Saturday, August 16, 2014

Decadent Crispy Churros from Spanish Doughnuts!

Tick tock, tick tock. Your eyes widen as you look at the fresh dough being piped out of the churrera. Your tastebuds begin tingling, watching the golden fried churros come out of the fryer. The chef lays them out onto a cooling rack, and sprinkles pristine white powdered sugar over the delicate star-shaped goodness. He scoops a portion into their custom-made cone, and places 3 dips hanging on its mouth. He calls your number... and you feel your senses come alive.

Now that my friends, is how the process of waiting for your churros at Spanish Doughnuts is like. ;)

Mmm-mm! I can still taste the savoury yet sweet awesomeness that lingers in my mouth. :D Like woah, it was THAT good.

Here's some photos from the churro making process:
The churro dough piping itself outta the churrera
Doesn't it just make you salivate at the thought of having one to crunch? Coz my goodness, this dough that they make comes out real crispy, not oily, and yet mind-blowingly amazing. Even the powdered sugar is just right. What I haven't had before was dipping my churro into various chocolate sauces. Over here at Spanish Doughnuts, they offer a variety of churro for you to select and enjoy - some are filled, some decorated with an abundance of toppings, and then you have the most popular item on the menu: the Choco Churrito's! Yes, they offer the original hot churros as well, plus a savoury option that has not yet been made available, but for today, let's feature the item which Singaporeans have been raving about!

Choco Churrito's 
When you see it in all its glory, especially the first time, you get this immediate feeling of satisfaction rising in your chest. After snapping all the pics from every angle possible, you ready yourself to devour that fried doughy goodness. Your fingers tremble slightly as they gently pick up the churro and dip it into the dark/milk/white chocolate. When you finally sink your teeth into the churro, your eyes roll back as you mouth the words, "Omg this is insanely delicious!" - My Virgin Experience.

Dat Churro.
Churro decadence at its finest.

The variety of 3 chocolate sauces are certainly a factor which Singaporeans adore, as they feel that they get more bang for their buck HAHA. It's also somewhat a novelty, since you get to dip your churro into a different chocolate type for every bite. Triple-dipping ENCOURAGED. :3

Cost of this delicious-ness? SGD$9.90
While I might point out that it isn't cheap, it is definitely not too expensive, as you have to consider the quality of ingredients used, as well as the quantity. This is great when shared between 2 or 3 people, so the cost is also shared amongst y'all good people. :D Since they make the churro fresh for each order, it means that you are getting your dessert at its peak, coz it'll reach your tastebuds when it's still warm, and crunchy! As for the chocolate sauces, you can tell that they don't scrimp on the quality, as they are thick, and yet not gooey, unlike some that you may have tried before. What I love about it is that it isn't overly sweet, and even though I feared that the white chocolate would be super sugary, surprise surprise - it WASN'T! :OOO Overall, you get satisfaction, and it raises your happiness bar for the day, so why not? It's not like you have it everyday. (Coz now, that is not encouraged at its slightest hahaha)

I am definitely recommending this to every dessert fan out there, and trust me, you'll not be left disappointed in any way! :) For those health-conscious, yeah - they are not the healthiest dessert around town, but be rest assured that if you have these babies once in a while, it'll be fine, coz it's not overly sweet, neither is it dripping with oil - there is practically no oil residue on your fingers :D Strapped on cash? No worries, just get 1 or 2 pals to join in, and you too can have a taste of these lovely crunchies.

A tip for you guys though, if you're there on the weekends, it may be difficult to find seats, so do anticipate that. :) If you're in a hurry, then order the churros another time, as they prepare them in batches, which will roughly take 5-10 minutes to be ready. Good food can wait.

Psst.. I actually recorded a short video of the unbelievable crunch it has, but it wouldn't upload :( Maybe next time I'll try again haha :D

My companions for the day!

Meeeeee! Haha pardon my makeup-less face.
My sister, Alexis
One of F10, Priscilla 
Hail them crispy churro's,
Cherlyn Aurora xoxo

P.S. New post will be up on soon! It's a special feature on my beloved F10, so stay tuned guys :)

Friday, August 15, 2014

Fresh Bakes' Frank Review

Does paying $256 for a customised cake w/ 20 cupcakes shock you?

Well, with all the customised cakeries popping up everywhere, let me give you an honest review of what I thought about Fresh Bakes' fondant creation, and whether it was worth the big bucks.

Customised cakes are becoming a trend in Singapore during recent years, as more patrons are astounded by the works of art on edible delicacies. Being such a prosperous country, and welcoming more artistic homegrown talents in the baking business, it's no surprise that these customised cakeries can be fully-booked 1-2 months prior to a celebration. However, the pricetag is really something you have to consider, as even the extra inch, tier or pieces of fondant can jack up that crazy kaching.

You know what's ironic though? Customised cakes tend to be inferior in taste to your favourite cake shop out there that offers your special strawberry shortcakes, fudgy dark chocolate sponge and creamy, velvety goodness that we all tend to go on food hunts for. But yet, we'll settle for lesser taste, in exchange for brilliant aesthetics, along with a hefty bill that costs way more than your better-than-average cake shop. I guess, we all need to have a give-and-take sometimes.

1-2 weeks prior to my sister's sweet sixteenth birthday bash, I researched on several bakeries in Singapore, trying to weigh the factors of both price and artistic skills. I questioned them if they could deliver what I had indicated on the plan I drew out and sent to their email, and asked for their quotes.

Cake Avenue was the first one that got back to me, but their quote only included fondant covering for both the 1kg (roughly 7 inches) cake with fondant pieces, and 20 cupcakes. Their quote was $170 cake + $70 cupcakes + $15 delivery charge = $255 total. However, I was put off by the fact that they could not do the cupcakes in fresh cream, and if I wanted buttercream I had to order minimum 50 cupcakes O___O So the $240 consisted of a fondant covered 1kg cake, and 20 fondant covered cupcakes - WHICH IS RIDICULOUS.
I didn't bother replying to their email after that, coz they seemed to be pestering me to hurry up and quickly place my order & pay up. Besides, I was in Msia that day lol. Anyways... You could say I was unimpressed haha. Well, props to them for replying promptly.

Fresh Bakes was the next one who rose to the occasion. From their gallery on Facebook, I had confidence that they could pull off the look and design I specifically wanted for the cake, or at least fulfill most of it. There were many emails exchanged back and forth, at lightning speed, as we were only 1 week away from the 1st of March. I also learnt one thing from all the quotes - every inch increase will cost you a bomb. Which is why instead of simply ordering a bigger cake, I settled for a 1.5kg (8 inch) cake with 20 cupcakes. Ordering a cake/cupcake combo still proved to be more economical than going bigger.

Why did I choose Fresh Bakes in the end?
They told me they would be able to accomplish my design without a hitch, with a buttercream covering for the cake, and fresh cream swirls for the cupcakes. MAJOR BROWNIE POINTS KAYS. I absolutely detest fondant coverings/toppings, as I wouldn't wanna wolf down the thick fondant that is practically loaded and moulded from sugar, which equals to me wasting money on that portion. Yes, I understand that some designs will have to be done in fondant, but in this case, mine could! ;) This was the cost of the order: $155 cake + $70 cupcakes + $25 delivery charge = $256 total.

When the cake finally arrived on 1st March, I went to check the cake & cupcakes... and I was kinda disappointed at the outcome. The cake was not covered in buttercream, but in FONDANT. LIKE WHAT DID THEY NOT GET. I double confirmed it even before I paid them -____- These are the specifications that they did not include: the cake was supposed to have gold and silver specks on the sides, the colours of the flowers were not even what I had originally indicated (purple, pink & yellow), and the fondant letters on the cupcakes were red, and not blue.

While I don't mind the change for the fondant letters, I was kind of miffed that they didn't bother to check the details listed in proper fashion. The fondant covering was the element that was most shocking, as I had said from the start that I wanted buttercream. Btw, the fondant deco pieces were kinda small compared to my expectations. Expectation vs Reality moment XDDD


Onto the taste! :) Now, this was pretty good. The cake was chocolate sponge, and I fancied the fact that it wasn't too sweet, and it had a nice crunch in each bite. VERY GOOD. For the cupcakes, we had chocolate & mango. The fresh cream was delightful, not heavy at all, and the taste/texture wise certainly scores well in my book. ;)

The verdict: The cake is great-tasting, but design-wise, I think I would have expected more elaborate fondant pieces, much bigger in fact - but most of all, with correct details. Would I order from them again? With a price for that, most likely not. $256 for a cake is really too much, as this design is rather simple. :)

However, with that being said, they did fulfill their motto of pledging to using lower sugar and no preservatives, so for those health-conscious, you can try their cake and see to it that they get every detail correct. ^_^

Planning a big party this year, and want to get a special cake for the occasion? Remember to research for a reputable one, confirm the details over and over again - especially before making payment. Lots of bakeries nowadays offer customisation, Japanese bakeries like Flor's Patisserie & Patisserie Glacé. If you'd like me to recommend a place where it will definitely NOT disappoint, you can order from "Jo Takes The Cake" or "Cherylshuen". I've heard and seen fantastic handiwork from their gallery, and everyone has raved about their consistent great bakes that pleases both the eyes and tastebuds. :) But do bear in mind that they may charge much higher prices, but depending on your budget, you can discuss with the personnel, and see how things go. :) Also order EARLY. Not just 3 weeks, 1 month or 2, but some are fully booked for monthssss ahead guys! So hurry with your order if your big day is arriving soon. :)

To a day of cakey goodness,
Cherlyn Aurora xoxo

P.S Do you want to know how to plan a foolproof party? Come on over to! :)

Thursday, August 7, 2014

My Newfound Love for Kosong Gao

Auntie, a cuppa yuan yang c kosong gao upsize please!

I may be a dumbo in terms of speaking Chinese, but when it comes to ordering totally Singaporean drinks in a language I completely don't understand - I am a connoisseur.

My friends know me as the fella who always orders the funniest drinks - they too don't understand what I'm ordering haha. So what are the components in my fave Singaporean drink at ze moment? Get this right. YUAN YANG C KOSONG GAO. + Upsize. Teehee.

Yuan yang is basically your regular kopi + tea mixed together, the C stands for evaporated milk, kosong means no sugar, and gao is having a thicker kopi/tea, resulting in less milk.

In recent months, I've started to fancy the mix of kopi + tea, as it tastes like a latte to me. HAHA. Yes, if you were wondering, lattes are my favourite form of coffee. I adore the bittersweet taste in it, as well as not being overpowering in milk/foam. 

Evaporated milk is healthier than your regular condensed milk, as it has no sugar content in it, whereas condensed milk has it - which automatically increases the sugar level in one's drink. *shock face* Ever since I learnt that, I've never failed to order my drinks with the C. It has a slightly different taste from those who are used to downing it with condensed milk. 

Previously, I used to order yuan yang c siew tai/teh c siew tai = drinks & less sugar. My mum started ordering her tea without any sugar since late last year, after she got the concoction ideas from her church friend, Irene. Irene is a really fashionable woman, and you wouldn't believe her age when you see her. I won't tell you her age range coz it might come off as kinda rude, so just know that she looks 20 years younger than her current age. Coz lemme assure you, by fashionable, I mean it. She even has tasteful silver bling shoes omg. Anw, coming back to her concoctions - she likes to order complicated drinks, just like mine, it was pretty much inspired by her haha. Credit goes to her manzz.

Taken a few years ago, my cute mum (left), Irene (right)
Frankly, if you're used to ordering them with full sugar/less sugar, you'd usually find going kosong quite daring. Once you've acquired your taste for it though, you will definitely find that the aroma and true taste of the tea/coffee comes out significantly - and that's what I love, getting the original source's taste, instead of coating it with sugar and irrelevant sweetness. 

Now, you might be questioning why we do gao in our drinks. You see, we all love the milky taste, which is prolly why the chunk of us don't lean towards ordering teh o kopi o (which means w/o any form of milk), however, sometimes we guys wanna have a bolder taste of the brew, and that my friends, is the basic simplistic reason on why have gao.

My recommendations on where to get the best of these concoctions, you might ask? (Commercial-wise)

1) Toast Box

I adore Toast Box, if I happen to chance upon an outlet when I'm up and about, I will order a cuppa. Usually, if I have the time to sit down, ordering their famous peanut thick toast is the ideal set. The way they do their drinks are of top-notch quality, and if you ask me whether I prefer Starbucks to this, I'd have this any day.

Back! Toast Box... I like
Went to Toastbox several times this past week, and I discovered that they currently stock a new cup when you order upsize - SO CUTE HAHA. And they're actually selling the cup! If I actually didn't have a museum collection worth of cups in my humble abode, I would prolly purchase one for novelty sake. Loyal fan you got here, people. *winks*

2) Ya Kun Kaya Toast

I don't have the taste for their dehydrated styled bread, but their steamed bread creations lately have caught my tastebuds' attention! As for their drinks, I highly recommend them too, I'd say that their coffee component in the yuan yang stands out more when compared to Toast Box, so it's all about preference. For me, this is my next choice if Toast Box is nowhere in sight.

3) Coffee & Toast

Tried an outlet's brew at Esplanade Xchange, and their drinks impressed me. Not bad for those who can't find the usual 2 brewers, this is your next option. :) The thickness of the drinks is great here, despite ordering the sugarless option, as some places add more water instead of giving you more tea/coffee. Now that's something to take note of. Kosong gao doesn't equal watery, that just means an inexperienced brewer or in other words, ripping you off. :B

4) Ah Mei Cafe

Teh O plus lemon siew tai
Kopi, Yuan Yang C Kosong Gao, Almond tea
Located in Esplanade Xchange Nom's area, this is where I encourage you to order something entirely different from what I've described earlier. Over here, drinking a cup of Teh O plus lemon siew tai is the way to go! You'd be fascinated by the immense lemon punch you get, with the right amount of sweetness (in this case I wouldn't recommend the kosong, unless you plan to go sourpucker mode), and of course, the lovely teh o original. They do it so well here, my mum and I never fail to have it when we go to GV Marina for Sunday services (it's one of the overflow rooms for my church, which is mainly located at The Star Vista). In fact, the lady boss knows me so well till, the second she sees my face, she'll smile and ask me, "2 right?" Hehe. I love such customer service.

Went to Ah Mei Café twice on Sunday, as I was in the area for both breakfast and lunch :DDD Their Yuan Yang is sooooo good too! Very thick & nice touch with the amount of milk in it. My mum tried their Almond tea, and mygoodness - delightful to sip indeed :) These shall be on your to-drink-list everyone! ^_^

Btw, if y'all love your Singaporean-style breakfast... YOU WILL LOVE IT HERE. Their beehoon with egg/luncheon meat is the absolute bomb! Their chwee kueh, chee cheong fun, glutinous rice, soon kueh, yam cake - anything you order from here is delicious & extremely tasty. Totally recommended.

Dude prepping that awesome brew ;)
So happy I managed to get that photo haha! I love it when I see the prepping of a new brew, as it's way cool, and you also know you're getting a fresh mix heh. *smiles gleefully*

In a nutshell, these are my recommended concoctions:
  • Yuan Yang C Kosong Gao (iced/hot)
  • Teh C Kosong Gao (iced/hot)
  • Teh O plus lemon Siew Tai (hot only)

A tip for y'all: When you order gao, you get more bang for your buck, as you're drinking more of what the whole essence of your drink is supposed to be.

Well, for now that's all I can come up with, but if I do discover another place which serves up great Singaporean drinks, I'll update this post! :)

Dare to go kosong,
Cherlyn Aurora xoxo

P.S. Wanna know more about my personality? Head over to
P.P.S I always thought that sotong sounded like kosong. LOL.