Discovering Shiberty Bakes with Olympus Pen F

In the blink of an eye, I have been the owner of a dessert cafe for close to 3 months now.

Where does the time go?! It feels like just yesterday that I was searching for a suitable place to rent, running around like a headless chicken, trying to get everything sorted out, and now, Shiberty Bakes has been serving up yummy desserts 6 days out of a week… And what a CRAZZYYYY roller coaster ride it’s been!!!

I have learned so much about life and business through these few short months, and I have much more to discover. I’m a real rookie in this industry, so every baby step is considered a huge learning curve for me! Everything from learning how to deal with suppliers, customers, staff, coming up with new dishes, perfecting the recipe and execution… these things have been responsible for keeping me up at night, and making me a better, stronger person. Didn’t realize till now, how even the simplest of things can be extremely difficult to accomplish yourself.

I have never slept or lived the same way ever since starting this business, but I wouldn’t trade this experience for anything else. Owning a humble little space I can call my own that serves up yummy food has always been a dream of sorts for me, and I’m glad I have the opportunity to try this out before I hit 24!

From the very beginning, I made it a point to document this life-changing F&B start up experience with my latest photography toy – the highly raved about Olympus PEN-F!

So for those of you who haven’t been to Shiberty Bakes before, let me introduce you to my café with a little help from the Olympus PEN-F!

 

The kitchen, in the beginning. It has now been converted into a war zone and looks like this but 10x messier X)

Blank space by Taylor Swift comes into mind when I look at these photos of before the cafe got filled up with furniture, and everything else! So much room for possibility and creativity. When I see a blank slate, I don’t think of emptiness, but I see potential.

Let’s take a little tour and see what Shiberty Bakes looks like now together, shall we?

The above photos are all taken with the Vintage filter, which is in built, and my personal favorite filter because it makes my cafe look like a bakery that popped up from the 1950′s!

One of the unique points about the PEN-F is that it has a creative dial located on the front of the body of the camera, and features 4 different filters – Monochrome, Colour Profile, Colour Creator, and Art Filter! This makes it especially convenient and useful for people who are not too fond or well versed at Photoshop or have no time to edit their photos, yet want to achieve a dramatic mood with their pictures.

Some Before & After examples of what you can achieve with the filters - I love how the same image can look so different, with a simple twist of a dial! These are all unedited photos.


Featuring Light Tone filter


Featuring Vintage filter. Don’t you just adore our tongue-in-cheek personalized calligraphy quotes?!


Featuring Pin Hole filter


Featuring Colour Profile. I love how this mode makes the colours pop!


Featuring Monochrome. This mode makes a relatively ordinary filter look very nostalgic and evokes more emotions than in color, for sure!

Featuring Colour Creator

And y’know, because I’m the owner of a kick ass dessert cafe, you’re about to be treated to a visual array of absolutely decadent desserts, proudly taken with the Olympus PEN-F.

Don’t worry, these sweets don’t cost you any calories when you’re only looking at them through a computer screen. If you’d like to get your hands on some of these, though, you know where to find us!!

You don’t have to do much work to get good photos when the PEN-F is so powerful and the photography subjects this colorful and delicious-looking!

Our opening month’s special – Fairy Floss toast! With Fairy Floss that looks like unicorn hair, cotton candy and vanilla ice cream

Salted egg yolk macaron

Chocolate Baileys cake, which was a popular flavor until we removed it from our menu!

Matcha and Red Velvet macarons

Buttermilk Waffles! With sea salt and vanilla ice cream, drizzled with maple syrup. Would you look at the ridiculous amount of berries we lovingly pile onto every plate?!

Customizing fresh floral cakes is our forte.

Blackcurrant Blueberry (aka Ribena) cake, we were surprised to have a local celebrity walk in and ask for this for her birthday celebration!

Charcoal Waffles! These waffles will stay crispy throughout your entire stay here, we promise!

Customized cupcakes for Twitter’s office in SG :)

That time I helped a friend deliver this cake and flowers (whom I also ordered for him) to his girlfriend..

Matcha toast

Rocher toast!

It’s quite amusing how different our toasts look now, as compared to these Beta 101 versions you see above. We’ve only been open a couple of months but have made drastic changes and tons of amendments to our menu, recipes and general operations! Everyday, we are striving to serve our customers better. And I admit, we have a long way to go still, and we humbly ask for everyone’s support and kind understanding.

There’s always something to be improved on, and something that can be done better. I would like to thank everyone, from my followers, to my friends and even complete strangers who have enjoyed our desserts from the bottom of my heart for showing their support to Shiberty Bakes since our opening, this wouldn’t have been possible without you guys! Hope to see more of you at the cafe soon!

Shiberty Bakes is located at 46 Owen Road #01-277 s210046 and we are open Tuesday – Sunday, and Public Holidays, from 1pm to 10pm (9:30pm last order).  

Call us at 6291 5221, or drop your orders at orders@shibertybakes.com if you want anything you see here for a special occasion! We still do cater dessert tables and customized cakes for weddings, birthday parties and other events, by the way!

Shout out also goes to Olympus for always producing amazing cameras, such as the PEN-F, allowing me to capture these memories and photos so well. :)

xoxo,
Jess

Danone Yoghurt

I never used to be much of a yogurt person, all until frozen yogurt dessert chains started popping up a few years ago! Froyo made me appreciate the sourish taste of yogurt, while making me feel like I’m making a better diet decision because it’s supposed to be better for your digestive system than ice cream (right?! please tell me I am right).

Danone yogurts are made with 100% Australian Milk, fresh fruits (not dried) and it is ultra thick and creamy! I love that it’s made in Australia. Australian produce are always fresh, top-notch and overall usually unbeatable quality!

Look at all the delicious flavors I got my hands on. Black Cherry, Raspberry & White Chocolate, Honey, Blueberry, and Strawberry! Totally spoilt for choice.

Because I’m obsessed with anything white chocolate, I singled this flavor out as my top favorite – Raspberry & White Chocolate.

I love the taste and texture of this yogurt! It is thick and smooth while retaining a refreshing lightness. The fruity flavor is distinct and not at all artificial.

The most basic way to enjoy the yogurt is obviously just by the spoonful for a snack or for breakfast, but because I AM miss baker extraordinaire, I had to find a way to include this gloriously creamy ingredient in one of my baked recipes! And I thought a rustic yogurt loaf would be the best fit for this verstatile ingredient.

Raspberry & White Chocolate Yogurt Loaf

Ingredients:

  • 1 and a half cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 3/4 cup white or brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon fine salt
  • 1 cup Danone Raspberry & White Chocolate yogurt
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup of of raspberries

Method:

  1. Preheat oven to 180 degrees
  2. Lightly dust medium sized loaf pan with thin coating of flour, tap out excess
  3. Whisk the flour, baking powder and salt
  4. Add in yogurt, oil, eggs, and vanilla extract in a separate bowl, mix until well incorporated
  5. Fold in dry ingredients into wet ingredients until mixture is smooth
  6. Stir in raspberries lightly into the batter mixture
  7. Pour the batter into the prepared loaf pan, bake for approximately 50 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the loaf comes out clean
  8. Let loaf cool in pan for 15 minutes before transferring onto wire rack for cooling

This is the first time I’ve ever made a yogurt loaf, and I fell madly in love with the outcome! The texture of the cake is incredibly moist and crumbly.

The best part is probably how fragrant the loaf and entire kitchen smells after baking, thanks to Danone’s amazing yogurt. I’ve made this recipe but with different flavors of yogurts (a total of 4 times!!!).

I made more yogurt loaves, namely Blueberry (with fresh blueberries), Honey (with walnuts), Black cherry (with fresh strawberries) and each and every one of them was legit to-die-for. The sweetness of the loaf is just perfect, and it’s something even people who do not usually eat cake will definitely enjoy.

There’s no need for fancy glazes or toppings because the loaf itself is so delicious!

I sliced up this yogurt loaf made with Danone yogurts and packed them as gifts to bring for different people as I visited them at their work place and homes. Needless to say, they were extremely well-received.

So much that I’m considering selling this as a permanent item at my dessert cafe, Shiberty Bakes! It’s just perfect for an afternoon snack or even a sweet breakfast treat.

You HAVE to try this recipe on your own, because it’s so fuss-free and easy that anyone can achieve great results with this!

Danone yogurt is having a contest, whereby you can stand to win a 2D1N getaway at The Sofitel Singapore Sentosa! Simply post a photo of your favorite yoghurt recipe, and hashtag #CreateWithDanone in order to qualify! The top 10 winners will also be receiving a special prize.

For more information, hop on over to their Facebook Page and Official Website!

xoxo,
Jess

Recipe: Ham & Cheese Waffle with Perfect Italiano

You know what I find to be a popular food trend nowadays?

Food hybrids. You know, combining two things into one new brilliant creation that’s been hardly attempted before. Like cronuts. It’s a very novel idea, and usually fun to experiment around with.

I always keep Perfect Italiano cheeses stocked in my fridge, because cheese is just one of those ingredients that’s simple enough to cook with yet complex enough to add to any dish to bring about a brand new dimension of flavors. And Perfect Italiano does just that – it is Singapore’s number one cooking cheese that adds simple Italian flair to everyday family meals, making your home cooked meals that much more exciting.

I was plating some Buttermilk Waffles in my dessert cafe the other day, when I thought to myself… look at how beautifully crisp these golden things are. And what a pity they’re only being used for dessert-related dishes. They’re so glorious, they should be used in savory food also. Then it just dawned upon me. Why not make a Ham & Cheese Waffle, since you know… I have a waffle machine, and Perfect Italiano cheese in the fridge.. Not a bad idea at all. You don’t need a professional machine for this, waffle machines that are meant for home usage are fine too!

Ham & Cheese Waffle

Ingredients:

Waffle Mix (makes 6 waffles, adjust accordingly, adapted from credit source)
2 eggs
2 cups (256g) all-purpose flour
1 3/4 cups (595g) milk
1/2 cup (109g) vegetable oil
1 tablespoon (12.5g) white sugar
4 teaspoons (18.4g) baking powder
1/4 teaspoon (1.5g) salt
1/2 teaspoon (2g) vanilla extract

Toppings
handful of cut up pieces of chicken or pork ham
half cup (50g) of Perfect Italiano Mozzarella cheese
sprinkling (5g) of Perfect Italiano Parmesan cheese

Directions:

  1. Preheat waffle iron
  2. Beat eggs in large bowl with hand beater until fluffy
  3. Beat in flour, milk, vegetable oil, sugar, baking powder, salt and vanilla, just until smooth
  4. Spray preheated waffle iron with non-stick cooking spray
  5. Pour mix onto hot waffle iron
  6. Cook until golden brown
  7. Top off with half cup of Perfect Italiano Mozzarella cheese, sprinkling of Perfect Italiano Parmesan cheese and handful of ham
  8. Finish off by baking in the oven for 3 minutes at 180 degrees

The end result… is pretty genius.

It tastes just like a breakfast waffle, thanks to the ham and sweetness from the waffle itself! I can see myself making this over and over again.

Probably with tomato sauce and bacon next time, to amp it up more, or even fry up some sausages and lay them on top. Or perhaps some crispy fried chicken and a drizzle of maple syrup? Mmmmm.

Perfect Italiano Mozzarella Cheese has a mild flavour that melts beautifully and stretches to perfection, their Parmesan Cheese has that sharp and savoury taste which packs a nice flavourful punch! Mixing them together creates the best oomph of flavourful stretchiness. Double Mmmmm.

I spread some tomato sauce on the side of the plate for a bit of zing, which lifted the overall taste. I didn’t spread tomato sauce all over the waffle, because I thought it would be too similar to a pizza then!

The waffle retains its fluffy and crispy bite while the two different blends of oozy Perfect Italiano cheese made it super delectable! Although I just made some this morning, I feel like I could go for some again right now.

That’s how addictive this is. Cue hearts in eyes emoji. Savory waffles are SO underrated. I think adding garlic/onion powder (or other spices / seasoning you prefer) to the waffle mix itself and reducing the sugar would be a great variation as well! Depends how sweet you like it. I like that the waffle itself is still sweet because it contrasts with the salted cheese and ham.

Gone within a few bites. Few things in the world bring me as much satisfaction as melted mozzarella on my food, especially if it’s from Perfect Italiano.

There is so many more yummy talk about cheeses and home cooked food on the Perfect Italiano’s website. Check them out if you need a little inspiration to spice up your cooking or just some inspirations for the next meal! Perfect Italiano is available in leading supermarkets.

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

xoxo,
Jess

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
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