Thursday, September 13, 2012


I’ve never really thought much about them. I do agree it is a special day/date but I never felt that I needed to tell the whole world “Hey! It’s my BIRTHDAY!!” I guess that’s just me. I’m a very quiet, low profile kind of person. I never like to make big celebrations. Only my closest friends and families are important to me. Hence, I’m more comfortable being around the people I love.

I don’t think I’ve ever had a big birthday bash or anything like that. I don’t have any regrets. Sometimes I think birthdays bring a lot of bad memories for me. Maybe because I have high expectations. So, I tend not to hope too much so as not to get disappointed. Birthdays are also a reminder that I’m getting older which is not really a good thing, to me. Despite all that, there were several birthdays that I was very happy and super contented. It would one of the birthdays where I get to have dinner with all my friends and be filled with glorious food and surrounded by stupid jokes, gossips and laughter.
Red Velvet Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting
It is quite ironic that I feel the opposite way when making birthday cakes for my customers. Making birthday cakes always make me feel happy and excited. I especially love it when I received orders from husbands who request to put sweet messages on the cakes or that the order is a surprise for the wife. I find it sooo sweet and touching and to be part of something so loving makes me extremely honoured. I'm a sucker for romantic stuffs.

Baking a birthday cake for Yanty has become a yearly tradition. She is a very good friend that I got to know when we were in polytechnic. It was weird how our paths met but it is something I never forget. She was one good friend that I can rely on. Very talented and unassuming and has a very beautiful handwriting. She can write songs and plays the guitar really well. She is also one of the most patient person I know. She's strong amidst all that she went through.

So, every year, Firdaus, her brother will always order a cake from me with a theme or a tidbit that he chooses to be incorporated into the cake. It is like a birthday tradition for me. This year, it was Yan Yan (pic on left). It is a biscuit treat with chocolate dip inside the packaging. I didn’t really have that much idea but I know I’ve been wanting to make this 3 layer cake where one layer is a chocolate cake, another is a cheesecake and a top layer is a cookie dough. So, I incorporated some biscuit bits into the cookie dough and covered the cake with chocolate ganache and chocolate swiss meringue buttercream. I thought it was a pretty cake inside and out. But I would have improved on the cake recipe. You can find the recipe here

Do you have a "birthday tradition"? :)

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Short and Simple

I’ve been rather intrigued and fond about gradient or ombre designs on cakes for a while now. Last week, I was given the freedom to make a cake for a 10 year old birthday girl. I was told that she likes Pink and Purple, Butterfly and Dragonfly.
I was kinda occupied last week and didn’t manage to create a gumpaste butterflies. Hence, I only played with the colours and decided that simple is best. I’ve been seeing a lot of gradient design on cakes in Pinterest lately. Fortunately for us, a talented lovely baker did a video on how to create the design. Hence, I was really inspired to make the same. 
The design was quite simple to make. I just feel that it has a lot of wastage. But from my experience, I should be able to save more the next time I make this design.
Rainbow cake is becoming a rather popular demand in Singapore. I wonder how long the fad will last. It’s a very pretty cake but it is so time consuming to make. I’ve never really thought about selling it but it seems like it’s one of the hottest cake people are ordering now. I’m not really sure who was the creator of this special cake but for me, I got to know about this wonderful, unique idea from Whisk Kid. She’s another talented baker, photographer and writer. I love her pictures!
Getting to the main point about this post, I’m actually a firm believer of short and simple in every sense. But of course now I’m just talking about cakes decoration, for this post. I love simple cakes with clean, simple lines and chic at the same time. I love flowers but nothing too much. I’m more of a minimalist. It’s hard to market these kind of cakes in Singapore as grandiose and elaborated cakes are more of a norm here. However, I’m pretty sure more and more people younger generation will be more open to simple cakes soon.
Although it’s simple, the cakes should create an impact in some ways. It should be eye catching and very, very pleasing to the eyes. At the same time, it should taste marvellous too. My main concern lies in the taste more.  Sometimes, I wonder how people can just sell whatever they think they can do/make. I pride myself on the quality, quality of work/end product and quality of ingredients. I hope to educate people on why some of my cakes might be more expensive. One have to understand the thought, hardwork, passion and love that goes into one product.
Anyway, these is one of my favourite cakes that I did so far. I hope to come up with more ‘short and simple’ designs. I love the part where it looks so simple outside but when you cut it up, you will be greatly surprise by the cake. I wish I am able to see people's reaction when it happens.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Hot Weather vs Ice Cream

The weather has been extremely hot the past few weeks. Not just in the day but throughout the night too. It can be so unbearable at some point that it spoils my mood and not just mine. I see a change in my husband's mood too. It's just so distractingly hot and humid that you do not want to go out, you do not want to get close to anybody fearing to get hotter and you just wanna bathe like 5 times a day. Nooo, I am not exaggerating. Welcome to Singapore everyone!

Well, because of the weather, it has inspired me to make ice cream with the leftover egg yolks that I have. Why do I have that many egg yolks?? It's because I kept getting rainbow cake orders the past few weeks and all my filling and frosting is my favourite swiss meringue buttercream. Hence, the unused yolks. I wish they sell egg whites in a carton just like I saw in Sweetapolita's blog. That would be so useful and less wasteful. But I tried searching for it at supermarkets here but to no avail. Maybe I should try Jason's or Marketplace. However, it would not be worth the money to buy it given the price of my cakes. 

Yeap! Ice cream! The hot weather make you wanna dip into any cold dessert available. I felt so good eating a cool silky, soft beancurd yesterday. It was like the nicest thing when the weather is so hot. Why am I digressing to beancurd now?

Anyways... I had leftover yolks, leftover vanilla sugar, almost-expired chocolate orange. I decided to make an Orange Chocolate Ice Cream. I stole some oranges from my mom, just to take the zest of it actually. :) So, it's not technically stealing. I just took some parts of the fruit which she won't be eating anyway. The chocolate came from my sister who bought it when she went overseas, I forgot where. She bought so many flavoured chocolate but didn't eat it and abondoned it for the longest time. Some of them were really nice and tasty and you couldn't find it in Singapore. But it has a low melting point; melts easily in our weather. What couldn't be better when all my favourite ingredients added together.
I actually put aside 8 egg yolks. I made 2 batches of vanilla ice cream and divided it to make 2 different ice cream. Since, I already made a refreshing ice cream, I decided to make a more flavourful kinda savoury ice cream for the other one. That's how I  always decide on my 2 scoops of ice cream. One chocolatey or flavourful, the other have to be contrasting where it has to be refreshing. 

I went to buy a small bottle of peanut butter and blackcurrant jam. I kinda foresaw that putting spoonfuls of peanut butter just like that would make the ice cream cloying. Unfotunately, I was tired and running out of time to make peanut butter caramel sauce. So i just dump spoons after spoons of peanut butter into it. The ice cream looks really good though. True enough, it was definitely very very cloying. Well, I learnt my lesson. Hopefully I can finish the ice cream. 

The recipe for the basic vanilla ice cream is:-

Vanilla Ice Cream
4 egg yolks
75g/3oz/6tbsp caster sugar (I used vanilla caster sugar)
5ml/1tsp cornflour
300ml/1/2pint/1 1/4 cups semi-skimmed (low fat) milk
5ml/1tsp vanilla extract
300ml/1/2pint/1 1/4 cups whipping cream
1 vanilla pod (optional)

1)  Keep the ice cream bowl in the freezer for at least 15hrs. (If you're using KA ice cream bowl.)
2)Heat the milk over low heat until almost boiling in a saucepan. 
3) Whisk the egg yolks, sugar, cornflour together in a medium size bowl. 
4) Pour 1/4 of the hot milk over the egg mixture and whisk simultaneously so as not to cook the eggs.
5) Slowly pour the remaining milk in while whisking slowly. Then, pour the whole mixture into the saucepan. 
6) Cook over low heat until it becomes thick and smooth. Do not boil it. 
7) Add the vanilla and let mixture cool.
8) Store the mixture in the fridge for at least 8hr
9) Beat the mixture in the ice cream maker for about 15-20min at Speed 1 until it becomes melted ice cream consistency. 
10) Put whatever topping you want into the mixture in the last 5 min of the mixing. (You can also fold in the toppings of your choice by hand. Much easier for me.)

Here's to the sunny weather in Singapore!