Monday, August 31, 2009

Footy cakes

I'm back! I was away from the PC for the school holidays. I have been kept busy with the cakes and the kids. So here are the updates:

I made three football-themed cakes over the week. This football field cake was made for a 10-year-old boy.

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This is a Liverpool cake for a fan who celebrated his 30th birthday:

Last but not least, this is yet another Manchester United cake for the birthday boy who celebrated his 5oth brithday!:

Oh yes, before I forget, Happy Merdeka!

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Don't mind me ...

I have always loved art classes during my school days. But I was never good at drawing. I knew I had some creativity in me but it was never reflected during these classes. Well, at least that's was what I thought.

I love colours, enjoy paintings, dabbled in glass painting, even tried sketching what I saw but what I had in mind was never translated on canvas. Maybe I was just not cut out to draw and paint. :(

Only recently did it hit me that my cakes are my canvases. Here's where I can showcase my creativity.

Cake decorating is what I enjoy most and it is very therapeutic. I have been searching for 'my creativity' high and low all this time and I finally found it!

Monday, August 17, 2009

A HUGE cupcake

I was asked to make a BIG cupcake last week with a tooth cake topper. The colour theme was black, white and red.

This cake was ordered by a young man for his girlfriend who is studying dentistry in India. She had come home for the holidays and they were going to celebrate her birthday with this cake.

Here's the tooth before being placed on the cake.

Food and Hotel Malaysia 2009

Last week, I attended the Food and Hotel Malaysia 2009 (FHM 09) which was held from August 11 -14 at the Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre.

FHM 09 is a complete show for the food, beverage & hospitality industry professionals to source, gather and exchange the latest information in this field. There were about 700 companies participating from more than 50 countries worldwide in this event.

It was my first and was an eye opener for me. I visited the event with my husband and we had a good time feasting our eyes as well as tasting various products in the industry.

Many companies were giving away freebies, there were demos on noodle-making, coffee making, a teh tarik champion was showing off his skills, and cake decorating just to name a few.

I was looking out more on what was in the baking industry and found some interesting products. My favourite was the gold, silver and bronze sheen sold at the Baker's Choice booth.

Alongside FHM 2009, Culinare Malaysia 2009, the region’s largest culinary competition was held with the best chefs in the industry showing off their skills.

I did not go for this as I had already spent about four hours just walking around the halls of FHM. We left the exhibition feeling full (all that yummy treats) and contended!

On the way out, I took a photo of the Petronas Twin Towers. Being in Kuala Lumpur, I keep telling myself that I can snap a photo of this magnificent structure any time but never got around to doing it. But that day has come to pass.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Jagoh, that's what we are!

My kids had their taekwondo grading over the weekend. Parents were asked to bring something for the potluck after the grading. I offered to make a cake, of course.

My son is now in the Poom belt category while my gals got upgraded to Yellow I. Way to go, kids!

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Simple and lemony

I was cracking my head on what to make for my husband's birthday. I was also thinking of an appropriate design for the cake when he said that all he wants for his birthday is a lemon cheesecake.

I was looking forward to making something different but I guess I just have to do what the birthday boy wants. So lemon cheesecake it was ....

Friday, August 7, 2009

Swiss Meringue Butter Cream

There is only one word to describe this frosting ... Yummyyyy!!! It's light and delicious.

I have always been using butter icing: a combination of butter, icing sugar, pinch of salt and vanilla essence. And I love it.

Swiss Meringue Butter Cream (SMBC) is something that I have seen in recipe books but I never tried it out until yesterday.

I used SMBC to frost the Chocolate Oreo cupcakes. This frosting is very simple to make. I found the recipe on Dyann Bakes.

First, double boil the the eggs whites, sugar and a pinch of salt. Whisk the mixture on the double boil.

Keep whisking until the sugar is disolved. If the sugar is not completely dissolved, then the end result will be grainy.

Then remove from heat and whisk it at medium speed on a mixer until meringue is stiff, and the mixing bowl is cool to the touch. The meringue will be white and shiny, and sticky!

Here's a tip: To save time and mess, I used my Kenwood mixing bowl over the double boil. Then straight onto the mixer. Do this only if your mixing bowl is heat resistant.

As you can see, I am using a thermometer below. You don't need a thermometer to do this recipe. I was just testing out my new toy.

Only when the bowl is cool, switch to the paddle attachment. Still on medium speed, add the butter a few cubes at a time.

A word of caution: You want to combine the meringue and butter evenly. If the bowl is still hot, the butter will melt and will not combine well.

Continue beating until butter is mixed well. If at any point in time, you find that the mixture looks watery or curdling, don't panic. Keep beating and until it all comes together.

Then increase the speed and beat until everything is smooth.

Lastly, add flavorings or colour of your choice. I used vanilla essence.

Below are cupcakes decorated by my three mini chefs!

My next project: Italian Meringue Butter Cream (IMBC).

Thursday, August 6, 2009

A surprise from Australia

I would say these are double treats: Chocolate Oreo cupcakes with Swiss Meringue Butter Cream topped with Oreo cookies.

A birthday gift for a guy who loves Oreo cookies. These cuppies were requested by his friend who is studying in Australia.

Another toy!

I got another early birthday gift. A digital thermometer from my friend, Manjeet.

This was really a pleasant surprise.

Recently, we went to Pastry Pro to collect an edible image icing that I had ordered.

While I was talking to the lady at the counter about my order, my friend was busy checking out a digital thermometer. A little later, she asked me if I had bought one and I said no. I asked her if she was getting one and she said yes. Even then I didn't suspect anything.

We always joked that Manjeet buys more stuff than me when we go to a baking supply shop. Manjeet does not not bake, nevertheless, she is one of my biggest supporters. :)

Right after we got into the car, she was bursting with excitement when she handed me a plastic bag. She said that she couldn't wait that long for my birthday to pass me my gift.

Inside the bag, you guessed it, was a digital thermometer! Thank you so much, Manjeet!

This toy will be handy for chocolate and sugar work. You need to know the right temperature to temper chocolate and cook sugar to create works of art. Or even use it when I make the Italian Meringue Butter Cream!

I wonder if there are any more surprises like this coming my way!

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

It's never enough

I told myself that when I get my hands on Planet Cake, I will have all the books I need. That's it, no more books on cakes or cake decorating.

Boy, was I wrong! I read alot of cake book reviews and now, I am itching to get Martha Stewart's Cupcakes: 175 Inspired Ideas for Everyone's Favorite Treat and Mich Turner's Spectacular Cakes.

And again, I tell myself that when I get those books, my collection will be complete.

It's a good investment for my cake making hobby but, *sniff* *sniff* :(, it sure will burn a hole in my pocket.

The book list will be endless, I am sure!

Sunday, August 2, 2009

I love my garden

Kiran ordered this cake for her father-inlaw's 68th birthday. He loves his garden.

I chose this design because it is different from the usual: guy standing upright and mowing the lawn. This somehow seems more humorous.

This is a design inspired by Small Iced Things. Thanks, Nicky, for allowing me use your design!

Let's play poker!

This cake is for a young man who loves playing poker. His family and friends organised a farewell party for him as he will be going abroad to further his studies.

All the best to you!


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