Nutella Mini Cakes

 I'm in love with these pretty little things.

When I came across this recipe, I was curious how 4 ingredients can whip into a good chocolate treat so this lazy skeptic chose to test it out.

Cake centre gooey and sticky

Preheat oven to 170C. Whisk half cup of Nutella with 1 large egg until combined, whisk in 5 tablespoons of plain flour. Spoon batter into mini muffin cups and top with chopped hazelnuts. Bake for 10-12mins until pick comes out moist with gooey crumbs.

This is definitely for those who want a shortcut to rave worthy dessert. Best to enjoy this warm!

Warm love,


Itacho Sushi - Ion Orchard

As you can see, I do not have many pictures of the restaurant itself because the food was the centre of my attention. I will let food pictures do most of the talking in this post.

At Itacho Sushi, you predominantly chomp on sushi. Some venture into curry rice, noodles and such but will soon agree the carbs are not worth as much as their sushi.

My must-order recommendations are the Roast Pork Sushi and Tempura Prawn Sushi, wait till I give the Wagyu Beef Sushi a try and I will drop you a line.

What is special in their sushi must be the rice melting in my mouth feeling, nothing beats soft yet chewy rice, not overly vinegered and always allow the topping to be the star. I know why there is a queue here and I will be happy to line up too!
Warm love,


Take a Break

In the midst of your hectic life, don’t forget to take a break.

Take some time off to get to know yourself.

I’m off! Do Widzenia!

~ Juan


Old Fashioned Choc Cake

Looks good enough to eat? Unfortunately not.

Served during Dad's birthday dinner, it soon became apparent that 2nd helpings are not going to happen.

Not only the icing has been 'frozen' by the refrigeration, the cake was sandy and unusually crumbly to enjoy.

I'll just have to find another recipe and learn that not all 'famous chef' recipes work all the time. Is it me? Or the haze? What a bummer.

Warm love,


Letters to Juliet

Just watched this film and it got me digging into my photos archive. It was set in Verona, where Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet play was based on… was there few years back and the beautiful settings in the movie look all so familiar.

The wall of Juliet House with many love messages…

Famous balcony and bronze Juliet. Legend says that in Verona, there were these two real families Montecchi and Capello in feud at that time. 

Lunch in Verona…

Dessert: The “Gelateria Savoia” was established in 1939 by husband & wife Vittorio Bonvicini and Luigia Savoia. Their first ice creams were unique in both quality and shape. Over the years, these original Veronese ice creams became so popular that they went on to become known and enjoyed all over the world. The above are the few famous ones…. The one in the centre (The Pinguino meaning Penguin) is said to be the first ice cream on a stick.

   One Penguin for me!

Find them at Via Roma 1/b (Piazza Bra) 37121 Verona Italia.



Barley, Gingko & Beancurd Skin Dessert

In chinese it is known as 白果意米腐竹糖水 and it is quite a mouthful to say the name of this dessert; this is what Mum used to cook for the family when I still had the luxury of staying with my parents.

Being a bride-to-be is not easy, being a vain bride-to-be takes even more effort. My plan is to take care of my skin inside out. I've been investing in regular facial sessions to pamper my skin, drinking bird's nest once in a while and another a cheaper way to nourish the skin is to cook this chinese sweet soup.

There are many versions to this. Some like hard boiled eggs in it, some like to taste chunky beancurd skin in the soup; I like mine creamy like soy milk with chewy barley and nutritious gingko.

The painful part of making this is preparing the gingko. Because mum used to cook this and not me, I now know for the first time what it means to 'remove the heart' of the gingko. After cracking the gingko shell (trying not to hammer my fingers), and soaking the gingkos in warm water to easy the removal of skin on the prized fruit, the next step is to use a toothpick pushing one tip to the another to push out the bud of the gingkos. It sounds easy but I had to grovel the toothpick inside the gingko in search of the bud and it took a long while to go through all the gingkos.

The results was very good. The beancurd skin melted into the soup and the barley was not mushy. Besides the gingko, it was pretty quick to prepare as well. So girls, you should really make some of this to pamper yourself!

20-25 Gingko nuts
1 packet of dried beancurd skin
50g holland barley (there are 2 kinds of barley and this is the one you need)
1.5l water
Rock sugar to taste

How to:
Rinse barley and gingko nuts and soak barley for 30mins. Rinse dried beancurd and soak till white in a separate bowl.

Put water in pot, add soaked beancurd skin and barley. Boil  in covered put for about 20mins on low fire, or until beancurd skin melts.

Add gingko and rock sugar to taste. Boil for another 15mins more and turn off fire. Serve warm or refrigerate and enjoy it cold.

Warm love,


Lazy Morning….

A little charming place to grab a bite…

   ALLANS Organic Patisserie Boulangerie    @ 75 Duke Street, London  W1K 5PA
                        Vegetarian English Breakfast ~ Juan


Easy Banana Cake

It is so easy to neglect food/snacks that are sitting on the shelf, on the table or in the fridge. The next thing I know, it is too ripe or turning bad. Does it happen to everyone or am I just an impulse person buying too much to consume?

There were some bananas sitting on the table and as days past, they are too brown for eating just as it is but perfect for baking!

Previously, I baked Banana & Choc Bread so this time, I wanted to try Banana Cake instead. The cake version is supposed to be light and softer than the banana bread.

I went on the internet to scour for a recommended recipe and chanced upon Jamie Yeo's food blog with a highly commented and raved recipe. They said it is no fail so...

And they were right! It is just amazing how a simple and suspiciously too easy recipe could yield such soft and moist banana bites! The bananas I had were good for this as they were not rotten, just perfectly soft and no sweat to mash. You can still taste real chunks of banana in the cake. This recipe is definitely a keeper. I'm so lazy to bake it in a cake and cut it later, I baked them in muffin cases so it was easy to share it.

Baking doesn't have to be difficult, try this and you will know what i mean.

Warm love,

Happy Brownie Birthday!

I love the expressions on his face when  surprise friends showed for the surprise birthday party. Kel probably had an inkling something was up when Ginny and Patrick burst the bubble a little but he had no idea the extent of the plan until more people showed up!

It wasn't a big party actually but it was blissful and one full of laughter and sharing. I'm glad we pulled this off, thanks to all who helped me run some errands and were involved in the details of this little party.

We had do-it-yourself popiah and kueh pie tee from Kway Guan Huat, apparently LKY has his runner to buy some for him regularly. Not sure how true is that but the popiah turned out very good, the chilli paste packs a punch! The kuey pie tee requires similar ingredients but the freshly made shells were crispy and fragrant which really makes the dish taste good. However, the popiah party pack did not come with hard boiled eggs, coriander and lettuce and I should have prepared them myself but everything else was perfect.


Kel's wish (since too long ago) was to have me bake 'gooey' brownies for him. I took this opportunity to make him a brownie birthday cake for him and it was fantastic! I love Nigella's recipe, it is easy to follow and no fuss at all. After the brownies have cooled, stack them and stick candles on the tower -Viola!

This time, I invested in some quality vanilla essence and I must tell you it does make a difference. It is worth the money!

Happy Birthday Kel!

Warm love,


The Bay Restaurant

    Freycinet Riesling 2009 Vintage – light wine with a combi of flora and lime flavour. Its more worth getting it from the vineyard than having it off the restaurant’s wine list…  which we did the next day when we passed by…

Melshell Oysters from the Bay - natural with lemon & shallot dressing

   Kids Meal…

Tasmanian ocean trout fondant - panseared and scented with a hint of lemon grass and served with shitake mushrooms, semi-dried tomato flavoured rice

  Confit of duck maryland - nestled on barlotti beans, chorizo cassoulet with green beans and apple balsamic

Crispy Skin Blue Eye TrevAlla - nestled on cucumber tagliatelle, sesame and pumpkin puree with elderflower beurre blanc sauce

for me mummy dearest…

Add: Freycinet National Park, Coles Bay, Tasmania, 7215

Tel: + 613 6225 7016

~ Juan


Old India

A Grade II Listed building… Listed by English Heritage because it carries special architectural/historic interest… And this is our Bristol’s Old Stock Exchange building now converted to an Indian restaurant. Forget about the big hype on the food here…am already drowning in the old colonial atmosphere…

Chutney tray of dippings for Papads..mmm…

   Is it too obvious that I like Papadums?

Add: Old India, 34 St Nicholas Street, Bristol, UK

Tel: +44 (0) 1179221136

Heva good weekend!!!

~ Juan

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