For someone who cops to being unromantic, Ben Yeo, 38, sure has a way with heart-tugging statements. On marrying Claudia, also, 38, when he was 26 and just launching his showbiz career, he notes, “She’s the first and last person I wanted to marry.”
Eleven years and two children later ― Jarius, 4, and Javier, 7 ― the connection between the couple is so solid that Valentine’s Day is like any other day for them. As Ben puts it, “To me, every day is Valentine’s Day because the feelings don’t change.”
What matters more to the Yeos is observing their wedding anniversary, on 28 or 29 February (they were hitched in a leap year), at the very spot in Sentosa where they and exchanged vows. Since their kids’ arrival, it’s become a family affair. But the couple makes it a point to drive to JB regularly to “just spend time with each other”.
As the pair mug gamely for the camera amid must giggling and good-natured teasing, they make staying in love look easy ― in part because they don’t let the sun set on a quarrel. Ben notes, “We talk things out on the same day. We don’t drag it out ― it’s healthy and works for us.”
As if we needed any more convincing, Ben debunks any notion that he isn’t a romantic by singling out 50 First Dates as his favourite romantic film. In this rom-com, the female protagonist played by Drew Barrymore has short term memory and can’t remember her love interest ― played by co-star Adam Sandler ― every morning when she wakes up. So, he takes it upon himself to make her fall in love with him again and again.
Ben’s take? “Marriage should be like that, you’ve got to fall in love with each other every day ― keep the marriage fresh!”
And what better way to keep the marriage fresh than by taking your spouse’s taste buds on a gastronomical adventure? Here Ben, a Shatec-trained chef, and his better half share their favourite recipes. This two-course meal is so easy, you can whip it up in a jiffy on V Day to impress your significant other!
60g barley miso
2g chilli flakes
2g Dijon mustard
2g caster sugar
2g dried oregano
2g dried thyme
40ml vegetable oil
10ml soya sauce
2 whole spring chickens (approximately 500g each)
1. In a blender, blend all the ingredients ( minus chicken) until you get a smooth paste
2. Marinate spring chickens overnight with paste
3. Line a baking tray with parchment paper, and roast in a pre-heated oven for 20 minutes at 175 deg C, or until golden brown and cooked.
TOP TIP! To check if the chicken is cooked, pierce the thigh. If the juice is bloody, then the chicken needs to be cooked a little longer.
Click for an easy-peasy mud cake recipe …
30g 60 per cent chocolate
140g caster sugar
90ml hot water
5g coffee powder
70g plain flour
5g self-raising flour
3g cocoa powder
1 whole egg
1) In a saucepan, add butter, chocolate, sugar, water and coffee powder and cook over very low heat until melted. Do not boil. When melting, keep stirring to prevent the chocolate from sticking to the sides.
2) In a large mixing bowl, mix plain and self-raising flour, and cocoa powder.
3) Next, add the melted chocolate mixture into the flour, then stir (preferably with a mixer) until creamy.
4) Add the egg and mix well.
5) Pour the cake mix into a 10cm x 10cm square cake tin.
6) Bake in a pre-heated oven at 170 deg C for 15 to 20 minutes. Use a cake tester to check if it is done.
7) Remove from the oven and set aside for it to cool completely.
60g egg yolks
30g caster sugar
110g 70 per cent chocolate
30g marshmallows, cut in half
30g toasted peanuts, chopped
1. In a saucepan, add milk, cream, egg yolks and sugar, then warm up to 85 deg C on the stove, whisking constantly to prevent the eggs from curdling.
2. When it’s 85 deg C, remove immediately from heat and add the chocolate
3. Stir well but gently until it becomes a thick mixture.
4. Place in fridge until completely chilled.
5. When both the chocolate cake and the ganache are cold, pour ganache at the base (or on top) of the cake and spread evenly with a spatula.
6. Decorate with marshmallows and sprinkle chopped peanuts on top.
7. Serve with ice cream and raspberry sauce.
This is an updated version of the original article, which was published in the February 2015 edition of Mother & Baby magazine.
Art direction Lim Jae-Lynn
Photography Ealbert Ho
Styling Amanda Tan/Amanda.firstname.lastname@example.org
Hair Nigel Woo/Passion Hair Salon
Makeup Lolent Lee/9114-744, using Inglot Cosmetics
Special thanks to executive chef Claudio Sandri of Sear, Empire Teikoku & Angie’s Oyster Bar.
Main Picture Dress Cameo from Occasional Glimpses of Beauty. Shirt & trousers Scotch & Soda from Robinsons.
Second picture Dress Coast from Robinsons. Shirt & sweater Bratpack trousers WeSC from Robinsons.
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