Saturday, April 30, 2011

Day off Cakin'

Whew! What an exhausting month April was! (And not to mention the end of March! Everything was basically lumped together!) I have never made that many cakes in a Month (And a half!) before!

It's a sign that says I should NOT be moving to Port Dickson yet!
Speaking of moving... My house is in a mess, boxes of things here and there and everywhere!
I got a chance to look at some of my caking books I haven't touched in a LONG time!
They were put away because I couldn't really understand the techniques and such THEN, everything makes more sense now! I can't wait to dig them out and read them properly once we move.

So anyways, I completed my very last order this month and it was a WEDDING CAKE, my very first! I was super dee duper excited!
Things didn't go very smoothly for me in the process of it because the bride and groom figurines were too heavy and I put them sitting on the edge of a tiny 6" cake!
Yep! You guessed it!
Half of the cakes ripped of overnight in the humid weather! I cried bitterly (I usually do that when my cakes don't turn out the way I want it to be so I shed tons of tears when I first started! I am glad it is starting to subside now!) then started to patch everything back together.
After 2 whole years I finally got a fondant covered cake with perfectly straight sides with butter cream (I heard it was much easier with ganache, will try that one day when I don't feel quite that nervous to melt chocolate!) and after the disaster my mini 2 tiered wedding cake was patched up but it looked like it was covered by a beginner!
Oh well, lesson learnt the very VERY hard way.

I am asking you to NOT laugh at my cake! Here it is... But first I shall take you on a tour to show you the pretty deco before you see the actual cake!

So there was the bride (She is a vet that's why she has the coat and "heart beat checker" on!)  and groom and their pets all dressed in pretty clothes on my messy table, I didn't have a chance to take a proper photograph of them since I was too busy patching things up on the day of the delivery!

Love the doggy! Arf arf*
I took about 5 hours (Or 6) to complete her since I had to roll every strand of fur!

My signature rainbow roses and whimsical leaves. (I got to edit them! The photo I mean..)

I am super addicted to free hand food coloring painting!
So these are their names on gum paste doggy bones!

The night before the disaster!
See? I told you I had perfectly straight sides!
Loved the monochrome board! (I learnt it from one of the Junior Master Chef contestant's plating but with royal icing instead of sauce!)

The finished cake...
(I put the figurines on top when we reached the venue! It would be crazy if they fell during delivery!)
(The brown stuff on the top tier are paw prints, my Dad couldn't figure out what they were so I am telling you now if you are figuring out what they are as well!)  

So once we reached The Amoda building (That's where my Dad goes for his Rotary meetings so that place was pretty familiar!) and loaded everything upstairs in the ballroom.. (Oh and we met the Groom's family in the elevator! They pointed at my groom figurine and asked if it was her son, I nodded and they said some pretty lovely comments. I was quite relieved that at least SOME people liked it!)

Fixing the cake together in front of that huge crowd of people in the ballroom made me pretty nervous, my hands shook like crazy!
That ALWAYS happens when all the eyes are on ME! (That exact same feeling I always have during public speaking, ughness.)
But carrying the cake up to the stage and watching the wedding paparazzi snap photos of my cake felt good!
Had the usual "You are how old again?!" comments!
Someone also asked me why I am so skinny if I bake and asked me to eat more of my own cake and another person asked me if I was from Junior Master chef! I said "Oh I WISH" in my head!

While I was collecting my (Ehem*) payment (I ALWAYS feel guilty when I collect it! Weird.), I leaned on the side table that was next to me and knocked down a glass of whiskey? or something like that on my brand new skinny khakis which then socked my purple pumps as well. hooooraaaaayyy. But I somehow managed to catch the glass with my super ninja skills!

I felt myself go red, bright red.
Omigawdness, kill me now.

I hope my second wedding cake turns out better!

What was this post about again?
Oh right, "Day off Cakin'"!

So today started of quite normally with my usual FaceBook, Email (Oh speaking about emails... I received a REALLY awesome email yesterday! At first I thought it was spam but it didn't really look like it so I opened it, it said:
I know ur cupcakes through blog.Would you mind to meet me for interview?hope to hear from you soon. If you be able to share ur baking story. Sin Chew Daily. 
That knocked me right of my chair!! I felt SUPER! Huge grin*), Cake Central...

Then my Mom reminded me that there was a baking/cake decorating sale @ City Bakers today, so off we went!

Her landlubber's loot:

I FINALLY own a clay gun!
Hip hip hooray!
I don't have to roll hair for my figurines strand by strand anymore!

The rest of my super duper crazily priced loot!
Went crazy over the jewel molds! have been looking ages for it! (And the FMM bead mold too!)
Since I started with tiered cakes I always had a bit of trouble stacking them but now I have a huge spatula to the the job! See left corner*
And gold luster dust to last me a life time!
Stocked up my "Super ice" (Instant royal icing! Just add water! Love the fact that I DON'T have to sieve and i can pipe it through a 00 tip without stuckages!) and gum paste but that's not exactly loot, right? 

We were pretty hungry after all that shopping so we went for pie and frozen yogurt after that!

I was pretty reluctant to go maybe because I am so sick of yogurt! (I used to be a yogurto addict! I could have 4-5 cups a day!)
But that all changed when I saw the CHOCOLATE yogurt and the toppings! YUMMM!

Chocolate yogurt + gummy bears + canned longan + nata de coco = The BEST yogurt ever!
Until... My gummy bears froze! It was pretty hard to chew after that...

Mommy whisked us off to Museum Negara after that!
It turned out more fun then I expected!

There was:

Wood carving.

A leaf bird which turned out to be a whole lot more complicated than I though it would be!
The demo lady did 98% of it for me! 

Funeral music!

Poison dart target practice!   


Sunday, April 24, 2011

Snow white and Mickey

For this batch of cupcakes I decided to make the cupcakes toppers 2D and 3D in some parts, I was inspired by  some African animal themed cupcakes I saw on CakeCentral quite some time back and I finally had the chance to do them!

The cupcake toppers would be easy if you had something to copy but as for the snow white ones..
No matter how much research I did there were NO half decent cupcake toppers on the web!
I am so used to relying on things I find on the web so this made a PANIC! A little... I suppose!
My snow white forest woodland blue birdies.
Made some bunnies as well but i didn't get a chance to take a photo of them!
I didn't do it intendedly but it looks like that "See no evil, hear to evil, speak no evil" thing! Hahaha! Doncha think so? 


Snow white! 
(I wonder who designed Snow White's dress, it is the worst dress I ever saw!)
After a couple of disasters trying to copy "Snow White" from the web and the book I finally gave up and used my own creativity to make her!
That's one thing I can never be, a PHOTO COPIER!  


My first Snow White looked something like this but it wasn't plastered on to the cupcake, it looked rather snobbish and grumpy so off into the bin it went! 
Since the cupcake topper was only 1 1/2" it was pretty tedious and it was rather heart brokening to see it go into the bin, oh well!  


After all that panicking I remembered (Somehow.) that I HAD (I mean I still do but I don't read it anymore, obviously!) a Disney Snow white book, SOMEWHERE in our piles and piles of books!
Finding it wasn't all that tough I suppose... I just looked out for the golden spine and WA-LAH!
Was so glad I found it!
I would be VERY dead if I didn't have it, Thank you My little golden Walt Disney Snow White book for saving me! You may return to your very peaceful spot on the shelf.   

The "name tags".
Both are written free-hand on gum paste with a #0 paintbrush and food coloring.
It was a pretty last minute thing so I had to do it at 1.00 AM!
Yawn! I am glad I didn't fall asleep on them!
I am pretty proud of them although I might need to work on the color combination a bit but I absolutely love creating my own techniques and writing/piping on cakes because I guess penmanship has always been one of my "Strong points".
(I used to write like printed text you find in a book when I was in Primary school! I guess I was/am a perfectionist, well at certain things!) 

A few of my lucky Pluto cupcakes!

My mickey and Minnie ones!
I call this way of frosting them the "Latte way" because it looks like the layers in it!


Thursday, April 21, 2011


Oh! I mean April! Funny how I always get those two mixed up!

A very surprisingly busy month for me, never had this many cake/cupcake orders in a month before! (It must be something telling me to stay in KL and not move to PD I assume..)
Oh! And to make this month even MORE special... I am in the mids of working on my first EVER wedding cake order! I am SO happy! And was very excited before I started.

And... I got myself addicted to Junior MasterChef since one of my friends post this: Junior Masterchef : Pierre!! ♥ ♥ ♥  as her FaceBook status!

Then it hit me!
Pierre! (My all time favorite contestant, too bad he only reached the top 4 or was it 5.. Too bad almost everyone that watches it loves him too! Wasn't very happy with the winner since he did cheat in one of the episodes, ugh. I absolutely hate cheaters since I experienced the winner of the ICCA Teen cake competition cheating. Jeez, still can't get it out of my head!) Junior Masterchef! My all time favorite show when I went to Perth for a holiday sometime last year! Watched it everyday or was it every week? 

And the episode that I first watched was a pressure test (I personally am not very good at caking under pressure    
I am not sure how they can produce and plate up the dish so beautifully in that small amount of time! I would have fainted when the clock started ticking! Especially Pierre, he is like oh today's we are cooking ____? Okay then. Starts chopping, mixing and cooking* I feel very completely useless next to all of them!) or something like that with PIES as the "thing-every-contestant-has-to-cook" and one of my favorite foods in the world are pies. (I hate fruit pies though, meat pies are AWESOME!)

I was completely in awe on how much knowledge those kids from 8-12 yrs have!

So this was my MAJOR distracting to caking since the start of April until today... When I discovered that YouTube deleted (Due to some copyright reasons ans blahblahblah!) the uploader's (MasterChef, Junior MasterChef, Hells Kitchen etc. Loved that channel!) channel!
Oh well, I did choose to stop watching since Pierre got eliminated! It was no fun watching after that because it got rather boring, yawn.

I am pretty glad I got this addiction (Speaking of addictions I got re-addicted to Cake Boss again about the same time as MasterChef! So the last week has been basically spent on Youtube watching videos!) over and done with so I could finally get back to caking!

So besides caking, we (As in my 3 brothers and Mommy.) went to the National Science Center or Pusat Sains Negara (I prefer my English version!) for an onion DNA extraction experiment thingy and we got to build a DNA err.. strand? out of 2 strips of foam and straws. (They were colored to represent 4 funny names which I cannot remember..)
We have been going there SO often since we became members of the library over there, it is starting to get a wee bit boring...

Anyways I was running low on supplies since I wasn't expecting so much this month so I decided to stop by my 2nd home, it's ICCA if you remember/read my Miri blog post and have some yummy Spaghetti carbonara and a Chocolate milkshake (2 of my favorite foods in the world! One step above pies!) before that since I didn't have much before leaving for the Science Center.   

Ahh... I always loved that feeling that I am going up the lift and then greeted by a very happy Nina (That's the shopkeeper/cashier/my friend that I talk to when ever I arrive too early for my Wilton courses because my Dad had an early appointment and help with her personal baking projects. Man, I miss those Wilton course days... i just wish I could re-experience everything over and over again! And going out with my "Auntie" course mates for lunch after the course finishes, I felt so grown up and of course VERY happy! Now all I want is to go to Never Never land so I would never grow up so that I could master EVERYTHING before I reach a certain age.) and seeing all the baking and cake decorating tools and supplies in front of me. 
Heaven. Bliss.

But today was something a bit unexpected happened.
When I rung the door bell and as usual Nina opened the door with that mega watt smile on her face and screamed "KAREN! I missed you SO much! You grew taller!" (Typical, she always says that sentence.).

I did my shopping in a jiffy, I would know where everything is with my eyes closed!
Then there was a group of students (From I am not very sure what caking class.) that just exited the "class room" and Nina said these words: This is KAREN Evereee boddeeeee! (No she did not say the "Evereeee boddeeeeee" part, I just love the way Grover says it!) The 13 year old girl who _________________ (I don't feel like bragging much today!) and then everyone turns to me and...
Shakes my hand?! (And goes "It's GREAT to meet you!")
I was like " Err... Waahht is going on?! 

What an awesome shopping experience!


Friday, April 15, 2011


As you know (If you read my Clay Doll 2 blog post.) I started a new tissue box project and decided to cover it with clay chocolate ganache, biscuits, candy and other sweet stuff.

No doubt making biscuits in all shapes and sizes as pretty F.U.N but I had a feeling that I wanted to do something on my own.
Invent my own technique, not the Yenji way.

After doing some Googling on polymer clay charms I LOVED the look of the donut and cupcakes on the web but I wanted to make mine look better, even though I pretty much have never made them before!
(I did try making a few cupcakes before but the "wrapper" didn't turn out very well so I planned to concur them this time round, and I DID!)

I decided to turn one of my donuts into a necklace!
Sweet, huh?!
Can't wait to wear it out! Smiley face*
(Too bad I ran out of my clear shiny nail polish! They need glazing badly!)

My other donuts in vanilla, strawberry and chocolate glaze.
My favorite donut is the chocolate one, the lighter color glazes didn't turn out too well...

Above and below:
My vanilla cupcakes!
All hand-mold (The donuts are too, molds and cutters spoil all the fun!) and I finally was able to make the "wrapper" paper thin! Yippeeee!
Made them a wee bit browned on the top to make them a wee bit more realistic!
I LOVE them!!


P.S Anyone interested in a polymer clay donut tutorial and how to make the glaze? Comment below if you wish to have it!

Thursday, April 14, 2011

FRIM in Snippets (And some words.)

My Mom organised a trip to FRIM's (Forest reserve institution Malaysia. Yes! I finally remembered it by heart.) tissue culture lab (Because my 7 yr old brother was interested but was most of the time not very interested in it, oh well.) with a home school group and as usual.. I was not all that excited to go (And it collided with my beauty sleep since we had to leave at.. err.. 8-ish or so. I AM NOT A MORNING PERSON. i am a evening person. smiley face*)  but that all changed once I found out that...
I GOT TO WEAR A LAB COAT (And some horrible looking sterilized pasar malam slippers! But the lab coat part got me VERY excited! I think I should get one and wear it when I am caking, lab coats make me happy..) in the tissue culture lab!

And that tissue culture was pretty interesting too.
I suppose.

These are some tongkat ali roots in a test tube? test jar? well you get the picture, we saw in the lab. 
They are kept in some water? (Drat I forgot to ask what special liquid it was!), on a shaky surface and covered with a black plastic bag.
A few dozen glass test tube jar thingies are kept on a earth quake like surface to increase the amount of oxygen in (The plant and roots are BLEACHED before they are put into the test tube thingies to make sure that there are no fungi and disease, it is amazing how they do not die.) the "test tube" (The "test tubes" are sealed with aluminium foil and some cling wrap so that the "things" in it are clean and sterilized).
A plant's natural instinct to light is to grow leaves so it has to be kept in the dark if you just want the "root" to grow.

Loved seeing "test tubes" and "test tubes" of leaf-less roots!
It was interesting finding all this out, which I had to ask because the rest of the participants and explainer didn't ask at all and didn't explain the whole picture.  

This is what they use instead of soil to grow the "plantlings".

A "plantling", guess what species/plant this is!
It was miniaturized (For some reason they just are because they are growing on agar and not soil but if you "release" them back they would go back to normal.) and I found that VERY cute.. and interesting of course!  

Another interesting thing I found in the lab was the desk they worked on which had an "air-conditioner" above it with a very tiny? powerful? filter which blows out only sterilized air and that's the ONLY place where you can actually open (With sterilized gloves of course. Sterilized, sterilized.. That's the only word you hear in there!) the miniature tissue culture plants.
And before they start work in the morning the UV ray all the desks for 15 minutes to kill all the bacteria.
I might die of cleanliness in there.   

A tree with huge, thin, wide roots, the guide said you could use it to build a rest place or... A toilet! 

We went jungle tracking after that and there was a swarm of mozzies after me! AHHHHHGGH!*
And after our trip to Mulu in March I had ENOUGH of jungles for a while, so it was pretty disappointing that I had to go in one today!
The two jungle-y photos are the only 2 things I found interesting and different from the other jungles.

Just mind blowing isn't it?
I have never seen such pretty trees in my ENTIRE life!

We went to cool down by the stream after the jungle tracking.
Here are some random snippets.


Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Quilled Mini Cake

I saw a quilled gold fish cake on CakeCentral a couple of days ago and it looked SO pretty I HAD to try it and it so happened that we were going to Penang this weekend (And I have a mad hatter tea party appointment with Basil Beauregard! So I already thought of making a tiny cake a while back and I just came across this quilling technique, Perfect!) , so I had the perfect opportunity to try out this quilling technique with gum paste.  

Oh and to make the cake even more fun I colored the yellow cake batter BLUE and once it was baked it came out turquoise! Yippee! (That was supposed to be a surprise but never mind..!)

Once I had the cake covered with fondant I decided the white background was a little too plain and I had TONS of Squire's Kitchen food paint.

I had a rather hard time choosing the colors since they didn't really label the colors as I expected.
For instance, white is edelweiss and there is wisteria, nasturtium (I can't even pronounce this thing!), gentian, cyclamen etc! Scary!

I went with some daffodil, sunflower, rose, pink and lilac.
Then painted the white fondant a bit.
After a while the cake got a bit bumpy (I think you can see that in the photo!), I wonder what happened... 

I did everything free-hand (Without poking holes/ sketching on the cake first.) but I did copy some parts from a very pretty (But I made it prettier with a few personal fantasy bird touches!) quilled dove I found on the net.  
Since I have NEVER done quilling with paper before but I did read a book on quilling once so I guess I knew quite a bit of basics.
Everything was different if you used fondant instead of paper so the things I knew was no help!

Oh and at the starting I found rolling it up with out squishing it and sticking it on was tougher than ANY string work I have EVER done, my hands were rather shaky!   
So the first hour or so was full of errors then everything went smoothly for the next 4! (It was a on a 6" cake so I had to make everything extra tiny! Ugh. I can't imagine doing more gum paste quilling!)

Okay that should be about it for the quilled cake, I also completed another cake today:

What a tiring caking day!


Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Clay doll 2

It's done, finally!
Clay has been an "On-Off" thing for me since I could come when ever I want and not come when ever I wanted, so it makes you want to go more on the "Not wanting to go" side.
So I had been "Not wanting to go" since like.. err.. Some time last year! 

And when I resumed clay I found the part of my dress I left there for about five months rather dusty and it was white so it got a rather good scrub.

I am pretty proud of this one compared to the last one (I can't find a photo of it! Okay let me describe it.. The whole "costume" is in shades of purple which was a horrible mistake because that's how it got so dull! I think there were too little layers of clay cloth on that one which made it look a little too skinny and not "royal", it looks like the servant of my current on actually! The eyes and mouth were brown and light pink so they didn't really stand out much, Now everyones saying that it looks ghostly! So I made the eyes black and red this time! Made the hair pieces and hair more 'royal" too this time.. And that should be about all I can describe!) I made that seems VERY dull compared to this one and the fact that I got to choose the colors for this doll (I insisted very hard so the tutor/teacher gave in, Yippee!)  

I think it is quite easy to guess which is my favorite part of the dress/doll..
It's the black things hanging down with the gold paintings on it and the hair pieces!
What's yours?

Oh, and my first doll was empty handed so I decided my second one needed something to hold and I saw one of the dolls in the display holding a fan and it looked quite good so I decided to go with it.

I spent about 10 hours plus another 2 more on the doll once I got home (Making the fan, doing more gold painting at the back of the dress and touching up some stuff.), I couldn't really focus on anything properly once I was done, I was drop dead tired!

I love it when I am done with a project and I have to meet Mommy and the rest down stairs, I get the parade all around Ikano (I think it is called IPC now, what a horrible name.) with my doll and my VERY extremely heavy tool box which I nearly dropped yesterday.
I could have taken the lift but I have a weird phobia of being in one alone, it's even worst if someones walks in, so I went 3 floors down with the escalator and my heavy stuff.

Then.. The hair kept falling (I re-did the whole hair do once I got home because too many pieces were missing!!) out and my hands were full and about to break so I couldn't pick them up!
I felt like Hensel leaving breadcrumbs on the floor!

So my current project is a Tissue box, hahaha!
Can't wait to see how this one turns out!


Friday, April 1, 2011

Cupcake Tee

It was the first sewing project I EVER completed in my entire life and it turned out pretty well in the end so I guess I am pretty proud to say that I CAN OFFICIALLY SEW WITHOUT KILLING MYSELF! (Although I almost did, read on!)

3 days ago I stopped by one of my favorite places in the world, the craft shop in PJ (Petaling Jaya. I wonder how I will be able to survive without a craft shop in Port Dickson! Nooo!) old town to get some felt for a random un-planned project.

Did I ever tell you how much I LOVE craft shops?
It is like wonderland to me!
All that ribbons, cloth, sequins, shiny embellishments, paint, beads, buttons in all sort of shapes and colors just makes me go all hyper and bonkers!
It is IMPOSSIBLE to choose just ONE project to work on!

I asked for some felt and the sales women pointed me to a tiny closet under the stair case, it was rather narrow and squishy and it was FILLED to the BRIM with felt in every single color you can dream off!
Again... Choosing was impossible!
I decided to choose neon colors since they were my favorite type of colors.

Mommy (She also suggested the t-shirt idea and it was a pretty good one.) said that I had to use cross stitch thread for the felt sewing to make it more visible.
The sales women showed me a huge cupboard that was filled with tiny pull-out drawers that all had different shades of colors in them!
Went with neon colors again!
And the thread I chose was first at a dark color then it went lighter down the thread, rather cool.   

Once I got home I rummaged my drawer for a plain colored t-shirt and started the project immediately (After doing some felt cupcake research. Research makes me feel more confident on what I am doing.) since I got the cupcake idea in the shop already. 

I actually wanted the icing to be purple (If you read my previous post.. I am a purplo-holic!) but it (For some reason) didn't look too good.
So I went with what most felt cupcakes I saw on Google colors was, PINK. (My third favorite color, Turquoise comes in second.)
I guess for a felt cupcake to look good it has to be pink, huh?

After cutting out the templates and the felt, I was stuck on how to sew it on.
I am NOT the best person to know when you want to learn how to sew.

After a minute or two I learnt that I had to start from underneath. (I felt fairly dumb at that point of time.)
Sewing was pretty tough and I had to use a fair amount of strength since the shirt and felt was rather thick and I kept wondering how "those women" sew so fast and quickly and without much of a glance on what they were working on!

Half way through the "icing" I decided to stuff it a bit with some old clothes/rags I found in the storeroom to give it a more interesting look, it was a pretty good decision I think because now I have an instant pillow to hug!    

Oh and the golden butterfly embellishment.. 
It was love at first sight in the craft store!
It came in a pair and it was only RM2.00!
It was a good piece of "bling" to add on to my cupcake!

I was supposed to sew on some VERY tiny black (But with a bit of light it looks rainbow-ish, another cool find.) beads on the icing, it was supposed to be sprinkles but after sewing the butterfly on my puffy icing I decided that I had better things to do with that amount of time!

Once everything was done I found a container full of bonkers eyes and decided to stick some on with a bit of SUPER GLUE!
Worst, Decision. EVER!
The grey felt around it turn ROCK hard and white-ish!
Oh, how frustrated I was!

I took the eyes out and added stripes the next day and while sewing on a strip on the "rock hard" spot, the needle just wouldn't go through!
So I used A LOT of force and it went through the cloth all right..
And my left thumb as well.
Then I felt the sharp metal needle hit something hard (Thunk*), that must have been my bone.
Who knew that THAT much blood could come out from such a small hole. (I am glad I didn't bleed on the white shirt!)

After it stopped bleeding (And I stopped rolling on the floor and doing some fake crying and real laughing. I love drama-ing a bit when I get hurt.) and the bone and flesh didn't hurt as much., I started sewing again but this time a lot more cautious!  

I would prick it on top first with another needle then go though it from the bottom.

But I completed the sewing project!


Oh, and this is me in my new Karen Cuppy Cake t-shirt before I left to Genting Highlands in it!

LOLFCC (Lots of love from cloud city.)

P.S Can't wait to get started on my felt cake tee!