Thursday, June 4, 2009

My Baby

It's June 4th today....6 months and 4 days have passed since 2009. My, my time flies! We're gonna countdown to 2010 in no time. There's just so much left to do isn't it? I feel like I have this long list (mental list of course, knowing me) of to-do's but time slips away like water through my fingers. And in times of pressure, I tell myself that after I wrap up with whatever that I'm doing now, I'll take a chill pill and relax, go somewhere quiet for a vacation or just shop till my knees buckle. I suppose that thought is what keeps me going; it helps when you have something to look forward to. Be it admiring the fruits of your labour or spending some quality time with your loved ones. Alas, till that time comes, I am bundled up in my marshmallow jacket in my freezing office, trying to do as much as I can before going home to continue with my baking stuff. So far, it's been pretty crazy (as in good crazy) and I am thankful for it. I have said this many times and I will say it again, I am very lucky to have supportive friends who have been giving me the opportunity to contribute to their special occasion. And with the help of Facebook, I am able to share my passion with fellow cupcake enthusiasts. As I am still building my portfolio, most of my projects are my firsts. Every delivery (what a pun!) is like a baby, lol. (Sleep deprivation is making my write silly things)

And oh, speaking of babies, an old hometown friend has commissioned full moon sets for her 1st born, a cute baby boy by the name of Tristan (don't you just love that name?). Tristan's mummy and I have been firing off emails discussing about the order since he was still comfortably nestled in his mummy's womb. I gotta say, Tristan's mummy is one cool babe. Right after we finalised the quantity and packaging, she handed over the creative power to me. In fact I didn't hear from her until wee Tristan was born. Lol...

Here's a look see at the fullmoon set for Tristan. A total of 90 boxes, with 4 mini cuppies and 2 red eggs each. That translates to 360 cupcakes and 180 hard boiled eggs...*woot*!

the red eggs are optional these days but it's nice to mantain what we can of this lovely tradition (although the REAL traditional way is to dye the eggs with food colouring, not dolling them up in pretty crepe paper..heehee)

the adorable dino tag is made by my bff Sweet, she's into crafts and the likes
I should have taken a pic of the other side of the tag, it read, "Baby Tristan's One Month Old!"

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

My Awesomest Project To Date

Aloha my friends, how was the weekend? I was on a baby making marathon, literally speaking! Lol...Sugarpaste babies, that is. I was busy moulding little babies under blankets, cute blue bibs and green booties. In short, all things ah-dorable for a bab boy :) More of that later yea.

Ok now, back to the topic of this post. Last month, my ex-colleague Nick chatted with me over gmail and he posed a rather serious question. I didn't know if I should say yes or no. Ok it wasn't a marriage proposal...*rolls eyes*...he asked if I was up to making an X-Men themed cupcakes. I've always got a soft spot for old-school comics and to have them on cupcakes are quote Russell Peters; mind blasting! I hesitated. For one, I don't think fondant makes a good base for painting. And there's no erasing once you paint the colours on. What if I screw up? But somehow I did not turn down the challenge, as much as I have no clue on what to do. To make things a little bit easier for me, I committed to a total of 9 cuppies only.

As time is of the essence (the set was meant for a birthday). 3D figure modelling is out of the question. Not to mention how crazy it sounds! 3D Wolverine? I am kidding myself here. After much brainstorming I finally had an inspiration. 2D headshots are do-able....i think.

It took me 3 hours with just ONE topper. I started with the simplest among the bunch, which happened to be Wolverine. The most difficult part was the method of execution. The sugarpaste had to be the right texture; too wet and it tears easily, too dry and it becomes brittle and crumbles like a crispy egg roll. Painting the outlines was another challenge. Steady hands does the trick. And lack of breathing certainly helps :)

All and all, it took me 4 nights to finish this set. I suppose it could be done within a couple of days if I am doing this fulltime. Alas, I am still juggling my day job with this true love of mine. Am not complaining though, I am very grateful to have a permanent income to support what I'm doing. Hey...butter and eggs don't just fall off from the sky do

And now my friends, let's marvel (oh goodness...pardon the pun will at these beauties....

from l-r: Dark Phoenix, Nightcrawler, Colossus, Cyclops, Wolverine & Storm

Monday, May 11, 2009

Pwin-chess and The Little Mutated Blue Cats

Hello! Happy Mother's Day, hope it's not too late :) How did it go? We celebrated mom's birthday and Mother's day the week before, as all of us are in town. Went to a restaurant that is famous for it's yummy food but sad to say while the food still tastes alright, the ambience and quality of service have dropped. Business was doing so well that the owners decided to relocate to a brand new, more spacious building (3 storeys!) that looks splendid from the outside but the interior looked like a big hall with lots of tables and chairs. I think it's effective for a banquet but I find that the place lacks 'emotion'. I like to step into a restaurant that exudes a warm welcoming feeling....well, perhaps that's just me :) After dinner my brother & SIL took my parents to the river cruise. It was lovely! Unfortunately I had to take a rain check as I had cupcake project to work on. It was a pwin-chess theme for Su Yin's niece. A quick pic here, they're good old choc cake with cocoa buttercream;

notice how my figurines are always on the 'healthier' end of the scale? haha...

Ok moving on to my actual post (bet you noticed by now there are no cats whatsoever from the above pic), I was commissioned a Doraemon theme birthday cuppy by an ex-schoolmate, Sally. It's for her little son's birthday. He's only 2! How adorable :) Btw, my friend Nick & I have come to a conclusion that Doraemon must be mutated. Why else does it sound all funny (at least the dubbed Malay version is!) and has a small propeller on it's head? Heehee.....

It was surprisingly rather simple to construct the 3D figurines but it took me quite a while deciding on the shade of blue. You'd think it was trademarked...but no! There were so many variations on the web! I finally decided that I like my little blue cats to be somewhat 'tanned' :)

I did the 3D figurines 'factory assembly' style. It's proven to be more effective and the quality control is better, in terms of size. I managed to get all 6 of them within the same size. And the weather has been sooooooo hot and dry, it was great for working with fondant. All I did was to add some CMC (Tylose or gum tex is also fine) powder and the paste worked like a charm. Fuss free fondant figurines! If only all projects are like this!

As for the 2D ones, the trickiest part is drawing the black lines for the whiskers. My hands were shaking and one poor Doraemon ended up looking constipated. Heehee....ah well, trial and errror...trial and error. As for the rest of the designs, I could only think of rainbows....what else goes with Doraemon?? Other than Dorayaki of course. But I wanted something more cheerful looking...nothing beats rainbow when it comes to cheerful...agree?

As usual after a lengthy blabber, here's a couple of pics for your viewing pleasure :)

the dreamy effect is a result of smudged lens....i was in a hurry, not the best of pictures.

Design flaw - these little buggers really need something stuck up their a****
As you can see, I had to shove them down the buttercream mid way in order to make them stay.
With a little spaghetti strip sticking out of their butts, I could poke it through the cake instead, so better support!

Ok, just to show you the full figurine, they look much cuter with the tummy and little feet...if you could see pass the distracting twisted bra strap of

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Attack of the Boobies....and Bulges...and Buttocks

Hello , it's been a while. Yes. So here's how I'm going to make it up to you. Less words, more pictures.

Guys, please feel free to drool over these juicy jugs and ladies, the 'boys' are reaaalll happy to see ya! (It seems that the T&A & BIP variety is going to haunt me for a

this one's my personal favourite, lace inspired bikini
soooo sexayy!

Mark initially asked for dragons or Ben 10 but I suggested these :)
Thanks for letting me have all the creative power Mark!

look at those......Pamela Anderson would be proud

bulges, bulges everywhere!

is it me or it's getting hot in here?

for the animal in you!

this set is for a birthday girl, Happy Birthday Shikin!

It's great doing these, because I am so used to them already. And the weather have been soooo least in terms of handling fondant. It's been blazing hot so the figurines dried off nicely on their own.

My coming projects won't involve body parts :) I got my 1st corporate order last week! Oh exciting. The toughest part of doing a corporate order is to get the logo and colours right. The toppers are done and I am going to bake and decorate tonight. I really hope the end result will be fantastic. At this point of time, I'm looking at the toppers and double guessing myself.....

Thursday, April 9, 2009

2 Randoms and some Pups

I don't know how to start off this I want to share with you pics of my latest cupcake project but I just can't seem to write properly. The sentences are just not forming in my head, so I think apologies are in order. I am just going to write whatever that comes across my mind and hope that I get to the point.....eventually.

Random lament 1: Just finished watching the latest episodes of Dancing With the Stars. It makes me want to sign up for ballroom dancing right now! Oh to be in the hands of those hunka-hunka pro can twirl and dip me anytime baby! I bet ya those dancers could eat a dozen cupcakes and still maintan those hot bods of theirs. No such luck with yours truly :) Anyways, it's a good thing I'm not able to vote from where I am, I would be absolutely torn. Melissa's such a doll and Tony is a wonderful man. Lil Kim got that bionic butt of hers and Derek is such an awesome choreographer. Shawn & Mark, they're simply too cute.

Random lament 2: Have not been posting recipes for ages! Oh my.....not impressive. The thing is, TW & I have been cooking BUT we've been having the same stuff that's been posted here! Lol.....we're actually simple creatures; a home cooked meal keeps us more than happy and it doesn't matter if it's the same old menu. Ok tell you what, I will experiment on cheese baked rice sometime soon and will post the results here (even if it sucks). Deal?

Ok randomness aside; I made cupcakes. No surprises But this time I ventured out from my comfort zone of sculpting fondant and used piping technique to decorate the cuppies. I prefer fondant actually, because I feel that I have more control of what I'm doing and if I ever screw up, I could just start over with the same lump of fondant and not waste anything. Piping buttercream requires a steady pair of hands and certainty; no double guessing once the cream flows out from the tip or that exquisite rose swirl that you're attempting might just turn into a messy, squishy mush. But heck, I've gotta start sometime.

And what better timing too. I received a birthday order for a girl who loves dogs. At first I thought of sculpting some puppies but the weather's been a b**** lately. Playful puppy might just turn into sick puppy with all the humidity. So I did some research, got myself a book and I was on my way to puppydome. There wasn't much to prepare before hand, unlike fondant which takes up a lot of time sculpting. With this piping technique, all I gotta do is make sure there's an ample amount of buttercream.

It was a pleasant surprise when I found out that piping is a whole lot of fun (major thanks to the instructions from the book). On the downside it can be rather messy and greasy. I have what people call 'hot hands'; the buttercream tend to melt from the warmth of my hands so I had to work quickly. The hot afternoon weather was of no help either. If this ever happens to you, just pop the piping bag into the refrigerator for a couple of minutes. That should do the trick. 

Time for some pictures. Here's my 1st puppy - a west highland terrier!

ears are made of marshmallow, eyes - mini M&M's, nose - chocolate candy, tounge - fondant

And then came some other adorable puppies that I have no idea what breed they are until now. Lol....Here's the cute bunch;

the pug looks kinda off....haha....
but I am in love with the sheepdog :)

And....I couldn't resist;

nom nom nom nom....

You can make them too, yes you can! Here's an online tutorial and video ;) Have fun my friends, I'm sure you're gonna have a blast. Let me know how it turns out? Cheers!

Saturday, March 21, 2009

What Lies Beneath

Remember the blushing bride I told you about in my previous post? She's a petite, gentle and soft spoken lass; wonderful in every sense of the word. Her husband is a very lucky man......or so he thinks! Haha....underneath that demure exterior lies a brilliantly naughty mind! I'll tell you why.....

I'm not sure how or when it started but it's a Chinese custom for girlfriends of the bride, (normally lead by the Maid of Honour or bridesmaids) to set up a series of tasks/door games for the groom and his entourage before they are allowed into the bride's home. The tasks are meant for the groom to prove his worth & love for his soon to be wife. But of course, his buddies are most welcomed to prove their chivalry as well. Some of the common tasks that I've heard of are declaration of love via poem recitals, acts of humiliation (wearing diapers and panties) and downing unpalatable concoctions and gross stuff like bugs (eeek!); but rest assured all are done in good fun...and of course some cash. After all, you gotta pay the 'toll' if you wanna use the highway :)

Now back to the bride's light bulb moment. She asked if it was possible for me to make some '4 seasons' cupcakes as part of the door games. Cupcakes with 4 flavours; sweet, spicy, bitter and sour representing the various stages in life that a couple would go through in life. The cakes should look harmless but what's for the unsuspecting men to find out.

harmless enough eh?
but you know what they say; looks can be deceiving.....

4 seasons cupcakes revealed

I enjoyed making these cuppies so much, there was hardly any guilt! It's pure evil...Muahahahahahahah...

p/s: I'll post up pics of the victims and their ordeal as soon as I can.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

For the Blushing Bride

Time flies. It really does. My hometown friend, Lilian, whom I've known since I was a preteen, got hitched last weekend. It was the most beautiful wedding I've ever had the privilege of attending. More on that in my next post. But for now, I shall write a little bit about her hen night. 

Well, I wasn't there but I was given the task of creating a set of cuppies to spice up the night. The bride to be, maid of honour & I fired off emails to discuss about designs. We all had the same idea; 'NAUGHTY'. But the question was, how naughty is naughty? The bride to be is indeed a blushing one. I sent her some pictures of erm....naked male anatomy and she was close to being horrified. Lol...she was more horrified at the idea of having to gobble it down and knowing her girl friends, they'd probably get her to EAT it. Erm if you know what I mean......

But we still want to maintain that naughty element, so the best way to go about it is to get those bulges & mounds covered up. After all, less is more :D 

After another round of consideration I figured sexy bikini bods is the best way to go about it. And hence.............

the first of the bikini series
(i realised that in real life, the design of this bikini top would lead to a wardrobe

pretty tight eh?

broad shoulders and a six pack to boot...yummyyyyy....

yes, I went a little overboard with the grey speedos

a closer look at my favourites

Now that you've seen em tight buns, killer cleavages and power bulges, let's take a look at the rejected ones. Try not to laugh okayyy...

my very first attempt and I failed miserably,
it looks like a peanut with

and i call this the reality buns, check out the cellulite!

From what I gather, the bride to be and her girlfriends were fascinated with the cuppies and they chowed it down with much gusto, bulge and all. I couldn't be happier :)

Monday, March 2, 2009

Of Trolls and Tank Engines

Here's a story about a pudgy looking fairy mistaken as a troll and Thomas the tank engine and his friends.

It all started about 3 weeks back, when I got a message on Facebook from a lady by the name of Wan, who got my contact from Sling, who was one of the recipients of the Valentine cuppies ordered by Jasmine, an ex-schoolmate of mine. Still with me? Lol...anyways....she asked if I could bake some cuppies for her kids' birthday. I was excited! This order was solely based on word of mouth. This nice & trusting lady hasn't even tasted my cuppies, yet she is putting her faith in me. Oh did my skirt fly or what. And then came the biggest challenge of all; her initial idea was a princess theme for her daughter and Thomas the tank engine for her son. And the wind that blew my skirt ever so fiercely died abruptly. Whoa! But I was determined to take up the challenge and I agreed almost instantly.

And so the exhange of ideas began. At first, I suggested a knight/prince theme for the birthday boy, so that it would compliment the princess theme for the birthday girl. But Wan mentioned that her little boy absolutely adores Thomas; something that I truly understand because my toddler niece loves, loves, LOVES Mickey and Dibo the Gift Dragon. So Thomas it is and that's that.

So now for the birthday girl, (who's a preteen) Wan suggested Hannah Montana, Winx or Totally Spies. All I could think of was edible images of Miley Cyrus. Hmm, that's kinda ok. Then I explored the next theme; Winx, which are fairies. Now this I can work with. I mean I couldn't really construct the characters exactly but I can make some cutesy looking fairies in a garden; a fairy garden theme! I pitched the idea to Wan and she agreed. Now all there's to do is to get my hands dirty :)

I started with the fairies first. Thanks to wonderful people who shared their ideas on Flickr, I had a rough idea how I wanted my fairy to look like. Nothing incredible, but something that's still recognisable and adorably cute. So ladies and gentleman, this is my 1st born :)  

Yea, she's.....pudgy (i know Nick....) Hence, the troll....

 with wings! I still think she's cute.

And this is troll/fairy version 1.1. Much leaner, but still rather 'meaty'.

check out that cute dimple :)

I was quite happy with my fairy, she has wings & a flower like dress. Yeah....she fits the bill. I made another 3 before realising that they were actually melting! The weather was very very humid and my poor fairies didn't stand a chance. I left them to dry on a tray lined wth parchment paper and their bum got stuck, I couldn't remove them without leaving my finger prints behind (ack!) or risking tearing the skirt. There was no way I could have saved them. I had to admit defeat. What a nightmare! Not only that, the toadstools that I made earlier were also unusable, there were about 20 of them. I felt like cr*p. Things were not going my way; I decided to call it a night and start afresh the next day.

Thankfully the next day was a whole lot better. I was on a toadstool marathon followed by fairies. The weather was still pretty humid, so I had to confine the figurines in my bedroom, with windows and door closed and left the fan running the whole time. Such was my predicament....Luckily I managed to finish the fairy garden figurines without too much drama after that. 

But that didn't mean I could breathe easier. Dear Thomas was up next and at that point I started to second guess myself. What on earth did I get myself into? But this was of course, panic talking; given that I only had a couple of days left before the party. My idea was to make a few miniature trains and the rest are just 2D toppers with different facial expressions of the characters. And again, thanks to the world wide web, my task was made easier. The next hurdle was of course, to draw the faces onto the sugar paste. I had a few options; edible marker pen, paint brush or Wilton's ready to use icing tube. Either ways, they're not easy. I tried using the marker pen 1st but it was not practical as the pen tend to sink into the sugar paste, leaving behind unsightly dents. Maybe I applied too much pressure while drawing. So method one was out the door. I hesitated with the 2nd method but I had to try anyway. I was pleasantly surprised when it worked! Of course the first few lines were visibly crooked and they got thicker as I tried to cover the imperfections but I got the hang of it after a while. Method 3 was left unexplored, thank goodness!

Thomas and his expressive friends...I dunno their

and here's Thomas, the simplified version

I felt such a huge relief when figurines for both themes were completed. I was constantly checking if they dried properly and thank goodness they did. I shudder at the thought of the stress I'd have to go through should things go awry.

Everything went well on baking day, or so I thought. There I was getting all my tools ready for decorating when I realised that I didn't have the tip (Wilton's no. 233) for piping grass! Fortunately Ryan (my then colleague and now colleague cum housemate) was out and he was able to get it for me. Phew.....I am happy to report that everything was smooth sailing after that.

I think this post is getting longer and So here are some pics to wrap it up :)

Oh hai!

Wan commented that her little boy loves these Thomas cuppies so much that he kept asking them back from the!

my little fairies

in a fairy garden

I am happy to report that Wan was very happy with the cuppies, 
and that the birthday party was a blast. 
Mission accomplished!

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Carefree Cupcakes

Hello there! Thank you for visiting my blog, if you've been following this little blog of mine, you'd probably notice that there are more posts on cupcakes of late. It's not that I've not been cooking dinner at home but a few cupcakes orders have taken up most of my evenings. And lately, the requests for the designs have been more and more challenging. From dragons to Ben 10 to Totally Spies. Oh my! I am very excited yet the little voice inside of me seem to snigger, "Dragons?! Better not let it turn out to be a flying worm or something!" But those orders are for a much later date, sometime in April. So I'll have time to do my research.

Just a fortnight ago I did a simple and no-frills cupcakes for a couple of hometown friends. One's for Albert & Jacq's lunch party and the other a belated full moon treat for Fabian & Felicia's colleagues. There were no particular theme requested, all Jacq asked was for some flowery designs. So I cut out a few types of flowers & butterflies in soft pastel colours, in an attempt to create a garden like feel. As for Felicia's I decided to go with a soft swirl sprinkled with orange sugar crystals, which would compliment the yellowish tinge of the zesty buttercream (her cake of choice was orange poppyseed).

5 simple designs for Albert & Jacq

i used 2 different tips for the swirl, the one in the middle is Wilton's no. 2D which creates a soft fold swirl and another huge numberless one (kinda like Wilton's 1M), which I got from a local baking store that produces a sharper sundae like swirl

a combo of vanilla & orange poppyseed cakes

Orange poppyseed cake with zesty buttercream for Felicia & Fabian

And since I had extra batter, I decided to bake it in smaller souffle cups.
And since I had extra buttercream, I tried my hands on the rose swirl too.
After a few tries, I almost got it! Yippee!

And those were the last simple and carefree orders I made before the most challenging one came up. I mean, it was really a good experience but the drama that unfolds with it! I shall let you in on that one in my next post. Until then, take care and again, thank you for visiting my blog :)