Wednesday, November 30, 2011


You know that couple who just got engaged and incessantly talk about nothing but wedding plans?

And your best girlfriend who just found out she's pregnant and has started talking about nothing but babies?

Well guess what students who are applying to graduate programs talk about?

That's right....grad applications....that, and working at McDonald's should they not get least...thats what my plans are.

Grad apps have consumed me. Its all I think about day and night and night and day....which have now just blended together because I never sleep anyway....sleep is for the weak. You think lions and tigers sleep?


You know who else doesn't sleep? The girl down the street who is applying to the SAME program you are. Sleep isn't holding her down and it shouldn't hold you down either!

I now find myself giving up on sleep and just call them naps. Sleeping from 6am to 8:30am when you have to wake up for class isn't sleep. Its a nap.

You know what else I can't do anymore? Make decisions.

My typical evening will go like this:

Sit down to fill out my prerequisite sheet for UfT
Realize I can put down 1 of 2 courses
Wonder which would look better
Look at my transcript to see which I did better in
Pick a course and write it down
Scratch it out and write another
Wonder what the person who will read it will think of me for taking that course
Wonder if I should have even taken that course
Wonder if I should have made it to post-secondary at all
Wonder if I am using the right colour pen
Wonder if I am writing neat enough
Wonder if the person reading will laugh at my writing
Wonder if I should hire a calligrapher to fill out my sheet
Wonder if it is to be or not to be
Stare at the paper in morbid fear for 10 minutes
Stare at the part that says name wondering whose name that is
Have an identity crisis
Rip the paper up and watch an episode of Modern Family

I also can no longer hold a conversation with someone without going to a very anxious place.

Typical conversation

Friend: Want to go out for sushi tomorrow night?
Me: Sure...what time should I get my personal submission into you by? *twitchy face*
Friend: *backs away slowly*

As you probably guessed, this post has nothing to do with baking. It's just an insight in to the brilliant mind of me...and my fellow peers who are in the same position I am.

Just remember this; if you lose sight of why you're doing need to take a break....go eat a cupcake...then come back to your desk or wherever you work...BREATHE...and keep going

Keep Calm and Carry On!

Happy Baking!

Monday, November 28, 2011

Hockey Jersey Cake

My boyfriend is a huge Leafs fan. He has stuck with them through the good and the bad and has made me a default leafs fan.

So naturally for his birthday I was going to make him a hockey themed cake. I initially thought of making a hockey rink (arena?) but decided that there wouldn't be enough actual cake to eat or too much cake. Still want to try that sometime though.

This cake was relatively simple to make. I had originally planned on adding a buttercream border at the bottom to hide the imperfections of fondant but I didn't have enough time.

It is also much harder to cover a square or rectangle cake in fondant than it is for a round cake.

And it is also much harder to fit a Tamil name onto a tiny little maple leaf.

After I made the cake, I realized I should have done the BACK of the jersey with his name as the players name rather than the front.

I then smashed the cake into a wall and started all over again.


I brushed my shoulders off and put it in the books for next time.

I also just realized that this is the first 'boy' cake I've made. It kind of killed me that I couldn't put anything pink or pretty on it :(

I guess what matters in the end is that he loved it, even though he doesn't really eat cake....weirdo.

On a different note, I know I kind of fell off the face of the blogworld this past week. Its only because I'm running around like a chicken with its head cut off. I will be back to some much needed baking soon with more pics and funnier posts than this one....I hope.

Till then...Happy Baking!!

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

I'm Alive!!

If you're wondering where I am....I'm right here!

I have been ridonculously busy this past week. I haven't been baking :( but I have been stalking goodies that other people have baked!

I promise that I will be doing a post soon. Don't leaaaavvveee meeeee.

Okay my attachment issues have surfaced.

The biggest problem with being a full time student and a part time baker/blogger is that you wish you were a full time baker/blogger and only part time student....quarter time student.

So don't worry, I haven't spontaneously combusted or been silenced by the FBI. I'm here and well and pulling out my hair with no time to do anything.

I'll be back soon enough! I promise with something yummy...I think.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Christmas Came Early!!

This past weekend, I came into possession of something that I have been coveting from the moment I laid my eyes on it.

It is magnificent. I can't think of a word for it other than magnificent.

And its all thanks to one of my besties who knows how crazy I am and feeds my addiction :)

In fact, she was just as excited as I was was to watch me open it! If anyone is wondering how I have the motivation and determination to keep up with school AND fulfill my baking dreams, you should know by now that I'm obviously not doing it alone. I would be doing nothing without my friends and family who support me and keep me going when I feel like I have absolutely no energy left.

Okay put the tissue box more sentimentally stuff.

My friend, T managed to hook me up with this beautiful beast sent down from the cake heavens:

I'm gonna give you a moment to appreciate the sheer awesomeness of everything that comes in this box.

I know most people who read my blog probably don't know what this is or the significance of it.

But to those who are staring at the computer with a glow across your is every bit as good as the picture.... and better.

I will be doing a comprehensive post on the Ultimate Decorating Set soon including a comparison of the price of the set to buying each item individually. I can't promise that it will come soon but it will happen one day.

The retail value of the set is $470 but if you thought for even a second that I would fork that over, then we need to go on a few more dates because you don't know how cheap I am. Rest assured....I got this baby for a HUGE steal.

I'm getting flustered all over again... I think I need a paper bag.

Needless to say, I remain indebted for life to my friend T for hooking me up.

The next few weeks will be a bit packed as I get ready for finals and finish up assignments and have multiple crises over grad school applications where I drown my sorrows in junk food and try to convince myself that my life won't be over if it doesn't work out. I will try to squeeze in as much baking as I can.

Happy Baking!

PS: I'm wondering if I should cancel Multicultural Monday altogether. I'm always missing it and I never end up trying the recipes anyway. Thoughts?

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Review: Wilton Global Fondant and Gum Paste Mold

Since I have a bit of time (a reallllyyyy tinnnnnyyyyy bit) between cakes and school work I thought I would do a quick product review on the impression mold I used for the bharathanatyam (dance) cake.

The Global mold is one of 3 or 4 I believe. It is made of silicone and comes with a bunch of designs on one sheet all relating to a certain theme. I received it as a birthday gift (ironically from the same friend that I used the mold to make a cake for) and was super excited to use it. I think its the most 'ethnic' looking one of the molds.

The instructions to use it were fairly simple. Wash the mold carefully before the first use. Obviously...this goes for any kind of tool you buy...if you even think about skipping this step, just picture a giant warehouse with rats running around on top of your products boxes...ya that's right...get scrubbing.

To use, you basically push in the fondant on top of the design you want and roll a rolling pin over it to make sure you fill every crevice. Make sure you sprinkled cornstarch onto the mold beforehand so that the fondant doesn't stick. Then just lift the fondant or gum paste out and TADAAAA.

Pshhh, who am I kidding...we all know things don't work that way in real life...

The biggest problem I had was that I had to make sure the impression wasn't overfilled or else I would have to trim the excess fondant off by hand which resulted in extra work...and we all know how much I hate extra work.

Eventually I got the hang of it and was able to fill each impression with just the right amount of fondant so that there was no excess.

I also found that I didn't need to use cornstarch! My fondant didn't stick to the silicone at all. I don't know if this was because my fondant was just the right amount of stickiness OR because the heavens were smiling down at me because I'm special....personally I think its the latter.

What I like MOST about this mold is that once you pop the shape out, you can manipulate it to form other shapes. I used the 4 petal flower impression and then cut them in half to make my own border. Winning!

What I didn't like was that the borders that came with the mold didn't look good when I made them. They were hard to fill without showing breaks or folds. When I did manage to fill it properly, there was always excess fondant that I had to then trim off. I also think it would be a hassle if you have a larger cake. The borders are not that long. I'm not too sure because I didn't use the border design and I decorated an 8 inch cake but I would imagine that you have to do a few borders and join them together resulting in more divides in your border. Again, not a big deal but since I'm a perfectionist and get crazy twitchy eyes when things I make have tiny flaws, I consider it a minus.

I think the mold would be better if they changed out the border designs and added some other impression designs and also if there was some way to fill the design and cut away excess fondant before popping the fondant out. Not sure how they would do that and make it convenient but I'll let the creative design engineers over at Wilton work on that one. The cavities were also quite deep and I think I would like it better if they were a bit thinner so that the work doesn't stick out of the cake oddly.

Regardless, I would give this product 7 out of 10. I think the mold is a great tool to give your cakes that extra flair if you are pressed for time. The intricate designs are great and you have an option among a few patterns to choose from. The product is very durable and seems like it will last a long time. I'm not sure about the price since I received it as a gift. But again, if you get it, make sure to check at Michael's first because they have those blessed coupons that make it easier on our wallets.

Next time for product reviews I think I should take some pictures of me actually using the product. All this text on the page is just boring...except for those few people who read my blog just for the writing...anybody? Ya didn't think so.

Happy Baking!

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Rose Cake

Today is a milestone! I know I say that a lot, but this one is for realz!!!

And technically it wasn't today, it was last weekend....but the excitement carries!

I officially had my first client/customer/person-who-I-didn't-just-give-cake-to.

Go ahead and scream and do a little victory dance for know you want to...go ahead I'll wait.

I don't think I can explain the feeling of PROFESSIONALLY baking someone a cake for the first time...ever. I think its right up there with having your first kid and getting married....okay maybe not THAT far up...

It's not the getting paid part that is exciting (but it definitely don't hurt!!) but rather the feeling that someone considers your work serious and professional and GOOD enough to pay you hard earned money for it.

I think I need a tissue.

I was talking to my friend yesterday about being a cake 'artist'. I didn't consider myself to be creative or an artist because I can't draw to save my life. Then she mentioned that baking is my 'medium' just like photography is hers.

Meeedddiiiuummmm. I rolled that around in my head for a while and came to the conclusion that I am a kid with crayons. I want to do great things. Paint Mona Lisa's and be a Van Gogh in my own right (but I'm keeping both my ears). Often times though, I am my own worst critic. So for now I'm going to focus on colouring in the lines and learning bit by bit.

And today I feel like I've graduated kindergarten! Yay me!

Inspiration for this cake (and by inspiration I mean totally plagiarized) came from I am Bakers beautiful Rose Cake. I dressed it up pink and added a few nonpareils. Inside is a lemon cake and its covered in vanilla buttercream.

Credits to my super photographer Emily.



Happy Baking!

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Bharathanatyam Cake

I am super excited about this cake.

My friend recently had her 21st birthday. As many of you may remember from my previous post, 21 is a big deal in my culture...well for girls at least.

But I did not make her a key cake...I was planning to do a change up on the traditional key cake but then things got expensive and it just wasn't going to happen.

INSTEAD...I made something better! Well at least I think so :)

My friend loves to dance. She's an amazing classical Indian dancer and is most passionate about it.

I looked high and low on the internets for a beautiful "Bharathanatyam" inspired cake...and found nothing.

So I took some inspiration from other dance themed cakes and came up with the sketch for my cake. I wanted it to look like the silhouettes of dancers on stage.

I traced the dancers out from black fondant and let them dry out. I also got to use an impression mold from Wilton which I will be doing a review on soon. The inside was a marble cake and covered in vanilla buttercream.

The hardest part of this cake was obviously the dancers. I wanted them to actually look like dancers and include all the little details like the pleated fan skirt and the graceful arms. Initially I had wanted them to have even more detail like bangles and the bells on the feet but since they were small, the details didn't come through. But they look like dancers to me so s'all good!

Every time I look at this cake, or pictures of this cake, my stomach jumps a little and I get excited all over again.

All in all, a very successful personalization of the cake :)

And thanks to Emily again for the amazing pictures. She has her own blog now too! Check it out here 

Happy Baking!

Monday, November 7, 2011

Why Some Things Need to be on Paper and Not in My Head

Another post about a lesson learned, although this one not as harsh and ugly as the previous one :)

I recently made a bunch of cupcakes and a small cake for a friend's birthday. I used my usual chocolate cake recipe but for some reason, it didn't turn out the way it usually does. It was good...but just not as chocolatey.

I also made a small 6 inch cake because a birthday is not complete without cutting into a cake while everyone sings a very off key but loving rendition of Happy fact the only part of that song that everyone sings in sync is the very first Happy...if your lucky, it might be Happy Birthday toooooo.....

But I digress.

Initially I had wanted to design the cake to look like a falling spatter of tiny little flowers. Kind of like this.

And that's how the cake looked in my head.

However, since I was pressed for time and ASSUMED that it seemed like a simple design, I didn't draw a sketch or look up tutorials or helpful hints like I usually do.

The look I was going for didn't really translate onto the end cake I made. It doesn't look just wasn't the look I was going for. I guess I overestimated my tends to happen. I also think the design would work better for a multi-tier cake.

Anyway...the cake still looked cute...the cupcakes also looked cute. And I loved the teal colour of the buttercream.

And I haven't given up on the splatter design...I will recreate it one day.

Moral of the story: plan, research, plan, sketch, and plan!

And thank you to my friend Emily for the pictures!!! You give my cupcakes a touch of magic :)

Happy Baking!

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Do Not Resuscitate Cake

Readers of my blog...I come to you today from a place of failure and embarrassment.

Often times, I am so caught up in doing new things and succeeding that when something like this happens, I am shaken to the core...THE CORE.

I call it, the Do Not Resuscitate cake.

It started off like any normal cake would have. I lovingly measured out the ingredients...gently combined them in the bowl...carefully added the water...cautiously mixed it all up.

Then I poured it into my 8 inch pan and popped it in the oven with dreams of a happy healthy brown chocolate baby....I mean cake.

10 minutes later, I was opening the oven door to what appeared to be the purple thing from ghostbusters and an exploding volcano....TWO exploding volcanoes. I didn't even bother to take a was that depressing.

It was overflowing and there was a gigantic solid thing protruding out of the middle which looked very much like a certain body part but I'm going to keep this space I'll leave it to your imagination.

I didn't even fill it that was just a TAD over the mark I usually fill at.

So roommate and I made the executive decision to take it out, empty some of the batter and pop it back in.

20 mins later I opened the oven door to find what appeared to be a landslide in my cake. It had completely sunk in the absolutely completely. I didn't even know what to do so I just sat down and did some heavy breathing exercises while my roommate tried to convince me that it wasn't that bad...yeah right! Who was she kidding!?

That's why its called the Do Not Resuscitate cake...we should have let it go the first time.

Have you guys seen the video of the bride having a crisis and cutting her hair while her friends convince her that it doesn't look that bad. It was like that....exactly like that..

I've gone through little problems through my various baking projects but a complete failure like this hasn't happened in a long while.

Had I lost it? Was this baking thing a momentary, temporary phase of my life that is now dead and gone?

But even though it looked terrible and horrible, it still tasted amazing...gooey and moist and rich and chocolatey. So we sat there and ate this failed cake out of the pan while bringing my baking self esteem back up.

Nevertheless, I am back on my baking tip and made some of my best creations yet!

Moral of the story; sometimes, no matter how right you do things, the result is a complete mess and you find yourself just shit outta luck. Don't give up. Find a lesson in the experience and if not...have a good laugh and move on.

Happy Baking!