Friday, October 30, 2009

Halloween update

My apologies for terribly slacking in updating Caledonia's blog. I have been very very busy lately with work as well as with taking some time off. Just to ensure that I do reply to your inquiries promptly, please either email me directly or call/text me on my mobile.

I've been receiving quite a number of requests for fancy cakes which I was not able to fulfill due to time constraint. I would appreciate if I could get about a week's notice for those fancy cakes and about 2-3 days notice for plain cakes with simple frosting (all subject to availability in schedule).

On a different note, I'm off to Penang today with my family for the Halloween weekend and will be back on Monday next week. Happy Halloween folks! =)

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Hari Raya 2009

Wishing all Muslims a very Happy Hari Raya! I wish to take this opportunity to seek forgiveness from those whom I've offended/wronged in any way in the past. God Bless us all =D

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Ira is complaining

I feel EXTREMELY tired today. Baking in Kota Kinabalu is no fun. I hate the oven. Perhaps I'm not used to this one in my house in KK - I miss my oven in KL. I'm trying to get all KK orders done by tomorrow in hope that I can put my feet up on Saturday. I don't think I have ever felt this tired before. I can bake 20 cakes a week in KL and was still able to jump/smile/run. Now I just feel like dozing off to bed. Perhaps I'm spoilt by my Kitchen Aid in KL which does make life a lot easier compared to my Philips hand-held mixer in KK...or the endless variety of bowls & spatulas I can choose from to bake certain cakes etc. I don't know about other bakers, but these little things do make a huge difference when baking. I mean, mixing a cake in a heavy glass bowl used for fruit punches and trying to pour it into the tin is hard work! *sigh*

I am a creature of habit. When I bake cake A, I will ALWAYS have to use bowl B & C with spatulas A & D, for example. I'm glad that I've given myself a headstart and already baked 8 cakes in KL for orders in KK - all the cake-hand-carrying is way way better than having to bake those 8 cakes. I think I would have gone mental. The only nice element about baking in KK is the kitchen. The family has a beautiful kitchen with lots of marble worktops. If only I could bring the kitchen to KL, then my baking life would have been complete =)

Ok, enough complaining for tonight! I should be thankful for what I have and remember that there are always others who are worse off than myself. Selamat Hari Raya dear readers! =)

Ira x

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

My three year old birthday princess

I am overwhelmed by my Raya cake orders. I have to announce that I cannot take in any fancy decorated orders for this period, until Raya holidays are over - only orders of plain cakes are accepted (apologies for this!)

My daughter, Emille Jasmine just turned 3 yesterday =) I baked her some fudgy chocolate cupcakes with Royal Icing flowers for her birthday since she has been asking me for "flower cupcakes" for the past three days. I also took her shopping at Bangsar Village and bought her a Thomas Sabo necklace with a Bambi charm. She was so confused when she saw all the Disney character charms and grabbed about 4 charms when I asked her "Which one does Emille want?" LOL - four charms would be a bit much for a three year old!

Sunday, September 6, 2009

A Baby Shower Cake

This a grand Choc Cheese Wave cake for a surprise baby shower for Aliah's friend. The decoration request of the cake (blue and pink) was specific - a nappy bag, pacifiers, shoes, a pram, a ball, a bottle, and blue & yellow stars at the sides of the square cake. Aliah was overjoyed when she came to collect the cake. I hope the mum-to-be and friends will enjoy the cake =)

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Phone back to normal

I am now contactable through my mobile number. My husband went to Maxis and inquired, and my number wasn't barred/disconnected at all. LOL Maxis said, to check my simcard and restart my phone - problem sorted! Sorry folks! =D

Monday, August 31, 2009

Mobile line down

Apologies for this inconvenience but my mobile isn't working at the moment. I've forgotten to pay this month's bill therefore am not able to make and receive calls/texts =O I will get it sorted first thing tomorrow morning.

For the time being, please contact me via email for any orders or enquiries. I will announce once my phone has resumed back to normal. Thank you!

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Iftar full of cakes

Amal, a friend of ours when we were studying in Bristol, ordered the Caramel Ruffle Brownie and a petite Choc Cheese Wave frosted with chocolate vanilla buttercream - one for her sister and one for her brother who both share the same birthdate yesterday =) I hope Amal and family enjoyed the cakes during their Iftar =)

[Caramel Ruffle Brownie]

[Petite Choc Cheese Wave]

Friday, August 28, 2009

AKN Cappuccino Velvet Cheesecake

I received an order for a petite Cappuccino Velvet Cheesecake a week ago by Datin Kimi, as a surprise birthday cake for her beloved husband. Datin Kimi wanted me to draw a logo of her husband's company (thank goodness it didn't involvle a head of a lion or something of that sort! LOL) with a simple message on the cake. Very minimalistic, my kinda cake =) I delivered the cake on a Monday morning to the office in Shah Alam. I usually look up delivery addresses on google maps and was confident enough that the address Datin Kimi gave me matched the location pointed out on google maps...until...I ended up at the Airforce base! Yes Google directed me to the Airforce base with the AKN's office address. I ought to email google maps to update that error before somebody else, looking for AKN's office gets directed to the TUDM (Airforce base).

Anyway, I always drive with a map in hand and a gps on my phone so getting the correct location wasn't so difficult after Datin Kimi gave me landmarks to look out for that lead to the office. I was there nice and early when I delivered the cake to the Secretary.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Attention to all Kota Kinabalu based customers!

Hari Raya Homemade cookies and cakes by Hannur Afdhal are available now in Kota Kinabalu, Sabah. For orders, please contact 012-8660687 or 019-8526668 (Mimie). Thank you! =)

Message from the promoter:

"Dear Friends! HANNUR AFDHAL COOKIES are now available for orders! Pick up your selection of mouth-watering cookies from the flyer shown below. We now offer 3 NEW FLAVOURS namely CHOC CHIPS, SUJI & MELTING MOMENT!! Wondering whether these cookies are any good? Why dont you give it a try? Nicely packed COOKIE SAMPLES are available upon request! Please do not hesitate to contact me for any further information! Thanks!" -Mimie-

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Stocking up

It's the first day of Ramadhan today. I've been quite diligent in my kitchen for the past week stocking up cake orders for Raya. I now have a build up of 9kg worth of sugar-eggs-flour products in my freezer for orders received so far - still having about 4kg more to go before my list gets longer. I hope our sugar shortage issue improves quickly. I would literally buy 2 packs (the current limit per family to purchase in shops) of sugar everytime I go grocery shopping just to avoid myself being in a situation where I would have to desperately look in every corner of KL for sugar.

I will be spending Raya in Kota Kinabalu (thank God!) this year with most of my siblings (except for my always-MIA-brother =P) and parents. It's a good feeling especially after not being able to spend proper Raya with my own family for...about 8-9 years. That happens when all four siblings were studying/working/living abroad.

Kim asked for cake last night so I decided to cut up one portion of what was supposed to be for an order...I don't always do that but last night was an exception. There are so many in the fridge, what is one cake less to my extra effort?? =) Anyway, once again, I wish all fellow Muslim customers and readers a very happy Ramadhan and lets take the opportunity during this month to become better people =) *peace*

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Graduation cake went wrong

I finally have my own laptop which I've decided to name, Pocket =) It's red, it's light, it's so small, I can literally carry it everywhere in my handbag with me =)

Yesterday, I delivered two cakes to Putrajaya for a high school friend Vivien. Vivien ordered the petite Choc Cheese Wave for her sister's graduation day so I made a Karate woman graduate as the cake topping. I went overboard with estimating the size of the woman so ended up with a slightly overweight karate woman graduate. When Kim and I reached her place in Putrajaya, The Karate graduate was already lying on her side!!! aarrgghhh I felt so annoyed with myself for being so careless on the road trip! I should have brought another person to help me hold the cakes.

I gave a generous discount for the cake and was thankful enough that Vivien didn't quite mind since it was just for their own consumption. Next time, I'll literally assemble figurine-cakes on the spot to avoid accidents like this in future! I hope that Vivien and sisters enjoyed their Choc Cheese Wave and their Caramel Ruffle Brownies!

[when the cake was still perfect]

[my 'orang batu' Karate graduate]

Friday, August 14, 2009

Hari Raya information

First of all I would like to apologise for slacking in updating Caledonia's blog. I have only recently have had internet back to normal at home and my laptop has been hijacked hehehe. I'm still waiting for my new VAIO P to be engraved so hopefully it would be ready in a few days time =)

I will be leaving (again! - don't punch me for this LOL) for my hometown in Kota Kinabalu on the 14th September 2009 for Hari Raya. Therefore, I currently take orders for Raya up to the date of my departure. All cakes (unfrosted) shall be baked in a square shaped pan for the ease of cutting and serving during your Hari Raya open days. Most of my cakes (unfrosted) lasts for quite a while especially if kept in the freezer (except for the cheesecakes that lasts only up to 1 month in the freezer) and this doesn't have any adverse effect when it comes to taste and texture.

Do email/call/text me early to place your orders to avoid disappointment. I do apologise to a few customers for having to turn your orders down as my baking schedule has been quite hectic =O To my fellow Muslim readers & customers, I wish you a very happy Ramadhan ahead =)

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Holiday happenings

I'm back!! Fully recovered and as crispily burnt as a crispy duck! I filled my two week holiday in KK with lots and lots of snorkelling and diving trips! I went snorkelling 3 days in a week and a 3 day dive trip as well...I kept going to the jetty so frequently that I made aquaintences with the boat guys there! LOL They're nice people plus handy especially when you need favours of getting an earlier boat than scheduled or simply to take us to the secret beautiful parts of the island, unknown to tourists, to enjoy the sight of beautiful corals and fish =) heh heh heh I took my Advanced diving course and a Nitrox specialty course inKK which took 3 days and did another 3 leisure dives before that. I experienced horrible horrible seasick when diving and honestly, it wasn't pleasant! As soon as I roll myself back into the water, I felt much much better. Kim says that I'm a fish and that I should just remain underwater hehehhe. It took me an extra 4 days to recover fully from my seasickness and to feel fully human again.

This weekend, we're off to Bali! Mainly to surf and dive...and the rest of the time filled with a bit of everything. I started baking some cakes today for the end of this week and just realised that I left my digital scale in KK! I'm waiting for my sister to bring it over with her when she comes to KL this Friday. I planned to make more of those teddies for some cupcake orders but looks like it'll have to be delayed til I get my scale back *shrugs* I find it difficult to convert back to my normal scale after being so used to precision on my digital scale. But as far as baking is concerned, my old normal scale would do for the time being =)

[One of our snorkelling trips - Manukan Island]

[We found what we were looking for! The blue-ringed Octopus...My instructor told me to prove it to the world that "There is the blue-ringed Octopus in Sapi Island, KK". wwoohoo!]

[when I did my Advanced buoyancy test. Writing on the pad while maintaining position only inches off the sea floor]

[The Kiwi guy with the tattoos? Yup that's Nev Kippenberger, my brilliant instructor from Sabah Divers]

Friday, July 10, 2009

Days off from baking (11th July-25th July) & (1st August-5th August)

I am officially on holiday as of tomorrow 11th July - 25th July and from 1st August-5th August. I will be spending two weeks in my hometown Kota Kinabalu (for July), so will not be taking in any orders. Although, due to some special request from friends in KK, I might accept some simple cakes for simple orders. Strictly no, fondant moulding and wedding/engagement cakes, Sorry!! =O

I will be spending most of my time easy diving the waters of KK apart from spending time with family and friends =) I wish everyone well and will be back in my kitchen on 26th til 31st July before heading off to Bali for my birthday holiday =)

Ira x

Johan's Akikah Choc Cheese Wave Cupcakes

A friend of ours from Bristol, Fariza & Eso, placed this order way way wayyy well in advance and I'm truly grateful for that. Fariza has been eyeing on the Choc Cheese Wave ever since she was expecting their son, Johan! So finally, as they made their trip back to Malaysia, showing Johan for the first time to family members, she placed an order of 96 Choc Cheese Wave cuppies which were specially created for her and family. She also requested that I put football/cute little bears/guitars/graduation scrolls/letter 'J' as the cupcakes topping.

I had real fun making the bears especially as they were soo cute!! I felt like pinching each one myself after completing them, but obviously that would mean my hard effort wasted! I must admit that the bears were the hardest among all. It took me days to slowly finish 20 bears in different baby poses. Anyway, I had a mixture of fondant covered cuppies as well as Chocolate Vanilla buttercream frosted cupcakes. I hope that both mummy & daddy will be happy with my creation. Enjoy the photos!

[Choc Cheese Wave Specialty Cuppies]

[thought I'd post a photo of my little helper Emille]

[graduation hats & scrolls]

[I just couldn't wait to pack them up in their boxes!!!]

[my royal icing footballs and clowns]

[my favourite!]


[letter 'J' swirls with blue sugar sprinkles]

[the group of bears]

[football swirls]

[Mr. clown]

[all packed, ready for collection! - yay, I did it!!! now I can go on holiday! =)]

Sara's Friday orders

Caramel Ruffle Brownie is a melt-in-the-mouth-brownie with a fudgy caramel layer.

The Toblerone Dark Temptation is another version of my existing Dark Temptation cake except that it contains bars and bars and bars and bars...of Toblerone both in the cake and ganache! This cake has a generous amount of Toblerone ganache between the layers of Toblerone sponge cake plus more all over!

Just thought that I'd post a blog about the Caramel Ruffle Brownie, since it's been quite a while since I last baked one. This was Sara's order. The borwnie for self indulgence and the Toblerone Dark Temptation for a friend's birthday. I delivered the cakes quite early in the morning to Sara's office as I had quite a few things to do for the day before I fly off to KK tomorrow for my 2-week holiday =)

Re-announcing, I'll be off to Kota Kinabalu starting from tomorrow (11th July) til the 25th July. So no baking for that two weeks. Have an enjoyable weekend folks! =)

[freshly out of the oven Caramel Ruffle Brownie]

[a Petite Toblerone Dark Temptation]

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Two-tiered Choc Cheese Wave Butterfly-Confetti Cake

A two-tiered Choc Cheese Wave wedding cake for Iza's cousin. This is my 1st tiered cake and the theme was a fun/party cake/butterflies with pastel colours of white/pink/lilac to play around with. I decided to randomly pipe confetti details around the cake to resemble confetti thrown in parties and weddings. The butterflies were specially requested by Iza, so I included quite a number, perched on baby's breath flowers.

My apologies for the not-so-well-taken photos.I had issues with lighting against the bright pastel cake so most of the photos didn't come out as good as I wanted them to be. Nevertheless, enjoy the photos!

[frosted with Choc Vanilla Buttercream]

Friday, June 26, 2009

Thomas the Train Choc Cheese Wave birthday cake for Rooney

I decorated my first Thomas the train cake for Dolly this morning. Dolly wanted a grand (2kg) Choc Cheese Wave cake as a present for her nephew, Rooney, who is in Kota Kinabalu. Iced with chocolate vanilla buttercream, I hope the cake will sit safely on the plane to KK. Enjoy the photos!

[my little pink wonky bunny]

[and a couple of wonky fences too!]

Kim said I should have taken a close-up photo of the tree, which I didn't. I'll get that sone and upload it later =)