Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Chloe -my school holiday guest chef & Singapore - my vacation wrap-up

After 2 solid vacation posts, the passionate foodie in me is literally ‘itching’ to do a post on a home spun goodie of some sort – so today, I present to you a guest chef from the Rode-Chong household, my gorgeous multi-talented daughter Chloe who is affectionately known at home as ‘Theng-Theng’. For all you foodies reading this post, I hope you will leave a kind comment as an encouragement to her. Many thanks in advance from this doting mom!


Chloe is 13, loves to cook and bake – her favourite food items in the whole wide world are the glorified Potato and the highly exalted Chocolate so it’s no wonder that she’s sharing her favourite Brownie recipe today. I’m just a little surprised that she did not incorporate a spud or two in the recipe! See here for another of Chloe's creations! Chloe also enjoys Hip Hop dancing, reading girlie novels and magazines, racquet sports, rock climbing and swimming. Albeit her tender age, Chloe is a sensible and responsible child who assists me in my home duties above and beyond her assigned tasks. She is a delightful companion and I count myself extremely blessed to have her as my daughter.

Chloe’s totally awesome Chocolate, Chocolate Brownies!
Makes 24

40g all-purpose flour
60g unsweetened cocoa powder
2 cups granulated sugar
250g good-quality dark chocolate,
chopped into small pieces
125g milk chocolate chips
250g salted butter, melted
2tsps natural vanilla extract
4 eggs lightly beaten

Preheat the oven to160 degrees Celsius. Lightly grease a 20 x 30 cm cake tin and line with baking paper, leaving the paper hanging over on the two long sides.
Sift the flour and cocoa powder into a bowl and add the sugar and chocolate. Mix together and make a well in the centre.
Pour the butter into the dry ingredients with the vanilla and eggs and mix well. Pour into the tin, smooth the surface and bake for 40 minutes (the mixture will still be a bit soft on the inside). Chill for 2 hours before lifting out, using the paper as handles, and cutting into pieces. Enjoy them with your friends!

Now, on to the second part of this post - a wrap-up of my recent vacation in Singapore, I would firstly like to say that Singapore is Ming’s (my husband) country of origin, his family and the friends that he grew up with are all there, so we visit the island about twice a year. As for me, besides visiting Ming’s family, I get to hang out with one of my ‘Bestest’ (I learned this word from my daughters) friends, M, (of 'Yummytots') who actually introduced me to blogging. I have known M for yonks, we went to High School together here in Perth. We used to ‘wag’ (play truant) school together, cook and bake together, have long chats while we plucked hairs from our legs, ok, maybe a little bit too much info there but yeah, we were really close then and we still are.

The very impressive color changing canopy at Clarke Quay

Paige, at Clarke Quay

Paige and I browsing some bling-bling at Clarke Quay

Paige, digging into the Haagen Daaz Chocolate Fondue at Clarke Quay - hey, this here is a natural born foodie!

During my stay in Singapore, M and I went for two Delicious treatment massages at the ‘Renewal Day Spa’ in Tong Building Orchard Road, a couple of ‘toe-curling’ reflexology sessions at the People’s Park, countless meals together with our families – the best being the afternoon tea at the PS. (Project Shop) CafĂ© in Harding Road where we had their famous Steak Sandwich and fantabulous Tall Chocolate Cake. The most memorable meal however was had at M’s home where she cooked up a really satisfying meal that included her mouth-watering ‘Assam Fish Head’ (Fish Head cooked in a spicy tamarind sauce). As always the best meals are had without the presence of a camera, unfortunately. M and I also did a baking class together with Lynn Chen, patissier blogger and instructor at Palate Sensations, a cooking school in Singapore. We learnt to make the ‘Opera’ – a rich 3-layer almond sponge saturated in coffee and liqueur, sandwiched in a coffee butter cream and covered in a Valrhona Dark Chocolate Ganache. It was heavenly, as you can imagine. Lynn was wonderful, M and I totally enjoyed the experience.

Our 'Opera' making class in Lynn's Kitchen

The finished Product..

'M's very successful 'Opera'

During this trip, I also had the pleasure of meeting ‘A’ of Greedy Goose, one of my favourite food blogs. ‘A’ was really sweet and hospitable and my family and I took to her immediately. We had lunch together at the famous Chicken Rice stall in the Alexandra Village Hawker Centre. The Chicken and the fragrant ‘oil’ rice was delicious but the girls and I stared in horror as Ming and ‘A’ tucked into the plate of Chicken livers!

After Lunch, ‘A’ took us to ‘Macaron’, a patisserie specialising in macarons where we had some very tantalising samples over coffee. It was a very pleasant afternoon indeed.

Our Macaron Tasting Plate

A half chomped-on Lavender Macaron

Besides having a lot more lunches....

Ming, Chloe and I at Toast Box, Food Republic in Vivo City

.....and a lot more dinners...

'Rojak' - Singaporean Spicy Fruit Salad with Crisp Cruellers

Cheryl (my niece) and I at Island Cafe, CK Tangs

Spicy Fried Chicken Wings

...Ming and Paige visited the zoo whilst Chloe and I caught up on some retail therapy. Here's Paige (my precious, precious baby!) to take you on a mini tour of the World-Class Singapore Zoo..

Paige and the Alligator

A very rare White Tiger

Paige and the Hippos

Paige with the monkeys and the trainer in the background

Paige and the Elephant

This post concludes the recount of my August 2007 Foodie Vacation. I hope you have enjoyed reading this post as much as I've enjoyed writing it!