August 28, 2012

Wedding souvenirs

Bravo! Another up-to-date post!

Here's the wedding souvenirs that I finished last night:




I used no-melt buttercream, so these guys should be able to hold up despite the heat!

August 27, 2012

Girly girl cupcakes

Before I start posting my pictures, please give me credit for posting on time.

I just made these girly girl cupcakes this afternoon. They're for my sister-in-law's friend, who's celebrating her birthday today.

(I wish I had better pictures. My Blackberry's camera isn't working very well anymore. I have a DSLR, but I am too lazy to wash my hands and set the cam. A point-and-shoot cam that doubles as a cellphone is what I need right now. I want to have a Samsung Galaxy Note!)

Here they are:
Here are the girly girl toppers!

Happy Birthday Charm!
Bag #1

Bag #2
Bag #3
On top of the cupcakes 

Happy Birthday Charm!

August 26, 2012

"Happy Birthday Tortle", assorted sugar cookies, some more of Angry Birds and Mickey Mouse

I always have to do catch-up posts. That's a given. 

To start off, let me show you my "Happy Birthday Tortle" cupcake topperss. I made them for my friend Nancy, who asked them to be made for Jean (also my friend), whom she calls "Tortle." These cupcake toppers are a version of my Happy Bunch toppers, but with more turtles this time. 

Next up: sugar cookies!!!

I think these cute cookies will brighten up anyone's day.

Due to a kitchen emergency that delayed my production time, these Care Bears cookies that I brought to  the christening of my friend's son are faceless. 

Another version of Mickey Mouse cookies

Mickey, up close and personal

Speaking of Mickey Mouse, here are some of the cupcakes that I made for Tristan, the little boy who had a Mickey-themed party today.



Last but not the least, more Angry Birds! 

Whatcha looking at?


And that, my friends, is the end of today's post. More baking to come!






August 21, 2012

Looking for new flavors

I'm tired of the usual chocolate, vanilla, banana, and red velvet cakes that I usually do. I'm tired of the usual sugar cookies that I make. I want to explore new combinations, and so I have been scouring the Internet for unique flavors that would make people happy when they eat my cupcakes. I've found a few, but I still have to try them out. I hope that these recipes would really turn out as pleasant surprises like that banana cake with cream cheese frosting recipe that I chanced upon on Food.com. That recipe was a jackpot. When I found it, it had a five-star rating from 900+ reviews. Currently, the recipe still has a five-star rating from 1013 reviews (mine included).

I hope I get the same luck in searching for new flavors. Wish me luck.

August 20, 2012

I'm all for customer satisfaction and customer service, BUT...

Before I started baking, I spent 4 years and 6 months in the customer service industry. I was a tech support agent for the first 6 months, after which I spent the next 4 years as a team leader/supervisor. I've managed and mentored my team successfully for those four years. I've spent my waking and sleeping moments thinking about CSAT scores, FCR, choice of words, all those things that make the customer's experience awesome.

Now what has this got to do with baking and my current business? I am merely stating that considering my background, good customer service is ingrained in me. I have used what I learned from my experience to properly deal with customers and make sure that they are happy at all times. However, there are just customers that are too demanding. It seems that they don't know what they are asking for.

I am willing "to go an extra mile" for my customers. After all, they are the source of my current income. I owe them my success. However, some of them are beyond unreasonable. They're paying a very minimal price, yet they are asking for the sun and the moon. Come on! I am running a business! I am not running a charitable institution! I've spent time, effort, and a whole of energy on what I do.

I've learned from other bakers that it is wise to be selective of your customers. I've learned that from my previous job as well. Why continue to have a business relationship with people who abuse your kindness? I don't want to short-sell myself. I will only cater to those who respect my talent and my energy and to those who are reasonable enough to set the proper expectations regarding what they want when they place their orders.

I am really really really mad right now! I just want to lash out. However, I am a professional, and so I will be polite in dealing with this certain customer. Just this one last order, and that's it. I'll refuse you next time, or charge you exactly what I should be charging you and not short-sell myself ever again.

August 19, 2012

August project: yup, another catch-up post

Why can't I ever update my blog on time? It's because I have a lot of things to do. All the time.

Anyway, here's what I've been up to lately since my last post.

Cakepops experiment

I haven't been successful in my attempts to make cakepops...not until last August 9. It isn't really perfect yet, but it's better than my last trials, especially when it comes to melting chocolate.

A few lessons I picked up:
*Since my microwave oven doesn't have a digital timer that I can set (only time and temperature dials), I'll have to set the temp at "defrost" place the chocolate in for one minute, take it out and stir, then place it back again. I'll place it inside the oven thrice for a minute each at this temperature setting.

*I have to make my cakepops smaller so that they don't "bow" down.

Here's the pic of what I made. The finish isn't smooth because I didn't melt enough chocolate to cover the pops when I dipped them in the bowl. I had to "spoon" the choco over the pops.

Mickey cookies
Mickey Mouse is a very popular theme with kids. I made another batch of Mickey cookies. Here they are:

Hand-painted sugar cookies

I tried painting on the royal icing to achieve another effect.
These cookies look like figures in a coloring book!

I think they are cute and whimsical.

Caterpillar

Bumblebee
Corporate giveaways for MeadJohnson
Now this one was challenging! I had to make six pieces in one day according to specifications sent by MeadJohnson.



Baby shower cupcakes
I finally got to use my silicon faces mold. I had a lot of fun making these cuties.




I hope you liked my sweet stuff.!


August 06, 2012

Gun cake

My husband's cousin is a gun enthusiast. His girlfriend asked me to make a cake for him. Here it is!
I had to copy his gun's logo and incorporate it in his name.


August 02, 2012

Bad weather projects: bumblebees, red devil's eye cake, and Mickey Mouse

I love bees! They make me happy. I finally got to make a bumblebee cake last week.
Bumblebee topper  made of crispy treats and marshmallows

Here's the bumblebee on top of a 7-inch round, 6-inch thick red devil's eye cake

Happy bumblebee cupcake toppers...aren't they adorable?

Here they are on top of the cupcakes

Cupcakes for Chas Gedser's first birthday
The weather was really bad last week. It rained the entire week, and it didn't help that the cold wind was constantly blowing. My supplier ran out of Peotraco Gummix, which was essential in giving stability to the fondant. I was in a panic! I finally decided to give marshmallow fondant a try, and I could say that it was definitely better than my regular recipe although it was tougher and more difficult to knead. But it held its shape and wasn't quite as affected by the weather than my regular recipe. For the giant bumblebee topper, I added 2 tablespoons of tylose powder to my recipe. The end result was a really stable and unaffected cake topper, but the excess fondant (or maybe it was already gumpaste) was too tough for me to use. I discarded it, but I was happy with how things went.

The weather was really a killer last week and this week. The strong winds damaged power lines, and I couldn't work for days! My mother-in-law asked me to make a thank-you cake for her ophthalmologist, which was supposed to be a fondant eye chart that read "Thank you." However, since I can't melt my marshmallows because power was in an "on again/off again mode," I decided to do a quick and easy buttercream frosting for my red devil's eye cake. 
This caught the attention of my FB friend: red devil's eye cake with chocolate buttercream garnished with white choco chips

The weather was a lot better today, and I was able to make a Mickey Mouse cake, Mickey Mouse sugar cookies (similar to the one I made for a previous post), and Team USA men's basketball jersey sugar cookies.

Mickey top view: buttercream icing all aroud, but Mickey's face is made from fondant and painted with food color gel mixed with vodka (gives you that sheen)

Side view: "Happy Birthday Noah"


Side view
Team USA men's basketball sugar cookies (number 15 is Carmelo Anthony's jersey)
What can you say about my Mickey Mouse cake? I think it looks very "Mickey." I'm very proud of it.