When a food critic turns the poison pen on herself

C&HM’s wedding cupcakes December 15, 2008

Filed under: Cupcakes,Wedding cakes — crummb @ 11:07 pm
Tags: , , , ,


I MADE 100 cupcakes for Clare’s wedding last month. For a former theatre critic who could articulate a theory for everything – from why certain men are commitment-phobes to why a salad works – she was amazingly straight-forward with her cupcakes. Her only three specifics to me were: banana, green tea and white chocolate.

But I don’t wanna go into how fun it was to pair the flavours to create three different combos (banana cake + caramel buttercream; brown sugar cake + green tea buttercream; orange cake + white chocolate frosting).

Or about how baking the cupcakes (at a turtle-paced 12 at a time) started five days before the big day, which led me to miss the karaoke hen night because my last batch of batter was still sitting on my counter, waiting for its turn in the oven. I had serious plans to belt S Club 7, folks.

Or about how, when I was decorating the cupcakes the night before the wedding, my vision of pretty buttercream wreaths draping across the brown sugar cakes was shattered because, simply put, my piping skills suck. So I had to improvise and do something much simpler, and let my hand-made sugarpaste roses be the anchorpiece.

Or especially about how I made the white chocolate frosting fives times before I got it right. Note to self: white chocolate turns into a rigid, solidified lump at high temperature very suddenly. Melt


What I really wanna talk about is how this was one wedding that had me beaming ear-to-ear all through the solemnisation and banquet, which saw our intrepid table deliver the now-legendary throat-scorching, wallpaper-peeling yum seng. (If you must know, I was the star yum-senger. Bookings welcome. Just e-mail me.)

Why? Because Clare and Hong Meng’s is a love story that defies anyone who dares lament, ‘There’s no one in the world for me.’

What are the chances of a bookworm with obscure taste in music meeting another bookworm with the same obscure taste in music? Add to that, both followers of Christ who share similar values in family, fun and food? Plenty, if you leave it to the matchmaker upstairs.

Over the years, I’d seen Clare going through relationship no-gos, braving singlehood like a champ, and jetting off to Beijing for three years as a correspondent to satiate a cultural and intellectual wanderlust.

All the while, Hong Meng, someone she’s known from church, was pretty much just waiting for her to touch down.

Sometimes, you can scour the world only to find what you’re looking for right under your nose. I love it.


16 Responses to “C&HM’s wedding cupcakes”

  1. sooch Says:

    Awww… what a lovely love story! Wonderful inspiration for those looking for that soul mate. I know just one reader (a fantastic, humorous, intelligent guy with a real big heart) at whose wedding I’d certainly be beaming from ear to ear. Can you guess who I’m thinking of? Let’s just keep this to ourselves. Heh heh.
    Gorgeous cakes, btw. That photographer of yours is certainly earning his keep!

  2. wordsmith Says:

    Isn’t it how amazing how everything panned out – so differently from what you and me planned just two years ago? *beams ear to ear* Pau Lin, that’s our little secret too!

    Clarissa – even though we haven’t met yet (we almost did, two years ago, though), congratulations and may God bless your marriage greatly!

    ps: Pau Lin, Yum Seng-ing is my favourite hobby too. We should form a club. Or a blog. Yum Seng-ers for hire.

  3. wordsmith Says:

    out of curiosity, how does hong meng look ah?

  4. sooch Says:

    Count me in for yum seng!! I’m always the only loud-mouthed female at my table joining in with wild abandon. Finally got company!

  5. crummb Says:

    i thought i was the only one! and now you two too?!! tell you what, when our fantastic, humorous, intelligent friend with a big heart ties the knot, let’s get together and show the world what we got 🙂

  6. sooch Says:


  7. Clare Says:

    Awww TPL, that’s just a lovely post which brought tears to my eyes. thanks for your prayers all these years – they really helped!

    sooch and wordsmith: Hmm, I think I know who you are talking about (I think, heh). wordsmith, thank you for helping to hatch that particular plan. I shall just add that my hubby does not look too different from what you envisioned (there are even some similar personality traits).

    And let’s not forget how excellent those cupcakes were! Our guests – young and old – loved them and we were lucky enough to have quite a few saved for us to savour too. Our verdict: The creams were silky smooth, not too sweet and went perfectly well with the cakes. The cupcakes themselves were fluffy and flavourful and not too dry. Plus they looked great, like something out of Real Simple or Martha Stewart Weddings!

    p.s. that was a power yum seng all right. So it was you!!! hehehe.

  8. chris Says:

    Clarissa! Long time no see! Last time we spoke you were about to head off to Beijing. Congratulations!!!

  9. Nick Malgieri Says:

    S Club 7???? Amo il gruppo S Club 7 molto MOLTO! Tutto e perdonato!

  10. Midori Says:

    Brilliant cupcakes, my love! And thanks for all the yum sengs! I love what you said about HM waiting for Clare to touch down – so chungking express!

  11. wordsmith Says:

    awww clare. I think you just inspired me to start gatecrashing weddings – so that I can eat wedding cupcakes by TPL!

  12. ovenhaven Says:

    I’m a total sucker for real-life love stories, and I think this one takes the [cup]cake! Gorgeous simplicity of the cupcakes. I think I’m gonna give banana cake with caramel buttercream a try. Sounds delish! 😀

  13. Hana Says:

    my goodness, what a story – the One above truly works in mysterious ways. congrats to clare and hong meng! 🙂

  14. Faye Lau Says:

    Hi, these cupcakes looks absolutely amazing….do u think u can post the recipe for banana cupcake and especially the caramel buttercream as it sounds just devouring.
    Thank You

  15. crummb Says:

    hi faye,
    the banana cake recipe is adapted from Martha Stewart’s Baking Handbook. here it is: (it should be able to make about 30 cupcakes)

    1-1/2 sticks unsalted butter (room temperature)
    2-3/4 cups plain flour
    1-1/2 teaspoon baking powder
    1 teaspoon baking soda
    1/2 teaspoon salt
    3 very ripe large bananas, mashed
    1/4 cup sour cream
    1 teaspoon vanilla extract
    1-1/4 cup sugar
    4 large eggs (each 50g without the shell)

    1. Preheat oven to 180 deg C.
    2. Sift flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
    3. In a separate bowl, mix together mashed bananas, sour cream and vanilla.
    4. In bowl of an electric mixer with paddle attachment, beat butter and sugar on medium until light and fluffy, 3-4 min. Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition.
    5. Turn mixer to low, and add flour mixture in two parts, beating until just combined. Fold in the banana mixture, but do not overmix.
    6. Spoon into cupcake liners and bake.

  16. crummb Says:

    oh, i nearly forgot. the caramel buttercream: just make any basic buttercream and stir in some caramel to taste!

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