Jasmine for Mom How-to

Thailand’s Mother’s Day falls on the twelfth day of August in every year as it is the birthday of Her Majesty the Queen, whom Thai people respect as our own mother.  Here we use blue colour and jasmine flower to represent this auspicious and lovely occasion.  

Blue colour is the colour of Friday, which is HM the Queen’s birthday, while jasmine has very sweet and lovely fragrance and its white colour signifies purity.  Therefore, it represents the never-ending, true, sweet love that mother always has for us.

Of course, just buying jasmines from the market won’t be special enough for my mom.  So, I decided to make them from gum paste for her.  If you’re to follow this how-to, I strongly advise you to add a little bit of jasmine extract to your gum paste.  That way you’ll have something very close to jasmine but even sweeter for your most beloved woman on earth.  

Follow this easy how-to to create your sweet flower.  

1. Roll out jasmine-scented white gum paste into a very thin sheet.  Then use the 5-petal flower cutter to cut out 2 pieces of flowers for each jasmine you would like to make.

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2. Smooth out the edge of each petal with a ball tool.

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3. Drag the ball tool from the edge of the petal inside toward the center to curl up the petal.  Repeat with all petals.

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4.  Glue two flowers together with water, egg white, or edible glue.  

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5. Put a small piece of green gum paste at the center of the flower.   photo 2-2

6. Press down at the green center with a small ball tool to make a shallow hole.

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7.  Shape the back of the flower to make it look natural. 

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8.  Leave the flower to dry in shape for at least 1 hour.

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Here’s the pictures of my finished cupcakes.  They are also available for advanced order.  Just allow me 2 days and you’ll have something special, sweet, and yummy for your mom.  Cheers!

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Sweetness for Our Guys

Among my most ordered sugar decorations are cartoon characters, figurines, and girly stuffs, e.g. handbags, accessories, makeup, etc.  Once in a while, a customer would order some male things for her boyfriend.  I find these items a little more difficult as I’m not really family with its appearance and structure.  Yet, it’s fun to make and quite cute in its miniature form.  Here are a few items I’ve done before.  Enjoy!

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Easy Daisy How-to

In preparation for my big girl’s birthday cake, I chose to make some daisies as they were very easy yet quite cute on any kind of cakes.  So, here’s just the very simple steps how I made them.  Enjoy!

Daisy Tools

To make the daisies, I used a daisy cutter/emboss set, a non-stick rolling pin, ball tools, a small spatula, a foam pad, and a non-stick working surface.

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Daisy How-to

1. Roll out the white the gum paste until about 1-2 mm thick.

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2. Lightly tap the cutter with cornstarch and press on the rolled gum paste.

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3. Gently pull out the cut gum paste from the cutter.

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4. Use the ball tool to thin out and slightly curve each petal on the foam pad.

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5. Dry each flower on a curvy surface to set the shape.

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6. Roll yellow gum paste in to a small ball.

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7. Flatten the ball on a rough surface to make it look like small stamen.

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8. Stick the yellow stamen on the center of the flower and let dry.

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Daisies alone wouldn’t do to complete my cake.  So, I also made some leaves to go with them.

Leaf Tools

Additional tools needed to make the leaves included leave cutters and a leaf veiner.  I wanted long leaves but unfortunately, I didn’t have any long veiner.  I just had to make use of what was available.

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Leaf How-to

1. Roll out green gum paste until about 1-2 mm thick and cut with leaf cutter.

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2. Smooth and sharpen the edges with the ball tool.

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3. Put the top part of the leaf on the veiner and press.

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4. For the rest of leaf, you cannot use both sides of the veiner at the same time but have to press with your fingers one side at a time.

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5. Dry the leaves on curvy surface to create the shapes you want.

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Now here’s the pictures of my finished two-tiered Banana Cake with Mascarpone frosting.  The frosting was much too soft to hold the decoration in place in our hot weather but long enough for everyone to enjoy the cake cutting.  Happy Birthday, my dear Tasha!  😀

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What’s your idea for the best ‘congrats’ gift?

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What would you buy/give to your best friend’s grand opening of her new restaurant/business?

The typical gift for Thai, or probably in other parts of the world as well, would be a lovely, big bouquet.  But won’t that be a little bit unoriginal?  No offense here, but I just wanted to give her something that was actually ‘from me’.  Something that she could just see and identify it with me.

Since I’m a cake decorator, I decided to go for the floral-themed cupcakes.  And, since I should give her some flowers anyway, so why not giving her the edible ones!  The only thing that makes it not such a good idea was that she was opening a dessert bar, and it might look a bit funny to get some dessert for a dessert bar.  Well, I’d been debating with myself for a long while and, as I really couldn’t come up with a better idea, I decided to go for it…with the excuse for myself that it’s not just a dessert, it’s well-decorated box of cupcakes!  Hmm..

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I was not sure how she felt about it, but she would be kind enough not to tell me how ridiculous the idea was if she really felt so.  Anyway, I did enjoy making these cupcakes a lot.  At least one of us were happy, right?

I would love to hear from you what would be your gift of choice in this kind of situation?  Perhaps I need to borrow your ideas for my next event!  😉

 

 

 

Sugar Malai to Celebrate Thai New Year 2014

I just feel this Thai New Year is an auspicious time to start a new step in life – to call myself as a cake decorator.  I’ve never seriously viewed myself as one before.  Cake decoration was just a part of my job as the co-owner of a small cupcake shop in Bangkok. However, the more I’ve done it, the more I fell in love with it.  It has become the most fun part of my job and my days.  So, I think I’m ready to present myself as one and will definitely keep developing myself in this sweet, happy path.  This blog will be a place where I can share my work, my creation, my passion – my sugar-high life.  Maybe all of you out there are better judges whether I deserve this title!

Songkran Day is the Thai traditional New Year which starts on April 13 of every year and lasts for 3 days, which is also called the “Water Festival”.  In the Thai tradition, elders and parents will be visited and respected by their children and grandchildren.  The young pour scented water over their elder’s hands, they in return, wish them good health, happiness and prosperity.  In the afternoon, Thai Buddhists sprinkle scented water on Buddha images.  After that, they sprinkle perfumed water on, or throw clean, cold water over each other.”

I happened to have quite a few hours free this Songkran and wanted to create something inspired by the festival.  A few things came to mind when thinking of Songkran, one of which is Malai (Thai-styled garland).  So, I decided to start with just that…

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It was my first time making a sugar garland and I didn’t want to be too ambitious with lots of details and complicated design.  So, my garland was just a simple one made from gardenias.  I made each flower separately and arrange them in a way similar to how the real malai was made.

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Another unique part of malai is the string of crown flowers, ending with a rose.  It’s quite easy to find a how-to VDO on how to make a fondant rose but none on crown flowers.  I just had to improvise here and this is the result…quite satisfactory!

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The roses got quite some compliments as well!  😀  Now that the malai was done, I just realized I had nothing to go with it!  So, I decided to make something that was easy enough without planning.

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And…here’s the total look…white cake filled with strawberry preserve and frosted with white chocolate buttercream…and of course, decorated with my malai.  The background was inspired by water and the edges were inspired by Thai traditional lace dress and pearl necklace.

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Hope you all have a happy and sweet new year…no matter where you are in the world!