Wednesday, March 30, 2011


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Monday, March 28, 2011

Star Wars

I just realized that I missed out a post. These are the Star Wars cuppies which I made a while back. A friend of mine requested them for her brother-in-law's birthday. They are yummy orange cupcakes topped with bittersweet chocolate ganache swirls.

My friend came over to help with the cuppies. She made the Darth Vader and R2D2 toppers, as well as some of the light sabers. It's the first time she's tried her hand at fondant modelling and she's a natural I must say. Look at all the detail...

For Darth Vader and R2D2, I made some plastic templates first, using plastic transparency sheets. I then used the templates as a guide to cut out the shapes, and then the other fondant details were added on.

Princess Leia and the Ewoks were cut using small circle cutters. I love Leia's hair! :) I'm not too happy with the Ewoks though.

Anyway, I hope Jedi Jason enjoyed his birthday cuppies!


So a friend ordered some cupcakes which she needed for work. They were simple apple green and orange cupcakes with the letters "B" and "E" on them. She also wanted them to be packed in boxes of twos to be given out.

After a few mishaps with fondant, namely fondant melting and slipping off the Barney cake, and also fondant melting and dripping off the safari cupcakes(!!), I decided to try a different brand of fondant.

I have tried Snow Ice fondant before, and I find it awfully tacky and though it's very elastic and easy to work with, I doesn't dry well. Or rather, it doesn't dry at all!!! So I crossed that out from my list a long time ago. It is a Malaysian product. I also found mold growing on the fondant in a couple of packets I bought, so I really doubt the quality of this product.

So far, I've mostly been using Bakels fondant. It's made in New Zealand and is really soft. It is therefore harder to work with. It can become very soft in our climate and stretches and tears easily. I would not recommend this to a beginner, but I prefer it's taste and it dries up nicely. However, the mishaps I mentioned before were all with Bakels fondant. I think it's too soft for our climate and though it can produce great results, the finished product is very unstable in our climate. I even tried making flowers with it, and they dried out really nice at first, but wilted in the end.

This latest fondant which I used is Mauri fondant. It is also a Malaysian product and comes in huge tubs of 7kgs. It is very tough and elastic, much like cold chewing gum! I think I will need to develop biceps to be able to work this dough effortlessly! It was very, very hard to knead, but is very stable. I haven't had much experience with it yet, but it looks like it can stand our climate much better than the Bakels fondant. I shall try making gumpaste models with this Mauri fondant and see how it dries up. I hope I will be able to make flowers with it too!

One thing though, the taste of it is not as good as Bakels, but I figure stability is more important, since most people peel off the fondant anyway!! What about you? Do you eat your fondant?

Another fondant which I recently discovered was available here is Satin Ice fondant. I have heard that this fondant is delicious and is what most professionals overseas use. It is also the most expensive, since the ones I found here are small tubs.

I realize though that what works for professionals in other countries does not necessarily work for us here. So right now, I will use Mauri fondant for the mean time and will try Satin Ice soon.

I still have more experimenting to go before I can decide on which fondant to stick with...

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Princess Aurora

Last week, I got my biggest order ever. It was for a small Princess Aurora cake and 9 dozen cupcakes, which makes 108 altogether!

I was worried I could not handle the workload, but my client had requested for very simple designs for the cupcakes, so I figured it would most probably be doable... though I would definitely be losing some sleep over it!! :)

So anyway, her little daughter was turning 6 and she was of course, a princess fan. Her favourite was Princess Aurora from Disney's Sleeping Beauty. So her mum requested for Aurora on a 6" round cake in light pink and purple colours. The cupcakes were to be in the same pastel shades.

The cupcakes and cake were both American chocolate. Princess Aurora has an upside down cupcake under her skirt. The rest of her is made from gumpaste.

I like how her hands turned out... chubby and cute.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

In the jungle...

A friend of mine wanted some cupcakes for her son to bring to school for his birthday, and also a cake to celebrate with the family that night.

She chose a safari theme and sent me a few pictures she got off the internet for inspiration. The cupcake design was inspired by Cupcake Pantry's lovely Safari Cupcakes which you can see on Flickr here.

These are the cuppies I made, but unfortunately my friend told me that they melted and began dripping down the sides towards the evening!! *horror* (they were needed for school the next morning)

I'm always worried about stuff like this happening, so I try to hand over my creations as last minute as possible. This is because when they're with me, I make sure the temperature and humidity is just right. I place them directly under an air-conditioner, and the temperature must not be too cold, around 27*C. I also place containers of silica gel near them, so excess moisture is absorbed. And sometimes if it gets too cold or too hot, I have to play it by ear and adjust the temperature. I can't expect my customers to be as obsessive as me, so the best way is to hand over the cakes and cupcakes right before the celebration!

Anyway, it may have been that the weather was way too hot that day, or the fresh cream that I used had too high a water content and turned the fondant soggy??? Once again, I do not really know. Fondant is so temperamental, it's just so frustrating! It can look all nice and matte and stable, then in an instant start sweating and getting gloppy!!

To be on the safe side, I shall just stick to buttercream from now on... The hot and humid weather here really is the worst possible kind for fondant *sigh*

I felt so bad about the cuppies, and I'm glad at least the cake turned out well. Everything was perfect except for a bit of sagging in the fondant covering. But, that was just a minor blemish.

The animals and leaves and the no.3 are made of gumpaste. I used wire to raise the elephant's trunk and also to provide support for the no.3. I am so afraid of my pieces falling apart once it's with the customer, that I will use as much reinforcement as necessary, in the form of wires and bamboo sticks.

Oh yes, I got to try out one of the gadgets I bought from my trip to Singapore recently! I am in love with my new alphabet cutters!!! They have an ejector function, so no more incessant tap, tap, tapping!!!

Fondant cake decorators out there will know exactly what I mean. For most alphabet cutters, you have to cut them and then they will be stuck in the cutter and what you have to do is to tap, tap, tap and tap it again until the small pieces of fondant come loose. Trust me, it's no fun. So anyway, these new cutters have an ejector  piece at the back, and all you have to do is press it and viola, the pieces come out so easily!  

*happy happy*

 All packed and ready to go!

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Keroppi cupcakes

I made some cupcakes and cake balls for our church sale. I decided to do cake balls because I had tonnes of leftover cake scraps in the freezer and cake balls are a great and yummy way to use them up!

All you have to do is mix your cake scraps with leftover frosting and mash them all up to form a 'dough' which you roll into balls and coat with sprinkles or melted chocolate or candy coating or even cocoa powder or icing sugar. I made rum balls before using cake scraps and melted butter instead,  here and they were sinfully delicious!

You can make them and just place them on small paper cups, or you could push lollipop sticks into them, thus turning them into cake pops! Cake pops are all the rage now, ever since they were made popular by the ever creative Bakerella!

Anyway the ones I made for the church sale were kid-friendly and did not contain alcohol. They were chocolate and strawberry flavoured and rolled in chocolate rice and colourful sprinkles respectively.

For the cupcakes, I was inspired by this picture I took off the internet, of candies in Keroppi tins.

I made chocolate cupcakes and topped them with discs of fondant in green, pink and blue. For the eyes, I cut small circles of white fondant and their mouths were made of thinly rolled strips of black fondant. I used even smaller circles of black and pink fondant for the cheeks and pupils.

The design was simple yet effective. Just the way I like it!

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Big Purple Dinosaur

I knew I would be doing this guy sooner or later! :)

A good friend of mine wanted a Barney cake, any Barney cake, as long as it had Barney on it, for her adorable little boy who was turning 2 and obviously a Barney fan!

So I couldn't wait to try out another Debbie Brown design. This time it was a carved Barney cake with three mini 'gift' cakes.

I started out with two 8" square American chocolate cakes and cut out the gifts and Barney's body. I then covered them in fondant. Barney's arms, feet and head as well as the gift bows are wholly gumpaste.

Everything turned out pretty good initially. Then, one arm which was supposed to be held up collapsed, so I just stuck both arms to his sides instead. Then I think the weight of the arms was too much for the purple fondant covering that it began to sag!!! *horror!!*

It was also a very wet and rainy day, so the gumpaste gift bows began softening and losing their shape as well! Barney ended up looking like a middle-aged man with a saggy beer gut!! Also, his arms were lengthening and reaching his legs!! I put the air-cond on and prayed really hard then! I felt so bad to hand over a saggy Barney to the little birthday boy!!

I was stressed out the whole day, hoping that Barney's skin wouldn't fall apart before the birthday boy cut the cake! Thank goodness my friend reported that there was no further damage! I still feel so bad though. I am a bit of a perfectionist and I want my 'customers' to have nothing less than perfection. I don't know what exactly went wrong, it's most likely the weather, but I will have to try this again until I get it right!

I do love his eyes though...

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Valentine's day 2011

So I got three orders for Valentine's Day; two from paying customers, and another from my own little brother in Singapore who wanted to give his girlfriend, who was in town, something special.

One customer just wanted the forever Friends bears without the cake, as a present for her Hubby. So I did the figurines and placed them on a white square plate instead.

Another customer made a request for Valentine's day cuppies. It was a last minute order, so these were done in a bit of a rush. They turned out quite nice though, if I should say so myself! :)

As for Little Brother, he was more specific and sent me a diagram of what he wanted.

It was a cake with a cat and duck on it and a single stalk of rose between them... like so:

Aren't they cute??

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