Tuesday, 17 December 2013

"Colour Me Pink"

An order by my Auntie Lina's friend, Pn Alya for her daughter, Hani's 13th birthday celebration. The request was a simple square 12' x 12' chocolate cake with vanilla buttercream decorated with pink flowers, and 68 red velvet cupcakes with cream cheese frosting and topped with fondant lettering decoration. The letterings made words that are Hani's favourite things, i.e. Minecraft, One Direction, YouTube, Instagram, Facebook, skating, guitar and so on.
Even though it sounded simple enough, making this order was a pretty tall one for me. For one thing, I had no assistant and the other thing was the order was due on a week day. I work full time on a week day. That leaves me only the evenings to make and complete this cake before collection. I actually slept at 3 am on Thursday night and the cake collection was set at 11 am on Friday. One thing I learn while making this order was never bite more than you can chew!!! I was so overwhelmed that I felt like drowning trying to meet the deadline. Fortunately for me, I managed to finish the cake and was quite happy with the results.
The problem with this order was the red velvet cupcakes. The first batch didn't turn out to my standards, so I decided to do a second batch. So, that took time especially when I'm a one woman show for the time being. I still want to attain a certain level of perfection for my cakes. I don't want to use the excuse of no help as the reason why my cake standards have gone down. With this cake, I hope I've managed to achieve the correct standards for my client.

Thank goodness the chocolate cake turned out well and was ready to be frosted. I also wanted the cupcakes to be unique as the design was just letterings. Therefore, I used different letterings and colours to make it look more fun and hip.

Although it was tiring, I actually enjoyed looking at the pink flowers on the cake as I assembled the cake. As for the cupcakes, Hannah gave me a hand and I was glad the time spent with her. So, it all balanced out in the end. I only have another order to go for the year and I will stop making cakes for a while until my maid comes back early February. Its rest time for me!
This is the aerial view of the cake

The pink flowers are so sweet

I used 3 different shades of pink to have more effect on the cake

The cupcakes - Minecraft, One Direction & YouTube

YouTube (cont), Instagram & Facebook
Thanks Auntie Lina for recommending me to your friend. I hoped she and her family enjoyed the cake.

"The Librarian"

I made this cake at the request of my cousin, Anis, who wanted to surprise her mom. Her mom is fondly known to us as Auntie Yan and she is one of my mom's closest sister. I love her just like my mom! So, despite the fact that I'm maidless and have tons of housework to do, I still made time to bake and make this cake for my aunt. It was an honour to have been given this responsibility.
My aunt wrote a boigraphy of my late my grandfather, Dato' Ahmad bin Mohd Yunus, for our family. She wanted to have a book launch commemorating this occassion. She had the biography printed and distributed to all her siblings and she wanted the whole family to be at the event. Anis thought that it was a great idea to have a surprise birthday cake for her as her birthday was the very next day.
My late grandfather's biography. Kudos to my Auntie Yan for a job well done!
The theme of the cake is simple, She wanted to have books as my Auntie Yan was a librarian and spent most of her working life surrounded by books. I thought the idea was brilliant and set out to design the cake. I had envisioned in my mind to have the boigraphy as one of the books. Unfortunately, Anis couldn't get me a good image of the book cover. So, instead I opted for their family photo and made the book look like an album.
The cake was a 2 tiered stacked cakes depicting two books and I made the bottom tier an orange cake and the top tier a chocolate cake. This cake was an interesting cake to make and I'm amazed that I managed to finish the cake on time and without help too! Well, except for the cleaning up part. Hannah did a good job helping me tidy up the kitchen.
The whole view of the cake

The top book/album with the Hazers' family photo

View of the book pages

Side view showing of the books

The biography cover in a frame depicting her achievement
My aunt was really surprised when they took the cake out!! Good job to Anis for this wonderful surprise for her mom! To my Auntie Yan, Happy 61st Birthday and I hope you will have many, many more years filled with love, happiness, prosperity and of course, good health!!

Thursday, 5 December 2013


This is my first cake entry after a month hiatus. Truthfully, I haven't been feeling well and have been having severe pain at my neck & shoulder area. Due to this, I was advised by my orthopedic specialist to undergo at least 12 weeks of physiotherapy. So, I have been going for these physio sessions for the last 1 1/2 months since October. I was also advised by my physiotherapist to take it easy and put a brake on making cakes for at least 4 weeks. Hence, the silence!!
Since I've been feeling a bit better, I decided to make a "hantaran" cake for my good friend, Elona (from my Jakarta days), whose brother got hitched last Saturday, 30th November 2013. Elona is such an easy client as she didn't make any demands for the cake. Her only two requests were to have a lace themed cake and the theme colour must be lilac and cream. The rest are all in my hands.
Oh ya, did I also mention that my maid has left for holidays for 3 months since November 9th. So, I have been maidless for the last month, therefore, no cake orders until my kids are on holidays. My maid is actually my assistant when I am making my cakes. So, with her gone, I'm a one woman show. That's also one of the reasons why I am not really taking orders for the months of November to January 2014.
However, Elona's case is different as I have promised her since last September that I would make her the cake and a promise is a promise! I would not renege on it. Suprisingly, the process was quite smooth sailing and I managed to complete my cake within the time limit and Elo's mom was very happy with the cake. I made a vanilla bean cake with a vanilla bean white chocolate ganche. I was actually quite happy with how the cake turned out.
Lilac lace cake with its embellishments

The top centre of the cake. I added a few pearls and crystal beads

The side of the cake

Aerial view of the cake
Thanks again for the order Elo and thank you for putting your trust on my creativity!! Congratulations to your brother and may they have a wonderful life together!!

I already have a few orders lined-up for December. Wish me luck peeps and I do hope I am able to cope and produce good cakes for my clients!!

Have a great weekend!!!

Elinna Bahrin

Thursday, 7 November 2013

'My Love for Macarons"

After about a year an a half after attending a class, my blog entry -  "In Love with Macarons", on how to make macarons the correct way by Chef David Lee of Epicurean Cuisine & Patisserie, I finally managed to put the task to a test! Let me tell you, my first try at macarons was an epic failure!!! Hahaha... I even laughed when I saw the outcome of my macarons. I knew I had fumbled with the recipe somewhere along the way. I knew the batter was a bit runny and something was just not quite right when I piped the macaron shells. My sixth sense proved that my intuition was right on the money when my macaron shells came out of the oven. For one, the shells expanded while baking and became bigger than I anticipated. Secondly, the macaron shells were really sticking to the baking paper. It should have been able to come out easily. This one didn't even though they shells had feet and all that!! LOL
I then decided, I am going to try again and re-read the recipe properly before I embarked on my second try. This time, my macaron shells turned out quite beautiful and tasted awesome too. The macarons were not too sweet and the texture was amazing! I basically followed the Italian method recipe, whereby the caster sugar needed to be boiled with water until it reaches about 116 C, then poured into the egg whites that have been whipped to soft peaks. I find that using this method gives the macaron a really nice smooth finish. 
The macaron batter ready to be piped

The texture of the batter has to be ribbonlike when held above with a spatula

I separated the batter into 2 colours, pastel yellow & pale brown 

The piped macaron shells must be left outside for a minimum of 30 mins
before baking in the oven

The pale yellow batch
 Oven must be set at 150 C and macaron shells are baked for 15 - 17 mins

Pardon my reflection seen on the glass oven door!! Look how beautiful
they have risen complete with the feet, yeay!!

The macarons ready to be eaten, one with dark Belgian chocolate ganache & the other with peanut butter

I will make the colours darker next round as the colour dramatically
changes to a lighter shade while baking
I just recently made another batch and they turned out great too! I made macarons with a white chocolate & lemon ganache and tasted just as good as the chocolate & peanut butter macarons!
Five Important Tips When Making Macarons :-
1) Egg whites need to be aged at least 5 days, the longer the days, the better
2) Ground almond must be grinded in the food processor before sifting it with the icing sugar
3) Use only a digital scale as measurement must be very accurate
4) Please buy a digital thermometer before even attempting to make the macarons
5) Leave the piped macaroon shells at least 30 mins in a cool room before baking
Thanks again to Chef David Lee for this wonderful macaron recipe!

Wednesday, 6 November 2013

"Homemade Waffles"

I have always wanted to make my own waffles for my kids. So, when I saw the Kenwood waffle maker, I knew I had to get it. I am so glad I did!! The first recipe I used to make the waffles turned out to be not so good. The waffles were a bit soft and didn't have the right kind of texture that I wanted, which was light & crisp!
Not giving up, I searched through the web to look for the best waffle recipe that could produce wonderful light & crisp waffles. Found a few recipes but I tried this recipe by Pamela Anderson of Fine Cooking and her recipe was fantastic. The waffles turned out beautiful and my kids loved them. I've made them a few times already and each time they turned out really great!
The recipe for the waffles by Pamela Anderson is:-
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup cornstrach
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking powder
3/4 cup buttermilk
1/4 cup mik
6 tbs vegetable oil
1 large egg, separated
1 tbs sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
Mix the ingredients as per the photos below
Part A

This is the dry ingredient that is made of flour, cornstrach, salt, baking powder and baking soda
Part B
The wet ingredient made of buttermilk, milk, vegetable oil & egg yolk
Part C
Egg white  and sugar whipped until the peaks are firm and glossy
Then, pour Part B into Part A and whisk until just mixed. Drop the whipped egg white onto the batter (Part A & Part B) in dollops and fold in with a spatula until just incorporated.

Pout the waffle into the waffle maker and cook the batter until waffle is no longer sticking to the pan and the colour is golden. Do not forget to butter the waffle pans before pouring in the waffle batter!

This is my Kenwood waffle maker. I've poured the waffle batter to fit in just nicely around the square shape of the waffle maker

Ta da... my waffles all light & crisp ready to be taken out

My homemade waffles

These waffles are really good eaten hot out of the waffle maker with butter and maple syrup. also good with ice-cream, strawberries and chocolate fudge!!

Have a try and am sure you guys will love it! Thanks again to Pamela Anderson for sharing such a brilliant waffle recipe :)


Wednesday, 30 October 2013

"Its A Girl"

A baby shower cake for mommy to be Dina, who's expecting a baby girl. Ordered by her sister, Jesrina Arshad, the cake is a 2 tiered cake with the theme colours of pink, yellow, white & mint green. The lower tier of the cake is vanilla bean with vanilla frosting and top tier is orange cake with belgian chocolate ganache. The concept is mostly geometric patterns with a sleeping baby girl on the top tier as the main centrepiece of the cake. Also ordered along with this cake, 20 cupcakes decorated with 3D sugarpaste pieces. Cupcakes are  vanilla bean flavoured with vanilla buttercream.
Its A Girl caption at the side of the cake

A pink bow ribbon for the baby girl theme

Look at how angelic the baby girl looks asleep!
The cupcakes I made tie with the main cake in the same theme colours and I did a few 3D sugar pieces such as the baby under the blanket, pink teddy bears, rattle, bibs, daisies and the baby girl wordings. I also tied a ribbon individually on the cupcake casing to create the soft and sweet effect. This was indeed a fun project and I enjoyed making this order very much!
The 20 cupcakes that goes hand-in-hand with the main cake

The details on the cupcakes up-close

Thanks again for the order, Jess and I hope you had a great baby shower last Sunday.

"20th October"

Johanna Arshad threw a surprise birthday party for her mother in-law ("MIL") on 20th October 2013. To celebrate the occassion she wanted her MIL to have a lace cake just like her surprise birthday cake last year. She wanted a lemon cake. The theme of the cake is baby pink and light cream. This cake was relatively easy to make but quite time consuming as I'm a very detailed person. I can't help it but I can't stand imperfections! My husband says I have the OCD disease ("Obssesive Compulsive Disorder")... Hahaha... Which is true in some ways and an be very frustrating for me!
Back to the cake, when I started making this cake, I was already very tired!! I had been sleeping late every night as I was finishing 50 pcs of sugar decorated cookies for Johanna also. The cookies are also part of the birthday celebration. The cookies are door gifts for their guests. Johanna wanted  chocolate flavoured cookies in the shape of a cake with candles. the theme colours of the cookies are pink, blue & green. The cookies had to be individually packed also and tied with ribbons and a thank you tag. So, for me that was quite a task as I was working every day and only managed to start the cookies in the evenings. Very, very tiring and exhausting especially when I'm a perfectionist. I also had the cookies airbrushed to create a lustre effect.  But it was worth it as the cookies really turned out nice. I was very happy with the final product.
Before the beautification with the ribbons!
All ready with ribbons and thank you tags


The cookies also had a lace effect and I combined royal icing and gumpaste for the cookies sugar work. Actually making the cookies were not difficult but it just requires lots of patience as the process takes time from the momemnt you make, bake, decorate and pack the cookies!
After I had the cookies done, I started on my cake, which consist of 3 components; i.e. 1) the sugar frame for the edible image, 2) the sugar flowers; and of course 3) the lace cake itself. The weather was really bad that weekend. Very humid and my sugar frame took a long time to dry and harden. Luckily, I started early on the frame.

The overall view of the Pink Lace cake

The lace with the pink flowers

The edible image of the the grandparents with their grandkids

The lace work I did with royal icing and fondant
In the end though, all turned out well and I was very satisfied with my work!

Monday, 28 October 2013

"Two Birthdays"

On Monday, 14th October 2013, both my other half and daughter celebrated their birthdays together. October is always a very stressful time for me every year as I have to make 2 cakes for Bahrin & Hannah. Usually Hannah also requests that I make cupcakes for her to bring to school. So, this year, I decided to go with the golfing theme for my husband and Monster High theme for Hannah. I came out with two cake versions and included an edible image of them on the cake board. Bahrin's cake was chocolate and Hannah's cake was vanilla & chocolate marble cake.
The process of making these two cakes were not that difficult. The only drawback for me was time. I didn't have enough time as I had to also prepare for the Hari Raya Haji celebration on 15th October. I was hosting lunch for my parents and my brother's family a day after their birthday. So, I was really pressed for time. Fortunately for me, I let my employees leave early on Monday for them to prepare for the Raya celebration and that also gave me time to finish the birthday cakes in time for the dinner celebration that very Monday night!!
The two cakes I made for Bahrin & Hannah... Daddy & his princess...

Golf theme for Bahrin

Monster High theme for Hannah

The edible image of the two of them... I so love this photo... Hannah is a carbon copy of her daddy !!
Happy Belated Birthday to my dearest other half & my sweetie pie, Hannah... May both your life be blessed always and you both bring such joy & happiness into my life! I love you both so,so much!!!
Hannah & her daddy
Family photo