Chocolate Baileys Soufflé

Besides baking the annual chocolate pavlovas for Australia Day this year, I invited my girlfriend over (and her bottle of Baileys) to knuckle down our first attempt at making soufflés. I recall my first encounter with a chocolate soufflé in Bakerzin. It was served with the richest vanilla ice cream and was easily love at first bite.

A few legal drinking years later, this time we decided to incorporate some Baileys Irish cream to make it extra luxurious and take the flavor to the next level. Light as air, melt in your mouth puffiness, this one is complemented with dollops of homemade Crème Anglaise (don’t get intimidated by the name, it couldn’t be easier to make). Sure, it collapsed 2 minutes after we took it out of the oven, but it was the most delicious hot gooey mess I’ve eaten in weeks.

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This recipe is originated from Chocolate & Connie and makes 6 servings. 

Ingredients:

For the soufflés:
½ cup milk
¼ cup + 6 tbsp sugar
2 tsp cornstarch
1 tsp vanilla extract
5 oz dark chocolate, chopped
2 tbsp unsalted butter
¼ cup Bailey’s® Irish Cream liqueur
10 egg whites at room temperature

For the Bailey’s Crème Anglaise:
½ cup milk
¼ cup + 6 tbsp sugar
2 tsp cornstarch
1 tsp vanilla extract
5 oz dark chocolate, chopped
2 tbsp unsalted butter
¼ cup Bailey’s® Irish Cream liqueur

First, we want to start with our Crème Anglaise since we want our soufflés to be served immediately after coming out from the oven. We need to make sure our Crème Anglaise is ready by then.

1). In a small mixing bowl, whisk together the egg yolks, sugar and salt until slightly thickened and lighter in color. Set aside.

2). In a medium saucepan, warm the heavy cream and milk over medium heat just until steaming but not boiling.

3). Slowly pour half the warm milk mixture into the yolks while whisking continuously. This method of tempering the eggs will keep them from scrambling.

4). Pour the now-warm yolk mixture back into the saucepan, whisking to combine.

5). Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly until the mixture thickens and coats the back of a spoon. This will only take a few minutes.

Now here comes the fun part, our soufflés.

1). Preheat the oven to 180°C

2). Lightly butter your ramekins and sprinkle the inside with sugar, tap out any excess

3). Whisk the milk, ¼ cup of the sugar, the cornstarch and vanilla in a small dish and set aside

4). Melt the chocolate and butter in a small sauce pot over low heat, stirring constantly until melted

5). Stir in the milk mixture in 2 additions, whisking until evenly blended (Expect the mixture to be a thick paste and may look a little grainy – it will smooth out after the whites are folded in)

6). Stir in our Bailey’s® and keep the chocolate paste warm over low heat, stirring occasionally, transfer the warm chocolate to a large bowl.

7). Whip the egg whites and cream of tartar until they are foamy then slowly pour in the remaining 6 tbsp of sugar.

8). Continue to whip until the whites hold a medium peak when the beaters are lifted

9). Fold in a third of the whites into the warm chocolate and quickly but gently fold them in – they will deflate quite a bit, but this is expected

10). Fold in the remaining two thirds of the batter until incorporated then pour this into the prepared soufflé dishes

11). Bake the soufflés for 10 to 12 minutes until the tops take on a dull look, but the inside still looks shiny and soft where a crack may form. Serve immediately with the creme while it’s warm.

 

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Sydney Gets Better the Second Time

by Pricilia Clarissa Syafira

(I was just going do a post about my recent trip to Sydney when I found this piece about our trip already so perfectly written by one of the most adventurous souls I know, Fia. I decided to keep the title as this was my second time visiting too, since the last time I stepped foot in Sydney in 2009. Easily one of the perks of having a QUT student blogger and an incredible photographer as your best friend. Read her original piece over here). 

Especially in the beginning of summer.

I felt lucky, with time and prodigious boundary size of mine dragged me to be able to explore. I mean, everywhere in Australia clearly is not a cheap destination compared to my travels to local cities in Indonesia. But there I was, graduating soon enough and I’m going to explore the city one last time in a while.

The holiday started out by hunting a promotional airplane ticket by Tiger Airways; TigerAir Tuesday, where they discount the price every now and then for certain dates. The ticket was $150 return Brisbane – Sydney. The budget trip took us to another level; we rented out a private room hostel in Kings Cross Station (we didn’t know then it was a party area, there was loud music now and then but we were pretty much a heavy sleeper), Astoria Pop Space. The place was near the Kings Cross train station and the train is pretty much the most effective public transport the whole time I was there. The time spent was 4 nights.

The first day we arrived quite late, so the only thing we explored was dinner around Kings Cross. We found this underground restaurant, looked much like a bar as the place was so dark. Turned out to be Ms.G’s Restaurant, the best Asian fusion restaurant I’ve ever tried in my life. As an Asian, the recipe is approved. Best food: Cheeseburger Springroll, Silken Tofu, and Baby snapper with sambal balado.

The next day we spent the whole day as a tourist and did a lot of photoshoot. I like to take pictures more than taken, so here are the photographs I took, mostly of my weird friends Amanda Indriani and Sara Setiadi.

46302313652_d2cac27fac_o.jpg31413655097_c36c8d984d_o.jpg Sydney’s festive displays on George St. 

46139854702_d98453ce95_o.jpg45278122115_9eb8928fc7_o.jpgMr. Wong. A popular Chinese restaurant that I think is overrated and overpriced.

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46190344241_7685865c2f_o.jpgWendy Witheley Garden – one of Sydney’s best kept secrets.

46190326141_008346bacf_o.jpgScreen Shot 2019-01-23 at 10.03.30 PM.pngHopping around Luna Park.

46139673072_91db2ac38c_o.jpg31250917027_02f7be5269_o.jpg46190148561_4546cf2470_o.jpg Opera House in the golden hour.. is so great for my Canon EOS40D to be in action!

44373037010_821bc05b65_o.jpg44372842260_2ca21c8426_o.jpgSunset session was over and we sipped Sauvignon Blanc with oysters for share
together with this view!

The next day, the day started off with brunch at the Sydney Fish Market. We had a fight though with a bunch of seagulls and an ibis who decided to take three slices of fresh salmons off our plates! Lol, it was so fun nonetheless.

46190085571_38481ba390_o.jpg32870263528_ab2069c797_o.jpgEssentially a seafood paradise

46745621581_e07d75ba92_o.jpgDarling Harbour’s Tumbalong Playground Park

We spent the afternoon eating McDonalds $0.75 ice cream while sitting down on the side, planning on how to slide on the playground slide without destroying the children’s dreams, and also talking about marriage… how we’re going to face adultery and many other dark stuff.. WHOOPS! however we ended up playing on the playground and not give a damn about that part of life, and kept thinking like a child because we’re on holidays after all!

Well the day didn’t end there, but I went to a rock show afterwards. It was Neck Deep in Metro Theatre, Sydney. I don’t have pictures but I have some videos that I will keep to myself and my instagram for 24 hours.

The next day, we needed fresher air. So off to Bondi we went.

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It’s true that hanging around the beach makes you hungry at the end. So we went off directly back to town, Chinatown, to try one of the best ramen known to asian people in the city ~ Ramen Kan. IT’S SO GOOD.

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The last day was spent in The Grounds of Alexandria for both brunch and coffee hour. The place is too crowded, but we were too tired to explore with our three suitcases tagging along.

Your feminine side will definitely go out when you’re here, it’s all garden and being cute. They managed to blow out some snow in the middle of the day in the Christmas aisle. It was hot that day, but the glass houses filled with plants kept us lukewarm.

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Since one of the chef is a friend of ours, she ended up bringing her recipe for us, a recipe that she brought to the restaurant; Mango Parfait! It tasted amazing.

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We were accompanied by Fluffy, the house’s bird pet! He just sat there without anything to tie him, he was just amongst us minding his own business with the passionfruit that he showed off on purpose.

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This girls trip is just what I needed while waiting for graduation. Cheers to these two!

-PCS

Head to Fia’s Flickr account and mine for more pictures.

Twelve Commandments

Inspired by Gretchen Rubin’s Twelve Commandments from her book “The Happiness Project,” I wanted to have something similar of my own to live by. Something that I can easily look back to when I get lost from time to time, when the struggle is real, or simply in times when I need a kind reminder to sometimes just let things be. 

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After days of contemplating, adding and removing items from the list, I’ve finally arrived at my Twelve Commandments – made up of lessons I’ve learned and resolutions I actually want to live by.

  1. You will only be exactly as happy as you decide to be.
  2. Let it come, let it go.
  3. Prioritize peace.
  4. Call my family more to say 'how are you' and 'I love you.'
  5. Chase more sunsets, hike more mountains, gaze more stars.
  6. The days are long, but the years are short - be present. 
  7. Grateful for small things, big things, and everything in between.
  8. Everything would make sense. Not always immediately, but eventually.
  9. Don't stress the could haves. If it should have, it would have.
  10. God's timing, not yours.
  11. Work smart, play hard.
  12. Write it all down.

Comment down below if you’re making one, I’d love to read yours too. X

Two Thousand and Eighteen

Since I’m a pretty sentimental person 90% of the time, it’s only fitting that this first week of the New Year has me feeling all nostalgic – I’ve been constantly looking at old photos from my phone and polaroids, going through my old agenda, and simply reflecting on how much one year can do to a person.

2018 was all about building my grit. I learned the hard ways that achievements are earned, not gifted on a silver platter. That dreams demand hustle, hard work, and persistence. While it may seem like I always ‘have it together’ most times, the truth is far from that. People close to me are aware that I’ve had my share of failures and breakdowns, because juggling uni, job, and being 5,000km away from home has not always been a breeze.

While it wasn’t without its share of downswings, I learned a lot and came out feeling more confident and sure of myself.  This year brought me my angels in human form. It brought me grace upon grace, showed me the harvest of my hardships, and reminded me to have faith in myself. 2018 was a good one and I’m nothing less than thankful for every big and small bits of it.

Here are a few of my most favorites from last year:

IMG_1532.jpg1. January: Completed my first internship in Australia during my summer semester. I had the pleasure of working with insanely driven young individuals through a fin-tech start-up. While it was a long shot from my engineering degree, I’m glad I was able to pick on their brains around all things business and finance (something I obviously didn’t get enough exposure on).

30829467_207756613154407_6747935599644114944_n.jpg2. February: Set foot in Cairns and snorkeled in the Great Barrier Reef. Another thing checked off my bucket list!

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3. March: Turned big two two with the sweetest surprises from my loved ones, my home team. To say that I’m thankful to have them is an understatement.

35948698_428971210903964_2198940130754953216_n.jpg4. June: Submitted two thesis projects which I somehow manage to complete in one semester. I will forever remember walking home from the library at 4am most days only to catch a 3-hour nap and a quick shower (which was often opted out because an extra 15 minutes of sleep was clearly more crucial than one’s hygiene) before heading back to uni. This photo was taken right after my final presentation with a gorgeous bouquet from my man and a grin bigger than my face.

38802364_242607113246381_5978184723267059712_n.jpg5. Graduated with two degrees behind my name: Bachelor of Engineering with Honours from The University of Queensland and Sarjana Teknik from Universitas Indonesia. Easily one of my life’s proudest moments.

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6. Took a well-deserved break and spent two months back home to catch up with my family and friends. One of the highlights has to be this impulsive trip to Jogja with mum, my best travel buddy for life.

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7. Despite the mounting rejection letters in my inbox, I got a call one day with an offer for a position I didn’t even apply to. When I was able to trace back how they found out about me, I thanked myself for taking the time to build on my connections during my time in University. So if there’s one tip I could give all graduates seeking jobs out there it’s this: Networking will get you places. I’m so grateful to have found a place to learn and grow professionally and to be surrounded by the friendliest group of colleagues I could ask for.

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8. July: Left my old place behind and moved into a two-bedroom apartment in the city. It’s definitely been an interesting change of scenery after two years of suburb-living, but Carr Street will always have a place in our hearts. I know that it’s not just the house I’m missing, but the love that filled it (and the parties too).

d1083345d0427d78920120b7d4cc5f61.jpgCredits: Pinterest

9. September: Bought a studio apartment as my first property investment back home. It won’t be finished until 2021 but my Pinterest is already so full of interior/decoration ideas that I can’t wait to recreate.

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49650791_531100570730520_2560627160771461120_n.jpg10. Explored Tasmania in June and Sydney in November with my favorite people. I’m one to constantly plan my next adventure, so I’m excited to see all the places 2019 will take me.

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Credits: Pricilia Clarissa Syafira

11. 2018 marks the year I’m finally able to fully support myself financially. After starting my first real job, of course (packing groceries at a local deli weren’t exactly the most lucrative careers). While it’s thrilling to be independent, I’m still learning to manage my finances and trying not to spend like a rock start after every paycheck. One of my resolutions this year is to learn more about saving/investing, so if you know any good tips or books on them, give this girl a shoutout.

49661536_300110913982944_3198398614174957568_n.jpg49428987_2165026370185687_483911628778110976_n.jpg12. Another Christmas away from home, but made sure I’m ending the year with the right people at the right places. We spent the last bits of 2018 swimming in waterfalls and counted down the New Years playing sparklers by the pool in our cosy Airbnb in Lota. Wouldn’t have want to spend it any other way.

Looking forward to great things to come in 2019. Here’s to new chances, new adventures, and to trust in the magic of new beginnings. Happy New Year! X. 

Postcards from New Zealand

You can probably tell straight away that these photos aren’t recent… they are back from my family trip to New Zealand in July last year. Credits to my brother who happens to take amazing photos, and to my dad for driving nearly 2000km in two weeks taking us around from Christchurch to Queenstown, Auckland, and all the wonderful places in between.

Hands down, the most beautiful place I’ve stepped foot on, and it’s still an understatement.

Here are a few of my favourite snapshots from exploring New Zealand over winter, playing in the downpour of snow, counting sheep in our backyard, hot air ballooning in Canterbury, and skydiving over Taupo. But the highlight of it all was simply to be wrapped around my dearest ones that kept me warm all winter long. X

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The Purple Rain Season

By the time the 1st of November rolls around, Australia’s purple rain season has finally arrived as pockets of the country burst into blooms of jacarandas. It’s a good feeling to be back here in my favourite season (spring), and I plan to make the most of it.

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The last three months of a full year always has me full of feelings. I find myself looking back at the first half of this year feeling accomplished and proud but also looking forward with excitement, hopeful plans, and fingers crossed. It flies like an arrow and since I’m always one to celebrate big and little things, I feel like I owe it to myself (if not all of you) to recap on life since the last time I posted here.

  1. I graduated. It’s still hard to wrap my head around the fact that all those days I spent ranting about engineering school and sleep deprivations eventually came to an end. Am I going to miss them? Doubt that. But after the past two years of constant nightmares and living on caffeine and microwave foods, for a brief second, I was suddenly not ready to say goodbye to it all. I would say “bittersweet” was an understatement.
    Nonetheless, I couldn’t be happier to walk out of all four-year worth of sweat and tears, with two engineering degrees behind my name (and an Honours too). It was truly a mission impossible if not for the constant love and support from the people closest to me, and I can’t wait to see what’s in store.
  2. I got a job. If you’re a fresh grad like me, you must be familiar with the horror of applying for jobs. I had a good phase of writing about fifty cover letters to be sent, then getting excited about interviews, and then crying over countless rejection letters. Although in the end I was lucky enough to be offered a position for a job I didn’t even apply to, I’m still not going to undermine the struggle of getting a job. It’s indeed an ugly world out there, so just hang on a little bit more.
  3. I’m officially a Temporary Resident in Australia, yay!
  4. Gained a few solid kgs after spending two months back home, but hey, I just don’t want to be back in Australia thinking “I could’ve eaten that.” On a positive note, I’ve recently started working out again and am surprisingly sticking to an actual routine (hope I don’t jinx it). I try to go to the gym at least twice a week now, and I’ve honestly never felt better.
    On a side note, if you’re into yoga like me, I can’t recommend this app enough. Truth be told, I haven’t gotten very far, nor have I used it very regularly, but this is the one I’ve (infrequently) returned to. You can work your way through a series of guided classes, and there are clear photos of each poses to make sure you’re not making fool of yourselves too.
  5. I will be spamming this page with photos from my graduations, trips, and all the lovely places I went to. Because what’s a better way to finish off the year right if not throwbacks?

Cairns Summertime

A beach getaway was the perfect way to mark the end of my internship, summer class, and simply to celebrate the warm weather appropriately. I had the pleasure to visit Cairns with my favorite person, and I still can’t believe it took me so long to explore this tropical paradise just 1.5 hours flight from Brisbane.

Cairns (lesson learned, pronounced ‘cans’) has it all: gorgeous beaches, beautiful waterfalls and rainforests, swimming lagoons, marine life galore, waterfront boardwalks, and natural beauty all around. And even though it was a quick four and half day trip, we had enough sunshine to make it feel longer. I believe that every place can be visited on a budget and Cairns is no exception. Here’s a glimpse of what our itinerary looked like.

Day 1: Brisbane to Cairns
We flew TigerAir (because budget) and was welcomed by one of the most beautiful sunsets overlooking the mountains and coast of Cairns, flying just hundreds of feet above the Great Barrier Reef shortly before landing. Since we arrived in the evening on Sunday, we took full advantage of the free time to unwind in the city, took a stroll and dined in the Night Market, just a short walk away from our accommodation.

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We stayed in Global Backpackers hostel, which was $30 per night. Staying in a hostel was fine, despite having to share kitchen and bathroom with about 50 other people. Perks: just a two-minute stroll from the Esplanade lagoon and Woolworths just around the corner.

Day 2: Great Barrier Reef
While there is a huge variety of cruise excursions available, considering Great Barrier Reef was going to be the highlight of the trip, we thought we’d splurge on this one. We chose the Ocean Spirit cruise, and it surely didn’t disappoint. It was an epic full day tour, and I’m already low key planning to go back with my siblings to scuba dive together.

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We boarded the catamaran early in the morning and sailed our way to the Michaelmas Cay, where we got to jump on board their semi-submersible and snorkeled straight off the beach. The cay itself is essentially a National Park and a protected sanctuary for migratory seabirds, fringed by white sandy beaches, and pristine blue waters. We saw lots of colorful fishes and giant corals (mind the stingers), which kept us entertained for hours.

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Day 3: Chasing Waterfalls
The Great Barrier Reef may be this region’s major calling card, but don’t let your adventures stop there. We went with the Waterfall Wanderers tour and traveled south of Cairns to discover North Queensland’s hidden rainforest gems.  First was sliding down a natural rockslide of Josephine Falls, and next was swimming in the iconic Milaa Milaa Falls.

GOPR2779.jpgFor lunch, they took us to a classic small-town pub where we enjoyed some good old-fashioned country cooking. As the afternoon rolled in, we were headed to the Mount Hypipamee crater and Dinner Falls, and finally to check out the Curtain Fig Tree in Yungaburra (the inspiration behind Avatar’s giant tree). Our last stop was Lake Eacham, where we could apparently swim with harmless freshwater crocodiles.

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Day 4: Palm Cove – Cairns Esplanade
This was Valentine’s Day and our day was pleasingly unscheduled. After a brief stop for coffee and froyo in the morning, we decided to get on the bus and headed for Palm Cove. The picturesque little beach town is a hub for spa resorts, cafes, restaurants, boutiques, and a gorgeous beach lined with palm trees and jetties.

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After loading on the sunscreen, we laid down our beach towel and took a blissful nap under the shade. We went back to Cairns for an afternoon swim in the Esplanade, taking in the stunning view as the sun went down.

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We then had little birthday/Valentine’s Day dinner at the Salt House restaurant & bar by the pier and went for a long walk along the beach. It was the perfect way to end our last full day in town.

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Day 5: Flying Back Home
After checking out, I Googled for a local’s favorite for our last meal in Cairns. We had an exquisite brunch at Perrotta’s at The Gallery, where I wrote down postcards to be addressed to my family back home and to Canada. By then it was too humid to be outdoors, so we went inside the Contemporary Arts Gallery to enjoy a much-needed air conditioning and kill time before flying back to Brisbane.

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If you’re ever planning to visit Cairns, get some itinerary ideas here. And I would love to hear your say on your favorite destination in Australia!