Sunday, May 29, 2011

This crazy thing called baking!

It's been crazy! I've been baking six out of seven nights in a week and the orders keep coming in! And how do I say no, especially to repeat customers who have been so sweet (you know who you are!) I've had little time to write up a blog post, but tonight I just have to ~ Soraya, this is for you! :)

A short one, as I have to go bake some six dozen macarons, four dozen carrot cupcakes and 2 dozen red velvet cupcakes for tomorrow. It may not be a big amount for professional homebakers (now, isn't that an oxymoron?!) but for a part-time baker like me, it is! I haven't been snapping photos of my bakes either and the ones above are some that I managed to take in the past week.

Have a good week ahead!

Friday, May 20, 2011

Happy Friday!

A short's wishing you a happy happy Friday! It's my firstborn's 12th birthday today - on request, she brought red velvet cupcakes to school. She has invited 10 of her friends to come over tomorrow and mommy still haven't the slightest idea what to do coz' mommy has been extremely occupied meeting the orders of the MAD deal. Whatever it is I do, I sure hope she won't be too dissapointed. Looks like no sleep tonight!

I'm posting these photos of the macs I baked this morning, 2am till the time came to go to work...some are for a hantaran order, some for MAD pick-up later today. I love the colours!

Ok, gotta go attend that meeting!

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

What's red and velvety soft?

One doesn't have to be a food fanatic to guess, right?

Extremely moist, this is a great recipe from Paula Deen - a personal choice compared to the one I've used before by Martha Stewart.

Tight crumbs and may I add again, delightfully moist! This recipe is a winner! Check it out here.

And making this cake this time around, I found out that this recipe is closest to the authentic Red Velvet cake recipe so famous in the southern states of the US.

So what apparently makes a red velvet cake authentic? Here are some essentials:

1. The cake must have some cocoa, but not too much because it is not a chocolate cake.

2. The cake must have red food coloring; beet juice does not add the right kind of red.

3. The cake must have cream cheese frosting.

4. There should be pecans. (This was news to me.)

5. You must use high-quality ingredients, including White Lily flour, a Southern specialty flour.

6. Precise measurements and meticulous attention to detail are key for this cake; therefore, it must be made in small, easy-to handle, family-sized batches. (Mass-produced batter just doesn't cut it. Sorry, large-scale bakeries.)

7. You must use a hand-held electric mixer, not a stand mixer: Larger machines can over-mix the batter, which sometimes prevents the cake from rising properly.

8. Red velvet cake batter needs vegetable oil, not butter or shortening. Oil yields a very moist cake.

Ok, so I got 6 out of 8 right! No White Lily flour over here and hmmmm...I did not have any pecans at home! So, can I get an 8 out of 10 for this?

Sunday, May 15, 2011

For the things that matter...

I spent my Saturday baking, baking and more baking for my wonderful newfound customers. The exposure given to me by milkadeal was quite overwhelming. Not only were they placing orders for the deal, they were also enquiring about this and that, and placing orders for my macarons and wanting them the next morning or even the same afternoon! Some wanted to know if they could drop by my shop. What shop?? hehe...

Another who ordered a box of macarons asked me 30 minutes before pick-up time if I could bake her another box. It was quite funny to me...I told her making macarons are not like making pisang goreng! (banana fritters). LOL.

 But it was all worth it for so far, all of my customers are just so sweet...just like the macarons they ordered!

And while I was busy baking, and the kids were in school at their extra classes, I grabbed a book my BFF recently gave me for Mother's Day - Words That Matter: Everyday truths to guide and inspire, published by The Oprah Magazine.

A book of quotes and Aha Moments, I like them all...but here are some I'd like to share wth you:

"To fulfill a dream, to be allowed to sweat over lonely labor, to be given the chance to create, is the meat and potatoes of life."
--- Bette Davis, actress

Ms. Davis sure was talking to me then, hehe...sweat over lonely labor; she can't be more right about how I was yesterday! But I so love being given the chance to create...I don't mind lonely labor!

Another that I like:

"The only courage you ever need is the courage to live your heart's desire."
---Oprah Winfrey

And one more, one more!

"Try more things. Learning to swim won't stop you from reading Shakespeare. Finding your voice won't stop you from writing novels. You should be cooking from all four burners."
---Breena Clarke, novelist

And so, as I was arranging the macarons in their little boxes, I feel good about following my heart's desires and cooking from perhaps not all four yet, but definitely more than one burner.

Thursday, May 12, 2011

It's a Deal!!

I am, first and foremost a home baker. I bake out of passion and pleasure, and started taking baking orders from friends when they like what I bake. Then I started to bake for friends of friends. More baking means more recipes and more time in the kitchen for me to perfect and test my skills. Still, it doesn't take much of my time and I manage.

About a month ago, I was approached by Milkadeal, who wanted to feature me and my bakes. I was surprised and excited to be 'found' via this blog. I mean, besides a handful of my friends, who reads this blog!! LOL.

A lot of convincing was done by Jolla Chong from Milkadeal. Truthfully, I was scared!! What if, what if?!!? But as they say, the rest is history. We cut out a deal and here it is! RM16 for four (4) carrot cupcakes and six (6) macarons!! Is that a great deal or what!! check it out here!

So this is the packaging that the cupcakes and macarons will come in. I love the little macaron box! Don't you?

With four more days to go (to purchase the deal) and 170 orders and counting, I'm feeling so many things! Excited and scared too...but that's where the fun is!! Bring it on!

Monday, May 9, 2011

Italian Meringue Macarons!

I have always used the French method when making my macarons, but when I saw KG's Italian method macarons and the step-by-step tutorial by Sue, I was, you can say...curious!! The shell looks much smoother than the French ones and it is more, for lack of a better word...durable! And so with words of encouragement from my mac-making buddy KG, I attempted the Italian method macs and yes, it came out beautifully!

But the question is....which ones are more tasty? Well, tastes are definitely a personal choice and I can't speak for the rest but for me, the French macarons win! I love how they are brittle and break easily in your mouth. These Italian ones are more cookie-like, but having said that, they are not hard at all - the shells have a little crunch that I believe some may take to their liking.

Still, I luv luv luv their smooth shells, something I have not been able to acquire successfully when making the French method. The only way for me to get a shiny smooth shell with a French method is if I were to overfold it, but the shells will be way too flat and wet inside and we don't want that! So, I don't mind the little spots on my macs and I hope you will not mind either! Milkadeal deal went on live this morning! For try-outs of My Domestic Bliss' bakes - hop on over to their site where you will get 4 carrot cupcakes and 6 macarons for RM16 for a limited period only (OMG was that hard sell or what??) LOL..I need some getting use to this!

Thanks for coming over this blog and have a nice day!

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Proud to be a mom!

My daughters Maira & Misha, aged 12 and 10 respectively, knocked on my room door this morning when I was just getting out of the shower. They yelled out from outside, "come and have a look at your's ugly!". Yup, they were just as busy as I was in the kitchen this morning preparing a Mother's Day cake for me when I was making some macarons - using Italian meringue for the first time...wait for the post!!

I came out and saw a heart-shaped cake in bright red!! They were of course joking - the cake was beautiful!!

And, the best surprise was when I cut the cake. Have a look!!

more rainbow surprise...

Gorgeous, don't you think? These girls of mine are also into baking like their mommy. Their staple bakes are butter cake such as these (they sometimes throw in chocolate chips in the batter too) and French Yogurt Cake. And they make wonderful cakes too, mind you! They love to bake and bring them over to school for friends and teachers. I love it that they love to share their bakes. It's a big part of what makes baking wonderful.

To all the wonderful mommies out there, Happy Mother's Day!! Gotta run and take mommy's girls out for lunch :)

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Mini Swedish Visiting Cake

I have lost track of how many times I've made this unfussy, delightful cake. If you often only have about 40 minutes to prepare, bake and serve a cake; let me tell you, this should be in your repertoire.

Traditionally baked in an iron skillet, I chose to bake mine in mini tart tins this time, for a pop-in-your-mouth effect. I love how they look individually and I think I am going bake them this way a lot.

I've written about them previously here, with link to the recipe included. I do hope you'll try making them!

....and I am into film grain effect of my photos!! :)