Just before our move, a new cafe reached out to me to supply them with some cakes. I had to think up a menu for their Japanese-Local fusion theme and present them with some samples to try.
I enjoy the experimentation aspect when opportunities like these arise and it allows me to explore more new flavour combinations and see how they work together.
One of the flavours they really enjoyed was this Pandan Coconut Cheesecake with Gula Melaka Drizzle.
I tried to weave the Asian flavours of comforting pandan together with the very Western comfort dessert, the cheesecake. Thankfully the partnership was a successful one that impressed those who tasted it.
Another interesting one that I really liked was the Date and Walnut Cake with Miso Caramel Buttercream.
Texturally, the cake was dense and more akin to Carrot Cake. I used Shiro Miso in the caramel for the salty element and blended it into my Italian Buttercream recipe. This was a harmonious marriage between East and West but while the flavours complemented each other well, we were unsure as to how customers would take to miso in their dessert. Yes, the local palates are opening up but perhaps not quite so quickly.
Another cake that’s much more Japanese-skewed was the Matcha Sponge with Cranberries and a light Lemon Chantilly.
This was delicate and light, better with tea than with coffee in my opinion, but also very much toeing the safer side of things whether tastebuds are concerned.
I also had a Chocolate Cake and Earl Grey Lavender Cake at the tasting where they were quite enamoured by the latter. It felt really nice garnering lots of positive feedback from them especially since they shared with me that they’d gone through quite a few bakers but none had particularly impressed them both with attitude and with their cakes. That certainly put me on a high.
Anyway, we were busy right after with moving as I’ve mentioned a few times in my last two posts (sorry about my repetitiveness). It was a hectic day but Flo really did most of everything having taken the day off. We had the movers come, then Flo oversaw their moving the boxes into our new home, then I had to go to the dentist which meant that Flo had to then see to the professional cleaners we were required to hire to get our old place scrubbed squeaky clean.
I was quite sad saying goodbye to #13-05 because it was the first home I had out of my parents’ home. I managed to keep it neat and tidy the whole year which I’m quite proud of seeing that I began last year struggling to iron and using softener to wash our clothes in the washing machine instead of washing detergent.
But. Out with the old and in with the new they say. So now we’re all settled into our new home and we have pretty nice neighbours. Flo was adamant that we take part in the good ol’ tradition of saying Hi to our neighbours along with home-baked cake so that we did over the weekend.
I made some Cinnamon Chocolate Chip Banana Bread that we presented to our immediate neighbours. To our right we have a nice young family with two little ones and on our left is a young lady with an Aussie accent and a cute French Bulldog.
As much as possible, I tried to keep to our usual schedules and routines even with the move and unpacking taking place. I was quite proud that Flo and I managed to unpack just about everything within the first week. Our area is filled with eateries so we’re not short of dining options. Still, I wanted to cook anyway to provide Flo with nice, warm meals after all the stress from the move and coming home from a tiring work day.
I’ve also been busy diving straight back into work the day after moving and trying to understand our new old oven as well. It seems to be working well and while it took a few tries to figure out my ideal working temperature for it, I think we’ve more or less found it.
Anyone, with work filling up my day, cooking for Flo has to be quick but still nutritious. So the other evening, I decided to roast some Chicken Thighs using a super easy miso marinade. Then I sautéed some sliced baby tomatoes and seasoned them with some sea salt, black pepper and freshly grated nutmeg. For greens, a simply blanching of haricot verts worked well, then a quick toss in some sea salt and pepper.
Miso Chicken for 2
1 Tbsp Butter, softened
1 Tbsp Shiro Miso
1/2 Tbsp Honey
1/4 Tbsp Rice Vinegar
2 pcs Skin on, bone-in Chicken Thighs
- Preheat oven to 220 deg C.
- Mix butter, miso, honey, rice vinegar and black pepper in a bowl to form a smooth paste.
- Rub paste oven chicken thighs and place onto lined tray.
- Roast for 30-40min until golden brown and juices run clear. Turn chicken over once or twice during the roasting period.
- Serve hot.
Miso apparently does wonders in tenderising meat so this marinade can also be used for pork and fish.
This recipe yielded an insanely juicy, tender piece of chicken that was bursting with flavour. It was super simple to make and a whizz to mix the marinade together and slap them onto the chicken. And yes, it garnered two-thumbs up from Flo. If Nat can cook it, so can you. Although really, it was the oven that did most of the work.