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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.

July 16, 2014

Coffee, Cashew Nut and Raisins Cupcake

Making treats for the resort's nightly turn down service became boring and monotonous. I need a fresh start. To get myself inspired, I started veering away from treats which I make so often. No, I'm not saying goodbye to cookies and chocolates, mousses and panna cotta but I am just taking a break. For now. I thought cupcakes could be a good replacement. To start anew, I baked these coffee cashew nut and raisins cupcakes.

The original recipe called for self raising flour. The flour costs a lot as it is produced abroad and imported to Thailand. To minimize my expenses, I used the locally produced cake flour. I sifted it twice with the baking powder and salt to get  a lighter and more fluffy texture. I also replaced half the amount of cashew nuts with dark raisins for a bit of fruity flavor

July 13, 2014

M & Ms Cookies - The Trials

I wanted to serve colorful goodies for the resort's turn down service. M & Ms cookie came to mind. I hadn't had a chance to make something vibrant before. I browsed through online gallery and searched for recipes to get a picture of how it was done. There were hundreds of them. I could not decide which way to go. The only way to get a good result was to do a trial run before giving it a final go. So I did. Just thinking how they would turn out got me excited.

July 10, 2014

Back At Ethos After Two Years

It was my last night in Bangkok. Me and the gang had agreed to meet for an evening out for the last time before I returned to my simple life on the island.  We chose Khao San Road because of its proximity to the area we were at. I was on the boat to Khao San Road with the girls when I remembered Ethos vegetarian restaurant. It was 2012 when I dined there for the first time. My vegetarian sister and cousin, who is not vegetarian but eats many vegetarian dishes, would love the food for sure. I didn't really think much how would my omnivorous friends like the idea of having an all plant-based dishes that night. I suggested they try it just once.  I think the only reason they agreed was because I was the  "guest" for the night. Haha.

We were waiting for other friends to arrive when my two friends ordered pad Thai from a hawker. We could smell the aroma from where we were standing. They couldn't resist the good smell it emitted so they went and bought two. They were huge servings. I joined in. Wrong decision. I already had fries and fried chicken at KFC only an hour before that. By the time we got to the restaurant, I was almost full. There's only room for dessert.

July 6, 2014

A Perfect Wedding Treat - Tiramisu

At the time I was attending culinary school, I learned how to make hundreds of different cakes. The training covered almost everything in nine months. There was one cake in particular which I was eager to learn how to make -tiramisu. I had it once when I was holidaying in Hongkong many years back. The name sounded new and unique. Although I am not into coffee, I took the risk and bought one. I was curious. One bite was all I needed to discover the wonderful flavors tiramisu offered. There was quite a kick in it but it was divine. It was my first encounter with the popular Italian dessert

Fast forward to my culinary school days, I got so excited when I browsed the recipe book which the school provided.  The basic course covered simple cakes. Tiramisu  was included. And so I learned the procedure at school but it wasn't until May this year when I made my very first tiramisu. Boy, was I glad! I made it for the wedding party. Everyone finished off with this moist, creamy and decadent dessert.

July 4, 2014

Wedding # 13 : Chocolate Sponge Cake With Butter Icing

This is by far the smallest and cutest wedding cake I've made this year. Three tiers, each with 4 layers of chocolate sponge cake generously filled with vanilla butter icing were sandwiched together. The outside was left unfrosted so the even layers of cake and icing were seen. How simple is that? The addition of roses and dusting of icing sugar gave this simple cake a perfect finishing touch. The cake highlighted the simple dessert table at the wedding.

July 1, 2014

Korean Dining At Tudari

While vacationing in Bangkok, I quickly developed an urge for Korean food. It might have to do with me knowing that I had so many choices  in the city unlike on the island where I live where the only Korean restaurant I know is miles away.

When I was with my cousin at Central World to attend the Philippine Fair, I suggested we go Korean. I had eaten almost everything except for it.  I only had a few days left before I return to the island and being in a big shopping mall where they have restaurants of all sorts seemed to be a perfect timing. The event was not starting til 2 in the afternoon. We arrived at the venue early - around lunch time. It was the best time to hunt for a decent place. We were on the escalator going up the top floor when we spotted one right away. Without hesitation, we went in.