And of course, a topper to top it all off
Humans are fickle beings, I have always said. We change - not merely appearances, but what's inside. Our thoughts change, as do our mentality. We mature, sometimes for better, other times, worse. All of us, every part, shifts, twists and re-shapes itself over time, like the eternal and immense evolutionary cycle that has part of itself coursing through our veins.
And the evolutionary cycle, a mysterious creature which has us all in its grasp, but it not in ours. We think we comprehend her, but really, with no disrespect to Darwin, we don't. She constantly appears, adding a tweak here, a touch there, in the most obscure places which later surface as science' greatest conundrums. She changes us, the evolutionary cycle.
I broach this subject once more, the subject of change, for a reason unbeknownst to me. I don't know what sort of words I might spew in the later part of this post, but really, this is about the cycle of change. I've changed as this blog has, ripening with it, as a lovely piece of peach or mango might.
Summer is ripening along with her produce, it's true. I can see it, smell it. It's in the pungent odour (or scent, if you like them) of durians which pervade your nostrils and stick there, cloyingly, I say. I don't know why I have such a strong aversion to the fruit, the green spiky beast which splits open to reveal soft, custard=y innards.
I can see summer aging too, in the produce that lines supermarket shelves so orderly. There's the blueberries which are a third of their original cost (leading me to slap my forehead in regret for having purchased a box at the marked-up price). There's the peaches and nectarines, which I deem to have arrived rather late in the season, after seeing all the recipes being whipped up whilst I don't have those summer fruits to make my own too.
But, hey, it's Singapore! We're situated in the middle of, well, everywhere. There's the constant thrum of planes soaring overhead, the rumble and roar of ships in the harbour. As said in here, we live on a moveable feast, where everything is everywhere. And especially as summer bares her vibrant plumage of pink, gold, purple and red far and wide, where's the fruit? I was beginning to question.
They're here now, slowly making an appearance on store shelves, and I most certainly do swoop to pick up the plump berries and succulent stone-fruits.
It's August now. I'll be sad when summer departs, but I know that she'll return, with more variety, more unexpected, wilder and fiercer. The winds and rain have begun to wash and blow her away, it's visible. But she'll come back. After all, she's part of evolution.
Champagne grapes have begun to sprout on shelves, and I picked up a punnet too, proudly displaying them here despite there being no connection whatsoever between grapes and the chiffon cake.
Now, cake. It's Singapore; chiffon cake plays an integral part of our lives, most specifically in a light shade of green also known as pandan. But, no. Here's me, who decides to go against convention and have an orange-coconut one. Coconut's presence here is faint, dancing only on the tips of the tastebuds ever so delicately. Orange, meanwhile, has a more prominent presence. She adds life to the cake, spiking it up with her citrus taste.
Chiffon cake's texture is one that possesses airiness and immense fluffiness. And for that to occur, it's to be cooled, upside-down. Hence, I spent 20 minutes about the house, toting a whisk with an inverted cake on top. But it was so, so worth it.
And now, French toast. With the sweetness of cake counteracted with egg, it's both spongy and soft. This mix is full of juxtapositions - peach and tahini, sweet and bitter. Tahini is not one to be intimidated by; it's an incredibly versatile ingredient, being nutty but not sweet. The sweet juice of peaches are emphasised by cooking them, and dribbles down the chin in a most delightful manner, before exploding into a starburst of sweetness mingling with nutty-bitterness of tahini.
Peach & Tahini French Toast-ed Chiffon Cake
Ribbon Cake Topper
3 11x2.5 cm long strips of paper
a long ruler
2 satay sticks
pens and markers for decorating
1. Trim 2 of the paper strips to measure 7-cm long.
2. Mark 1 cm on a side of each of the 7-cm strips and on both ends of the 11-cm strip.
3. Cut the 1-cm portions out diagonally, as shown below. You may cut a ribbon-like ending on the shorter strips, if wished.
4. Decorate, then tape onto the satay sticks.
-to be continued-