Archive for October, 2007

Mad about Orange Dark Chocolate Muffins

Wednesday, October 17th, 2007

Orange Chocolate Muffins

I’ve received many requests for chocolate muffins in the last few weeks, but since I wasn’t completely satisfied with the recipe I had, I was very reluctant to make them, much less put them up for sale.

I finally found some time this week, not only to tweak my chocolate muffin recipe, but to try out the oft-recommended flavour marriage of orange and chocolate.

Orange Chocolate Muffins

These orange dark chocolate muffins contain Valrhona Manjari (64%), a generous splash of Grand Marnier and orange zest. While the domes here are not as dramatic as the blueberry muffins, I love how the crisp, chocolate chip studded tops give way to a delicate cake-like crumb. My favourite part about these little pillowy treats is the aromatic citrus overtone.

               Chocolate Muffins with Grand Marnier

I’m really pleased with the results and even more delighted that I won’t have to say “no” the next time someone asks for chocolate muffins.

Available for purchase: 12 Orange Dark Chocolate Muffins made with Valrhona Manjari @ a Price of $25. Chocolate Only Variation @ a Price of $24.

Mad about Ponies

Sunday, October 14th, 2007

Pony Cake Closeup

My client, C, had originally approached me about miniature sugar paste cakes. They were for a young lady celebrating her birthday at the Bukit Timah Saddle Club.

Since fondant, the humid weather and I don’t seem to agree with each other, I suggested a cake with a royal icing pony instead when C told me that a pony ride would be part of the day’s events.

Pony Cake Order

I went ahead and designed a trial royal icing pony. I soon realised that it would not be an easy task getting the pony on to the cake without breaking it and the only thing I could think of was using fondant as a support as I’d done for the giraffe. I guess I couldn’t escape fondant after all!

Royal Icing Pony

As expected, the fondant was only semi-dry. Still, I think the chocolate cake turned out pretty cute. I only hope it survived long enough for the birthday girl to cut the cake!

Mad about a Giraffe Cake

Friday, October 12th, 2007

              My sister's birthday cake

A couple of weeks ago, I came across a really adorable royal icing giraffe in one of my mum’s old cake decorating books. I thought the idea was cute and that it’d be cool to make a long cake. Since my sister’s birthday was coming up, I had the perfect excuse!

              Royal Icing Giraffe

The royal icing piping was a lot of fun and the giraffe was really cute, except for one major problem. I hadn’t thought of how I could remove the sugar art from the cellophane without breaking it. But just in case things didn’t work out, I made a little royal icing rooster as well, all the while hoping that the giraffe would stay intact. Sadly, the giraffe did break (into several pieces), but I thought I could still salvage it by assembling the pieces on a long piece of fondant.

Royal Icing Rooster

Little did I realise that I’d just created another problem. The fondant stubbornly refused to dry, despite the hot weather. All it did was dry a little in the day, but turn into a soft mush in the evening. This I attributed to the awful humidity that we’ve been experiencing lately. In the end, I turned to air-conditioning for help. The fondant did dry somewhat, but only if I kept it in the air-conditioned room.

Giraffe Collage

In the end, I managed to get sugar paste and royal icing on to the chocolate cake (sandwiched with raspberry jam and chocolate ganache), but this experience has further convinced me not to put fondant cakes up for sale. At least for now. As beautiful or adorable as the end results usually are, the drying process is just too annoying and is most definitely not worth running the air-conditioning for days on end.