Sunday, October 25, 2009

The revived Cupcake Culture

I know I know... the blog's been dead for a good 3 months! It's been a pretty tough 3 months for the chief baker. Why? Because during the past months:

1. she got promoted
2. she conducted baking classes for a group of out-of-school youths
3. she went through some ups and downs in her personal life
4. she took on some new additional roles that takes away some more of precious personal time

1. Yes, I got promoted at work. And that means more work, and more work, and more work. They say promotion is based on past performance, but more so on future potential for additional tasks. 'Nuff said.

2. Ahem! The chief baker is also now a chief teacher! *grins* how did I become a chief teacher? Ok. it's gonna get messy, so here goes: a church friend whose sister-in-law has an ex-colleague who works at a student care centre for out-of-school youths. She (the ex-colleague) text her (the church friend's sister-in-law) one day, asking her (the church friend's sister-in-law) if she has any contact of someone who can conduct simple baking classes for a group of out-of-school youths to inspire and interest them. So the sister-in-law asked the sister-in-law (my church friend) for a name, and the latter mentioned me!

After some hem and haw and much liason with the ex-colleague, I finally took on this challenge. I've never had contacts with out-of-school youths, so it was a jittery 1st lesson. To my surprise, this group of 9 youths were so well behaved. Though they may come from complicated family backgrounds, they were such nice people to teach. To see their face light up at a small encouragement just makes my day.

You see, many have told them that they cannot make it in life after dropping out of school, and I believe there are umpteen times these words have hurt them to the extent that they too may think likewise of themselves, causing them to be dejected towards life. But through the 2 lessons I had with them, I see potential chief bakers, wonderful caretakers and exceptional public relations executives! My parting words to them is that though they may not be good in their studies, they may have other skills that they can explore. I also made a point that I hope they can understand, and that is they are termed as out-of-school youths because they can't study while scholars are termed as such because they excel in their studies. However, if they can look at themselves from another point of view, they can be chief bakers while the scholars may be helpless-in-the-kitchens! It's just looking at things from a different perspective.

The baking classes are going to be a quarterly affair with the student care centre, and I'm looking forward to them!

3. *Private & confidential* If I tell you, I will have to kill you.. *nah, just joking*

4. as above in point 3

Now that you know what's been happening in my life, don't you think I should be forgiven for not posting? :P

Despite the schedule I have, I managed to squeeze in some orders:

Ordered by mummy for her girls
100 chocolatey chocolate mini-me's

The same mummy who ordered the above.
Her girls loved the cupcakes so much they requested
mummy to order again in the same week.

Some experiments I made.
I call this sloppy chocolate tower.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

For a colleague's birthday

This cake was made for a colleague's birthday on 24th June. She was the supervisor of a once wide-eyed girl who stepped into the real world 8 years ago. This wide-eyed girl is none other than the chief baker. I am ever grateful to this colleague who taught me with patience. I must say it must have been really daunting, and I finally have a taste of what she went through now that it's my turn to nurture new colleagues.

To YL, cheers to more birthdays to come!

Oreo cheesecake with chocolate swirls

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Season of cheesecakes

The chief baker has been on a quest to find the best tasting cheesecake, whether chilled or baked.

This is a blackcurrent no-bake cheesecake that was made for a small girly get-together. Not the perfect tasting cheesecake I must say, but definitely one of the best looking! Aptly suitable for a girls' gathering, don't you agree?

Monday, June 15, 2009

Cheesy Cheesecake, anyone?

The youths came for an afternoon of fun and fellowship today, but work beckons me and I wasn't able to take the day off to join them. Nonetheless, a little dessert would make up for my absence! I made a chilled oreo cheesecake, and a futile attempt at some artistic squiggles of chocolate. Shots courtesy of our dear mister, who can be quite good at photography, considering that he's just an amateur.

All was gone, save for 1 slice that mister kept for the missus as dessert after dinner. In my opinion, this cheesecake is way too rich! A small slice is heaven, but too much of it would definitely be overly sinful!

My favourite shot! Taken when the cake's still in the fridge.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

For mummy's birthday!

Mum's birthday was on 3rd of June, and though I'm all passionate about baking, it has never struck me to bake a decent birthday cake for any family member's birthday. So this year, sis and I conspired to give mum a surprise that will shock the pants off her! *giggles*

I made a chocolate banana mousse cake, as mum never really liked cakes since her heydays but has a certain attraction/fascination for mousse cakes. So off we went from a primary school gathering to her home, and secretly smuggled the cake into the already crammed fridge of hers.

After dinner, we brought the cake out and sang her an out-of-tune-but-still-audibly-palatable birthday song! She didn't really seemed surprised, as mum always has a knack of guessing what her girls were up to.. needless to say, all pants were intact while the family polished off the whole cake..

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Can't wait to blog about!

It's something in the mailbox that the chief baker has been eagerly waiting for, with no clue as to what's to be expected. And the sender is a cousin-in-law (chief baker's hubby's maternal cousin) who shares the same interest in baking and is exceptionally talented in her creations! At every family gathering, be it birthday celebrations or special occasions, this cousin never fails to whip up the birthday cake/ dessert-of-the-day, and there is never a time where the dessert is repeated! I've always looked forward to savouring the cake, and aspire that one day I can make cakes as good!

So what came in the mailbox, you asked? A cupcake wristlet in the chief baker's favourite colour!

And 3 different cupcake recipes! Here comes more experiments with new cupcake flavours!

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Resurrection Sunday cupcakes

Mummy Landy organised an egg hunt on Resurrection Sunday for her kids and friends. And what better way to celebrate a successful egg hunt than with cupcakes!

16 regular chocolatey and 30 mini-me's (not pictured)

On the other hand, the chief baker baked cheese brownies for her church's sunday school kids party. (I have no idea how best to take a picture of this brownie except from the top, and it looks awful! The brownies taste great though..)

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Homemade kaya

New experiment with the breadmaker! The breadmaker comes with a jam making function, but instead of making jam, I made kaya, a custard-like spread made of coconut milk, eggs, sugar and pandan leaves. Making kaya became so easy peasy, just throw everything in and set to jam function, and voila! Homemade kaya in an hour's time! This can also be made bain-marie style, but that would take a good 4 hours! The good thing about homemade spreads for bread? I get to control what and how much goes into the stuff.

I did a taste test, and the light hint of coconut milk and aromatic fragrance of pandan leaves left me feeling like I just tasted a little of heaven! Needless to say, the bread below is homemade too.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

The chief baker has a new toy!

Yes! It's a breadmaker! Been thinking of getting one since our man-of-the-house loves eating bread. And this is my 1st loaf of bread made. The crust is way too hard for a normal loaf of bread, but I can just imagine this texture with some nuts and fruit! Not too bad for a 1st timer, and crust aside, the insides are really soft... Here comes more experiments with different recipes!

Our 4th wedding anniversary

It feels like time has been passing real fast this 1 year. It seems like not too long ago, I was blogging about how we spent our 3rd wedding anniversary, now we're into our 4th year of marriage! What did we do this year?

Because the chief baker was busy studying for her exam, There was no big hoohaa on the actual day. We just had a simple celebration with strawberries and wine. Oh! and a little choc cake too (not in time to take pictures cos the chief baker wolved it down...)

The actual celebration came after her exam. And chief baker was kept in suspense all throughout her revision, as the mister said, "Take 2 days leave. We're going somewhere to celebrate."

So the missus asked. "Where to?" And all the man of the house said was, "Secret. Just pack some clothes and bring your passport on that day."

Boy was the chief baker kept in suspense! Despite umpteen efforts to bribe/trick/coerce the mister for a small clue, he sure was tight-lipped about it...

It turned out that we were not going overseas at all! Instead, mister booked a 1 night stay in Ritz Carlton Hotel, a renowned hotel with world class service.

View of the bathroom

The room proper

View from the room

After a quick orientation of the room, we had some afternoon tea

And then the doorbell rang. We were pleasantly surprised that the staff sent up a complimentary cake. We only briefly mentioned to the reception staff that we were here to celebrate our anniversary and they took note of such minute details. It's no wonder they're known for their world class service!

Night came after a shopping spree at the nearby shopping centre, and we had some light snacks before heading for bed.

Before we know it, it's morning! And what better way to start the day with a morning devotion and a cuppa...

And that was how we celebrated our 4th year of marriage. Thank you to my dear mister, who planned such a wonderful short but well spent 'getaway'!

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Exam's stressing the chief baker out...

Why no posts from the chief baker, you say? Well, she's been pretty up to her neck recently with an exam coming up. Don't ask me why, but the place I work at requires us to take exams every so often. Boy it sure is stressful, considering the fact that I've stopped studying for such a long period of time. You know what they say about breaking the momentum and all..

These were stuff I baked a while ago, but didn't have time to post..

For the end of an internship at Deloitte

For a friend's wedding, I think..
(so much head knowledge that the chief baker has forgotten)


Monday, March 9, 2009

A school project

A friend who's studying in Temasek Polytechnic approached the chief baker, asking for a small favour. She has a project on hand, and her group is required to look for a business owner, interview him/her, and come up with a marketing strategy for the business.

Look at what the group came up with for Cupcake Culture!

Packaging and logo on box
Namecard design

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

über cool!

Meaning of über (Taken from the urban dictionary):
1. pronounced as 'ubber' (correction: pronounced as 'oober', as corrected by a german student. Oops!)
2. german word for "above" or "over" (correct spelling "über")
3. used as a substitute for "really" or "very" etc.

An early valentine's day order! From a regular customer who ordered these for her guy. I was horrified when she requested for guitars and roses. If you don't already know, I'm utterly hopeless with freehand sugar paste modelling! In the end, she was so sweet to suggest that her love is also a bike fanatic. So there goes the chief baker frantically looking for bikes for her cupcakes... With jittery hands and her heart in her mouth, the chief baker decorated the batch of cupcakes, constantly visualising how roses and bikes would go together... The results?? über cool!

20 regular chocolatey chocolate


Ordered by friends for their buddy's hatch day...

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Blog Flood!

It's a day of food, food and more food! The youths in our church came over for a pot blessing last Saturday. What's served on the dining table you asked? Loads!! We've got green curry, pizza, chicken wings, pasta and the chief baker's signature stewed beef and Jamie Oliver style roast chicken. No pics of the food, but hey! Cupcakes were in the making as the girls baked a batch of them and decorated to their heart's content.. Just look at how creative Sus and Cass can be:

These were objects of photography on that day!
My favourite pic of them all...

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Proud to be part of it...

A couple that is so close to my heart decided to spend the rest of their lives together and tied the knot on 10th Jan 2009. No words can express the joy that fills my heart as I see the bride walk down the aisle while the groom sings of his love for her. They say wedding is but for a day, but a marriage is a lifetime. And I can attest to it.

Dear NelGin, as you walk this path together, may you find joy in each other, a confidante in your wife, and a head of the household in your husband...

400 mini-me's for the big day.
Photos courtesy from our photographer friend, Heng Kah! Just look at the outstanding quality of the shots!

Monday, January 5, 2009

The story of 3 girly beans & a day of fun...

It was the Saturday before Children's Day! And 3 girly beans decided to make cupcakes for a children's home! So the 3 met at the chief baker's home for a morning of fun and adventure!

First, they had to make the cupcakes. So the trio huffed and puffed as they whipped and mixed:

The cocoa

The eggs

And not to forget the milk!

And finally the cupcake batter was done! So into the liners went the batter, each a scoop, not too much and not too full:
The chief baker's favourite batter scoop

And then into the oven they all went:

And while the cupcakes doubled in size, the girly beans made the buttercream nice:

"A little of blue", said Suzy Poo. So a little went into the buttercream pool:

"Too little!" said the other, so more went into the butter:

"Nice!" said the third, so that made the colour:

And so it was with the other 2 colours:

With the buttercream ready, the bags were filled:

And so were the sprinklers all ready for use:

"The chocolate curls!" yelled the chief baker. And so they were also put to use:

The cupcakes are ready, and the girls' hands are steady:

So a piping bag each and voila! Wonders were created as each hand rotated:

And out came boxes of cupcakes with love!

And so was the story of 3 girly beans, 1 a chief baker and 2 wannabes!
Aside to Suzy Poo and Claude: Thank you girls for the wonderful time!