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Saturday, August 21, 2010

A student friendly Mocha Latte recipe

The mornings these days in Singapore are rainy and chilly.  A few days ago, it rained so heavily that I was awoken at 4 am with the sound of the rain pelting on my bedroom window. This carried on all through the morning and eventually forced me out of bed. Although it ruined my sleep, it was so nice that I sat beside the window watching the rain bounce of the concrete floor 6 storeys below. I grabbed my phone and tweeted sleepily about craving for a hot cup of coffee.

Later that day one of my colleagues at work helped me make a hot cup of mocha latte. It was so nice that I thought I should share the recipe. I call this a student friendly version of the mocha latte recipe as I found it quite easy to make and it required minimal resources. So here goes...

What you'll need:
My first ever mocha latte
Coffee Powder - 2.5 tablespoons
Sweetened chocolate powder - 1.5 tablespoons
Milk - 1 cup (roughly 250 ml)
Chocolate Syrup - 2 teaspoons
Sugar - Optional
Marshmallows - Optional


Add the coffee powder to about 70 ml of water and boil it to make a really concentrated coffee solution (This is something alternative to an espresso if you don't have an espresso machine at home). Naturally, strain (filter) the coffee residue from it so that you are left with only the solution. Add the chocolate powder to this mixture and stir briskly till the solution is slightly viscous and brownish black in colour. 

Heat the milk to about 140 deg F and add it slowly to the above mixture, stirring constantly as the milk is being poured. Add sugar as per your requirement. Add some foam to the top of the drink and put 2 -3 pieces of marshmallow. Decorate the top with the chocolate syrup.

Now you would be in a better state to appreciate the beauty of a rainy morning. =)

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

In conversation with Mdm. Oei. Tsu Min, Charmaine.

An edited version of this article was featured in the July 2010 issue of ENGINEERRUS (The official magazine of Temasek Engineering School) under the title of "Please Hit Me!". Below is the original transcript of the article that I had written before it was sent for editing and publishing.

How would you like to have whipped cream splashed onto your face repeatedly for 4 hours? An engineering school lecturer did just that in the name of charity. Urging students and colleagues to have a go at her, Ms. Charmaine Oei, a Communications Skills lecturer urged: “Please think of all the bad things I’ve done to you, and now you can take revenge”.

Amidst her hectic schedule, she spared time to tell me about her rather remarkable experience. It all began when she and her care group were brainstorming ideas for the CCN Day. Their stall, being located at the concourse level near the Short-Circuit canteen, was right in the middle of the excitement and prospects for a good earning looked promising. They settled on a game stall that they said was going to be ‘different’. Two of the ideas that arose from the discussion were dunking a person head-first into a tub of water and throwing pies at someone’s face. While the former was deemed a little too violent, the latter was still worth exploring. Flinging pies at a person’s face may have looked really exciting; however, no one volunteered to be at the receiving end. After further discussions, they settled on plateful of whipped cream instead of the pie. This attracted just one volunteer. So Ms. Oei surprised everyone by agreeing to be the other. “I thought it would be fun” she said, adding that she didn’t think of it as a big deal.

While the stall did attract a huge crowd of surprised visitors, however, not many people stepped up for the challenge. Both students and staff were equally hesitant inspite of Ms. Oei literally “begging” them to take a shot at her, at least for charity. While those who did step up for the challenge ensured that they missed their target, other simply paid the money but refused to take the shot. “It was a unique learning experience” admits Ms. Oei. Her perception of students changed forever after that. “I realized that they are not vicious but very respectful”. The greatest thing she said she learnt was that people are naturally very considerate and supportive about CCN day. “I didn’t feel embarrassed at all, instead people appreciated the hard work that we put in” adds a modest Ms. Oei.

Along with another game of guessing the number of chocolates in a jar, her class was able to raise a total of $89. When asked if she would do it again next CCN day, she happily agrees but expects to see more volunteers. We may see her again next time, with more innovative ideas. Perhaps it might be something about dunking a person head-first into a tub of water.