I think this is something that most South-East Asians would recognise (and even love!)
This was a request from my brother-in-law, as I was invited to his birthday dinner, I thought I should offer to bring something.
For those of you who are not familiar with Pandan (pronounced “pun done”), it’s a very common type of plant found everywhere in South East Asian countries. (English name is Screwpine leaf).
What they do is take the leave, chop it up into small pieces, chuck into the food processor with some water, then filtered out to get the juice, which is a vibrant green colour.
Of course, in NZ, where the climate is very different, it’s hard to find these leaves, so some have imported them as frozen leaves and they can be found at many South East Asian food stores.
Another way of making these is with a simple addition of “Pandan Paste”, which is a very thick pandan extract that comes in a small essence bottle, and with only 1 table spoon of this thick extract gives the cake an extremely bright colour already!
Here’s the well-received Pandan Cake, my first attempt, too! Very proud 🙂
As the cake itself came out beautifully, I thought it best not to overwhelm it with decorations, so I only did a simple whipped-cream border.
After a long draught at my Trademe account, I got an urgent order for a mother’s 6 year old son’s birthday.
It WAS the last week of the term, in fact, last day, so I wasn’t swamped with work and could manage whipping up a cake (I really must practise getting up to speed a bit, this cake still took me half a day!)
She requested a 10-inch chocolate brownie cake with buttercream icing, and of course, Scooby-Doo on top.
So here it is! (by the way Caiden loves yellow)
It has been a while since my last post! (Isn’t it always the case!)
Since then I had been busying with end-of-term businesses at the school, as well as being newly engaged I was excitedly planning my still-a-while-to-go wedding!
Anyway, my flatmate (also a music teacher) was having a house concert nearing the end of the term, and asked if I could make her some music-themed cupcakes for the kids. She asked for a basic chocolate cupcake, and here’s what I came up with! I thought these were cute 😛
Yes, is it with sadness to say that I will no longer be at the Frank Kitt Underground Market on Saturdays.
When I first started at the market at the beginning of the year, I had gone through lots of trouble. Finding a registered kitchen to bake at, getting the health and hygiene licence, lots of money spent on getting all the equipment for transport, display etc.
It was with great promise when I started this market! But unfortunately things didn’t work out, mainly due to the fact that this market was underground, and in Wellington (where the weather is unstable) and possibly I started at the wrong time too – winter markets are never really that popular.
I’ve had some good days, of course, but with all the kitchen hire cost and the stall hire etc., at the end of this path (almost 1 year in), I have made almost nothing, not even repeat customers due to the fact it’s a weekly market where tourists come and go.
Of course it’s not all about money, but at the end of the day, I had to decide that standing there for 8 hours every Saturday to give away free cake is not the best option for someone like me.
So unfortunately I ended up having to put a stop to it, and will concentrate on custom-made orders instead.
Now, on to bigger and better things! 🙂
People ask what the diff is between coconut macaroons and French macarons (pardon the spelling, it seems everyone’s got a different philosophy behind macaroon and/or macaron, and this is MY way of differenciating the 2), but really a better question should be “What do they have in common?”
Well, they both only contain egg whites and no yolks, there!
Also I personally like the coconut version better coz it’s not sickly sweet like the ever-so-popular French macarons, and please don’t come at me with a stick coz I really don’t see what’s so amazing about the French macarons.
The coconut one is so much more flavourful, doesn’t taste like wet sugar with a crusty layer of sugar and a sugar filling.
And I like the way I’ve made them this time! I don’t know why, maybe the eggs were smaller, so the dough turned out a bit harder than I last made them, so I could actually roll them in my hands to form cute ping-pong balls, and they came out of the oven even prettier than my usual batches!
After the success of sheep cupcakes I was keen to try another animal.
Penguins were suggested to me, and since it uses pretty much the same colours, I thought I’d give it a try.
I first started with the body and the head, and unfortunately it looked rather human-body-part.
It did take quite a long time to make it, as I had to wait until they harden before I could add more features, otherwise the penguin would collapse.
Next batch I will make the buttercream harder, and make the penguin shorter in general, with the white body patch larger.
Here’s the result!
By the way, I was pretty excited about the flavour, as it’s a coconut cupcake! It’s actually just my vanilla cupcake recipe with some tweaking, and it turned out even better than the vanilla cupcake. The coconut shreds added gave the cupcake a crispy crunchy bite, I was really excited!
After the success of the sheep cupcakes, I thought I’d attempt a different animal with buttercream.
My original idea was to make a duck cupcake, however I wouldn’t get upset if you tell me it looks more like a bird 😛
Nonetheless, I think it’s cute anyway!