Homemade tiramisu

Monday, January 09, 2012

I've just discovered that making your own tiramisu can be both simple & daunting at the same time. Simple cuz you don't have to bake it. It can be daunting due to the difficulty to get the right ingredients at an affordable price unless there's a shop at your neighbourhood which supplies baking needs.

Mascarpone cheese & whipping cream are easily available at supermarkets but with a hefty price tag. Took me a while to prep all the ingredients cuz I was foolish for not visiting the baking shop that my colleague recommended earlier.

With all the ingredients laid on the kitchen counter, I read through my colleague's recipe & strictly followed the instructions without missing a step. Instead of using rum, I replaced it with kahlua (coffee liquor). After sifting the cocoa powder generously on the mixture surface, the cake was left to chill for 4 hours or more.

Upon checking the cake, I found out that the texture was too soft & a little watery. It was difficult to cut & the sliced cake always ended up in a mess. Nevertheless, the taste was heavenly with strong coffee & liquor.

Finally, I discovered the mistake - apparently my colleague missed a step & forgot to jot down that the gelatin powder needs to be mixed with hot water before pouring into the mascarpone mixture. I only poured the gelatin powder into mixture instead. Haha. It's no wonder that the cake was too soft. Somehow chilling the cake for more than 12 hours gave even more distinct taste to the cake. And the longer chilling time allows the cake to harden a little more in order to compensate for my mistake. I'll definitely try making this again so watch this space! =D

K-pop worship

Saturday, January 07, 2012

While at work flipping throught the newspapers, I came across this article titled, The K-pop cult with the images featuring TVXQ & Super Junior. While I was supposed to be looking at competitor's advertisements, I couldn't help but continued reading the article. Upon consuming the entire article, I could certainly relate to the writer's experience.

I couldn't agree more with the writer's description on how cult-like K-pop fandom can be. If you've been following my blog for the past few years, I'm sure you're aware that I was once a big fan of TVXQ or fondly known as DBSK. On a daily basis - without fail - I would stay in front of the computer for hours just downloading TVXQ stuff (MVs, songs, live performances, variety shows etc.) when I should be getting started on my college assignments.

Then, there's the hard-to-resist new album releases with several versions packaged in the coolest or most beautiful box you've ever come across. In fact, I almost owned all their CDs & DVDs and treated them as my prized collection cuz they were imported from Korea or Japan. And I had the opportunity to attend their concert twice when they stopped over at Malaysia. While I considered my sanity kept in check by hanging out at the concert venue 6 hours before it starts, my friend was crazy enough to stalk them right from their arrival at airport until the late night rehearsal before the concert.

Soon enough, 3 members of the group were plagued with a court case between their management/record label SM Entertainment for binding them to a slave contract that was too long, restrictive & low pay. Due to this, their activities were drastically reduced & I saw less of them. When Junsu, Yoochun & Jaejoong won the case, I supposed the relationship with SM turned sour & ended with a tragic split from the TVXQ to form their own group called JYJ. Meanwhile, Yunho & Changmin remained in TVXQ & continued to promote their works via SM.

As predicted, my interest for all of them wane quickly cuz I was heartbroken with the split. When the love for them was lost, whatever prized collection I have seemed like heaps of trash taking up unnecessary space. But never got to selling any of it cuz deep down inside, I couldn't. TVXQ was indeed a talented group which possess versatile voices & fancy dance moves, unlike the new generation of K-pop boybands with engineered sounds & Autotuned, churning songs after songs that are forgettable.

Unlike what the writer said, I wouldn't consider TVXQ as robots that have passed its lifespan & discarded as rag dolls. The band still lives on anyway - only with 2 members while the 3 of them took different career paths. I never regretted being part of this K-pop worshipping cuz it cheered up my life & made me some new friends (though not long-lasting). Now I'm glad that I put an end to it cuz the fandom was draining my moolah faster than I could ever imagine.

Credits: The Star, Friday 6 January 2012

Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol

Wednesday, January 04, 2012

Yeah, yeah. I hear some of you are groaning & rolling your eyes, quietly telling yourselves, "Not another sequel again?". Just bear with me...this movie is worth every second of your precious time. This instalment is by far the best as compared to the first movie which is usually the best.

Oh well, not that I remembered the 2nd & 3rd instalments anyway so it would be an unfair statement from me, eh? Anyhow, when a movie keeps your eyes glued to the screen without a hint of boredom means that the movie is pretty engaging. In this movie, Tom Cruise reprises his role as Ethan Hunt in prison while his team tries to help him escape. And then he takes on Ghost Protocol mission (hence the movie title) & embark on a journey around few countries.

What's new compared to the previous Mission Impossibles? Definitely more gadget-laden than before. You get to see Ethan & his team incorporating iPhones & iPads in their operation, not to forget some of the state-of-the-art features that are probably fictional & non-existent in reality at this moment. And you get to see really cool concept cars too. I'd have to admit that the scene where Ethan Hunt was climbing the world's tallest building, Burj Dubai was exaggerated but nevertheless, the whole movie was witty & entertaining. That's what I like - keeping the plot straight forward & not trying too hard to be too intelligent or risk failing miserably.

Pic courtesy of MoviePosterDB.com

2012 is not end of the world

Tuesday, January 03, 2012

Another year came & gone by sooner than we expected. Here I am sitting down in front of my humble lappie (again), recollecting all the memories (both good & bad) that happened the entire 2011. I wouldn't be doing a year in review like how it was published in the mainstream media. Or else you'll be bored as hell cuz you probably read it many times.

What I'm gonna put down here is more on a personal level. My biggest event for 2011 would be...accepting WL's marriage proposal & had been engaged ever since. It was both thrilling & scary after making such a huge decision - even more significant than when I turned 21 - cuz it felt like I'm no longer a young adult. I'm transforming to become a fine lady & soon-to-be someone's wife. Although we haven't decided a date nor laid down any plans yet, we're targeting to register by year end. Whatever it is, getting engaged is a milestone achievement for me.

Somehow for the first time, I managed to fulfill some of the resolutions I made last December. Just to recap on what I hope to achieve a year ago:
  1. Get a new job
    I quit my first job & moved on to another company in a different industry. Pay was in a way better but the unfortunate thing is joining at the wrong timing.
  2. Save more money
    Indeed my savings have increased after a job change. Of course, it would be great if there's a pay rise.
  3. Tidy up my junk
    I did some spring cleaning & managed to clear up a lot. But it's still work in progress. =P

With so many things happening around me, I resort to one resolution for this new year - to stay happy & try to be positive. There's no better medicine than be cheerful & optimistic each day. Of course, having good financial prospects would make a happy me but I guess I can't be too greedy, right?

So, is 2012 the end of the world? The Mayans could be wrong as there's no calamity so far. It's only January so lots of things could change in a couple of months. We shall see...meanwhile, here's wishing all of you a very Happy New Year!