Tuesday, August 21, 2012

High Tea @ HoMe

Not satisfied with the last High Tea session at 10 Scotts, I decided to have my own High Tea session @ Home.
The items that were made: 
  1. Four types of sandwiches - Spicy Sardine, Egg Mayo, Chicken Cumcumber Mayo and Smoked Salmon with Cream Cheese
  2. Cranberry Scones
  3. Raspberry Jelly with Cocktail Fruits
  4. Mini Mozeralla balls and Cherry Tomatoes in Oregano Garlic Olive Dressing
The items that were bought:
  1. Apple Strudel
  2. Nonya Kueh from Bengawan Solo
  3. Cakes from Four Leaves (Strawberry Cake, Chocolate Classico, Cheesecake, Blackforest Cake)
  4. Samosa
  5. Popcorn chicken (For the kids)
  6. Mini Taiwan Sausag (For the kids)
The 2 boys were especially happy.  The older boy espeically liked the Smoked Salmon Cheese Sandwich and the younger boy kept munching on the Popcorn Chicken.

I bought various types of flavoured tea bags from Lipton - Strawberry, Vanilla, Peppermint, Peach, etc.

I was slightly disappointed with my scones though.  Not as fluffy as I hoped it would be.  I used a recipe from my previous baking class which used bread flour.  It was a bit on the heavy side but was quite all right when eaten warm.  I even went all the way to MarketPlace at Raffles City to buy clotted cream.  (Actually this is the first time tasting what clotted cream was.  The cream has a yellowish surface unlike those that was served in hotels with scones.  I highly suspect that those cream that came with scones at High Tea sessions in Hotels were not real clotted cream but just some whipped up heavy cream).

On the whole it was a fun experience. This should be done again some other time.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Weekday High Tea at 10 Scotts

After surfing the internet for weeks on a good place for English Afternoon Tea on a weekday, I settled for the English Afternoon Tea at 10 Scotts.  The first thing that Hub needed to do when we reached there was to visit the washroom at Hyatt.  The strange thing about this hotel was, there was no direction of where the washroom was.  We went one big round at the ground floor before we found the washroom at the hidden corner.  Not very impressed for the fact that this is at least a 5 star hotel.

I was initially very excited about this high tea session after reading some positive reviews online of this place.   When I first step into the place, it felt rather cold (cold as in the people there) and not a very comfortable place to be in.  It was as if the waitresses were all watching us like hawks.  It could be they want to be attentive to the customers but we felt rather uneasy.

The food was unfortuately not what some blog sites claimed to be.  I was rather disappointed that their most talked about crab cakes were served cold.  There were some desserts at a corner, Hub took some to sample but I was not very impressed and the thought that everyone working there was watching you take food from the counter was quite a put off. 

I did ate a number of scones.  The scones were decent and the jam and clotted cream was great.  I finished up 2 servings of clotted cream and till now am still thinking of scones and clotted cream.  (Fattening it must be, but delicious)

I would place my English High Tea places in this order:
1. Rose Veranda (Shangri La)
2. L'Espresso (Goodwood Park)
3. 10 Scotts (Hyatt)  - I don't think I will appear here again

I am already making plans with some ex-colleagues to have a half weekday chill out session at Rose Veranda soon.  (Its a comfortable place to eat and chill out with girlfriends and the scones there are great too!)

African Violets

I have recently acquired a new hobby due to the influence of my new neighbour.  I recently bought 3 pots of African Violets and this one is my favourite.  I have attempted to reproduce it through leaf cutting but so far nothing has popped out from the leaf cuttings that I have planted.  It really needs patience.

African Violets are indoor plants.  They flourish if placed near the window in an office environment where there is air condition. 

I am looking forward for the babies to appear from the leaf cuttings that I have planted.

Zojirushi Mini Bread Maker

This is my newly acquired toy - a Zojirushi Mini Bread Maker. I have been looking at bread makers for a long while and I fell in love with this one almost immediately. This is not only sleek, on top of that, it does not take up much storage space. This criteria extremely crucial as we have limited storage space at home.

It also allows you to preset the baking time such that you can load the machine with the raw ingredients the night before and get freshly baked bread the next morning. Freshly baked bread is the best and what my MIL and I like most is the fragrant crust at the side of the bread.

Bread baked with no preservatives and bread improver is best eaten the day it is baked.

No regrets with this new toy as not only does it make bread, it allows you to make jam too. A worthwhile investment in my opinion.

Chocolate Chip Muffin

I have recently purchased these beautiful cupcake liners from Ikea. They cost $1.90 for 65 pcs and there are 3 designs in 1 box. The size of these are slightly different from those you get from Phoon Huat. These come with a smaller base of about 1.5" and has a hight of about 2.5".
Here is the recipe for the cupcakes:

120g plain flour
70g sugar
1tsp baking soda
1/4tsp salt
150g plain yogurt
1 egg
50g canola oil
1 tsp vanilla essence

- Preheat oven at 180C
- Mix dry ingredients together
- Mix wet ingredients in another bowl
- Pour wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and mix gently.
- Scoop into cupcake liners 3/4 full.
- Bake for 15mins.

* Word of caution - Do not over mix if you want tender muffins.