Christmas Cupcake Class

It's been awhile since I've done a group class... so when the wonderful ladies of Plain Vanilla approached me about it, I immediately said yes. I wanted to teach a cupcake decorating class... but I thought just putting on fresh fruits or herbs wouldn't be much of a challenge.... so buttercream flora and fauna seemed a little more interesting, but I think not too daunting? Cotton flowers, pine cones, raspberries and wreathes make for a good rustic vibe.

You'll find more info on their instagram and website! Hope to see you there! xx

IMG_0062.JPG
IMG_0060.JPG
IMG_0063.JPG
IMG_0061.JPG

Best Friends

35mm film photo by Ryan Chia.  

35mm film photo by Ryan Chia.  

We met when we were 13 in secondary One. Though already a significant height difference, we were somehow sat next to each other in the classroom. We were obviously awkward at first, but we soon got used to each other and became the closest of friends. But as most junevile friendships go, we fell out, patched back and disappeared from each other's lives from time to time. But somehow, after 17 years since we first met, here we are, closer than we've ever been. 

So really, when they say that people come and go, but only those who really matter will always be there.... that crap isn't crap after all!

Thank you Cheryl for being who you are and for being one of my best friends! Love you to the moon and back. xx

Pistachio Lemon Marble Cake

I always tell myself I should blog more. But life as it is, seems to keep me on my toes all the time already. Why does time pass faster as you grow older? I wish I had appreciated my time in my early twenties more. Now that I'm turning 30, it's so scary thinking about the future. I'm running out of time, girls and boys! 

But even when I do get busy, I make time to curl up under my duvet with a good cup of tea and my Ipad to read the newest issue of the Jamie Oliver digital magazine. This issue totally got my attention with a delicious looking pistachio lemon loaf on the cover. The moment I saw it, I knew I had to make it myself!

The recipe was easy to follow and quite similar to most loaf cake recipes out there. I did change the recipe slightly because I didn't have lemon extract and I was worried the loaf might turn out a little dry. My edit turned out great, but I don't know if the original would have been even better! I do suggest you try the original first and see what you think! :)

LEMON & PISTACHIO CAKE
Serves 10

225g Unsalted butter, plus extra for greasing
225g Caster Sugar
Zest of 2 Large Lemons
4 Large Eggs, lightly whisked
225g Self-raising flour
60g Pistachio Paste (See note at the end)
2 Tsp Lemon Extra (Edit: 4 Tbsp Lemon Juice)
1 Tbsp Milk
50g Silver Pistachios, to garnish (Edit: 1/2 Pomegranate too!)

Lemon Icing

Juice of 1 Lemon
125-150g Icing Sugar
 

  1. Preheat the oven to 180C. Lightly grease a 1 litre loaf tin and line with a strip of baking paper
  2. Place the butter, sugar, lemon zest into a large bowl of an electric mixer and beat until light and fluffy, about 10 minutes. Add the eggs a bit at a time, beating after each addition. With the mixer on a slow speed, mix in the flour until just combined.
  3. Divide the batter between two bowls. Mix the pistachio paste into one batch, and the lemon extract and milk into the other. Alternate spooning the two batters into the loaf tin and use a knife to swirl them together.
  4. Bake the cake in the oven for 45-55 minutes, until a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean. Leave in the tin for 15 minutes, then turn out onto a wire rack to cool completely. While cooling, I used the skewer to poke holes all over the top of the loaf. Then poured a lemon juice + sugar syrup mix over the loaf. I thought this might make it more moist.
  5. To making the icing, place the lemon juice and 125g of icing sugar into a large bowl and mix together until smooth and combined (add more icing sugar if it's too runny - it should be thick and just pourable). Spread the icing over the cake, teasing it over the edges so it drips down the sides. Sprinkle the pistachios to finish.

Note: If you can't find pistachio paste, you can make your own by blitzing 80g of pistachio in a food processor for 5 minutes, until smooth, then adding 2 tablespoons of olive oil until it forms a paste.


Let me know if you like it! Or if you have any suggestions to make it even better, please share!

xx
Sarah

MY CHRISTMAS

This year I was particularly excited about Christmas. I put in extra effort doing photoshoots and coming up with new designs and some new flavours expecially for the occasion. They had proven to be really popular because orders streamed in... well more like gushed in. Soon enough, I was up to my neck in orders and had to sadly reject many others. 

I'm always very grateful when people order from me. There are so many other bakers out there so it's a privilege when someone wants something I made to be part of their special day. 

However, the Christmas period was really tough on me. Although I had baking elves to lessen my load... December orders were still quite the major undertaking. One weekend I joined 2 markets and barely slept 5 hours over 3 days, working through the night. The next weekend, I baked 50 fruit cakes on my own. Then another weekend, I did a wedding and a whole bunch of other orders. Then came Christmas and that was a whole different story on its own!

It's been 3 days of no-baking so far but my body is still aching very badly. So much so, I wake up a few in the middle of the night because of the stiffness. I end up doing yoga poses half-asleep at 3am in the morning in the hopes that my body would tire out and relax. Oh the horror!

Sometimes I wish I could clone myself or I wish that there were more hours in a day.... or that I didn't ever need to rest... Because I love what I do and I want to do it as much as possible. I can forgo sleep and sanity for this love, but at some point, eg. when your relatives look at you and tell your mum that you look haggard and exhausted, you can't avoid the mirror and the body aches any longer. Seriously, I look and feel like sh*t. *Sobs.

Thus, I'm taking a short break. A pause from my life as a baker to regroup and recuperate. I'm going to do some R&R and some R&D. The New Year is coming and while I'm not going to strain myself with orders, I'm going to work on some new things for the new year!

A big thank you to the customers, especially the regular customers that are always so kind and generous to me. It means so much! Hope everyone had a restful and joyful Christmas this year! And I wish you a wonderfilled New Year!

xx
Sarah

My christmas photologue

Mmm.. Doughnuts.

I had been giving doughnuts a lot of thought since I saw this recipe on Yossy Arefi's blog. She made them look so darn delectable! Once I again, I stalled on actually making them because doughnuts are one of those things that you never stop at one. For example, my last encounter with them, ended up with me carrying 4 dozen boxes of Krispy Kreme doughnuts through customs at London Heathrow Airport, followed by a 14 hour plane ride back to Singapore. Granted they weren't all for me.. but I will admit I did eat a little too many. The thought of making them would be even more worrying because fresh doughnuts are even more scrumptious. I wouldn't be able to resist! :(

Fortunately, an opportunity for me to make them came about with Baby Sarah's first birthday party. Her mum Sally wanted a dessert table and was very open to suggestions. After she told me the theme, I immediately pitched the idea of doughnuts. Thankfully she agreed and lo & behold, they turned out better than I had thought! What was even more surprising, was the fact that they were a hit with guests at the party. Oh joy! With such reviews, I am so glad to finally add them to my dessert menu! 

In recent years, cronuts have given doughnuts a run for their money. But in my opinion, doughnuts, like bubble tea, will make a strong comeback soon!

And speaking of a comeback, a doughnut "cake", anybody? 

NAMI ISLAND

MY SOUTH KOREA PHOTOLOGUE

Autumn 2015. 

Chai Tea

You either hate it or love it.

Making a chai tea bundt had been on my mind for quite awhile. I decided to procrastinate (as usual ) until I found an appropriate moment to bake it and that moment finally came to me after seeing a recipe of it on a Donna Hay magazine. The bundt cake looked so glorious in all its bundt-iness, I had to make it for myself! Of course, my itchy fingers couldn't help but add some sort of extra somethin' somethin' (honey cinnamon cream cheese frosting spread on top) to make it my own. It turned out so wholesome, flavourful and tasty! Even if you're not the biggest fan of Chai Tea, I think this cake could convince you otherwise! 

Side note: If you're looking for a nice cup of Chai Tea Latte, I really recommend Sarnies! They make their own Chai Tea concoction and it is just the best! 

 

ME & PANTS

OR IS IT "PANTS & I" ?

Having thunder thighs is a curse when it comes to pants. Finding a good fitting pair of pants is like the viewing of the lunar eclipse to me. It's happened only once so far in my life and even then, both its presence and my admiration for it, fleeting. 

I can't explain how much I would love to wear pants. While I love skirts, I'm too much of a tom-boy to sit properly. And while I love shorts, they're becoming less appropriate as I grow older. Having to do dessert table setups at nice venues, are either skirt nor shorts visually acceptable nor practical at all. Sighs. I really wish I could someday soon, literally get to wear my big boy pants.

These pants from Need Supply look so good. I think this pair and this pair might suit me pretty alright. I think. I do love that culottes are back in fashion... however after Len told me I looked like his mum in them... I have since hidden them in the darkest recesses of my clothes.. hoping that some day I might have the courages and the legs to wear them again. 

Oh beautiful pants... one day you will be mine!

 

NEW DAYS

Hello Loves!

Welcome to my new blog.
I'm very excited to call this space my new online home.
This new Sarah's Loft will feature my cakes and dessert tables,
my blog and hopefully soon enough,
an online shop that will sell curious things I buy on my travels.
Unfortunately the old blog and all its old content will be deleted completely,
but I'll definitely try to repost the best and the latest over here.

As usual, my words can never do me any justice so I'll let my photos do most of the talking. 
And I hope you'll love the new website as much as I do! 

xx
Sarah