Saturday, October 23, 2010

Geronimo Stilton For Gabriel

Gabriel loves to read Geronimo Stilton books, like many of his peers in primary school. He has a collection of almost 20 now. When I was thinking hard about the design of his birthday cake, he suggested Geronimo Stilton. I researched on the internet but alas, google only returned two Geronimo Stilton cakes and both were 2D. Gabriel was not impressed. So I turned to his stack of books to seek inspiration. This book was chosen.

I incorporated elements of the book into the cake and this is Mr Stilton, complete with glasses and magnifying glass, as in the book.

His party was held at Lilliputt, Singapore's only 18 hole mini golf. Thank God its indoors, the haze situation is BaaaD.
The mini golfers had a great time!!
This is Gabriel and Zachary. The only kid from his class that turned up. I was really upset about the parents not bothering to RSVP to the invite at all. Some of the children told Gabriel they will come, but I never heard from the parents. And true enough, they did not turn up. I believe it is basic courtesy to just RSVP! So much food wasted.

Our lady golfers.

Start with a short briefing. The staff at Lilliputt were so attentive and patient. Great place to hold a party.

The 18 holes were uniquely Singapore and lots of fun too.

This mini golfer too young to play. But the staff were kind enough to lend her a golf ball and she had fun putting them into the various 'mechanisms'.

Singing happy birthday. Can tell by their face how much fun they had.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Nathalie is Two!

October is a busy, busy month. Its the end of the company's financial year which means work is extra busy. It is also the month that we have two birthday celebrations at home - Nathalie's at the beginning of the month and Gabriel's towards the end. Two other celebrations in between, so a total of four cakes to bake and decorate!
Its amazing how much Nathalie has grown in the past few months. She captures my heart with her every move and speech. And yes, she speaks really well now, in full sentences. She likes to say 'I show you something first', 'Mommy, can I play ipad/phone? can?', '├Łeah, TV Show!' and many more. She loves to sing Twinkle twinkle little star, Nobody but you, ABC song and is a great dancer. She brings so much joy to me and my family.

Unfortunately, she is still allergic to many food items, which restricts her diet to rice, fish, vegetable and pork. She had not tasted ice cream yet, so while the older children eat ice cream, she gets a cup of ice. But she enjoys it as much as the others enjoy their ice cream. Many a times, she will ask to taste the food we are eating and when we told her how it might give her rashes, she will clasp her hands and bow her head in prayer, to ask God to take away her multiple allergies. Yes Lord, we pray each day for Your mercy on Nathalie!

For her second birthday, we had a small family BBQ to celebrate. I engaged Gabriel to help with the decorations.

This is the signage done by Gabriel.

If you are wondering what's that purple and green animal/thing, its Barney. Nathalie loves Barney.
And he did this on the white board.
I love how he signed off with 'Written and illustrated by Gabriel Tan Jia Xu'.
The girls had some playdough fun. I made my own playdough at home. Its so cheap and easy! No more buying commercial playdough.
Barney and friends came bursting out of the cake to celebrate with us!
I love Barney's purplish-pink colour! I love how the cake turned out.
As we sang 'Happy Birthday', Nathalie happily clapped along. She did not even fuss when Samantha blew out her candle for her. We had to re-light the candle and she did a great job blowing them out.
See how cheeky the other two kids are!

You are my pride and my joy, Nathalie. May God bless you endlessly and protect you always. Amen.

Saturday, July 31, 2010

Cake for the Cycling Enthusiast

Made this cake for a boss who was leaving.

The bicycle was the most difficult part of the cake. It fell apart in multiple places and I just tried to stick it together.

I made the bicycle parts two days in advance. Here, the parts are drying. For the frame, I used spaghetti inside the gumpaste to help keep its shape.

Parts assembled.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

A Princess Party!!

Samantha celebrated her 5th birthday recently. She was trying to decide between a princess or fairy themed party and was still flip flopping two weeks before the party. Finally settled for a princess theme. With the help of my two very talented couple friends, we had a beautiful party. It was such hard work, but lots of memories. Did many things that I had never done before and visited places that I had never been before. Thanks to Kris and Andrew who helped with the beautiful decorations and thanks to MIL and hubby for all the delicious home cooked food.

Here are some pictures from the party.

The princess of the party, dressed up as Belle. Gown lovingly altered by talented Grandma. Together with some of her princess friends.

My other princess came as a ballerina. I love this pic! Taken by my professional photographer friend! (THANKS, YH!)

My boy, a prince (a sloppy one at that) in a home-made cape. I made capes for all the little boys too.

Princess wands were gifts to all the girls at the party.

Now, the decorations.

A castle backdrop. Drawn, cut, and painted by hand. Many nights of hardwork from Andrew.

The children seated at a long table in front of the castle.

The 'better than my wedding' part - each chair tied with lovely chair back, done by talented Kris while I stared in awe. (ok, I tried to help too).

We also have lovely decorations hanging from the ceiling. We had the pictures printed, cut, pasted then hung.

The children played games like Guess the Jelly beans and Kiss the Frog Prince/Princess.

Finally, my cake.

A million thanks to Kris and Andrew, for being so generous with ideas and help. Kris, for bringing me from bedok to middle road to arab street and opening my eyes to so many possibilities. I had so much fun. I can hardly wait for the next party. :-)

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Lion overdose!

This cake order made me so tired of lions.

This is made for a boy who adores lions. I was shown the boy's picture, his lion soft toy and a t-shirt that he was to wear for his birthday party. I incorporated all that into this cake.

I experimented with many 'lions'. Only this one resembles one closely. haha.

The main cake is not what makes me tired. As it took relatively little time. What tires me are 24 of these cupcakes. Here are a sample of 9 of them. It took me a long time to decide how to decorate them.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Nature Cake

This cake was created for a colleague's daughter. She's eighteen, loves nature and favourite colour is lime green. I was unable to achieve lime green from my set of Wilton's colours but I did manage to add many details into the cake so that it looked interesting.

A monkey, as she was born in the year of the monkey

A tiny red bird to add colour. I later found out from my colleague that Lydia''s favourite colour at the moment is red!

Tiny ducks.

A frog. And butterflies using one of the latest sugar tools I got myself.

I forgot to tell my colleague not to place cake in fridge. The lemon pound cake and buttercream was dense and hard right out of the fridge. I had used the cake recipe from Rose's Heavenly Cakes and buttercream recipe from Okashi. I did not get to try the cake, but the buttercream was light and heavenly. I cannot wait to try it on cupcakes, to make those swirly cream toppings.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Piggy Bank Cake

The past few weeks had been terribly busy for me and mentally exhausting.

I had to let go of staff for the very first time. Done with much professionalism, but I could not resist holding her hands and praying for her. It was a painful experience for me.
Most of the past weeks were spent preparing for a business review, even weekends. Praise the Lord, the review went relatively well.
Over the weekend, I finally got a chance to get my hands dirty with cooking and baking, how therapeutic! I made, for the very first time, hainanese pork chop. Result was pretty good. But the best part was, I was able to bake and decorate a birthday cake for my brother-in-law. Very pleased with myself for being able to juggle cooking for almost 20 people and making such an adorable cake. :)

Isn't it cute? Idea is not original.. inspired by many similar cakes in other blogs. Mine was a pound cake with cream cheese frosting. Covered with fondant. Chocolate coins and notes from Candy Empire. My children ate up all the chocolates.

The curly tail. And the imperfections.

Happy Birthday, Felix!!

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Still Not Black! Black Sesame Chiffon

Earlier this year, I also picked up the baking book 'Okashi' by Keiko Ishida. I've always been fascinated by japanese sweet treats and the recipes in this bakebook looked wonderfully delicious and more importantly, 'doable'.

I had since tried a couple of recipes from the book with success and so far, the cakes were well liked by cell members and family.

The first recipe I tried was the black sesame chiffon featured on the cover. I loved how the black contrasts with the white frosting, looks so regal! But I tried this cake twice and each time, its a boring grey. How did Keiko get it to be so 'black'?! Colouring?

The recipe calls for black sesame paste. In my first attempt, I did not have sesame paste, so I toasted black sesame seeds and ground them. The result passed taste test but did not look black... boy, was I disappointed.

I went to ISETAN and bought black sesame paste and attempted the cake with renewed confidence, resolved not to resort to artificial colouring but alas, the cake is still not black! I followed the recipe to the 'T', I have since concluded that it must be colouring or photography technique.

The batter, looking too 'white' to be black.

Remaining hopeful that there is black underneath the brown.

Actually... I was not too hopeful.. even the brown is too light.. no mood to frost it.

Every trace of hope dashed.

Did I buy the wrong paste?

Any kind souls who have managed to obtain the same colour as Keiko's, pleeeease share the secret.

Friday, March 12, 2010

Pastor's birthday cake

Poor Samantha. Not sure where she caught the stomach flu virus from, but she's been vomiting since 4pm today and its like once every half to one hour. I counted total of 12 times already. Seen the doc, but doc say monitor and that's its not serious if she is not running a temperature. Pray that the virus will leave her soon.

Our church paster's birthday happen to fall on P3 night this month, so my cell leader tasked me to bake a special cake for him. I was hesitant as I was not sure about my work schedule. I had wanted to prepare the decorations much earlier but could not squeeze out anytime. The night before, I just had to throw work aside and rushed home to bake the cake. Started at 7pm and ended at almost 2am. With some time squeezed in between for dinner, shower and putting children to bed.

I chose a more familiar theme. The result was rather pleasing. I was especially pleased with the pair of glasses I made out of wire. A first attempt and no special purchase.

Pastor Richard keeps a marine fish tank at home, so that's added to the theme. And in the tank are a couple of black sea cucumbers. If you are wondering what that pickly worm like thing is, one of them made it to the cake.

And this is Pastor Richard.

His hobby is also reading, I have him holding the Bible and dressed in his usual sunday attire of shirt and tie.

Cake assembled. Poorly taken picture. Sigh...