A couple of weeks back, I decided to change my hair colour back to its natural colour. It was quite a big change for me having not seen my natural colour for half my life! To go back to a colour just a shade lighter than black when I’ve been having brown hair with red tints, dark brown hair with blonde highlights for years on end took a while to get used to and now that I’ve gotten used to it, I decided to tweak my look a little bit more.
I decided to go for bangs after growing them out about 5, 6 years ago. Can you imagine? I used to have much much shorter hair and it’s taken me a good 5-odd years to grow it out to where it is now. I don’t think it’s likely that I’ll go back to having short hair so soon because it takes ages for my hair to grow this long but I can deal with bangs. And right now, I’m quite enjoying them.
As they say, the only constant in life is change, and it’s nice to be able to change how I look on the outside, and at the same time feel more confident about myself on the inside. Slowly but surely, I hope to reach a point where I can feel totally at ease with my body, and embrace all that it is, as it continues to grow healthier and stronger.
While some things have changed, I continue to enjoy baking simple, straight forward cakes for when I want to unload after all my private orders are done. So a couple of days ago, after completing my Teachers’ Day orders, I decided to bake a Blueberry Cornmeal Cake. It wasn’t anything fancy and looks plain like Jane on the outside, but dig into it and you’ll find that it’s quite the Saucy Suzy.
I have the recipe below just as I always do – How can I not share the cake love with you?!
And just as I love sharing recipes, I also enjoy sharing some of the cakes that I do during the week. One thing about me is that I don’t like repetition, but because of the weekly cafe orders I get, I tend to have quite a number of cakes that I bake on a regular basis. You know, the kind that I can close my eyes and bake. When I say close my eyes, I mean memorise the recipe by heart and simply go through the motions. So, it’s always fun when I get to undertake the challenge of creating different cakes, be they different in flavour, or different in look.
Last week, I managed to create what I deem, a baby cake.
It’s not quite small enough to be a cakelet, and not quite big enough to be a proper cake. This size is perfect for 2-4 people and uber cute! I dub this Ultimate Mythical Creature the Nataflo! It’s so mythical AND mystical that no one’s ever seen it before. It could be a kitty cat without its whiskers, a deer without its antlers, a unicorn without its horns, a bear with a chocolate buttercream mane… It can be anything you want it to be.
I guess life’s similar in this way. We are so used to being categorised that we forget that we are really just… we. You. and. Me. It’s so easy to get sucked into the idea of being Chinese, being Singaporean, being female, being what everyone expects you to be, being what society says you should be, when in reality, there is really just one of us. As much as we may find ourselves placed into boxes that try to steer us to be a certain way, we should learn to break out of them and just be whatever we want to be. But be good people obviously!
As usual, it’s so easy to think these thoughts, but the execution of it, the act of breaking out of these moulds, are hardly simple. Nevertheless, it is not impossible and I’d like to spend every day working at allowing myself to be me without worrying about what anyone else thinks.
Now that is said and done, back to the regular programme!
Blueberry Cornmeal Cake (Yields 1 8″ Round Cake)
3/4 tsp Salt
125g Blueberries (I used frozen), coated in a bit of flour
- Preheat oven to 175 deg C and line an 8″ baking tin.
- Cream butter with sugar, honey and salt until light and fluffy.
- Add eggs in one at a time. You may add a tablespoon of dry ingredients in between if it starts to curdle.
- Fold in flour and cornmeal until just incorporated.
- Fold in 100g of blueberries.
- Pour batter into prepared baking tin and top with remaining berries.
- Bake for 40-45 min. If it starts to get too brown, cover with aluminium foil to finish baking.
- Allow to cool before removing from tin. Dust with some icing sugar if preferred.
In the Northern hemisphere, Autumn has just arrived, but down South, it’s Spring. Here in Singapore, it’s still hot and humid. So whether Summer has just passed for you, or is soon to arrive, or is always around year on year, this cake speaks of warmth, wrapping you in a snug hug as you eat it. It’s amazing served warm with a dollop of mascarpone cream on top or a scoop of ice-cream for temperature contrast. Best thing is, you can have it whatever time of year it is as long as you save some fresh blueberries at the height of its season and freeze them for days when you hanker after a slice of this gorgeous, summery cake! And believe me, you won’t regret it!