So this week has been another crazy week with baking galore mainly for cafes. I cannot help but sometimes laugh at how some weeks, when orders pour in, they keep coming in until I get all panicky about not being able to meet all of them. And yet, I do. I guess part of it is having a lack of faith in my ability to time manage even though history has shown me time and again that I will come through.
The new cafe that I’m supplying has been asking for some new products to keep things exciting for customers I suppose. This week on top of their order of a Pandan Coconut Cheesecake and a Strawberry Shortcake, they also requested to try out some cupcakes.
Lychee Rose cupcakes to be more specific.
So lychee cupcakes with rose buttercream it was.
Another small challenge was to try and replicate a cake that breathes of nostalgia for Flo’s boss. Apparently he grew up having this cake, Chanteclair, every birthday. Unfortunately, looking for a recipe for this cake is like looking for a needle in a haystack. Ludwig found two, as did I, only both were the same two recipes. I kind of ended up following my own recipe because I’m a little rebel like that.
So the cream layer was given a nod of approval but the meringue layer, as I had expected, was a little thin. Also, we ascertained that the cake might be covered in a ground almond-sugar layer and not the toasted almond flakes used on the finished cakes in pictures posted up online. Can’t wait to begin on cake test #2!
Flo’s papa is also in town. He’s been enjoying himself I believe, trying all sorts of new local flavours. The first night we took it easy and brought him for Thai food which he loves.
The second night we headed over to Old Airport Road Food Centre – possibly the best food centre in Singapore according to the Rennetan books.
There, he fell in love with the Sambal Stingray, relished the Wan Ton Needles, nodded at the Popiah, and was a little unsure about the Hokkien Mee that Flo loves. More noodles for Flo! The laksa was quite disappointing but we weren’t expecting much seeing that Old Airport Road isn’t known for their Laksa.
Next night, we had a booking made at Zaffron Kitchen just a stone’s throw away from our place. Mum, Dad, Grandpa and Grandma came along as well and we feasted on the Mixed Tandoor Grill, Naan, Roti, Palak Paneer (!!!), Aloo Gobi and Dal. Dad and Samir were blown away by the Lamb Biryani. I think Dad was extremely happy since he usually never has anyone wanting to eat biryani with him let alone with a huge piece of lamb shank.
Dad was also very excited to hear about Flo’s Dad’s current business idea and where it might lead. Seeing it was their first time meeting, it could have gone either way and I’m glad that they hit it off. We all thoroughly enjoyed the food and the time spent together.
This morning, Flo woke up to breakfast with a side of cheesecake that Samir very sweetly went to buy in honour of Flo’s birthday.
Samir shared that it’s been a long time since he’s managed to celebrate Flo’s birthday with him in person so it was great timing that he was able to come to Singapore before his trip up to Vietnam. I warms my heart knowing how much Flo is loved by his papa and how proud his father is of him.
This evening, we’ll be out for a nice celebratory dinner for Flo and as with most celebrations, I assume there might be some alcohol. But of course, I only take mine in dessert form so I’m saying ‘Cheers!‘ with these Rum and Raisin Passionfruit Brownies.
I wasn’t at all sure how rum and raisin would go with passionfruit but they did! I was lazy and used a packet of Old Gold’s Rum and Raisin Chocolate Bar by Cadbury’s but if you want to be serious about it, I’d say go for your favourite dark chocolate, add in rum soaked raisins and a heart splash of rum into the batter. That’s my plan for next time!
The passionfruit pulp definitely shone through and gave the dark flavours of the brownies a whiff of tropical sweetness along with some tartness. Also, I kept the seeds in which did good in creating a crunch different from the cocoa nibs I sprinkled on top. Not a fan of passionfruit seeds? Just strain the pulp through and use only the juice. I find that heating the pulp up makes the straining a lot easier.
Passionfruit Rum and Raisin Brownies (Yields 1 8×8″ Square)
200g Rum and Raisin Chocolate Bar, roughly chopped
80g Coconut Sugar
200g Passionfruit Pulp (about 2 passionfruit)
150g Ground Almonds
40g Cocoa Powder
pinch Sea Salt
Cocoa Nibs, for sprinkling (optional)
- Preheat oven to 170 deg C and line an 8×8″ baking tin.
- Over a bain marie, melt chocolate together with butter and stir to combine. Let cool for 10-15min.
- In another bowl, whisk coconut sugar with eggs. Then whisk in passionfruit pulp and rum.
- Add chocolate mixture into egg mixture and stir together.
- Fold in ground almonds, cocoa powder and sea salt until just combined.
- Pour batter into prepared tin and bake for 20-25min.
- Allow to cool before slicing.
So I made these brownies gluten-free using almond flour and tried to give it a bit more nutritional value with coconut sugar instead of refined sugar. If you don’t have coconut sugar at hand, just go with brown or caster but I’d recommend lowering the amount to about 60g unless the chocolate you’re using is quite bitter.
These will make pretty awesome Valentine’s Day gifts since passionfruit evokes this idea of, y’know, passion and perhaps you can sprinkle freeze-dried strawberry flakes on top instead of cocoa nibs for a pop of red to make the brownies look more va-va-voom.
To be honest, Flo and I aren’t much into the whole Valentine’s Day shenanigans because it’s become far, FAR too commercialised and what’s important really, isn’t what you do for your partner that one day in the year, but what you do for and with your partner every day. Still, it’s a day that commemorates love so why not? Bake a batch of these and show some love not only to your boyfriend/girlfriend, but also your friends, family, colleagues, and random people you meet on the street just because! 🙂