May 18, 2008

Pass the Salt

I was commissioned to teach at a secondary school again. This time I was teaching them some Basic fundamentals in culinary arts and cooking. This class proves to be a real challenge. We had more boys than girls. And I had a really hard time on the first day, or least during the first 2 hours trying to get their attention.

But once the practical starts, the class was a joy to teach. While some are very attentive, the rest aren't. But this is life..everywhere you go, the people you meet..some will listen to you, others won't.

And as always there will be students I have that will give me the most headaches, or that I have been warned of their behaviour. After a day with them, I find them to be the best students I have. Because besides being 'naughty' and really 'cheeky', the food they cook are the most presentable and also the tastiest!

One thing that my students keep yelling in my ears was "TEACHER! You FORGOT TO ADD SALT!!!" I show them how to cook with no salt or very minimal salt. And food still tastes good.

Then we got creative and used the leftover spring roll skins to make "French Fries"..and the boys toss it with pepper and salt. While some tossed it with sugar..the rest add that as a garnishing to the Indonesian Fried Rice.

I am happy...after the first day, I look forward to seeing them again.

May 12, 2008

All that glitters...

Hubby ask me for a special 3D cake for his office since last week. I was unable to do anything as all my teaching aid and tools have gone to factory which I was scheduled to do a Cake decoration class. So he had to patiently wait till the class is over.

I spent much time surfing the NET for ideas and decided to go for something simple and yet appealing to men. A Pirate's treasure chest. Filled with chocolate gold coins.

Baking the cake was easy. Its constructing it and making the final touches that took me some time to get it right. In the process, I learnt new things about assembling this cake.

Like which section to start first, how to assemble all the parts and how to make the coins look like its bursting from the box.

Overall, hubby said the gold trimmings look like real. the wood finish look almost like wood too. I just did some marbling effect on brown gel on white fondant.

In 2 weeks time, I have re-constructed this again. But it will be round, in the shape of girlie's musical box for Melody's 10th Birthday party! Wish me luck! I need lots of it..and I hope the weather is hot so that the fondant dries up really well.

up close and personal...

May 5, 2008

There is always a FIRST time in everything

Believe it or not, but this is the First time I baked a cake and covered it with fresh cream. And took the challenge to decorate it with pitted dark cherries, royal icing sugar flowers, and even a peach that was baked in a peach mould, then sculpted with fondant to look like a real peach.

I really prayed very hard that nothing fails me this time. Thank God, everything came out perfect. And Natasha helped me to make some rosettes, leaves for sugar decorations. She also helped me to take close up shots of the cake.

This is a special cake for a very special person. My dear sweet old Mother-in-law..Ah Mak. She rang me on Friday or was it Thursday? And ask if I could bake a simple cake for her birthday. How can I refuse her? Ah Mak never expects much from me in anything.

When I had our first child, and our baby turn out to be a girl, and I thought she would want a grand son. As my hubby was her eldest son. But she told me that girls makes good children. The most important thing is the baby is healthy and I am well. Because Natasha (our first born) was born prematured.

I actually had nightmares about this cake. But I am happy to see her happy. She loved the cake. Because I reduced sugar just for her. And left the sugar on the frosting and sugar decorations instead. She is getting weaker as the year passes by..she is unable to chew on greens now. Even with a set of false teeth..she finds it tiring just to eat. So this is a sponge cake made with Love..lots of it..

Just for you, Ah Mak.

May you have many more years to come and I will have more cakes to bake and decorate for you.

Thank God for Mothers!