Caught up on you, you're all that I have.

1:38 PM

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Yesterday was Brandon's 19th birthday!!! It's been a day that I've been looking forward to and dreading at the same time (LOL) but I'm proud to say that Brandon has thoroughly enjoyed himself that Monday. There's no fancy/grand celebration or a huge surprise, just a relatively simple dinner gathering with some of his poly friends and it's been quite the night!
Big thanks to his friends who were willing to cooperate with me and helped me with a lot of the planning!! I couldn't have done it myself so thank you. :)

The weekend before the monday was hectic. I was trying to get Brandon's gift and juggle my school assignments at the same time. It wasn't turning out too well cause I didn't have much time to buy his gifts, but I did set aside the Sunday to head over to Miaolin's place with Trisha to bake.
And so yes, the huuuuuge cake (9" wide by 5" tall) you see above was baked by us!!! Does it look like some cake you'd get from a cafe?? Hehe.
I lied to Brandon saying that it was store-bought at first and he believed me!! It was only after he commented how good the cake was after having a few mouthfuls, that I said it was baked by the three of us! He didn't believe that I baked it LOL.

It was quite the tough nut that took us the entire Sunday to complete, but it's definitely a big accomplishment for the three of us, since it's our very first attempt at baking a cake. And an ombre white/black chocolate one that is super big at that.
Anyway please pardon our crappy oversized shirts and terrible hair/complexion. It's a total dress-down day with my childhood friends of 10 years (omg I didn't realise but it's already a decade with them LOL) and after seeing us doing the ugliest and most disgusting things, we could honestly care less about how we look in front of each other HAHAHA.

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Initially, Miaolin said that I was being ambitious (and yes I don't deny that I was a little too ambitious for an amateur), but the girls really supported me through the entire afternoon with the bake and I am honestly super grateful for their company and guidance. Because honestly, without them, the hopeless me would not have made anything edible out from the kitchen. Miaolin helped out the most, since she had the most experience with baking while I am just... another hopeless girl who doesn't even enter the kitchen. Probably. The credit for the cake goes mostly to them. Plus, we spent a good 10 hours in the kitchen to complete the finishing touches, so kudos to my dear childhood friends since 2005. We accomplished baking the biggest chocolate cake ever in the past 18 going 19 years of our lives. Lol ok this just makes us sound super old.

I decided to make a chocolate ombre cake because Brandon is a chocolate-obsessed freak. There were many recipes that used caramel frosting but because Brandon hates caramel, the frosting was chocolate as well. We basically incorporated both white and black chocolate for our cake batter and frosting. What you see above is our the batter for our white chocolate cake.

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(Black Chocolate cake batter)

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(White Chocolate frosting)

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(Black chocolate frosting)

It was a super long process. We baked the different coloured batter layer by layer, and each colour took at least 45 minutes in the oven. Then there was also another 30 minutes worth of cooling time required before we could remove the cake layer from the cake tin, so we literally spent 10 hours in the kitchen since 2pm.
Nonetheless, it's been a fun afternoon with the girls and I really enjoyed the time we spent catching up with each other in between intervals of waiting. It's always kind of nostalgic when we reminiscence our primary school days. The melancholy that stems from recalling how much our lives has differed so much over the past decade revisits me again. And I'll always be reminded of how we almost had similar ambitions back in those days, none of which we are really pursuing now. Then there's also seeing how much our families has changed over the years - another rather depressing thought that reminds me how as naive children back them, we really paint our worlds to be rainbows. Hah. This is growing up. Our families are not exactly in shambles, but it certainly has been a dreary topic for all of us. But I guess this is something you see and feel from a decade-long friendship that started way back when we were just 9-year-olds.

Well anyway, back to the cake. After each layer was done, we started on the frosting. Honestly I'm not to sure what we had in mind but after sandwiching the black chocolate frosting between layers of cake, we decided on having the whole exterior of the cake covered in white chocolate frosting. And maybe use our piping tip to frost a couple of flowers on the top of the cake.
But well, let's say things didn't go according to plan LOL. Our piping skills were mediocre at best. In the end, the chocolate frosting mixed with the white. But it turned out so well?!?! I thought the colour turned out pretty rustic and I loved how ombre-ish it was after the colours mixed. And because we didn't want to coat the entire cake with too much frosting lest it gets kinda sickly, it resulted in what I otherwise heard people claim as a "naked" cake.

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Honestly, the three of us thought the cake was kinda a little too huge since we baked 4 relatively thick layers. But we were so proud after frosting up all the layers!! Please note that we did this without a lot of baking tools because we are too poor to afford them HAHAHA.
Also, the initial idea to frost roses kinda failed because we kinda sucked at it LOL. But hey, the very prepared kitchen idiot me brought chocolate wafers (from my house) for the deco in case all else fails. I already had a back-up plan of breaking and crushing the wafers to scatter them on the cake's surface in a seemingly flawless fashion. Because I know I'm not good at this like piping frosting, I had to think up of something a baking idiot like me could do right? HAHAHA.

The result was quite pleasing, if I could say so myself LOL. I am so proud of all the efforts we've put into baking what is the biggest cake we would probably ever make thus far. I had a huge headache that night trying to figure out how I'm going to find a box that could fit a cake that huge, but thank god Poon Huat at Clementi saved me. Previously, Trisha tried to get one at another outlet but they were out of stock. The outlet at Clementi really saved my ass and the cake fitted into one of their biggest box just nicely. There was no extra space for the height or sides so I think we were damn lucky to have baked it in that size.

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So yes, that's a summary of our attempt at a Chocolate Ombre cake! I think the colour could have a steeper gradient... LOL and that was kinda our bad since we were not exactly geniuses when it comes to colour-mixing. Even though we were all super exhausted after that, I think we were all super proud of our baby. It legit looks like a cake from a cafe!! When the cake was brought out at the restaurant that we (brandon, his poly friends and me) were dining at with the help of the staffs, every other patron was staring at the cake because it was so huge LOL. Even the staff said it was super big and I guess it wasn't the best idea to have the celebration outdoors because we kept having to worry where we should store the cake.
But nonetheless, Brandon was super happy with the cake. He had to ask me three times if I actually really baked this, because he said that I wouldn't even make him a sandwich no matter how much he pleaded HAHAHA. There's some truth in that claim though.
And everyone said the cake was nice, though a little bit too filling since it was rather dense. But okay that's a learning point for us, we'll get better!!

Together with the gifts his friends and I have gotten for him, I think he was an elated boy and nothing, and I mean nothing, makes all the troubles I've encountered and money I've spent the most worthwhile than when he smiles.

Dear Brandon, thanks for being with me through my best and my worst. Thank you for always making me laugh on my bad days, for telling me I'm beautiful whenever I feel like my self-esteem has hit rock bottom and for holding me through the nights when I cry for no apparent reason. I know I'm probably one of the most difficult person around. I have too many random moments of irritability and many days I wonder if it will eventually push you over the edge. But you always amaze me and stuck with me through it all. I have never met anyone that makes me feel this loved and thankful to be alive and breathing.
I've always dreaded the years to come as I approach into adulthood, but you endlessly give me encouragements to fight through the darkest nights, and I can never be more grateful to have been loved by you despite my many apparent flaws. With you, the future seems far more promising than what I envision by myself. Although we both can't predict what may come our way, I want you to know that I will still scratch your back pimples and hog the bed even when your bread grows longer and your hair grows whiter day after day. You're the best thing that has ever happened to me, and I couldn't have possibly asked for more. Happy 19th birthday boy.

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