I haven't done this for a while, and it's really sweet...

Nope, not the cake, just my friend's efforts in baking a cake for her boyfriend's birthday.

She said, "I have no talent in baking..." My dear, as long as it's from the heart, you don't need any talent.

Perhaps after an eventful journey to school, the cocoa powder got wet and the cheese melted. But still, I'm sure it's the best cake Gen's ever tasted.

I used the excess and made small little tiramisu cups, so that I could try what it tasted like! It's a different recipe from my previous one and I used a sponge cake instead of sponge fingers. In any case, it tasted GOOD! So I'm really glad for that. And tiramisu must be refrigerated, once it's out of the fridge, the taste, texture and appearance will see an exponential fall.

A guy said this to me when I said I had to rush home to bake because my friend's boyfriend was having his birthday, "Just go and buy... In the end guys just eat everything. Don't waste your efforts."
True, maybe it really doesn't matter to them. But I just wanted to see my friend smile.


Teresa's 18th Birthday Surprise Party

There's a quote from Inception - "What's the most resilient parasite? An Idea."

I got some ideas from researching for my natday cake sometime back and these ideas never did leave my head. So because I was going to plan a birthday party, I thought of trying these new ideas out. One involved the creation of a pattern as below, which is essentially just one long squiggly line. I have a lot to work on my horrible piping skills!

Then I thought I could merge Croquembouche with a cake. But I didn't have enough time to make enough choux pastry and I also couldn't use caramel due to lack of time and skills. So it was ganache and chocolate mousse choux puffs. Which tasted so awesome, I think I've found the best chocolate mousse recipe EVER.

Ah but I'm so disappointed in my cake, it really wasn't up to standard. I think I need a break, exhuastion does show in my cakes. But the day turned out so unexpected, as we screwed up our sushi rice and I ended up cooking sushi rice on the stove, which turned out great. Then there were leftover rice so I ended up cooking fried rice for Olivia's family. My fried rice skills just upped level, even though my arm muscles are really aching now.

But whatever the case, I had an amazing national day night with these wonderful people. The birthday surprise worked really well! I'm so proud of everyone. I'm so glad to see those smiles, it makes all the fatigue go away and I know my dear sasa will remember how she turned 18, albeit earlier than the supposed date. It's like a dysfunctional family which I'm so lucky to be a part of.

I guess it has to do with trying to do too many things in too short a time, but I'm really so tired now. Maybe it's time to retreat back into my hidey hole, after all the excitement of past weeks. After all, I'm the type to disappear right after the song!


Post BIY Competition

It has been almost a month since the competition and things have been a little crazy since then. In any case, I would like to start this off by thanking everyone for their tremendous support all this while.

To all my friends who helped to bring me a large step closer to my dream,
To my family who seemed even more stressed out, but who are also extremely proud of me,
To schoolmates and old acquaintances I never thought I'd talk to again but whom yet sent me their heartfelt congratulations,
To BIY for organising this, and finally,
To all who clicked on that like button, regardless you knew me or not,


To sum up, what happened after winning the competition was a call the next day from the shop's founder. Turned out she was an alumni from my school! We had a chat, I told her the meaning behind the cake, the process and the thought and eventually she told me to take up a PME diploma course after my exams. Hence, you see, from that call onwards, I figured that the first "diploma" I'd take in my life is that of a path to being a pastry artist. Which frightened me a little, because taking up that course would not only mean busting $1000, but also skipping all the basic courses. And once again, being the youngest and most inexperienced one around.

Then a couple of days later, there was a prize presentation ceremony where I was awarded a very big trophy! It was intimidating to stand in front of a pastry chef (who practically built the entire Singapore on the cake), but I held a very nice conversation with him. Found out he went to Le Cordon Bleu, and that the fees there are really very steep... I have to make money if I'm going to make it there! He is a very talented individual, someone I look up to and hope that in future, be able to build up business relations with!

Then another couple of days later, I'm featured on the Lianhe Zaobao! Initially, I thought it was just going to be a small coverage, but who knew it would reach almost a page! I was interviewed a little by the reporter, and he really did a good job in translating my English into such fluent Mandarin, at the same time still maintaining what I wanted to say. That generated a lot of excitement and I got some smses that really brightened up my day.

Finally, today, I got another call. Apparently, Channel Newsasia wants to do a coverage on this competition, so I'm going to have to go down again and redecorate my cake, along with the other 2, in front of the camera. They will then give it an airtime of approximately 10 minutes, from what I've heard so far. Luckily, I managed to get sponsorship for the fondant and I'm using a dummy styrofoam cake instead of the real one. But I'm really taken aback because I'm not sure I can replicate it again, especially while next to the professional guy who built the entire Singapore on the cake.

When that would be, I'm not sure, but school will probably have to be skipped. What an experience this is going to be! But juggling school and baking is proving to be a challenge...

What's still pending is my mixer which can only arrive in end August, as well as a promised feature in some UK cakecraft magazine.

My cake is definitely not the best, but the beauty and excitement lies in how much more I can improve and how much further I can go. So my life took a whirlwind, and all this is only possible with everyone's support. I can't promise anything, except that I'll continue this passion, because you all believed that I can. And one day, I hope to bake your wedding cake!

On a side note, this whole experience was really fulfilling. Not just on baking, but also to be able to see the love and support I have from my friends and family. I made many new friends, and gained back some old friends whom I haven't talked to in years. My friends found their old friends, in the bid to garner votes and people rebuilt connections all over again, through our wireless world.

Though extremely enriching, there was a point in time, when I was a little jaded. Business conversations at 18 just felt too mature. I missed being a kid, to be able to live life as it is. But I have too much pride! It is difficult for me to accept being treated as a kid. So maybe I grew up too fast, but as long as the heart stays young, the sky's the limit.

I think... my dreams are bursting at its seams.