December 31, 2015

Trifle With Butterscotch Topping




The resort's kitchen was understaffed the entire holiday season. The craziness has died down yet thinking back,  I still  could not believe how I was able to undertake a seemingly impossible task of creating all the Christmas brunch treats for more than two hundred guests without any help, not to mention the bread and pastries for breakfast and desserts for a la carte dining. A lot of planning and organizing were involved from beginning to end. I wasted no time and effort. I knew I had nobody to rely on but myself.

This trifle was a product of a well thought-out  plan. I normally avoid using ready made mixes when whipping up desserts but this was an exception. Unlike the past two Christmasses, I baked the sponge biscuit and cooked vanilla custard from scratch. This time,  I opted to use store bought biscuit sponge and  a custard powder to make my vanilla custard as  I did not have the extra hour to spare.  The result was surprisingly good.

December 30, 2015

Raspberry Pavlova




These mini pavlovas were the latest addition to this year's Christmas brunch dessert menu. The simple but delicious confection was the crowd's favorite. The guests loved them so much that I had to replenish the tray frequently. What made them so good was the crisp crust, topped with a rich and creamy whipped cream and the tangy raspberry coulis. Such a perfect combo of color and taste.


December 27, 2015

Red Velvet Christmas Cupcakes



These festive red velvet cupcakes  were absolutely beautiful. They brought out the holiday mood with their strikingly bright red color and decorative toppings.  Perfect for the holiday celebration.


December 26, 2015

Carrot Cake At Christmas



We looked beyond the traditional Christmas cake this year as we got tired of the same Christmas treats we have had for the last two years. My manager wanted something simple but delicious, a cake that is moist and flavorful. She asked for a carrot cake as a replacement. Her decision did not disappoint. It was a crowd-pleasing dessert everyone loved at the event.


December 24, 2015

Gingerbread House



It's Christmas once again. My preparations for the much awaited Christmas brunch are in full swing. I am in-charge of all the sweet treats there is. I spent weeks stocking up on my supplies, making sure I got everything needed before the big event. I planned and organized the tasks assigned to me and focused on their completion on time. I do not want a repeat of the past two Christmasses where my work was behind schedule. (That's what happens when someone works alone).  Besides, with my family and  friend visiting, I want to be ahead of the game so I can at least spend time with them.

December 22, 2015

A Little Treat For A Birthday Girl



 Here's another  white chocolate and raspberry cake  made for a little ten year old girl. Each layer was filled and frosted with classic vanilla butter cream.

I didn't come up with the design. The parents requested I follow the design  in the picture they sent. Basically it's a princess cake. The original has a tiara on top. Instead of putting the headpiece, they asked if I could write the message "Happy 10th Birthday Elena".

November 11, 2015

White Chocolate And Raspberry Cake



White chocolate and raspberry cake is this year's favorite.  Since I made it for  a couple  on their wedding day, it has become the most requested cake.  

I didn't have all the things called for in the original recipe which made me do a bit of tweaking.  I normally use medium size eggs in baking. That went to my batter in place of large eggs.  I made my own self-raising flour because it's way cheaper than buying the original. Here in the tropics, getting access to fresh raspberries is impossible. I used frozen raspberries instead. Some suggests not to defrost frozen raspberries if used in baking. As for me, I  let it thaw  and leave in a strainer to drain all the liquid before adding it to the batter. This has always work for me.

The cake peaked while baking. I got rid of the dome (which I happily munched after everything is set) before filling and frosting the cake with vanilla butter cream. I can say this is one of the nicest cakes I made. Try it for yourself.

November 5, 2015

Post Birthday Celebration



It was my birthday. I went to Bangkok to be with  friends and family as I did not want to celebrate it on the island alone. I invited everyone  for a meal  but not all of them could come. A  few days past my birthday, a friend who missed the gathering, rang me up and asked if  me, my sister and cousin could join him for lunch. It was his treat to celebrate my birthday. My sister was still down with the flu so only me and my cousin were able to meet him.

On my cousin's recommendations, we went to this place called On The Table - a Japanese Cafe serving both Italian and Japanese food at their The Mall Bangkapi outlet. It hasn't been that long when she and my sister discovered the cafe. They have visited it a few times already. She loves the food.  Now, she couldn't wait for us to try it out.

November 1, 2015

China White Thai-Chinese Restaurant On My Birthday



It's the time of the year again when I celebrate another year added to my life. It's a time when I get to break free from work and reward myself for working hard. My birthday is a national holiday in Thailand. I took the opportunity to fly back home to Bangkok and gather my family and friends who all had a day off of work  for a celebration.

I made a last minute decision to do it at the restaurant instead of hosting  a party at home. It would be less hassle for me. Besides, I really needed a good rest.  I chose a restaurant called China White at Central World. They serve hawker-style Thai-Chinese fusion dishes. I've been there numerous times. They have good food and the price is inexpensive. The service can be really bad during busy hours so I suggested we go there way  before lunch time.

October 23, 2015

The Sous Chef's Creations



Fruit carvings are laid out on display at the resort's cold room during brunch. The carvings mainly serve as table centerpiece but they can also be used as dessert.This past Sunday, the sous chef did a beautiful presentation by decorating the dessert table with these intricately carved watermelon and cantaloupe. Kudos to her for single-handedly carving them all!

October 20, 2015

Cake Decorating Can Be Difficult



The resort where I work provides complimentary birthday cake to its guests. Guests can choose the flavors  they like.  I create it according to the needs and requirements of the person celebrating but decorating is all up to me. Occasionally, I can think of ideas in a snap. When there is a long interval especially during off season,  my mind gets sluggish. It takes time for me to come up with a nice design for a cake.

October 16, 2015

A Special Treat For A Very Special Occasion




I've got hooked on ALDUB tandem of Juan For All, All For Juan segment of a popular noontime show in the Philippines called Eat Bulaga even I am a long way away from home. Thanks to the internet, it gives me the updates and all the latest happenings on the much loved couple in Philippine show business. Today I join the celebration as the whole ALDUB nation  marks the third month of the couples first meeting.  And what better way to celebrate the occasion than with these soft, moist and fluffy chocolate cupcakes? Cupcakes pa more!


October 5, 2015

A Small Cake Decorating Mishap



This year's offseason  is unusual. There were less happenings at the resort these days compared to  the previous year when we catered for quite a number of parties long after the busy season has passed, I am getting bored. I am not used to experiencing slow days  at work too often as I enjoy hard work and being active.

At times like this when it is slow and quiet, baking something nice can keep my spirits high. When I got a request to make a chocolate cake for a guest and her girlfriends, I  was delighted. I have finally got something to get me motivated once again.


September 25, 2015

Vanilla and Chocolate Treat



We served  these light and fluffy vanilla cupcakes at brunch last week. I made some variance using vanilla bean butter cream and chocolate butter cream frosting to suit the taste of our guests. I thought the two were too plain for the event so I decided to frost some cupcakes with a two-toned icing to make them look pretty and impressive. As I expected, the vanilla and chocolate frosting combo was a huge hit. They're popular not just among kids but the grown-ups as well.

September 20, 2015

Time for a change



It's nice to see something new for a change. This Sunday past, the cold kitchen staff turned the fruit and vegetables into animal sculptures. The rather unusual fruit and vegetable display has captured the hearts of our guests once again.


September 15, 2015

Satisfying a Korean food craving



I have had this craving for Korean food for a while. The Korean place by the lake in Chaweng is my go-to place whenever I feel like having Korean food. It is quite a long way from Central Festival where I usually go for grocery shopping. The distance keeps me from satisfying my desire but last week, I was finally able to give in. I even  braved the heavy rain for the food I so wanted.

September 10, 2015

Gluten-free Lemon Coconut Cake


I'm new to baking gluten-free goodies. As a baker of a resort, I need to consider the guests food restrictions or preferences. This opened a door to a lot of opportunities. I learned to make gluten-free bread. Just as how I struggled during the early stages of my baking career, I found myself facing the same dilemma, only this time I am dealing with a dough so fragile that working with it is tricky. So, when asked if I could whip up gluten-free cake for a customer's birthday recently, I wondered if the process would be as challenging. There is no kneading and shaping involved. Perhaps I could manage. As it turns out, gluten-free cake making is a lot easier.

September 5, 2015

Easy Chocolate Mud Cake With Chocolate Butter Cream Frosting



This  deliciously decadent chocolate cake is rich, soft and moist. What I like about it is how quick and  easy it is to make. All you need is a bit of cooking and whisking and let the oven do the rest. Frost it with your favorite chocolate or vanilla butter cream. If you like it simple, just a dollop of whipped cream on top will do.

August 25, 2015

Papaya Carving



There has been a  great interest and fascination for fruit carving among the staff at the main kitchen. The resort's famous Sunday brunch features different  carved fruit creations every week. The table centerpiece definitely adds a wow factor to the event.


August 20, 2015

Grand Diamond Suites Hotel's Amazing Breakfast



While vacationing in Bangkok, a friend and I took the chance to try breakfast at Ploy Restaurant at Grand Diamond Suites Hotel along Petchaburi Road.The menu offers a wide array of Asian, Halal and international choices.

August 15, 2015

White Radish Swan



A watermelon rose carving with a pair of  white radish carved into swans depicting the bride and groom made an elegant table centerpiece at the wedding. The swans on top added a little flair to the rather traditional watermelon carving. It's something new and different which the guests enjoyed.


August 12, 2015

Wedding Plated Desserts



For the last  wedding of the  season, I made these assortment of mini desserts. The couple decided on doing a plated dessert instead of having a wedding cake on their big day. I like the idea of offering guests a variety of desserts in one plate. It gives them a chance to indulge on different flavors without having to leave their seats.


August 9, 2015

The Ultimate Food Court




I consider The Platinum Mall's food court to be the best of its kind. Whenever my sister and I are in Pratunam area where the mall is located, we make sure we don't miss it.  The food court has great choices for vegetarian and omnivores alike. The dishes are of good quality and tasty and the price is reasonable, resulting to a huge influx of local and tourist diners. It's one of the busiest food halls in Bangkok.


August 5, 2015

Honey Dew Melon Bird Carving



Flower carving in fruits and vegetables is common around here. The usual centerpiece that grace the dessert table at brunch are carved roses. You could imagine how amazed everyone was when last Sunday the staff at the cold kitchen made this beautiful craft.


July 25, 2015

Lemon Tartlet



A local Thai company hosted a dinner party for their employees at the resort. As expected I whipped up the treats for the event. This lemon tartlet in particular was the guests' favorite. Having known the locals' eating preferences, it came as a surprise to me to hear that this was well received by guests.

July 20, 2015

Visiting Mr. Jones' Orphanage



Since doing a pastry course, I have been on a lookout for good dessert places. It gives me a chance to discover new flavors and get ideas on new combinations. It also provides a way for me to learn dessert plating techniques for free.

When I was in Bangkok recently, I visited different cafes to give their desserts a try. One dessert place which got me curious was Mr Jones Orphanage.  I have seen it  packed with people. I wondered if it was the cakes or their cool design that attract customers the most. After visiting a local attraction at a mall nearby,  my sister, a friend and I have thought of giving it a try. So we went.

July 13, 2015

A Delicious Birthday Treat



Nothing beats a homemade cake. The amount of time and the effort I exert on each cake I make are incomparable to the joy and satisfaction I get from hearing how guests loved my creation. It makes me proud - to think that just five years ago, I was struggling to keep up  with the class where the majority has advanced baking skills. I am not an expert. I still think I need to hone my decorating skills. Now all I have to do is practice, practice, practice.


July 9, 2015

Shibuya Honey Toast at After You Dessert Cafe



After You Dessert Cafe which I have come to know while doing my pastry course has opened a new branch at a mall close to home. Back in the days, my girlfriends  from the culinary school and I would make a trip to After You at Siam Paragon located in downtown Bangkok to get some treats. It's a bustling cafe. Their signature desserts are so popular that people wait in long queue just to get a taste of what they offer.


July 6, 2015

Seoul Grill




I am missing out on a lot of fun and exciting things living so far away from  my family and friends. My long absence give me all the advantages of getting invited for a meal too often whenever I visit. 

Only a few days since I arrived in Bangkok, I got the invite to have dinner with an old friend of the family. Having known the guy for so long, I had the idea of what we might be feasting on. I made sure to have an early lunch and skip afternoon tea to make space for a huge meal. 

While my sister was at work, I did some chores and ran some errands to keep me busy. The trips made me a bit tired. I was beginning to feel hungry.   Just before the evening started,  I received a text message from my sister asking me to meet her and others at Seoul Grill, a Korean barbecue and sushi buffet place located on The Mall Bangkapi's third floor. 

July 3, 2015

Bonding Time at Pancake Cafe



I barely see my sister since I moved to the island. My visit to Bangkok is limited to 2-3 times a year. On those rare occasions most of our bonding time consists of chats while cooking and before we retire for the night, shopping and dining. She and I enjoy hunting for good food the most. We are always on the look-out for new places and try their menu.

On Sunday, we went to the computer center which is in the heart of the city to get her computer fixed. It would take a while. We checked out the latest fashion trends in the nearest shopping complex to pass the time. We did so much walking. We went from one shop to another.  Lunch time came and we were famished. As we walked through the corridors, we spotted the cafe that mainly serves pancakes. We always pass by it but never really checked it out. The menu certainly looked enticing. We decided to get a small meal so we could make room for dessert. MOS Burger was just a few steps away. They also serve food in small portions. It's the ideal place we thought. We grabbed a  bite at MOS, did more window shopping and headed to the Pancake Cafe afterwards..



June 29, 2015

La Monita Taqueria at Ploenchit











La Monita Taqueria on Ploenchit Road is my family's newfound favorite. The place not only has a laid back atmosphere but also provides authentic Mexican dining experience. The service is fast and efficient. The food are bold and flavorful. 

My sister and cousin are now regular diners at the Mexican restaurant.  Although it's a long way away from home, they love it so much that they frequent the place as often as they can. On my recent visit to Bangkok, they made sure I get the best possible experience not just once but twice!


June 24, 2015

A Wedding Cake That Cheered Me Up



There is not much happening at the resort this month. It has been slow at work.  Just when I started getting bored and unmotivated,  I received a request to make a two-tiered red velvet wedding cake. I was thrilled. It was  not something new and different after having done it numerous times before but at least I got  a break from my dull routine. It's all that mattered during a lazy week.


June 19, 2015

Cupcakes for June Wedding



June is slow and quiet. I thought I had all the time in the world to make these cupcakes for a wedding. I was wrong. I spent a great deal of time baking, filling and frosting them. You may wonder why. What happened was the bride wanted five different flavors. Not only that, the frosting came in different flavors and colors as well. Tinting the frosting in dark green, purple and royal blue was a daunting task. It was a bit of a challenge to get the right shade.  I felt somewhat intimidated by the amount of work that has to be done.  Imagine whipping up 24 cupcakes for each flavor all on your own. I was drained at the end of the day but pleased to  know that the bride loved her wedding cake.

June 7, 2015

Carved Watermelon Bowl




It takes skill and ingenuity to accomplish such a lovely creation. The demi chef de partie and commis II teamed up to make a carved watermelon bowl. The new "attraction" at Sunday brunch is breathtaking. It has once again inspired our guests.


June 1, 2015

Cream Cheese-Mascarpone Frosting Works Well With Carrot Cake




Carrot cake is one of the newest additions to the Sunday brunch dessert menu.  It has become a favorite of many since its debut. This is not a new recipe. It's the exact same recipe I have been using for so long but without the classic cream cheese frosting. I experimented using joyofbaking's red velvet frosting which consists of cream cheese and mascarpone cheese to frost and fill the cake. The result was  unbelievably amazing!

May 28, 2015

A Beautiful Fruit Arrangement




This gorgeous fruit arrangement is truly eye-catching! The vibrant colors and the fruit display give life to the ordinary dessert table. Anyone who visits  the "cold room" is mesmerized by it.  The lady in-charge deserves an applause for a job well done which is why I decided to feature her work on here.  Nobody can do fruit plating as beautiful and elaborate as she can.


May 25, 2015

From Russia With Love



No. I am not talking about the James Bond film. I am talking about this dish made by a Russian chef. I was at Central Festival  Food Park not so long ago looking for something new to try when I spotted the sign "Russian Food". It got me excited. I decided right then what I wanted for lunch.

I can no longer recall the last time I had Russian food. It has been ages ago. Long before I have made a major career change. It was in the northernmost part of China when I was first introduced to the cuisine of the largest country in the world. I embarked on a ten-month teaching stint at a university in a city two hours away from the Russia- China border. Its' close proximity  to Russia resulted in an influx of Russian students wanting to learn the Chinese language.

May 21, 2015

My Chocolate Cake Collection



My chocolate cake collection is growing! I started compiling chocolate cake  recipes from the very beginning.  Chocolate cake is a frequent request from the guests which is why I try to keep myself updated with the recent trends. Although I keep my eyes open on the latest cake decorating ideas, I still do things spontaneously. Well, I've got to follow my instinct! That is what I learned after many years of cake making.

May 18, 2015

Fruit Arrangement -The Continuation



I have been totally smitten by these intricately carved fruits on brunch's dessert table. The new demi chef de partie does not fail to surprise us with her artistic creation. Her fruit arrangement is something I always look forward to on Sunday.


May 15, 2015

MOS Burger at Central World




I am not a burger fanatic but I would make an exception with burger at MOS. It is a Japanese owned fast food company that has opened many outlets in Bangkok. Their burgers are to die for. They serve good quality burgers which are amazingly good. They use the freshest ingredients too.

May 11, 2015

More Elaborate Fruit Arrangement



Our new demi chef de partie exhibited another complex fruit arrangement for brunch. The fruit's bright colors reflected the sunny tropics of the resort island. Her work has been the highlight of the dessert room and is wowing not just the staff but the  guests as well.


May 7, 2015

Wedding Cake Topper - The Trial




A June bride wants Batman and Batwoman cake topper for her wedding next month. She sent a picture and inquired if the baker ( which is me) could sculpt the hero and his bride just like how they look in the picture. My boss asked if I could give it a go. That was difficult  but I tried anyway. She took a picture of it once it's done and sent it to the bride.


May 4, 2015

Elaborate Fruit Platter




We welcomed a new member to our kitchen staff not so long ago. She works with the cold kitchen. Apart from her job as demi-chef de partie, she also handles vegetable and fruit carving and fruit arrangements. She does a fantastic job! I am mesmerized with everything I have seen so far. Her works deserve a blog entry(ies) which is why I asked her permission to feature her creations whenever possible.

This is the first of many entries that you will be seeing in the weeks to come.

May 1, 2015

My Comfort Food After The Big Day



I spent the last couple of months preparing for a language test. It was a nerve wracking ordeal from the time I started reviewing up to the big day when I sit the test. My blog was on hiatus for quite some time. It is only recently when I started posting late entries.  I am back for now and I hope to update this blog as often as I can.

The testing venue was in Bangkok. I took a few days off so I could prepare myself mentally and emotionally. The test took one day as there were eighty- six candidates who did the test in all four skills - listening, reading, writing and speaking. The last test was the speaking test which was an interview. It lasted for 15 minutes which to me seemed eternal. Once the interview came to an end, I had such a feeling of relief. My first thought was get a good meal. I felt like I had not eaten in ages! I left the testing venue immediately. I  rang my sister to tell her I was on my way home. She suggested we meet at a shopping mall close to where she lives. She was buying me dinner. My mind and body were drained and exhausted. I could use a really good meal.

April 25, 2015

Birthday Cake Surprise For The Resort's DJ



I frequently deal with last minute cake requests for both the staff and guests birthdays. Unless I am told about the cake's specifics, I always use a recipe which I could whip up in no time which is why I stick to my tried and tested vanilla chiffon cake. All I need to do is separate the eggs. Whip the egg yolk with half the amount of sugar. Mix the flour mixture with the egg yolk mixture. Stir in the water and oil, and lastly fold in the meringue. I pop it in the oven for 40-45 minutes until done.

April 21, 2015

Going Away Dinner At Le Meridien



My only close friend and fellow Filipina at the resort is returning to her home in Spain for good. Before she flies out, she invited me to have dinner with her at Le Meridien restaurant. It was our first and I hope not the last to hang out together. We have been working at the same workplace for almost two years now but it was only recently that we got to spend some time together. That is because of our different schedule. I start as early as 4 and she does not start until I am halfway through. Also, my job as a baker is physically demanding. When the day's work is done, all I want is to have a relaxing quiet time at home. Bedtime is at half past 8  so going out at night is nearly impossible.

Anyway, I accepted her invitation. She suggested a time to meet at the neighboring hotel. It would be too late for me to have dinner by the time she finished  but  I made an exception.

April 18, 2015

My Cupcake Collection



Cupcakes. What makes them irresistible? Is it the  moist and spongy texture?  Or is it the delicious, light and fluffy frosting that sits atop of it. Whatever it is, cupcake is absolutely the perfect treat for any occasion. Whether it is a birthday or a  wedding, cupcake delights everyone.

I don't make cupcakes too often but when I do, I try to vary colors to make them pleasing to everyone's eyes. Even with a few years of baking experience, I still am learning different techniques to improve an overall quality of my cupcake.


April 14, 2015

Vacherin




I am bored with recipes that are redundant but I can't avoid having to make the same thing over and over again. The chances of me getting to whip up something new is rare. On those rare occasions, I go all out to create a perfect treat.

One time, the executive chef asked if I knew how to make vacherin. The name rang a bell. He handed me a recipe and showed me a picture of the dessert on his laptop.  No clue.  My French culinary knowledge gave me the idea what it was when I skimmed through the recipe. He asked if I could give it a go. Why not? It seems a fairly easy dessert. He informed me it was for the owner of the resort. He was arriving and he wanted to have it for dessert.  I'd better make it good.

April 10, 2015

Easter Brunch Treats


This year's Easter celebrations at the resort was extra special. On top of all the usual desserts, I made hot cross buns to commemorate the occasion. I also did bread pudding as an added treat to the guests.

And what's Easter without the bunny and eggs? The iconic Easter symbols graced our dessert buffet table. Even without the traditional egg hunt, the two helped create an Easter mood.

April 6, 2015

Giving Jamie Oliver's Hot Cross Buns A Go




In Philippines, Easter is widely observed by the majority of Filipinos but not my family. Being Protestant Christians, my family doesn't have food traditions like other families do which is why I have no clue as to what they eat during Lent. At the resort, western and Thai holiday celebrations consist of dishes traditionally served during the season. On many occasions, I get the chance to work on some of them. This Easter, I was commissioned to make hot cross buns to mark the occasion. I didn't know what it was. I did a little reading to get some ideas for the recipe.

What is hot cross bun? According to Wiki   hot cross bun is a spiced sweet bun made with currants or raisins and marked with a cross on the top, traditionally eaten on Good Friday in the United KingdomIrelandAustraliaNew ZealandSouth AfricaUnited StatesIndia, and Canada, and now available all year round in some places. 

So there. The bun is an Easter tradition in most western countries. Another article states that they are served to commemorate the suffering of Jesus Christ on the cross.