Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Never enough

Over the weekend, I baked three cakes; two fruit cakes and a butter cake. The fruit cakes were ordered by someone and the buttercake was for the home.
When I make cakes for the home, I don't like to have any balance cake after cutting it. I will immediately cut them and put them in storage containers... one for the kids and the father, one for my parents and, this time, one for the office.

I don't like keeping cake in the fridge cos I am afraid that I will end up eating more than I should. Don't want to tempt myself. Thank you very much.

Of course, my kids are not happy about it but I always tell them that I bake often so there will be a constant flow of cake in the house. That keeps them quiet for awhile.

It is never enough. There is always someone fighting to polish off the last piece. I am happy though!

What a relief.

My son's and daughter's birthdays are coming up in October. I always ask them few weeks in advance what cake they would like for their birthdays.

They get very excited and will bring out all my cake books to choose their cakes. Each one will choose a few cakes and and try to push their lucks by asking for two cakes each. Since we celebrate both their birthdays on the same day, i cannot agree to that request or else we will end up having four cakes for the celebration. And a bunch of sugar high kids (and adults).

Finally, my son wanted a pirate's dagger and my daughter was still undecided. Arrghhh. I like to have an idea what I need to do and get before making my cakes, so this was of no help to me.

Yesterday, I took them along to buy some stuff at ICCA. Guess what, they got excited all over again after looking at the cake tins for rental. After thinking long and hard, my daughter decided on the Ariel cake pan and my son tool the Wall E pan.

Phew!!! Quickly booked the pans and left the store before they changed their minds. Why didn't I think of this earlier??!! It took them less than 10 minutes to decide as opposed to changing their minds everyday for the past few weeks.

Monday, September 29, 2008

Cupcake stand

I love cupcake stands. Nice to arrange them (cupcakes) in a tree-like manner but I am not willing to spend my money on getting one of them. But I found a very interesting way of serving the cupcakes.

I got the idea from CakeJournal. It's easy to do and the best part of it is that you can decorate the stand according to the theme of your party.

So this was my project over the weekend besides making two fruit cakes and a butter cake.

All you need are metal pins, two 5in x 3in cake dummies, scissors, wrapping paper, ribbons, glue, and three cake boards (8in, 10in and 14in). The cake boards that you get must be the thick ones, so that you can stick the ribbons around it. I couldn’t get a thick 14in cake board, so I used two thin 14in boards and glued it together.

You need two types of ribbons; broad ribbons to go around the cake dummy and thinner ones to cover the side of the cake boards.Firstly, wrap the broad ribbon around the cake dummy. I did not glue the ribbon instead used metal pins because I want to reuse the dummies.
Then cover the cake boards with the desired wrapping paper. Once that is done, take the thinner ribbons and glue it around the sides of the boards.Take one cake dummy and and place it at the centre of the 14in board and glue it together. Then place the 10in board on top of the dummy and glue it. Take the other dummy and glue it on top of the 10in board.
Finally, place the 8in board on top of that dummy and stick it. There you go, now you have an elegant-looking cupcake stand for any occasion.I am planning to use this for a baby’s baptism lunch. The theme is gold and beige. The baby’s parents have ordered a cake and cupcakes for the lunch and this will be an excellent way to serve the cupcakes.

The following week, I will use it for my son’s and daughter’s birthday do. I will give a pat on my back for this. :)

The air brush technique

Last friday, I attended the Autumn Wedding Cake class by Calvin Ng at Cake Connection. As usual Calvin's class was lively and interesting. He is ever willing to share tips and advice even if it is not related to the class he is teaching.In this class, he was going to show off the air brush technique. Since this was an autumn themed cake, he needed leaves and flowers that reflected the season. First of all, he took green leaves and air brushed them with brown and orange colour to give them the autumn look. Then he grouped them together to make a spray of leaves.

He used Gerbera daisies. He air brushed the daises yellow. All flowers and leaves for the demo can be found at Cake Connection. Beautiful aren't they? They were then left to dry. The air brush technique is very interesting and very easy to do. You just need to get the hang of holding the gun and spray the colours on whatever you want. Cleaning the gun is easy after the usage of each colour.

I was very interested to get one myself, but then again, can I justify getting an air gun at this point in time. Maybe not now but it is something that I would consider getting in the future. Hmmm... an interesting, artistic gadget.

This was going to be a four tiered wedding cake. It was a dummy cake. Not the real thing but, nevertheless, it looked very real and pretty in the end. Calvin started off by rolling the
fondant to cover the dummies. The final tier was an odd-shaped dummy. He wanted to give t he cake a different look. Not the usual round tiered cake all the way.

After that, he arranged the leaves and the flowers. Once that was done, he wanted to decorate the borders of the cake with beads. He used a bead cutter to make the beads. This was news to me cos I always thought that the fondant was rolled into small balls to make the bead border.
And I always wondered how these beads were rolled into such perfection that all of them were of the same size. Silly me, now I know.

I always learn new stuff when I go for classes like these. New things like the bead cutter. I have seen it ICCA but never once bothered to find out how to use it. And guess what, today, I actually purchased it from ICCA, cos I need it to decorate a wedding cake soon. :) While I was there, I got the square imprint mat. Very satisfied with my buy. Oops, sorry for digressing a bit.
As I was saying, with the beads and the way the flowers were arranged, the cake looked ready for the season. Calvin brushed the beads with pearl dust to give it a more realistic look. Nice touch!

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Slide Show

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

On a hunt

Yesterday was a hectic day for me. I have been wanting to buy the flower imprint mat and spiral rolling pin from Wilton for awhile now. I have been putting this off because I keep telling myself that I don't need them, I don't want to spend so much buying them.I borrowed the spiral rolling pin from Chitra before but now I find the need to use it more often. I can take it from her again but can't be doing this all the time. Not nicelah.

The moment I saw the flower imprint mat at ICCA, I just had to have it. But it was a question of when and would my purchase be justified.

Finally, after two months, I decided to get it. It was a good thing I went to ICCA yesterday. They were taking out all the price tags from their products. Apparently, there is going to be a price increase storewide when the new shipment comes in October.

Lucky me, just made it on time. They had the mat but unfortunately they ran out of the rolling pin. AARRRGHHH!!! Got the mat and started to get 'frantic.'

I don't know about others but when something is out of stock, the need to get my hands on it increases by ten folds.

I remember seeing it at Cake Connection and Pastry Pro. Called them and they did not have it as well. Oh no!!!

By now my mind was racing all over thinking which other place had I seen it before. As I was nearly on the verge of giving up, I remembered seeing it at Artisan Cake Craft in Kelana Jaya. Yes, yes... Made the call and guess what... they still had some. Told them that I would come by during lunch to get it.

By lunch time, I was a proud owner of a spiral rolling pin. You don't know how good it felt to hold the rolling pin in my hands. :) :) :)

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Three more days

Hmmm.... three more days. Three long days. Can't wait to attend the wedding cake class at Cake Connection this friday. Hopefully, everything goes well and I leave work in time for the class. Keeping my fingers and toes crossed.

On a different note, I would like to take this opportunity to say that I am ever so grateful to two people for encouraging me to set up this blog. Sakthi and Chitra.

Sakthi, thank you for being there when I am lost for words. Didn't forget youlah. My baking friend, Chitra, thank you for encouraging me to put my cake photos online. Thank you both for being there when I am at my wits end.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Well done!

My friend, Yoges, has been asking me to teach her to bake cakes for the longest time. I keep telling her that she always keeps asking but is never making any effort to make time to learn.

I don't blame her because her work is such that something always comes up and her personal life is put on hold because of that. And whatever time she has during weekends are used to run errands. Sigh!

Fortunately, last weekend, she managed to attend a cup cake class at Cake Connection. I was so happy for her. The cup cakes that she decorated were lovely. Well done, Yoges! All you need to do now is find time to make them at home. :)

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Wednesday was my mom-in-law's birthday. Made a simple butter cake for her. Actually, made two cakes .... one for her and another for my brother-in-law, who is here on vacation with his family. His was more a belated celebration cos we could not make it for his big 50 in Australia.

Mom-in-law hates chocolate cakes, so made her favourite vanilla cake. Since there were other chocolate lovers in the family, my bro-in-law got the rich moist chocolate cake. He loved it.

Didn't think of taking the photos of the cakes when I made them. When the cakes were about to be cut, my son hijacked my camera. Couldn't get it off him until the cakes were butchered.

The pictures you see here were taken by an eight-year-old professional photographer. Enjoy!

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

The connection

I love to go around checking out places selling cake decos as well as baking supplies. Recently, while surfing Yasmin's Baking Project (http://www.bakingproject.com/), she mentioned that she went to Cake Connection (http://www.cakeconection.com.my/) in Petaling Jaya.

Hmmm... I was very excited cos there aren't many places selling cake decos where I live. So excited, I just had to go check them out the next day. It was easy to find. They are in Jaya One. Met up with the two nice ladies, Nancy and Shyamala. Just loved the cosy setting of their shop.

They carry a variety of flower decos as well as a range of sprinkles. Loved their cosy kitchen where they conduct classes. It does not give you the classroom feel at all.

Bought some vanilla essense. Really loved these. It's made locally but very different from what I usually buy. Came back for more later.

I also attended a wedding cake class here. It was taught by Calvin Ng of Black Forest Tavern. I enjoyed the class very much and I have signed up for the next wedding cake class. Can't wait to learn more interesting techniques. Here's Calvin's masterpiece from the first class:

Monday, September 15, 2008

How it all began ....

I have been wanting to do this (blog) a long time and finally got down to doing it. I have been baking and trying out new things since my primary school days. My tasters back then were my family especially my dad. He was always the one who was eager to taste whatever I made and made requests for cakes when he felt like eating them. He was my number one fan.

Over the years, some how, I lost touch with baking and we even sold off our Kenwood. We sold it off cos we never thought we would get back to using it anymore. Sob. sob. sob.

After all these years and three children later, I have gone back to baking and cake decorating. Actually, I have to thank my sister-in-law for this. She has been the baker in the family and we have been enjoying her cakes for all occasions.

Unfortunately, she was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis some years back and she could not bake her wonderful cakes any more. Cos she gets tired easily and has aches and pain. We ended up buying cakes from the shops which we did not enjoy very much.

That's when I decided to take up the cake baking classes. I wanted to make cakes just like my sis-in-law for my kids' birthdays. I enrolled at the same place where she learned baking ... Grace Home Cakes. I did my basic there as well as learned some continental cakes.

That's when I felt that I had rediscovered my joy for baking and decorating. Thank you, Grace.

Along the way, I took up various classes at Bake with Yen, Bagus as well as ICCA where I did Wilton Course 1. Finally learned the Wilton rose. :)


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