Posts tagged ‘Royal Icing’

July 3, 2013

Grandma’s 76th!

I was hoping that I’d have time to update before school started, but on top of baking and squeezing in time to meet old friends and planning for my graduation trip at the end of the year (We’re going to KOREA!), I haven’t had many minutes to myself. And oh yes, school started yesterday. Hello Summer 2! The last Summer session I’ll ever need to take! … I promise I won’t miss you too much. 😉

So um, anyway, this year we celebrated my Grandma’s (maternal side) 76th birthday at a Chinese (Hokkien? Teochew?) Huay Guan (I think it means Club, but I could be wrong…) and I was tasked with baking the cake.

I speak to my Grandmother in bits of broken mandarin (I occasionally sub in English words or turn to my mother to translate for me in Teochew.. if you don’t already know, my mandarin is horrible.) And I thought it’d be interesting to pay tribute to that by giving the cake a little oriental spin, thus the traditional brush embroidery / hand-piped flowers on the cake. It really was a labor of love. Just the piping took me around 3 hours!

I haven’t done a brush embroidery cake since my PME Diploma days so it took me a while to adjust to playing with Royal Icing again. I was pretty pleased with how the cake turned out though I did wish I’d tinted the green Royal Icing a darker shade!
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8″ x 3″ Chocolate Fudge 

Feeds ~ 20-24 pax

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Here’s a funny story that happened that night – If I’m around during a party / event I cater for, I usually help out with cutting and serving the cake. Basically its because I know that most people don’t have firstly, much experience with cutting cakes, let alone fondant covered ones (which take a little strength because the fondant acts as a protective layer) and secondly, fondant cakes should always be served differently from regular, light, fragile whipped cream cakes.

I say this because this cake gave the server hell. I recall giving explicit instructions to him – do not cut the cake by the wedge, cut it *makes criss-cross hand signals above the cake* like this, okay? – though maybe he didn’t quite get what I was saying… And just as I turned around to go back to my seat, he cut the cake exactly as I told him NOT to. And to make matters worst, the handle of the knife came out in his hand and he looked really shocked. So yes, I was really annoyed because he blamed it on the cake.. thankfully my soon-to-be-a-chef cousin (he’s studying at Temasek Poly’s Culinary programme) decided to give me a hand and we managed to get the cake distributed with no trouble. Lesson learned – If I’m around, the cake must always be mine to deal!

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After all that drama, I finally got a slice of cake.. with a pretty flower too! Its not all the time I get to eat the cakes I bake.. so this definitely was a treat! 🙂

April 24, 2012

Catching up on Saturdays (PME Royal Icing)

Royal Icing and I were not friends — enemies in the kitchen, more likely.

I’ve always struggled to get the right consistency for piping, lamented on the icing that just wouldn’t dry, moan when it dried too fast (or maybe, I was just too slow..) and groan when nothing that came out of the piping bag looked anything near legible.

No, everything didn’t magically fall into place after finishing this diploma, it just made things a little easier having someone experienced explain why things go wrong, how to rectify the problems and of course, learning new techniques. Also, because this class had four other people (excluding the instructor), it was like having a little support group that shared the same interest… and frustrations with Royal Icing 😉

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Royal Icing Run-Out Collar

One of the first things we made in the class. This was a pain-in-the-butt to remove from the parchment paper. We all held our breaths and slowly tugged at the parchment paper.. and well, it either comes out in pieces or if you’re very lucky, it’d come out in a single piece. None of us managed to do it without cracking the collar at least once 😦

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Pressure-piping: Swan

I really had fun piping this! (Partly because it was easy and stress-free :P)

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Bridges

One of my not-so-favorite parts of the class. These were suspended and it was hard to get uniformity.

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Trellis

Fragile, fragile, fragile and delicate little pieces to pipe. Three out of eight of the pieces I made in class broke on the way home. 😦

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My final cake!

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All our cakes together 🙂

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Hard-earned Diploma 😛

After this class, do I think that I’m any better? — Well, a little bit…  I’m still hopelessly impatient with piping flowers (that takes time you know!), but I’d like to think that I’ve mastered some kind of control over Royal Icing on the whole. (Really, after doing bridges and trellises, anything else is comparatively easier ;P)