Shake it Bom Bom!

To all my food fanatic sisters: Off to meet Bianca today in Admiralty (buzzing hub of business, shopping and food, just one stop from central). I have to say, this place really provokes my weakness for all things over-designed, trendy, and ultra expensive.. On a more positive note about the outing-not only does the restaurant bring a level of nostalgia-I know Simply Life is one of Rachel’s and mom’s favorites in Hong Kong, but also meeting a dear family friend touches that soft spot for my family love.


As I roamed through the racks of lace, neon pinks, and over priced hello kitty dolls, what music was playing, but the very same “Science Fair Theme Song”: Bom Bom by Sam and The Womp! Immediately, I thought of Jessie and Maddie and the crazy nights spent prepping for their third place overall at the China-wide Intel Science Fair. (Great job by the way girls!! So proud of you and ready for some detoxed micro-environments!)

Last night I was also listening to a song that reminded me of you crazy girls-Shake It Out by Florence and The Machine. I remember discussing the lyrics with Rachel and singing it all over the house last time I was in Tianjin.

(Can I just have all of you girls back here in HK for some Simply Life with Bianca and me??)

So I was just thinking.. Any of you up for a challenge? What a better way to connect than singing.. And with our music addictions, I wanted to cover one of these two (or both? Mash up??).

Cupcake Phase

For the past month my oven has experienced literal tidal waves of cupcakes entering and exiting by the dozens. Seriously, for about a week, J, M, & M could expect a fresh cupcake every afternoon awaiting their return from school. Other than spending WAY too much time researching cupcake flavor variations, gaining a quite few extra pounds (eek!), and frustrating my Mother to no end with piles of dirty dishes, I have immensely enjoyed these sugar-filled days of baking.

We are a little s’more-crazy around here, so I couldn’t resist trying the cupcake form of a traditional campfire s’more… The first time around, I piped a fluffy meringue atop chocolate cupcakes. Sadly, however, I couldn’t taste the true “marshmallowy creaminess” famous in s’mores. Hence, a few days later, I tried a completely different frosting made from cream cheese and marshmallow fluff.

At this point, I am still tackling the introductory techniques of cupcakes. I have not reached the level of originality and creativity required for developing new flavors and design aesthetic. For now, I am benefiting from the experience of all the excellent bakers ahead of me… this particular recipe was developed by the very talented Rosie from Sweetapolita. She is such a sweetheart and I am constantly wowed and inspired by her work.
There are actually four parts to these cupcakes. 1.) graham cracker (or digestive cookie for those of us living overseas) crumbled base. 2.) Chocolate cupcake. 3.)Dark chocolate glaze spread directly onto the surface. 4.) Marshmallow frosting piped on top. I find this combination a perfect ratio of each s’more component: cracker, marshmallow, and chocolate bar.
Parts #2 and #4 are found here, and parts #1 and #3 are written below.
Graham cracker crust:

  • scant 1/2 cup butter 1-1/2
  • cup of Graham crackers crumbled

Chocolate Glaze:

  • 2/3 cup Dark Chocolate chopped
  • 2 TBL Heavy Whipping Cream
  • 4 TBL Powdered Sugar
  • 4-5 TBL warm Water

(~credit given to Bakersroyale for the above recipes)

Climbing Higher

I’ve decided to bring my baking passion to a new level by starting a small cake business here in 天津. Our kitchen is prepping for a whole new dimension of baking and, honestly, I can’t wait to get started! I’ve been working on a simple brochure (below) advertising various cakes which will be sold. Enjoy! 

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Cake Challenge: June

I’m still trying to catch up on all of these “terribly late” cake challenge posts. Today we’re revisiting the fresh start of summer, June. I made this cake at my grandparents house in South Dakota while enjoying cool whether and great company 🙂

You can find this cake recipe here!

If you recall, in my January edition I vented about some of the mistakes I made while baking my first 3-layer cake. Well, to tell you the truth the rest of this year hasn’t gone much better. Once I feel confident that I’ve mastered a certain skill, another mishap awaits me around the corner. I never expected baking to be quite so… difficult. For example…

If I heat egg whites and sugar together with no mistakes (for meringue per say), the butter I add to make a buttercream is mysteriously the wrong kind (salted instead of unsalted.) If I do a wonderful job of melting my dark chocolate (brought all the way from America)- making sure it doesn’t scorch- the Korean corn starch I add to the mixture causes the whole shebang to seize immediately.  Getting the picture?! If my skills are good, my ingredients don’t work; if my ingredients are perfect (-ly expensive!), my skills ruin them. Each new cake brings new frustrations, and sometimes disappointment. However, the more mistakes I make, the more knowledge I gain, I have to admit, its been a completely enlightening experience! And the more I learn, the more I crave to be in the kitchen watching mousses and meringues fluff up to form mountainous peaks in my little mixing bowls, smelling moistly baked cakes ready to be cooled, and arranging the end products for photographs! I am so blessed to have the time and resources to bake with, and more than that, to have such an incredible family who will graciously eat whatever I make (no matter how it tastes!).

<Cake Challenge Series: is a collection of posts which document the cakes I bake each month. More specifically, I have a goal this year to bake at least one (hopefully spectacular) layer cake each month, and photograph/post them here. I hope you enjoy this collection as much as I enjoy baking these delicious desserts!>

Other Cake Challenge Posts: