Saturday, December 27, 2008

New Year's Eve Projects

I'm worrying way too much. I have the word CAKE CAKE CAKE stuck in my bloody head all the time! Not even my new Twilight Saga books can lure my thoughts off CAKES!

I've got a few cakes lined up for new year and first week of January. Kim also requested for me to make profiteroles for new year's eve. One Dark Temptation (with extra chocolate mousse) for Hidayah's birthday, one Cheese Fluff (this is new and haven't been blogged on yet) for a family friend's daughter, and 4 Caledonia Quartets for Kak Ina's order. My biggest worry is the Cappuccino Velvet Cheesecake which will be transformed into an engagement cake due on 1st January. It's the decorating part that's been bugging me. I keep of ways to decorate the Velvet. I've finally (hopefully) made up my mind on how to ice the cake. I'm going for a coffee whipped cream icing, piped onto the cake as little stars, top and sides. I bought some beautiful white and light yellow baby sugarpaste roses from Cake Connection in Jaya One today and will perhaps place them on the bottom of the cake. It cost me RM22.40 for 16 baby roses. Totally blew my budget as I'm charging RM20 for the deco stuff. Then again, with my little creative deco skills, I don't think I should be charging a whole lot just yet. To me, it's still those early learning stages so I don't plan to make any profit out of decorating.

I haven't, however, decided on the colour of the text on the cake. Should I go for a darker shade of yellow? Also, I'm not risking writing freehand on the cake. I might pre-write on parchment paper and trace out with piping gel and try to stick it onto the cake before finally writing on the cake. As this is all very new to me compared to baking, I'm not too sure if that method will work on whipped cream =( I'm lucky enough to be able to test and try the deco and method on those two birthday cakes for this new year's eve. Decor mistakes are less severe on birthday cakes compared to engagements. I'll post up photos once the cakes are done. Wish me luck! =)

Friday, December 26, 2008

The Dark Temptation

[10-year old Birthday Boy, Kimin]


[a few minutes later!]

This is a continuation of my previous post (Sinful Chocolate Cake). We went to the party and had a slice of the cake to share between us. It was an absolute divine! One adjustment applied. I will try to slice across the cake in 3, instead of 2, to have more chocolate ganache between the cake layers. In terms of taste/richness/moisture - perfect. Kim especially loved the hint of dark chocolate in the cake.

The stabilised whipped cream borders i made were perhaps slightly overly whipped. I dunno. I initially wanted to do a leaf border but the leaves wouldn't come out pointed. It had a blunt-broken tip =( So I went for a shell border at the bottom and a star bottom on top. I will have to experiment more with piping whipped cream since that might be my favourite in terms of taste. Buttercream is just too sweet! Fondant is absolutely disgusting! Royal icing? No no! Marzipan? ahahha yuck! I think it'll have to be chocolate ganache and whipped cream it is =)

And the name of the cake - Dark Temptation sold at RM80 for a 8" - 1.3kg cake. The taste is worth the price, Trust me!

Description: An absolutely rich and moist chocolate cake with generous good-quality dark chocolate ganache filling between layers and then covered with more ganache all over! A must-try for those chocolate sinners!

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Sinful Chocolate Cake

I've finally finished baking my 2nd birthday cake today. The chocolate cake has been trimmed, cut into half, sandwiched with dark-chocolate ganache, and topped off with more ganache. A friend, Wani, ordered a chocolate birthday cake this morning for his 10-year old brother, Kimin, for tomorrow afternoon. I initially panicked coz I thought Wani wanted the Velvet, as it might be a tight squeeze for me to get the cake prepared on top of completing other orders. How relieved was I when she mentioned the Chocolate Orange Volcano with a twist. She wanted the Volcano without the orange, and not to look like a volcano. Basically she wanted a simple chocolate cake =) So I gave her a rough price of RM80 for a 1.2kg chocolate cake. That included candles & knife, deco, and delivery (since we're also invited to the party).

Talking about candles, I bought 10 'Magic Relightable Candles' from Bake With Yen, without thinking much of the name of the candles. Afterall, candles are candles. It was when I reached home that I suddenly realised that those candles might not be suitable for birthdays as they automatically relight themselves after being blown out! The only way of putting out the flame is by dipping the candles in water! *DUH* - slaps herself on the forehead! I'll have to see if Cold Storage, next door, has NORMAL candles. Most shops are closed during Christmas. If not, poor Kimin will just have to make do with those magic candles! You never know, the kids might get excited over it! hehehe

Going back to the cake, I baked the chocolate cake more or less like how I would bake a Volcano with a few alterations so that it wouldn't form a 'crater'. I would imagine it to have the same richness of the Volcano, if not, more. It was my 1st experience playing with Ganache. Well, actually my 2nd, but 1st on a cake. The last time I made chocolate ganache was when I made Valentine Praline Truffles for Kim in Bristol. I made sure I used good quality chocolate as well as good quality cream. I must admit that it was rather messy trying to smoothen out small bare patches at the sides of the cake while turning and making sure my wire rack and cake doesn't topple onto the roasting tin I used to catch the drippings.

When I was assembling the cake, I had my mum-in-law as my 1st audience, followed by my sister-in-law, Hidayah, and Kim's aunt. I'm the type of person who gets nervous when being observed where things may highly likely turn out wrong!

Anyway, I'm looking forward to bringing the cake over to Wani's house in Putrajaya. I'll probably also have a slice of my own cake (how weird, especially in public!) to taste the goodness (or not) of it. If it turns out good, it'll be added to the menu =) Talking of which, I need to come up with a name. I like the word 'Sin' to be in it as the amount of good quality chocolate is sinfully generous. Kimin Chocolate Sin? Sinful Chocolate? Any suggestions?

[please excuse my poor whipped cream writing. That was my 1st writing-on-a-cake attempt!]

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Caledonia Quartet

I baked these festive Caledonia Quartets as gifts to friends earlier this month. It consists of 4-quarters of different cakes - Choc Cheese Wave, Cappuccino Velvet Cheesecake, Midnight Fruitcake, & Caramel Ruffle brownie with partitions in between.

[Left-Right, Top-Bottom: Cappuccino Velvet Cheesecake, Midnight Fruitcake, Choc Cheese Wave, & Caramel Ruffle Brownie]

Ideal as gifts or for those cake lovers who simply fancy a little variation =) Other cake-combinations available upon request (subject to nature of cake). Please contact for quotes.

Caledonia offers the Quartet in sets:

2-Quartets - RM150 (total of 2kg)
4-Quartets - RM250 (total of 4kg)

Monday, December 22, 2008

My 1st birthday cake

Last week, Kak Ina ordered a 2kg Choc Cheese Wave for her husband's birthday - with "Happy Birthday Boss" as writing on the cake. I didn't want to spoil the cake with horrible icing, so I opted for whipped chocolate Ganache. I personally think, you can never go wrong with Ganache - slightly expensive compared to other types of icing.

As written in my previous post, I'm not a fan of decorating cakes but am making some initiative to learn nevertheless. Icing the cake wasn't a problem at all. I think that was the easiest part of the decor. I made a shell border for the bottom of the cake and had to work quickly as the whipped ganache warmed up rather fast in my warm palms which makes it difficult to pipe with. After tossing the remaining ganache to set in the fridge, I decided to make dots for the top border of the cake. Really, I think I should have stuck to shells instead of dots as it made the cake quite bare. My plan of dusting the car (I put a MB SL on the cake as the husband deals cars) with icing sugar to imitate snow didn't quite work out as the sugar immediately dissolved into the ganache! LOL

O dear! I also experimented making rolled fondant for the lettering. I didn't enjoy every second of the fondant-making. The amount of icing sugar used to get the correct pliable fondant is just appalling! I cannot imagine how one person can enjoy eating a fondant-iced cake. I think it is definitely pleasing to the eyes only. Having said that, I did enjoy making the alphabet cut-outs. They were rather cute!

O well, there goes my 1st cake-decorating experience. I have 2 more cakes to decorate by new year. Hidayah's birthday cake for 31st Dec, and Ridayatul & Khairul Anwar's engagement cake for 1st Jan. Wish me luck as I think I would need lots of it. Like Nancy said, the art of cake decorating comes with practice. So here's to practising!

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Twilight Bites

I'm listening to Supermassive Black Hole by Muse from Twilight's Soundtrack. I'm absolutely high on everything about Twilight! Anyway, lets not go astray and stick to cakes =)

Yesterday afternoon, Tania, my gonggok friend, requested for a Choc Cheese Wave with a twist. She wanted something without cheese and not so cruel to the waistline. So she asked if I could make the Wave without the cheese. She just wanted the chocolate bit, perhaps thinking the cheese is the fattening bit (dude, you've got it the other absolute way round!). So, since I didn't have plans that immediate afternoon, I went into the kitchen and did some magic throwing things together, not really sure of what I was doing. But I had a good feeling while throwing the ingredients together, so I wasn't worried as that normally meant I was doing something right.

What Tania wanted was a chocolate cake really. Maybe a bite-sized one since she asked me to cut it up in 'moleks'. So I dug int my pantry and found some left-over chocolate chips. I contemplated between using those chocolate chips (although there were only a handful left) or putting in chocolate chunks? Since I was too lazy to get my hands messy and chop the chocolate bar into chunks, I went ahead with the chips instead. It was only Tania the gonggok. A friend whom I can experiment my cakes with =) So I baked the cake/brownie different from how i usually do...again experimenting different baking and mixing techniques. It turned out perfect! The cake was as moist as ever, with the killer melt in the mouth texture. I would imagine it being yummier had i had more chocolate chips or chocolate chunks in them. It could be something I would add to the menu later. Not yet tho. I;m still thinking of a name. I have Twilight in mind. But I thought I'd save that for a promising chocolate cake that I'm about to experiment for Hidayah's (my younger sister-in-law) birthday the end of this month =)

My mind has been too occupied with this Vampire move Twilight that I've been quite distracted from my baking & updating my blog. I read the 2nd book New Moon and managed to borrow the 1st book Twilight off my cousin's, Efie's, girlfriend, Elle, who is perhaps as crazy as I am with Twilight or maybe more! It's been keeping me up til 2-3am. I'll get back in focus once the obsession in me dies down. After all, I am only human =)

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Distributing flyers

Two days ago, I had a 2nd batch of flyers printed out at The Mall, next door. It cost me RM0.80 a piece for 300 pieces. Collected the flyers the same day, and decided to distribute them within Villa Puteri's buildings yesterday while Emille had her afternoon nap.

I started off on level 4 and worked my way up. There are 34 floors in D block and 40 floors in C block with connecting fire escapes between the two blocks. One would think slipping flyers under every occupied apartment would not be such a big deal. At least that was what I thought! I decided to give up til the 22nd floor. I felt like I just finished one session of my dance classes in mYoga with sweat patches on my top and all!

It was a very weird feeling giving out those flyers. At that time, I really feared bumping into people as don't want to be seen as the cake lady who is busy chucking her flyers in your apartments! When I did bump into tenants, I would just walk pass as if I was heading for a friend's/relative's house! DUH! My PR memang fail!

Anyway, out of those 18 floors I did yesterday, I received 3 calls enquiring about my cakes. The 1st person was a bit weird. God knows where he's from, but definitely not Malaysian. He placed an order and 'deleted' it (that was his term of cancelling) a few hours later. I could barely hear him with his funny accent plus noise of kids/women/whoever they were shouting/talking in the background. I'm quite glad i didn't get to do business with him. Now I understand Kim's reluctance of dealing with outsiders because not all customers are normal/nice.

The 2nd person was a Singaporean dude who was quite interested in the Midnight Fruitcake. He was very well spoken, polite and friendly. He kept asking if my Midnight Fruitcake was, what they call it at home as, Kek Kukus (which means steamed cake)? My Midnight Fruitcake was quite similar to his description of Kek Kukus except that i don't steam it, i bake it. He also asked me whether my Cappuccino Velvet Cheesecake is nice. Of course I said 'Yes'. I am not a person of many words. So promoting my cakes verbally is slightly a problem. As Ruby once said, the first time I wanted to sell cakes to her, I had this my-cakes-are-not-that-nice-but-I-am-saying-that-it's-nice kind of look. Get it? She said that I should sell it more confidently because they are absolutely-orgasmicly delicious. I prefer to let people judge my cakes for themselves, i.e. where the samples come handy, then again I can't afford to be making samples all the time!

Ok, moving on...The 3rd person was a lady married to an Englishman. She also enquired about the Fruitcake, asking it whether it's a steamed or baked one? What is it with steamed fruitcakes? Maybe I should do some research on it. She was thinking of ordering for Christmas, but will have to ask her husband as to which cake they should choose. She's quite keen on the Choc Cheese Wave. I think all the cakes looked so yummy on the flyer, she's having a hard time choosing! But I did say that the bestsellers are the Caramel Ruffle Brownie and the Choc Cheese Wave. I also promoted my to-die-for Velvet Cheesecake and felt like dying because selling is just not my thing! Why do you think I've got resellers to sell for me?!

So that was my story of my 1st few interations with my own customers. I actually felt quite good as it reminded me when I was working in retail for eSCENTials while expecting. I totally enjoyed my time there in Bristol. The only problem question will be the "Is it nice?" question. If only I could say "Have a taste?" *offers a small slice of cake* =)

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Midnight Fruitcakes

I baked a couple of Midnight Fruitcakes this morning. One for Kak Apeng and the other one will be quartered into what I'm about to call, the Christmas Quartet. The Quartet is basically 4-quarters of different cakes put together on one cake board - Midnight Fruitcake, Choc-Cheese Wave, Caramel Ruffle Brownie, and Cappuccino Velvet Cheesecake. Making one batch of the Quartet will give me 4 'cakes', and I'm planning to give them out as gifts to 4 close friends as a Christmas/New Year's Eve presents =) I will take a photo once I've assembled the cakes.

Going back to the Midnight Fruitcake, I'm, honestly, not a fruitcake fan. The reason I even attempted baking the fruitcake was because of my Dad who loves fruitcakes, hence I thought of baking something he likes. My Mum, like me, isn't a fan of fruitcakes. However, she absolutely LOVES this Midnight Fruitcake. Possibly the only one she'll ever eat! I am still a non-fruitcake lover hehehe =P

The Midnight Fruitcake isn't like the ones we usually get in shops (or at least like the many that I've tasted). For one, which is the most important element for a cake, to me, is it is very moist. Secondly, it's packed with fruits! - Prunes, Golden Raisins, Currants & Oranges. There's barely enough cake/flour to hold the fruits together. I don't use the pre-mixed fruits you get in packets. I think they just downgrade your cakes. Then again, that's just a personal opinion. Thirdly, like all of my cakes, it's not overly sweet. I think there's a good balance between the sweetness, tanginess, and spiciness of the cake. The cake/dough/flour itself is like a chocolate-mocha mix.

Tania once said that there's no colour since 3/4 of the fruits used are black. But I told her "Why do you think I named it Midnight Fruitcake?". I have a thing against glazed cherries, especially the typical green & red ones. That's why I don't use it in the cake. I could put in nuts, then again it all goes down to cost and how much people are willing to pay for a fruitcake.

Caledonia offers the Midnight Fruitcake at RM85 for 1.65g.

[Photo: The two fruitcakes I baked this morning, about to sit in the fridge. I have a habit of wrapping cakes in cling film to avoid fridge odours!]

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Caledonia Flyer

This is our official flyer (please click on photo to enlarge).

Orders and enquiries can be directed to:
  • Phone: 012-2171785 (Ira)
  • Email:
Collections are to be made at Villa Puteri Condominium, Jalan Tun Ismail, Kuala Lumpur.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Cappuccino Velvet Cheesecake

Just felt like taking a photo of the Cappuccino Velvet Cheesecake which I baked for Diliana. If you are a cheesecake fan, this is cake is a must try!! It also captured the hearts(or tongues?) of non-cheesecake lovers.

Instead of the traditional biscuit crumb base, I opted for a Vanilla-Lemon sponge which compliments the bursting richness of coffee in the cheese filling. The cake as a whole, has an extrememly smooth, satin-velvety texture that simply melts in the mouth. Quoting a customer's response after receiving a Petite Velvet as a present, "It's a cheesecake to die for!"

Caledonia offers the Velvet in two sizes. Grand (2kg) for RM100 and Petite (1kg) for RM75.

[Photo: A Grand (2kg) Cappuccino Velvet Cheesecake - RM100]

Choc-O-reo Mousse Torte

Three days ago, I decided to experiment on making mousse for the first time. Since Kim had to go to Indonesia for 3 days, I invited Ruby and her cousin, Wani, to stay over while Kim was away. That was when I said to Ruby that I'm about to experiment on making mousse and needs her opinion (plus tummy!) on the invention on Friday.

This new 'cake' that i made, consists of 4 layers. Working from the bottom as the 1st layer, bottom layer - Oreo cookies crumbs as a base, like in cheesecakes where you have the biscuits crumbs. 2nd layer - Caramelised chopped pecans. 3rd layer - a generous amount of bitter-sweet chocolate mousse. 4th (top) layer - Pecan halves with layered with more caramel.

I wouldn't want to call it a cake as it could be misleading, hence, torte. It is very different from my 5 cakes sold, especially in terms of texture. Kim says it's very un-cake-ly. Well, that is true as it isn't a cake. It's mousse! Ruby had the honour to have the first taste. 5 seconds later, I couldn't get anything out of her as she was in some orgasmic/out of the world state, with eyes shut and all! Verdict was good! with a few alterations of course. The top layer could do better with less caramel. Perhaps just glazed. And the Oreo base needs to be less crumbly, more intact. Both aren't hard to adjust =) So I was a happy baker and concluded that the torte passed the QC stage and will be included in the flyer at some point.

My initial concern was it might be costly due to the expensive ingredients used - Pecans, good quality chocolate, and Oreo cookies to name a few. I don't believe in substituting for inferior ingredients just to cut cost as it will definitely alter the quality of the torte. If I were to substitute, maybe the pecans to slivered almonds? Slightly cheaper, maybe still yummy although I'm a huge pecan lover =) I managed to work out the cost and came to a price of RM85 for a 1.2kg Choc-O-reo Mousse Torte. Ideally, it should be sold at RM90. But, I am unwilling to cut costs of ingredients, therefore I'll cut a bit on my profit for quality's sake.

I'll upload a photo of an eaten Choc-O-reo Mousse Torte. I might look a little messy but it'll give viewers an idea to what nonsense I'm talking about =) I will not include it on my flyer just yet. But orders are open to Caledonia's blog readers plus to those who know about it.


I initially thought that I could get away with decorating but still continue baking lovely cakes. I was wrong. I was able to avoid fancily decorating my cakes only up to a certain point until you keep selling more cakes and customers keep asking whether or not I could possibly decorate for special occassions e.g. Birthdays/Anniversaries/Weddings and list list goes on.

Doing the simple touch-ups e.g. smoothing the sides of cakes/dusting icing sugar or cocoa powder/chocolate shavings/sprinklers isn't a problem for me as it doesn't take too much time to do those things. BUT. creating flowers/patterns and icing the whole cake is not really my cup of tea. I find it too time consuming plus I myself am not a huge fan of heavily decorated cakes. To me, cakes have to satisfy my palate, not the eyes. I could eat the simple buttercream icing/ganache but never ones with Royal icing/fondants. Too stiff not to mention sweet!

Having said that, ever since opening Caledonia, I think I will have to put aside my personal preferences and try to fulfill customers' needs/requests. Perhaps I need to give myself a chance to venture into this whole decorating area. Who knows, I might get hooked? So that was what I did yesterday, trying to find a good book in Decorating in Borders, The Gardens. The thing with Malaysia, we don't actually have a huge selection of good books on anything for that matter! I always find myself ordering online from UK/US and getting them posted over to KL. I think I will have to ask my brother, Reza, to post over a good book by Wilton at some point.

Wish me luck! I think I need lots of it!