Ribena Cordial – Blueberry Blackcurrant Cake recipe

When thinking about local childhood drinks, the name Ribena surely comes to mind.

This deep purple / reddish cordial has been a household name in Singapore ever since I could remember. Their signature bright purple colored packet drinks were a favorite of mine when I was in primary school! And it seems like not much has changed about the people’s love for Ribena throughout the years. It’s still a popular beverage, especially with the kids.

What’s not to like about it?

Ribena is a cordial made from 100% blackcurrants from New Zealand and contains no artificial sweeteners, flavorings or colors! Rich in Vitamin C, a 200ml glass of Ribena drink provides a child’s daily Vitamin C requirements.

Everyone already knows the most fuss-free way to enjoy Ribena – pour some cordial and water into a glass, then stir, and drink up!

But because I own a spiffy little dessert cafe… I can’t possibly just stop there, can I? Experimenting with new flavor combinations and plating of food happens to be one of my favorite hobbies!

As part of our daily Seasonal Cake offerings that are sold at Shiberty Bakes by the slice, I decided to come up with a Blueberry Blackcurrant cake inspired by and made with Ribena!

I love the pretty purple ombre effect and the simple but effective finishing touches on the cake. Can’t help but dab a little bit of gold on everything I touch these days!

To our usual sponge cake and buttercream recipe, I added blueberries and Ribena cordial! The end result is tasty and rather subtle in taste. It won’t taste overly-Ribena-ish as I’d initially expected! I think this would be a great cake to make for Mother’s Day, and for any Ribena lover.

If you added raspberries in the middle cream layer, I reckon it would be even more delicious! To achieve the ombre purple effect, just make different shades of purple, ranging from light to dark, and always start from the bottom (dark) part first, and work your way up!

Blueberry Blackcurrant Cake

Plain Sponge Cake (base recipe source)

Ingredients:

  • 225g self-raising flour
  • 225g butter, at room temperature
  • 200g caster sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 200 grams blueberries

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees C / gas mark 4
  2. Measure all the ingredients into a large bowl
  3. Mix all of the ingredients using a electric whisk, then add blueberries into batter and gently stir
  4. Pour the mixture into 2 non-stick 7 inch tins
  5. Place them in the oven till golden brown 15-25 minutes
  6. Cool on a wire rack before serving

Swiss Meringue Buttercream (base recipe source)

Ingredients:

  • 6 egg whites
  • 2 cups white sugar
  • 3 cups unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 8 tablespoons of Ribena cordial

Directions:

  1. Place the egg whites and sugar into a metal bowl and stir vigorously over a bain marie.
  2. Transfer the heated egg whites and sugar to a large mixing bowl or stand mixer
  3. Mix at high speed until they have reached their maximum volume / stiff peaks
  4. Mix on medium speed while pinching off small pieces of butter and throwing them in
  5. Mix in 8 tablespoons of Ribena cordial
  6. The buttercream may look like it is breaking down, but keep on mixing and it will come back together

And there you have yourself a deliciously fluffy and tempting Blueberry Blackcurrant Cake! Just look at that color!!! To achieve this deep purple in the frosting, you will need violet food colouring.

To relive my childhood memories, I made my own sparkling Ribena drink a tad bit more sophisticated by just adding 3/4 cup soda water to 1/4 cup Ribena cordial, and some cut up fruits to go along with.

The sweetness of the cordial can be adjusted simply by adjusting the amount to suit your own preferences! I suppose the kids would like it slightly sweeter, while adults may prefer to cut down on the sweetness.

Just as I was done frosting the cake and making the drink at my cafe, my awesome friend Geraldine spontaneously walked in, so I made her share the yummy treats with me!

She was all too happy, of course. She’s the sweetest thing ever!!!

Good things are made great by sharing them with someone you love! Who will you make these Ribena treats for?
Ribena is having a promotion now, for every 1L of Cordial drink bought, you will receive a free jug to make awesome concoctions at home with!

xoxo,
Jess

Anchorpoint

Now that I’m gearing up full time for the launch of my new dessert cafe, there’s been tons of action going on in the kitchen!

Practically everyday we have macarons and cakes being made, and a few weekends ago, I brought down a few hundred macarons to surprise the shoppers at Anchorpoint!

The flavours as seen here are our classics: Ferrero Rocher, Red Velvet, Earl Grey, Matcha and SALTED EGG YOLK, which is our newest best-selling flavor that’s been making people go Ooooh and Ahhh all around! To say it’s been well-received, would be a slight understatement! These are all available retailing daily at my cafe.

I love doing events!

I get a bit restless working in the same small kitchen & cafe every single day, so it was nice to be able to get out of the cafe and be in a casual setting like this every once in a while. My favorite part about events would be meeting enthusiastic shoppers who come across our macarons and seeing them try it for the first time! The shoppers at Anchorpoint are so friendly.

We had one elderly lady come up to us and asked if she could sample one, because she’s never had a macaron in her life before, and had no idea what they were except that they “look pretty”. I thought, why not? So I gave her one piece to try, and to my surprise, she bought 14 more pieces immediately on the spot! I asked her if she’s buying them for her kids / grandchildren, to which she chuckled and replied, “No, they’re all for myself. I’ll probably finish them tonight.

LOL…And they say older people don’t like sweets!!! Well, our macarons are generally a lot less sweet than those sold at other places, anyway!

Big thank you to the people who spontaneously came down to the mall after seeing my Instagram (@shiberty) shout out about my pop up booth at Anchorpoint! I appreciate your support so so much.

With the two sisters, Zoe & Zonia Raymond! I’ve known Zoe from a long time back… I think since 2009 or something! How time flies. Glad we can still get along and exchange friendly banter even though we only see each other at events every now and then! She was kind enough to help me tend to my booth for an hour when I had something to attend to, and was a great help whenever she saw something she could contribute to. Thanks babe!

Got my staff to man my booth one afternoon, and I went exploring Anchorpoint with a good friend of mine to check out what dining options, retail stores & beauty services were waiting to be explored!

First up, lunch at Jack’s Place (#01-09/10)! I love me a nice chunk of steak any time of the week.

Dining here brings back a lot of nostalgic memories, I used to eat at Jack’s Place with my family pretty often, years ago. I looove their baked potato with a mini mountain of sour cream, spring onions and bacon bits!!!

They had a lunch promo, enjoy a glass or house red or white wine for only $6 or something… Could I say no? I didn’t think this day would finally come, but I’m honestly at that age where I would order a glass of wine for pure enjoyment (and not because I’m being forced to drink it). Didn’t think I’d actually get here. Doesn’t seem too long ago, when the teenage me would go, “Wine, ew!”

After some good talks over a slow lunch, I decided to go for some pampering treatments, after all… I’ve been working so hard!!!

Surely, I deserve it?

Came across VIP Boutique (#B1-24), a one-stop shop for your beauty desires!

The interior was very clean and comfortable. I can’t stand doing my nails (or any beauty services) in shops that look like they haven’t been properly taken care of.

Hygiene is a big deal to me, and VIP Boutique was definitely immaculately clean! The lady boss and staff were also extremely accommodating and friendly.

Super dry skin around my fingers from all the dishes I’ve been washing. Also haven’t had a manicure done in about 29476133782919 years.

Happy to have a few hours off to pamper myself… but at the same time, I STILL gotta work. Being a small business owner means work never stops, work never ends! There’s always something to handle, or something to attend to.

Aaand we’re done.

I chose a very nude and plain mani because that’s how I roll nowadays. Simple, practical and classic is the way to go! Even though it’s so simple, it made me happy to feel like I was taking care of myself. Being well-groomed does so much for your self-esteem!

I loved how gentle and careful the nail technicians were at VIP Boutique. I have sensitive skin that’s very thin and nails that tear easily, so mani pedis can be quite uncomfortable and even painful for me, however I experienced minimal discomfort here because they paid extra attention to not hurt my nails accidentally after I warned them about my situation.

Saw that they have other services such as lip and eyebrow embroidery, both of which I really need! Looking forward to trying their other beauty services some other day! :)

Going grocery shopping with Daric, one of my best takeaways from an online game I used to play really often.

Dragged him along to check out the meat selection at MMMM (#B1-58) - Meats, marinades and much more!

I love the wide variety of different cuts of meat they have here, their beef and pork selection is especially impressive! You can even find whole slabs of foie gras sometimes, something not readily available in your average supermarket. Bought a couple of steaks to cook dinner with, and also some pork shoulder to make pulled pork sliders for another day!

Because I’m a very proud mid-20′s-hipster-auntie, my favorite stores in a shopping mall aren’t the fashion ones, like most girls. I LOVE homeware stores. Anything that goes into your home, I love. Furniture stores, hardware stores, cookware….

I could spend hours in there!! I like browsing Japan Home (#B1-30/31) for good steals. Cheap prices = happy Jess.

To satisfy my inner geekiness, every time I pass by a Challenger store, I absolutely have to dive in. The Challenger Mini (#B1-34) is well stocked!

I love looking at all the gadgets. I bought my keyboard and mouse from Challenger this year! I think I need a new pair of headphones also. When it comes to technology and IT gadgets, it seems like you can never have enough upgrades, can you? There’s always a new or more tempting release out there!

My last shopping stop of the day was Pet Lovers Centre (#B1-26/27).

They have everything you’ll need for your furry friends – and I usually head in to pick up some hay, pellets and bedding for my two fluffy bunnies.

Just to share with other bunny owners, my rabbits LOVE these apple-flavored treats! They smell so delicious, I’m ashamed to admit I’ve even eaten one piece myself. LOL. They are actually relatively tasty, I kid you not…

After a long day of browsing stores and walking around, I decided to end it with a bang by doing one of my favorite activities – getting a massage. ABSOLUTELY one of the top things in life that I enjoy.

Refresh Bodyworks (#B1-42) at Anchorpoint hires people with disabilities, providing them a stable job and source of income.

I had a 1 hour foot reflexology, and I fell asleep about 20 minutes into the massage, that’s how relaxing it was! I left the place feeling totally rejuvenated.

And thus, concludes my entire fruitful day out at Anchorpoint!

The first time I’d been to Anchorpoint was back in my MDIS schooling days, as the campus is really nearby! We’d come here for a quick meal after school if we weren’t heading into town and wanted to access a nearby mall. I’m glad to see it is still the same mall with cozy vibes, offering retail solutions and services for our everyday needs, after all it’s the only one in the area!

Anchorpoint now holds monthly fleas, so if you’ve ever in the area during the weekend, don’t forget to pop by the basement to find out for yourself what interesting booths they have on that particular week! For more info, check out Anchopoint’s Facebook page at facebook.com/fcm.anchorpoint.

xoxo,
Jess

One Raffles Place

The Central Business District area in Singapore is one place I have definitely not explored much of, despite my 23 years of existence in this country.

Throughout my adult life, I’ve always thought that there was absolutely nothing to do in the CBD except get lost in the concrete jungle maze. I was definitely caught by surprise when I exited Raffles Place MRT one evening and walked right into One Raffles Place.

You’ll see this huge sign and H&M as soon as you exit the MRT station. Surrounding this mall are numerous trendy bars & restaurants that ooze modern city vibes!

Upon entering the shopping mall, I realized I had 6 whole levels of food, fashion, beauty & lifestyle services to explore! All of this being right smack in the middle of the CBD, with huge skyscraper office buildings surrounding it. A lighthearted oasis in the middle of a very serious place! Some of the more notable stores that One Raffles Place houses are H&M, Melissa, Swatch, Owndays, Pandora, The Body Shop, Uniqlo, Paris Baguette, Gong Cha, and many more brands we love.

Because I haven’t window shopped (or actually shopped) in months, I headed straight for the upper levels where the fashion stores are mainly located!

The first shop I dived into was Amanda.

It was my first time hearing of this label, but they carried an impressive range of semi-formal clothes that will take you from day to night and work to play, which I figured would be perfect for the many office ladies that patronize this part of the city! They’ve even got gown selections in case you’re shopping for a formal event.

I almost bought this dainty bejeweled neckline dress from Amanda (#04-33/34), because you know what they say about a girl never being able to have too many LBDs.. I like A-line cut dresses the best, and this simple dress could take me anywhere from a corporate event to a romantic dinner date with my boyfriend!

A couple of stores down from Amanda, you’ll find Sarah B (#04-21), probably my personal number 1 store in all of One Raffles Place! The shopkeeper was extremely friendly and helpful as well, so ++++ points for service!

I LOVE that most of their apparels seem to be in these colors: black, white, navy blue and nudes. Those are all of my favorite colors to wear, missing only one of my other staple wardrobe color: grey.

While they do have other fancy and unique apparels, my style choice will always be something more timeless and classic.

Candid shot of a happy shopaholic going about her ways!

Shopping is extremely serious business.

Tried on this lace tunic which I regretted not stumbling across earlier, because this would’ve been so apt for Chinese New Year!!! It’s really difficult to find clothing with oriental details that don’t scream “I AM FOR WEARING DURING CNY ONLY”, and this top is one of the few options out there.

But then I found another blouse from Sarah B which I adore even more!!!!!! Can’t stop obsessing over this white lace top. It’s basically perfection.

Easy to wear, very comfortable, a staple in your wardrobe that will look good anywhere and anytime. I’m all for practicality and comfort, so this ensemble was right up my alley!

Just because I was in the CBD, I decided to try on something more office-appropriate. Fun fact: I have never worked a day in any office in all my life! Ever since I was a teenager, I have been self employed. In my teenage years, I did some side blogging and part-time modeling work. When I was 18, I focused more on blogging and cake making work… I’ve never looked back since!

Although I wear my home clothes to my work place (and by work place I mean either in front of my computer or in the kitchen) sometimes I wonder what life would be like as an office lady, having to look good and dress up every single day!

I really have to give it to those ladies who embrace pencil skirts and uncomfortable stilettos every single day in the good name of fashion and professionalism.

Apart from clothing stores, One Raffles Place has other lifestyle options for you to browse, such as all sorts of eyewear from Owndays (#03-02/03)!

If I didn’t have corrective eye surgery already done, I would be sporting fun-looking eyewear frames like these to show people that you can be geeky AND cool at the same time.

There’s something for everyone here at Sarah B (#04-21), including a whole lot of pretty accessories to try on and match with your outfits!

Remember how Swatch (#01-14) was all the rage when we used to be in school? (if you’re from my era!)

They’re still coming up with fun-looking watches that are targeted at the younger generation! When I was in primary school, I would rotate Swatch watches every year and it would be the coolest thing to happen to me. I wore them with so much pride. When my nephew grows a little older, the first watch I’ll buy him will be Swatch!

To showcase the fashion choices available at One Raffles Place, a few of my other blogger friends and I will be styling 2 mannequins each, that will be on display at th atrium from 31 March – 27th April and they’re a part of a contest that’s happening in April, so look out for my mannequins when you head down! Both outfits I’ve picked out are from Sarah B, whose clothes I’m sure you girls will love.

If ever you find yourself wandering around the CBD, you now know where you can find a one-stop shopping mall that will settle all of your needs!

xoxo,
Jess

Recipe: Shepherd’s Pie by Perfect Italiano

When I think of comfort food, I usually think of warm, hearty dishes that will fill up not only my tummy, but practically my entire being. Comfort food is the kinda food you’d want to have when you stay home on a rainy Sunday evening. It’s the kinda food you wish your mom would cook more often. It’s the food that brings back feelings of quiet happiness and nostalgia. I guess comfort food is different for everyone.

For me, one of my ultimate comfort food choice would be ooey gooey shepherd’s pie.

There’s just something about shepherd’s pie that I can’t get enough of. Maybe it’s the moist meaty interior with a smooth potato top that checks all my boxes. It’s the perfect ratio of meat to carbs, and I can find so little fault with this classic dish! This is one recipe I find myself going back to time and time again, and it’s so fail proof that I believe even someone with no experience in the kitchen can successfully manage. Just try it, and you’ll see what I mean. I know most shepherd’s pies don’t come with a cheesy topping, but I really do feel that it adds a world of flavor dimension by simply including one extra ingredient. A crusty potato top is good, but a cheesy crusty potato top is FANTASTIC. See what I’m getting at? And there’s no brand of cheese that is a bigger mainstay in my fridge than Perfect Italiano!

Perfect Italiano is a cooking cheese brand that adds simple Italian flair to everyday family meals! I’ve decided to use Pizza Plus because of its unique blend of cheeses. Perfect Italiano Pizza Plus consists of Mozzarella, Parmesan and Cheddar. Mozzarella gives the recipe a stretchy nature, while Parmesan and Cheddar add different notes of flavours.

Shepherd’s Pie

Ingredients (serves 4-6):

Meat Filling
700g russet potatoes, halved
600g beef, minced
250g frozen mixed vege (carrots, peas, corn)
1 clove minced garlic, minced
1 large white onion, diced
200g cherry tomatoes, halved
150g tomato puree
2 chicken or beef stock cubes
a splashing of red wine
3 tablespoons BBQ sauce
2 tablespoons cornstarch
olive oil
herbs (bay leaf, parsley, etc), sugar & black pepper to taste

Cheesy Potato Crust
150g Perfect Italiano Pizza Plus
a handful of breadcrumbs
170g butter
10g garlic / onion powder
80g milk

Directions:

  1. Boil potatoes in a large pot over high heat for 30 minutes or until very tender
  2. Sautee onions and garlic in a tablespoon of olive oil over low heat for 2 minutes in a large pan
  3. Add minced beef & stock cubes to the pan, stir fry for 2 minutes
  4. Pour in mixed vege, cherry tomatoes, tomato puree, red wine, BBQ sauce and simmer over low heat for 5 minutes
  5. Turn heat off, mix your 2 tablespoons with a bit of water in a bowl to thicken the sauce, pour cornstarch paste into meat mixture and stir vigorously, making sure no lumps form
  6. Strain the water from the boiled potatoes & mash the potatoes with butter, garlic / onion powder and milk until evenly mixed and smooth
  7. Spoon the meat filling into ramekins / oven proof pans
  8. Top off with a layer of potatoes, sprinkle on Perfect Italiano Pizza Plus and finally top off with breadcrumbs
  9. Bake in oven for 8 minutes at 180 degrees or airfry at 200 degrees for 5 minutes
  10. Let cool at least 5 minutes before serving, and enjoy

I love so many things about this Shepherd’s Pie!!!!

There will be many Shepher’s Pie recipes out there, but I can bet you that very few of them would be just like mine. First off, the addition of Perfect Italiano Pizza Plus cheese makes it over the top delicious. Secondly, including BBQ sauce and red wine in the recipe is essential for me. The BBQ sauce lends a bit of smokiness and sweetness, while the red wine gives it a nice kick. I love red meat with red wine.

I adore making this in large batches for potlucks, gatherings / parties or even just to store in the freezer in individual heat-proof containers, because all I have to do is take it out of the freezer when I want a good meal, pop it into the airfryer or oven for 8 minutes and I’m good to go!

This recipe freezes and keeps extremely well, therefore making it perfect for people who cook their own food at home (like me). Make it once and you’ll have enough to last you through some weeks! Less cleaning up, and saves you a ton of effort and time.

Personally, I prefer my dishes really “wet” with a loooot of sauce, so that’s why I chose to use tomato puree, to ensure there will be lots of liquid to coat the meat with.. because dry meat is just blurghhhh. I don’t hold back with the butter in my mashed potato as well. #YOLO! The secret to great mashed potato is lots of butter and seasoning! And of course, the inclusion of milk makes sure that the mash is nice and moist, making it easy to spread over the top as well.

All in all, I would have to say this is a recipe that I will be keeping for life. I’ve never made this for anyone who hasn’t not loved it. It hits all the right spots, and is truly the epitome of comfort food. Once again, I have found yet another favorite recipe to cook with Perfect Italiano cheese. Stretchy, full of bite and flavor, their cheeses seem to go well with a thousand and one dishes I’ve been whipping up in my kitchen!

For more yummy talk about cheeses and home cooked food, head on over to Perfect Italiano’s website to gain inspiration and look at recipes that will make you drool!

Don’t forget to hashtag #PerfectItalianoSG when you use their cheese in your homecooked food and post photos on social media!

xoxo,
Jess

Silkygirl Cosmetics

What’s the most important step of your make up routine? For me, it’s ABSOLUTELY gotta be my eyebrows and lips!

I was born with very scarce brow hair, so I need eyebrow embroidery to look normal. And I have naturally pale lips. People ask me all the time, “where are your eyebrows? are you sick? why do you look so pale?” Guys… it’s just the way I was born. Sigh. Well, nothing a bit of make up can’t fix, of course!

Playing around with these new cosmetic products from SILKYGIRL!

They’ve recently launched the Expert Brow Slim Liner and new shades for their Moisture Boost Lipcolor Balm.

The Expert Brow Slim Liner has become my new go-to eyebrow pencil because of how light, sleek and functional it is!

It’s super easy to use. While the pigments are easily buildable for a deeper color, the color I’m using (Natural Brown 01) is quite light, so I can avoid looking like I drew on my eyebrows with crayons! Not sure about you, but I tend to get a bit heavy handed when I’m doing my make up.

I’m the girl that starts off thinking “just a thin line of eyeliner for a natural look” and 1 minute later, I end up with full smokey eyeshadow with an elaborate winged cat eye. Not even kidding. So something that builds up slowly instead of starting off strong works very well for me.

The 1.8mm slim tip makes for concise drawing, giving you the sharp edges you need for eyebrows with higher arches! It’s got additional plus points such as being long wearing, waterproof and fragrance free as well!

It’s a double sided product that comes with a spoolie brush at the other end for easy brushing of your eyebrows.

I don’t find myself using it often because I literally lack eyebrow hair (lol) but I’m sure it will come in handy for girls with thicker brows!

Ta-dah! All done with my eyebrows!

It’s a very natural look that’s great for everyday wear and effortless to pull off.

Moving onto lips, how pretty are these new shades of Moisture Boost Lipcolor Balms?!

I honestly think that bright lip colors are essential in every woman’s make up pouch. They add instant pop of life to your face, and makes your whole look so much more refreshing and fun!

Glides on so smoothly, and there wasn’t any chapping on my lips despite wearing it for a couple of hours. My dry lips didn’t have a problem with this. As you can see for yourself, the color payoff is fantastic!

Is it a lipstick, or a lipbalm? It’s actually both! The Moisture Boost Lipcolor Balm is essentially:

  • A lipcolor balm with a boost of color and moisture
  • Long-lasting moisture, long-wearing
  • Enriched with Vitamin A, C and E to nourish and condition lips
  • Lightweight, creamy
  • Retractable
  • No fragrance, no paraben, no carmine, no animal testing

My impression of SILKYGIRL products has always been that of a value-for-money, fun make up brand that’s very suitable for younger girls especially, and I’m glad that hasn’t changed! They’re still coming up with cosmetics that suit the needs of young ladies and keeping up with the trends. .

So girls, be free to express yourself with dramatic make up on your face! Experiment. Have fun. Be yourself.

For more updates on SILKYGIRL’s latest product releases and information, follow SILKYGIRL’s Facebook page, visit their official website and their account on Instagram!

xoxo,
Jess
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