Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Kogepan & Flowers

What has Kogepan got to do with flowers? Nothing. Except that they were birthday cakes from sister to sister. The one with flowers was ordered by a customer. These flowers were manually rolled and shaped. The process was tedious. I had wanted to get a sugarcraft gun but it was quite expensive. Took me quite awhile to make them but the result was satisfactory. My sis commented that it has a little Peranakan feel.

This cake was however done in record time. I took 1 and 1/2 hour to bake and decorate. The speed is relative to the design as well. I am not sure if anyone is a fan of Kogepan (burnt bread-man) but both me and my sis are. I still possess handphone lanyards, handphone charms, stuffed toy, pencil case, etc., all well-kept and unused. Earlier this year, I had promised her to bake her one. What's worse was I had orders that day. Good thing was that Kogepan-san's lines were simple and straight forward. Here's a brief introduction about Kogepan. Kogepan always has this sad and empty look. As he was slightly burnt in the oven, it was left on the shelf. He drowns his sorrow in milk. But this Kogepan should feel happy. It was baked with love and his destiny of being eaten was fulfilled.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Soar The Sky

Just passed the 35th year mark of my life two Thursday ago. Do bakers bake their own cakes on their birthday? Not this one. I had an almost cake-free day, except that I had to bake in the evening for an order. As for birthday presents, I received a recipe book which 2 of my sis S's recipes were in it, a 'voucher' to get a haircut which I badly need, some recipes books from friends and a fridge. I picked practicality in place of a jewellery piece. It was a tie, between a new mixer and a fridge. I figured I could wait for the next sale season for the mixer, weheras the fridge was already offered on sale. Thank you for all the birthday wishes I received on mobile, emails and Facebook. I appreciate the reminder of me approaching 40 in another 5 years' time.

Well now, back to this blog post where a fortunate boy whose loving parents ordered 2 airplane cakes for his birthday celebration. Kids these days are so lucky. Often, they get 2 cakes for their birthdays. With the permission of the loving mummy, I am allowed to post her boys' pic on my blog. The control tower and plane were assembled on site. They decorated their home with a departure/arrival hall. This is the pilot and his co-pilot, complete with uniform. Smart looking.

Another cake to celebrate with close relatives. As the cake was not delivered to the venue, I made it safer for transportation.

Personally, I liked the birds.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Wedding Cake

When I was asked to make a wedding cake, I didn't know what ran through my mind. Was it, 'Oh shit, how am I going to pull this through?' or was it, 'Wow, thanks for having faith in me.' Making one for a friend and making one for a client is a totally different experience. For the former, I was all relaxed. However, as time goes by, knowing more about fondant, reading all the horror stories about how the cake could go wrong, I am all nerves.

I made plans a month before the wedding to learn how to make gumpaste roses from a book. Sad to say, with my clumsy fingers, they were not realistic enough thus not up to par. I had to scrap the idea of using roses. The thing about this client was that she left the design all up to me, as long as the cake was purple and that she wanted a traditional wedding couple topper. There's good and bad about this. The good thing was that I had the liberty to do whatever I want with the cake. The bad thing was that; it was not my cake afterall. Without understanding what she wants, I could never know how she had envisioned her cake to be. So upon seeing the cake, we could be devastated or delighted. I was glad that the former didn't happen.

The wedding was held at a church and the reception was at a place that looked like a canteen. So there wasn't really a place where I can set up the cake against a nice backdrop. It was drizzling then but was glad that my homemade marshmallow fondant decided to behave and didn't sweat. I had a mild scare while transporting the cake though. Despite my warning to the cab driver to drive slow, he made a sharp swerve. I thought I heard a small 'thud' at the back. Fortunately, the cake was unharmed. I was told by the bride later that the relatives thought that the cake was a dummy. Honestly, when I married, I didn't have a wedding cake. I had to cut into a dummy and thought that was funny.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Dora and Boots

When Ah Girl was at Ah Boy's age, I used to sing Dora's travel song with her when we were walking towards my mom's house. I changed the destination to 'Mama's House'. It just made the walking trip a little more pleasant and fun. Now it's Ah Boy's turn to sing it. I am blessed with 2 lovely kids who play on their own, as long as I am within their sight. Though occasionally, they like to fiddle with my sugar dough and tools, basically they understand that it is not 'Okay' to touch the decorated cake. Naturally, I bribe them with morsels of the marshmallow fondant.

However, I won't be letting the cakes out of my sight with them around. Better to be safe than sorry. I thoroughly enjoyed decorating this cake. It is more time consuming but the result was better than what I expected. I almost forgot the frills on Dora's socks. The only thing was; I couldn't get Dora's songs out of my head while making this. It got a little irritating after a while. Now typing this post, the songs came back again. I'll end here before they drive me insane.

Before I go, I would like to introduce my other blog, Piccolo Yogashiten. It is a gallery of my past cake orders and further information about my cakes. Kindly also direct your order enquiries to this new email, piccolo[dot]rei[at]gmail[dot]com. For questions about recipes, please continue to write to miyazaki[dot]rei[at]gmail[dot]com. I would like keep them separate as it is getting difficult for me to keep track and I might miss out your emails. Thank you for your understanding.


Friday, September 25, 2009

Birthday Cake for My Kids

My kids' birthdays are just 10 days apart and celebrating together makes sense. I do not have to bake and consume 2 cakes. But when it comes to decorating the cake, there is no such thing as a theme. You see, what has Ben 10 Alien Force Omnitrix got to do with Thomas the Tank Engine? But to be fair to the both of them, they have to co-exist on the same cake.

While assembling the cake, Ah Girl commented that it was unfair that 'Didi' has a cake on his birthday. Apparently, she forgot that she had a Ben 10 Alien Force cake to celebrate at her kindergarten. I told her she actually celebrated twice. She was convinced only after I placed the Omnitrix on the cake. Kids. Speaking of this; I wish to thank Little Fun Store from Ebay. I placed order for stuffs needed for Ah Girl's birthday celecbration at the school at the very last minute. Thanks to her, I got my order really quick, in time for the party. I bought kids stuff from her over a couple of years and she has never failed me.

A close-up on Thomas and his truck loads of sweets.

Lights down and candle-up.

Ah Boy looked on with interest. He thought he could play with Thomas like a real toy.

No crumbs gone to waste. I had to wash the knife after that. Ah boy was facsinated by the candle flame.

And went on to touch it. The poor boy burnt his finger. Brave boy didn't cry, just clenched his fingers together. I had to pry his fingers open to apply ointment. Till now, whenever he sees a candle or saw these pics, he will say 'hot hot'. Silly boy also got a 'Harry Potter' scratch between his eyebrows before his birthday.

Comparing last year's pictures, they are growing up so fast. If I could make a wish; time stands still for 1 day and let me hold you a little longer.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Weird Pic Parents Take

Yeah, I was bored. One sunday, my kids happened to be napping. I do weird stuffs like holding their hands, kiss their palms/fingers, smell their hair, planting kisses on their cheeks while they are asleep. I can just sit there and watch them sleep. Well, sometimes I fell asleep as well. Then I noticed how long Ah Boy's eyelashes are. So I took a picture. Worried that Ah Girl's eyelashes aren't as long, I took a picture to compare.

Who won?

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Here Kitty Kitty~~

Any Kitty fans out there? Last month, I received 3 Kitty orders in a row. I was really tempted to get a Hello Kitty baking pan for the order. However, I found out that it was too small. So I did this without the mould. Was glad that it turned out well. I didn't add tylo powder to stiffen the whiskers though.

Chocolate buttercake with chocolate ganache.

For a little girl who loves Kitty and bags. Not sure if anyone can spot figure '2' on the bag. Made a cream cake instead of buttercake. Most kids prefer sponge cake, I think.

For a baby girl's first month celebration. Kitty wore the same colour as the baby. Using fondant and using patchwork method. Still has room for improvement.

Cupcakes for the same baby.

This year, I have decided not to take in mooncake orders. Thank you for your enquiries.

Monday, August 31, 2009

Apple & Cinnamon Muffins

I cannot remember when my love affair with cinnamon started. Could it be since my first taste of pineapple tarts? Not so recently (due to my back logs mostly), McDonalds has this 'Cinnamon Melts' added to their menu. It kick start my cinnamon obsession. I could really eat cinnamon rolls, cinnamon melts everyday but as a 'sensible' adult, we all know it is unhealthy. So another way to satiate this addiction is to find an healthier alternative. Moreover, they told me McD is not selling cinnamon melts anymore.

I want a simple recipe as I do not want to get through step 1 to 10 before I can have my fix every time the cravings set in. I searched and settled on this recipe which I found from This recipe is a keeper. I wouldn't change anything except I added some grounded nutmeg (my preference) and topped it with some cinnamon flavoured streusels for the extra mile.

Basic cinnamon apple muffins
300g Plain Flour
1 Tbsp Baking Powder
2 Tsp Ground Cinnamon
3/4 Tsp Ground Nutmeg
150g Brown Sugar

2 medium Granny Smith apples, cored, peeled, chopped
120g Raisins

125g Butter, melted and cooled
2 eggs, lightly beaten
185g milk

For the topping:
60g Plain Flour
2 Tbsp Brown Sugar
1/2 Tsp Ground Cinnamon
30g cold Butter, cut into small pieces

1) To prepare the toppings, in a bowl, add all dry ingredients and rub in butter till it resembles breadcrumbs. Alternatively, you can use a fork to break up the butter for you. Chill in the fridge for later use.

2) Preheat oven to 170°C. In a bowl, add flour, baking powder, cinnamon powder, nutmeg powder and brown sugar. Use a whisk to whisk the dry ingredients together.

3) Throw in apples and raisins, mix well.

4) In a measuring cup, whisk milk, eggs and melted butter together. Pour the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients. Stir with a whisk, spoon or fork till just combined.the two.
Add the milk mixture to the flour mixture and stir with a large metal spoon until just combined. It is important that the ingredients are only just combined. Do not overmix.

5) Spoon the mixture into muffin paper cups. Top with some streusels prepared earlier. Bake for 15 to 20 mins or till golden brown and cooked.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Happy Birthday Singapore!

Today is Singapore's 44th birthday. I didn't do anything dramatic for the occassion. Kitchen is closed today. Just a quiet day spent with my kids. I enjoyed watching them sleep, sneak a few kisses here and there. Holding them and playing games together; contentment and bliss. While we curse and cuss about the discontentment we feel, everything from government, policies, ERP to price hikes in hawker centres and our Kopi-Os; take a moment to count our blessings as a Singaporean. I am thankful for the stability and security it offers to my kids and that each child has a chance to basic education. Equal opportunities for men and women who are willing to work for it. Clean water and electricity is accessible to every home. Sure, it is not the most perfect place in the world but it is the only home I know. Happy Birthday Singapore and thank you for all things that I have always taken for granted. I didn't bake anything special, just a couple of birthday cakes I did for the past 2 months (I think). Enjoy the cake walk.

An experimental piece. Not as perfect as I would like. I had a hard time damming up the sides with whipped cream.

Dora and Boots, hand drawn.

Princess Belle, hand drawn. The chocolate I used for the hair was too dark. Should have lightened it up with some white chocolate.

An all time favourite for mahjong kakis.

Particularly liked this Doraemon. So round. Hah!

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Fluffy Pancakes

Am guilty of spending too much time on Facebook with my new found farming ambition. I have 5 or 6 virtual farms, imagine that! But really, it's my real plants that needed tending. They are all not growing well due to my neglect. I hope I will be able to find time this weekend to have them fixed. That's after spending some baking time with Ah Girl. She's been sulking about not being able to bake cookies with me.

Anyhow, I would like to share this lovely recipe which I tried out at Kitchen Capers, provided by Carrie. The recipe yields really soft and fluffy pancakes. I have had my share of tough pancakes, some with strong soda bicarbonate aftertaste. These are really good! Some compared them with MacDonald's Hotcakes. I'm not sure as I haven't had Hotcakes for quite some time. But, homemade is always best. You know what goes into them and you can pair them up with stuffs you like. I used the Salted Caramel which I made previously and bananas. My kids ate them with honey. I believe they will taste great with blueberries too; they are in now.

I re-shuffled the sequence of the ingredients slightly.

Fluffy Pancakes
100g Self Raising Flour, sifted
A pinch of salt

75ml milk
2 Egg Yollks
1tbsp vegetable oil
1/2 tsp vanilla essence

2Egg Whites
2 Tbsp caster sugar

Some butter for greasing

1) In a mixing bowl, mix sifted flour and salt together. If preferred, you can whisk the flour in the bowl instead of sifting.

2) Using a measuring cup, measure milk, add egg yolks, vanilla essence and oil. Stir well. Make a well in the center of flour, pour in the mixture and stir into a smooth batter with a whisk.

3) In another bowl, whisk egg white with sugar till stiff. Stir in 1/4 of the egg whites to the batter to lighten it, then fold in the remaining egg white carefully till incorporated.

4) Heat up a non-stick frying pan (low heat), grease lightly with butter. Drop a small ladle of batter (depending how big you want your pancakes to be) in the pan. Flip the pancake only when bubbles appear. Fry till golden brown. Serve hot with fruits, jams, honey, maple syrup etc.

*Note : Batter should be thick.

**Note : Recommend to double the recipe. The pancakes will not turn hard even when cold.


Monday, July 6, 2009

Attack Of The Clones

Elmo (and some Sesame Street buddies) clones, that is. Why do kids love Elmo so much? Was he your favourite character when you were kids? Got to find a way to get better pictures. My dining table isn't the best place due to the lighting. Friends suggested that I should just let the pics do the talking when I ran out of words. So here they are. Hah. Mind clouded with too many stuffs.

Small Elmos.

Big Elmo.

Cookie Monster, Oscar the Grouch and Big Bird.

Close-up on Big Bird.

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Mango Mousse Cake (Re-Post with Recipe)

Definitely a cake for mango lovers. I made this for my dad's doctor, who is allergic to chocolate. Strange as it seems, but this was the cake that movitated me to make macarons. Mainly because I know I cannot use chocolate transfers to conceal the flaws. I used a cake ring this time round and had a hard time removing it. I was too afraid to damage the 4 corners. The cake could have ended up an Octogon if things didn't work out. Fortunately, it did.

The thing about making a mousse cake is patience. You have wait for the mousse to set before laying the next cake layer. Then after that you have to chill the cake for at least 3 hours before you can safely remove the ring. I used Florence's recipe for the mango mousse but my own sponge cake recipe for the cake base.

Glad the cake turned out well and professional-like. If not I would be too shy to give it away. It is comforting to know that doc and his staff enjoyed the cake while I, as always, enjoyed the process, no matter how frustrating it might be. I know, I'm weird and have a penchant to make my life more complicated than it already is.

Mango Mousse Cake

Sponge Cake Base :
2 Egg Whites
40g Fine Sugar
1/4 Tsp cream of tartar

2 Egg Yolks
30g Fine Sugar
1/2 Tsp Vanilla Essence
50g Milk
24g Corn Oil

68g cake flour
1/4 Tsp bicarbonate of soda

*Sift together

1) Prepare and line a 7 x 7 inch baking tin. In a clean bowl, whisk egg white and sugar. Add cream of tartar and whisk till peak.

2) In another bowl, whisk egg yolks, sugar till pale and fluffy.

3) Add vanilla essence, milk and corn oil to egg yolk mixture then fold in sifted flour mixture.

4) Fold in egg yolk mixture into egg white mixture.

5) Bake at 150°C for around 30 to 35 minutes or till skewer comes clean. Let the cake cool and slice horizontally 2 slices and trim them into 6.5 x 6.5 inch square.

Mango Mousse :
17g Gelatine Powder
60g Hot Water

350g Whipping Cream
3 Tbsp Icing Sugar

300g Mango Puree (if regrigerated, bring to room temperature)
1Tbsp Rum

200g to 220g Cubed Mango

Mango puree topping:
150g mango puree (bring to room temperature)
1 Tbsp gelatin
4-1/2 Tbsp boiling water

Slice/Cubed fruits *optional

1) In a mixing bowl, whip whipping cream with icing sugar to mousse state. Refrigerate to chill.

2) In a small bowl, dissolve gelatine powder in hot water. When the gelatine powder is fully dissolved, add to mango puree. Add rum to the mixture. Mix well.

3) Add the mango mixture to whipped cream. Mix well till incorporated.

4) Use a 7 x 7 inch cake ring, place a layer of cake and pour in mango mousse, or use a large piping tip to pipe the mixture. Do take note of the corners. Add mango cubes and cover them with some mousse. Let it slighlty set for about 10 minutes in the fridge.

5) Lay another cake layer and pour the remaining mousse. Let it set for 30 to 45 minutes in the fridge.

6) Meanwhile,dissolve gelatine in hot water for mango puree topping. Mix in mango puree. Wait till the mousse is set and the topping is cooled, arrange sliced fruits, if using, pour in the topping carefully. Let the cake chill for at least 3 hours before removing the cake ring and decorate with macaroons (optional, recipe found here and here) or chocolate shards.

*Note : If you pour a little of the mango puree topping on the fruits, you do not have to glaze them again.

I re-post this entry for those who have requested for the recipe. Thank you for your patience.

Happy Baking!

Tuesday, June 23, 2009


I used to watch Ultraman series but again, I lost touch. I didn't know that Ultraman had spawned a couple of other Ultramans. So imagine my shock when I discovered Ultra Mother.

Must be tough saving the world all alone. I know too well. I bake, decorate and wash up in the wee hours in the morning. The kitchen area which I designated for cakes only looked like a bomb hit it when I am done. Fortunately for me and unfortunately for my helper, I usually escape out of the house in the morning.

Little Ethan loves Ultraman Meibus. When his mummy mentioned 'Ultraman', I thought, 'easy'. I was thinking about those cutesy, egg-head cartoons which I fondly known as 咸蛋超人.

So when his mummy said he wanted it to be the real Meibus, I think my jaw dropped for a couple seconds.

This cake was easily one of my worst nightmares. I did the design 3 times. I scrapped the cream and re-did and re-did till I think I got it right. By that time, I was near to tears already. I wanted to pull my hair out with my gloved hands, sprawl on the floor and cry. But I cannot do that in front of my kids, of course. My friends said I was just being anal and a perfectionist. Maybe, but I know well enough to not disappoint or upset an Ultraman fan. He might decide to zap me with his super-humanoid-power. And Ethan, thank you for not adding an alien into the picture. I probably would have died there. Glad you and your friends enjoyed the cake. Your liking it, made my 'sufferings' insignificant. Despite all, I'm glad that I attempted it.

Friday, June 12, 2009

Mr. Men & Little Miss

Remember them? Recently, I have been seeing them alot in the advertisement and on T-shirts. Is the fad back or it didn't even fade. I don't know, I am out of touch. Only after I had kids did I revisit all those familiar cartoon/book characters I once knew so well during my childhood. Taking in orders does has its advantages, though it meant less sleep; it gives me the opportunity to attempt stuffs that I don't usually do. I do enjoy challenges. Even more, when customers came back with positive feedback, telling me that the cake brought smiles to their kids.

This is my first attempt doing figurines with gumpaste. More than I would like to admit, it does get addictive. Espcially making those minute details. I particularly liked the teapot and candle. The characters were chosen by the birthday girl, I think. I thought it would be a wee bit odd if I were to put the characters on the cake without a theme. Thus I organised a picnic for them.

Little Miss Sunshine having a cookie.

Mr. Bump probably complaining of his recent bump. Mr. Tickle grabbing a donut.

Mr. Impossible looking pleased. Little Miss Chatterbox seemed to like the spread.

I had fun working on this cake. Ah Girl couldn't resist this either. She has already made plans for her next next birthday.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

ATM Media Mention

I was nicknamed 'ATM' by Katherine from Chocolate Medley. I didn't realised the title of my blog could be abbreviated so when I chose it. Hopefully, I am my own 'ATM', not others. Ahah. I was approached by a Malaysian magazine a couple of months back. They asked for permission to use one of my blogposts for publishing. So here it is, only thing is; it was published in March. I am far behind my posts, this shows definitely.

My post was published along with some other food bloggers. It kinda feel strange to see my stuffs in prints.

The publishers were so kind to send me some copies of the magazine although I told them I reside in Singapore. They actually couriered them out. Heartfelt thanks.

Recently, I received some nasty comments and emails. I do not understand their hate but to curse my kids are way off limits and uncalled for. Leave my family out of this. I mostly keep to myself and do not think I have offended or attacked anyone online. I don't think I am cocky in any ways. Apart from being busy and reply comments late, I think I am in line with blogger's etiquette. I hope the hostility will stop and please, whoever you are, channel your energy to do something useful. I do not know you and because of that, your words can't hurt me. Go bake or cook something, it will help make you feel better.