My eyes were really tired and I cannot go on with the programming. So I went to the kitchen and got this baking.  Always wonderful to have a cake for breakfast.

This cake is very soft (too soft for me), and moist. Very low in sugar. The next time I bake, I will bake a little longer because the kids like more ‘crust’.

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Lemon and Orange Sponge Cake

Lemon and Orange Sponge Cake


Egg Yolk Mixture

6 Egg Yolks

1 pinch of salt

Zest of 1 orange and 1 lemon

70 ml Orange/Lemon juice

60ml Oil (I used corn oil)

40ml Coconut Creme/Evaporated Milk/Milk

100g Plain Flour

Egg White Meringue

6 Egg Whites

100g Caster Sugar (I used Raw)

1 tsp Lemon Juice (or 1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar)


    Egg yolk mixture
  1. Sift the flour twice.
  2. Mix all wet ingredients together and then add the flour and mix well. Do not overstir.
  3. Egg White Meringue
  4. Beat the egg whites till foamy, then add the lemon juice/cream of tartar.
  5. Gradually add the sugar, and beat till stiff peak is formed.
  6. Make Batter
  7. Add 1/3 of the meringue to the egg yolk mixture to 'loosen' the egg yolk mixture.
  8. Then fold in the rest carefully.
  9. Baking
  10. Set oven at 170C and bake for 30 minutes.
  11. Down to 150C and bake till done, another 20 minutes.
  12. I prefer this cake on a low shelf so that the sides and bottom are all evenly baked.
  13. Cool the cake upside down for at least 15 minutes on a wine bottole and then unmould it with a flat spatula.

Post written on February 20, 2016

Why I baked this cake on my birthday

I’ve lived my 20s, 30s and 40s well. And I have great plans for my 50s and 60s all in place. I am so looking forward to the new milestones of my life.

My daughter asked me to bake any cake I like for myself. Yes, I don’t like cakes from cake shops, I don’t like to eat them. So I baked my own cake, because I am fussy.

A blank cake, a simple orange and lemon sponge. This is what it is going to be like the next 10 years, as I journey into my 50s. I will be a canvas for others.

In my 20s, I started to build my career. I climbed through corporate ladders and did a lot. I worked hard. Really hard. It was not uncommon for me to start the day at 8:30 a.m. and end at 4:00 a.m. I was either studying, taking classes, just working extra, or moonlighting. My motor was, I must work the hardest among my peers, because I always believed that I was not as smart. If they put in 8 hours, I must put in 18. For someone in her 20s, it meant nothing to work that hard, and it paid huge.

I slept very little, I made a lot of mistakes too. I was not afraid of mistakes, I was not afraid of new stuff to learn, I just wanted to be better and better everyday. And this attitude got me a great start into my 30s.

In my 30s, My priorities changed a little. I focused on building my family. And I did it in a big way. I produced 5 children. Because I had done well for my first 10 years in the corporate world, I had enough savings to buy a house, and dare to start a business. I also learned the ropes to running a business. I became an entrepreneur.

Through my 30s, I ran companies and became an executive head. I was the CEO of a multi-national and led my company to obtain the 1st-level IPO approval at Nasdaq and SGX: still the only Singaporean who managed to do that, I became the regional MD of Nasdaq listed companies, and the CEO of a government-linked company as well. I saw successes and I saw failures: more of the latter. But in general, the highlights was less about my companies, but more about my young family, which needed more of my attention as I launched into my 40s.

While in my 40s, my children started school. They needed support, and some were labelled special needs. So, I put my career in the corporate world aside and looked for something interesting to do. I realized it was a period that my children will need me the most, and I don’t want to miss out on that.

I chose to spend most of my 40s teaching in the university. The flexibility the university accorded me gave me time for my children. I focused on their education, I had first hand say in what they learned or not learned. I was there for every swimming meet, and every overseas trip. I am a qualified judge for my daughters’ sport.

I also spent time to build wonderful relationships with my students. At the end of my 40s, I have built wonderful friendships with my children and my students, in other words, the next generation, and this, I saw as in preparation for my 50s.

In my 50s, I know it is about building other peoples’ lives. It is no longer about building my own career, or my own family. It is about building other people’s families and other people’s careers. I know I will be building businesses WITH the younger people with my knowledge and my skills. I will be helping my children build their families. I know how hard it is to start out as newbies as parents, I know how hard it is to start out as an entrepreneur. I will be here to see them through.

And that’s why, my life has to be a plain canvas going forward. A good foundation. A delicious start. So that others can add on to it. You can put icing of any flavour and it should be even more delicious. The cake should fade into the background and provide the base. What will stand out is the icing sugar or the chocolate topping. You can slice it in half and put a cream, slice it into 4 and put many layers of cream and fruits, use cream cheese as icing, butter, double cream? Whatever color. It does not matter. The base is already there for you.

In everything I was called to do, I have put in my heart and soul and ensured I pulled out all the stops to make things happen the best I know how. I was blessed with fantastic outcomes. And it will continue to be so, as long as I have good health.

There. So that’s why this is my first 50s birthday cake. It signifies potential and a platform for others. It will be another great decade. I already know that for sure.