C’est le printemps chez moi!

Primrose yummy-ness!

After about three hours of mixing, pipping and lining stuff up yesterday evening, it’s official now – spring just landed on my dining table! Graduation for Level II is just around the corner and I need plenty of flowers to go with my peach-pink-white theme. Why o’ why did I have to make my bird yellow instead of blue like everyone else?

The plan is to do a primrose and daisy garden topped with sprinkles of apple blossom (they remind me of cherry blossoms!) and lovely green leaves…hopefully what I have in mind will look good not only in my head but on the cake! I think I need more peach primroses…gack!

Leftovers will be used for December’s cupcake sale at church…flavours to be determined later but it’s going to be a flower power theme! Yes, spring is oh-so-chic.

Apple Blossoms in off-white-pink! Daisies!

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Sugar flowers anyone?

Sugar flowers anyone?

Ahhh…level II is great!!!! No more greasy buttercream and only baking for one week!!!!! Oh the joys of royal icing…can you just imagine what working with fondant would be like????? At the rate time has been going these past few months, November will be here in a blink of an eye! W00t!!!!

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Double (happiness) roses!

Oh…my PC is back and in fantastic shape. Thankgawd for competent people!!!!!

Hei anyone?

Yes, Level I is done now! I’ve graduated will be moving onto Level II and here’s my first fully-decorated cake… I’m not really happy with the design bit though – mum insisted that she wanted a double happiness thing there and I had no choice but to pipe a very traditional shell border. Gack.

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Cranberry poppy seed cake

Cranberry poppy seed goodies!

The cranberry is my new craze after oranges and lemon. If you’ve been following my blog, I have this love affair with these citrus babies and strawberries but after discovering dried cranberries at Chang Tung in Taman Megah, you could say that the cranberry is like how pink is the new black. I simply love the sour-sweet taste of these pink goodies!

Do note that the poppy seed used is of the blue poppy seed variety which is nonaddictive and not the same as the opium strain.

Recipe was obtained from BBC’s 101 Cakes and Cookies and adjusted to accomodate 1) cranberries; 2) a generous sprinkle of finely chopped almonds; and 3) the use of milk instead of yoghurt.

Cranberry poppy seed cake
9 oz self-raising flour
6 1/2 oz unsalted butter
5 3/4 oz caster sugar
5 1/2 tablespoon full cream milk
3 eggs
1/2 tablespoon orange juice
1 cup dried cranberries – roughly chopped
1 oz blue poppy seed
Rind from 2 oranges
Generous sprinkle of finely chopped almonds

What to do:

  1. Prebake oven at 150 C and grease an 8″ deep round tin.
  2. Sift flour and mix in finely chopped almonds, poppyseed and orange rind.
  3. Cream butter and sugar until light and smooth. Add in eggs one at a time and orange juice.
  4. Mix in the combination of flour, almonds, poppyseed and orange rind into creamed butter mix until just blended.
  5. Fold in chopped cranberries and pour into greased pan.
  6. Bake at 150 C for 45 to 50 minutes until surface is golden brown and cake tester/stick comes out clean.

I’m actually quite pleased with the outcome. The cake turned out looking exactly like it was supposed to in the photos and the subsitutions worked to perfection! It was just right – orangey, moist and not too sweet. Wonderful when warm (works great with vanilla ice cream if you ask me!) and just as nice when cold!

Now onto the frosting bit!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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Roses and more roses!

To take my mind off my stupid computer problems, I made buttercream roses over the weekend and yesterday. They have hardened in time for my last class on Thursday and well…I’m quite proud of these little babies. They don’t look very smooth but I dunno, it has a certain charm to it.

A close-up...

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Simple cupcakes.

Freshly decorated cupcakes!

Okay…I was pressed for time – in between rushing two shawls, marking exam papers, a visit from my cousin who just flew in from Canada and baking class – I cheated by using a muffin mix instead of starting from scratch.

A visit to Bake With Yen and Chang Tung – both baking suppliers in Taman Megah (same row as La Manila) – saw me spending money on cupcake holders, pans, cake tester, sugar dragees (small round balls) and some raw ingredients.

Hence the emergence of my super quick cranberry poppyseed muffins. (The frosted ones – not in pics – are for class tonight.) These are for the tummy! As you can see, I need more practice!!!!

Swirly frosting!

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Class #2

Rainbows after the first class...

We worked on stars today…plus some swirls and writing. It was super fun except for the part where my hand started to ache. We even did the basic cone shape for the roses that we’ll be doing for the fourth class.

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My 2nd attempt!

My 2nd attempt!

It was way better than the first – both the cake and frosting-wise. I’m still a bit rusty with some bits but at least the sides look better than my first try. I won’t even put up photos!

This time, the base is an orange almond butter cake with baked orange slices and some vanilla buttercream as its filling. My cake turned out thin – only 1.5 to 2 inches tall – so I had to find a way to make it higher. The filling was done with a lattice pattern since I wanted some variation when you slice it. Hopefully it’ll turn out as how I envision it to be.

Now for the pattern…that needs some thinking but I have something circular in mind with lots of citrus-y colours! More pics tomorrow night after class!

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