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Saturday, July 6, 2013

Christmas in July?

         I used to make a lot of fruit cakes for sale for Christmas but of late, I may just take a couple of orders from regular customers, I stopped doing so for 2 reasons.  One reason being that there was quite a lot of work involved and I am afraid that suddenly my better half will on the spur of the moment want to go somewhere for Christmas like 2 Christmas ago.  Thank goodness we were only leaving 2 days before Christmas and that gave me sufficient time to bake the Fruit cake orders as normally I would finish my Fruit cake orders by the 22nd of December which would then give me time to bake cakes for home consumption. 

        So last year I did not take any fruit cake orders as did not want to stress myself out and as I didn't have any fruit cakes to eat last December, I decided to bake myself one yesterday. Had a slice of same for Breakfast this morning and boy was I happy!!! 

                   My fruit cake had 1.2 kg of fruits and marinated in 175 ml Dark Jamician Rum.

                      Cling wrapped the fruit cake to seal the flavour, aroma and softness then wrap in foil and once you open the cling wrap, the aroma of the liqueur is heart warming. 

                   Three tips.  I love to soak the fruits in this container then date when I soaked same and if I have many fruits I am soaking, I would identify the container 1, 2, 3 etc then I would know which one to use to bake first and the last important tip, everyday I would lay the container on its side and roll it and also lift it up and shake it.  You would observe that in the beginning the fruits would move easily then as it is soaked longer it will clump up thus the shaking and moving each day helps a little even though IT does not stop the fruits from clumping up :)

                      Those who are interested in the recipe, leave me a comment here. One plus point is for good bakers, cake batter is mixed manually and needn't use any machine to mix same.  The only thing you should look out for is when you add the eggs and flour mixture, don't over mix same. Till my next post, xoxo, Ophelia. 

A Shoe theme birthday cake

             Recently I had been making so many shoes that they were figuratively coming out of my ears, nose and throat!!! My girl had her birthday coming and as she is very much a shoe person, I thought what better way to give her a surprise birthday cake at her office with the shoes I made lined up.  I had to make many as making the gum paste shoes was very addictive and they are quite delicate and may break at any time while making same.

              When I started making so many shoes, the Hubs kept asking me why was I making so many. I smiled and kept him in the dark :) so when it was almost her birthday, I told him why I was making so many, I wanted to surprise him too as I did not know whether I could pull it off!!! And then the excitement intensified as he was also excited too as he knew that both our girls are shoe crazy.  

              On the eve of the birthday, I baked a 10" Semolina/Sugee cake and once it had been cooled completely I placed it on a 10" board and the next day I spread butter cream on it.  Then I rolled some fondant and placed it on a 13" board and gingerly lifted up the 10" cake & placed it in the middle. Then I pushed some pearls, which I bought from a cake ingredient shop, on to the fondant to give it some texture otherwise the fondant may look a little bare. I asked the Hubs to choose which shoes he liked, I piped "Happy Birthday" on the shoes and then I placed it on top of the fondant. Okay mission accomplished!!! So had to call the birthday girl and try to figure out a plausible excuse to see her in the office as I wanted her to share the cake with her office mates. When we brought the cake to her office and passed her the cake she was so surprised.  She told me that she had 2 other birthday cakes already and I told her to open my box and cut the cake with her office mates. Haha she text to me and told me that my cake finished in half an hour and all of them were thrilled to bits with the shoes!!!

            Whenever I post my shoes on FB, without hinting as to why I was making them as I was always posting all my cakes, gum paste flowers, shoes on FB, my younger girl will tell me that "Mum you are making shoes and I keep buying more!!!" She was also thrilled to see her sister's cake on FB. Hmm now I have to one up my game and make her birthday cake more interesting!!! Thank goodness I have a few months to conceptualize the decor for her cake :)

            I am now waiting for a friend to bring back for me a [complete] shoe kit which I saw on line, can't wait for August to come!!!



                Till my next post, xoxo, Ophelia 

Monday, July 1, 2013


              One of the best cakes I have learnt is the Tiramisu and I learnt same from quite a few tutors; some of them use Gelatine powder and the one that I loved the most; was the one I learnt from a 5 star Chef and the best thing was she used Gelatine leaves instead of Gelatine powder and using Gelatine leaves, the texture of the Tiramisu was so smooth so when I was in Singapore and by accident stayed in the hotel next to a baking ingredients shop and I stepped inside to check the place out. Wow they had so many moulds to make gum paste/fondant stuff and the best thing was that the moulds that I loved and saw were from England. I could not help buying so many moulds and it indeed burnt a big hole in my pocket!!! Then the icing on the cake was I saw the Gelatine leaves being sold there so I took 8 packets which had 10 leaves in each packet as I couldn't get the Gelatine leaves back home. So when I had to bring something for my cell fellowship, I made the Tiramisu with the Gelatine Leaves and used alot of Kahlua [Coffee liqueur] too and the end result was the texture was indeed satin smooth and the Kahlua added the punch!!! And I could not help using this lovely stencil to make those lovely flowers.

                  Till my next post, xoxo, Ophelia