There’s always a first to everything!

As the title mention of a first to everything, I experienced a very special first a month ago. I took part in my very first competition! As a culinary student, it was such great honour and a nerve-wrecking experience to participate. It was foreign yet, exhilarating! So today, I shall share with you my journey in my very first competition!

This competition is called Project Bake Off 2016. It is a baking competition co-organised by nEbO, a junior membership arm of the Labour Movement (NTUC) Singapore, together with a group of Year 3 business studies students from our local polytechnic in Singapore, Ngee Ann Polytechnic. There were 2 rounds to this competition, a preliminary and final round. In the preliminary round, contestants, a team of 2, were tasked to bake 3 cheese tarts. The tarts would be judged based on creativity on the plating and the taste of the tarts. 10 qualified teams from the secondary and tertiary teams would then proceed to the finals. For the the final round, the teams would have to bake a birthday cake for the celebration of nEbO’s 9th birthday, with a secret ingredient incorporated in the cake.

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It was my partner, Angelyn, and I first ever competition. We are both culinary students, this was a very big deal to us. Therefore when we read the criterias for the preliminary round, we got down to business straight away. We researched on the creativity aspect of plating as the recipe for the cheese tarts were fixed. And so we shortlisted with 3 plates with various flavours infused.

Firstly, we have this vibrant orange spread made from pumpkin puree. We thought it went pretty well with the contrast of the tart shell and it tasted surprisingly fine with cheese! We added some blueberries, mint leaves and meringue for more texture.  IMG_8604 Our second plate, was a little more simple. The spread was a blueberry sauce. Again we played with the colours of the tart. IMG_8499

Lastly, the plate we decided to present, was a rustic and more adventurous plating idea. The base had a meringue, lightly smashed, then it undergo heat to allow caramelisation to take place. Then we added some blueberry sauce and mint leaves for more flavour and texture. IMG_8462

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Our last few moments of plating…

Everyone put up a tough fight for the preliminary round as there were some amazing work done by other contestants, however we were beyond surprised when we got through to the finals.

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Our final product.

The real deal happened during the final round, which happened 2 weeks after the preliminary round. It was intense and we only had 2 hours to dish up an 8 inch cake. We were taken aback by the results from the preliminary round, thus we did not have an idea of what type of cake we would be baking. And with the addition of the secret ingredient, caramelised cookie, we were clueless on what should our product be. We asked for advice from the chef in school and hence, we narrowed down to local flavours.

Our sponge consisted of the caramelised cookie, as we wanted an innovative way of incorporating the cookie into our cake and not just treat it as a garnish. IMG_9280

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Angelyn was in-charge of the sponge. And here she is folding the dry ingredients into the wet.

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While Angelyn worked on the cake, I was preparing the garnishes and cream. The cream used to frost the cake was a coconut cream. In between the layers, there would be a lime curd to moisten the cake. As garnishes we had gula melaka salted caramel and some chocolate barks to give the cake height. Gula melaka is a palm sugar, widely used in asian desserts, thus our idea of having it on our cake.

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The making of the lime curd.
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Making the gula melaka salted caramel.

We made sure all garnishes and cream were ready before we started to assemble the cake.

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We added some more caramel cookies to give the cake crunch and a variety of textures.
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Adding the lime curd in the middle gives the cake a colour contrast and a pleasant surprise!

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We creamed the cake with splashes of orange and yellow colour as orange colour represents nEbO!
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The caramel was too warm when we poured it onto the cake, thus it melted the buttercream a little.

Within 2 short hours, Angelyn and I gladly baked a birthday cake!

It was the shortest 2 hours I have ever experienced, but it was fun and the adrenaline pumping through out the time made this whole experience so worth it. The results we achieved scored extra brownie points in my ecstasy as we clinched 2nd runner up with the most eye-catching cake.

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With one of the judges, Mr Markas Aw, the owner of Crusty Oven, Singapore.

I could not have done this competition without my partner, Angelyn. It was yet another first with you and it was such a lovely journey, from the experiments of the cheese tarts to the birthday cake. Extremely grateful to be able to take part in this competition, it really broaden my horizons in the baking world. The other contestants put up such a great fight and it made this prize even more valuable.

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I would like to thank the 3 gracious judges for giving us your honest feedbacks and ways to improve. To the students from Ngee Ann Polytechnic, you have organised such a great event and would be looking forward to participant in more!

Overall, it was an absolutely pleasure to be part of this bake off! It was definitely a good virgin experience in the competition world and I hope to be able to join many more and share it with you!

And if you are wondering what Angelyn and I named our team, We are called ACEsulfame! We chose that name due to the sweetener we learnt in school and also, there’s ACE in the name!

I hope you have enjoyed reading this piece and till next time, See you!

Spread love and Be Kind! Pei Gee

To find out more on the organizers and judges…

Organisers:

nEbO- Not the usual club

Project Bake Off 2016, Facebook

Judges:

Mr Lutfi the founder of Bakers Of Singapore: Instagram @BakersofSingapore

Mr Markas Aw, the owner of Crusty Oven, Singapore.

Ms Sri Suratman, the owner of La Marelle Cafe, Singapore.

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My Trending Stories- Pei Gee Tan 

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Or, Drop me a mail at TPG22@hotmail.com

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Taiwan, April 2016.

It was my second trip to Taiwan. This time, it was different. Different place, different time, different people.

Do you know the saying, “Same Same but Different” ? That was exactly what I felt the entire trip. Places I been on my first trip was vaguely the same but it felt different. It could probably be the movement of objects, but who knows? I was not there for years.

Time have changed. So did the world. It definitely changed my world. Time changed my confidence, courage and concept to the world. With growing confidence, I managed to book my second air-ticket aboard, to Taiwan. With courage and strength, I waved goodbye to my family to embark on a trip that is once in a lifetime. With a different view to the world, I grew and learnt.

Amanda was my travel companion this time. She is a friend I made when I was 12. When I decided to travel with her, I never knew it was going to be an adventure. An adventure that is one in a million.

So come embark on this 3 part series on Big On Food. It would be uploaded on Saturday, for the period of 3 Saturdays. I hope you have enjoyed this piece as it was written with every piece of my heart. Thank you for reading and till next time, See you!

Spread Love & Be Kind! Xoxo Pei Gee

If you would like to see more about my trip to Taiwan, head over to…

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Marching onto April…

March passed by in a jiffy as I spent the first week of it mugging and stuffing my face in books and notes, in hopes to pull up my GPA. Then I was left with 3 weeks of the month left. Holiday started and I immersed myself in an event which took my evenings away.

I worked part time in an event called iLights, which was a showcase of light exhibits, sculptures and light shows.

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I worked as a crew member at Marina Bay Sand.

I got the chance to experience an Indian wedding as well. It was a wedding of a friend of mine. The wedding was extraordinary. Everyone was buzzing with joy and the venue was decorated with lots of fresh flowers and colourful drapes of cloth. It was a special day.  Congratulations to the lovely couple! May you live a blissful marriage! IMG_3219

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I ate lamb biryani with assam chicken, vegetable curry and pickles. I ADORED THAT MEAL SO MUCH! (You could clearly see my love for Indian food here… 🙂

I managed to squeeze in some time for food…!

There goes March. It was not an exciting month for me as I tired myself throughout March, which was the reason March was not the best month of the year yet. However I am SO EXCITED for April as I would be traveling, therefore this would be my last post for these couple of weeks as I would be abroad. Do not fret as I have every intention of sharing it all on Big On Food, so stay tune for that! Till then, Thank you for reading and See you soon!

Spread Love & Be Kind. Xoxo Pei Gee

Stay connected with me on…

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Or drop me an email at TPG22@hotmail.com

One Year in Temasek Polytechnic, Baking & Culinary Science!

Technically, it would be a year in April, however the school term has come to an end. Therefore this post would be a small dedication to my new found friends in Temasek Poly!

It has been a rollercoaster ride. With my class, we have been through a lot together, had some pretty awesome fun and definitely a good laugh. Some of us got off on the wrong foot from the beginning, but as the school term progresses, friendship started brewing. And that led me to these 3 special ladies, whom I got so close and comfortable with. They are just amazing and brilliant girls. Glad to have them in school and most importantly, in my life.

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Thank you girls for making this first year enjoyable.

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Not forgetting other monkeys in the class which made the class a joke. HA! I shall let the pictures speak for itself.

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This was when everyone was still getting to know each other. All young and happy!

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A rare class photo. Good time.
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Not forgetting these boys. Very understanding and fun to be with!

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I think this was taken on our first practical assessment. We were glad that it is over!

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This was during our Chinese New Year dinner.

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All in all, it was a great year with new friends, with many highs and lows. I cannot say it was an easy year with this bunch, but with all the chaos comes great strength after. It has been a blessing to meet everyone with unique personality and an amazing sense of humor. I always find myself laughing, be it good or bad. It was a tough year but we got through it together. There’s a saying that goes “Friends are family you chose”. It was a heck of a journey with them, and I cannot wait for what’s to come next!

Thank you for reading and I hope you have enjoy this little something I pieced together for my friends. Till next time, Ciao~

Spread Love & Be Happy! Xoxo Pei Gee

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新年快乐! Happy Chinese New Year!

Happy Chinese New Year! I promised a post on New Year’s Day itself, so here it is! I am going to be talking about the atmosphere and the festive spirit Singapore holds during the Lunar New Year. IMG_1723

I took some time off just a week before Chinese New Year(CNY) to make a trip to Chinatown to see what they have to offer for this festive period. It was mildly crowded which I found rather disapproving. I wanted to experience a sense of urgency and eagerness for the New Year, though there were certain lanes in the heart of Chinatown which were buzzing with foreigners and locals getting their new year goodies.

There were booths selling pineapple tarts and treats that you would only get during CNY, there were vendors selling red packets and decorative items. And there were stalls selling pomelo. The significance of pomelo are abundance, prosperity, having children, good health, family unity.

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Red packets and miscellaneous decorations for the home.
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Mandarin oranges. They represents wealth and good fortune. When visiting, visitors would present 2 mandarin oranges to the host and the host would exchange the oranges.
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These are the pomelos.

Oh! Another thing about CNY are barbeque pork. I do not really know the significance of eating BBQ pork on CNY, however there was a massive line of people in line to get their hands for those savory pork. IMG_1731

Also, to celebrate CNY, Chinatown would be lit with lights and big animal blows up. It was a sight to see. IMG_1742

Chinatown during the Lunar New Year is certainly a sight to see. Breathe in the surroundings , capture the array of lights and enjoy the food tastings. HAHA!

Well that is all I have for today. I hope you have enjoyed this post. To all Chinese out there, Happy New Year.

Stay Brightly Positive & Bake On! Xoxo Pei Gee

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People whom I spent 2015 with… {Day 12 of 12 Days of Christmas}

As this series comes to an end, I would like to share with everyone, people whom I experienced fun, joy and laughter with.

Let’s begin!

IMG_9623 Shaheedah! One of my closest friend throughout Secondary school. Ever since school started this year, both of us were pretty busy in school, so therefore I ache for the days where we chat and gossip for hours again!

The Lovatics! We have spent a great amount of time together, laughing and goofing off with each other. Good times. IMG_0622 IMG_0177

And when school started…

My new classmates, whom are rather interesting and annoying at the same time! IMG_1655

ZYRA! Our ‘mother’ in school, always telling us the directions and homework that needs to be done. Oh! And also the powerduo to our practical classes! Truly grateful for you!

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ANGELYN! My travel buddy, the bubble of joy and the food critic! School would be a bore without you! And you would see more of you in the following pictures.

 

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IMG_0030And Pearlyn! The crazy one, but weirdly enough, also the logical one. Oh! And the most mature one out of all of them! Thank you for appearing in my school days as I would not know what to do without a lunatic in my days in school.

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And during my recent trip to Japan, I made plenty more new friends, which made the trip enjoyable and AWESOME! IMG_8334 IMG_8119 IMG_8912IMG_8533

And of course, the 2 friends that stand by me since 6 years ago… IMG_1765

Joslyn, sometimes hyper and sometimes, always a bore. But as always, I enjoy the time spent with you anytime and anywhere! IMG_2794

Melvin! The person who always got my back, went through thick and thin with me and tolerated me the most! Thank you for always staying by my side whenever and wherever!  IMG_1537

And not forgetting, FAMILY! IMG_3921

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To those whom I did not mention in this blog, please do not be offended. I might not have pictures of us together therefore there isn’t a feature of you in it. The memories we made together are in my heart. 🙂

Well… This is the end of 12 Days of Christmas. I had the greatest joy writing 12 post for this festive season. Thank you for reading, either 1 of them or all of them. Have a wonderful Christmas, eat loads of turkey, ham and log cakes! Till the next time, Ciao~

 

A lot to be thankful for…

As the year is coming to an end, I have been reflecting about 2015 and there are a lot to be thankful for, so therefore, here is a post from me to everyone whom I am thankful for this year.

  1. I am immensely thankful for my family. The support they have given me throughout 2015 is beyond words. Thank you Dad, Mum and my annoying little sister. IMG_9592
    Dad, me and sister.
    Dad, me and sister.
    Me, Sister and Mum.
    Me, Sister and Mum.

    A dinner with the family. Also the celebration of my grandpa's birthday!
    A dinner with the family. Also the celebration of my grandpa’s birthday!
  2. My new friends. If you have been reading my blog from April, you would be aware that I have graduated from secondary school and moved on to a tertiary education. With a new school and environment, I made some amazing friends. Thank you for tolerating my chattiness and here’s to another 2 years together! IMG_6574 IMG_5195 IMG_4399 IMG_2620 I am also fortunate enough to make a lot more new friends, however it is a little bit too much for this post, so I would leave them for future posts!
  3. And not forgetting, my best friends! To the 2 beautiful kind souls for always being there for me, I could never thank you enough for being in my life. IMG_3111

    So thankful for these goofballs in my life...
    So thankful for these goofballs in my life…
  4. Lastly, my health. I cannot really remember when was the last time I walked into a clinic but hey, that is a terrific sign by the way. I guess having meatless mondays and mostly eating a plant-base is good for you. So Kudos to life and food!  IMG_2890  IMG_6951 IMG_4455 IMG_8773 I have yet to feature some new recipes, so stay tune for new eats!

The year so far have been a roller-coaster, emotionally and physically. Glad I made to November in a piece! Cheers to a good year with good health and amazing company.

Oh! I am very thankful for all the support and love I received from this blogging community. I have not been the best at updating this year, however there were still some lovely soul out there supporting, so thank you very much.

And this concludes the post today. Thank you for reading and Happy Thanksgiving! Till next time, Ciao~! Xoxo.