Baking and I do not go well together, and therefore, it is a rare scene to see me wielding a whisk in the kitchen.
Seriously, I could not believe myself when I patiently spooned out the batter into each "cup" in the baking tray. And since there were extra ingredients in the cupboard, we decided to be a little creative with what was supposed to be just plain vanilla cupcakes.
As I was not sure of how much butter I had put in (I only estimated), I sighed a breath of relief to see that the end product did look like cupcakes.
We decided not to use pre-made frosting. D looked up for a recipe for cheese cream frosting and made it from scratch. She whisked some caster sugar, butter and cheese cream together with some vanilla essence and lemon zest and looked every bit like an old-timer but insisted that she does not bake. "I don't bake one, really one."
I made good use of the raspberry flavoured M&M's chocolate that we had. Knowing Michael, he must have some sweet after salty/savoury and so the combination of the chocolate, 100s and 1000s on the cupcakes would do the trick. I made the letter M out of the M&M's in his favourite Manchester United colour of red (and pink because I wanted to leave some red ones for us to munch on). Hm, still turned out a little "girly" due to the colours but oh well, I don't do this every day and definitely not for every friend.
XW did more than I. She prepared a full meal: steamed egg with prawns and mushroom (something like chawamushi), stir-fried snowpeas with leek and carrots, as well as Vegemite chicken (which was awesome!). Oh, and radish soup.
After dinner, XW helped to distract Michael by showing him D's room while I quickly lit a candle and hid in the kitchen. He did not know that we were doing this, so when he saw me holding the cupcakes with a candle, he said, "No wonder la, I was thinking since when Tai Jie bake cupcakes one. Stress until have to bake? Cannot be..."
To my sai lou here in Sydney,
Here is to wishing you a very happy birthday! Make the best of your final year in your 20s and you know that you have my support in everything that you decide to do!
Glad that you were happily surprised and thank you for that heartwarming "speech" during dinner. I was genuinely touched. If you made that speech any longer, I would have teared up.
Tai Jie :))