Category Archives: Personal

living and baking

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"Photography is more than a medium for factual communication of ideas. It is a 
creative art." - Ansel Adams

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I recently did a collaboration with Kuoloon Chong from kompactfaen. I’ve always been an admirer of his work. He has a great eye for detail, prop arrangement and composition, which translates into beautiful pictures. His specialisation lies in people and landscape photography, or even photos for creative purposes. He’s currently looking to expand his image content to include weddings. With him, you can be sure to receive professional and timely service.

Before the shoot, we met up once to discuss our collaboration over coffee. With a pen and paper, we scribbled down ideas as they came to mind. After conceptualizing the shoot, all that was left was its execution.

This was a collaborative process. Between us, we each contributed an element that made the shoot click. I conceptualized and styled the shoot, while he executed it. See credits below. For more outtakes, view here. I really liked how the photos turned out. It was better than I had envisioned it to be. Thank you, kompactfaen!

More about kompactfaen:
Photographer based in Singapore. View his portfolio for more of his amazing works. If you would like to engage his services, you can drop him an e-mail at askmehere@kompactfaen.com.

 

 

Photography: kompactfaen   Wardrobe styling: Myself   Prop styling: Myself   Model: Myself   Hair and Makeup: J. Ma   Location: Where I stay.

advertorial: tiny tiles

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DSC_0498 copyA few weeks back, I was contacted by Katheryn, founder of TinyTiles, to write a review on her ceramic magnet tiles.  I’m glad to be able to support local businesses and print my Instagram pictures at the same time! Read on to find out what are some of the perks that you can get as my reader!

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7 essential baking tools #whatsinvskitchen

Happy weekend, guys!

I’ve decided to write a series of “Whats in V’s Kitchen” to give you an inside glimpse of my kitchen and baking hobby. I hope you will enjoy reading as much as I’ve enjoyed writing them!

So I’m kickstarting #whatsinvskitchen with “7 of my most essential baking tools”. I had quite a hard time rounding down to seven but here goes…

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(Photo taken by my new Samsung Galaxy Camera 2)

1. Round piping nozzle – I use this to pipe round frosting and meringue domes on cupcakes (here & here), and to pipe macaron shells and macaron filling (here) Available in most baking supply shops such as Phoon Huat, Sia Huat and Sun Lik. Cost: $2 – $3.

2. Whisk – They are useful to break apart clumps of flour or icing sugar, to mix dry ingredients together, and to make that satin-smooth chocolate ganache. Cost: $2 for one from Daiso up to $30 for a good quality one from Lemon Zest. I have both silicon and metal whisks.

3. Metal spatula – If I were to rank which item is most essential, this would be it! I use it to flatten the top of cake batters before popping it into the oven, coat cakes with frosting, create swirls and peaks on the frosting of cupcakes. I have a couple of sizes for different purposes, for small to large cakes. Cost: $3 – $12 depending on size, available at Siahuat (has a wider range of sizes) and Phoon Huat.

4. Pastry cutters – These are useful as they have both round and scalloped edges. I use this primarily to cut out scones (here and here) but they can also be used to cut out uniformed tart bases and biscuit sponges for entremets.  The scalloped edges can be used if you want something fancier. I love that they have a wide range of sizes. Cost: $20 from Takashimaya.

5. Measuring cups – Pretty self-explanatory but also another tool I cannot miss. I cannot remember where I got this from as it has been with me since I started baking 6 years ago. Useful for recipes that provide their measurements in ‘cups’ instead of ‘grams’. Try to get one from a reliable source because a slight inaccuracy in measurement can spell problems for how your recipe turns out! Cost: about $5 from IKEA, Phoon Huat or Lemon Zest (most baking supplies shop should stock them).

6. Measuring spoons – Also pretty self-explanatory. Useful for measuring small quantities of dry ingredients such as baking powder, baking soda, vanilla extract, and salt. Cost: about $5 from IKEA, Phoon Huat or Lemon Zest (most baking supplies shop should stock them).

7. Rubber spatula (scraper) – I use this as a scraper to remove material from mixing bowls and as a mixing tool for my cake, cookie and macaron batters, or to stir whipped cream or ganache that has been sitting for a while. The flexible piece of silicone typically has a degree of curvature that matches that of your average bowl, allowing for easy removal of every little vestige of cake batter. Cost: $2 from Daiso/IKEA to $40 for a good one.

Other useful tools (not mentioned above): digital measuring scale, wooden mixing spoon and a sift.

I hope this post will be helpful to bakers who are starting out.  If you have any questions, feel free to leave a comment! 🙂

lemon poppy seed & yogurt loaf cake

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Whenever I am pressed for time (or whenever I procrasti-bake), I would usually bake something non-fanciful, like this lemon poppy seed & yogurt loaf cake.

I’ve made this cake countless of times, but this set of pictures are from the collaboration with my very talented friend, Filbert T. This little project of ours was tons of fun! We spent an afternoon recording the entire baking process. He was entirely in-charge of the video taking and editing, while I did the baking.  Take some time to watch this video that captures the step-by-step process:

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media invite: japanese sweets collection

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Last weekend, I was invited to a media event featuring popular sweets from one of my favourite places in the world, Japan! From March 14 – 23, Isetan @ Westgate will be having a Japanese Sweets Collection Fair, featuring the best of Japanese pastries. That’s right, you don’t have to travel all the way to Hokkaido, Kyoto or Tokyo for that particular famous confectionary you’ve been yearning to try!

I was really impressed by the range of sweets they had. I have been to Hokkaido fairs organized by Isetan but this particular fair was a sure winner for me.  (Although I may be biased partly because of Sadaharu AOKI’s macarons…) There were even live demonstrations and sampling opportunities — more details below.

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