Wednesday, 10 December 2014

Cakes I Made Since Moving to Bangkok

This is my first fondant cake made since I moved to Bangkok. I am still undecided on whether I should continue the Pink Ellies business here but I do miss my old hectic days of trying to meet a cake dateline. Am still getting used to the kitchen here but it definitely can't compare to the beautiful kitchen my husband gave me at my house in Malaysia. I do miss the space and size complete with the amenities of my kitchen back home. My kitchen here is not really equipped for cake modelling or decorating. Despite having to adjust to my new surroundings and situation, I still managed to make this cake for a friend in celebration of his 34th birthday. Not one of my best efforts but it will have to do for the occasion. The cake is chocolate with peanut buttercream filling coated with dark Belgian chocolate ganache.
The cake coated with chocolate ganache and ready to be covered

I chose a very light blue for the base colour

The present box is stencilled with a vine motif and I've added a lily design on the box

The cake all complete with platinum ribbon made of fondant
The next cake is my first cake order since I moved to Bangkok last August. This order was by Didi, who works for the Malaysian Embassy in Bangkok. Her daughter, Nadine turned 3 last October and Nadine wanted a princess cake in pink! Didi also wanted a buttercream cake. Since I wasn't able to attend Nadine's birthday party, I bought the Barbie princess doll as a birthday gift and made her skirt with rich chocolate cake decorated with swirls of sinful vanilla buttercream. I then airbrushed the icing in gradual pink to create an ombre effect. All in all, I was quite pleased with how the cake turned out. Didi and Nadine loved the cake!
Princess Barbie in pink

I made little rosette swirls as part of the princess' skirt and added little fondant flowers in white to enhance the 3D effect

The bottom of the skirt is made with gum paste to have the petticoat effect

The skirt is then airbrushed to create the different shades of pink or the "ombre' effect
The next cake was ordered by my neighbour, Niqman  as a surprise for his wife's birthday. He wanted a Chanel handbag in blue. He actually forwarded the handbag photo to me but somehow or rather I couldn't find the actual colour from the web. So, I decided to follow this colour, which was one of the designs on the web. The cake eventually became a gift from me and Bahrin as Niqman and Eliza have been one of our dearest friends since we moved to Bangkok. The cake was a rich chocolate cake with a tinge of coffee and the cake was covered in rich coffee laced chocolate ganache. We had a great time celebrating Eliza's birthday last month and I wish her many, many more blessed years to come.
Chanel handbag in electric blue

The back of the bag

A close-up view of the cake with the signature Chanel flower
I added some gold beads to the cake and dusted the base with a shimmery pearl dust
I also made another cake in October 2014 for my daughter, Hannah's 10th birthday. I have decided to write a separate post on the treats I did for Hannah and her classmates. Until then, thanks for reading my post!

Friday, 29 August 2014

"Cakes I Made Before Bangkok"

I haven't been blogging for the last two months. Truth is, I've been so busy with the preparation of Ramadhan (fasting month for Muslims), the celebration of Eid and preparing for our move to Bangkok, Thailand. Yes, as am blogging this entry, I am no longer in Kuala Lumpur but am now based in Bangkok. Our family have moved to Bangkok earlier this month. Although I look forward to experiencing my new life here, I will surely miss my old life back in Kuala Lumpur.
The first adjustment for me is not being a working mom anymore. Yes, am now a full time mom and wife and I do hope with more time in my hands, I can pursue my love of cake making in this lovely Land of Smiles. I did however, make two cakes before I left.
The first one was for my son, Alex's or Haziq's 13th birthday celebration. I couldn't decide what cake to make for him as it was supposed to be a surprise. In the end, I decided to make a replica of him lazing around in his room.
Alex and his mobile phone lazing on a bed

Side view of Alex in his jeans

My dad says the sugar figure is a replica of my son

Aerial view of the cake

The cake was a hit with my family and we organised for him a small tea party and invited only immediate family members. I was happy because I made my son happy. The smile on his face is worth the time spent making this cake.
Happy Belated 13th Birthday, Alex. I hope being thirteen will turn you into a more balanced, matured, intelligent and wonderful young man you already are. I love you to bits and wish you the best experiences in life as you make your journey towards adulthood. I know you will definitely love your new school in Bangkok!
The other cake I did was a dinosaurs themed cake ordered by a family friend, Juwita. Her son, Ridthuan is fascinated by dinosaurs and she had organised a dino themed birthday party. I asked Juwita to pass me Riri's dino toys so that I could replicate them. It was quite a daunting task as dinos are not that easy to make and its very time consuming to make them. I know this as I have made a dino cake before and I spent most of my time on the dinos. With this in mind, I started on the sugar dinos earlier and even though I promised Juwita that I would only make two sugar dinos, I actually managed to pull off three dinos for Riri. An accomplishment for me. Yeay!
Full view of the dinosaurs themed cake for Ridthuan
Side view of the cake

The T-Rex up close all made by sugar and airbrushed to create the colour tones on the T-Rex

I managed to make the T-Rex stand!!! An achievement for me :)
The stegosaurus with the spikes on the body was quite tedious to make but I wanted to replicate the dino as close as I could get the dino toy I had
This dino species is called the triceratops
 Juwita was so thrilled with the cake and so was birthday boy. Her party guests were amazed that the dinosaurs are actually made of sugar! This was what Juwita wrote on my FB page, "This was the best cake ever! Not only it was breathtaking to look at (a lot of Ooh Aaah when we unveiled the cake), it also tasted amazing! Thank you so much! It was riri's dream cake!"
Thanks so much for the wonderful compliment, Juwita. I guess that's all from me for now. I will be updating my blog from Bangkok from now on and hopefully am able to continue my cake making here. Wish me luck, peeps!!
Till the next time,
Elinna Bahrin

Monday, 16 June 2014

"Gift Box"

 A very simple cake I did for my friend, Yan, who wanted a fondant cake for her family's consumption. Yan has been one of my loyal customers right from our Jakarta days. These days, her kids are already big and she doesn't have any more birthday parties. She does however, still orders my vanilla cake from time to time. She is one person who wants fondant on the cake even though there's no special occasion for the cake.
Truth is, Yan loves to eat the fondant part of the cake!! The only one I know so far! Most people I know throw away the fondant part and just eat the actual cake part. In a way, am glad that Yan doesn't waste all the sugar used. That's the most expensive part of the cake actually.
The cake I made for her this time is a mini gift box in fuchsia. I had the sides of the decorated like Moroccan tiles and the top had a grey suggar ribbon with white roses. 

"Drum Snare"

My cousin, Liza, ordered this drum snare cake for her eldest, Faris' 14th birthday last on 17th May 2014. The cake was a replica (sort of replica) of Faris' drum snare. She wanted me to make the cake the same colours as his drum set complete with the brand - DW Drums.
This was actually a last minute order and even though I have slowed down from making cakes, I decided to go ahead and accept this order. I've known Faris since he was a baby and I felt really bad if I couldn't make a birthday cake for him. Mind you, Faris has some very high standards and I had to make sure the snare looked real enough.
This was actually a simple cake and I completed in just a few hours. The only challenge I had with this cake was my airbrush machine. It sort of failed on me. As a result, I had to brush the sides of the cake with edible red lustre dust to create the shiny effect. I guess I was quite happy with how it turned out, but using the airbrush would've have created a nicer effect. 
I also made the drumsticks which was actually 2 chopticks wrapped in gum paste. The gum paste was the coloured with dusting powder to create the wood effect. I loved how the drumsticks turned out! They looked realistic enough to pass as the real thing!
Whole view of the cake
Closer view of the cake
A close-up of the drumsticks

The cake itself was a rich chocolate cake with dark belgium chocolate ganache. Happy Belated Birthday, Faris! Hope you had a great time celebrating...

Friday, 30 May 2014

"Captain America"

A friend of mine, Nurbiha or Nur, as I call her, ordered this Captain America themed cake for her son's 8th birthday last Saturday. I managed to squeeze in this order before I left for my hub's hometown, Batu Pahat over the weekend. The cake was a chocolate cake with Belgian milk chocolate ganache. Since time was not on my side, I only made the base of the cake in Captain America's colours and theme. The figurine, unfortunately was a toy! I usually try to make these figurines with sugar paste but I didn't have the luxury to do so this time. However, I was quite happy with the cake and so was birthday boy, Raimi.

Birthday boy, Raimi at his birthday party!

According to Nur, he was so thrilled with the cake! Thank you for the order, Nur and a happy belated birthday to Raimi!!

"Shimmery Ivory Cupcakes"

I was commissioned by Raja Jesrina Tan Sri Raja Arshad or fondly called Jess to make another order of cupcakes. This time its for her Wedding Party, which was held on 19th April 2014 at the Shang-ri La. The concept of the wedding party is elegant, luxurious & ethereal. The colour she wanted was a combination of white and light ivory. The flowers were fantasy flowers and filled with sugar pearl dragees in the centre. I had the flowers and cupcake base airbrushed a pearl sheen so in order to create the shimmery effect. The lace cupcake wrappers were also custom made in light ivory and ordered from overseas. The cupcake itself is lemon poppy flavoured with vanilla frosting.
The ivory base of the cupcakes were airbrushed a pearl shimmer as Jess wanted the shimmer and lustre effect
The cupcakes with the fantasy flowers in ivory and pearl dragees
The wedding cupcake up close. Looks ethereal and classy and just the way Jess wants them to be!
I had these flowers airbrushed too
I had the cupcake lace wrappers custom made in ivory to match the theme of the wedding party
Congratulations again Jess on your marriage!! Thanks for the 2 big orders for this year. I guess with these two big orders, I am sort of done on big orders for the time being. I will see how the future pans out for me and then decide if I should really continue. For now, I will only make special request cakes and on a smaller scale as my hands are still not a 100% healed!

"Pizza Crazy Kids"

My kids are absolutely crazy about pizzas. They can eat pizza every day and not get bored of them, I tell ya'! I decided to make my own pizza from scratch, which I haven't done in a long time. I usually use the pre-made pizza base bought at my bakery supply store, which is not too bad. However, I wanted a pizza base like the Italian pizza, not too thick and crispy.
Basically, I used Annabel Karmel's really simple pizza dough recipe from her book, Mommy and Me Cookbook :-
1 1/2 tsp dried yeast
1 tsp sugar, 2 tbsp olive oil, plus extra for oiling
1 cup warm water
21/4 cups bread flour, plus extra for sprinkling,
A pinch of salt

This is how you make it:

1. Mix the yeast with 3 tbsp water. Set this aside for 10 minutes or until it is frothy.
2. Sift the flour and add the sugar, salt and pepper. Then make a well in the center.
3. Pour the yeast, water and oil into the well. Use your hands to mix everything together.
4. Sprinkle the flour over a clean work surface. Then knead the dough for 8 minutes, until it is smooth and elastic.
5. Oil a large bowl, put in the dough, and cover with plastic wrap. Leave in a warm place until the dough has doubled in size.
6. Is it ready? Poke holes in the dough. If the holes stay, it's ready.
7. Knead the dough again. Then cut it into four equal pieces. Roll each piece into a 7 inch circle and place on a baking sheet.
8. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Spread sauce and place toppings on pizza. Bake for 13 minutes.
My dough
It has risen and doubled in size
My homemade tomato sauce, made with garlic, tomatoes, stewed tomatoes and basil

My homemade pizza base brushed with olive oil, pardon the shape! Its not a perfect round shape
Margherita pizza for my son ready for the oven

We were too excited when the pizza was out of the oven, that I totally forgot to capture a photo of the cooked pizza. It was good and I have been making these pizzas for my kidsa few times already! I will never buy the pre-made base again after this. The base is so easy to make!!
Do try this recipe! Its really fun to make with your kids in the kitchen!

Friday, 25 April 2014

"White Roses"

These cupcakes order was commissioned by Raja Jesrina, who recently tied the knot on 16th April 2014. She had a specific idea on what she wanted for her akad nikah (Muslim marriage solemnisation ceremony) gift box. Her ideas were of course great but I realised that it was quite a lot of hardwork and I needed to start early so that I don't get too stressed at the last minute. 
To date, this order is one of my biggest projects this year. Although there were only 150 pcs  of cupcake gift boxes to make, each box of cupcake is very tedious work. I started off this project by sourcing all the materials needed from different suppliers. There were many materials needed for each box - the clear PVC box, the lace cupcake wrapper, pearl beads in 2 sizes, ribbon, name tags and so on. Researching and compiling the prices are very important as Jess has set her budget and I must try to adhere to her budget.
Lace cupcake wrappers

The first thing I did was to order these lace cupcake wrappers as I wanted the cupcakes to look classy and elegant. Since the custom order takes about 3 weeks, I had these ordered in early March as I didn't want to take any chances on the wrappers not arriving on time.

The clear PVC gift boxes

I had the clear PVC boxes ready with the lace wrappers and pearl beads prior to inserting the cupcakes into the boxes. Each of the box needed to have the same amount of pearl beads. So, I had the beads weighed before putting them into the boxes. I actually stuck the lace wrapper to the box first before putting in the beads.
The name tags for the gift box

Jess had given me the pdf file format for her monogram and she wanted the tags to be printed on pearl white cards with the fonts in silver hot stamping. I managed to get my trusted company printer to get these cards printed for me at a very good price. However, Jess was not too happy with the size and wanted them smaller. So, I had them modified to the smaller size and punched a hole at the side instead of in the middle.
The organza ribbons were cut in advance prior to making the cupcakes. Oh, and I also had to handpaint each of the roses with silver accents as Jess doesn't want them to be too white.
Hand painting the roses

The roses were airbrushed in pearl white and I also hand painted them with silver edible paint. This process took me 4 days to complete as I only had the nights to start my work! If you've read my earlier entries, you would also know that I recently (February) had a carpal tunnel release surgery on my right hand, thus my painting pace was a bit slower then before. I also had these precious gumpaste roses handmade in the Philippines and they were flown into KL by my husband's colleagues, who happened to have a meeting in KL around the same time. Thank goodness for me on the timing! At any other time, I would probably make my own roses, but my hands are just not at their optimum best at the moment. 
This is how the gift box looks like up close

The cupcakes had two flavours, vanilla bean and orange spice. The baking process and getting the cupcakes assembled was quite easy, it was putting them all together that took a long time! I was so exhausted by the time I was done but at the same time I was very satisfied with what I have produced.
The cupcake in the box without the final touches

The cupcake gift box with the silver organza ribbon and name tag

Aerial view with the name tag

The cupcakes ready to be collected
All in all, I am so glad that I managed to complete the above order with only asisstance from my maid (who happened to have a very bad tooth ache at that time!). Congratulations again to Jess and I hope she was happy with the cupcake gift boxes.
Thank you again for the order, Jess!!