I’m Ba-ack!

Flo and I spent the last weekend trying to get this new blog site together, cleaning things up, recategorising, and basically trying to make it look more pretty and organised. To be honest, Flo did most of the work and spent hours trying to figure out how to configure everything. I tried to be supportive but ended up failing and taking a nap mid-afternoon on Saturday. I fared better on Sunday I promise! So to my dearest boyfriend, Thank YOU for your patience and for all your help in getting this site up and running so quickly for me!

I decided to start of this post with my recent private orders before I share with you this delicious Honey Cake recipe that I baked early last week – beginning with this uber cute Rooster Cake that I made for a little girl’s first month. Here in Singapore, the Chinese tend to call it a Full Moon celebration I believe because it marks the baby’s first full month of life. Also, for the mother, it marks the end of her confinement period.

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This cake was insanely fun to do and I was adamant not to use any artificial flavours and colouring so I used fresh strawberry puree in the batter for the cake, and also reduced more puree for the strawberry buttercream. I layered the cake with a light mascarpone cream and finished it with some chocolate ganache wings and the rest were made using fondant.

The other cake I was busy with was this Earl Grey Lavender cake for a 21st birthday. You might be able to tell already that earl grey lavender is one of my most popular cake flavours.

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The theme was gold and white, so since the customer requested for the cake to be without fondant apart from the details, I stuck to Vanilla Buttercream and painted the ‘rope’ borders and ’21’ with edible gold paint.

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I loved the simplicity of the cake that evoked elegance and class. It’s a timeless cake for sure, and one that I was really proud of once it was done.

The customer also asked for cupcakes so I made a batch of Chocolate Chip Cupcakes with Chocolate Ganache, as well as Vanilla Cupcakes with a Homemade Salted Caramel Centre, Vanilla Buttercream, with more lashings of Salted Caramel Sauce on top.

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Trying to keep in line with the theme, I put some Gold Dragees on top and kept it simple. I realise that for me, keeping simple is the way to go. I’ve learned over time that the more elaborate I try to decorate my cakes/cupcakes, the more I start to ruin it. As my Chef at Le Cordon Bleu used to say, ‘Less is sometimes more‘. For me, it’s ‘always’.

Flo also ordered some macarons for his office. My initial batch were a little undercooked and unhappy Nat was unhappy that I didn’t produce the right result. So even though I told Flo that with my orders waiting to be done, I could only put his order on hold until this week – the perks of having your customer be your boyfriend!, I couldn’t get the thought of my failed unsuccessful macarons out of my head.

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So next day, first thing I did was make a new batch of macarons, this time using hazelnut flour because I remember making hazelnut macarons at my old work place and they were quite something!

Second time worked a charm and together with some fresh mango buttercream, each macaron shell found themselves a partner to stick with. I think the pairing up of macaron shells is what gets me most excited whenever I make them! I’m weird I know. 

But enough about me! Let’s sweeten your week up with CAKE!

These loaf cakes were so yum. Lightly sweetened with honey so you get that slightly floral sweetness – obviously the kind of honey you use will effect the flavour profile you get so use one that you like. I added some dried cranberries in, as well as chopped pistachios because I was feeling extravagant.

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Pistachio Cranberry Honey Cake (Yields 2 small loaves)

110g Butter
80g Sugar
90g Honey (You may increase this up to 120g if you prefer to have it more pronounced)
1 Egg
240g Plain Flour
3 tsp Baking Powder
1 tsp Salt
125ml Milk
60g Chopped Pistachios
60g Dried Cranberries

  1. Preheat oven to 170deg C and line two loaf tins.
  2. Cream butter with sugar and honey until light and fluffy. 
  3. Beat egg in. 
  4. Add in dry ingredients and milk alternately starting and ending with the dry ingredients.
  5. When dry ingredients are just incorporated, gently fold in 50g of cranberries and 50g of pistachios.
  6. Pour batter into prepared loaf tins and sprinkle remaining cranberries and pistachios on top. Gently press them into the batter so that they don’t fall off.
  7. Bake for 40-45min until golden brown and a skewer inserted comes out clean. 
  8. Allow to cool before removing from tin. 

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I think cranberries and pistachios go so well together and the colours they add to the cake makes it look almost too pretty to eat! Almost. Pistachios aren’t very cheap over here and usually they come in their shell so whenever I bake with pistachios, it means shelling them before starting on my baking. Still, it’s so worth my while and even more so when savoured by those lucky enough, and fast enough, to get a slice of this cake! Now, your turn to bake your cake and eat it!

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