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Sunday, September 30, 2012

Saying it with White Orchids



              I posted earlier that I made some Orchid throats & I used them to make 5 more Orchids.  I decided not to color them & to make them pure white & they were so lovely, if I may say so myself.  I love the purity of the white & I simply adore making Orchids.  Before I was into making gum paste flowers, whenever I came across flowers, I just gave it a perfunctory look.  Sorry to say that I took God's lovely creation for granted & now that I am so much into making the gum paste flowers, each time I came across flowers, I look at them with deep interest.



                              Propping some tissue underneath the petals, to give them a fuller appearance.


                   Then I took one of them & gave it a purple make over.



                        Took a second one & gave it a red tint.  My intention, when I was doing the purple & red tint, was to just touch the edges, did it with a brush but my hand was not too steady.




                   I was trouble shooting, how I could just get the edges tinted in a slightly more professional way ...



                           ... this time I used a cotton bud & it was easier to control same & I was pleased with this as the slight tint at the edge gave it more impact [less is more!!!] it is almost like, it was done with the sweet, gentle caress of a lover!!!  Of course, I would practise more with the cotton bud. 



                           Till my next post, xoxo, Ophelia 

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Daisies


             Day 95 of gum paste making. Made 2 different kind of Daisies.  I love buying silicon veiners together with the cutters as the veiners give the flowers more details. 



                           Adding some details to the Daisies.



                            Till my next post, xoxo, Ophelia

Friday, September 14, 2012

Making an Orchid throat with gum paste


       Ever since I started making Gum Paste flowers almost 3 months ago, I have been consumed by this surplus energy morning, noon & nite & whenever I have finished my preparation for my cake orders if any or house hold chores for that matter, you will find me sitting contently trying to do gum paste flowers as it fills me with tranquility, haha the games I play on the Ipad have certainly taken a back seat!!!

         While out shopping for new tools for gum paste and fondant, this angel wing veiner & the mould caught my eye, I had to have it even though it cost an arm & a leg, I had to have it as obviously after I have given my utmost concentration on the flowers, I would be doing, haha, hopefully I can make it, angels for my cakes & other toppers for cup cakes but for the moment I am  concentrating on making flowers.  So I thought to myself why not make this into an Orchid throat & though the Throat may not be botanically correct, it would look etheral on a white Orchid. The iridescent throat displaying a spectrum of colors when it catches the light & from different angle & when I showed the finished "product" to the Hubs, he smiled & gave me a nod!!!
                        






                                       Till my next post, xoxo, Ophelia. 

Luster dusting my Orchid throats


            Here I made an iridescent throat for an Orchid which revealed a spectrum of colors that shimmered when it catches the light. 





                                     Till my next post, xoxo, Ophelia 

And another Gum Paste flower


                   I seem to be consumed with making them!!! 





                                  Till my next post, xoxo, Ophelia 

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Giving the Tiger Lily a make over

             Day 82 - Fondant & Gum Paste flowers.  It all started with a simple request that I make a wedding cake for Thanes' wedding.  Told her that even though I have learnt to make Fondant & Gum Paste from scratch & simple flowers 2 years ago, I didn't make an effort to really "get down & dirty" as didn't find the market for cakes with gum paste flowers.  I just went for the class in order to learn same; knowing instinctively that when the time was ripe, I would find it helpful.  Subsequent to the request, I made a Chocolate cake for a birthday in the family & place a large, white Fondant Daisy on top of the Chocolate cake & since then I had 4 orders for a decorated cake & started searching tutorials on Youtube on same & ever since then I have been hooked & in doing same; I found myself and, at the same time, tranquility & whenever I have a little spare time, you would know where to find me!!!

               Being a newbie making 1 large Tiger Lily took 2 days & that is not counting the extra time involved in wrapping the 6 petals into a flower, dusting them with petal dust then dusting with luster dust for that slight shinning look & then finally, steaming the Tiger Lily so that the colors stays intact & the dust would not fall onto the cake. Alot of work but it was a pleasurable past time.





                      Till my next post, xoxo, Ophelia. 

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Sambal Belacan



         I did mention in my post on Nyonya Prawn Lemak with pineapples that I would post on how I make my Sambal Belacan & if you were to make the Prawn Lemak make the sambal belacan and squeeze some limau kasturi as the lemak & the sambal belacan goes well together like a horse & carriage!!! I learnt this from one of my cooking lessions at one of our 4 Star hotels here. What the Chef taught us was not so much how much fresh red chilles, chilli padi, daun limau perut & toasted belacan pounded together But the fact that after you have pounded/blended your sambal belacan to scope same onto a frying pan on medium low fire for a short while to let the liquid evaporate & once it has evaporated, add a dollop of vegetable/cooking oil, a little sugar & let it tumis for a short while.  Once cooled completely put in a tupperware & refrigerate same. This way your sambal belacan will not have a raw taste and can last for a week in the fridge.




                         Till my next post, xoxo, Ophelia 

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Nyonya Prawn Lemak with Pineapples - My speciality

               This post is dedicated to my good friend, Ilene, a very good cook herself.  Sorry for the slight delay Ilene as you know me when I post I go into specifics plus showing the steps in pictures!!! Being a nyonya by marriage, I have learnt how to make this lemak from my beloved mother-in-law, who is a fantastic cook then after more than 3 decades of marriage to an awesome man, I began to develop my own style. Before I proceed just a short word; my husband always like to eat sambal belacan with lemak curry; next post I teach you how to make same. I am not a professional cook.  I learnt from my numerous cooking lession with quite a few Chefs, a few important things:-

            a) First, if it is a curry or lemak for that matter, the rempah should alway correspond with the amount of meat & liquid.  It is no point having a sizable amount of rempah & putting a ton of water nor for that matter having a lot of rempah & not putting enough liquid.  For me, I always like to make the gravy quite thick;

             b) Second the liquid that is needed for any curry, soup, stew, should Never be more than the level of the meat unless of course when you are using cuts of meat that are not tender & need to be simmered slowly for many hours then of course you need heaps more of water & if you need to add in more water in order for the meat to cook, boil hot water & pour into the pot; that's what we have been taught;

             c) Prawns cook very fast so do not overcook the prawns otherwise it will be over cooked and a little hard;

             d) When you remove the seeds from either the dried chillies or fresh chillies, Do NOT remove the sac [sac is the sort of veins that the seeds are attached too].  The heat comes from the seeds & the sacs;

             e) I always like to pound the ingredients, even when I was working, except for the dried chillies which I blend as quite difficult to pound the dried chillies, as somehow or rather the lemak always taste much, much better. Another thing when you use dried chillies as opposed to Chilli Boh, it gives a better red color which is more appertising;

             f) Finally this is what my mother-in-law has taught me that we should Never over boil fresh Santan as then you will that the gravy would have alot of white, granny stuff & finally a lemak or curry always taste much better the next day as it would have then have time to infuse the flavour.

              Ingredients

               20             medium size Prawns
                 2             handful of dried Chillies
                 3             Serai
                 1"            fresh Kunyit
                 3             pieces Lengkuas
               20             medium size Shallots
                 8             medium size Garlic
                 2             sprigs of Daun Kesom
                 3/4          Josephine Pineapple, remove centre core & cut into bit sizes
                 3             medium size Tomatoes
                 1 Tabsp   Sugar
                                Sufficient Salt
                                sufficient water
             200 ml         fresh Santan

            Method

  1. Make a slit across the prawns.  Remove the impurities.  Do not remove the skin.
  2. Clean the head & remove the impurites. Do not remove the head.
  3. Remove the *seeds from the dried chillies then wash & soak it with hot water for 30 minutes. Then blend the dried chillies.
  4. *Pound or blend the shallots, garlic, lengkuas, serai, kunyit.
  5. Fry the pounded/blended ingredients and the *Daun Kesom with sufficient oil till it is fragrant. [Just b4 throwing in the Daun Kesom; crush it in your palms in order for the hot oil to release its fragrance].
  6. Add in the pineapples & tomatoes & fry for a short while in the rempah; keep stirring as it burns easily.
  7. Add in water higher than the height of the tomatoes & pineapples & boil for 8 minutes in order for the tomatoes & pineapples to infuse in the rempah [as later you would be adding the prawns & if you add water just at the height of the tomatoes & pineapples when you add in the prawns, you would not have enough water]. 
  8. Add in the fresh Santan, Salt & Sugar & once you see that the Santan is going to boil; add in the prawns & once prawns have changed its color & is cooked; switch off the fire. Enjoy.

                                           Nyonya Prawn Lemak


                                   Diligently removing all the seeds :) 



                           After pounding the kunyit, lengkuas, shallots, garlic, you will find that it will ooze out some juice.  Do NOT discard this as it has tons of flavour; use it as part of the water to simmer the pineapples & tomatoes.

               
                                  Blended dried chillies.  As you can observe there is hardly any seeds!!! Work of the diligent lady.

 
                                    Frying the rempah

           
                                         Adding the tomatoes & pineapples & letting it simmer in the rempah for a while in order to infuse the flavours.


                              Adding the water


                           Adding the fresh Santan & once when it is almost boiled; add in the prawns & cook until the prawns change color & is cooked then switch off the fire, don't overcook the prawns!!!

                             Bye for now till my next post, xoxo, Ophelia 

Monday, September 10, 2012

Tiger Lily

           Day 80 of making gum paste flowers - Wow making my first Tiger Lily took 2 days of "work" that is not inclusive of giving it a face lift & how many times I had to redo it till I was finally pleased with it.  It isn't perfect but I am quite happy for a first attempt & definitely there will be more of it.  It wasn't easy though; having to making each petal & affixing it on a wire & then when all 6 have been dried for a whole day, had to make the centre part & tying them up with the glue tape; what a task it was; making sure you don't nick the tips of the petals but in the end when you are able to do same; it simply gives you tremendous joy that you perservered & I think the key to ultimate success & happiness is perserverance.

           Today if I am free, I will give it a lustre both the Lily & the leaves & then dotting them with small black dots.



                                   Till my next post, xoxo, Ophelia 

Sunday, September 9, 2012

More Gum paste flowers

           Day 78 still very much into making fondant flowers.  I also made a, a sort of flat wide mouth vase, to house the flowers.  Then I used a fork to give it a design.  As the purple color of the flat vase was matt, I dusted it with lustre dust to get a lustre finish & pretty pleased with the result.

  


                                       This is flat vase that I made.  Will post a picture of the front side of the vase soon.


                              What a vast difference in color after I have dusted it with some lustre dust.  It made it more vibrant!!!



                              Till my next post, xoxo, Ophelia