Tag Archives: 2015

SG50 Merlion Cake


This year is a very special year for all Singaporeans. We are celebrating Singapore’s 50th birthday.


A city that’s called my home. I would like to share this recipe and why I created it.

 I have used a Red Velvet Cake based in contrast with the White Vanilla Buttercream to represent Singapore’s flag. So when you cut the cake, you will cake that red and white interior!

What’s every Singaporean’s favorite all time biscuits? Gem Biscuits! They are small and cute. When I was young, I loved it so much that I eat it almost everyday. I like to eat the sugary icing first, then the plain old biscuits. Which, I’m sure people living in this little red dot do that. Yum, that’s nostalgic. 


Handmade Merlion and SG50 Logo Chocolates. This is a very unique way of using chocolate and I think we did beautifully. When we talk about creating a national cake like this, Merlion is ought to be there no questions asked. Merlion is our national icon and people will instantly recognize that it’s Singapore! I once said it in chinese, “一个很特别可是不真实的动物”. (A very special but unreal animal)

 Beautiful, nostalgic, and so Singapore! Looks like a lion garden city full of lovely citizens

GD6_editedTo make the Chocolate Art, you will need these inverted images.  

SG50 Merlion Cake
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  1. 1 box of Betty Crocker Red Velvet Cake or double recipe of my egg-free Red Velvet Cupcakes.
Vanilla Buttercream
  1. 100 grams of unsalted butter, softened
  2. 100 grams of shortening
  3. 240 grams of icing sugar, sifted
  4. 1 tsp. of vanilla extract
Chocolate Art
  1. 100 grams of white chocolate with red food coloring, melted
  2. 100 grams of white chocolate, melted
  3. Lollipop sticks
  1. 300 grams of Gem Biscuits
To make the cake
  1. Preheat oven to 180C or 160C fan-forced.
  2. I am using Betty Crocker Red Velvet Cake box today. Following the instruction, mix in eggs, water and oil.
  3. Transfer into two greased 8-inch round cake pan lined with parchment paper.
  4. Bake it in the oven for 30 to 35 minutes.
  5. Let it cool while you make your Chocolate Art.
To make your Chocolate Art
  1. Mix 100 grams of melted white chocolate with red food coloring until reaches your desired shade.
  2. Transfer it into a piping bag.
  3. Draw an outer frame for your Merlion and make sure your inverted pictures are under a parchment paper and secure them using scotch tape.
  4. Start by tracing the outline of the Merlion. Use a toothpick to remove any flaws and even it out.
  5. Let it set in the freezer for 5 minutes.
  6. Then flood the inside surface of the Merlion. Use a toothpick to spread.
  7. At the same time, trace SG50 words using melted white chocolate.
  8. Let it set in the freezer for 10 minutes before continuing.
  9. To reinforce together, cover the Merlion with a layer of melted white chocolate using a spoon to spread, making sure not to pass the outer frame.
  10. Next, cover SG50 logo with red. Put a lollipop stick and cover it more with chocolate.
  11. Let it set in the freezer while you make your cream.
To make your cream
  1. Beat soften butter, shortening, vanilla extract and icing sugar on low speed until combined. Then, beat on medium high speed for a minute until light and fluffy.
  2. Before you frost the cake, trim the top of both cakes to make flat surfaces.
  3. Frost the cake. We will only be covering with one layer of cream which is the crumb coat as we will cover it will Chocolate Art and Gem Biscuits.
  4. Let it set in the fridge for 30 minutes.
To assemble
  1. Carefully remove Chocolate Art using a metal spatula. Then, place it on top of the cake. Gently press it down to stick with the cream.
  2. Next, cover the rest of the cake with Gem biscuits. Finally, stick the SG50 logo on it.
TheZongHan https://thezonghan.com/

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Japan 2014/2015 Part 1 – Kinosaki

Hey guys! So it was coming an end of 2014 and my brother and I decided that we should be in Japan during that period. It was a wonderful experience at Osaka because the last time I went there was almost 10 years back!

The whole journey was about 10 hours (including transfer time) to finally reach Kansai International Airport and the first we did was to get our rented car ready because we were going to Kinosaki, a small town 2 hours away from Osaka.IMG_7462


LOL! Trying to act cute inside the car.

It took us about an hour to get our car ready and by then we were all very hungry, so we went to the nearest supermarket to get some ready-made bento and snacks to munch on. I got some katsu with rice set that wasn’t that good. 🙁


These strawberries were deliciously sweet! I couldn’t stop eating them!


We bought some tomatoes too! They were not cheap too but good! I couldn’t imagine myself eating a whole tomato just by itself but I could with these tomatoes, not sourish at all!


I also got myself some Meji White Chocolate.

IMG_7500It will take some take to reach our destination, Kinosaki. So we decided to stop-by to clear our bladder and get some food. 


Yay, I love takoyaki! During my whole trip in Japan, we have bought endless amount of takoyaki as they are everywhere. It was just that delicious, they were way different from those you could get in Singapore. 


It was dinner time when we reached Kinosaki, we quickly checked in to our inn and settle down for dinner in our room as it was included in.

IMG_7539The main course of the meal was crab, so we had a sumptuous meal as it was fresh and juicy! Yum…..


After dinner, we changed to their traditional clothes and got ready to visit an Onsen (hot spring). Honestly, I’m embarrassed about being naked especially with the people I know. So I actually went alone and surprisingly the atmosphere was warmth and pleasant even though there were like 10 Japanese strangers naked around me. Some of them even tried to communicate with me, but language barrier was the problem. Anyway, I really enjoyed it and Onsen waters are really great for your skin.

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 After hot spring, we went scrolling around the town at night and reward ourselves with some soft-serve ice cream! I love black sesame flavor that I got, how wish Singapore would have such flavor!

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We took a photo with the daughter of the ice cream shop owner! She’s so cute and I remembered how she loved to show us she playing Kendama skillfully. 

IMG_7655The next morning, me outside at the guesthouse I’m staying. 


Kinosaki, a small little town famous for its hot spring looks really beautiful! We were hoping that it will snow here but it did not and there was a fire incident 2 days after we left. 🙁


We got to roam around the area. It was a quiet and peaceful town, there were little tourist and the community was really friendly and helpful to get us around.

IMG_7651editedWhat a beautiful sight. Imagine scrolling around with boy/girlfriend, won’t it be so romantic? 


After spending some time in the town, we went to Sanin Kaigan National Park. The park itself stretches about 75 km around the coast! There were many speical landforms formed around there. But of course we only went to the closest, Genbudo Cave (玄武洞)! We can’t be roaming the whole area with such limited time.

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I still can remember that the wind was blowing furiously and it was freezing cold!



I heard those rock lines were formed when lava produced by volcanic activity 1.6 million years ago. They are so beautiful!IMG_7737

IMG_7738Our last meal in Kinosaki before we head back to Osaka. Soba is Kinosaki local specialty, we absolutely had to try before leaving this little town.

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