushi chefs at work as they deftly sliced through lovely fillets of raw fish, moulded sushi rice into small mounds, and carefully wiped their benches and our serving plates after each course. It was a clinical operation that flowed so artfully.

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The prelude to our Hana Set began with Seared Maguro. This was light on the palate and the subtle smokiness from the sear highlighted the cleanness of the tuna.

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Moving on to the Nigiris, we were first served Hamachi (Yellowtail). I’ve always heard, but never tried, that proper nigiri should be eaten with warm rice. It was the perfect mouthful – the grains of sushi rice were lightly packed yet still held well together, warm and pleasing to the tongue and topped with a beautiful slice of the delicate-flavoured fish.

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The Ika Nigiri was the next to grace our palate. Never have I ever had a slice of squid so soft and so creamy before. It was a delightful surprise and surely not one that I will easily find elsewhere at this level. It was served with a hint of wasabi and a single drop of freshly squeezed lime juice that brought the entire piece of nigiri to life.

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So Flo actually knows that I’m generally not so much a tuna fan than a salmon fan. When Chef asked if we had any dislikes, we both said we didn’t. Thank God for that! Our lunch ended up comprising of a fair number of tuna courses and I’m glad I didn’t dismiss the tuna so quickly because I ended up developing quite a fondness for it.

I’ve only bothered to have Maguro tuna which is the leanest cut. Hence, it was my first time eating Chutoro, which is semi-fatty tuna. It was definitely a step up from Maguro in terms of its soft, luxe texture. But then…

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Ōtoro made its appearance and lordy Lord! This was even more luxurious than the Chutoro since it comes from the fatty part of the tuna. See how handsomely marbled this slice of ōtoro is? This practically melted in my mouth and disappeared far too quickly, as with all wonderful things.

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Our trio of tuna made way for the Aji (Horse Mackerel) Nigiri which was topped with a chiffonade of aromatic Shiso. The tiniest, pea sized dollop of herbaceousness served to accentuate the sweet freshness of the fish

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I quite enjoyed this Flying Fish with Tobiko Gunkan Maki. I loved the tiny bursts of the tobiko with inflections of shiso against the still-crisp seaweed, and soft, yielding sliced fish that gave for a balanced textural contrast in this mouthful of yum.

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The Maguro-Zuke, shoyu-marinated tuna, was nicely executed – not too salty and perfectly complemented by the seasoned rice beneath.

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I love me my prawns and this Tiger Prawn Nigiri was deliciously sweet, thoughtfully cut into two pieces because I’m a lady and couldn’t possibly fit the entire prawn into my mouth. #thatswhatshesaid

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Now, this. THIS turned out to be my favourite of the lot! This Negitoro was sublime! As soon as the last of it slid down my throat, I turned to Flo and said “I think I’ve just had an epiphany!”. It was just so amazingly creamy with its richness cut by the presence of very finely chopped Asatsuki Chives.

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Our final piece of Nigiri was the Anago (Sea Eel). Unlike the unagi which is often served slathered in sweet teriyaki sauce, this was a lot more toned down with a swift brush of sweet soy glaze. It was topped with sudachi zest which gave a slightly bitter tang against the salty-sweet of the eel.

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After the excitement and dynamism of the nigiri courses, the tune of our meal mellowed down to present to us the humble Maguro Tuna Maki, with sweet, crunchy, Pickled Radish, and the most custardy, lightly sweetened piece of Tamago I have ever had.

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To wash everything down, we were served a bowl of this clear broth made from boiling tuna bones. It was light, yet rich in flavour, and boasted an incredibly fluffy, delicate, almost falling-apart-in-your-mouth tuna ball.

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Our meal ended with a light, refreshing dessert of Orange Jelly with Kiwi and Grapes, topped with a Raspberry Red Wine Sauce. In all its simplicity, I appreciated how it came to be the perfect two-bite dessert to see us off. As with our entire lunch, it was unpretentious yet bold in highlighting the quality of ingredients used. Like a ballet performance, this sweet was like a graceful bow signalling that the finale had come to a close.

Needless to say, this was one of the best Japanese meals I have had. My tastebuds have been thoroughly spoilt and it’s certainly going to be no easy feat to surpass the level at which the food at Shinji was prepared and served. Sushi – so seemingly simple to make, but so great a skill is required in order to compose it into a singular, perfect, mouthful. The impeccable service and constant replacements of our cups of hot green tea ensured that our meal from beginning to end went without a hitch.

Thank you Flo, for yet another wonderful culinary experience with you. And because it was with you, lunch was that extra bit more delicious and memorable!

Cookies and Cookies.

It’s been a while since Cookies graced my kitchen. I’m a bit of a snob in that I look at cookies and think that cookies are cookies, so there’s not much to them really. But when my man requested for a jar of his favourite Rennekookies to take to work, I buckled down and baked up a small cookie storm, first with his Cranberry Dark Chocolate Chip Cookies, then with a new cookie recipe I decided to whip up.

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So yes, a cookie is a cookie until it isn’t just a cookie. I know that the Rennekookies are usually well received with its vanilla caramel undertones, tart dried cranberries and bits of bitter-sweetness from the dark chocolate. They’re crunchy and perfect for dipping into milk, sit well next to a cup of tea, and make a glorious ending to a cup of black coffee.

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Then, there are these Hazelnut Rye Cookies. It was a first for me using Dark Rye Flour to make cookies and I wasn’t sure whether they’d give the Rennekookies a run for their money or be a total flop. Turns out, it was too different to compare. Sure, there’ll be those with favourites, but like a Cookie Mama, I’d say that these two cookies are far too special to be compared. They are both delightful, and delicious in their own way.

Unlike the Rennekookies, the Salted Chocolate Hazelnut Cookies were more soft-baked and chewy. They had a lovely, earthiness about them that was further highlighted by the salt. The hazelnuts gave crunch and a toasty flavour to the cookie that made me feel as though these would be perfect as a winter cookie, to be munched on one after another while sitting in front of a warm fire.

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Salted Chocolate Hazelnut Rye Cookies (Makes about 24 Cookies)

100g Butter
1/4 tsp Salt
80g Brown Sugar
1 Egg
175g Rye Flour
1/2 Tbs Sea Salt
150g Dark Chocolate Chips
100g Toasted Hazelnuts, Chopped

  1. Preheat oven to 180 deg C and line a baking tray.
  2. Cream butter with 1/4 tsp salt and brown sugar. 
  3. Add egg and mix well.
  4. Incorporate rye flour and sea salt.
  5. Fold in dark chocolate chips and chopped hazelnuts.
  6. Place teaspoonfuls of cookie dough about an inch apart on lined baking tray and bake for about 16-18min. 
  7. Allow to cool before storing in an airtight container. 

I’d say that the Rennekookies are playful and more dynamic in its flavour while these Rye Cookies were more serious – deeper, and bolder in how restrained it was. Like a sensible older brother with his cheeky younger brother, both cookies had character and made my belly happy as pie! So perhaps, cookies aren’t just cookies after all!

Taking Flight.

Last weekend was a nicely packed one for Flo and I in that we were busy enough, yet not so busy to tire ourselves out for the week ahead. We decided to book tickets to a local theatre production – Boeing Boeing. Flo’s never been to watch any of our local theatre productions before and I was a little worried that some jokes might get lost in translation. In addition, knowing that my man is not a big fan of musicals, I wasn’t sure whether Boeing Boeing would be full of music, dance and song galore. So I simply had to keep my fingers and toes crossed that the show would live up to its good reviews.

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We bought ourselves awesome seats along the first row of the second half of the theatre. I’ve not been to Victoria Theatre since it got renovated so I was very impressed with its modern interior that breathed of comfort and great visuals from all corners unlike before, when big pillars would block certain sections causing one to have to crane their neck left and right depending on where the actors were on stage.

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The entire performance was full of energy and not too localised which we very much appreciated. Oon Shu An was perfect as the resident ‘SQ girl’, and I thought that Judee Tan took the cake as a flight attendant from ‘China Air’ with her accent totally on point. In fact, I think the women outshone the men in Boeing Boeing although the men were vital characters to the plot.

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The cast were incredibly sporting and game to pose for all the audience to snap photos of at the end of the show. I have to admit that in recent years, Singapore’s local theatre has been producing more and more performances of substance. Some of them are catered more to locals but still, they are witty, charming, and insightful.

Flo and I walked away gushing about how well Boeing Boeing was performed, and how impressed we were by the production as a whole. No, there was no breaking into song and dance but Flo actually said that even if they did he would still have enjoyed it. So we plan to watch more local theatre and support our local actors!! I always love watching Dim Sum Dollies and Hossan, so hopefully they will put on a show later in the year which Flo and I can attend. They tend to focus more on Singapore current affairs, and are very quick to touch on the political yet so very clever in making it unapparent. That would be nice for Flo to experience especially now that he’s been in Singapore nearly two years now.

Also, this weekend saw me making a Black Double Chocolate Birthday Cake with Gold Drippings. It’s not perfect, and there’re lots of bits I could improve on, but it was a nice challenge to have had.

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I’m not one who encourages the use of lots of food colouring so I recommended that chocolate ganache be used instead of buttercream. I was worried it might not turn out well but thank God somehow everything came together. It was also my first time gold-painting over white chocolate ganache so again, I was glad that the ganache set well for me to paint over although I think it was a little thicker than I’d have liked. Next time I’ll be better set to make an even prettier cake!

We also spent Sunday evening with some of my old high school girlfriends. It went ok but it’s funny how sometimes, gaining the perspective of someone else helps you to see certain things in a new way. I guess we change over time and while we’d like to think that our friends may evolve along with us, that’s not always the case. We tend to hold on to friendships especially the ones that we’ve been part of for years and years. That’s not necessarily a bad thing unless there are elements within that friendship that may be a little toxic.

Of course, I don’t plan on cutting off ties entirely, just that I won’t be making as much of an effort anymore with them not because I don’t care, but because that care is seldom reciprocated. It took another person to help me realise that even with old friends, there should be respect in how we speak to each other, thoughtfulness in our replies, and patience in our thoughts. Perhaps it’s time to cultivate new ones. 🙂

And just a little snippet of Monday’s dinner to kick off our week…

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It does stretch my brain quite a bit when it comes to thinking about what to cook for dinner these days. I don’t always want to ply Flo with the same foods and the same flavours. I enjoy challenging myself to creating new dishes and for sure there are hits and misses.

This dinner was both a hit and a miss. I tried my hand at making Baked Zucchini-Carrot Rosti (to be healthier) but I failed to squeeze out as much water from the zucchini as I should have so the rosti didn’t crisp up properly. The Grilled Honey-Dijon Chicken Breast was yum-O though – Honey and Dijon Mustard, a dash of Olive Oil, Fresh Minced Rosemary, Salt and Pepper. That’s all there was in the marinade! I tried some of the chicken so I give it my thumbs up, but truth is, I felt like some baked tofu for my choice of protein Monday night so a sprinkle of sea salt and some cayenne pepper on top and it was enough to make me a happy girl!

When I was little, I used to ask Mum who her best friend was. She’d always reply that Dad was her best friend. I was never satisfied with that answer and would say to her “Noooo! Dad can’t be your best friend. He’s your husband! You MUST have someone else who’s your best friend!”.

It took me years and years until I began to understand that your partner should indeed be your best friend. In the last year, I believe that Flo has become my best friend. I share with him my every joy, I wet his shoulder with my tears whenever my heart is overwhelmed with sadness, I run to him when I have exciting news to share, I gossip to him, I tell him the most mundane things, and I share with him my thoughts, my hopes and my desires.

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It boggles my mind, how two people from opposite sides of the world managed to come together, managed to meet, and managed to both feel that spark to want to pursue a long-lasting relationship together. I think that one thing that struck me the most about Flo was how incredibly easy it was for me to communicate to him. It felt so natural to want to open my heart to him and it amazed me how we could talk for hours on end, then stare into each others eyes for some more hours on end, smiling giddily at each other.

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I liken us to the nuts and berries in this recipe I’m about to share with you. I think I’m like the blueberries – sweet most of the time with the capacity to shock you with a bit of tartness every so often. I’m more sensitive so a little prick and you might find me busting with emotions. Flo’s more tough and protective of me. He’s usually the more calm, steady one, but he also makes my life a little nutty sometimes with his silly antics. He gives me strength to face fears and injects fun into my life like when I overcame my dancing-in-public phobia at Lesley’s wedding because of him.

What unites us is our goal to live the sweet life together. Like this brownie, life can deal you lovely, cushy, fudgy goodness, but there are also crusty, chewier parts to get through too. Our values, beliefs, hopes and dreams are what binds us together and while the road ahead may get bumpy from time to time, we’d like to imagine that on the most part, it’ll be a deliciously wonderful ride!

Now… Without further ado!

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Gluten-Free Pistachio Blueberry Brownies (8×8″ Square)

200g Dark Chocolate (I used 72%)
150g Butter
220g Coconut Sugar
3 Eggs
150g Ground Hazelnuts
125 g Blueberries
50g Pistachios, Chopped

  1. Preheat oven to 180 deg C and line an 8×8″ square tin.
  2. Melt butter and chocolate together over a bain marie. 
  3. Stir in coconut sugar.
  4. Whisk in eggs.
  5. Fold in hazelnut flour. Then fold in half the berries and half the pistachios. 
  6. Pour batter into prepared tin and scatter the remaining berries and chopped pistachios over the top. Press them into the batter slightly so they stick after baking. 
  7. Bake 22-25min until just set. Cool before slicing into 12-16 pieces. 

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I think the blueberries and pistachios in this brownie worked swimmingly well together in creating an epic symphony of flavours! Feel free to switch blueberries for raspberries or sliced strawberries. The world of berries is your oyster! I enjoyed the nutty, slightly herbaceous earthiness of the pistachios in this brownie and the subtle grainy texture created by the ground hazelnuts. This is definitely a brownie that tastes indulgent but is a lot healthier for you so you can munch on them almost entirely guilt-free!

If you want to make this paleo, you may switch the butter for coconut oil instead. I imagine that would add a beautiful whiff of coconut which will surely be complemented by adding desiccated coconut instead of pistachios along with pineapple chunks to replace the blueberries to create a tropical flavoured brownie! Oooh! Lightbulb!!

I used to be someone who would turn around and run the minute a relationship appeared to be turning sour. That dreaded feeling of failure would well up in the pit of my stomach and the thought of uncertainty scared me. Rather than try and fix things, I would choose to instead give up.

Then I ended up with someone who turned out to be highly intelligent, highly manipulative, and highly (emotionally) abusive. I stayed not because I wanted to, but because he made me feel so weak, so undesirable, and so unworthy of being with anyone better. In his words, he was the best. I stayed because I feared starting all over again. But most of all, I stayed because he told me that my trail of failed relationships that never seemed to last past a year was a sign that there was something wrong with me. I wanted to prove him wrong. And in a scary way almost, I look back and realise now that he knew that all along. (I’ll save this story for one day.)

But see, love isn’t possessive. Neither is love about moulding a person to fit the ideal that’s in your head. For sure, love takes work but mostly, it is a lovely, wonderful thing. No doubt, there are days where Flo and I both feel like strangling each other, but more often than not, I believe that we love each other in a way that makes us want to grow with each other in years, in heart, and in mind.

I think that we have layers and layers of love. Love for strangers that may be born out of compassion. Love for friends that begins with empathy and shared interests. Love for family because we’re stuck with them. Haha. Just kidding. Love for family because a lot of life’s lessons, values and beliefs are taught through our interactions with our family members. Because they never give up on us. Because they’re love is unconditional. Then there’s Love for that special someone that develops from mutual attraction.

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The beauty about having layers and layers of love is that you experience them all differently in different ways. Yet, all forms of love when given and received create a warm buzz that wraps around you like a snug blanket on a cold, wet night.

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This layered cake I made the other day had a Red Azuki Bean layer below, and on top is the Earl Grey layer. The floral notes of the tea gave way to the earthy flavour of the beans below. It tasted comforting yet new, exciting and unexpected. A little of the East mixed with a little of the West, each holding up its own while complementing the other. I’d like to think that Flo’s and my relationship is like this Earl Grey Azuki Bean layered cake. At least, most of the time.

The recipe I’m sharing with you today though, is a little more familiar but just as comforting to the soul. I baked up this Chocolate Cheesecake Loaf the other day and while reminiscent of my Chocolate Chip Cookie Cheesecake bars that I shared only a few days ago, they aren’t the same! As we like to say here in Singapore – They’re ‘Same same but different’.

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This cake yielded a moist, fluffy, tender crumb. Smack in the middle we have a rich, gooey layer of vanilla cheesecake. I loved how they textures played against each other to create a marriage of sheer decadence. That being said, it didn’t feel too indulgent as the cake was light and the cheesecake wasn’t cloying and heavy.

Chocolate Cheesecake Loaf (Yields 2 small loaves):

Vanilla Layer:
250g Cream Cheese, Room Temperature
45g Sugar

1 Egg
Vanilla

Chocolate Cake Layer:
180g Butter
130g Sugar
3 Eggs
30g Cocoa Powder
120g Flour
5g Baking Powder
Vanilla

  1. Preheat oven to 180 deg C and line baking tins.

For Cheesecake Layer:

  1. Beat cream cheese until smooth. Add sugar and cream. 
  2. Whisk in the egg and vanilla until mixture is smooth. Set aside. 

For Chocolate Cake:

  1. Cream butter with sugar.
  2. Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. 
  3. Add vanilla then add dry ingredients and mix until just incorporated.
  4. Pour half the chocolate cake batter into the two tins and spread as evenly as you can.
  5. Top with cream cheese layer.
  6. Pour the rest of the chocolate batter on top and level off.
  7. Bake for 35-40min before removing to cool. Let chill 3 hours of overnight before removing the cake from tins. 

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The layers in this cake speak of comfort, tenderness and pleasure. It is the tale of two classic cakes – Chocolate Cake and Cheesecake, each mouthwatering on their own, merging together and learning to balance each other’s strengths and weaknesses in order to become one awesome, flavour-packed, loaf of deliciousness. Which, I believe, is exactly what every relationship should aspire to be – two individuals who are stronger together I mean, not so much to gratify gastronomically.

Being misunderstood especially towards the end of my adolescence is something I found difficult to contend with. Even now, I sometimes struggle to understand why. I remember at the beginning of University when we had Orientation Camp, my peers would comment that I looked like a clubber. Nothing wrong with clubbing only they made me seem like some wild child who started their day with a shot of vodka and chain-smoked after brushing my teeth. Funny thing is that on ‘clubbing night’, they were the ones gyrating to the music while I awkwardly spun myself around and headed out the door because I felt so uncomfortable. One guy who later decided he liked me said that he thought I looked quite ‘bitchy’ at first and was surprised to find out how easy to talk to I was when he got to know me.

I did actually find myself getting on with my camp mates but once Uni commenced, the girls in my group broke off into a little clique of their own without me, and the boys would hang out with me only for so long as they thought they had a slither of a chance to end up as my boyfriend. Not all. Some. That’s not to say I didn’t have any friends whatsoever. I had a few and perhaps on my part, I never felt a desire to develop them much further than at surface level because I decided that they would never last post-graduation anyway.

Perhaps it’s the case of resting bitch face, or perhaps I may seem like quite a tough cookie on the outside, but the fact is, I’m really quite a softie on the inside – just like these Chocolate Chip Cookie Cheesecake bars.

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At first glance, it’s easy to mistake these bars as a little naughty because OOoOoohhh… there’re chocolate chips in there! And Oh. Em. Gee. Cookies are little bites of sin that make your pants a little tighter. But sink your teeth in and you reach the creamy, gooey cheesecake middle that will make you think, well… looks like there’s more to this bar that meets the eye. Sure, it’s no angel but it’s worth getting to know because there’s a richness inside that I wouldn’t have thought was there to begin with!

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And as you continue on your journey munching through these bars, you’ll get inflections of vanilla studded with dark chocolate chips, titillating butteriness that sinks into luxurious creaminess, and small bursts of caramel undertones from the brown sugar to keep you from getting bored. It’s no one dimensional cookie bar, that’s for sure!

Chocolate Chip Cookie Cheesecake Bars (9×9″ Square):

Cookie Layer:
170g Butter, melted and cooled
250g Brown Sugar
2 Eggs
Vanilla
250g Plain Flour
1 tsp Baking Powder
1/2 tsp Salt
50g Chocolate Chips (or more!)

Cheesecake Layer:
250g Cream Cheese, Room Temperature
40g Sugar
1 Egg
Vanilla

For Cookie Layer:

  1. Whisk melted butter with sugar.
  2. Whisk in eggs and vanilla.
  3. Incorporate flour, baking powder and salt.
  4. Fold in chocolate chips.
  5. Place half the mixture into prepared baking tin and level out as evenly as possible.

For Cheesecake Layer:

  1. Beat cream cheese until smooth.
  2. Add sugar and cream together.
  3. Add egg and vanilla. Blend until mixture is smooth.
  4. Spread cheesecake mixture on top of the cookie layer.
  5. Spoon the rest of the cookie batter on top of the cheesecake layer. Don’t worry if not all the cheesecake is covered.
  6. Bake for 25-30min or until the cookie layer on top is a nice golden brown.
  7. Remove from oven and allow to cool. Then chill in fridge for 4 hours (or overnight) before slicing.

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So have I made peace with the fact that I’m special and full of goodness on the inside whether people see it or not? On the whole, I believe so but there are moments where I would be sharing with Flo about my thoughts and my past only to have my emotions surface.

In a way though, my ED has enabled me to cherish the friends that have stood steadfastly next to me through all my ups and downs and in part, I have to blame myself as well for not wanting to nurture some friendships that I did have in Uni because growing up and constantly moving schools/countries made me feel that most friendships, no matter how strong they appear to be, are fleeting. These days, I make more of an effort to stay in touch and meet up with friends.

Perhaps in some way too, I may have haphazardly appeared nonchalant towards opening up to deeper friendships without realising it. Regardless, it’s not the quantity but the quality of friendship that counts and while like all relationships, maintaining friendships is hard work too especially as we get older and have partners and start our own family, the ones that continue to stand the test of time are truly friends who are worth having!

 

I’ve never been much of a citrus kind of girl. It’s not that I dislike how they taste, I’ve just never found myself drawn towards oranges and lemons and limes even though I have to admit that they are awesome at adding a zing to baked goods as well as salad dressings and avocados! So for some unknown reason, I started thinking about grapefruit.

I’ve probably only eaten grapefruit less than 5 times in my life – I kid you not! And it’s not a citrus fruit that crosses my mind whenever I think of playing with new ingredients for my bakes. The thought of its bitter, sour flavour profile never made me think that it could match easily with much else.

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The other week, I was just itching to bake something new and as I mentioned, grapefruit simply wouldn’t leave my mind. So I went out and got me some because then it meant I would really have to find a way to utilise them. I do silly things like that sometimes.

I cut open the grapefruit which yielded its gorgeous sunset red colour to me and while I braced myself to taste its acridness, I was more than pleasantly surprised to find that it was sweet, with bitter undertones and a touch of tartness – nowhere near the full-on in-your-face bitter-sour I always remembered and thought it to be.

I began to rummage around my pantry to find that I still had half a bag of ground hazelnuts that Flo really wanted for the time he had a mad craving for German Hazelnut Cake. Hmm… Sweet, nutty hazelnuts with the acidic, floral scent of grapefruit? That could work.

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And work it did! It was an unusual combination that tasted so right together. The ground hazelnuts created a slightly denser crumb and I liked that the grapefruit mellowed the sweetness level of the cake. The soaking syrup I used heightened the flavour of the fruit while adding moistness to the loaf. If you prefer, you can add more icing sugar to the grapefruit juice in order to make a thicker icing instead.

Grapefruit Hazelnut Loaf Cakes (Yields 2 small loaves)

150g Butter
120g Sugar
150g Plain Flour
100g Ground Hazelnuts
1 tsp Baking Powder
3 Eggs, whisked together lightly
1/2 Grapefruit, zested and juiced

Soaking Syrup
170g Icing Sugar
1/2 Grapefruit, juiced

  1. Cream butter with sugar until light and fluffy.
  2. Alternate addition of wet and dry ingredients ending with dry (i.e. flour, ground hazelnuts and baking powder vs eggs and juice of 1/2 grapefruit)
  3. Pour batter into baking tins and bake 35-40min until golden brown or skewer inserted comes out clean.

For soaking syrup:

  1. Whisk icing sugar with juice of 1/2 a grapefruit until mixture is smooth.
  2. Allow the cakes to cool before pouring icing on top. If you prefer your icing thicker, add more sugar and if you prefer a thinner glaze, use more juice.

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Now while you dig into these delicious cakes…

If you have been following my blog for some time now, you’ll know that I sometimes share updates about my journey towards attaining a healthy relationship with food and with myself with the help of my family, Flo and my psychologist. Right now, I’m kind of experiencing a bit of a plateau, not feeling much like progressing upwards but also trying hard not to fall back.

I guess recent events regarding loss in the family, and then scampering around trying to cater to the whims of older relatives have been stressing me out. That, as well as the instability of work. Sometimes, I don’t seem able to recognise stress so well and only when I begin to crave my ED, do I realise that perhaps I’ve been holding back on acknowledging my emotions a lot more than I thought. It’s certainly not the best way of stress management but it helps me to feel safe and anchored. And like an addiction, falling back onto ED makes me hanker after it more and more.

I was talking to Dr A about how ED is very much an anchor for me and because it’s accessible 24/7, it makes it difficult to look to something or someone else to take its place. Then it kind of hit me the other evening that perhaps it isn’t about finding a substitute for it. Rather, it’s about me learning to trust and depend on myself, and believing that I am strong enough to carry me through life’s highs and lows, and that I should be my own anchor. It doesn’t meant relying on myself 100% all day every day, it just means having faith in myself to get over periods of fear, stress and uncertainty instead of using a crutch.