Smoked sugar, caramel nights. The sweet life, this life chronicled by baking and breakfast, is my odyssey. I am enamoured by, made restless by all things sweet. Sweet to stitch wounds, sweet to heal.
Hi! I’m Alex.
Hailing from Singapore, currently living in London. Here to share my passion for all things baking and breakfast, with a myriad of recipes that weave simplicity and experimental flavours into classic themes.
I was 5. The warm croissant left flakes in the creases of my palm, the smell enclosing me in a bubble of warmth in the grey Autumn sleet. This was my first encounter with a baked good, a toddler in London, and what probably kick-started my love and passion for baking and all things sweet.
Fast forward to mid-2017, when I experienced a very stark change of perception and attitude towards food. I discovered the plant-based lifestyle after publishing my first book, my baby, Crumbs in November 2016. Some thought I lost it. Isolation. Selfishness. Weird. Unnecessary. These are their reasons. My reasons, which encompass scientific, personal, ethical and environmental, are in the FAQ below.
But then fast forward a second time, to 2018. Some health issues, primarily to do with iron, prevented me from pursuing a fully vegan lifestyle. That being said, I still fully support the ethical and environmental push for veganism, and little changes in the kitchen do make a big difference. All my recipes are now crafted to be plant-based with modifications for non-vegans. There’s no sacrificing fun or flavour here. Only crazy delicious abundance.
This blog is dedicated to sharing recipes I have experimented with in my humble abode, adapted and played with from countless resources. It’s kind of an extension of my documenting habits; I have kept a personal diary for almost 11 years and don’t plan to stop!
And some other random things!
- I have a weird collection of vintage knick knacks.
- ‘Manouevre’ is that one word I always forget how to spell.
- I live for anything black, striped or burgundy.
- Writing, books, movies, food photography and various fitness classes comprise my main guilty pleasures.
- French toast is my favourite breakfast food ever.
So, bread. I’ll start with the smaller picture first. What sets a crumb apart is how it has been separated from the main picture (in this context the whole loaf of bread) in its perfect and golden entirety. It’s out of left field, off the pristine sidewalk. A zoom into all angles. Detail. To me, bread is bemusing, bewitching, honest. It forms the centrepiece of most of my sacred breakfast rituals. Most of my mornings start with toast, tahini and jam. The blog’s title is hence a tribute to its humble rusticity.
Are you vegan??
I am not vegan. I thrived on the vegan lifestyle for more than a full year, but due to my personal experience, it’s been difficult, despite my whole-hearted efforts to make it work. Further, I’m not a fan of the word vegan, due to it’s all-encompassing nature regarding lifestyle choices. That being said, I love trying out vegan places here in London, and in many other places around Europe such as Germany, where you’re really spoilt for choice. This term does allow me to be more flexible in different social contexts.
Why do you blog about sweet stuff like cake and brownies?
What you see on this blog is definitely not what I gorge myself on. To me, breakfast and dessert is more of something people take time out to do, like a special occasion. I feel as if people nowadays are overly automated, too quick to respond, too slow when it comes to carving out time for therapeutic activities, like baking a cake or making a nutritious, albeit luxurious breakfast.
First and foremost, I advocate some sense of balance and slowing down. Many fads are totally unjustified, but a slice of cake doesn’t have to mean a slice of diabetes. It doesn’t have to be the enemy, a little devilish inflammation-inducing fireball dressed up in glazed strawberries and cream. No. A slice of cake can mean peace with yourself, peace with the world, armed with the knowledge that you’re properly nourishing yourself the rest of the day anyway.
You have a small head.
That’s not a question.
Do you sell your bakes?
Absolutely! Simply email me at firstname.lastname@example.orgemail@example.com and I’ll reply with the cost details. I will try my best to deliver within a few days, and of course this also depends on where you and I are at any one point in time.
It would have to be almost-burnt toast, or French toast. Without an ounce of a doubt. Pancakes, eggs or good old-fashioned oats take second place. Sadly, I’m the one who always orders the ‘sweet’ option at a café or restaurant.
After french toast… chocolate?
How do you edit your pictures?
I alternate between my iPhone and Fujifilm x100s, and edit my phone shots using the VSCO and Snapseed apps. I’m enamoured by the vintage, autumnal vibe a certain filter gives any food shot.
What measuring system do you use?
I favour metric measurements, using grams instead of cups and so forth. I find it much easier and more reliable to simply zero the scales and work from there, leaving it to measure the tiniest fraction of an ounce. I no longer worry about the ‘flatness’ of the surface of a half cup of flour. That being said, I usually provide both metric and cup measurements in my recipes.