I don’t really talk politics. In this season where elections are probably just a month away, it is not surprising that the high of celebrations for the nation’s 50th year has now swung to the contentiousness of local politics. Yet in some ways I remain relatively sheltered from the heat of vote wrangling. After all, I live in a private condominium block where the security guards just wave anybody in because even our friends find it difficult to navigate the intercom system to get into our place. The last elections I said I would vote for anyone who managed to get into our condo, but obviously no one did. Or even tried. I don’t expect any different this year even though I have friends who have spotted opposition candidates visiting sleepy neighborhoods on bicycles. I happen to belong to the now defunct Moulmein-Kallang GRC and my MP has just resigned (poor man; the transport portfolio was obviously a soul-killer) and I was part of that seismic political earthquake that bumped our neighborhood into the safe Tanjong Pagar GRC zone. Again, not surprising as I remember most of the people lining up to vote the last round from my neighborhood were not staunch PAP supporters. It was probably safer to tuck these uppity middle class rebels in a safe zone.
But my thoughts today are about transformation. I think it is possible to mould the culture of a political party or even a government, but it takes a phenomenal amount of willpower to build an exceptional nation, a feat that our pioneer generation wrought because of guts over personal glory. And the sacrifices cannot be underestimated. And whether it is in the ruling party or in the opposition, today we are still in need of exceptional men and women who will stand out above prevailing pressures and fight for what will make Singapore better.
So I’ve been wondering what kind of politician I would support. I confess that there are people (ok, just one person) in the ruling party that I would definitely vote against because of bad personal experience with his attitude and treatment years ago. And there are some of the opposition that I would never ever want to see in parliament. So here’s my wish list for the team that I will vote for in the next elections – it is fittingly summarized in the acronym WISHES, and as long as I remain idealistic I will vote for whichever team demonstrates these qualities (if not I will spoil my vote, hah!).
Wisdom – with foresight and strategic ability to lead our nation to a better place
Integrity – to determinedly shun corruption and peddling of influence and power
Stature – to be able to stand tall among the nations, to be a voice of reason in a confusing global front
Humility – to know our roots as a humble nation of immigrants who were blessed beyond our imagination
Empathy – to care for the poor and underprivileged who will always be with us but remind us of what it is to have a heart
Strength – of character to stand firm and endure and keep fighting for Singapore for the long run
And if we don’t have people that have these qualities running for political office, we need to think about why we are here. We need to continue to pray for transformation of ourselves as individuals as well as a nation. Transformation is possible. Which is why I have plonked this recipe here – one of my favourite desserts to make in my pre-low carb days, when a packet of savoiardi biscuits was always in my pantry for me to make a quick tiramisu. I had mentally written off this dessert as inaccessible for me because of the biscuit layer that is intrinsic to a good tiramisu. This recipe has been transformed to be low carb and yet maintains the juicy, winey, rich coffee-cocoa flavors of this creamy Italian dessert. The biscuit has been replaced by a low carb almond sponge and sweeteners substitute sugar. This is the first time I had made tiramisu in more than 2 years, and it has been a welcome return to what I had thought to be impossible – miracles (and low-carb tiramisu) are possible. 😏
Low Carb Tiramisu
Almond sponge cake
- 2 cups almond flour/meal
- 1/4 cup whey protein powder
- 1.5 tsp baking powder
- Pinch of salt
- 75g butter
- 1/2 cup sugar substitute
- 2 large eggs
- 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/3 cup milk
- 1 cup expresso
- 3 eggs
- 500g marscapone cheese
- 1 tbsp Marsala wine
- 1/2 tsp vanilla paste (or 1 tsp vanilla essence)
- 2 tbsp cocoa powder
- Preheat the oven to 170 deg C. Line a large baking pan with baking paper.
- Mix the almond flour, whey protein powder, baking powder and salt.
- In another bowl, cut the butter into small pieces, then beat in the sugar substitute until light and fluffy.
- Beat in the eggs and vanilla extract.
- Add the milk and almond flour mixture in spoonfuls until well combined.
- Pour batter into baking pan and bake for 18 – 20 minutes. Test with cake tester – the tester should come out clean. Cool in pan.
- In the meantime, prepare the expresso and set aside to cool completely.
- Separate the eggs.
- Beat the egg whites till soft peaks are formed. Set aside.
- Beat the egg yolks with sugar till thick and yellow. Beat in marscapone cheese, Marsala wine and vanilla essence.
- Fold in the whipped egg whites, carefully maintaining the foamy structure of the mixture.
- Cut the cooled almond sponge into finger length strips and line the base of a square glass dish.
- Using a spoon, pour about 1/2 the cup of expresso over the sponge.
- Layer half the marscapone mixture over the sponge. Dust with 1 tbsp of cocoa using a small sieve.
- Layer the other half of sponge fingers. Spoon over the remaining expresso.
- Layer over the marscapone mixture and dust over with cocoa powder.
- Refrigerate for at least 2 hours till overnight. Dust another fresh layer of cocoa powder just before serving.