Saturday, September 25, 2010

My first cake order

A month ago, I'd got my first cake order from my friend, E and for her dear prince Dylan's 4th birthday celebration. When I first started to bake more regularly about 2 years ago and also my blogging journey, I'd never knew that I can bake and decorate a cake, and what's more baking for a friend now. I'm fortunate to have a friend like E who places so much confidence in me as she'd not tried any of my bakes before, and her little gesture became my first-hand experience in doing cake order.

It so happened that Sat 18th Sept 2010 seems to be such an auspicious date, where there were many events on that day - Dylan's birthday celebration, my bro's guo-da-li (过大禮), chalet to celebrate my nephew's birthday. Therefore, i took a day off on Fri to prepare for the chalet's bbq stuff as well as Dylan's cake. Being my usual self, I'm bad with my time-management and spent almost half a day doing nothing, and started to panic when the time started ticking faster and faster. By then, it was almost time to pick up Zak from the school, and I only managed to marinate the chicken wings, and bake the chocolate sponge cake. Eventually I could only continue preparing the cake after our dinner, and by the time I was done with cream and decorating, it was already in the wee hours! Alas with the cake completed, I could finally heave a sigh of relief and have a really good shower before hitting the bed!

The feedback I'd received from E is most encouraging "Yep very nice.... the nicest cake I ever had.... thanks Esther! Dylan loves it very much and now Davier is asking for one *faint* hahaha...". Once again, I would like to thank E for her encouragement and confidence in me (*-*)

As a side note, I tried this Swiss Meringue Buttercream and I must say that it is really good! Although the steps seem daunting, I was pretty lucky to get it right the first time and couldn't stop licking the cream off my fingers...yummy...I'm a SMB convert for now (",)

Monday, September 13, 2010

Special birthday cake

Somehow my uncle Simon's birthday slipped my mind, opps!! and therefore there was no cake :-p To make up for it, I prepared a very special birthday cake on his actual day. Since it is on a weekday, I need to find a very simple recipe which do not require baking. Initially was thinking of preparing this cocoa puff cream cake, but like most things, when you want to buy it, the store always run out of stock! This time I couldn't get any cocoa puff biscuits at bishan fairprice. I have to quickly think of other alternatives, or no cake at all.

At last, this is what I had prepared for my dear uncle simon, hopefully he likes it ;-) The colourful agar-agar looks like gemstones, ruby, sapphire, onyx, emerald, aquamarine, to me, plus another 6 big lovely hearts. However, when the cake was put in the fridge overnight, the shapes and colours were not as obvious, and the clear agar-agar became whitish in colour.

**Edited on 13/09/2010 11.03pm
My colleague, who is a 'master' in making agar-agar, suggested that the whitish colour could be due to the clear agar-agar being too hot when poured over the colourful "gems". Next time, will try cooling the clear-coloured agar-agar first before pouring.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Sandra's birthday cake

These days with the ease of checking out blogs, emails and playing games on the iphone, there's not much push for me to use the laptop which I'll use it to edit my photos and write a post. Therefore you will see that this is quite a delayed post, as my cousin Sandra has celebrated her birthday 3 weeks ago!

We had a potluck party as her house, and had a very sumptuous dinner - roasted piglet, 933 curry chicken and mutton, porridge with tonnes of ingredients, garden of greens (salad), otak-otak, many many durians (D24, mao shan wang, 666), cherries, and of course the best is ah ma's home-cooked dishes with love - curry chicken, nourishing soup!! I contributed the birthday cake and fried dim sum carrot cake ;-)

Turning to the birthday cake, I planned and made a fruity pastry cake thinking it would be a very safe bet. How wrong was I? Somehow the cake did not rise to enough, the top was very hard which I had to cut it away, it was quite dry; nothing close to my earlier 2 attempts which turned out very delicious. I kept thinking why it had gone awry, and like rewinding a tape, I suddenly recalled that little zak was playing with the oven when i was baking the cake! At that time, I didn't give much thought except to adjust back the temperature from 220 to 170 deg C. God knows how long the cake was baked at such extreme temperature? The next time, I should keep an eagle eye on my boy as he's getting very "helpful" and always curious and fiddling with things. And whenever I'm baking, he will push a chair and stand beside me at the kitchen. These extra pair of hands doesn't really help at the moment, and alot of times it made me more busy and sometimes 'irritated'. Nevertheless, I know I have to, and yes I do enjoy these moments briefly for time flies so fast that when he's a teenager, he may be with his friends and do not want to be with the mummy anymore ;-( After finishing this post, I must give little zak many hugs and kisses!!