Miniature Poodles

I'm sure Natalie wanted a real dog and mummy said (like I did with my children), "no you're not getting one. You're can get a sugar version from Aunty Deenie...". Lol!!! I like dogs but not enough to scoop it's poo or worry about it's happiness in our little garden. I have enough trouble with the 2(+1) I own now.... BUT! I enjoyed making the two miniature poodles here. The cake's for a little family of 6, so I baked a 7" round chocolate cake. I associate poodles with Paris, so I went back to using the chocolate and pink colour combo. It's always pretty. The 1.3kg cake was simple and to the point for an 8 year old's request for a poodle (or two).

Pocoyo & Friends

2.1kg Chocolate Cake - Pocoyo and friends (3rd take..)
As I put up this post, birthday boy's mum dropped me a line to tell me that the cake didn't "turn up well". I thought Pocoyo and his friends collapsed yesterday en route to the birthday venue (it was pouring and rain is every sugar figurine's worst nightmare) and that would have been devastating to the poor child. But it wasn't. It was the cake itself. It crumbled into pieces when it was cut. I think it's time I talk about cakes instead of their designs.
You see, my cakes are always freshly-baked from scratch. By that, it means the cakes are baked at the earliest, the day before it's due to be picked up. If you're a regular with home-baking, you'll realise that freshly-baked-from-scratch cakes are always moist, soft and light. Pre-mixes result in drier and denser cakes. What I've learnt over the years is that store-bought cakes (as well as a lot of other cake suppliers) bake their cakes between 2 to 3 days earlier. There's a good reason for that. Cake's a whole lot easier to shape, cut and styled after it's been "aged". Plus, they've got a lot of orders to deal with. They need to bake all their cakes by Wednesday, take turns working on your design on Thurday and Friday so you can have your cake on Saturday. Basically, you're getting a couple of days-old cake.
While I don't compromise on the freshness of my cake (that's why I only have time for 1 cake order a day), I do try to improve and educate. I can always bake (and I do have) denser resulting in richer cakes, but that may be too much for our palate (and health) in the long run. Majority of us love soft, light and flavoursome cakes. Cakes you can have more than one helping, right?
Cake-cutting skills are almost non-existent here. Most just butcher the cake using a butter knife! Every household needs a good serrated knife. A bread knife is another good investment. With a sharp serrated knife, in a saw-like motion, gently slice the cake. You'll get a beautifully-cut cake not matter how thin your slice is. A lot of hotels and good restaurants now have a good cake knife for occasions when their guests bring their own cake. Those plastic wannabes you get from bakeries are crap. They're only good for store-bought cakes. I've even used a good short steak knife and it's great! Please don't press the knife down on any cakes the way you would an apple. It just doesn't work on good cakes.

Nevertheless, I hope with this little information, you'll probably be a bit more discerning but do get to enjoy your cakes better.


Baby Dino

Can't believe little Hamzah is 2 already! People's children always seem to grow up faster than your own don't they? Good for me though because I truly enjoy baking cakes to mark milestones. Especially birthdays when I get to see the child's changing interest every year. Little Hamzah loves dinosaurs and I wanted to create something that was more suited to his age. While a busy jurassic scene would be awesome, it may be a bit much for a 2-year old to comprehend or appreciate. So, I decided to feature just one adorable baby dinosaur. Just one look at it and he'll know it's a dinosaur. Nothing beasty nor any showing of fangs, just a surprised little dino caught running off to play hide! This 9" Moist Lemon Cake finished weighing at 2.2kg.


90th Mahjong Birthday

It was mum-in-law's 90th birthday last weekend and we all headed home to Penang for a grand bash. While the "official" birthday cake was well taken care of, we decided to bake her favourite Oriental Sugee Cake to surprise her at home. At 90, mum's still bright with a memory that'll put many half her age to shame. We think it's her weekly mahjong session that keeps her mind alert!