Tuesday, May 27, 2008

something blue

something blue, something borrowed,
something old, something new.

this cake has it all.

blue ribbon, chosen by the bride, to match the wedding colour.
a borrowed cake stand from a rental place, which from the looks of it, is probably an old cake stand. and a new cake topper, which represents the groom's last name.

making this cake was truly a challenge. it is a very simple cake. red velvet cake with cream cheese filling and strawberry shortcake, both iced with vanilla buttercream, decorated with simple scroll piping, and adorned only by a letter "L" cake topper. its simplicity is what made this cake so hard to make. it was so difficult to cover all the imperfections because there's nothing i can use to hide them! overall i'm quite satisfied with this cake ^_^.

it is evident that my training at the culinary school has helped me hone my skills ^_^. i felt so much more comfortable and confident in making this cake compared to ever before. i spread the process in three days. day one was to make the buttercream and filling; day two to bake all the cakes; and day three to assemble the cakes. even my husband noticed the improvement. i only started panicking on the day of the wedding ^_~.

making the scroll piping was quite a challenge. i'm pretty good in making borders, ruffles, rope, etc. but scrolling is a realm i have never visited before. i took all the free times i had to practice my free-hand scrolling. it was quite challenging (and frustrating!), especially when it wasn't getting any better. he he he. but after a few trial and errors, i was able to figure out a good way to practice. even then, i know there's still PLENTY of room for improvements!

the other challenges i faced in this cake were on smoothing the icing, transporting the cakes, and assembling the cake on-site. transporting the cakes was very nerves-wrecking. the wedding venue was located up-hill and one of the streets that we had to go trough was so steep (i was so nervous!!). assembling was kinda scary too (i left some finger marks on the cakes, but don't tell anybody ^_^). anyway, at the end of the day, everything went a-okay and everybody enjoyed the cakes. and that makes me a happy camper!

in addition to this wedding, two other important events occurred on the past weekend. it was my little brother's graduation from UC Berkeley and also the birth of my dearest friends, kiet and chau's, little baby boy, kyle.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

another exciting weekend

my parents are coming from indonesia tonight!  woo hoo! i am sooooo excited!! i can't wait to leave the office and head to the airport ^_^.  i've missed them so much!

they're coming mostly to attend my lil' bro's graduation this Sunday.  in addition to that, this weekend is also my cousin's wedding.  i am making her wedding cake and i've been practicing for it the past few days.  one might think that the design of the cake she chose is fairly simple, but in all honesty... this cake is the most challenging one for me to make.  i can't upload pics yet; it'll ruin the surprise.  it'll be up soon though!


Thursday, May 15, 2008

i graduated! ^_^

i'm done with school! whoohoo!!

all those hours of hard work finally came to an end.

now that i'm looking at the pics, i can't help thinking: "that's it?!?!". i spent probably about a week to get all the stuff done, and it was very exhausting!

overall i'm pretty satisfied with my work. my products turned out just the way i planned them.

my partner, tingting, and i started our work last week. we made the chocolate/truffles on monday/tuesday. then start making the components of our desserts on wednesday. i had to stay at work late thursday and friday due to some work related projects. so i had to use as much time i had left to practice and prep.

saturday i went to school to work on our sugar center piece with chef doug. it was A LOT of fun! i love playin with sugar. even though it's really hot and somewhat hard to work with, i still like it more than chocolate (it's less messy!). got home with a few blisters on my fingers, but eh... who cares about blisters! that's the proof of my hard work and i'm proud of 'em. here's the finished piece. chef did most of the work. i made the little rose on the left (so proud of myself ^_^) and helped with the orchids.

sunday was mother's day, so i took it as an opportunity to practice on my plated dessert. my original plan for the plated dessert was to make raspberry chocolate mousse cake, with some lychee sorbet. i started with a couple of recipes i found online and modified it a bit (can i then call it MY recipe? he he he. j/k. the basic mousse recipes are courtesy of the foodnetwork.com). i had to re-do the mousse a few times to get the right consistency. unfortunately, at the end i had to omit the the sorbet due to the hot weather. they would've melt into a big blob of mess on my plates. i replaced the sorbet with some fruit salad instead. my classmates and i devoured the sorbet at the end of the final night ^_^.

we made all of our breads on monday.

and then our apple pie, croissants, and cakes on tuesday.

i took wednesday off from work to work on some last minute things. redid my mousse and work on my tuile. tuile is the cookie-like decoration you often see in plated dessert. the heat doesn't really help me in being productive. i was SO ready to just hit the bed and pass out.

but i managed to continue and move forward.
i made a pastillage piece for my center piece. it was only halfway done :-(. i originally wanted to airbrush them, but i made them too late. pastillage dries much quicker than gumpaste or fondant. however, when made into large pieces, it needs to be dried overnight until they totally dry or they're gonna break. i made them in between work and school on tuesday so i wasn't able to take them to get them airbrushed. oh well... white looks pretty nice too. i'm just glad that i was able to give it a try and get it up there.

and now it's all over. my body's all sore and i'm still sleep deprived. part of me is happy, but at the same time i'm extremely sad. school was truly my joie de vivre. i am going to miss it SO MUCH. i'm gonna miss my two favorite teachers, chef alana and chef doug. i'm gonna miss my partner in crime, tingting. i'm gonna miss my carpool buddies, ana and jennifer. and i'm gonna miss the kitchen and all its contents. i'm gonna miss it all.

so what's next? i don't know yet. i'm gonna take a break from baking for a couple of days. then i gotta work on my cousin's wedding cake (yaiks!!). i still need to look for an extern. but no matter what i do, i'll continue baking and making sweet treats.

i'm excited to see what's next on my culinary path ^_^.

so keep an eye on this blog. more sweet stuff are coming out from my kitchen!