Tag Archives: chocolate

Salted Caramel

Salted Caramel’s been in the ice cream scene for a few years now. Raved about for their crisp waffles and consistently good ice cream, it sees its fair share of crowd despite having Udders being their direct neighbour. It was in fact bursting with people when we arrived close to midnight on Saturday.

Trust me however when I say seating is the secondary problem. The first is actually selecting a flavour or two from their huge offering of ice creams.

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Our orders for the night

Of course if we could stomach it all we probably would; but we can’t. I did my very best by being the typical Singaporean and asking for as many samples as I dared.

The Peanut Butter was fully of creamy goodness, one of my favourites in fact.While the Salted Caramel was indeed salty, the salt and caramel lacked depth and fell flat. The Matcha is one of the better ones I’ve tasted, lightly sweetened with a slightly powdery texture reminiscent of matcha powder.

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Espresso with caramel biscuits and Earl Grey (S$5), with a waffle (S$3.50)

The Espresso tasted wonderfully strongly of coffee. The biscuits though were pretty undetectable, soggy and without a hint of caramel at all. If executed well it would have kicked the flavour up a notch. The Earl Grey was perfectly executed, with the distinctly floral overtones rounded off gently by its creamy texture. An absolute delight.

While their waffles have been touted for being crispy and fluffy, it was anything but that that night. Slightly moist exterior, dense and chewy, it made the dessert very heavy and unpleasant. Perhaps it was the insane crowd that came in the way of quality control, but it doesn’t speak well of them in any case.

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Roasted Pistachio and Chocolate Sorbet (S$5), with a waffle (S$3.50)

The pistachio is pretty good on the first few bites, with a strong pistachio flavour and chewy pistachio bits. However it was a tad too sweet, and overwhelmed the nutty fragrance towards the end. The Chocolate Sorbet was my favourite. Dark, intense and creamy, it was absolute decadence. I can’t figure out how it is a sorbet though.

Smack right in the heart of Upper Thomson, it is not the most convenient place to pop by for ice cream. It’s definitely easier to get there by car. Though the waffles left much to be desired, Salted Caramel does have an amazing range of ice cream flavours. If you do manage to hitch a ride for the day, be sure to drop by and have a scoop or two.

Salted Caramel
246F Upper Thomson Road
Thomson Garden Estate
Singapore
S(574370)

Sun-Thurs: 1200-2300
Eve of PH, Fri & Sat: 1200-0200

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Jacques Genin

Just a mere 15 minutes walk from Musee Carnavalet at Le Marais, Jacques Genin was the first sweets stop I scheduled into our itinerary. Having read so much about its amazing Pate de Fruits, chocolates and Paris Brest, I was dying to try them for myself. Maybe it’s just me, or maybe it’s because Le Marais seems to be such a gothic district, I was expecting a small wood-furnished boulanger patisserie. Jacques Genin is anything but that. Huge glass windows reaching to the ceilings, bright orange lights and neatly arranged displays, it’s chic interior was extremely attractive.

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Food displays (left to right, clockwise): chocolates, packets of chocolate treats, caramels, pates du fruits.

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Pates de fruits

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Spiral stairs to the kitchen.

We came in a big group of 7, but the staff was very nice in preparing a table sufficient for us. It was really pleasant to find that he could speak fluent English! I know we’re in France and should learn to speak French, but…really it gets annoying when you’re trying to order food with that language barrier.

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After a 10 minutes wait or so, we were shown to our table where we were immediately served glasses of water. Thereafter the staff informed us about the pastries of the day, in which the Paris Brest was not included. So I asked about it, and I was told that since about a year ago they’ve stopped making regular pastries. They still have a few basics like eclairs featured on the menu, but the rest of the pastries change on a daily basis.

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Complementary chocolates

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Degustation aux caramels

This degustation featured a selection of 6 of their signature caramels. I can’t name the various caramels cause they weren’t written down, and in the mess of eating the various sweets I didn’t pay that much attention to these. What I can tell you though is that they are superb. That says a lot, coming from someone who doesn’t like caramels. Smooth, velvety and rich without being cloyingly sweet, these caramels are perfect. Perhaps what was lacking was the obvious difference between the 6 caramels. If I couldn’t tell the flavours of the caramels, I guess it isn’t that obvious or well done. Kudos for mastering a beautiful caramel though.

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Hot Chocolate

This isn’t your Starbucks diluted sugar-spammed hot chocolate. Parisian hot chocolate is much more different. Thick, decadent, and extremely rich, the hot chocolate tastes more like a melted block of chocolate than a drink. As delicious as it is, it becomes hard to swallow after about half a cup. It is very nice though, and I’d definitely recommend it to anyone who visits Jacques Genin, except it might be wiser to share it with a few friends.

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Praline Millefeuille

Having eaten millefeuilles at almost every bakery I pass in France, I would say that this is by far the best millefeuille that I’ve had besides Laduree’s I tried a few years back. The puff pastry is extremely delicate, with a perfectly caramelised outer layer, yet sturdy enough to hold the smooth praline creme patissiere. The best part of eating a millefeuille is cutting into it for the first time, hearing the crackle of the puff pastry, then putting a spoonful of that mess into your mouth. Il est parfait. JG’s millefeuille stands out because of its puff pastry, in particular how it remains crisp even in your mouth. I felt that the praline creme patissiere could be more pronounced though. It tasted like a slightly nuttier chocolate instead of having that very distinct praline flavour.

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Eclair Chocolat

They definitely have the best chocolate eclair I’ve tried thus far too. Perfect choux pastry, with a crisp surface and a fluffy interior; filled with amazingly smooth dark chocolate creme patisserie. Absolutely heavenly.

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Tarte au Citron est Basilic

I loved how the basil was subtle yet definitely discernible here. It kept the tart from getting boring after a few bites. In addition the lemon curd was just the right amount of sour. Eaten with the lightly sweeted shortcrust base, this tart was a breath of fresh air to all the chocolatey sweetness. A must-try to balance out all that sugar.

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On hindsight, it probably wasn’t such a good idea to put this first in my to-eats list. Cause everything pales in comparison now. If you happen to be in Paris, be sure to pay Jacques Genin a visit. Trust me: you won’t regret it.

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Super Slutty Cheesecake Bars

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Why slutty? Just take a look at what’s going on in these bars: chocolate chip cookie crust, cheesecake filling stuffed with oreos, then topped with even more crushed oreos and nougat. So that’s essentially a pile of 2 kinds of cookies, cheesecake, candy, and a whole lotta sugar. Slutty indeed.

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Me being the health freak that I am, it definitely took a while for me to get over how insanely sinful these treats are. But hey, every girl needs her dose of sugar.

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And these are the perfect little culprits to snack on when you are in need of some sugar-induced happiness. Outrageously sinful, but so damn utterly delicious. I foresee a few more of these, and a whole lotta these *points to tummy flabs* coming up soon.

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I am in no way exaggerating when I say I literally trembled with excitement just cutting these babes into bars. I cheated a little when making these, using a cookie mix instead of making my own from scratch. I don’t know if that’s the reason why the cookie layer took much longer to bake than expected. 9 minutes as per the instructions, but it totalled to a whole 25 minutes! I’d make my own cookie crust in the future, and I think that’ll kick these bars way up a notch.

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Super Slutty Cheesecake Bars (makes about 16 bars)
Adapted from Baker’s Royale’s Slutty Cheesecake Bars

225g cookie dough (ready-made or homemade)
16 oreos
350g cream cheese, room temperature
1/3 cup sugar
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla

Toppings
100g nougat, chopped
8 oreos, chopped

1. Preheat the oven to 350C.

2. Roll out or using your fingers, press cookie dough to an 1/8 inch thickness and bake until crisp.

3. Place whole oreos on top of baked cookie crust.

4. Place cream cheese, sugar, egg and vanilla in a bowl and beat until blended. Pour mixture over oreos.

5. Sprinkle chopped oreos and mougat on top. Bake at 350 degrees for about 35-40 minutes. Remove from oven and cool completely before cutting. Chill the bars and cut it while its cold to get nice clean edges.

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Nutella Bread Pudding

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This was the first ever bread pudding I ever made! Nutella of course, cause what can go wrong with nutella?

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Chocolatey decadent custard, but slightly spiced and elevated by the rosemary bread used, this bread pudding was absolutely heavenly. I love the combinations of rosemary and chocolate! It’s surprising how the sweet and savoury blend resulted in a kind of spiced chocolate. My sisters thought it was refreshing and kept the bread pudding from being jelak and boring after awhile, but they’d prefer a full blown chocolate one. Chocolate purists you see (:

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I really like the spiced-ish flavour though, so I’d probably use another savoury bread the next time I attempt this. I might mix it with some wholemeal bread too to give it a nuttier taste. On the whole though this recipe is a winner! A great and simple base recipe to work with.

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Nutella Bread Pudding
Recipe adapted from Jaden’s Nutella Bread Pudding Recipe

3 croissants (preferably 1-2 days old)
3/4 cup Nutella
1/4 cup pecan halves
2 eggs
1 cup heavy cream
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup sugarpowdered sugar

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

2. Slice each croissant in half lengthwise then slather one side with Nutella. Put the halves back together to make sandwiches and cut into 2-inch pieces.

3. Add sandwich pieces and pecans to a small baking dish (suggested: 10-inch x 5-inch loaf pan).

4. To make the custard, add eggs, cream, vanilla extract, salt and sugar to a medium bowl and whisk until combined.

5. Pour the custard over the sandwich pieces then gently push down the bread so the custard starts to absorb.

6. Cover with aluminum foil and bake in a 350 degree oven for 30 minutes then remove the foil and continue to bake uncovered for about 10 minutes until the bread pudding is golden brown, has risen slightly and the liquid has bee completely absorbed. Let cool and then sprinkle on powdered sugar to finish.

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4 Ingredients Nutella Brownies

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I’m super excited to share this recipe with all you guys! No silly pfft not because it uses nutella, but because it takes only 4 ingredients to make it! 4 simple ingredients available in everybody’s pantry. Anyone can whip this up in no time at all. Quick, easy, delish. What more can you ask of a dessert?

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Blur picture I’m sorry!

The texture of these brownies are more similar to a gooey cake, but of course you can adjust it according to your baking time. Bake it slightly longer and it’ll be a chewier brownie of course. But beware: these chocolatey yumminess are not for the weak-hearted. It took all of my willpower to stop myself from eating all 12 of them straight out of the oven. Practise exercising your self restraint people cause you’re gonna need it!

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4 Ingredients Nutella Brownies (makes 12 mini muffins)
Recipe adapted from Alice’s 4 Ingredients Nutella Brownies

1/2 cup Nutella spread
1 large egg
5 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/2 cup chocolate chips

1. Preheat the oven to 180C. Line a 12-cup mini muffin pan with paper or foil liners.

2. Put the Nutella and egg in a medium bowl and whisk until smooth and well blended. Add the flour and whisk until blended.

3. Spoon the batter into the prepared muffin tins (about 3/4 full) and sprinkle with the chocolate chips.

4. Bake until a pick comes out with wet, gooey crumbs, 11 to 12 minutes. Set on a rack to cool completely. Serve immediately or cover and store at room temperature for up to 3 days.

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Chocolate Hazelnut Cookies (Entirely Guilt-free)

No really, these are absolutely guilt-free.

Made with grounded nuts, gluten free flours, and sweetened with a combination of honey and pure maple syrup, these cookies are my current favourite cookies. My whole family’s in fact.

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It came as quite a shock that I actually like these cookies, cause they are chewy ones. Everyone knows I abhore chewy cookies and only ever eat crispy crunchy ones. Even I was surprised that I ate 5 of them in a row! And each cookie ain’t small. They’re roughly palm-sized. Unlike your conventional cookies, these are intensely chocolatey in a different way. Not the Famous Amos kinda chocolatey, but the deep I-can-taste-the-cocoa-combined-with-the-honey kinda chocolatey. The flax and almonds gave it a unique nutty and crunchy texture in spite of the entire cookie being chewy! So every bite was a burst of textures and flavours. Marvelous!

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Chocolate Hazelnut Cookies (Entirely Guilt-free) (makes about 10)
Recipe adapted from Sweet Roots’ Chocolate Hazelnut Cookies

2 1/4 cups grounded hazelnuts
1/2 cup oat flour
1/2 cup cocoa powder
1/4 cup ground flax
1/2 cup honey
1/2 cup maple syrup
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla

1. Preheat oven to 180C.

2. Mix the dry ingredients in a bowl, and then mix in the wet ingredients till incorporated and sticks together.

5. Drop large spoonfuls onto a greased baking sheet and bake for 15 minutes or until they are done. Mine took about 23 minutes, so I guess it really depends on the size of your cookies. Let them cook for 10 minutes, then try to keep your hands of them.

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Warm Fudgy Pudding Cake

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Warm Fudgy Pudding Cake

So I kinda made this one like a real long time back, but totally forgot to post about it when I went to Japan!(OMGOSH speaking of which I realised I have not concluded my series of travel posts yet!!!) I was trying to recall what I’ve made that I haven’t talk about yet, dug through my picture folders, and tadah found this!

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I saw this sinful looking babe on foodgawker and I was hooked. I simply had to make it. Seriously who in the right mind can resist a messy, gooey, fudgy blob of chocolatey goodness?

I’d slap you right now if you’re saying “me”.

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These were actually pretty good! Though they didn’t turn out exactly the way they were supposed to. Have to blame my massive adaptations for that. I replaced all the sugar with honey, which gave the cake a slightly denser and chewier texture, and quite a strong honey flavour. That wasn’t the problem. The pudding was. The original recipe called for a total of 1 cup of sugar, which I substituted entirely with 3/4 cups of honey. Standard substitution, but what I didn’t account for was the stickiness and utter honey-ness of the resulting puddling. It looked brown, looked chocolatey, but tasted cloyingly honey-ly. And possible because it was honey and not sugar, the cocoa could not combine well with it, and didn’t sink to the bottom of the dish when baked to form the pudding. Instead it remained at the top, still dry, like a super dusting of cocoa.

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Honestly though that’s not to say that they weren’t good! In fact half of it disappeared within the first 15 minutes of being taken out, and the remaining was gone the next day (: not too shabby after all! I still think there’s much to be done to make it the chocolate pudding I’ll head back for over and over again. Next time I might use only 1/2 cup of honey – or possibly a tablespoon or two lesser – for the cake batter, double the vanilla, and reduce the honey in the pudding by 2 tablespoons, adding 2 teaspoons of vanilla. I’d probably incorporate the cocoa with the honey first to prevent the dried cocoa layer from emerging.

Hell I might just follow the recipe!

Till then,

Warm Fudgy Pudding Cake (serves 6-8)
Adapted from The Kitchn’s Warm Fudgy Pudding Cake

For the cake:
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup honey
2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon table salt
1/2 cup (4 ounces) milk, whole or 2%
1 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
1 teaspoon vanilla

For the pudding:
3/4 cup honey
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 cup cold water

Nuts, chocolate chips, dried fruits, or any toppings you desire (optional)

1. Heat the oven to 180C. Grease or spray with non-stick cooking spray an 8″x”8 baking pan.

2. Sift the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, and salt through a fine-meshed strainer into a mixing bowl. Combine the milk, melted butter, honey and vanilla. Pour the liquids over the dry ingredients, and stir gently with a spatula just until no more dry flour is visible. Fold in toppings if you’re using. Scrape this batter into the pan and smooth the top.

3. For the pudding layer, combine the honey and cocoa powder in a small bowl. Pour over the cake batter and shake the pan to evenly distribute the sugars.

4. Pour the cold water over the mixture. Do not stir. Put the pan immediately into the oven and bake for 40 to 45 minutes. As it bakes, the cake will rise to the top while the pudding forms beneath. The cake is finished baking when the edges of the cake turn dark brown and crispy, and when the top of the cake is shiny and dry to the touch.

5. Let the cake cool for at least 15 minutes before serving. Scoop slices of cake and the pudding beneath into individual bowls and top with ice cream. Leftovers will keep refrigerated for up to a week and can be reheated for 20 seconds in the microwave.

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