I can't remember since when I started dreading the Chinese New Year. As a child I would look forward to CNY because I won't need to go to school and I get new clothes and new shoes to wear. But as I grow older, these does not entice me any more, even to the point of deeming shopping for new clothes as a chore. What I even dislike more is meeting those meet-once-a-year relatives and answering their same old questions every year. And to me, CNY means it's a ghost town everywhere. Most shops and eatery will be closed and basically we have to start stocking up food to last through that few days.
This year, my mum asked me to bake some stuff so that we can eat them for breakfast during the next few days. Of course, I'm glad to do so. Little did I expect I will be spending 5 hours in the kitchen, and always in the way of my poor grandma who had to prepare food for tonight's reunion dinner.
Not surprising, my sister insists on me baking the chiffon cupcake again. Well, at this rate, I'm sure we will all get pretty sick of this very soon. This took longer than I expected. I had intended to mix the pastry cream with some whipping cream according to the original recipe, so I cooked less pastry cream than what I would usually use. I had a carton of heavy cream which I bought a few months back, but apparently, the cream had kind of separated. There was some solid fat around the edges of the carton. I ignored it and just used the remaining liquid and started whipping. But it just refused to whip up and before I knew it, it has curdled. No choice, I threw it away. And of course, the pastry cream was not enough to fill all the cakes. So it's round 2 of pastry cream cooking.
I made a total of 12 cakes, some with extra sweet pastry cream, which was intended for mixing with cream. Oh well, at least it is still edible. And at the same time, I decided to use up all my dark chocolate which has been lying around for ages. No better chance than this to bake a chocolate torte!
The only time I baked this was when the girls came over to my place for a baking session. We all loved that cake, and I was always looking for a chance to bake this again. Unlike the last time, I used very dark chocolate this time round. The batter was much thicker than the previous time and unfortunately, it did not crack as nicely as I hoped it will. I had intended to decorate it with icing sugar and dress it up in ribbon to take nice pictures. But at this point of time, I was too tired from all the washing up to do this. So I just sliced it up and stored it away.
And lastly, a request from my mum to make huat kueh. She likes to eat them, but I was having the jitters to make them during the CNY. Call me superstitious, but I was really afraid that my huat kueh won't huat.
And the moment of truth came when I lifted the lid of the wok. I was rather disappointed. They did not huat as well as I hoped for. On the bright side, at least it's not a mushroom head. As the past year had not been very smooth going for me, I hope the rabbit year will be much better than the tiger year for everyone! Huat ah!