Why I Bake & Cook

brownie perfection
my signature brownies, freshly baked!

Okay, so you all know that I love to bake and cook.

You’d also know that I enjoy desserts a whole lot and could just skip main course and dive into something sweet, say, a creme brulee for instance.

For my friends, they’ll also be aware that the part of baking/cooking that I enjoy the most is the ability to share it with others. When I bake/cook, I get to share my love through the food I bake and cook with my dearest friends and family. I also get to share my recipes so that they can all enjoy the same foods anyday and anytime.

It is my belief that all good things are meant to be shared. I’m not one to hoard secret recipes for fear that someone else might steal my ‘glory’. Nah, if there’s one thing I believe in, that’s generousity. I think that’s perhaps why I love to feed my friends and family well. Haha… so much so that they question me about it when I fail to bring my brownies or cookies to a party or gathering.

Would I ever get bored of this? Of baking and cooking? It’s a question I get sometimes. Sure, it is tiring, especially when it involves a large quantity of people (that i have to feed). However, I do subscribe to the saying ‘no pain no gain’. I’m definitely not expecting to gain something tangible. I’m simply referring to the sweet satisfaction and happiness I get when I see others enjoying what I bake or cook.

To put it in other words, i get high on that. On seeing that my skills can make people happy. You see, that’s another reason why I love desserts so much. They have the ability to turn a scowl into a smile 🙂

When I first started baking avidly, I never knew I’d develop such a passion for it. I love food and I love writing. I wanted to be a writer when I was a kid – Enid Blyton and Roald Dahl were my inspirations, and I still harbour that intention. It’s only as I grew older that I discovered my other passion: food (be it consuming or producing it.. haha).

What a marriage it is, to combine food and writing. I’m really glad to be already doing that. God has been very good to me. As a freelance journalist I get to write on food, talk about it, muse and banter about all things culinary; to put it simply, I’m living my dream.

If it’s your first time reading this humble wee food blog of mine, welcome. You must love food to have found this site and I hope you enjoy reading it as much as I enjoy writing it! 🙂

Alot of people have emailed me asking for the recipe for my brownies which apparently my friends love. Let me say that I’ve been using this same recipe for years and it has served me well.

Practice makes perfect and I’m glad that those who’ve tried it, liked it. I’ve blogged about it and posted the recipe before but I think alot of you have trouble finding it! So to make it easier, here’s the recipe: Hershey’s Best Brownies. Do try it. It’s so simple and yet it produces phenomenal brownies.

In case you’re wondering, yes I baked them again (yes again!) yesterday, and some other tropical sweet delights:

cherry coconut slice

Yep, I’ve been helping out with the F&B at Amplify Ministry every Friday. I occasionally bake and cook for the events we have and today was no different. Haha… I tried out this new recipe and I think though it might be a bit different from the stuff I usually bake, it was quite well received.

I baked cherry and coconut slices and then I used the same recipe but replaced the cherries with chocolate chips. And you know what? Coconut goes really well with chocolate! Duh… anything goes well with chocolate:

choc chip coconut slice

These slices are interesting because it’s quite textured. The coconut gives it a flaky yet cakey bite. It’s something different from normal cakes. I quite like it actually! Might try it again, perhaps with apricots or prunes.

Anyway the recipe’s below in case you might like to try it for yourself!

School reopens again next week and I’ll probably be busier so that means less time to bake… but no worries, I’ll snatch every opportunity I have and let you in on more yummy bakes and cooks.

Oh, this semester is gonna be soooo interesting because I’m taking this module called ‘Sociology of Food”. Boy am I going to love this class to bits. Yep, I’m a sociology major in case you don’t already know! One who loves food as much as she loves writing about it and eating it. But, most of all, she loves God more…..



Cherry and Coconut Slices

150g butter
150g caster sugar
3 eggs, lightly beaten
225g self-raising flour, sifted
125g desiccated coconut
125g naturally coloured glace cherries, halved

1. Preheat the oven to gas mark 4/180 degree celcius (350 Farenheit). Grease and line a shallow 29 x 18 x 2.5 cm (11 x 7 x 1 inch) rectangular tin with greaseproof paper.

2. Cream the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy, add the eggs a little at a time, then add half of the flour.

3. Stir in the coconut and cherries and fold in the remaining flour. Spoon the mixture into the prepared tin and bake in the oven for 40 minutes until golden and a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean. Leave in the tin for 5 minutes and then remove to a wire rack to cool completely. When cool, cut into slices.

Use 125 g chopped dried apricots instead of glace cherries
*Note from the baker* – try 125 g chocolate chips if you like.

Posted on 12th Aug 2006 in Uncategorized


There Are 16 Comments


Anonymous commented on August 12, 2006 at 2:00 pm

What is the difference between vanilla extract and essence. Can I use essence to replace the extract?
btw, I always enjoy your blog… It’s so wonderful to combine yr 2 passions; to be able to cook and write about it too because since we can’t taste the food, we really need an articulate person to ‘convey’ how it tastes. good job and don’t ever stop!

Thanks again


the baker commented on August 12, 2006 at 4:38 pm

hi anon,

actually you can. that’s what i always do. but for a more accurate description of the slight difference, i’ve copied this paragraph from a site for you:

“Both vanilla essence and vanilla extract are extracted from cured vanilla pods, and are used to add flavour in baking, desserts and ice-cream. Extract is stronger than essence, and the flavour is much more intense, so you should use less. Most good recipes will indicate whether essence or extract is specified. Don’t forget the chef’s favourite, though – vanilla pods (also called vanilla beans). They are the long, dark dried seed pods of an orchid native to Mexico. The best vanilla pods are flexible and fragrant. The seeds are used to flavour sweet sauces and ice-cream, and the whole pod may be stored in a jar of sugar. Use the sugar in baking or desserts, and the flavour of the vanilla will be deliciously infused.”

hope this answers your qn! haha though i think it’s rather long. and am glad you like reading my blog 🙂 cheers!


mariya commented on August 12, 2006 at 4:44 pm

i agree with you. 🙂 i always find myself getting pleasure when giving to people. i love reading your blog, keep up the good work!


mariya commented on August 13, 2006 at 5:09 am

hey cheryl, i tried out the hershey’s brownies recipe and the result was a cake-y sort of brownie. is it supposed to be that sorta texture? :p if not something must have gone wrong somewhere.


Anonymous commented on August 13, 2006 at 8:24 am


It’s funny u talked abt ur brownies again, coz I’d recently made it according to ur Hershey’s recipe. My aunt who does not fancy chocolate at all has been converted.

The only addition I made was to do a ganache coating made with dark chocolate. If u dont slice them up into blocks, it’s like mudcake. Pop it into the microwave oven for about 10 to 13 secs. Yum! Esp. when the ganache gets abit molten.

– Lara


Anonymous commented on August 13, 2006 at 1:29 pm

Hi I love reading, eating and writing too, and i’ve enjoyed your blog a lot. Just being an anal stickler, but it’s Roald Dahl, not Ronald Dahl.


the baker commented on August 13, 2006 at 5:06 pm

mariya: thanks girl 🙂 glad you enjoy reading my musings..hmm how ‘cakey’ is cakey? it really depends on your oven actually…

anon: gosh, that sounds yum. ya sometimes when i feel sinful, I will make a really rich choc frosting. yummilious!

anonymous: hey! oops, typo! haha i’ve edited it. thanks for pointing it out 🙂


diddy commented on August 14, 2006 at 12:45 pm

What great timing for this post! I was looking for a recipe for coconut cake, and now I think I might try making your coconut bars instead. Is the texture similar to that of a cake or more of a cookie?


the baker commented on August 15, 2006 at 2:44 am

hi diddy,

okay, mine turned out more cakey because I used a smaller pan. They were thicker than the picture in the recipe book. But I think it’s not meant to be as firm as a cookie.. try it! it’s yummy. my friends liked them. it’s rather tropical


Sheela commented on August 15, 2006 at 3:05 am

hi hi!
just happened to chance upon your blog – and found out you are a sociology girl!!
i didn’t get a chance to take soci of food, but let me know how the class is like. saroja is taking it still?
my name is sheela, i’m also soci major/NUS.
was really cool to find you here =)


the baker commented on August 16, 2006 at 12:15 pm

hey sheela! are you year 2 as well? yes i’ll def. blog about the class 🙂 hmm i think A/P Vineeta’s taking it this sem. it’s gonna be so fun!


Sheela commented on August 17, 2006 at 4:08 am

hi hi!
i’m actually doing my masters in sociology, i just graduated this june 😉
but i didn’t get to take soci of food! so sad!
you can add me on msn if you want, sheelacheong@hotmail.com

then we can chat about all things sociological and chocolatey 😀


Missy commented on August 19, 2006 at 6:51 am

First-timer to your blog and i really liked what i read! you’ve managed to arouse my curiousity about baking…i just might try my hand at it some day!


Jennifer commented on August 26, 2006 at 4:10 am

Hi! I just found your site and these lovely brownies. My husband would love these!


cindy commented on June 16, 2007 at 4:44 pm

I don’t like cakey brownies, to me the perfect brownie should have that shiny crisp layer on top and be sticky chewy inside. I’ll always rem the brownies my friend made for Christmas for gifts..my main rich brownie recipe is also a hershey’s one but it’s not the one you posted. It’s the one on the back of the hershey’s choc box and my friend was the one who pointed it to me..except I have adapted it slightly to be a wee bit more healthy 😛


bob commented on July 27, 2014 at 4:42 pm



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