Lemon curd and blueberry jam layered sponge cake

Lemon & Blueberry Cake

Apparently lemon and blueberry is a wicked combination, so I had to try it when I was coming up with ideas for Sandra’s birthday cake. I decided to make a lemon curd and blueberry jam to spread between the layers, and then frosted the cake with whipped cream just because it needed to look beautiful and everyone loves whipped cream!!!

Lemon Curd Layer

Blueberry layer

If you’re not rushing for time, chill the cake after assembling every single layer so that the cake would not move so much when you frost it. I didn’t chill my cake which meant sliding cakes. I was on the verge of an emergency crisis when my cake slid to one side and my whipped cream went all over the place, before I realised that all I needed to do was slide the cake back haha.

The recipe for the sponge and the whipped cream is the same as that used in the recipe for Strawberry Shortcake.Β One tip for making the perfect whipped cream that still stays perfect after hours is to whip the cream on low speed until it reaches soft peaks and then you whip it manually until it reaches stiff peaks. Watch this video which may enlighten you as much as it enlightened me!

Blueberry Jam & Lemon Curd

Anyway, here are the recipes for the Blueberry Jam & Lemon Curd:

Blueberry Jam

Ingredients for Blueberry Jam
2 cups of blueberry
1 cup of water
1 cup of granulated sugar
1 tbsp of lemon juice
4 tbsp of corn starch

Directions for Blueberry Jam
1. Dump everything into a pot and heat it till it’s boiling. Keep stirring! Then simmer and reduce it.
2. Once reduced, transfer into a jar and chill it in the refrigerator.

Lemon Curd

Ingredients for Lemon Curd
1/2 cup lemon juice
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 eggs
2 egg yolks
85g butter

Directions for Lemon Curd
1. Whisk lemon juice, sugar, eggs and yolks together in a medium pot.
2. Place pot onto medium-low heat and whisk
3. Add in butter and continue to whisk.
4. Whisk until curd is 82 degrees celsius (use a thermometer to measure). If you do not have a thermometer, stop whisking when the curd has the thickness of warm fudge and smells like lemon curd.
5. Remove curd from heat and pour through fine mash strainer over medium bowl.
6. Press through strainer, leaving any cooked egg bits out.
7. Pour into a jar and cool in the refrigerator. Use only when chilled.

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Making Fresh Pasta

When I talk about making fresh pasta, I mean mixing flour and eggs together not dumping pasta into a pot of boiling water, like what my friend thought. It really is that simple. Just mixing flour and eggs together.

You don’t even need to use your hands to mix the flour and eggs together, you can use a food processor. Neither do you need to painstakingly roll out the dough to the perfect thickness and cut it with a knife, you do all that with a pasta machine. Sounds easy?

A simple rule I swear by is 100g of flour to 1 egg, and then you add more flour if it is too wet. I started off using all purpose flour but I realised that my dough was hard so I switched to using “00” flour which makes the dough so soft and rubbery, an indication of high gluten content and nice chewy pasta. For Singaporeans, you can purchase “00” flour from Culina at Dempsey. They sell a 1 kg packet for about $6, which is reasonable in my opinion.

I use a Marcato Atlas Wellness 150 Pasta Machine, if you were wondering πŸ™‚

Cutting Pasta

Here are the instructions for making plain pasta:

1. Add flour and eggs into food processor and whiz it until it is something like breadcrumbs. If they do not form breadcrumbs, it is too wet, you would have to add more flour.
2. Tip mixture onto floured surface and knead it for 5 to 10 minutes until elastic.
3. Flatten dough into oblong shape and feed it through the machine’s lowest setting, 1.
4. Fold it into half or thirds and feed it through again.
5. Repeat step 4.
6. Turn setting to 2, and feed dough through. Repeat until desired thickness. (On my Marcato Pasta Machine, it is 7)
7. Cut to desired shape using pasta machine attachment.

After making plain pasta so many times, I decided to try new flavours. I tried making beetroot pasta and spinach pasta. It was similar to making plain pasta but with only one extra step and the simple rule doesn’t apply. I love the red and green colours, they are so pretty! πŸ™‚

Beetroot & Spinach Pasta

Rolling out PastaBeetroot Pasta

Ingredients for Beetroot Pasta
240g beetroot
300g of “00” flour
2 eggs

Direction for Beetroot Pasta
1. Grill beetroot in 180 degrees oven with skin on for an hour
2. Remove skin
3. Blend in food processor until puree is formed.
4. Add in eggs and blend to combine.
5. Add in flour and blend to combine.
6. Knead dough.

Spinach Pasta

Ingredients for Spinach Pasta
140g spinach
300g of “00” flour
2 eggs

Directions for Spinach Pasta
1. Steam the spinach for 2 minutes until green and soft.
2. Blend it in the food processor until a puree is formed.
3. Add in eggs and blend to combine.
4. Add in flour and blend to combine.
5. Knead dough.

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Singapore: Eastern Coastal Park Connector Network Cycling Trail (I)

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I just bought a new foldable bicycle, the Tern Link C7, and am on a quest to conquer all the Park Connectors in Singapore. There are only three, the Northern, Western and Eastern one but NParks is building more πŸ™‚

For those who do not have their own bicycles, do not fret because there are 6 PCN Pit stops along the Eastern PCN that rent bicycles out. You can rent a bicycle from any pit stop and return the bicycle at another pit stop which means you do not have to back track.

I started at Pasir Ris Park because we (my friend Bridget and I) didn’t know that there were PCN Pit stops so we thought that Bridget had to rent her bicycle from the bicycle shop in Pasir Ris Park. From Pasir Ris Park, you have to cross the wooden bridge that leads to the mangroves. You can dismount and take a stroll through the mangrove boardwalk. There are clear signs indicating the direction of the park connector. You can either choose to head to Bedok Reservoir or Changi Beach. We headed to Changi Beach and it’s a 7km ride from Pasir Ris Park.

Changi Beach

Along the way, there are bumpy pavements that make your ass hurt but there are long stretches that are downhill which is just plain awesome. It takes about half an hour to cycle from Pasir Ris to Changi Beach and you will be rewarded with the sea breeze and shady coconut trees.

Coconut Trees

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