baking fiends unite!

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Alexis's 1st Birthday

I had volunteered to bake a cake for my dear niece for her 1st birthday. I had in mind what to do but only started with the figurine, rainbow and little flowers 5 days in advance. Little did I know that the rains would come... and stayed.... for days. It kept raining for the many days after the figurine and rainbow were completed and I could only pray that the figurine would dry. As for the cake itself, I baked it the day before the celebration and assembled the cake the next morning. I was happy when the figurine, flowers and rainbow felt dry to touch.

While assembling the cake, I decided the prop the rainbow higher so that Alexis's name would be more visible on the rainbow, so I added some height to it, by placing a huge blob of fondant as the base. To cover the base up, I added small balls of fondant to represent the clouds. I did all the finishing touches to it and happily placed the cake into a box. The weather that morning was very warm. Once I turned the air-con off and opened the doors and windows, I felt a gush of warm and humid air rush in. Still I continued with my cleaning up and left the cake alone.

Till it was time to leave the house, I peeped into the box and saw a DISASTER! The rainbow had collapsed and was leaning onto the cow. When I tried to adjust the rainbow to the original position, the left ear of the cow was stuck onto the rainbow. Still this was something that I would be able to save quite easily, so I left it as such.... until I peeped into the box 30 minutes later, while waiting for my parents to appear, I saw the fondant base had cracked! Turned out that the rainbow base and the "clouds" were too heavy for the base, it started to slide off and dragged the fondant base along! Furthermore, the fondant started melting.... making the cake looked a gooey mess instead! OMG OMG OMG... I could only asked DH to turn back to my place, where I rushed to pack fondant, the alphabet cutter, rolling pin and a pack of cornstarch to bring along to the holiday chalet, where the celebrations will be held...

Seemed like it was truly not my day, as it started to pour again on the way there... and it was still raining cats and dogs when we finally reached the destination. I could only turn the aircon at it's fullest and also the fan once I stepped in. I started dismantling the cake decor and at the same time, my brain was in overdrive, trying to salvage the situation. I was even contemplating to buy a cake at the nearby bakery if all I could do did not work.

After some consideration, I decided to redo the top of the cake, as the fondant surface was beyond repair. So I took out my remaining fondant and started rolling it out. Finally I re-assembled the decor and got approving grunts from the rest of the family.

I guess I did manage to pull it off *PHEW*.... here's some of the pics of the "before" and "after" cakes.

These are the pics of the "before" cake..... with the rainbow, figurines and flowers...
Close up of the figurine and all....Close up of the clouds which "destroyed" the cake eventually...The sides of the cake.... i placed wooden fences, flowers and butterflies all around...These are the pics of the "after" cake...

If you had the patience to read till the end of this post... Thank you! LOLz...


Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Orange Chiffon Cake

In the weekends, DH came home with a carton of fruits... I took a peep and found many oranges in there! I'm not exactly a fan of oranges, probably had an overdose of it when I was younger, which was why I stopped eating them. Orange juice and orange-processed sweets also do not interest me, so I have a hard time to find ways to use them up.
I finally decided to make an orange chiffon cake. And I had a brilliant idea of placing slices of oranges as the base of the chiffon cake mold, and when the cake was baked and overturned, it would be so nicely in place, very much like an upside down cake! I decided that the slices had to be very thin and light, so I went looking for the sharpest knife in the kitchen. Still I had lotsa problems getting the orange cut to thin slices. Sigh.... anyway, I tried my best and crossed my fingers.
brain fart

When the cake was done, I could not wait to unmold it, but I really had to wait for it to cool down. Finally when it was lukewarm, I decided to unmold and check if my idea worked. Lo and Behold... the top actually sank! Guess my orange slices were too heavy for the delicate chiffon. :( Oh well, I never knew until I tried... and I'm glad I did. It did look pretty.... if only the surface was flat and even. LOLz

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Saturday, April 03, 2010

Bundt Cake

I always wanted a nice bundt cake mold and had come across many and the nordicware design really took my breath away. However, it's too expensive, especially when it's imported into sg. Getting someone to help me purchase it in the USA also does not work as it's a heavy mold. So I have to settle for wadeva's available in sg and finally found a silicone one not too long ago. Thanks to Eyln for providing me the recipe for the cake. I had to reduce the amount of sugar as the amount stated in the recipe gave me a shock. I think it'll be too sweet for the family's palate, so I cut down abt 100gms of sugar and after drizzling some chocolate on it, the sweetness was just nice. Lovely, especially with a cup of tea/coffee/hot chocolate.
The cake without the chocolate... very plain... and it did not brown nicely. guess coz I use silicon mold.Ahhhh... much better....