Sunday, October 9, 2016

2016 - 3rd Q orders

I looked at the calendar today and realised that it's nearly mid October already! Three quarters of the year has gone by in a flash and we are now in the fourth quarter which typically pass by even quicker than we want to.

For the upcoming two months, will be busy on the family front as well, with some travelling in November and December and many other events, so if keen to place orders for cakes or pastries, please contact me early to check availability.

Here were the orders I managed to take up in the past quarter, thank you to everyone of you!


The most popular tart in SG this year, the Hokkaido Bake Cheese Tart!
Ordered by dear friend WH who has been my most faithful supporter all this while :)

So far I've posted 4 blog entries and shared several varied recipes of the tarts. I think I must have made at least 200 tarts by now?! Wow, talk about obsession with this irresistible pastry!


Rainbow cake ordered by a mummy for her daughter's birthday and she's kindly referred by a friend :)
It's always fun to bake rainbow cake because of the sweet colours :) 


I love baking this gula melaka banana walnut cake because every time I bake it, the whole house will be filled with such a wonderful aroma! Ordered by customer who has ordered ombre lychee cake from me before and wanted to try this cake with her family :)


Ordered by a mummy who have ordered a buttercream rosette cake for her baby's cake smash photo shoot before. This time she requested an actual cake for her daughter's actual birthday celebration, something light and not too sweet so that the baby girl can enjoy as well.

She had requested for Korean buttercream roses but back then I haven't learnt how to pipe the Korean type of roses yet and could only pipe flatter rosettes like this. Actually this type of roses look pretty and sweet as well, with less amount of buttercream used :)


Customer is recommended by dear friend WH, and she ordered the cake to celebrate her mother's birthday. This cake is suitable for elderly as it is very light, with tender texture and not too sweet. The chantilly cream is sugarless. The only sweeter portion is the buttercream rosettes which can be left uneaten (personally I also eat a little bit of buttercream only).


Dear friend WH ordered another cake from me, my newly introduced Watermelon and Rose-scented Cake! This cake is very refreshing as watermelon is used in between the sponge cakes. Surprisingly, sponge cake goes very well with watermelon, along with very light chantilly cream and bits of almond crumble. Glad that he enjoyed it with his colleagues; even though they had a heavy dinner, they could still finish the cake, it's like a fruit cum dessert :p

Looking forward to the last few months of 2016 and more bakes hopefully!

Thursday, September 15, 2016

Watermelon and Rose-scented Cake

I baked this Watermelon and Rose-scented Cake since July but have been procrastinating in blogging about it! Also couldn't decide whether to start taking orders for this particular cake because not sure if anyone would like it.

Personally I love it, so does my hubby (surprisingly). The tender sponge cake and rose-scented watermelon slice went very well together. The watermelon added a burst of juicy-crunch to the cake which we thought was very refreshing.

Showed the photo to my dear friend WH who has been very supportive of my bakes and he liked it and even wanted to order it :)

I guess this prompted me to open it for orders. For me, I always prefer to bake and sell things that I personally will eat or like to eat.


It is very similar to the famous Sydney Black Star Pastry's Strawberry Watermelon Cake, which is also sold in Cream and Custard Cafe in Singapore. Except, both don't use sponge cakes, they use almond dacquoise. I tried the version from Cream and Custard and unfortunately didn't like it very much. Then while surfing the net, saw another version, the Watermelon and Rose layer cake which I thought might suit me better. Hence taking the idea and applied with my recipes.


The cake layers are made using my signature Japanese-style genoise sponge recipe, the filling and frosting made using chantilly cream (these two components are the same as my ombre and rainbow cakes). Only difference is, I added a slice of rose-scented watermelon as well as a layer of almond crumble in the filling. For decoration, rose-scented watermelon and rock melon balls, pistachios, mint leaves and dried rose petals.


Although there are only two layers of sponge cake, making it less tedious to bake, putting the whole cake together still requires some effort.


First of all, cutting the watermelon slice to the exact size of the cake.

Then scoop the watermelon and rock melon balls of three different sizes and infused them in Nielsen Massey's rose extract for at least 30 mins before draining and drying.


Almond crumble is made by mixing ground almond, plain flour, sugar and unsalted butter, and baking them till slightly browned and crispy.


Assembly of cake - sponge cake layer as base, top with chantilly cream, almond crumble, watermelon, almond crumble, chantilly cream, sponge cake layer as top and finally chantilly cream frosting.


Was thinking whether to use strawberries or grapes for decor but I thought rock melon works fine as well, the playful contrast of orange, red and green makes the cake look quite visually appealing and fun  :)


In terms of taste and texture, the sponge cake layers are very tender, not too sweet and the chantilly cream is made sugarless and very light; the sweetness comes from the fruitiness of the watermelon and rock melon which is very fragrant due to the rose-infusion.

The cake is best served chilled; overall quite mild and refreshing in taste and I thought the combination of cake and juicy fruit suits our hot and humid weather very well.



This particular cake is 6" round, good to serve 6 to 8 slices (subject to feasibility, size of cake can be customised).

Please drop me an email at megtan@singnet.com.sg if interested!

Saturday, September 3, 2016

Korean Buttercream Flower Cake

Presenting my first-ever Korean Buttercream Flower Cake!

I must say this was the most tedious cake I have done so far, took me almost two days to complete. Nonetheless I liked how it turned out, given that it was my second attempt at making Korean buttercream and third attempt at practising flower piping. The piped flowers were not perfect yet, as compared to the ones you see on internet or instagram but I'm happy with the current result :)



I couldn't remember, did the Korean buttercream flower cake craze start last year or the year before? I always marveled at how pretty the cakes look, so dreamy and sweet looking right? However, I have somewhat a concern over the amount of buttercream used. First of all, I'm not a buttercream fan, don't really eat much of it as it's too heavy and sweet for my palate, and secondly the aftermath washing up is rather tedious with the tools, bowls, utensils used oily and messy.


So I usually prefer just a simple rose design using a star tip which can turn out quite pretty too (check out those designs at http://megpastrystudio.blogspot.sg). There are customers who asked me whether I could make Korean buttercream flower cakes, which I had to turn down their requests or provide them with alternative of simple rose design.


Well, I know I wanted to learn if given the opportunity, but so far the workshops conducted by some baking schools here cost a princely sum of more than $2000 as they specially fly in Korean bakers to teach the class.

Then recently I chanced upon BakeFresh Studio which offered a basic hands-on class at $200+ which is so much more affordable, with a local baker teaching the class. She had learnt from a Korean baker and perfected her piping skills and hence started conducting classes.


Hence, I jumped at the opportunity and attended the Korean Buttercream Flower Cake hands-on workshop two weeks ago :) The class was 5-hours long and I learnt how to make Korean buttercream which uses Italian meringue buttercream technique with a twist to the method in order to make the buttercream look glossy. And thereafter 3 types of flowers, namely rose, ranunculus and apple blossom were taught, as well as flower bud and leaf. The learning curve was quite steep for me, and it took me a while to grasp the piping technique. Towards the end of the class where we were required to assemble the cake, I couldn't manage to create a proper wreath design as my piped flowers were too big and I make-do with a dome-shaped design. But was really quite disappointed with how my creation turned out :(


Hence within the next two days, I decided to make the buttercream at home as well as practise the piping techniques while I could still remember the steps clearly. Otherwise with my goldfish memory these days, I'm afraid I would forget and the workshop would have been wasted.

Making the buttercream is not difficult with the right tools and technique; however I'm working without air-con and hence the buttercream melted very quickly using piping. After piping a few flowers, I realised that it is important to have the right temperature and consistency of buttercream in order to pipe the flowers properly. After sweating it out the whole afternoon, these were the only more acceptable ones :(

I must therefore think of a better workflow (since there are a few flower designs and colours involved) and work on small batch of buttercream each time and keep the remaining in the fridge.


The following week, I decided to try again. Spent half a day making 3 layers of Japanese genoise sponge cake in ombre colours then fill and crumbcoat with chantilly cream frosting. Yes, I could have made my life easier by making any old cake which is simple, but I really wanted to see how the ombre cake layers would turn out with the flowers.

The next day, started with making the Korean buttercream. Thereafter worked on piping the flowers a few pieces at a time, and made sure to store them in airtight box and chill them in fridge prior to use. Then iced the entire cake with buttercream, chill sufficiently and finally assembly of the cake with touch-ups using flower buds and leaves. Had to chill the cake for 15-20 mins to let it set before I could finally take photos and cut the cake. *phew* really tedious and time consuming, and I haven't even mention the amount of washing and cleaning up!

Funny thing was, both hubby and I as well as the kiddo enjoyed the cake and chantilly cream and scrapped away most of the buttercream :p LOL! We are indeed not fan of buttercream. Managed to eat only 2/5 of the cake and gave the remaining to a friend :)


I guess I would open up this cake for orders, but subject to availability as much more work, planning and time is required. Prices would also be at least 1.5 to 2 times higher than my usual cake due to the effort and amount of ingredients used.

The cake layers would be my signature Japanese-style genoise sponge, made using Japanese cake flour, Japanese sugar, egg, milk and unsalted butter. The cake texture is tender and light, and less sweet.

The cake filling and crumbcoat is chantilly cream frosting, made using dairy whipping cream and mascarpone cheese and snow powder (optional, can be omitted for sugarless version).

And finally the Korean buttercream flowers, made using unsalted butter (French butter, either Elle & Vire or President), caster sugar, water and egg white. The buttercream would be on the sweet side.

This particular cake is 7" round and 3 layers, good to serve 10-12 slices.

Please drop me an email at megtan@singnet.com.sg if interested!

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!