December 31, 2014

New Year's Eve Dinner



New Year's eve  was so much fun than the previous year. My sister and some friends came down to join me in welcoming the New Year. We ditched the traditional midnight feast (media noche) we Filipinos do to accommodate my wish. I had a really long day at work. I only had bits and pieces to eat so I could finish and set up  all desserts for the resort's NY eve gala dinner before I go home. I was famished.

The girls had just got back from the beach. They had late lunch but I needed to eat immediately. Deciding a place to go took us a long time. It's New Year's eve. I wanted to treat myself to something different that night. If only my favorite hang out place was closer. Well, it only takes 15 minute drive to get there but I had no energy left. A friend suggested we could go back to the same Thai restaurant they were at. It's only a few hop away from where I live. Well, I couldn't afford to travel anymore but I was really up for some adventures. We finally agreed to spend the evening at the Thai restaurant where they had lunch earlier.


December 30, 2014

Cinnamon Apple Cheesecake




One of the highlights of the Christmas brunch was this cinnamon-spiced apple cheesecake. It took some time to make. The procedures were long (imagine how tired I got with the tedious task of peeling and slicing the apples!),  but it was well worth the effort. It was delicious. It was a big hit among the over 200 guests who showed up for the event.

December 29, 2014

Christmas Cake



Being in a tropical country at Christmas time means one thing - no white Christmas for me yet again. I miss the wintry feel associated with the holiday season. I long for a Christmas complete with real trees and snow! All these nostalgic Christmas celebrations in China made me decide to make my own winter wonderland on the Christmas cake. It's the closest I could do to get a white Christmas feel in  sunny Thailand.

December 27, 2014

Christmas Yule Log



Desserts for the resort's Christmas brunch was same as last year. I was relieved knowing that I wouldn't go through the same painstaking process when I made the treats for the first time. This cake was a favorite at our Christmas brunch last year so they requested I made two extra logs this time, totaling to 8 logs.

Doing my daily workload and the Christmas treats aint no easy. I could only get everything ready in time for Christmas if I start working on it early.  I made the ganache a couple days early. I baked the chocolate sponge cake a day before Christmas. I spread the ganache, rolled up the logs and iced them the same day. I added the decorations right before serving. And just like last year, this cake was a winner!


December 25, 2014

My Very First Gingerbread House



I was in full holiday baking mode during Christmas. On top of all the holiday treats I made for the resort's Christmas brunch and in-house guests, I also decided to have a go on gingerbread house. It was my first attempt and the result was a resounding success. I plan to do it annually using different decorations and see how my ideas and  decorating skills change through the years. It's gonna be loads of fun and I cant wait til next Christmas comes!

December 24, 2014

Gingerbread Stars



I don't mind going the extra mile . It's Christmas season and I thought of treating the resort's guests to some Christmas spirit with these gingerbread stars.  I was thinking of  a Christmas tree or a gingerbread man but all I could find was a star cutter. I could have ordered the cutters but waiting for them to arrive would set me back. 

These were the trimmings of the gingerbread house. I doubled the recipe in case I made  mistakes but luckily enough I managed to make the gingerbread house with no hassle. I used the remaining dough to make enough treats for our in-house guests. I had spare butter cream after decorating the Christmas cake so I opted to use it instead of royal icing. It was good all the same.

December 19, 2014

This Was So Last Minute




Imagine just having a little more than an hour before you finish for the day. It's quiet. Not a lot of craziness going on so you know you could leave early. You look forward to going home and yet you get a request for a birthday cake the last minute. I wasn't mentally prepared to do the task that day. I knew that if I rush it, I would be able to finish  before  time but being an OC myself, I was unable to resist the urge to make a beautiful creation. I took my time. I visualized the cake and I came up with this design. It's simple but the color combinations were strikingly good!


December 15, 2014

An Afternoon Well Spent


Brownie Cheesecake


My friend and I had a busy late afternoon a couple days before she left for Japan. We had meal together one more time. We went shopping, got our massage  and hit up the cafe she'd been telling me about. We were there for different reasons. For her, she needed to satisfy her sweet tooth. Oh yes, she's addicted to anything sweet.  For me, I was more interested to see the design of the cakes than to taste it. I am new in the baking business so a trip to a bakeshop would  help me come up with fresh  ideas on cake decoration.

December 10, 2014

Light Meal At Coffee Club



I convinced my friend  to get her last Thai massage before flying home. We went to the center to look for a good but cheap place to get a massage. But first we had  to find food before all  the pampering as she hadn't eaten anything. She suggested The Coffee Club. I had just had lunch but I joined her anyway. Had I not gone, I would not have discovered that CC serves quesadilla.

I browsed the menu but nothing seemed interesting. I didnt want to eat a lot because I was saving room for dessert later.It took me a while before I decided to get pasta in cream sauce. I wasn't hungry at all. I just wanted to have something to munch while I wait for her. The waitress took our orders and left.  She hadn't gone long when I spotted the picture of quesadilla on a table menu. I had a quick change of mind, called the waitress again and asked her to change my order to quesadilla. It got me excited.


December 8, 2014

Farewell Dinner at DARA Samui



I'd been going out a lot lately. A friend was returning to her country for good. It would be long before we meet again so I took the last chances I could have to spend time with her. A few days before she left, I decided to use the Dara Samui gift voucher I got at our staff party in November. It's for Thai set menu good for 2 people.  It would be a perfect going-away dinner for someone who loves Thai food. I called the resort to make a reservation. The resort has two restaurants, one along the main road, the other on the beach. I requested for a table on the latter as we wanted to enjoy the night in peace and quiet.

Dinner would be served 7ish I was told. We were both excited that we arrived half an hour early. We were not the first customers to arrive. We saw a couple having drinks when we got there. I presented my dinner voucher to the man in-charge and we were led to our table. It was a few hop away from the beach. We could feel the  breeze and watch the sun set in the horizon. It was a perfect setting.

November 28, 2014

Loy Krathong Celebration 2014

Krathongs

My recent trip to Bangkok to visit my family was so timely. I arrived just in time to see the 'festival of lights' celebration at the school where my sister works.  The festivities include ceremony, games and of course food fair! Faculty, staff, students and their parents wore a Thai traditional costume to mark the occasion. Here are the highlights of this year's Loy Krathong Festival at Niva International School.

November 25, 2014

Chocolate-Coated Macaron Shell



My recent adventures with the macarons has left me with considerable amount of rejects.  I would hate it if they end up in the trash so I kept all. I sort out the acceptable  from the bad ones. The macarons that were pointed and had small cracks and little feet could be used for our nightly turn down service. That would give our  guests something new to enjoy.

For the first batch, I decided to coat the top with melted dark chocolate. Same thing with what I do with profiteroles. When I saw the macarons, I was surprised to see how cute they turned out even without the filling. Not only did  the chocolate conceal the defects, it also added a nice contrast to the flavor. I still have to figure out what to do with the rest. As for the bad macarons, well, they were happily devoured  by my hungry colleagues.

November 22, 2014

Macaron Wedding Favors



Macarons  which are  beautifully presented  in a transparent treat bag,  adorned with ribbon and bows and a cute gift tag can be the perfect wedding party favors. I packed these delicious cookies according to the bride's instructions. There were 29 guests attending.  She specifically asked that I make 29 macarons in mint green and 29 in pink, She wanted one mint green and one pink to be given to  each guests.

Making the cookie may sound as an easy task but I was overwhelmed with the whole process from start to finish. I failed several times before I was able to make decent cookies. First, I tried to bake from scratch. The cookies came out with a cracked top and no feet. Then I tried to use macaron mix. The result was the same. It took me days until I got it right.Well, sort of. The final macarons had very small feet. I couldn't afford to  start all over again as I had a wedding cake to make and my daily work load. The macaron making took me too much time and effort. Up til now, I still couldn't figure out what went wrong. Perhaps the quality of my almond meal was the reason. Or was it because I  over grind it. Another reason could be because I didn't dry them out in the oven? I am not an expert. I believe I will have the answer over time.

November 18, 2014

Last Wedding Cake Of 2014



I'd never expected another wedding to happen when it's almost the end of the year. November is low season. I supposed to take things easy and yet I found myself overwhelmed with the work assigned to me. Besides my daily work load, I was commissioned to make the wedding cake and the party favors which I will talk about in another post. For now, I want to talk about how I pulled this off unbelievably fast and  without much hassle. I guess it's due to the fact that I make this cake so often that I have gotten so familiar with  the methods.

November 15, 2014

My First Attempt At Ruffled Cake





I am not a trained cake decorator. I learn to decorate cakes on my own. I have been doing it occasionally for the past three years now  and I still am learning. I just wish that one day I can decorate cakes like a pro.

You may have noticed that most of my posts  are about  birthday cakes. The wedding season craziness has ended giving me opportunities to squeeze cake making in to my busy schedule.  A few days ago, I got another request for a birthday cake, There's a design which I'd been itching to try and I got the chance  to try it for myself.  The tween's father requested any cake in either  pink, blue or purple. I baked a vanilla chiffon cake and  sliced it in three layers.I layered them with vanilla butter cream icing and crumb coated it before I put it in the fridge to chill. Once chilled, I covered the cake in ruffles!

November 11, 2014

Easy Birthday Cake Design For Kids



Want to make your plain looking chocolate cake more appealing to kids? Easy. Just  add M & Ms to enhance its look. This cake was for a young boy who asked that I make a chocolate cake for his birthday.  Except for the border around the edge and  base and the "Happy Birthday " inscription in which I used vanilla frosting to achieve a nice contrast, the cake was layered and covered with chocolate butter cream frosting . I wanted to make it look more attractive to the birthday boy and his friends and I figured the colorful candies would do the trick. I arranged the candies on top of the white border to conceal it. It looked so much prettier with all the colorful M & Ms. The boy was all smiles when the cake was served.


November 8, 2014

Rosette Cake Decoration



Since the wedding season ended, the request for birthday cakes is staggering. I have been catering for it for the last couple of months.  Thanks to  video tutorials on  youtube, my trusted source of ideas and inspiration, cake decorating becomes fun, easy and satisfying.

The newest decorating technique I have learned recently is this  rosette design. I have not perfected my piping skills even after years of doing it but I managed to pull it off at my first attempt.   I know I still have a lot to learn and I can't wait to try them all.

November 5, 2014

Chocolate And Vanilla Cake



Whenever I am given the liberty to decide on the color and flavor of the cake, I always opt for the chocolate and vanilla combo. It's an easy recipe and doesn't require too much of my time. I also love the contrast between the two.

This vanilla chiffon cake is layered with chocolate butter cream and frosted with vanilla icing. I wanted to top it off with two tone butter cream icing but failed to do so. I nearly got it right, I tell you, but as I was getting to the final stage of frosting,  I smudged the white icing with the brown. I couldn't afford to spend extra time to redo it so I decided to mix the two. It worked pretty well I think. I added a nice contour effect on the cake by running a serrated triangle scraper on the side. The top is decorated using star piping tip. I used a small round piping tip to add a little enhancement at the bottom

November 2, 2014

Meringue Cookie Topped With Sprinkles



As a baker, I am often left with too many egg whites. I don't throw them out. I use them to make treats like these meringue cookies. They're so simple  yet delicious. They are crispy on the outside but chewy and fudgy on the inside just the way I like it.  The few ingredients needed yield a big batch. I can make these often and still  keep my costs down. How good is that?

 I ditched chocolate chips the recipe called for. I wanted them plain and simple. I opted to  garnish the cookies with sprinkles instead. They definitely added a nice touch.


October 29, 2014

A Surprise Birthday Cake



The resort's in-house DJ got a wonderful surprise on his birthday with this beautiful cake. It was a sudden request  from my boss and I was surprised I managed to put it all together on time. Whew! The request was all chocolate cake. I made chocolate chiffon cake  and covered it in classic chocolate butter cream icing.

I thought the addition of white shell border would add a nice finish to the cake. I piped the borders and wrote the inscription using vanilla frosting. You may wonder if both frosting were made separately. No, they were not.  I whipped up vanilla butter cream, set aside a small portion before I added the cocoa powder to make  chocolate frosting. Easier and faster that way than make two separate butter icing. On the side,  I arranged  sliced almonds neatly.

October 26, 2014

Amici On My Birthday




What better way to spend my birthday than having Italian food at the restaurant I have been meaning to try? I got a surprise birthday treat from a friend. She and I went to celebrate at the newest Italian restaurant called Amici located behind Bei Otto German restaurant,  just across from Central Festival Mall in Chaweng. She has been there once before and she highly recommended  the food. Since it's my birthday,  I think it's time I try it for myself.

October 22, 2014

Korean Nami Restaurant




The first time I had Korean dish  was back in college. No, I did not go to Korea for my degree. I had classmates who came all the way from Korea to do their studies in the university I attended. It was them who introduced me to their cuisine. Kamsahamnida guys!

That first encounter with an unfamiliar dish was a unique but odd experience. I'd felt  a burst of different flavors  which I could not analyze. Honestly, it was not a love at first bite. I wanted to appreciate the new flavors I came to know.  I thought if I could  have a little portion every time I go to potlucks with my Korean friends, my taste buds would learn to adjust in no time. So they did . As I grow older  I found myself fascinated with Korean cuisine.  And that was how my love affair with Korean food started.

October 18, 2014

A Cake For A Grand Birthday Celebration



It would only be a few more weeks before the end of the year. Between now and the holiday season, there are still a number of events lined up.  A few days ago, the resort hosted a grand birthday celebration for a man who was turning the big 8-0. Friends and family came for the big event. They were the largest group among all the celebrants we have had. For the occasion, I was commissioned to make a two-tiered chocolate mud cake. The cake was iced with chocolate butter cream in a rustic style and embellished with fresh white roses.


October 14, 2014

Food! Glorious Food!



Attending Le Cordon Blue Culinary School has helped me develop a greater range of taste and gave me a deeper appreciation for European cuisine. I tend to crave for new flavors and texture since I was introduced to such foods. On the resort island where I live and work, the influx of Westerners wanting to settle down or spend their holiday  has lead to a boom in  restaurants offering European dishes.  There are so many choices which makes it difficult to decide where to go and what to try. The only way to do it is try different restaurants one at a time.

So last week, I accepted a friend's invite to join her for late breakfast at a French bakery in Lamai called La Fabrique. Eating breakfast outside sounded fun. It's not how I usually spend my day off but I only get to see her once a week.  I also had not tried their food so why not. I went and had the best breakfast so far since moving to the island. I was more than satisfied :) See the happy face?

October 11, 2014

Soft Muesli Cookie



After years of intense experience, I learned to be spontaneous in baking. It's all good when I have the ingredients on hand. Without them, it's not possible. One time, I just realized it had been a while since I served oatmeal cookie for turn down service. What took me so long to make them again?  As  I was sifting the flour with cinnamon, baking soda and salt,  I remembered I was out of oats. That's it. How could I possibly forget?  I usually keep track of my supplies but somehow my mind was occupied with something else. Oh well, I had already started. I might as well continue. What about oatmeal? Out of nowhere, an idea to use muesli in place of oats struck me. I based the recipe on the same oatmeal cookie I posted in August but tweaked it once more. The result was even better. Soft and chewy muesli cookie.


October 8, 2014

Vegetarian Thali



A perfect day out for me starts with a morning  stroll by the ocean, followed by a massage and ends with a lovely meal which is always the highlight of my day. Two weeks ago, I treated myself again to a hearty lunch. I ditched pasta this time to satisfy my cravings for Indian food. I tried Noori India at Central Festival Mall Food Plaza and it really hit the spot.

Noori offers all my favorite Indian dishes, from chicken tika masala to biryani. I tried their vegetarian set meal called thali and  I was immediately smitten. The spices  were well balanced. The  hotness was tolerable. I've had similar dishes before. They were good but a little too rich for me.  I prefer Noori's as they were not overwhelming at all. I have yet to try other dishes.  Well, that is something I look forward to.



October 4, 2014

Catering For Last-Minute Request




I was trained to work under pressure to meet a deadline at the culinary school. Although it was difficult to keep up in a fast-paced environment, I was able to overcome the hardships through perseverance. At work, my skills are tested  when I get last-minute order for birthday cakes, It is quite a challenge I tell you. Not that I run out of ideas. I have plenty of them. The question is time.  Given the nature of my job, it is not always possible to make what I have pictured in mind in a short period of time.

October 1, 2014

Simply Irresistible Dessert



Panna cotta is a delightful dessert perfect for any occasion. It's one of the many popular desserts we have on our Sunday brunch menu at the resort. This simple and easy to make recipe can be prepared  in no time. Seriously. All it requires is heating the milk and cream with sugar and vanilla seeds. Add the softened gelatine and voila! You get a great tasting treat!


September 28, 2014

Dining At The Kitchen



Treating myself to a nice meal is something I look forward to at the end of a busy week. I think  a little pampering is what I deserve after a week's hard work. With my friend gone, I have been eating out solo. I am discovering new places to dine in my favorite hang out place in Chaweng, a short trip on a songtaew (taxi) from where I live.

Just recently, I found a place called The Kitchen, one of the many restaurants at the ground floor of Central Festival Mall. I had walked past it a few times before but it didn't cross my mind to try their food. I only had one meal and I thought  I was missing out on the good stuff all this time. The restaurant is definitely worth another try.


September 24, 2014

Time For A Break



I can't remember the last time I made chiffon cake.  All I know is that it's been a while but I still remember the exact amount of ingredients to use. How could I forget? It's the type of cake I would most often make while working at a private bakery in Bangkok. Almost two years have passed and it's only recently when I decided to go for chiffon cake instead of sponge cake.

Chiffon cake needs a good quality of meringue to achieve that light and springy texture it is known for. It was a bold move on my part to make it without  practice. I thought I might have lost my meringue making skill after a long break.  Well it turns out I still got it. Yay!

September 20, 2014

Sprinkles Cookies



Being a baker gives me a chance to unleash my creativity.  I have discovered ways to hone  my baking skills and develop my artistry. It is not easy given my prior career but the repetitive work helps me tackle whatever issues I come across with.

As for turn down treats, I find it challenging to think of  what to serve our in-house guests.  Cookies are well- loved so I am not crossing it off yet from the list of my daily turn down treats.  Making a cookie with the same stuffing could be boring so I came up with the idea of changing the stuffing every now and then. I did some trial and after getting the result I was looking for, I decided to use similar  recipes but add different stuffing in the batter to achieve a new look, taste and texture.

September 17, 2014

Hexagonal Bavarian Cream Cake



The off season has began. We have  low occupancy rate and fewer events at the resort. My schedule is less hectic now that high season and  wedding season have come to a close. Since I  have enough time to spare, I get demands for extra work like  birthday cakes.  They are usually outsourced but whenever possible, I accommodate a guest's request.

As I take a break from making wedding cakes and treats, I find myself enjoying creating something new for our guests. Like this chocolate bavarian cream cake I made for a guest last Sunday. The design may not pass artistic scrutiny of highly talented pastry chefs but given the infrequency of making such cakes, I considered it a masterpiece.

September 14, 2014

Wedding Cake # 17 Chocolate Mint



Finally it's here - the picture I had been waiting for. It took a while before a colleague sent me this. The wedding was on Saturday so I didn't get the chance to take a picture of the cake with the flower accent. But it's never too late to post a nice creation.

If you've read my post on fondant-covered chocolate cake in March, you would know that the recipe was adapted from addapinch.  I followed the same  recipe but made a small tweak once again. Instead of adding freshly ground coffee beans, I opted to use freshly brewed espresso. I reduced the amount of boiling water called for to a half and replaced half  with espresso,  giving the cake a fuller flavor. To achieve the minty taste, I ditched vanilla and added mint extract. I iced the cake with mint flavored Swiss meringue buttercream. Yummers!

September 10, 2014

Mud About Chocolate



I must admit I have been slow lately. I  burned myself  out because of the demands at work. I have yet to fully recover and I know it would take time for me to recharge.  As the resort's occupancy rate is dropping, I am finally getting a little break from the high season madness.

Just when my rigid work schedule is easing up a bit, I was commissioned yet again to make another wedding cake. It would probably be the last wedding of the year before the holiday season starts. When I got the email regarding the style and flavor, I was relieved to know that the couple wanted chocolate mud cake covered in white icing. Making the cake several times in the past  has got me familiarized with the ingredients and procedures. It would be easy. I have worked with fondant so many times already.and did not have any problems. There was no reason for me to fret. So I thought...

September 5, 2014

Visiting Lamai Walking Street

Wide selection of Thai noodles
Lamai Walking Street turns into a buzzing night market on Sunday. The place attracts foreign tourists and locals alike. Stalls selling variety of goods and food lined the streets. What I like most about it is the wide array of food choices. From Thai appetizers to desserts, the night market is the right place for a local food experience. If not in the mood for it or want to try something different, then a visitor can  have kebab,  pizzas and sausages at reasonable prices.

Here is a peek of what the place offers foodwise. I don't know the names of each dish. I just want you to have an idea what local food is like. Enjoy!

September 2, 2014

OXA Italian Restaurant



As evidence that low season is approaching, the resort had very few bookings for brunch this past Sunday. Doing overtime work was not required. I was able to leave  on time and join a  friend for early dinner. I let her choose between Thai and pizza. She wanted the latter. I know a German restaurant another friend and I used to go to in Lamai walking street. They make good pizza and I couldn't wait for her to try it for herself.  She skipped lunch. I knew she was starving.

We left the apartment hurriedly. I was disappointed when we got there. The restaurant was still closed but I wasted no time. I took her to another pizza place just around the corner, a few steps away from the German restaurant. People raved about it. I hadn't had a chance to go so it was a perfect time to check it out.

August 28, 2014

Just Married Wedding Cake Topper


Many wedding couples  would want a traditional wedding cake with fancy decorations. This red velvet cake iced with the classic American  butter cream in rustic style  was graced with just a bunting cake topper. Unlike the old school wedding cakes, this one was simple but unique. Perfect for a couple who wants to make a  statement with their cake.

My boss handed  the "Just Married" cake topper to me still sealed in a box. I carefully inspected the materials used and thought I could make it the next time someone wanted something similar.  I can use cloth or paper that match with the wedding theme. I can even personalize it. Good eh?

August 24, 2014

All Things Chocolate? Not So!



I have been busy as a bee. The resort was at full occupancy the last several weeks. At times like this, working alone is physically draining and exhausting. In the midst of all the craziness at work, I still find pleasure making good stuff for the guests. Just like this chocolate mousse cake I made for a Spanish guest ( the inscription said it).

The idea was based from the Black Forest cake I learned at culinary school. I had two layers of cake. I frosted the bottom layer with chocolate mousse. To complement the rich and creamy chocolate mousse, I frosted the top layer with whipped cream. I used an open star tip to pipe roses on top. I put a chocolate chip on each rose and filled the middle with chocolate sauce. I didn't want to leave the sides uncovered so I garnished them with chocolate shavings. Talking about overload!

August 20, 2014

Wedding # 16 Outtakes



I took my only chance for some Kodak moments while the wedding venue was being decorated. The cake was all set. I still had time to walk around and see the development happening. What caught my attention as I examined the place was the photo booth. Wedding guests could snap their own wedding photos wearing props the couple had brought with them. They even created an account specifically for the occasion so guests could post the photos online. Brilliant. It would be awesome to have a huge collection of wedding images from different sources.

August 17, 2014

Gloria's Farewell Meal




A Chinese friend of mine left Thailand to pursue further education. Before she left, she and I went to Will Wait Restaurant in Chaweng for one last meal together. There was nothing fancy about the meal. I had just eaten lunch. Her flight to Bangkok was not even til 9 pm. We were in Chaweng too early so getting a light snack would be a great idea to pass the time. Some may wonder why went for Thai. Well, she was leaving and it might take a while before she could have Thai food once again.

August 13, 2014

Making My First Gluten-Free Bread



I would say my first attempt to make gluten-free bread went okay. I had never made one but there was a guest with gluten intolerance coming to stay with us for a few days so the chef wanted us to be ready in case she requested for a gluten-free bread. I was informed the last minute. I was lacking the right ingredients. I had to improvise with what I had. For the trial run, I used gluten-free all purpose flour.  Following the recipe from sheletthemeatcake.com, I substituted all the flours with Bob's Red Mill all-purpose flour. The flour is a blend of garbanzo bean flour, potato starch, whole grain white sorghum flour, tapioca flour and fava bean flour so I thought it would work.

As for the other ingredients, I made a modification here and there. I stirred in palm oil instead of sunflower oil. I substituted xanthan gum with agar agar powder. I used ground black sesame seed in place of flax seed. I didn't add the amount called for because sesame has got a strong flavor. The bread still came out with a subtle sesame flavor though. It was overpowering but tolerable.  I should have just omitted it. I reduced a quarter of flour but  put double amount of almond meal. Wrong move.  The recipe yielded a good but heavy and  dense bread. I am hundred percent sure it's the culprit. Oh well, I tried my best.


August 10, 2014

Simplicity




Remember the pink vanilla cake I made for a female regular guest at the resort a couple weeks back? Here's the blue version made for a male guest. It was simple. All I did was tint the Swiss meringue butter cream with blue and frosted the cake with it.  I was actually going to add more decorative piping on top, sides and base  but I was needed to oversee the dessert buffet at the cold room. People started flocking to  where the  salads, appetizers and desserts are.  Couldn't blame them. It's in the middle of the day and the temperature was soaring. The only place where they could get a little comfort was in the cold room.

I knew time was running out.The resort's hostess might be coming anytime to take the cake so I just couldn't  leave a cake half done. I  hurriedly finished with the icing. For the top, I ran a triangle pastry scraper with serrated edge. That made a little difference. I thought it was  boring with just  plain butter cream. Why not stick sliced almonds? I thought. It might help. And so I did.  I would say it gave the cake a better look.  I also  did the  inscription fast. Once done, I placed the cake on a square serving plate. I put the cake back to the fridge and ran to help the understaffed cold room.

August 6, 2014

Oatmeal In A Cookie



I like variety. I make sure I serve assortment of yummy treats each night to the resort's in-house guests. I don't want to bore them with the same thing. Just recently,  I did a repeat on cupcakes and served them alternately with cookies, cakes and chocolate. Here's the newest addition to my long list of turn down treats.


August 4, 2014

Oh Pink!




It was one of the busiest Sundays. A hundred fifty bookings, plus  walk-in customers who turned up for the resort's brunch. I had dessert buffet to set up, two birthday cakes to decorate, turndown service treats to bake and pastries to roll. Sigh! I wish I could split myself into two so I could do things faster. After arranging the desserts at the cold room respectively, I ran back to the bakery and started working with the cakes  - courtesy of the resort to the guests who celebrated their birthdays. One happened to be a regular customer.

My boss said any flavor would do. I had my hands full so I went for the one that was easy and quick to whip up.

August 1, 2014

Vanilla Cupcake Topped With Sliced Almonds




To begin  my cupcake adventure I went online to refresh my mind. Loads of flavors were available but I thought I would start with the easiest pantry ingredient I could find. For today's turn down service treat I made vanilla cupcake. This humble treat was quick and easy to make but it's oh so delicious.

There are many versions of vanilla cupcake you could get off the internet. I have tried many in the past. They were good but this one rocks. Based on the recipe of browneyedbaker, the original recipe called for sour cream. It would cost a lot if I stick to the original so I used the resort's homemade yoghurt as a substitute. I used cake flour in place of all-purpose flour to get a softer and lighter crumb. I skipped frosting for a low-calorie treat. I garnished the top with toasted sliced almonds. I made more than a hundred so imagine how much I had saved with this.


July 31, 2014

Wedding Cake #15 : Chocolate Mud Cake Iced With Chocolate Ganache




When it comes to wedding cake style, rustic has been the most requested of all. As for the flavor, chocolate mud cake rules. Here's the well-loved chocolate mud cake made for the wedding a couple days ago. I normally use chocolate buttercream as frosting. I switched to dark chocolate ganache this time. The cake was sweet and rich on its own so I figured I could make ganache using dark chocolate with 70 percent cocoa  to make it less cloying. The combo turned out perfectly balanced.

As for the decoration, the bride requested the cake to have circles that go from dark blue to light blue. The tinting process was a lengthy procedure. It took me an hour and a half to color each 100 grams of white fondant with blue. I managed to come up with seven shades. I stick them on the cake with buttercream. I also made heart cut outs which I stick on the front of the cake. The flower enhancement was beautiful but I would say its color didn't really match the blue theme of the wedding.


July 29, 2014

Learning Pastry Techniques One Year On



Almost a year ago I was struggling to perfect my pastry techniques. One year on, I picked up skills and learned how to improvise along the way.  I get used to working without any assistance but it is not easy. I tell you. I failed several times but through those failures, I became bolder to try different ways in order for me to achieve a better result. One year on, I still discover new method and the process is never ending. As I look back, I couldn't help but notice how much my croissants, pain au chocolat and Danish pastries have improved. I am on the right track I suppose.

July 26, 2014

Red Velvet Cake With French Buttercream Frosting




Rustic style wedding cake has been increasingly popular among our wedding couples. I made this red velvet cake frosted with French buttercream for a wedding today. The wedding group was small, with only eight people, but the couple wanted a three tiered cake.

I had been meaning to change  frosting for so long but I was being too cautious using raw eggs. It's just too risky. The classic butter cream made with butter and powdered sugar is what I normally use. It is easy and quick to prepare but it feels gritty and stays that way no matter how long you mix it. I wanted a silky texture in my cake so I made a bold move. I ditched the powdered sugar and butter icing and  went for French buttercream, a frosting made with egg yolks. My decision did not disappoint. The rich, creamy and decadent buttercream matched perfectly with the soft and moist red velvet cake.


July 23, 2014

Wedding #13 Set Up



I get off work early enough to miss the whole wedding scenario. My only chance to take photos  is before the big event. Here are some snapshots as the wedding set up took place a couple weeks ago.

July 20, 2014

Cafe 'n' Seoul



Finally my search for a place where I can get Korean dishes at affordable prices is over. A close friend brought me to Cafe 'n' Seoul in Chaweng a week ago. It was the nicest surprise I got that day. All this time I had been looking for a cheap Korean restaurant and the search was unfruitful. Thanks to a Korean acquaintance who recommended the place I now have a new place to frequent.

Cafe Seoul doesn't have a wide range of choices. I browsed through every page of the menu trying to look for my favorite soybean paste soup but to no avail. I felt relieved though when I saw bibimbap. At least they make another favorite of mine. That was all that mattered.