Last week National Cupcake Week came and left London in a sugary whisper. Noone felt more left out that my friends in London, who in my absence had to make do with shop-bought (or worse still, supermarket bought *shudder*) cupcakes. I guess when one’s Tuesdays, as mine are, are devoted to baking fresh, warm, sweet things for a living-roomful of girls glued to The Great British Bake Off (which incidentally is the biggest thing I miss about not being in England, second only to Downton Abbey. Why won’t you work abroad iPlayer/catch up?!) one’s being away is sorely missed.

I’m in Kuala Lumpur for work—-well sort of, I believe a more fitting description is bridesmaid-related slavery—-and my last two weeks have been a flurry of errants, event-planning, event-attending, and…getting a tan. Only just yesterday did I get to indulge in my favourite hobby AND pay tribute to National Cupcake Week—-

By baking Hibiscus & Rose cupcakes with cream cheese. Hibiscus is Malaysia’s national flower, and I thought it only appropriate given that I’m back home.

Maybe 1Malaysia cupcakes next? You know, blending together the ingredients of Malay, Chinese, Indian, ‘dan lain-lain’


I like my cupcakes creamy. Moist. Rich. Decadently buttery. Only goat’s milk and creamery butter for me. Short of raiding the botanical gardens with a scissors and robbing their hibiscus flowers blind to make essence, I cheated and used hibiscus infusion teas instead…what? Some shortcuts are allowed…

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To bake 12 Hibiscus & Rose cupcakes I used—-
110g self-raising flour
110g butter, softened in a bain-marie…or if you’re less sophisticated (like me) a microwave
110g/4oz caster sugar
2 free-range eggs
A dash of vanilla extract
2 tbsp goat’s milk
6 sachets of hibiscus tea ‘leaves’. That’s an average of half a sachet per cupcake, and gives it a fairly hibiscus-like flavour without overwhelmingly tasting like potpourri.
A dash of rose water.

Gauche and unqualified as I am in the delicate art of pastry making, I threw all those ingredients into a bowl and mixed the heck out of them. No Magimixes, no sifting, no careful adding of ingredients in any particular order. Just a big mash up. Hard, fast, and messy. Sorry I don’t have time to whisper sweet nothings to my ingredients. I’m a busy girl.

Baked at 150c for 15-20 minutes. Checked on them by skewering them ever-so-slightly with a toothpick. When the toothpick comes out ‘clean’ with no runny bits stuck to it, I declared the cupcakes done. Put them on a wire rack to cool while I got to work on the frosting.

For the cream cheese frosting—-
Cream/soft cheese
Icing sugar
Vanilla powder and half a sachet of hibiscus tea ‘leaves’ for dusting

You already know by now that I play dirty. Again, mashed the cream cheese and icing sugar silly to make frosting. No measuring here. Just keep adding icing sugar until I got a firm, sweet, frosting.

As soon as the cupcakes were cool I frosted them, and dusted with vanilla powder and just a pinch of hibiscus tea ‘leaves’.
Artfully arrange them on tastefully decorated dining table, Instagram, hashtag, and consume.



Speaking of all things Malaysian I was driving home today with Hitz.fm on the radio when the Malaysian parody of Gangnam style came on—-

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GOFkFHKVzyg]

‘KL Style’ is a biiiiit too shouty for my liking, but it did make me chuckle. The verses about tolls were particularly informative, thanks guys, I’ll be sure to stick to Jalan Ampang should my SmartTag balance ever run out.

September 28, 2012


Last week National Cupcake Week came and left London in a sugary whisper. Noone felt more left out that my friends in London, who in my abs...


Yesterday I popped down to Damansara Perdana for the launch of The Canvas, my friend Khailee Ng’s new venture.

Back to school outfit; Zang Toi blazer, Fabulousitee by The Kins mustache tee, Ragged Priest shorts, Beats by Dre, CHANEL bag, Charles & Keith loafers.


“Ever noticed how creative people from all over Klang Valley can sometimes gather in boring venues for brainstorms, workshops, and talks?

Think of all the creative energy, destroyed by conventional hotel banquet halls and office ‘training rooms’, every single day!

This is why Klang Valley’s creatives need a new playground to create.”

The Canvas is a space for rent for all sorts of creative endeavours.

With 500 square feet of writeable walls; mix & match furniture, free wi-fi, a froyo machine (!), karaoke system AND widescreen projection, as well as being furnished rustic-chic style with upcycled and rescued items destined for landfill death, The Canvas is literally a blank canvas for getting your creative on. That is, an upcycled blank canvas where you can scribble on the walls, drag furniture around to accomodate spontaneous additions to your parties, hashtag each other with high-speed ease, and not be fussy or precious about your surroundings.

Or as I said; Somewhere were Klang Valley’s creatives can Instagram each other without being judged ;)

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The place is kitted out with the shabby chic, upcycled (is this the third time I’ve used the word upcycled? I’m going to hipster hell), downtown Manhattan former bread factory turned studio space slash hip loft aesthetic.

And there’s a froyo machine…I’ve already mentioned that, non? Let’s hope the froyo machine stays.

Khailee invited me to come down and scribble on his walls a couple hours prior to the launch. A bucket of marker pens, lots of surface area to draw on, no slap on the wrist for defacing walls…how could I say no!???!!


It’s like what I do for a living—-I’m an illustrator—-with no strings attached.

I didn’t come with a plan, or any idea at all of what to draw. As my drawing style is, everything happened organically—-I thought of what was on my mind at the moment and just went with it. At that time it was my crazy friends back in London and their energy that I missed.



I just freestyled it, occasionally glancing at photos on my iPhone to make sure I got certain details right—-after all who knows how to draw Jeffrey Campbell spiked Nightwalkers from memory?—-and drew my little heart out. (And several marker pens to death)


From a blank space to P the lamphead to India the crayfish to Kanye West to Baby Monkey on a pig to Michiekins the soft kitty to Haniz ‘si burung di dalam sangkar’

Me and my yet unfinished work. Showing plankers everywhere what amateurs they are. Sideways seductive pin-up posing is the new planking.

I finished off with a self-portrait—-I may have been too generous with depicting my own appeal and looks—-with the cartoon version of me spouting a classic line, long since borrowed from my old antagonist the Dysfunctional Irish.


All of that took me just under 2 hours to do (including Instagram breaks and food breaks and checking-my-Facebook-and-Twitter-feed-breaks)

And with not a moment to spare, as the doors open for the launch and the crowd starts pouring in—-

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The next three sets of photos lovingly stolen from Instagram and collaged together by me. Everyone was encouraged to tag their Instagram pictures with #thecanvasmy so that we could easily search for photos from the night with the hashtag. Aaaah…my kinda heaven. Hashtag heaven.

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Hello, will you be my friend? *shy*—-


My spread. I drew everything in this photo below; except for the boxing gloves on the bottom right.


Close ups and detailed shots—-

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Don’t even ask me about the stories behind those drawings. I can never repeat some of them in their entirety. You can scour my blog to get a feel for them but it’ll never reveal anything, hahaha. I always say ‘our reality is more fabulous than your fantasy’ and ‘the truth is always more hilarious and effed-up than anything you can make up.’ Art imitates life after all, not the other way round.

Klang Valley dwellers and K.L-ites, check out The Canvas to see my mural in person, before some over-zealous hipster posing in front of it stumbles backwards and accidentally rubs it all off with the back of his plaid shirt!

Facebook#TheCanvasMy on Instagram

Well done Khailee! Gre-aaat success, haaaigh faaaive!

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Yesterday I popped down to Damansara Perdana for the launch of The Canvas, my friend Khailee Ng’s new venture. Back to school outfit; Zan...