Hello peeps! I’m back after a getaway over the weekend (Wait…did she go somewhere?)…………..anyways…the family was carted over to Cameron last weekend for a short retreat with a group of friends. We stayed in this little quaint English bungalow (above) that’s high on the cosy factor. This time, it was really cold up there. It used to be cold but still bearable but this time with the rain and winds, it was FREEZING!!
I love the fact that the bungalow was surrounded by beautiful flowers and foliage (below). It had a huge garden outside for outdoor activities but due to the rain, the ground was too muddy and wet to do anything. This place had abundant orchids. Really beautiful orchids. They make growing orchids look so easy.
We did the usual stuff when you’re up in Cameron. Visit the tea plantation and strawberry farm, except that it wasn’t the season for strawberries. The farm we visited had a pair of baby goats. My son literally chased one of them thinking it’s a small puppy (below).
The strawberries look like they’re struggling to turn red (below) just for us but we left them alone. Something else caught my eye in the farm though. Underneath the rows of strawberry pots were parsley plants. Loads and loads of it. I assumed that they planted it there for pest control but unfortunately, it was up for sale. RM12 for a kilo and RM20 for a plant. That sort of price was a bit of daylight robbery, and most of it wasn’t the flat-leaf type, it was more the English curled parsley.
Coming back, we stopped by the market to get some produce. I love their selling system, pick any 3 bags of assorted vege and pay RM10. Seriously?? It took all the self-control in me not to buy out the whole shop, sigh* too bad veges don’t last long. But take a look at the hoard of stuff I got (below);
Guess how much it all costs? Below RM30. If I tried to shop for that much in the markets here, I’d have to pay at least another RM20 more. It makes me all the more determined to be self-sustaining by planting a garden of your own but that unfortunately has not been working out. Maybe I just don’t have green thumbs or maybe the pests problem is just too overwhelming because let’s face it, they’re running out of space to congregate too. Other than the produce, I got myself two potted plants too, a pot of parsley (I found a place that was selling for RM6 a pot, way cheaper than what the farm was selling) and a pot of mint. You can get mint here but they were selling for RM5 a pot up there. Way more affordable. I’m not sure how long the parsley will last in this weather down here but I’m hoping it will last for at least half a year. There were other potted herbs like thyme and oregano. I wanted to get them all but was worried about being too excessive again. Besides, I wouldn’t know if they will immediately die once we get to lower ground.
Of course you can’t leave Cameron without getting some strawberries (above), much cheaper up there. I got a packet of little ones and whenever I have strawberries, it makes me think of Molten Lava Cake. Which is funny because the mix itself doesn’t even have any strawberries in them. It’s more for garnishing purpose but when I do have strawberries, I’d take out my ramekins to make this delectable dessert.
Of course whenever I attempt to make a really technical cake, I always get nervous so I made sure I have all my ingredients ready. Turning out the cake from the ramekin was as nerve-wrecking as it could get.
When the cake wouldn’t come out….panic. I switched plates again and prod the sides with a knife. This time it came out. Quickly I piled on the strawberries and icing sugar. But as I was photographing this dish, the bottom started to leak out. Crud.
Oh, it gets better….the top started to sink until finally when I used a fork to slice it open, chocolate sauce came gushing out, although technically…epic fail…but, what a lovely sight!
Haha…it was DELISH!! The first time I baked this, it was slightly overbaked but this time it’s a bit under. So I guess it’s all about how you wanna look at it, as a lava cake…it’s a failure…but it makes for one heck of a strawberry chocolate self-saucing pudding! And chocolate covered strawberries…who can argue with that?
MOLTEN LAVA CAKE RECIPE
2 heaping tablespoons butter
3 oz semisweet chocolate
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
2 tablespoons AP flour
cocoa powder (for ramekins)
1. Pre-heat oven to 220 degrees Celcius. Butter your ramekin thoroughly and coat the insides with cocoa powder.
2. Melt butter and chocolate in the microwave. Depending on your microwave, I did mine in 30 seconds intervals.
3. Stir the butter and chocolate together. Add the vanilla extract to the melted chocolate.
4. Beat eggs with a electric whisk till foamy. Add sugar and beat for 5 to 10 more mins till it becomes thick and pale yellow.
5. Pour chocolate into egg and fold. Sieve AP flour into mixture and fold again, (my flour didn’t fully dissolve so I had to sieve the chocolate mixture into the ramekin).
6. Place your ramekin on a tray and into the oven for 10 to 15 mins. Keep your eye on it, it should be done when there’s a soft crust outside but still jiggly in the middle. Shake the tray to make sure.
7. Use a knife to scrape the edges before turning it out. Place a plate over the ramekin, turn it over, tap the bottom of the ramekin and gently shake out the cake.
8. Dust with icing sugar and strawberries. Eat while it’s still hot!