CHOCOLATE SPONGE (8″ Pan) Ingredients:

  • 6 Large Eggs Separated
  • 70ml vegetable/canola or Flavorless Oils
  • 80g Plain/All-Purpose Flour
  • 20g Dutch-Processed Cocoa Powder
  • 1/4 Teaspoon of Salt
  • 100ml Milk or Water
  • 100g Caster Sugar


  1. Preheat the oven to 190C.
  2. Line the base of an 8″ round pan, do not grease the sides.
  3. Sift together flour and cocoa powder to combine and rid the lumps.
  4. Bring oil in a saucepan to just a simmer over low heat.
  5. Remove oil from heat and stir in the sifted dry ingredients, stirring until it is smoothly combined.
  6. Add in milk or water, stirring until combined. It will look thick and lumpy but this is normal.
  7. Whisk in the egg yolks until the batter becomes smooth and runny again.
  8. Now use the hand mixer or stand mixer to whisk egg whites on high speed (medium if on stand mixer for silkier texture)  until frothy. Once you stop seeing the liquids, add in the pinch of salt.
  9. Continue to whisk on high speed until doubled in volume but still glossy.
  10. Gradually add in the sugar whilst whisking until stiff peaks. The meringue should leave a stiff beak shape pointing up when whisk is lifted.
  11. Whisk in 1/3 of the meringue into the yolk mix until it is evenly combined – this will lighten the mixture.
  12. Using the whisk or spatula if you prefer, fold in another 1/3 of the meringue. Do this by turning the bowl with every fold, and scoop batter from bottom up and over and let the batter fall back gently. Focus on parts with most amount of meringue to not over mix.
  13. Cut through the center once in a while. Once you do not see streaks anymore and the batter is still airy and voluminous it is perfect for baking.
  14. Gently pour into prepared pan and bake in a water bath (filled with boiling water) on the middle rack for 15 minutes.
  15. Lower the temperature to 150C for 1 hour or so until cake springs back to the touch on top.
  16. Remove and sit for a few minutes before running a sharp knife around the sides and inverting it from the pan to cool on a rack.
  17. Freeze or chill the cake just until it is slightly firm to the touch for easier slicing.
  18. Mark all around with serrated knife on the side, dividing the cake into 3-4 layers as you like.
  19. With a sawing motion, start to turn the cake following the guideline you have marked and eventually you should cut all the sides and end up through the middle of the layer.
  20. Place each one on a sheet of baking paper and stack on top of each other for easier handling.



  • 830ml 3 + 1/2 Cups Thickened/Heavy Cream, Chilled
  • 560g 20 Ounces of Mascarpone Cheese
  • 2 Teaspoons Pure Vanilla Extract, Optional


  1. Whisk the chilled cream until it is just under stiff peaks. The cream should leave definite grooves or trails and just have a smooth, slightly drooped peak when the whisk is lifted.
  2. Use a whisk to stir or whisk the mascarpone until smooth.
  3. Using the whisk, stir in 1/2 of the whipped cream until evenly combined to lighten the mixture.
  4. Use the whisk or rubber spatula to gently fold the remaining cream in to aerate the mixture. Do this by bringing the bottom mix up to the surface and letting it gently fall back. Turn the ball with every fold and focus on parts that have the most cream, cutting through the middle once in a while.
  5. Whisk lightly if it doesn’t seem stiff enough after the folding, but don’t over do this.
  6. Keep covered and chilled until using.




  • 4 Cups Cherries, Pitted
  • 12 Whole Cherries For Garnish
  • 3 TBSP Kirsch (Cherry Liquor)
  • 1/2 Cup Cold Water
  • Dark Chocolate For Garnish (70% Cacao)


  1. Coarsely chop the pitted cherries and toss to combine with kirsch in a bowl.
  2. Allow to sit for 30 minutes, stirring a couple of times.
  3. Drain liquid through a sieve into another bowl.
  4. To the liquid, add the cold water and stir to combine – this is your soaking syrup.




– 18-19cm (7-7.5 Inches) round pan

  • 75g (1/4 Cup + 1 TBSP) Unsalted Butter,
    Cubed & Chilled
  • 48g (1/4 Cup) Caster Sugar
  • 1 Large Egg, Room Temp.
  • 1 Teaspoon Pure Vanilla Extract
  • Pinch of Salt
  • 140g (1 Cup + 1 TBSP) Plain/All-Purpose Flour
  • Handful of White Chocolate


  1. In a food processor, combine cubed and chilled butter with sugar, salt & flour.
  2. Pulse them together, ensuring even blending until a coarse, sandy consistency (or breadcrumb) is formed.
  3. Add in the egg and vanilla. Gently stir until just combined without over mixing it too much.
  4. Tip out the dough onto a work surface and gently press the dough together until a uniform dough is formed. Do not knead as we are not trying to develop the gluten in this recipe, but instead, keeping it short & melt-in-the-mouth.
  5. Divide this dough in half, covering half in a large piece of cling wrap and pat it down into a disc. Keep chilled in the fridge for another recipe over the next 3-4 days. Freeze for up to 2 weeks and no more, or it may lose flavor.
  6. With the other half – this is completely up to you you can use just 3/4 of it for a thinner pastry base for your cheesecake or use the entire half. The entire half will give you about under 1cm worth of thickness.
  7. Take the pastry & using your fingers to level it out and then tightly into the edges of a 18-19cm (7-7.5″) round pan with removable base. Once you smoothed it out with your fingers and ensure it is level, chill it in the fridge for a good 1 hour minimum if you live in a hot country. You want the pastry to feel quite hard and set before you bake it.
  8. In the meantime, preheat the oven to 180C (350F).
  9. Use a fork and dock (pierce holes all over to prevent rising of pastry) the pastry.
  10. Bake for 30 minutes or so until the edges have begun to brown, and the surface of pastry is a nice golden yellow (like a shortbread).
  11. Allow the pastry to cool to room temperature.
  12. Brush melted white chocolate all over the pastry surface (I gently nuked mine in a microwave just until it is beginning to melt but not completely so, and stirred until it became smooth).
  13. ***If you do not have a processor, you can rub the butter and dry ingredients together with your finger tips just until the same consistency is achieved before adding the wet. Just take extra care to not warm up the ingredients too much.


LEMON CRUMBLE Ingredients:

  • 72g (1/4 Cup + 1 TBSP) Unsalted Butter, Cold & Cubed
  • 135g (1/2 Cup + 2 TBSP) Caster Sugar
  • 45g (5 + 1/2 TBSP) Plain/All-Purpose Flour
  • Pinch of Salt
  • Zest of 1/2 Large Lemon


  1. Place all ingredients in a mixer bowl. My current weather is extremely hot so I then chill my ingredients with the bowl for around 30-60 minutes as needed.
  2. It is crucial to have very cold butter so you can take your time to really create the right crumbs instead of beating it into a cake batter. I would freeze the ingredients with the bowl for 20-30 min or more depending on your climate.
  3. Using a paddle or beater attachment, beat the ingredients on medium speed until a minced meat consistency is achieved. It will first turn sandy and fine, and then very soon it after it begins to reach this consistency. Be careful as just a touch longer from here will make it too chunky and then a paste from there on.
  4. If it does become a bit more chunky due to the butter becoming too hot before it was done, don’t worry. With this recipe we can fix this as it is baked separately.
  5. Spread the crumble all over a lined baking tray.
  6. Chill this for 1-2 hours before baking until the crumble feels firm to the touch and very cold.
  7. Preheat oven to 180C (350F) and bake for 10-15 minutes. I didn’t give mine enough time to chill plus it was also not made properly – with the butter melting a bit and clumping up my crumble, so at 10 minutes it had melted into a bigger mass of crumble.
  8. Do not worry, at this point of 10 minutes, you need to use a fork to run through the crumble anyway so that you have lots of small pieces to use on your cheesecake. After doing so, cook for another 3-5 minutes – the more caramelized the color the crunchier it will be (mine was very golden brown and very crispy even in the fridge after two days.
  9. If you want it less so, just flake it up a touch earlier and bake less.
  10. Cool completely while you make the cheesecake.



  • 250g (8 Oz) Full-Fat Cream Cheese
  • 110g (4 Oz) mascarpone Cheese
  • 50g (1/4 Cup) Caster Sugar
  • 180ml (2/3 Cup + 2 TBSP) Thickened/Heavy Cream, Chilled
  • Zest of 1/2 Large Lemon
  • 2-3 Teaspoons Fresh Lemon Juice
  • 1 Teaspoon Pure Vanilla Extract


  1. If you like this cheesecake recipe, the recipe filling is actually inspired by the no-gelatin style I came up with for my no-bake cookies and cream cheesecake recipe – it was my attempt to make a no bake recipe taste more like the baked variety with that sour cream flavor.
  2. For this one I messed around with the ratio and switched out sour cream for mascarpone for different texture and flavor.
  3. Use a processor blend together everything. I would start with 2 teaspoons of lemon juice first and see if you need more to your liking.
  4. You will need to scrape down the bowl half way through to make sure it is evenly mixed when processing. It should be uniformly creamy and smooth.
  5. Whip the chilled cream with whisk attachment until it is at stiff peaks. You’ll begin to see deep grooves or tracks in the cream and it will stand firmly when you pull the whisk out. You do not want it to clump up into pieces as it separates into butter from there on. Reduce from medium-high to lower speed when you are unsure.
  6. Pour the cheese mixture into the whipped cream and use a rubber spatula to fold the two together.
  7. To fold, simply scrape down and bring the mix up and allow it to gently fall on itself. Turn the bowl as you do this, focusing on the areas that are not mixed until you not only keep it fluffy, but also have a uniform mixture. Be sure to not neglect the bottom of the bowl 🙂
  8. Pour into the pan and use a small spoon to ease batter into the edges. I like to push the batter up and around the inner walls to ensure no air pockets are there for a nice finish. Once you level the cheesecake batter, give the pan a few firm taps on the counter to release air bubbles and help level it some more.
  9. Crumble up the crumble as needed with your fingers over the cheesecake until it is completely covered in it, gently press down to adhere it a little.
  10. I freeze mine for 2 hours or just until firm enough to easily remove from pan.
  11. ***If you prefer, you can also line the walls with baking paper to make this step extra easy.
  12. Otherwise, run a hot knife around the edges of the cheesecake and then press the pan down over a small cup or bowl to release it from the base. Any imperfections can be smoothed with a knife at this point.
  13. Thaw for 30 min or so or keep chilled overnight until serving. This cheesecake is softly set so doesn’t take long to thaw out and is best served cold from the fridge for its ideal texture.



  • 200g (2/3 + 1/4 Cups) Caster Sugar
  • 133ml (1/2 Cup + 1 TBSP) Water
  • 1 Orange (I used Navel Orange)


  1. Wash & dry the orange.
  2. Slice into thin 4 mm or so slices with a large, sharp knife from stem end to end.
  3. You could also do them in halves by slicing the orange in half to a dome shape, then just thinly slice each half.
  4. Bring the water and sugar to boil on high heat.
  5. Once it is at a rolling boil, add in the orange slices. Move them around so the syrup coats all the orange slices.
  6. Boil for 10 minutes, turning them from time to time.
  7. Reduce the heat to a simmer and continue to cook until the orange slices become translucent at the flesh. Remember to turn once in a while.
  8. Allow to cool for 10 minutes in the syrup.
  9. Over a wire rack with baking paper under, set the slices to drain excess over the rack.
  10. They can be eaten or stored in airtight container right after cooling, with baking paper between layers to prevent sticking. Or, you can allow them to dry a day or so longer to make them chewier.
  11. Don’t throw the syrup away – You can use it to moisten sponge cakes, or even add them to iced teas etc to sweeten and flavor. So just keep it in an airtight container in a cool place for a few days or even in the fridge for longer storage (may need to warm it a bit before using as it thickens in the cold).




I remember…them talking about it at uni…or something…

Leon and I didn’t exactly believe in that sort of stuff – it’s all made up stuff for grabbing attention anyway.

If I..remember correctly, it was just at the start of autumn. Leon and I were having coffee when mum texted. After hanging up I told Leon “It’s Jules, the granny living in our neighborhood. She passed away.” It was a little upsetting..I mean, that lady used to play with us from time to time and brought us cookies and whatnot. It was nice…we didn’t really see much of her anymore when she got a bit sick. My parents didn’t really want us to go near her place anymore because she apparently started talking to herself a lot and no body had any idea where her family or relatives were. I guess it was just a matter of time before people grew distant and she was just on her own all of a sudden..

But…that’s kind of when things got weird. The community wanted to ‘sort her out’ if you get what I mean, so for a while every day there were always people in the neighborhood going in and out. Leon turned up to class a few days after that, and said he wasn’t sleeping too well. He seemed pretty off. Like..he would easily go from participating in the conversation to suddenly going into a trance of some sort. I often had to nudge him a little to snap him out of it. I just kind of figured he was low on sleep so it was only natural that he was acting so weird.

I remember I did end up asking him at one point later, that if he was getting any better with his sleep. You know when you know someone for a long time and the energy level and vibe…is all off. You’re always one of the first to feel it in your gut that something isn’t right. He told me he kept hearing footsteps. “Foot steps..??”

“It’s like over and over again. Different, but always the same.” He said. “Dude, that literally makes no sense.” I told him. How is it different, but the same. Turns out, a few nights after Jules passed away, when he got home late from watching the games he walked pass her place. He heard some noise from the house. That was really late, there shouldn’t have been anyone there at the time, everyone would have gone home to rest and attend their own stuff.

Anyway, he said when he walked up to the windows, he could hear it better. They were sounds of someone’s footsteps on the stairs. Weird. He went closer and peeped through where the blind was kind of parted, and saw someone at the stairway. Whoever it was…stopped dead in the track…as if knowing Leon was watching. He kind of freaked and bolted home after that. So, um…this was when it started. Leon said that night, he dreamed of walking down a dark street at night. It was completely empty. It was a very, very strange feeling of emptiness. The sort that consumes you sometimes when you lie awake at night in bed, and those heavy yet unexplained feelings weigh down on you. He felt out of breath – scared even. Don’t know why. That’s when he heard foot steps. So strange…they reminded him of the ones he heard at Jules place. I mean footsteps right? But he swore there was a difference and it kept making him think of that. I asked him..if he saw the face. He was quiet for a while. He said it was very dark in the house. Moonlight helped a bit but it was practically pitch dark from his waist up.

It didn’t stop there. Every night after he had trouble sleeping. He said he always felt like the footsteps became faster. Faster and faster each night. He could never see anyone, or even see himself. But he felt the need to run. Something triggered his sense of fight or flight…it was…threatening somehow.

But…few days after that, it stopped. In his dream…he remembered vividly, almost reaching his house when chased by the footsteps. They were already beyond ordinary by that point, with the speed it was walking at. But it stopped. He didn’t hear anymore foot steps the following night. He slept better, but he said that even then he felt really drained. Energy just wasn’t coming back even though he felt better rested. It was this ongoing fatigue that was eating at him. Most days he really just preferred to go straight home cause it was a lot for him to even just hang for a coffee. Well, definitely not for a coffee..

Things…got worse suddenly. He told me, after telling me to promise not to think his losing it..that some of his stuff at home have gone missing. His parents didn’t touch them. They were very specific things he had kept in specific places. Just gone. One day they’d be there, the next day they were just gone from the house. Then, sheets of paper just turned up out of nowhere, scattered in no particular place around the house in the following days. I didn’t think he was going nuts or….I don’t know. I just wasn’t sure what to think. Especially when he told me what the sheets of paper said. “I’m…here” Over and over again. Some unfinished, some just really oddly written. Dragged, strange font or style…it didn’t feel good. I considered maybe his parents wanted to play a cruel joke on him…but I doubted it. His parents are kind of strict and to be brutally honest…bit of a bore – they rarely did anything fun for themselves..haha..

I..shouldn’t say that. They’re going through hard times right now. Leon…sorry.

Leon is gone. We don’t know where he went. He got to the point where his parents decided he should rest up at home and see what the doctors could do. I got a bit busy with some class assessments and…I just kind of didn’t get around to him as much.

His parents said he stopped sleeping, altogether. He murmured all the time “It’s starting again..It’s starting”. He began to stare at the bathroom a lot the day before he disappeared. He would just stare. In a trance, at the tiles like something was there, or is there…

Strangely, that night…he set foot into the bathroom. He was awfully quiet by then. I don’t know if I felt something wasn’t right. I had come over to visit and see how he was doing – with everything else on hand settling down for me. The three of us were at the door, a brief chat ensued to brush me up on the situation and know the yes and no’s for this visit.


Just like that. He was gone. He never came near us at the front door. But he was gone. Looked all over the house and called the cops.

I stood a distance away from the bathroom. His parents, frantic in the background as the cops arrived and the neighborhood gathered.

For some reason, what the other kids were talking about at school that day came back to me. “You know how they’re like tearing down the old dormitory and rebuilding it right? I went home late after finishing up some studies and heard someone pacing around in there…it was like 12am at night, why would anyone still be there?”

“Did you see anyone?”

“Oh god no, are you kidding me?? I…no. I once heard a friend’s dad who studies mythology talk about something he read out of interest…some article about avoiding abandoned buildings, especially if you hear footsteps.”

Laughs. “Ok…why?”

“Can’t really remember, something like it follows you or like takes you or something. I didn’t like it. Scratched that memory big time.”

“Wow…you’re a wuss.”

“Excuse me?”

……Chattering fades out gradually.


*Sounds of pacing footstep.





SERVES 6 Small Pudding Cups / 4 Regular Ramekins


  • 250g (3 Green Apples)
  • 125g (4.4 Ounces) Raspberries/Strawberries
  • 90ml (6+1/2 Tablespoons) Water


  1. Wash and peel the apples.
  2. Avoiding the core, cut the apple into quarters.
  3. Place apples in a wok (for even heat distribution) or a large pan and cook with the water on high for 10 minutes. Cover with a lid and stir a couple of times as it cooks. The apple will turn a deeper yellow and smell fragrant when done.
  4. Add raspberries to apples and cook for a further 10 minutes on medium uncovered. They will be soft and jam-like in texture.
  5. Allow to cool slightly and process in a food processor or with a wand until smooth.
  6. The pectin in the apples removes the need to use gelatine.



CREME BRULEE Ingredients:

  • 250ml (1 Cup + 1/2 TBSP) Thickened/Heavy Cream
  • 1/2 Vanilla Bean & Seeds
  • 25g (1 + 2/3 TBSP) Caster Sugar
  • 80g (4 Large Egg Yolks) Room Temp.


  1. Preheat oven to 150C (302F).
  2. To each pudding cup, add generous 1/2cm worth of raspberry apple jam & level it out roughly. About 2 heaped Teaspoons or so.
  3. Add 1/2 vanilla bean pod and its seed into the cream in a saucepan. You can get the seeds by slicing it lengthwise in half, then use the back of a knife to scrape out the seeds.
  4. The other half can be stored airtight in a cool dry place for another recipe.
  5. Bring to a gentle simmer where bubbles start to appear around the edges of the saucepan.
  6. Meanwhile, whisk egg yolks and sugar together until combined.
  7. Gradually whisk in the cream to combine.
  8. Skim off the froth and any bubbles, gently strain into a pouring jug.
  9. Pouring gently, divide between the pudding cups, skimming off any froth as needed.
  10. Bake in a deep tray of boiling water filled up to half the height of the pudding cups.
  11. It is ready once the brulee just barely wobbles in the 1cm from the middle.
  12. Remove from the water bath and allow to cool completely before chilling in the fridge, covered with cling wrap or foil until serving.
  13. Alternatively, you could also cover tightly in foil then freeze for up to 2 weeks or so. Just thaw before serving, and brulee as per normal.
  14. To brulee, take additional sugar of choice and spoon it over just enough to cover the surface evenly. You could tilt and turn the cup or ramekin to help disperse it.
  15. Torch it with blow torch on medium heat from a distance to avoid burning it too much, or put it under the grill until same effect takes place.
  16. Allow it to sit for a bit to harden and cool so you don’t burn your mouth over hot caramel, and so that you can get the iconic creme brulee ‘crunch’ with the spoon.




= 100-200g (3.5-7 Ounce) White Couverture Chocolate
= 1 Tablespoon or To Taste Raspberry Powder
= 250g (3 Regular) Granny Smith Apples
= 125g (4.4 Ounces) Raspberries/Strawberries
= 90ml (6 Tablespoons) Water




  1. Wash, peel, core, and dice apples.
  2. Place apples in a wok (for even heat distribution) or a large pan and cook with the water on high for 10 minutes. Cover with a lid and stir a couple of times as it cooks. The apple will turn a deeper yellow and smell fragrant when done.
  3. Add raspberries to apples and cook for a further 10 minutes on medium. They will be soft and jam-like in texture.
  4. Allow to cool slightly and process in a food processor or with a wand until smooth.
  5. The pectin in the apples removes the need to use gelatine.



  • 100-200g (3.5-7 Ounce) Dark Couverture Chocolate, 70% Cocao (Tempered)
  • Handful of White Couverture Chocolate (Tempered)
  • 200g (1 Cup) Muscarvado Sugar, Packed
  • 120ml (1/2 Cup) Thickened/Heavy Cream
  • 60g (4 Tablespoons) Unsalted Butter
  • Pinch Of Salt
  • 2 Teaspoons Espresso Coffee Granules
  • 1 Tablespoon Pure Vanilla Extract




  1. Mix the brown sugar, half and half, butter and salt and espresso powder in a saucepan over medium-low heat.
  2. Cook while whisking gently for 5 to 7 minutes, until it gets thicker.
  3. Add the vanilla.
  4. Turn off the heat, cool slightly and pour the sauce into a jar.
  5. Refrigerate until cold.



= 100-200g (3.5-7 Ounce) Dark Couverture Chocolate,
70% Cocao (Tempered)
= 150g (2/3 Cup) Caster Sugar/Vanilla sugar
= 150ml (2/3 Cup) Water
= 1-2 Teaspoons Pure Mint Extract, To Taste




= 100-200g (3.5-7 Ounce) White Couverture Chocolate (Tempered)
= Passion Fruit Pulp, As Needed



  • 100-200g (3.5-7 Ounce) White Couverture Chocolate (Tempered)
  • Blueberry Yogurt (Choose One That Won’t Separate)
  • = 2 Handfuls of Desiccated Coconut, Toasted




PUMPKIN PIE SPICE – Ingredients: Makes 1 Tablespoon

  • 2 Teaspoons Ground Cinnamon
  • 1/4 Teaspoon Ground Ginger
  • 1/4 Teaspoon Ground Cloves
  • 1/4 Teaspoon Nutmeg
  • 1/4 Teaspoon Allspice


  1. Measure the spices and add them in a bowl or over baking paper.
  2. Stir or whisk until well combined.
  3. Store airtight in empty spice jar or any airtight container.