Tuesday, 17 September 2013

The Wedding Cake of Hawaliana Selamat and Khairul Ismadi

It was my dear classmate’s wedding on 15 September 2013. Hawaliana Selamat is now a married woman, Alhamdulillah may your marriage leads you together to the end, InsyaAllah.
Flower Sprays and vines
I was anxious to be given the honor to create her wedding cake which the order was made much earlier. After going back and forth, price and design she finally decided on a 2 tier stacked cakes with separate cake flavors on each tiers. Bottom tier was Moist Chocolate Cake, and the top tier was Lemon Pound Cake.
Finished cake with Royal Icing detailing
The sizes of the cakes were 12” bottom and 8” top in round shape. After the cakes were done sandwiched and iced, they are stacked and secured with enough pillars inside to support the heavy cake. Both cakes were filled with lemon buttercream and chocolate buttercream respectively and iced with basic crisp white fondant and embossed with quilted effects all around. Marzipan tool was used to manipulate the fondant to mimic the pleats and folds at the button points.
Quilted effects Fondant
The sugar flowers were made ahead of time just to spare all the last minutes to the cake. the color pallet for the flowers was not decided in specific but the bride said she wants it in pastel colors. The sugar flowers gathered into two sprays one was larger than the other. The larger flower sprays was put on top and the other was put on the side of the cake.
Top tier Flower Spray
Towards the end of constructing and building up the cake, how I not realize the cake weighed so much that I panic thinking of how to transport the cake in one piece. But I’ve managed to transport it just fine, Alhamdulillah. And as it was really late that this cake finished to be transported, only lousy kitchen lighting been utilized for the pictures hence the darkness in all of the pictures. Apologies for that~ :-)

Bottom tier (side) Flower Spray

Saturday, 17 August 2013

Scarlet Rouge - The Love of Syaza and Shakir

Lets start this entry by wishing Selamat Hari Raya Aidilfitri to all fellow Muslims in Malaysia and all over the world and Maaf Zahir dan Batin. May Allah bless us with health and wealth through physical and spiritual, ameen.

Yet another complimentary cake for the Butik Kaseh Collection package. The first wedding cake made after a long break from Ramadhan. White and Red were chosen by the future bride and groom and the cake was made especially for them - Syaza and Shakir. Congratulations for both.
The flavor of the cake was moist chocolate cake of a new recipe to replace the older. it is super moist and deep in chocolaty flavor. Enriching its flavor, Strawberry Buttercream sandwiched in between cake layers and crumb coat the whole cake underneath the fondant. Moist Chocolate Cake is by far the most loved cake flavor ever and to accompany that with Strawberry Buttercream, it translates a new dynamic flavor profile of the cake. The choice of Strawberry Buttercream was driven by the red theme of the wedding.
The construction of the cake was a one piece cake without any tier stacked up. the dimension measures 4 inches high and about 8 inches in diameter.
Keeping it simple but yet sophisticated, the cake adorned with Royal Icing detailing. Shells, Scrolls, and Dots embellished the the cake that contrast the crisp white fondant. Polka Dots on the side of the cake while Shells finish the bottom sides neatly.
Piped Little Roses also helped in bringing up the overall cosmetic appeal of the cake as they were also tinted in deep scarlet red hue. Scrolls beautify the top edge of the cake all the way round and layered with a simple swirl of the same royal icing. This gives a little more delicate touch and dynamic to the design.

Monday, 22 July 2013

Almond London - Confection-nestled Decadent

Almond London has been around in Malaysia for quite some time and too bad that I haven’t found any evidence on its existence or debut. The name can only suggest assumptions like how almond and chocolate is associated with the Orang Puteh, hence the London city come into my mind (how accurate or bad is my assumption? Lol~). There are several components that make up this cookie, in fact this cookie is one of the tedious delicacies to make. The different components can sometimes divided in phases that can take up to two days to finish a whole batch.
Variation of recipes sprung with availability of sophisticated ingredients nowadays, and the recipes range from the shortbread style to crispy textured. Some would incorporate additional ingredients like Nestum in the recipe to give a distinct crisps in the cookie dough, and of course emplex – a food additive to make the cookies crispy just by itself. Nonetheless, the way I like mine is in shortbread style. It is rich in buttery flavor and has a complementing texture to the idea of sweet and nutty almond taste.
A whole almond nut nestles in each of the buttery rich cookie dough and for that I prefer the un-blanched almonds (shelled almond nuts with skin still intact) to the blanched type (white almond nuts without skin). It’s just because I personally think that the almond nuts look decent and not naked. A chocolate coating shelled the cookies and a little garnished of crushed almonds is sprinkled. The chocolate envelopes the overall flavor of the cookie making it much more exciting. Almond plus chocolate…what more could you ask for?  The crushed almonds were first toasted and then crushed to get the random bits and pieces just to enliven the home-made appearance. This adds to the rustic feel of the cookies itself.
Whole almond nestled in buttery and chocolaty confection
Crèmeuss Almond London is priced at RM50 for 100 pieces and is halved upon orders for 50 pieces. Regardless, they are packaged in 50 pieces per package.

Rolled-up Tropics - Tat Nenas Gulong

Tat Nenas in general is a Pineapple Tart. The construction of it includes those in your average tarts and tartlets – a pastry crust and the fillings in it. The crust of tat nenas is vast in recipes and you can find them just as easily on the internet. The most basic recipe is the one used in most dessert tarts shell which is the sugar crust recipe. However, sugar crust is a little bit crispy for tat nenas we know in Malaysia.
The filling is of course made from pineapple. Instead of using the fresh pineapple, the pineapple is grated and cooked as a thick pineapple jam to prolong the shelf life of it. The jam is of course subject to one’s preference in terms of its sweetness and tartness and any additional flavor profile desired. Some would include spices just to enliven the taste of the jam and to make it even more interesting.
When talking about Tat Nenas Gulong in particular, it is basically the same thing but with a rather softer dough to work with. The appearance of Tat Nenas Gulong is identical with Sardin Rolls” and we can also just name it Pineapple Roll can’t we? Softer crust dough is owed to the process of making up the cookies which utilized the spritz cookie presser. It uses disk with ridged edge opening that looks like crinkle-cut fries. The dough then pressed into a long continuous strip and then cut to individual length long enough to wrap around the proportioned pineapple jam. The cookies are then egg-washed before bake in the oven as garnish and also to help the crust hold it shape since it is soft and crumbly.
Crèmeuss’ Tat Nenas Gulong is priced at RM48 per 100 generous pieces. The pineapple jam is improved in term of its size which is doubled in comparison to last year’s production. As with other promoted cookies, the Tat Nenas Gulong is priced by half should order for 50 pieces desired, and the packaging is individually packs 50 pieces of cookies regardless.

Friday, 19 July 2013

"Skip those Chips, munch over Chunks" - Chocolate Chunk Cookies

Who needs Chips when you can have Chunks right? Chocolate chunk cookies elevate your average chocolate chip cookies to something worth eating. Chips are for kids, we indulge more chocolate than chips anyway don’t we?
Crèmeuss’ Chocolate Chip Cookie is an egg-less cookie recipe that translate to its crumbly texture which also not overly sweet like other chocolate chip cookies in the market. Made with butter, the sweet buttery taste stimulates your senses that margarine can never offer. Although margarine is an immediate substitute and cost a little less than butter, it has the possibility in getting your products taste a little bit off and worse when it has a slight odor like your regular cooking oil. I know some margarine brand claim to have the ability to preserve finished product for a longer period of time, but I wouldn’t jeopardize taste just to prolong its shelf life. You wouldn’t keep what’s tasty away for long would you? No point in keeping it for longer if it means to avoid you from eating them right?
Chocolate Chunk Cookies - the name speaks for itself – chunky with chocolate pieces and crushed toasted almond nuts for even crunchier and merrier flavors in your mouth. A variation of drop cookies that might lack in appearance but its taste will help you get over it. Some people like perfectly shaped cookies but let’s just have that for other cookies. I’d say that appearance is a waste when the taste is awful. After all, we can’t judge a book by its cover can we?
This cookies weigh at approximately…grams per piece of chunky and nuttiness. It is priced at RM45.00 per 100 pieces and the price is halved should you wish to order for 50 pieces.

Tuesday, 28 May 2013

Brother's Engagement Cake - Did not turned out as planned but enough to fulfill a "Hantaran".

Dated May 26th, 2013, my only older brother, Ishak were engaged to Siti Haida. The engagement ceremony took place at Haida's place in Hulu Langat, Selangor and it went smoothly without any problems arose. The only thing we encountered was the fact that we parked our cars at the wrong flat...lol...Ishak was the one who lured us to park so far from Haida's place...hahahaha...but it was fine and everybody was taking it as a joke...
Standing tall against the rest of the Engagement Gifts.
The Engagement Gifts from the Ishak were 7 items in total consisting of the Engagement Cake, Engagement Ring, Bunga Rampai (Potpourri - Screwpine and Jasmine), Sirih Junjung (Floral arrangement of Betel leaves, Gambier, Areca, and Lime Stone Paste), Assorted Fruits, Bride Clothes, and Chocolate Candy with edible images of Ishak and Haida. There was another Ring with Tepak Sirih as what the Malays said "Cincin Merisik". I volunteered to be in charge of the decoration design of the gifts and there was help from our the aunties also. The overall color pallet was Pink and Off-white and I decided to make it simple but sophisticated with Peony Sprays in corresponding colors.
Snap some before it's too late...hahahaha
Of all the gifts for Haida, the engagement cake was the one I was most critical about. According to plan, it was supposed to be shaped in a birdcage replica. However, due to the time constraints and other work to be done, the cake ended up with just a 6" tall round Chocolae Moist Cake. The design was just simple with Fondant Icing, Royal Icing detailing, and Sugar Flowers Spray as Cake Topper.
It is much easier to create finer detailing and handle Modeling paste than with Pastillage.
I've made the Sugar Flowers a week earlier as I was trying out a new recipe which called Modelling Paste. Modeling paste can be said to perform the same purpose as Gum Paste and Pastillage. While Gum paste uses edible gum in the recipe and Pastillage uses gelatin (and sometimes egg whites), Modeling paste uses a powder called CMC (Carboxymethyl Cellulose). This cellulose is derived from plants and in food science it is used as stabilizer or viscosity modifier. I have to say that it helped me a lot in defining detail work in making sugar flowers as it is really pliable almost like a rubber. In comparison to Pastillage as I have always opted, Modeling paste is much easier to handle and less likely to break into pieces. However, owning to the fact that Malaysia is a Tropical Climate Land, the humidity prolonged the drying process.

Filigree in teardrops detailing. Floral Vines twirls down the cake.
The Flowers Spray was actually inspired by Alan Dunn's work in his book; Tropical and Exotic Flowers for Cakes. I took the inspirational wire work as floral vines twirling across the bouquet and down the height of the cake. There were Gradient Pink Roses, Gradient Yellow Roses, Hydrangeas and filler flowers in the spray.
Floral Vines using wires and floristry tape.
Closeup shot for the Gradient Pink Rose.
Roses, Hydrangeas and filler flowers.
The body of the cake design was the most depressing part. I was literally iced the cake with fondant 4 times and I still can't get it smooth on its surface (Owh~ I should be ashamed). But it could be due to the hot weather and also I was so stressed out trying to squeeze in everything in limited time frame. Nevertheless, as a Pastry Cook, I should be able to improvise to overcome difficulties shouldn't I? It's all about tips and tricks or as I've learned in my classes; Tricks of the Trade. After all, desperate time calls for desperate measures right?. Royal icing used to manifest intricate filigree designs but with a twist of using continuous little teardrop shapes. Visually, this helped in "correcting" the unevenness of the fondant surface. I was happy with the result then, Alhamdulillah...
In its box for transportation.
A little tip from me for all of you who like baking and pastry work, always be confident to your products and it will turn out good. If it's not, then improvise in the next step. you should never throw your products just because it didn't turned out the way you like it (unless it turned out overcooked Lol!...). Remember, the good thing about cooking always happened by accidents like fungi-leavened breads. Any faults you made in the process may possibly means new discovery that could be acknowledged.

Tuesday, 14 May 2013

Lemon Poppy Seed Cake – Little Random Excitements Through Scrumptious Decadent

 Despite the sharp sour taste of lemon, this lemon poppy seed cake brings out the mellower side of lemon. Teamed up with Blue Poppy Seed, this cake can never go wrong.
Lemon poppy seed cake also baked in different forms. You may find it baked in Bundt cake pan, loaf pan, cupcakes and also the regular cake pans. Either way, the taste should be the main appeal and the blue poppy seed makes the cake even more interesting. Not just to the eye appeal, but also the excitement in every bite. Blue poppy seed gives random little crunch as you munch the cake. I personally love the overall taste of creamy and moist with little crunchy bits. L.O.V.E.Dot.Com!
The recipe I own and cater for clients is a rather creamier tasting than the average true-lemon tasting cake. It is a little crumbly in texture, but the moistness of the cake overcomes the crumbliness mess just fine. Also, I changed the recipe to be a little less sweet since overly sweet cake can mask the creaminess and the lemony taste.

As far as the frosting goes, I believe this cake has always been served with cream cheese frosting or poured with lemon flavored flat icing. Flat icing is a type of sugar icing similar to royal icing. Recipe can range from just as simple as icing sugar and water, to ones with additional flavoring and coloring. Some also glazed with lemon flavored syrup that I think can be a little too much for my liking and for clients with sugar-conscious diet.
Lemon poppy seed cake has been baked and served through the years and believed to be originated from the Britain. Then, it was a serving for the breakfast but now, we can just have it anytime. Some people also said that this is a variation of the traditional pound cake or butter cake. I’d say, with vast range of ingredients nowadays, lemon poppy seed cake has been taken to another level than just the ordinary pound cake variants.