Thursday, June 30, 2016

2016 - 2nd Q Orders

Wow wow wow. Half a year gone past just like that!

Once again the past three months have been busy busy busy for me. And I actually closed my kitchen for the entire month of June due to travel and family matters. Apologies to all my friends and customers that I couldn't take your orders.

Anyways, I have more or less settled down, and I think I should be able to bake again, but still subject to availability as the schedule for second half of the year is quite fluid.

Here are the orders I managed to fulfill for April and May. Big thanks to those who gave me their support!



This is a sweet looking cake ordered by a lovely mum for a "cake smash photography" of her one year-old daughter. "Cake smash" seems to be quite popular these days as I've received a few inquiries and orders.

The mummy wanted a cake that's light and less sweet and pretty looking as well. The sponge layer cake with chantilly cream frosting fitted the requirements but as it was an outdoor photo shoot, using buttercream for overall frosting would be more suitable (buttercream can last longer in room temperature than chantilly cream) and hence rosettes buttercream decor (using less sweet swiss meringue buttercream) was perfect for this cake. Glad that the photography turned out well :)


This was ordered by my Sec school friend who has been so supportive of my cakes and ordered quite a few cakes from me already. It was for Mother's Day celebration and I was pleased to hear that all the mums enjoyed the cake (and that it was less sweet and light on the palate).

For this cake, it could be decorated with just a ring of rosettes leaving the centre blank or with wordings; or the centre part could be filled with fruits of choice like strawberries.


Haven't received cupcake orders for a long time! This was ordered by another mummy who is also very supportive and had ordered a few cakes from me the past year. She wished to have 50 cupcakes for her daughter's birthday celebration and these were the flavours selected.

The chocolate cupcakes were made using Valrhona cocoa powder, overall tender and not too sweet and went well with the swiss meringue chocolate buttercream made using Amedei milk chocolate. Then topped with some silver candy dragees and Valrhona crunchy chocolate pearls. For the chocolate lover.

The carrot and walnut cupcakes were rich in flavour and super moist and I love to eat it with cream cheese frosting. This is a more intense cake, my personal favourite.

The Hokkaido chiffon cupcakes were in turn very light and fluffy, so I paired them with chantilly cream and topped off with a little flower marshmallow.


Strawberry Jelly Hearts Cheesecake, ordered by another Sec school classmate, for her daughter's birthday party. This was the cake I made for my son's birthday celebration in school this year and certainly very well-received among children and adults alike, as the cake has different textures and flavours to it.

In fact, my classmate ordered two cakes, as it was a party and she wanted to try two different types/flavours of cake. Mango cake is another popular cake among Singaporeans. This was made using a 3-layer sponge cake and frosted with mango (blended with) chantilly cream frosting.


Ordered by the first mummy who has the cake smash photography. This time was for the actual birthday celebration for her gal. She selected this design that I made before, and for the rosettes decor, we went for three shades of pale pink, pink and lilac.

For this cake, it could be decorated with just a ring of rosettes leaving the centre blank or with wordings; or the centre part could be filled with fruits of choice like lychees.


Another cake order for cake smash photography by another mummy. We had discussed at length about different designs and suitability and finally she decided to go for this basic rosette design. Glad that her photography session turned out well too!

Looking forward to the next quarter and hopefully able to squeeze in more orders or explore some new flavours :)

Monday, April 4, 2016

2016- 1st Q orders

All I can say is, the past 3 months happened too fast!

The first quarter of the year always seemed to be very hectic and passed by so quickly. I guess because everything like festive season, holidays, birthdays all seemed to fall within this period. Immediately after Christmas was New Year, and very soon, my kiddo's birthday, followed by Chinese New Year, and my birthday in March.

To make matters worse (in a good way, I'm not complaining), I've been travelling non-stop. Spent last week of 2015 in Taiwan; after barely resting for a month, went to Japan during Chinese New Year period in Feb for a week; took a road trip to Melaka during end Feb; in March went for a fishing trip in Rompin (Malaysia) and a few days after, a one-week trip to Hong Kong. *phew*

My sincere apologies that I turned away a number of cake orders due to my travels! I guess there will be a lot of travelling this year because it's the last year that our family could travel freely before the kiddo goes Primary School next year. Probably taking cake orders will have to take a backseat.

As usual, big thanks to all my friends and customers who placed their trust in me, here's a summary of the cakes :)


Ordered by my Secondary School CCA junior, who wanted a tender cake which is less sweet and less cream and this was what I baked for her. Her family enjoyed the cake very much.


The same junior ordered another cake for her son (I did a Captain America cake for his son last year as well). This time, it was dinosaur-theme. Sourced camouflaged jellybeans and chocolate eggs to decorate the cake along with "grass" piping using the buttercream cream cheese frosting. *the dinosaurs belonged to the birthday boy).

This was a simple yet elegant mango sponge cake. Made three layers of ombre sponge cake and the frosting was made using chantilly cream with pureed fresh mango.


Another of my popular order, rainbow sponge cake with chantilly cream frosting and decorated with flower marshmallow. Sweet looking and this brand of flower marshmallow I bought from Phoon Huat tasted very soft and yummy.


Last quarter, I attended a Korean language class and on the last lesson baked a Gula Melaka Banana Walnut as a gift to the Korean teacher and one of my classmate decided to order one from me :)


My son's birthday cake this year, a Strawberry Jelly Hearts Cheesecake. Ran out of ideas what to bake and since I was quite busy to come up with new recipes/ideas, decided on a tried and tested cake which was very easy to cut and serve to kids.

Turned out my son loved the cake so much, and he has been requesting me to make it again.



Last but not least, my very own birthday cake! Past two years, the HB and kiddo bought the Decorate-It-Yourself cake from Icing Room and frankly, I disliked the texture and taste of the cake. This year, decided to Bake-It-Myself, my favourite rainbow shortcake with chantilly cream frosting, tender and moist sponge cake which is not so sweet, and light on the palate. To make it more fancy, I made some Swiss Meringue Buttercream (less sugar) and randomly piped some flowers which turned out quite sweet looking :)

And this concludes my busy first quarter, looking forward to the rest of the year!

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

2015 - 4th Q Orders

Oh wow, Year 2015 is almost coming to an end soon! And Meg's Pastry Studio is officially closed for the holidays :) No Christmas bakes at all this year as I'm setting off for a vacation, yippeeeeeeee!

For the last quarter of the year, once again I'm blessed with a comfortable number of cake orders. Most of the orders were from referrals and existing customers who have ordered my cakes before, as well as a couple of new customers. And once again, they are all rainbow and ombre cakes, considered my niche now? LOL!

Really appreciate their trust in me, an amateur homebaker :) Apologies to a number of customers whom I had to turn away because of my travels :p

While I enjoy baking cakes, making sure each and every order turns out nicely, there are times when I doubt myself whether I should continue doing it, especially when the cakes didn't turn out well, accidents occurred or I'm dissatisfied in general and I simply had to re-work the cake or part of the cake.

Then again, all these are part of a learning experience and even though I have baked so many of these cakes, every time I still learn something new. Every cake still excites me. I'm always more relieved than happy when customers tell me they enjoyed my cakes. So I guess the stress during baking, decorating and delivery is worth it? Oh well, we shall see how things go next year, perhaps rainbow/ombre cakes will go out of fashion, probably I will get sick of it?

Anyways, here's a summary of my orders for the 4th Q :)



This was an order by a lady celebrating her friend's Bachelorette Party. She specifically requested for green ombre colours for the cake layers as well as buttercream rosette decoration. Same design as a previous order that was in pink and very well-received. I think green shades turned out just as lovely as pink!


Ordered by a friend for her daughter's 2th birthday, and last year I did the 1st birthday cake too! Really appreciate her continual support.


This must be my craziest and largest cake ever! Customer had specifically requested for bright rainbow cake, 2 tiers of 7 layers each, that's 14 layers in total, as well as rosette buttercream piping! Thinking back, couldn't imagine how I did it. It was really challenging, glad that the cake didn't topple and turned out decent enough, visually appealing albeit the cake layers didn't taste as nice (because this was white cake, not sponge cake). Not sure if I will ever do it again, though it was a good learning experience.


Repeat order from a customer. Her family preferred cakes that are less sweet with less cream, and enjoyed the cake done previously. So this time, we went for minimal rosette buttercream (less sweet) decoration.


This is a small size cake suitable for small family of 4-6. Smallest cake available is 4.5", good for 3-5 pax. I love petite size cakes, but actually the effort to bake and decorate is not much difference from larger cakes. Haha.



These 2 cakes were ordered by a mum with twin girls (she was referred by my friend who ordered 2 cakes before) and she requested for 2 different designs and flavours. Good thing that the Korean strawberries are finally in season and readily available. The punnets I bought looked plump and fresh and of good uniform size.

Rainbow/ombre cakes that are "exposed" showing the layers is quite popular, but they do require much more effort than the regular frosted ones. First of all, the cakes must be baked larger size and after frosting has set, the sides are then trimmed off to expose the visually appealing cake layers. Therefore, there is actually some "wastage" of cake (well, they were not wasted per se, they went into my family's tummy :p). To protect the sides of cake from drying/damage, a thin transparent film is used to cover the cakes.

More customers are requesting for this design/look and I may considering increasing the price due to additional ingredients and effort involved.



Last but not least, this cake was ordered by a friend's sister who had tried my cake previously and enjoyed it. She requested for this marshmallow decoration as her son liked the texture of the marshmallow. I like this marshmallow too, it's sold at Phoon Huat :)

______________________________________________________________________________

Goodbye 2015!

Wishing everyone a Merry Christmas and Happy 2016!

P.S. I will be busy/travelling a lot in the 1st quarter of 2016, please note the closure dates and send enquiry to megtan@singnet.com.sg as soon as possible!

Friday, November 20, 2015

White cake or Sponge cake?


My most popular or rather, main cake order is the rainbow cake or ombre cake.

Usually when customers send an inquiry, I would offer 2 choices for the cake base, either white cake or sponge cake.

A lot of my customers are repeat customers or referred through word-of-mouth, because they like it that my cakes are less sweet, very tender and light, suitable for the elderly as well as young children; and even folks who don't usually like cakes and cream enjoyed my cakes.

Most of the time, customers preferred the sponge cake, but sometimes I do get requests for the white cake due to specifications like vibrant colours, able to stand at room temperature/outdoors, very tall cakes, full buttercream rosette piping.

That said, I must highlight that the white cake is not exactly very delicious, or should I say, not as delicious as the sponge cake. So it's kind of difficult to explain to customers who made requests for the white cake (due to the specifications).

Another point that I would like to emphasize, my cakes are freshly baked (one day in advance only - reason in disclaimer below), no preservatives or chemicals like ovalette, sponge gel which are used in commercially-sold cakes to make the cakes more tender and last longer (only agents used where necessary are baking powder, baking soda or cream of tartar).

Here are the differences between white cake and sponge cake, their pros and cons.

White cake

This is baked using a white cake recipe. Cake texture is firmer (as seen from the tight and neat crumbs), ombre colours quite distinct.
  • I have shared recipes before here and here. Ingredients used are cake flour (Prima), baking powder, salt, unsalted butter (usually President or SCS, sometimes Elle & Vire or Lurbak), caster sugar (SIS), egg whites, fresh milk (Meiji brand) and flavoring of choice like vanilla, lychee, mango). Cake batter is made at one go, coloured then baked in individual baking pans. Coloring used is Wilton gel paste.
  • Cake texture is more dense, firm and heavy.
  • Cake tastes sweeter, somewhat flat.
  • Able to take in colours better (batter is whitish as only egg whites are used), i.e. achieve the very vibrant rainbow colours or more distinct ombre shades
  • Preferably paired with a more heavy textured frosting such as buttercream or cream cheese.
  • Able to stand in room temperature for prolonged period. Must thaw in room temperature for at least 30 mins if stored in fridge otherwise cake and cream will be very hard.

Sponge cake

This is baked using a sponge cake recipe. Cake texture is more fluffy (as seen from the more airy crumbs), ombre colours not as distinct.
  •  I HAVE NOT shared the recipe before because the method used is quite tedious, and difficult to explain. Basically I use the genoise sponge method, batter for each cake layer is prepared and baked individually i.e. finish one cake layer, wash up, then do another layer, repeat for all layers. Very time consuming and tedious. And I use a percentage table for different sizes of cake. Ingredients used are, Japanese Nissen brand cake flour, Japanese jyohakuto sugar, fresh milk (I will use Hokkaido milk if possible, else Meiji brand), eggs, unsalted butter (usually President or SCS, sometimes Elle & Vire or Lurbak) and flavorings of choice. Coloring used is Wilton gel paste.
  • Cake texture is very tender, fluffy and light.
  • Cake tastes less sweet, more refined.
  • Unable to take in colours very well (batter is yellowish as full eggs are used), i.e. achieve more pastel shades of colour and less distinct ombre shades. In addition, colours like blue usually turns out turquoise with tinge of green (yellow + blue = green).
  • Preferably paired with lighter frosting such as chantilly cream (whipping cream + mascarpone cheese) or pure whipping cream.
  • Unable to stand in room temperature as the cake is very tender and cream very light, cake will melt/collapse easily.
Buttercream or Chantilly Cream
  • For basic buttercream frosting, I usually go for Swiss Meringue Buttercream because it's more stable at room temperature and yet I could adjust sugar level to make it less sweet. Ingredients used are egg whites, caster sugar and unsalted butter. It can stand at room temperature for an hour without collapsing. Buttercream can be used to pipe more defined designs like rosette and hold the shape well.
  • For Chantilly Cream frosting, it's whipping cream (dairy) and mascarpone cheese, with or without icing sugar. I find that adding mascarpone cheese makes the frosting slightly more stable and creamy. That said, this frosting needs to be chilled at all times, maybe at most 15 mins at room temperature. Chantilly cream frosting cannot hope shape very well, can only pipe simple designs. This frosting pairs with sponge cake very well.
Disclaimer
  • Each and every cake is handcrafted specially, no orders are exactly the same.
  • Colours/shades may not be the same as requested, because every batch of ingredients differ, for example, colour of butter, colour of egg yolk.
  • Cakes are usually baked one day ahead, in order for the cream to set overnight which is essential (tried baking on same day before and cream couldn't set in time and cake layers actually shifted a little!). And also to buffer for any mishap or unsatisfactory result (yes, have re-baked cake layers before or scrap off frosting to re-do).
Anyways, I know I'm catering to a niche market and would like to remain status quo for now, i.e. continue this baking business as a hobby and on availability basis because family priorities come first.

If you are still keen to order cakes from me, please drop me an email at megtan@singnet.com.sg
Thank you!

Saturday, October 3, 2015

2015 - 3rd Q Orders

Geesh, we are now in the last quarter of the year!

Took lesser cake orders last 3 months because I have been travelling once a month and had to turn down a few orders. Still very blessed and thankful to all my friends/customers who entrust me with the task of coming up with good tasting cakes that are tender in texture, less sweet and light overall. Design-wise, I tend to stick to something simple and pleasant looking, unless requested specifically.

Have also attempted a few cakes where part of the cake is filled and frosted with chantilly cream and complete with buttercream frosting and piping. I still prefer chantilly cream filling/frosting as it's less sweet and light, but it lacks the structure to hold together some piping designs, for example rosettes. This is where buttercream comes in handy. I tend to use Swiss Meringue Buttercream as I can reduce the amount of sugar and the buttercream is still stable to work with. Yet to explore Italian Meringue Buttercream (whether possible to reduce sugar), gotta try it one of these days. Sweet Buttercream is most direct and easiest to make but it's extremely sweet so I hope not to use it at all.

And oh, I've been eyeing the very "in" flower wreath cakes but yet to get down to try! It's essentially lots of buttercream and lots of piping practice so I've been procrastinating :p Ermmm, if I indeed get to try and successful, I'll definitely share :)

Here's a summary of some of my baked goodies for the 3rd Q :)





This was ordered by my Sec school classmate, J for her daughter's birthday. Haven't attempted a big cake for a long time. Each layer was baked individually, assembled, frosted, then the sides were trimmed to create this "exposed" look where the cake layers were visible. Definitely a visually pleasant looking cake.


My classmate ordered 2 cakes in fact, the first was for a home birthday party, whereas this one was for school celebration. Still the same design but all strawberries for this one.


I baked a gula melaka banana walnut cake for my yoga classmates and they enjoyed it very much. One of my classmate even ordered 2 cakes :)


The 7" round 5 layer cake is the one of the most popular/common cake size for small home celebrations, rainbow colours too. Matched with a handmade rainbow cake banner and a small plastic rainbow balloon cake topper (store-bought).


A friend ordered this cake for her ex-company's anniversary celebration. Grateful to her for trusting me, as she's in the US and basically we just confirmed everything through FB messenger. 


This was one of the cake where I combined the use of chantilly cream and buttercream frosting. Basically the cake layers were filled and crumb-coated with chantilly cream, but the overall cake frosting and decor completed using swiss meringue buttercream frosting. Strawberries are not in season and those available at supermarkets didn't look presentable, so I used raspberries instead. First created a look without the lychees and subsequently added them. Couldn't decide which design I prefer, loved them both!

Looking forward to more orders in the coming months :) Oct is quite free now, will be travelling in Nov and Dec, so please check the availability as soon as possible.

Thursday, July 2, 2015

2015 - 2nd Q Orders

3 months have gone by in a flash and I just realised half a year has already passed!

Each and every month, it's always interesting when I got new orders, and such fun to customize each order based on the preferences from different customers. Indeed, I'm blessed to have trusting customers who went along with my proposals!

Here's a summary of some of my baked goodies :)




After I introduced the Mango Chantilly Cake, I sent messages to friends and past customers informing them of the new flavour. This was ordered by a friend who has been very supportive, and glad that his family gave positive feedback about the cake.



The sweet and lovely cake was ordered by a new mummy for her baby girl's First Month celebration. She went for a dense and rich Valrhona Chocolate Cake, and requested for pink ombre rosette piping which I did with White Chocolate Swiss Meringue Buttercream. Loved how the colours and rosettes turned out. Rosettes are always very fun to work on :)


Ordered by dear friend WH (who's also my most supportive friend for my bakes) for Mother's Day celebration. He wanted something dainty and sweet-looking, so this lychee ombre cake was created for him. The addition of dried rose petals and fresh mint leaves were a refreshing finishing for the cake.


This was my tallest and biggest cake to-date, made for a couple's ROM celebration. A 2 tier, 7-layer red velvet cake frosted with cream cheese and decorated with rosette piping of themed colours blue, creme and coral pink.


A cutesy little cake ordered by a lady who has been so supportive and ordered quite a few cakes from me already. Her daughter loves strawberries, so besides fresh strawberries, the fillings was homemade strawberry jam, instead of just chantilly cream.


Another Mango Chantilly Shortcake, made for my yoga teacher's birthday celebration.


A second strawberry shortcake ordered by the same lady for her daughter's celebration in school. This time I proposed a 2-layer sponge cake with lots of chantilly cream and full strawberries as fillings.


A lychee shortcake ordered by a sweet lady for her twin brothers' birthday celebration. It's always gratifying to hear that the cake was well-enjoyed by everyone, not too sweet and light enough for the palate.


Nowadays I hardly bake rainbow cakes using white cake recipe anymore, because white cake is much heavier, sweeter and dense as compared to the sponge shortcake. However, to get really vibrant rainbow colours for the cake, a white cake is necessary. This was a special order by a friend for his son's birthday who specifically requested for a vibrant rainbow cake with marshmallow decoration.


This has got to be my favourite cake design so far! Ordered by a lady for her mum's birthday; she wanted something light and not so sweet, and as her mum loves flowers, she also requested for some rosettes. Very pleased that the ombre colours of the cake layers turned out nicely. The cake was frosted using chantilly cream which was very light and piped with reduced sugar swiss meringue buttercream for the rosettes. The feedback was positive, the cake was light and not too sweet overall, and the whole family enjoyed the cake very much!

Looking forward to more orders in the coming months!

Sunday, May 10, 2015

Mango Chantilly Cake

New cake open for order - Mango Chantilly Cake

This was the cake I baked for my hubby's birthday in April :)


It's mango season now, and we see lots of juicy and plump mangoes on sale at fruit stores and supermarkets. The mangoes are mostly sweet with a slight tinge of sourness which is perfect for making desserts. The tangy flavour adds a depth to the sweetness of cakes and cream, and makes the cake very refreshing and appetising.


The texture of this genoise sponge cake made using Nissen violet cake flour, Jyohakuto sugar, fresh milk, eggs and unsalted butter is moist, tender and light. The chantilly cream is whipped using dairy whipping cream, mascarpone cheese, fresh mango puree and icing sugar (optional, sweetness level can be adjusted).

Size of cake can be customised, along with the number of layers, as well as colour of the layers (rainbow or ombre).

Please drop me an email at megtan@singnet.com.sg if you are interested to order this cake!