Saturday, June 2, 2007

A Tribute to you

As my girls were getting dressed for school this morning, I set out a breakfast of toast, butter and strawberry conserve on the table. Nothing fancy. They are petite little things, my girls, and cannot manage more than a slice of toast or a bowl of Cheerios in the morning. I turn on my Macbook and click on ‘comments’ from my previous post. I have a new comment from Ming the Merciless He writes, “ We need more recipes from you, Carol!” I smile to myself. Ming doesn’t cook a day in his life. I feel a warm fuzzy feeling come through me. This is what blogging has done for me. I have met really beautiful people along the way. I came across Ming’s blog through a comment he left on someone elses’ blog. The pen name ‘Ming the Merciless’ stood out to me because my husband’s name is also ‘Ming’, and he too is known as ‘ Ming the Merciless’. (In his Marketing and Graphic Design Industry.) I never thought that I’d be interested in a blog that wasn’t about food. I have always wanted to visit the US and Ming’s Daily Photo blog has taken me there, well, to New York City, at least.

The girls finish their breakfast and I wash up. I ‘shut down’ my lappie and prepare to send them to school. As the girls chatted along in the car, I pondered on what I had to get done today. There was nothing urgent, I guess, so I decided that I would put up a new post today. I don’t blog as often as I’d like to, because I’m first and foremost a wife and mother, and with that comes the responsibilities which I prioratise. I guess I have come a long way (According to my standards!) since I started blogging and using the computer in December. I managed to set up the Flickr badge with my food photos two days ago without my husband and kids’ help! HOORAY! They are proud of me too. I still have no idea whatsoever about how to highlight blog sites or whatever that I’m referring to on my post so that readers can click on them and be transported to the blog site. BUT I’M SURE SOME REALLY NICE PERSON OUT THERE ON THE BLOGIVERSE WILL CARE TO ENLIGHTEN ME! ( Thanks Tara for educating me! )

I remember feeling very lost when I first started blogging. It was like I was alone in a huge, endless white room with nothing but the echo of my own voice. Then Haalo came by. She was like an ambassador from the Blogospere. I don’t know how she found me, but she was the first blogger to visit and welcome me to food blogging. She made me feel like I was a new member of a club. Haalo’s links took me on an exploration of a bigger food blogging community. I was in awe with Bea, her Food Photography absolutely blew me away. And then there’s JenJen whose blog reflects and embodies her Love of Life. Reading Jenjen’s posts always makes me feel dreamy and warm and for a brief moment, I feel like I’m on a holiday.

We have a long weekend coming up and I can’t wait to spend it with my girls. It would be just the three of us as Ming is going on a hiking trip with his two Business Partners.This will be the third time he’s away from us for a couple of days. Talking about him, he’s just walked in. He looks a billion bucks in his Black shirt and pants and his Grey Versace tie. His grey hair that he refuses to dye makes him look distinguished. He’s had 70% grey in his hair since the age of 20. People who don’t know him well think that he dyed his hair grey deliberately as a fashion statement. The girls and I will miss him but we look forward to when he comes home on Monday because we insisted he took a few days off to be with us to make up for the few days when he’s going to be away.

Recently, I came across Rasa Malaysia, a blog that serves up food that’s close to my heart. I can relate to RM’s heart-warming stories as we share the same culture growing up in Malaysia. And then there’s Melting Wok who ‘speaks’ to me in ‘Singlish’ (a term that refers to the way Singaporean locals speak English) when she comments on my blog, and I play along. More recently, there’s this beautiful french girl, Pom d'api who’s been leaving me sweet comments. Her blog is entirely written in french and I have no idea whatsoever, what it all means. I see pretty pictures of food and so I’ve concluded that we do understand each other. We both speak the language of ‘Yummy’! What I’m trying to say is that blogging has been so much more than an expression of my passion for Food. Thank you so much to all you bloggers out there who have been such an inspiration and encouragement to me. My life has truly been enriched with your friendship and support.

With all that said, I would like to dedicate today’s recipe to you all, it’s the BEST Pineapple Upside-down Cake recipe that I’ve ever tasted. It was given to me by my sister, Jacq who doesn’t cook or bake that often because of her busy and glamourous work schedule, but when she does, it’s always superb! She put this recipe together afer trying a few other recipes that just didn’t ‘hit the spot’! I must apologize for the main photo on this post, the next time I make this cake I will make sure I over-lap the pineapple slices.

Pineapple Upside-Down Cake
Temperature: 170 degrees Celsius
Baking time: Approximately 1hr & 15 mins (if the cake starts to brown too much, cover with foil)
Tin size: 10 inch round

The Topping
1 cup finely packed brown sugar
½ cup salted butter
1 820g pineapple slices (retain juice)

The cake
1-½ cups flour
6 tbsps ground almonds
¾ tsp baking powder
½ tsp salt
1 ½ cups caster sugar
1 cup salted butter (room temperature)
4 large eggs
1tspvanilla essence
¾ cup sour cream

What to do…
Combine the brown sugar and butter in a saucepan on medium heat until sugar dissolves. Add pineapple slices and juice into pan and simmer for five minutes. Remove pineapple slices and arrange around the greased tin, over-lapping the pineapple slices. Leave the syrup to simmer on medium heat to reduce for about ten minutes, then turn off heat and pour enough syrup into tin to just cover pineapple slices. Set aside remaining syrup.

Whisk the sifted flour, almond, baking powder and salt in a large bowl.

Seperate the yolks from the whites. Beat egg whites until stiff, and then set aside.

Cream butter and sugar until creamy, then add egg yolks one at a time, beating well in between.
Add vanilla, and then dry ingredients, folding and alternating with the sour cream.

Fold in the egg whites, and then pour cake batter over caramel and pineapple in pan.

Bake for approximately 1 hour and 15 minutes or until a skewer comes out clean.

Remove cake from oven and pour a little of the remaining syrup onto the cake. Stand for 10 minutes to allow syrup to soak into cake. (OPTIONAL) Alternatively…

Remove cake from oven and cool slightly for ten minutes.

Turn cake onto a serving platter. Serve warm with Double Cream. (Do not refrigerate cake. Keep for up to 3 days. Cake tastes even better on the second day!)