Update: Baking Adventures!

Hey, everyone! I know it has been far too long since the last update, and that’s all on me. Life has been really busy and crazy for the past year, and there will be more updates to come eventually. Today, I wanted to share a big accomplishment that I have recently achieved.

If you have seen any of my social media in the past few months, you may know that I have started to dabble in baking. What started with watching cake decorating compilations on YouTube has now turned into a major form of stress relief for me. I felt inspired to try baking myself and since then, I have tried a few different cupcake recipes, a no-bake cheesecake, and a simple vanilla cake. This week, after going a full two months without an oven, I finally got a new oven and completed the big experiment that I’ve wanted to try for a long time: salted caramel chocolate cupcakes!

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This experiment is a huge deal for me for a number of reasons. First of all, everything in these cupcakes was made from scratch. From the chocolate sponge, the salted caramel, down to the buttercream frosting made with salted caramel. I came up with this idea after watching several tutorials from Cupcake Jemma on YouTube, particularly her masterclass video on making caramel. Every recipe I used was created by her, so I put them all together to make this delectable treat.

Before this, I had never made caramel from scratch before. I knew it wouldn’t be easy and it took me a couple of tries to get it right, but I was really amazed at how well it turned out. I ended up using it on some ice cream before I could start on the cupcakes. Now that cupcakes are completely done, I still have some left over. Until I finish it off with a spoon, anyway…

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I’ve had some practice with the cake and buttercreams in the last few months, but this might be the first time I was really proud of a batch of buttercream. Getting the temperature of the butter and the consistency just right can be tricky. As for the piping, I’m still learning the right techniques, but even this looks tons better than the past cupcakes I’ve made.

I brought some cupcakes to my work to share with coworkers and they really enjoyed them. One said it was the best cupcake he’d had in a long time, and another said it was a good balance of salty and sweet. I’m glad that this experiment turned out so well, and I’m looking forward to sharing them with my friends as soon as we can meet up.

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Caramel filling and drizzle on top!

Despite this being a huge achievement for me, this will certainly not be the last one. There are plenty of other recipes I am going to try, and maybe if my skills go up enough, I can make my own recipes. I will definitely be making these again, and I may even try to make this into cake when my mom comes to visit next month!

That’s all for today. I’m really proud of myself and the end result, so I wanted to share my success. I will try to continue updating this as much as I can if not for others, then at least for myself. I still believe in my skills as a writer and I will not let life get in the way of the things that make me happy. Thank you for reading. Smile

For Cupcake Jemma’s channel, click here!

Update: 4 Months Later…

Hey, everyone! It has been far too long since I have updated this blog, but now that things have finally settled down, I can start again! Since it’s been such a long time, let me share a few updates!

My birthday was in November and I had an amazing dinner with my boyfriend at a nice restaurant near the Lotte World amusement park. We shared a steak and some spaghetti with red wine, and later he gave me a beautiful strawberry cake with cream cheese frosting and a lovely burgundy handbag. He said it matched my hair perfectly.

My birthday

We did our best to spend time together and enjoy each other’s company, but it was a bit difficult as he was applying for schools and doing exams and interviews while I was working on my online publishing course. It was very challenging at times and I was trying things I had never done before, like marketing presentations and coming up with research topics without any specific direction. I intended the course to be a Capstone for my Professional Writing Certificate, which required me to write another research paper in addition to the final paper, but I found myself far too busy with other things to write the second paper. Fortunately, there will be other opportunities to finish my writing certificates, and I am quite proud of the work I did with that course. I kept up with every assignment and finished with excellent scores. 93.14% for the whole course!

The Name of the Wind!
I chose The Name of the Wind by Pat Rothfuss for my marketing presentation. Let me know if you want to check it out!

At the end of December, my winter vacation from school started and Johan and I flew together to visit my friends and family back home. We were there about a week and we saw as many people as we could, even taking a quick drive west to visit my dad and grandparents who were not well enough to travel. I missed seeing my grandparents the year before since my grandfather was recovering from surgery, so it was really great seeing them this time. Everyone loved meeting Johan and getting to know him, and Johan had a lot of fun as well, even though he was jet-lagged the entire time. He was always passed out on the couch by 9 o’clock and I felt so bad, but he told me he had a really nice time.

Christmas 2018
Two of my favorite shots from Christmas festivities

We came back to Korea for New Year’s and then I was back to work. Work was busy as we prepared for the end of the year: finishing books, writing reports, getting last-minute worksheets done for the binders we give to parents at the meeting, etc. I was also looking for a new job, which meant a lot of emails and video interviews with different recruiters and schools. My plan was to stay in Korea at least one more year, but I didn’t want to stay in Seoul anymore. It was beginning to feel so crowded and my neighborhood at the time wasn’t that nice. I searched for schools outside of Seoul in an area called Bundang, which is in the southern region of the Gyeonggi province. My preference was Jeongja, which is where my boyfriend lives and it’s a very nice area.

Tiggher
Tiggher stayed with her Korean grammy (Johan’s mom) while we were gone!

Eventually I found a school and at the end of February, we packed up my things and moved into the new apartment. Most schools provide housing, which I take because it’s easier than finding a place myself, but that means I have to move every time I sign a contract with a new school. I didn’t mind though because the place I have now is super nice. It’s honestly the nicest place I’ve lived in so far, and I will be posting pictures just as soon as I am completely settled. My bed frame broke in the process of moving, so I’ve had to order a new one. (It’s a loft bed frame!)

Anyway, that brings us to now and after the move, things have finally calmed down for both of us. I’ve started at this new school and it’s taking some adjusting, but it’s alright. Johan got accepted into art school and also started this week. It’s very new to him, so he is also trying to adjust to his new schedule. Even though we’re both busy, we live close enough now that it’s easier to see each other, if only for a couple of hours.

Lion King
We also saw the Lion King musical for Valentine’s Day and it was fantastic!

I really hope to keep this updated, whether or not I’m able to update it on a weekly basis. I have many ideas still and two drafts actually in the works at the moment, so I will get those done as well so I can share them with you. If you’re still reading after all this time, thank you so much. I appreciate you lots and I will do everything I can to keep myself motivated and inspired. I have a quite a few small goals to achieve this year, which I might share with you in another post just to make them more concrete.

I love you and thank you again! ♥