There is no better day than 14 February to write about love. It’s the 15th today, but for the people who work in the F&B industry, we can’t be really that calculative about special occasions. For the uninitiated, Roodelia has a vague proclivity for expositions of grandiose themes of human life. Dreams. Altruism. Consciousness. Certainly, some publication on this romantic concept is due.
Surely too, some readers would have an immediate objection that Valentine’s isn’t all about romance. It could be familial or platonic love! The handful of cynics who boycott the celebration on grounds of its dubious association with commerciality have now a bigger bone to pick, now that chocolatiers and florists are extending their scope of marketing activities beyond the romantically involved to the ‘platonically’ involved – everyone, except hermits. Yet there are even more absurd opposition. A school in Connecticut banned the exchange of candy in honor of its healthy eating initiative this year. Three years ago, a ban on this celebration was enforced in a Russian city, Belgorod, on claims that it undermines the moral fabric of society. A day in honour of an indispensable aspect of life has been marked to be too commercial, too unhealthy, and too immoral. One can hardly imagine how deprived the naysayers have been to drive them to such absurdity.
Governments can ban celebrations, but never can they reach into the hearts of the beloved and the lovers to institute a policy against love itself. I may have made an overly optimistic assertion. Consider how Room 101 tore apart the love between Winston and Julia in the Orwellian dystopia. That is a chilling depiction, but it hints at the fragility of what one could consider to be one of the noblest trait of our nature. Love manifests itself as the primary motivation of the greatest acts of sacrifice in history and/or religion, yet when turned sour, it also inspired the most sinister crimes in reality and drama. What, exactly, is love?
In true Roodelian fashion, heading down the winding path of evolutionary theories to answer this Socratic demand for definitions would be expected. Bond-pair theories, societal cohesion, and some psychological exploration. Hang on a second… surely one doesn’t need a definition to know what love is!
What’s the point of all these roundabout-bush-beating?
Cakes, of course! We don’t need any reasons to have cakes! Admittedly, they can be too fragile, too commercial, too unhealthy, or too immoral, but we still enjoy them all the same. Perhaps with some audacity. Last Saturday, after a visit to some traditional bakeries in Singapore, I made my way down to The Audacious Cakery. An apt venture in the heart of Everton Park, the patisserie brings a refreshing option to the food scene. I tried the Monet, as pictured, which combined orange flavours with champagne and Cointreau, well-balanced with tips of acidity from raspberries and redcurrants. The only thing I have against the cake would be the numerous seeds from the berries. Maybe it’s just my sour relationship with seeds; it’s personal. When I was done with that, I decided to have another cake, which was a duet between sesame and matcha. I’ve always liked the idea of using the flavour in pastries, but I’ve not found a proper way to do it. The cake, Faith, incorporated that flavor as a sponge and mousse, but it wasn’t quite agreeable because of the ‘dehydrating’ effect of matcha. Nevertheless, the patisserie makes a great addition to my list of dessert places to try, and it is heartening that more of such places are coming up in Singapore, alongside the wave of cafés specializing in coffee. Speaking of which, the patisserie’s cakes deserve much better coffee to go with. That improvement will surely bring me back again to try the other cakes and tarts, although I’ll have to save up for that!
The Audacious Cakery
2 Everton Park #01-61
T: 6223 3047