[Review] Bloom Studio's Preserved Flower Domes

It would be a lie if I were to say that I don't like receiving flowers. These classic gifts brighten my day, any time. In fact, I generally love plants and also maintain a thriving garden "wall" at home which acts as a privacy curtain.

I was recently introduced to Bloom Studio Singapore, an online store selling preserved flowers. While my husband has moved from buying me fresh flowers to flower pots (don't laugh!) for special occasions, these domes make great alternative gifts too.

Here are 4 reasons why:

1) Real, with beautiful colours!
Preserved flowers shouldn't be confused with fake or brown dried flowers. Apart from being 100% real, they come in beautiful classic colours like pink and red, and alternative ones like blue and purple. A special preservation technique allows these blooms to maintain their freshness, suppleness, and shape.

2) Can last for years.
A key reason why I tell my husband not to buy me fresh flowers is that they only last a few days (or a week, at most) and I really dislike throwing them out. While preserved flowers may deteriorate over time, they do not wilt. A mini preserved flower pot I had from 5 years ago still looks almost as vibrant as when I just bought it - albeit for some dust which had gathered at the top (I have to admit that I am a lazy owner and haven't done anything to it at all!).

So yes, they can last for several years and are almost maintenance-free. I really like how Bloom Studio's flowers come in classy glass domes, making cleaning so easy.

Tips: My preserved flower has lasted so long because it is placed under the aircon in my bedroom. I will highly recommend that you keep yours in a cool and dry place away from sunlight!

3) Toxic-free preservation.
In case you are now thinking that these preserved flowers have undergone some harsh chemical processes, it is actually non-corrosive and toxic-free. Any colorings used are food-grade. Hence, preserved flowers do not pose any risks to our health and are definitely more eco-friendly than fresh ones.

4) Free same day delivery.
Bloom Studio offers free same day delivery, even on public holidays and the peak Valentine's Day period. Now, there is no more reason to say that you have forgotten to buy a present for the Significant Other!

Preserved flowers are classy and ideal for proclaiming everlasting affection. Mainstream florists are usually very busy and extra expensive near Valentine's Day, so Bloom Studio's flower domes make great alternative gifts.

Head over to their webpage and scroll through their collection! Mine is the Olivia Dome (S$80, U.P. $189).

This article was done in collaboration with Bloom Studio Singapore (https://bloomstudiosg.com). All opinions are mine.

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[Recipe] Nian Gao Banana Fritters Using Airfryer

Nian Gao (年糕) is a sticky glutinous rice flour cake available during Chinese New Year. I often hear of relatives saying that they don't like to eat it, but would still buy it because of the symbolism (in Chinese, it sounds like year-high and the prospect of a better year ahead).

The most common ways of cooking the Nian Gao is to steam or fry it, and mum usually fries it with egg. Personally, I am quite wary of all the oil used, so when I cook it, it will be in spring roll form with only a few drops of oil for all 25 pieces.

While some restaurants serve the Nian Gao fried with yam or sweet potato, I like mine with banana. Inspired by Thai-styled banana fritters, l love mine complete with lots of desiccated coconut. Do use ripened bananas because they are naturally extra-sweet!

Nian Gao Banana Fritters Using Airfryer

Yield: 25 pieces

(A) For fritters
150g Nian Gao (see below, only half is required)
3 medium ripe bananas
30g dessicated coconut
25 ready-made spring roll skins, small

(B) For egg wash
1 egg yolk
1/4 tsp oil

1) Preheat airfryer at 170 degrees Celcius for 5 minutes.

2) Thinly slice the nian gao and banana into 2-inch sticks.

3) Lay the spring roll skin flat, with one of the corners in front of you. Place a slice of nian gao and banana on the skin, then sprinkle a generous spoonful of dessicated coconut.

4) Fold the corner upwards, covering the ingredients.

5) Tuck the skin in and fold upwards.

6) Tuck the left and right sides in, and continue rolling the fritter upwards. Use the egg wash to seal the edges.

Tips: Fold the skin loosely, otherwise you may risk the skin tearing and Nian Gao leaking out when it expands during cooking.

6) Use the egg wash to brush the top as well. Repeat until the tray is filled with fritters.

Tips: I usually line my tray with a baking paper. It can be quite messy should the Nian Gao leak out.

7) Airfry for 170 degrees Celcius for 4 minutes. Flip the fritters over and continue airfrying at 170 degrees Celcius for another 3 minutes till golden-brown.

8) Sprinkle some dessicated coconut over the fritters and serve while still hot and crispy. Enjoy!

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[Recipe] Golden Pillow Cheese Pineapple Tarts

For those who know me, Chinese New Year is always a busy period. Apart from baking my usual goodies, e.g. almond cookies, peanut cookies and open-faced pineapple tarts, I also like to develop/ share a new CNY goodie (airfryer) recipe every year.

This year's recipe is for those who love cheese. Personally, I count burrata as my favourite cheese. That creamily soft texture is ooh-so-good, especially when paired with some tomatoes!

This recipe is adapted from my (closed) Pineapple Tart recipe, with slight tweaks. My parents love how the crust is soft, flaky and buttery. Every bite offers a good combination of flavours, with sweet-sour tinges from the pineapple jam and savoury flavours from the parmesan cheese. So good!

Btw, a friend who knew that I baked these using the airfryer even commented that the cheese toppings made these goodies a little crispy. Haha, crispy like fried chicken? Try out the recipe and let me know. :)

I have shaped these pineapple tarts like cute little pillows (maybe I am just dreaming of my bed because I have not been sleeping enough recently). The golden hues certainly add an auspicious touch to these little gems! 

Golden Pillow Cheese Pineapple Tart Recipe Using Airfryer

Yield: 28 pieces


Tart crust
155g cake/top flour
15g icing sugar
20g custard powder (see photo below)
20g parmesan cheese powder
a pinch of salt
100g butter, cold and unsalted

1 egg yolk, beaten
2 tsp cold water/ milk

(C) Egg wash
1 egg yolk, beaten
1 tsp milk
1/4 tsp oil

225g pineapple jam, ready-made


1. Sieve all the ingredients in (A), except the butter, into a cold mixing bowl.

Tips: I usually use a metallic mixing bowl to keep the bowl cold for a longer time.

2. Add the cold butter and gently rub the butter onto the flour until the texture become like fine breadcrumbs. Take care not to overwork the dough.

Tips #1: This is called the rubbing-in method and a crucial point is to keep the batter cold during the process. As such, do use plastic gloves while rubbing so that less heat from your hands is transferred. Use the tips of your fingers too.

Tips #2: Also, use butter that is cut into small pieces so that you can finish the rubbing process faster while keeping the mixture cold.

3. Add the egg yolk and gently knead to form the dough. To bind the dough, add a little cold water/ milk (bit by bit) until you get the desired texture.

4. Divide the dough into 2 portions. Wrap in 2 cling-wrap batches and chill for at least 30 min till they become firm.

5. Meanwhile, prepare the pineapple jam. Taking out the required amount from the ready-made pack, roll the pineapple jam into balls of 7g each.

6. Preheat the airfryer at 145 degrees for 5 min.

7. By now, the dough should be firm enough and ready. Roll into balls of 10g each.

8. Roll each ball out flat and wrap the the pineapple jam balls inside.

Tips: I use my fingers as a gauge for similar sizing across my pastries.

9. Brush a layer of egg wash and top it off with some parmesan cheese.

11. Bake the pineapple tarts at 145 degrees for 14 min. If you like it more golden-brown, continue for another 2 to 3 min.

12. Cool the pineapple tarts well before storing in an airtight container. Enjoy!

Tips: You can store them for up to a week at room temperature, but I would recommend that you put them in the fridge as there are no preservatives. Enjoy!

Want to try our other Chinese New Year recipes? Have fun here.

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[Review] Resplendent Reunions at Sheraton Towers Singapore

Christmas is over and with Chinese New Year around the corner, we have been busier than ever having just returned from our holiday in Macau and just recently, Perth. We will share our overseas adventures in another post.
But for now, the hedgehog would like to share with his esteemed readers one of his recent local gastronomic adventures at Sheraton Hotel Singapore.

Chinese New Year 2020 Menu
Earlier this month, the hedgehog was privileged to be invited for a preview their line-up of heartwarming reunion feasts featuring the exquisite Cantonese cuisine specially prepared by the culinary brigade at Li Bai Cantonese Restaurant.
Sheraton hotel lobby’s Christmas decorations
Above is the brochure of their Lunar New Year menu.  In 2020, we celebrate the Year of the Rat.
Yu Sheng & Appetisers

1) Yu Sheng
And what better way to start off the tasting than with the traditional Yu Sheng prosperity toss, symbolizing good fortune and abundance for the coming year. The hedgehog really enjoyed the Yu Sheng, which featured quality ingredients such as coral clam, salmon roe, boston lobster and sea whelk.

2) Lotus Seed Cake
A new dish introduced by Li Bai this year, the hedgehog also rather liked this savoury cake with preserved meat, lily bulb, Chinese yam and dried shrimp.

3) Kamquat-infused Caesar Salad
This salad had a refreshing tanginess with parmesan cheese toppings, well executed with culinary flair and right balance of flavours.

4) Black Pepper Crab Meat Timbale
This dish, served with avocado and chives, was a burst of dynamic, spicy flavours.

Soup & Mains
1) Bird’s Nest Soup
Li Bai is also known for their double boiled soups. Their bird’s nest soup with fish maw, chicken and morel mushroom was such a nourishing bowl that the hedgehog could not resist a second helping! The hedgehog loves these double boiled soups that take so much time and effort to prepare.

2) Lobster and Prawn with Broccoli in XO Sauce
The hedgehog found this dish to be a delectable, luxurious treat. This is destined to be a crowd favourite.

3) Crispy Roast chicken with Black Truffle and Spices
The chicken, infused with various spices, was tender and succulent. The hedgehog really liked how the truffle enhanced the flavours!

4) Australian Baby Abalone in Stuffed Beancurd Skin
Abalone is one of the must-haves during Chinese New Year and Li Bai’s abalone dish, creatively served in stuffed beancurd skin with dried oyster and black moss, was superb.

5) Wok Fried Beef Cube with Sha Sha Sauce
For those who wish to have something simpler, one can consider this wok-fried beef dish. The beef was tender and the hedgehog savoured every bite.

6) Black Sesame Fried Rice with Chinese Sausage, Asparagus and Tobiko
This was certainly an interesting dish. Tobiko is the Japanese word for flying fish roe and is most widely used in Japanese sushi. The innovative addition of Tobiko really enhanced this Chinese New Year staple.

1) The Water Chestnut Cake with Osmanthus and Strawberry was a delightful indulgence.
2) The Hibiscus Cheesecake and Rose Raindrop Dome was an exciting addition too!

3) And of course, the Cream of Almond with Peach Gum was light and satiating. Peach gum is well-known for its nourishing benefits, so that was a personal favourite!


With a smorgasbord of choice on offer at Sheraton Hotel Singapore, the hedgehog reckons a meal there will surely cater to the diverse tastebud profiles of every discerning Singaporean diner.

The Chinese New Year Set Menu at Li Bai starts from S$448++ for 4 pax, and festive buffets at The Dining Room from S$68++ per pax. Various takeaways are available too; please refer to Sheration Towers Singapore's webpage for more information.

The hedgehog would like to thank Sheraton Towers Singapore for the wonderful preview of the Lunar New Year dishes.

Li Bai Cantonese Restaurant
Sheraton Towers Singapore
39 Scotts Rd
Sheraton Towers Singapore
Singapore 228230

Telephone: +65 6839 5623

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