Sunday, April 13, 2014

Baking Healthy Sweet Treats with 30 Days

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We love our cakes and pastries, don't we? There's this love-hate relationship between these sugary delightful stuff with us. It could very well be a healthy or unhealthy one depending the type of ingredients used or the portion you feed yourself with the dessert spoon. If you would prefer to enjoy a slice of cake rather than indulging only on a morsel of cake, then I would invite you to follow me on this journey as I learn how to make pastries using healthier alternatives through a baking workshop organized by 30 Days Club, a platform to support users of the 30days™ supplements to a slimmer and healthier bodies.

That bright cheery Saturday morning, we made coconut mousse pie and chocolate cafe cake at Phoon Huat's baking studio.

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BUTTER!!! Lots of butter! I know it's fattening but it's actually way healthier than margarine. I think it was never made known to us that butter actually contains fat soluble vitamins like A,E and K2. 

It's one of the most fragrant baking essentials that adds character to cakes and cookies but you got to eat it with caution as it's high in saturated fat. 

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One of the sugar substitutes we used that day was Sukrin, a natural type of sugar alcohol (Erythritol) that contains almost no calories and has 70% sweetness of regular sugar. 

Besides sukrin, we also use stevia, a plant-based sugar that also contains zero calories.

The Making of Coconut Mousse Pie

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Shredded coconut mixed with melted butter

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While waiting for the crust to be ready, we started to make the cake batter mixture for the Chocolate Cafe cafe.

Chocolate Cafe Cake

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The messy concoction of sugar, eggs and butter that gives rise to yummy sponge cakes.

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Instead of using normal baking flour that is high in gluten, we are using Besan flour or chickpea flour (Garbanzo) which is higher in protein and low in glycemic index. Chickpea flour could also be used to make hummus! However, the downside about using this type of flour for baking is the strong bean smell. However, the smell would usually disappears during the baking process or when left to be cool for hours.

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Our coconut mousse pie crust is done!

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Moving on, we went to make our chocolate mousse for the cake.

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Icing the cake was easy and fun. This has to be my favourite baking step.

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Once you've creamed the sides and the top, it's read to be cut and served!

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I actually enjoyed this coconut mousse pie better as it is light and creamy. But if I have to make this again, I would use pecans or nuts instead of shredded coconut as the nuts provides more crunch and texture to the base of the pie.

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As for the Chocolate Cafe cake, the chocolate mousse was fantastic but there's still a little whiff of raw bean smell found in the sponge cake layer. I reckon that it needs at least 8 hours for the smell to disappear so that you can enjoy a slice of gluten-free chocolate cake over a cup of tea.


Special thanks to 30 Days club

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Que Delicioso with Christian Escribà and Patricia : The Crazy Skull Game

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I didn't know that making candies and chocolates in the kitchen could be that therapeutic.

That starry night, at ToTT, we went crazy about making skull chocolates that fizzles in your mouth as it melts. This was part of Christian Escribà's made-believe dream. 

Behind his quirky dark-rimmed glasses is a man who creates magic with chocolates and candies, who's a 4th generation internationally acclaimed and awarded master pastry chef from the famous family owned pastry boutique Pasteleria Escribà in Barcelona, Spain.

Indeed, we are experiencing all the glitter and magic that goes behind making fine chocolates under the hands of Christian Escribà himself. It's one of those unforgettable workshops that would get etched to my mind.

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We're making skull chocolates for the crazy skull game. The genius behind this fun food game is none other than Christian Escribà, himself who thought that a dinner party could be made interesting by serving decadent chocolates that have a spicy filling hidden in it. And there will be only one, if not, a few who would unknowingly chose the chili chocolate skulls. 

Are you game for this?


A game that is inspired by the Day of the Dead, Día de Muertos, a Mexican tradition of celebrating those who have parted from this world. Well, there's nothing really morbid about this Crazy Skull Game except that it brings us human beings closer to one another the love for chocolates.

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That's creativity spiraling out of the piping bag with Christian's cheeky smile. 

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Here, we are about to witness how the spicy chili filling for the chocolates were made.

That's one red hot chili pepper!

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Praline chocolates. If you didn't the chili skulls, count yourself lucky as you would be able to enjoy the sensational taste of fine chocolates using high quality ingredients.

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The chocolates were made interesting by adding these carbonates sugar granules or pop rock candy that explodes in your mouth. I use to love eating pop rock candy that crackles on my tongue. Kids love it, even adults too.

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Salivating already?

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The joy of watching chocolates melting into its semi-solid form.

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One of the pastry chefs from Escribà Academy demonstrated to use how to make the skull chocolates using the mould. And there's really no secrets to make these melt-in-your-mouth-but-not-in-your-hand lovelies.

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Basically, to make the skull chocolates, you should first get your hands on the Crazy Skull Game set by  Escribà.

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Next, fill up your favourite chocolate mix into a piping bag then gently fill up half of the wells in the mould.

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Squeeze in a dollop of the spicy sauce. For a local twist, you could add durian paste instead.

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'Feed' the chocolates right into the fridge.

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Stay calm and instagram the lovely makings of the skull chocolates.

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Laid it all on the game board and you're ready to 'spice up' someone's life!



Christian Escribà is also the man behind Fantasìa by Escribà, the world's first confectionery extravaganza to be held here in Singapore at Marina Bay Sands Convention Centre. Together with his wife, Patricia Schmidt, this pastry power couple is sure to blow your mind with an unparalleled experience through the spellbinding showcase of chocolates, pastries and sugar.


Laneige BB Cushion SPF 50 : Foundation for Dewy Skin Effect

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I've been abstaining from BB creams right after I notice that BB creams, despite having a good coverage that blends in seamlessly with your skin tone, it can easily clogged the pores resulting in breakouts. After that episode of breakouts, I never dared to any cosmetics that contains 'BB'. Well, not until I've chanced upon LANEIGE's BB Cushion SPF50! It was one of the goodies given to media during the recent Lady First's press conference held two weeks ago. And I tell ya, this is a treasure! It's an amazing foundation that every girl,who prefers the natural and nude make-up look, should try this.


How is Laneige BB Cushion SPF50 different from a BB cream / compact powder / foundation ?

1) It produces a natural foundation spray-like texture on the skin. As compared to other types of foundation, the BB cushion doesn't produce a cakey effect on the skin.

2) When applied, your skin feels cooling and refreshed due to the presence of mineral water and the way the BB cream product was kept cool within the casing. In fact, you will feel as though there's moisture replenishing your skin cells instantly upon application.

3) The air-celled foundation puff allows for smooth application of product on the skin. What's outstanding for me is their textured puff that is way different from the synthetic puff.

4) You would enjoy the 6 benefits from the BB cushion : Brightening effect, moisturizing effect, UV protection ( SPF 50+ PA+++), soothing effect, water resistance and a clean coverage. I'm amazed by how dewy my skin looks when I first applied it. I guess this is how Koreans get their dewy skin that radiates youthfulness.

I've been using this product for a couple of times and I really find it very easy to remove off the skin without clogging the pores. However, I wish I was given a lighter shade as the Natural Beige (#21) is little dark for my fair skin tone.

Are you into Korean make-up styles? You can achieve the K-Pop star make up look with Laneige BB Cushion that does wonders on your skin!



Healthy Snack Attack : From Chocolates, energy bars to Fruit Chips

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I'm all hyped up this weekend because I've got my hands on some really nutritious snacks from myLIFE INC. to chase away my monday blues! From raw energy bars, freeze-dried fruit snacks to chocolate, I've prepared a basket full of healthy goodies to get me through the week. Now, there's really no excuse for me to grab that bag of potato chips which is loaded with sodium and unhealthy carbs. If you have been looking for wholesome and healthy tidbits which are convenient to be carried around, I urge you to visit myLIFE INC., a Singapore-based online health store, and check out their variety snacks for raw foodists, vegans and health-conscious individuals. It doesn't only offers great tasting snacks but also other products which brings convenience and to make healthy living possible for all.

So, which goodie made up to the top of my list?

It's none other than these freeze-dried fruit chips by goVida. Nevermind if you find it hard to pack a box of fresh strawberries or lychee into your bag pack, these freeze-dried fruit chips are meant for those busy go-getters who's bag is already filled with papers and gadgets. These individual packets of fruit snacks are so light that it won't take up much weight in your lunch bags. Did I forget to mention that it actually tasted better than fresh fruits? 

Though all the moisture has been removed from the fruits, all its nutrients still remain intact.  

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Strawberry and Dulce de Leche 100% Natural Freeze-dried Fruit snack (top)

Ingredients: Dulce de Leche (Sugar, Whole Milk, Sodium Bicarbonate) and Strawberries


Grapes and Pineapple 100% Natural Freeze-dried Fruit snack (middle)

Ingredients: Grapes and Pineapple


Lychee 100% Natural Freeze-dried Fruit snack (Bottom)

Ingredients: Lychee




I know, I know. It's almost impossible to believe right? Fruit chips made purely out of fresh fruits without preservatives. That's because freeze-drying itself is a way of preserving food!



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By the way, these delectable fruit mixes by goVida are only available exclusively at myLIFE Inc.


Visit GoVida to learn more about their products.



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Another snack that is worth mentioning is these Quinoa,Chia and Millet food bar by Two Degrees. These gluten free and vegan snack bars that are loaded with healthy grains, fruits and toasted nuts not only feeds your tummy but also a hungry child in other parts of the world. Your buy choice can make a impact in someone else's life - remember that we are living in world where everything is interconnected.

For every 2 Degrees bar you buy, they feed a hungry child. To find out more about 2 Degrees' mission and approach of bridging the gap between you and hungry children all over the world, watch the video below and visit this website for more details.


And last but not least, for the raw vegans, here's another raw snack that you can indulge in. It's Garden of Life's Organic Whole food antioxidant matrix bars. If you ain't have the time to make your own raw energy bars, you could get one of these living food bars. Though it may not be as crunchy or as great tasting than the regular muesli or protein bar, the flavoured ones are still palatable, especially the summer berry flavoured ones. It's densely packed with so much goodness that it akin to a multi-vitamin pill.

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Bonjour My Lovely Readers,

myLIFE INC. has created an exclusive deal just for you guys! When you purchase a pack of 100% Organic Dehydrated Mango, you will get a Seed and Bean chocolate bar (worth $9) for FREE. All you will to do is to enter this coupon code "Deenisespecial" which is valid until end of May.

These lovely organic chocolate from Seed and Bean are handmade in England and they come in various exotic flavours like Chili and lime, Cornish Sea salt and Lavender. I've tasted a few flavours and my favourite is Seed and Bean's Extra Dark Chocolate with Cornish sea salt. The salt actually enhances the sweetness of the dark chocolate. This is the kind of salt-sweet treat that I enjoy.

Also, for a limited time only, buy one pack of Way Better Snacks chips and get another one FREE! This offer is exclusive at my LIFE INC so hurry up while stock last!


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Who says it's difficult to eat clean and healthy everyday?