Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Naked Black Forest Cake Recipe

It's a trend now to leave the sides of the cake not frosted, they call it Naked Cake.

Deary is a fan of Black Forest Cake and have put it in the queue list for me to bake it. This is my very 1st attempt, will be trying again. As this round it is not there yet due to the new brand of Thicken Whipping cream I'm trying out.

Naked Black Forest Cake

What you need is:
1 can of Dark Sweet Pitted Cherries
10 Glaced Cherry or fresh Cherries for decoration
Chocolate Fudge Cake
Whipped Fresh Cream Frosting Recipe


Some tips from us:
- Look out for Whipped Fresh Cream Frosting tips in the link. Overwhipping may lead to butter cream taste and leaving the fresh cream not light and fluffy as it needs to be.
- For home shaving chocolate you need a chocolate shaver, I used our normally house peeler that's why the chocolate does not break, curl and appear thin.

Click here for our blog page Baking Classes for more recipes. Hope you will be inspired~

Saturday, April 25, 2015

Foochew Red Glutinous Rice Wine 红糟酒

When I'm young every birthday, my family will have a simple homecook dinner Red Wine Chicken Soup with Mee Sua and an egg. That's my family tradition but it kind of discountinued...

I am missing a good bowl of Red Wine Chicken Soup with Mee Sua! The another dish that this can be made with this is Dry Red Wine Chicken that goes with rice. Since it is hard to find, time for me to brew some at home.

1kg Glutinous Rice
2 pieces Wine Biscuits
1 cup Water (Distilled or Cooled-Boiled)
200g Red Rice Bran

  1. Wash and soak glutinous rice preferably overnight or at least 3 hours, completely submerged in water.
  2. Drain the water and cook the glutinous rice in a rice cooker.
  3. When the rice is cooked, loosen and spread the rice out to cool completely.
  4. Dry-blend the wine cakes and the red yeast rice and pour the powder into a big bowl.
  5. Take handful of the cooled glutinous rice and coat it with the powder. Put the powder-coated glutinous rice into a big glass container.Repeat until all the glutinous rice are used up
  6. Use water to rinse any remaining glutinous rice or powder from working bowls and pour into the glass container
  7. Place a clean thin cloth in between the cover and cap. Always keep the cap loose.
    During the fermentation process, the red rice mixture will start to float upwards causing 'boiling' bubbles and these form the essential Ang Chew. This stage will happen between 24 to 48 hours and will last for another few days. At this stage, it is important to stir the mixture at least twice a day to avoid overflowing or use only half a jar/container. During this process, the red rice mixture will separate from the liquid and stay afloat. The mixture will then stabilise and red rice will slowly sink back towards the bottom of jar.
  8. Set aside glass container in a cool dark place for 7 days for the fermentation to continue.
  9. On the 7th day, stir mixture in container then replace the cover, again loosely
  10. Set aside for another 23 days (30th day) and it is time to harvest the wine and the residue.
  11. The whole content will then be filtered with a piece of clean cloth hanged and allowing it to drip or place a piece of cloth on a strainer. Pour the whole jar content onto the cloth and strain it overnight. Or you can assist to squeeze out to speed up the process and avoid leaving it out to strain overnight.
  12. Store in fridge.

Enjoy brewing yours~!

Recipe coming up soon: Red Wine Chicken Soup with Mee Sua
Recipe coming up soon: Dry Red Wine Chicken

- Best using aluminium bowl to cool the glutinous rice as they do not retain heat.
- If any globs of rice fall on the floor or table, leave it and throw away when done. Do not pick it up and rinse and put it in the container. Bacteria picked up can ruin the wine.
- It is imperative not to screw on the container's cap tight, as the fermenting process produces a lot of gas.
- The wine cakes affect the taste of the wine significantly. Experiment with vendors until you get a taste you like, then stick to them like white on rice (or in this case red on rice). The Honey Wine Cake that we've use in this trial was told it will make the wine sweeter.
- It is normal to see mouldy substance on top of the red rice mixture at the early stages especially during the 24 -48 hours as fermentation is only beginning. Stir the mixture if you see this as alcohol will kill the mouldy substance off and hence making it negligible. But if mouldy substance is seen floating on the Ang Chew, it is a goner.Water vapour is also normal at the early stages.
- All utensils must be clean and dry.
- Beer bottles should be washed and dried. Then a little Ang Chew was poured into each bottle and thrown away. Then filled each bottle. This way the Ang Chew will last longer.
- The lees or the residues is the Ang Chow, which can be kept for various cooking purposes and of course to make the famous Foochow preserved vegetable Chow Chai.

Click here for our blog page Cooking Classes for more recipes. Hope you will be inspired~

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

The Ultimate Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer Miles Redemption Guide!

Do you have a bunch (or couple thousand bunches) of Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer Miles which have been sitting around for a while? Or a bunch of various Credit Card points that could potentially be converted to KrisFlyer Miles? Have you also ever asked yourself "I wonder what I can do with these miles/points" or "I wonder what these miles/points" are worth? Well wonder no more, because today we're going to break it down for you with Look See Eat's Ultimate KrisFlyer Miles Redemption Guide!

First, a quick paragraph on the basics. Almost every single Singapore Airlines flight ticket has at least two components to the price - the Base Fare and one (or more) lines of various taxes, fees, and surcharges. Using your KrisFlyer Miles to redeem award tickets only offsets the Base Fare; everything else still needs to be paid in cash (or credit card). So in the example below, whatever number of miles you spent on the redemption would be only 'worth' $170, as you would need to pay the remaining $156.90 from your pocket.

The Ultimate Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer Miles Redemption Guide

So how do you find out how many miles you'd need for a particular redemption? The easiest way would be to just use SIA's KrisFlyer Mileage Calculator. Select your departure airport, class of carriage and one way / round trip from the drop downs and the site will re-calculate on the fly. Do note that SIA applies a 15% discount for bookings made online; so while a one-way Economy ticket to Adelaide shows 25,000 miles required, when actually making the booking you'll only need 21,250.

The Ultimate Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer Miles Redemption Guide

With the basics out of the way, let's get down to business! We took thirteen popular destinations originating from Singapore - a couple each from South East Asia, North East Asia, Australia, Europe, America and Africa. We then recorded the number of miles needed for a return journey redemption, the corresponding (base) air fare, calculated the monetary value and plotted it into a nice little graph:

The Ultimate Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer Miles Redemption Guide

Some quick conclusions:
- First Class redemptions are the best value, averaging 7.4¢ per KrisFlyer mile.
- Business Class redemptions come in a little lower, averaging 5.1¢ per mile.
- Economy Class redemptions are a relatively poor value 2.3¢ per mile.

Let's go into the details of First Class round-trip redemptions! We can see that in general, you get more value (cents) per KrisFlyer mile spent on longer trips that cost more money. Note that if you don't quite have enough miles for a round trip, you can book a one-way award for exactly half the number of miles listed in the table.

The Ultimate Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer Miles Redemption Guide

Moving on to Business class, the trend of higher value per KrisFlyer mile spent on longer trips that cost more money continues, except for the journey to/from Cape Town. The strangely low miles requirement for this trip (76,500, which is 40% less than required for a Singapore-London redemption) means a record-high 8.8¢ per mile value. One possible explanation here is that SIA flies older, smaller Boeing 777-200 ER's that don't have the same newer, comfortable seats as some of the other destinations.

The Ultimate Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer Miles Redemption Guide

Finally, Economy class. It isn't as straightforward here because for paid air tickets, SIA has four different booking types - Super Deals, Sweet Deals, Flexi Saver and Full Flexi, but the mileage redemption values remain the same. In fact at their cheapest fares, the Kuala Lumpur, Bangkok, Perth and London flights give you less than one cent a mile!

The Ultimate Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer Miles Redemption Guide

Now, you'll still need to adapt these calculations and figures for your own needs, your mileage accrual rate, and your personal valuation on how much SIA flights are worth. For example, Full Flexi economy fares give a seemingly respectable 3-4¢ per mile of value. But would you really pay $1,500+ for a full flex return ticket to Tokyo? Perhaps it would be better to just fly budget for a third the price, and keep the miles for a more aspirational redemption in the future.

Our recommendations for the best value redemptions are as follows:
- 10,000 - 25,000 Mile range: One Way Business Class to SE Asian destinations.
- 25,000 - 50,000 Mile range: One Way Business Class to Australia, Africa or NE Asia.
- 50,000 - 75,000 Mile range: One Way Business Class to the Americas, or one Way First Class to Australia, Africa or NE Asia.
- 75,000 - 100,000 Mile range: One Way First Class to the Americas.
- 100,000 Miles and above: First Class to wherever your miles can take you!

If you're new to the whole mileage game, you can actually fly in comfort for a remarkably low miles count: 15,000(ish) miles will take you to Bali in Business Class, and 30,000(ish) will take you to Hong Kong in the comfort of Singapore Airlines' flagship product, the Suites!

The Ultimate Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer Miles Redemption Guide
Image Courtesy of Singapore Airlines

We hope this post has given you a good idea of how far your miles can take you - and whether you get there in style. At a later date we'll write a follow-up on the different ways you can get KrisFlyer miles (it's easier and quicker than you might expect). In the meantime, if you've got any questions at all do leave a comment and we'll be sure to respond as best we can!

Sunday, April 19, 2015

Sydney Trip Itinerary - Hyam's Beach, Dolphin Watch Cruising from Jervis Bay and the Kiama Blowhole!

For a recap of the entire trip, table of contents and links to other posts, do click here: One Week in Sunny Sydney - Full Trip Itinerary!

We've got another road trip lined up for our third day in Sydney - Southward-bound this time, on the Grand Pacific Drive to Jervis Bay and back! It's pretty much a full day trip, with over six hours of driving in total, so got an early start and hit the road!

Sydney Trip Report

We took the Princess Highway southbound as we actually wanted to catch the earlier Dolphin Watching boats out of Jervis Bay. As luck (and traffic) would have it though, we arrived into the town of Huskisson just as the earlier boats were pulling away from the harbor. Sadface. So we had some brunch at the Angels Bayside Cafe on the corner of Owen and Hawke Street. It was okay.

Sydney Trip Report Brunch at Jervis Bay

Having some time to spare we took a short drive to the nearby Hyams Beach to dip our feet in the (cold) water and take a stroll on the sands. Apparently the Guinness Book of Records lists the beach here as having the whitest sand in the world; whether that's really true is anyone's guess. What's evident, though, is that it's crazy hot thanks to the summer sun.

Sydney Trip Report Hyams Beach

There are a number of dolphin and whale-watching boat operators in Huskisson; which only go out if there are sufficient passengers. So do make sure you give them a call and ask. We ended up going with Dolphin Watch Cruises because they were the only operator sending out a boat at our time slot.

Sydney Trip Report Dolphin Watch Cruise Jervis Bay

Dolphin watching is pretty fun, and within the one-and-a-half hour cruise we saw at least a few dozen of them. Getting good photographs of the dolphins is really, really frustrating, though. They appear for just a fraction of a second at a time, so unless your camera was already pointed at the right spot you'd likely be a little too late. With enough time, skill and/or luck I'm sure you'd get at least a couple of amazing shots, but apparently today we didn't have enough of any of 'em.

Sydney Trip Report Dolphin Watch Cruise Jervis Bay
Sydney Trip Report Dolphin Watch Cruise Jervis Bay

We take the leisurely Grand Pacific Drive northwards back to Coogee, and stop at the Kiama Blowhole. A small cave/tunnel starting at the sea wall ends here at this hole, so when the waves come in they've got nowhere to go but up and out, sometimes in spectacular 20-foot high walls of white frothy seawater. Today the seas are tame, though, and all we get are weedy 6-8 foot high sputters. Ah well.

Sydney Trip Report Kiama Blowhole

Our final stop before heading home was the University town of Wollongong. While there are a ton of things to do here, we only take a quick pit stop for dinner and drinks before leaving to catch the Sea Cliff Bridge before sunset.

Sydney Trip Report Sea Cliff Bridge
"Sea Cliff Bridge from air" by illawarrashowcase - Sea Cliff Bridge

The bridge itself is a 450m long, balanced cantilever bridge that runs parallel to the coast. We've got a video taken from the car here below, but honestly the video really doesn't do the spectacular view justice.

Once across the bridge we decided to cut through the Royal National Park, which turned out to be a huge mistake. The roads wind through the hills and would undoubtedly be an amazing drive during the day. But at night, all you see are the cats eyes on the road and it was really a waste of time and effort. Anyways, after a long, long day we stop for some pick-me-up meals from one of the nearby Woolworths before heading back to Coogee to eat, shower, and sleep.

Stay tuned for the next post in this series coming up soon!