Sunday, September 13, 2009

The Wonky...not Willy Wonka...

Finally, yesterday I went to learn how to do the wonky cake.
Also known as whimsical or topsy turvy cake. Quite a lot of carving to do and for a first timer in sculpting, all the access cake crumbs was not a sight for the faint hearted. But of course, all that can be salvaged into chocolate balls.

Quite a bit of math went into carving the wonkies and after some practise, it got easier but I still needed a lot more work on the carving.

Man, these wonkies are plenty of work. I was introduced to some stencil work and this was the design i liked the most...since i don't quite fancy flowers.

Had a different design in mind but the bottom tier didn't turn out so bad. At least i now know how to do the net.I used the Patchwork Cutter's Poppy Flower cutter (one of my favourite among Pathwork cutters).

Even had a different idea for the top tier but ended up using just a bit of simple strings with silver balls (my favourite decor item) and it turned out quite elegant. All in all, my best work of art yet. I came home yesterday, satisfied and overwhelmed by all the knowledge acquired.

Called up a friend and one of my best customers and donated (another "mean" means of self promotion) this cake to her. Told her to bring it to her office to share it with her staff but of course asked a favor from her to have it displayed first at the foyer...just for awhile. But anyway, Selamat Hari Raya to all my friends ho have supported me and to my best supporter of husband! May God bless us all with prosperity.

Oh, by the way, I thought of naming this art..."My Sensation". What do you think? ;)

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Selamat Hari Raya 2009

When i was assigned to do raya themed cupcakes for a project class, i was scratching my head..."raya cupcakes?". So internet sourced research made me feel like a fool. Little did i knew there was ever such a thing as raya themed cupcakes for gift package.

I did an order of cupcakes for raya last year which i totally screwed up because of a misunderstanding. After apologizing, i hardly heard from that client again...surprise, surprise. hahaha...double idiot, only realized what the client wanted when the "complaint" was issued. I did offer to return the money but was politely declined. I still remember the disappointed tone over the phone ringing in my ear till now. Sigh!
So after a couple of play with fondant like plastercine, I came up with this. To my surprise, i received some favourable feedback.

Then about 1 week after class, i recieved a call from a friend who wanted to order cupcakes for raya for her to give to some of her friends and client...and she ordered by the pieces. Quickly , I suggested this package, which she agreed since having trust in me since her last order completely satisfied her. But i didn't want to replicate so i came up with this twist instead....

This was the pacakging I came up with. Small, manageable and direct.

Pretty unconventional colors for a raya themed cupcakes. But for those who knows me, wouldn't be surprised...I'm pretty unconventional myself. ;)

I hope my friend likes it. Selamat Hari Raya everyone!

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

The IU Bloomington Reunion

Had a reunion recently with my college buddies at the Concorde Hotel. One of my seniors had graciously sponsored the hi-tea do. Another senior "suggested" I make something to "promote" my business. But it sounded more like wanting a free sample. But after the thought of having our logo on a cupcake flashed immediately to mind, i got excited and rushed my fingers through the keyboard looking for Indiana University or Hoosier. Of course plenty of images came out but one came out in a circular design. Great! I need not do anything else to the picture except to crop it smaller to fit a cupcake. After ordering the edible prints, which to my surprise took only a day (!), my hands were excited to put the design in my mind onto the cuppies and hopefully it turns out just right. It turned out exactly as I imagined it but as i looked at this picture again and again, the red stars looked like pom poms. It even made me feel like i was at a stadium cheering Hoosiers with them pom poms. Go Hoosiers!

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Designer Cookies

Yes...what will they think of next? Designer cookies? Pretty creative, I'd say for the person who firts thought of it. Such pretty things for any occasion , how could one eat it. But again, another wagon I decided to jump in on at the last minute just for knowledge and who knows....orders??

Mini Wedding Cake Project

Another in-fashion trend is the mini wedding cake. Catching on for knowledge and skill building, this was a heck of  a lot more work than just decoration one cake. But like I said, just for the knowledge and keeping up with the latest trend, i hopped on the bandwagon and this was the result.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Apple green

Just finished with my brother-in-law's engagement do. So I had plenty of time to think about this one. I wanted to do a heart shaped cake but not with this design. Cut the curve shape out myself and wanted to have lilies or ribbon roses. When the event came nearer, I just didn't have the time. But when I was told of apple green color, the design I had in mind went out the window. I had wished it red. And with a short time I had to do it (since there were lots of activities prior), I was still lost in direction. So I left it covered with apple green, not knowing what to do with it.

I did buy some lillies (ran out of time to make some) but they didn't turn out pretty enough for the cake. Tried some other left over roses...that didn't work out too. So I just stood there and stared at the cake. Thank goodness it didn't take me long to come up with something simple but nice enough...since it was for free, a gift from me, plus, I was tired by then to think more creatively. Slowly added the hearts but didn't stand out. Silver balls always does the trick for me. Wallah! Just a simple apple green theme.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Yellow and Turquoise

This was a tough one for me. Yellow and turquoise somehow didn't appeal to me. Turquoise would be lovely with white, yellow  could go with white, green, pink, blue etc. But I was given these color combo as inspired by the bride's dress. Oh boy, I thought. 

Took me awhile to come up with these designs. I told myself not ALL need to have the turquoise color. So that too the pressure off a bit. This was the most times I sketched the designs on paper thinking how best these color could stand out. Since I suggested to have several designs, I asked for trouble without knowing it. The net wasn't much help since there was no examples of these color combo.

"Do we have to follow the color of the dress? Really?".  Heck, that's what the customer wants. There wasn't much I could worm myself to try other colors instead. But after many experiments , that didn't turn out how I imagined it would, and circles beginning to form around my eyes. This was the best I came up with.

The most designs in one box I had done, 7 yellow and turquoise theme cupcakes for hantaran.

Leaf hearts, tulips and hearts with the couple's initials and the nuptial's date. I wasn't satisfied with this one. All the designs I sketched didn't come out right. I regretted this one, the initials. But I was pressed for time.

Another close up. Here u can see the poppy flower design inspired from Lindy's book"Let's celebrate" I just bought. a simple daisy cut out can look quite least to me.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

I like strong colors

A friend whom i haven't seen in years (but we kept in touch) sent an order of cupcakes to give away as a thank you token to her friends. With little information as "i like strong colors" in terms of how should i design these cupcakes of hers. So after determining the "strong colors" and since these cuppies were meant as gifts, flowers were the obvious choice of designs. I love calla lilies and thought maybe I'd impress my friend with my little technique-know-how and give a variety of flower designs for her order. And I came up with these.

Added the purple the ribbon to spruce it up. Turned out pretty nice, i thought.

Finally got to use the leaf cutters i bought months ago. Simple but I was running out of ideas.

Love making ribbon roses. Easy peasy.

This took a while to come up with since i only know how to make a limited designs of flowers.

Made use of the access blue marble fondant and use it as the background color for this one.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

The baker vs the decorator Part 1

I've been baking since I was fourteen. I can't remember what was the first cake I baked but I used my mum's really old english cookbooks. The ones with thick bindings and dusty looking pictures full of spread on the table. Even the tablecloths were english...of course.

But those were my humble beginings. Didn't know how it all started or what got me to open the book and bake but I did. One cake lead to another.

I remembered I bakes a CAKE a DAY! Made one for tea everyday. Since dad comes home in the evenings and early dinners were unheard of, tea past 5.30pm was not just served in a cup. I remembered my dad ate the ginger cake I baked earlier that day and he said it was good. Well, dad being a dad. Of course to his daughter he said it was good. But ginger cake then sounded exotic and I did thought it was pretty ok. Too bad there weren't digital cameras and internet and blogspot or facebook and so on back then. Would have been great to have all those pictures ok cakes I did when I was a teenager.

Monday, April 20, 2009

My blue eyed friend

It's amazing what a phone call can lead to. I made a call to my blue eyed friend whom I haven't heard from in quite awhile. Soon into the conversation, I found myself an order. Cuppies for engagement. Theme here was apple green. While sitting with a pencil sketching for ideas to come up with a design with initials on hearts, tried them out but didn't work out. The "prototype" didn't come out as good as I originally thought. So I came up with another way of using initials on the cuppies but then there would be two designs in one order.

Called up my friend and explained my concept and she agreed. But still I did not quite know how  the second design would turn out. 

That explains the "out-of-tone" apple green I came up with. Made a small batch which got used up by making the hearts, left me so little. But I mistakenly use a different tone of green and it came out more "teal" than apple green. But I proceeded, didn't have much time anyway at this point. When all was assembled, the hearts looked pretty boring. Then I decided to add the dots just like the "cuppies with initials" and it turned out pretty cool. At least to me.
Sent an MMS to my blue eyed friend and she LOVE it! Phew...always nervous about my client's perception of my work , since they would let me come up with the design. All that was provided was color and initials. Even the bride-to-be love it. So I rest easy that nite, laying down with a back ache just doing the dots and leg cramps sitting down about an hour doing it!

The end product! Ta...daa...

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

The trip back from cuppies school armed with a teeny weeny knowledge of how to decorate a cupcake, i made this.

and these....

Cuppies Crazee

Cupcakes, cupcakes, cupcakes. It only dawned on me this craze after about a year in existence. Hey, I thought, what a great idea. Just take an old product, give it a twist and a rebrand of small cakes in a cup. Fantastic but Duh! Why didn't I catch on to this craze earlier. Always, always late and not up-to-date. Sigh. And like the envious green baby hulk in me I had to make some of my own. Thought it was simple and this was what happened.

Pretty obvious I needed to learn more. So off I went, with my tools, books and of course, the internet, my journey to be a better decorator to taking off again....destination -> cupcakes!

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Orders were pouring in

Soon after my first basic course, with so few products I've made, I quickly made my website. Orders were pouring in to a point I was kept busy for a few weeks. Then what I wanted for so long, I was overwhelmed. Whoa...I needed a break already.

Made this as a gift for an old "brother" whom we reunited prior to his daughter's wedding. At this point I haven't learn much about fondant.

A neighbour took a chance on me and I hope I didn't disappoint. But THIS version of my train cake was better than the first! At least some progress.

Another cake for kindy celebration. It helps to inform friends of what you've been up to these days.

My very first order for a wedding cake!'s only one tier but for a wedding???? That's what my friend could afford and it WAS a big deal for me. Unusual color theme I thought for weddings but since I was pretty new, the trend was going towards strong colors now. Unlike ages before this, I keep seeing pastel colors. But the 'ooooo's and 'wahhh's I received was a definite booster to my ego.

Got excited and took the next level

Since I've got a taste of the basic, found myself, naturally, wanting more. Further reducing my life savings total amount, off I went to learn more techniques and this was my graduation cake.

Finally found a place that teaches cake decoration

After plenty of browsing and searching, finally found a place that teaches cake decoration. Duh! Why did I not do it any earlier is beyond me. So I jumped on the bandwagon, took out my life savings and after a matter of weeks, my works have been slightly upgraded.

Didn't have much time to think this one through but manage to come up with this one. Oh well, kids love colors, they don't really care much for patterns , so long as it colorful.

Wanted to do some jawi inscriptions on this cake but couldn't find one that I could copy on a cake. So I just downloaded a raya greeting card and copied it on the cake. Wallah! some calligraphy.

The "graduation cake" or grand finale cake, as they call it . The roses was a must-have item on the cake.

The rainbow cake learnt in basic decor class. I need not inform where because this has a signature of it's own. Anyone who have taken this course would know immediately.

For my niece's 3rd birthday. But it got gobbled up by her elder sister.

Father's Day

I don't really celebrate Father's Day or Mother's Day either but just needed an opportunity to make a cake and decorate it best I can. Made this for my dearest hubby. Looked to flat and unconvincing but it didn't matter to him. He was surprised. "I thought you were making an order for someone else", he said. But the bigger surprise was I thought he knew I made this for him since I decorated it right in front of him! Hahahaha....but the smiles and appreciation was beyond satisfaction.

My own birthday cake

I've made many cakes up to this time but mostly continental cakes but hardly much on cake decoration. So I wanted to make a "good" one for myself but looking at it now....I should have gone to class a long long time ago. Nevertheless, I was proud of it. Sent this picture to my sis and she was supportive. Of course she was, she didn't know better either.

Monday, April 13, 2009

The early amateurs work

To cut long story short of my journey from a baker to a decorator, these are some of my earlier works.

This was the cake I made for....any guesses? Teacher's Day cake for my son's teacher on Teacher's Day. She didn't even say thank you.

I wanted to make the cake look like the number 6 as in six years old without having to buy the cake tin number 6. This however looked more like the Petronas logo.

My 1st engagement cake

This was the very first cake I made for my niece's engagement. She had an apple green theme. A few months prior to this, I found a lady who teaches baking from home and just a stone's throw from where I used to lived. So I jumped at the chance. My very first class on baking and learning butter icing.

This butter icing recipe is one used eons ago and according to my 1st teacher, it's hardly found in any bakeries these days. It's required some arm muscle just to mix it by HAND but it tasted pretty good and this was the same design she showed us on a heart shaped cake.

So when my niece told me she was getting engaged (again, eons ago) , I took opportunity and offered to make her engagement cake as a means to advertise myself. And this was what I came up with, with so very little knowledge and experience in cake decor. But I thought not bad for a newbie.

The first attempt at cake decorating

I've been baking since I was 14 but only some odd ten years ago did I had my first attempt of learning how to decorate a cake. The obvious next step post baking. So without any knowledge and without youtube for reference (well, there was no youtube back then), did this.

This had bittersweet memories, making this cake. Soon after I have finished making the batter, my  toddler son toppled the mixing bowl and HALF of the batter spilled onto the floor. 

I screamed and ran into my room and found myself crying. Like a little girl. I had spent months to garner the courage within me to come up with this, months of preparation for such an amateur's work. Thinking how best to design my very first "train cake" for my son. All that work and enthusiasm was up in smoke with just the help of dainty hands whom I couldn't scold for he knew nothing. 

But the next day after the cake had cooled down and the tears had dried, with renewed faith and determination to make this cake happened, this was my ensemble.