Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Totally Worth It!

Just when I thought accepting a last minute wedding cake was the last thing on my mind, somebody important called and ask me a favor. She needed a wedding cake for a local celebrity's wedding held at her establishment and her regular cake supplier was out of town and nobody else can accept her last minute wedding cake order. But reluctantly I said Yes the minute she mentioned the celebrity name. And plus her request for the wedding cake was not too much to bear and I can take a 24 hours of suffer for this. It's a win win situation!

My younger sister Fiza and I had to be up all night to finish up 3 cakes in total. It was very tiring and on top of that I had to deliver them all to the customers. During the delivery I almost got into accidents many times on the road because I was so exhausted to drive and fell asleep many times while driving. It was so dangerous, really! But after I delivered my cakes to the customers and saw how they were so happy with it, it made it all worth it.

About the design aspect of this wedding cake, I had to design something simple and not too complicated for Fiza to follow and ultimately complete this cake flawlessly. So after I covered the cake with fondant and stacked them, I quickly showed Fiza how to make the flowers. Everything went well and we were pleased with the end result.

Below is the photo of the wedding cake that belonged to Zakiah Anas and she used to be a TV host at TV3 Malaysia.

Sunday, January 13, 2013

The Evolution of My Rainbow Cake Decorations

Boy, I have evolved so much since the first time I started baking and decorating my rainbow cakes. You can see the difference from the first time (first top photo) to the most recent one (last photo)

One Year Old Birthday Cake

Somehow a lot of customers are celebrating One year old birthday for their kids this year. This one she requested a birthday cake that shaped into number One and has racing cars on top of it. She wanted me to use my Swiss Meringue Buttercream for the frosting but do the racing cars in fondants. And naturally whenever there are many kids at a birthday party, chocolate cake is the number one choice. So I did my Devil Food Cake.... moist, heavy, not overly sweet and packed with chocolate flavor.

Below is the cake I did for her little son.

Black Theme Birthday Party = Tuxedo Cake

A customer Mr. Haycarl asked me to make a cake for his birthday that is black themed. Immediately I suggested a fondant Tuxedo cake. He gave me the license to choose the cake flavor and at first I decided to make a triple flavor marble cake; vanilla, chocolate and strawberry. And then I was going to layer it with chocolate ganache and strawberry Swiss meringue buttercream. I think this would have made a great cake. But at the last minute I changed my mind and decided to go with my Red Velvet instead which I can be sure will be a big hit and it did.

Below is Mr. Haycarl's birthday cake.

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Flower And Garden Wedding Cake

This cake was made for a wedding on the 29th December 2012. She was doing a garden theme at her wedding reception and wanted her cake to suit the theme as well. And so I made her this cake that has flowers all over it with a bunch of multicolored Roses vanilla cupcakes. Inside is a 7 colored Rainbow Cake I thought really suited her colorful garden theme wedding. And She loved it and they loved the delicious rainbow cake too.

Teddy Bear Cake

I love a good challenge as it gives me a good practice of creating new cakes and I get paid to do it too. I always encourage my customers to give me interesting cake orders. So on the 29th December 2012, I made a Teddy Bear fondant cake for a One year old birthday girl and this was the first time for me. It was fun and exciting to make. The best part is I discovered some basic problems of how to work with fondant and how to properly and safely transport fondant cake to the customers. Since Malaysia's weather is so hot, humid and raining all the times, fondants are so sensitive to all these and air conditioned room is such an important factor in order to keep the cake and the fondant from melting, sweating and fell apart.

Below was my first time Teddy Bear Cake made from Fondant and I used Devil Food Cake on the inside. Kids love a really good chocolate cake.

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Flower Power Cake as Engagement Exchange Gift

This was made last Saturday for a customer engagement exchange gift. I decided to make small pink shades  flowers all over a chocolate fondant cake with pink fondant bow.

Thursday, January 3, 2013

2012, The Year That I lost Everything

Finally my 2012 is over and it was over almost 2 days ago. If anyone ask me whether I want my 2012 to repeat itself again, I would say yes to some parts and NO to most of them. Although 2012 is already over but the "aftermath" is still brewing. A lot of bad shit happened to me last year. To some point I just couldn't stand it anymore and I kept thinking of doing the worst to my life. But luckily I am a coward and I don't think I would kill myself. Instead, I just live a low life, quietly and away from glamorous world that I used to love and enjoy.

People say that when you hit rock bottom all you can do is just going up from there. Going up where is the question here, I have no idea whatsoever. When my only Japanese customer Menehune Plantation based in Chiyoda-Ku, Tokyo finally slowed down after a year the Tsunami hit Japan in 2011, I realized I cannot move on and operate my production house of Hula Costumes and Accessories anymore. I have no capital to run the company, to pay for my employees, to pay the office rent, to pay the suppliers, to pay the courier services, utilities and most of all....all my own personal commitments; I decided to call it a day. It was a really sad decision for me and my staff. We were really close with each other and in fact the last 5 of us left in the company to the end  really understands each other and really love what we were doing.

Unlike Menehune Plantation, I have no other customers but Menehune. We refused other Japanese customers in order to respect Menehune and we set everything up in the company for Menehune's production only. And unlike any other companies, we started the company from zero capital and grow from there. Every single penny is invested back into the company to buy equipment and to expand. I spared no EPF for my own except the one I paid for my staffs and I had no savings either. Pretty much I gamble my life and my future and everything on the line with my company. For the last 10 years, I live day to day, month to month and everything was okay; not so great but livable until the Tsunami hit Japan. Then I knew I am up to some serious shits and everything might be over.

Mr FS the owner of Menehune came to visit me twice in 2011 after the Tsunami and he convinced me that everything will be as per normal business and I shouldn't worry. And because I was not worrying myself with what I felt and instinct, I end up with nothing now and they are still running as per normal and still making a living from their business with big smiles to their customers in Tokyo.

It was all my bad I think! I always easily agreed to Mr FS whenever he wanted me to reduced a price of our product. We thought that if we make little profit on each product he will order more from us as he makes lots of profits from our hard works. But there's no point looking back at each things that I regret and beat myself to a pulp. I better try to forget my bad unhappy shits and move on right?

After my staff offered to quit voluntarily, I decided to closed the operation at end of March 2012. Immediately I went into depression mode and became so unhappy, afraid and in denial of my own failure. I was penniless for a long while until a really close friend suggested me to start baking cakes and pies and sell them to his office. I will forever be grateful to him as he started my whole new career and I love doing this new baking business as baking has always been a passion to me.

The problem I face now is that I have so much debts (who doesn't) everywhere and this is pulling me down and making me unhappy and stuck with heavy baggage of my past. Not one day that I forget about all my debts. It is like a pebble in my shoes only this pebble is a spiky sharp metal that keep poking my feet whenever I try to walk into a new life. I can't put my heart and soul to my new baking world if I am still can't clear out all my past problems. I feel so difficult as I don't know what's going to happen to me in the future. My income from baking is way too small to cover all of these debts. And I couldn't ask help from anyone or any of my siblings as my brothers and sisters said that they cannot help me at all especially with my money situations. But it's funny how some of my friends did offer to help me, that really caught me by surprise. However, I cannot accept any offer of help or any "soft loans" from friends as I do not know whether or not I could pay them back.

Talking about family though, doesn't mean that they are your flesh and blood that they would help you and die for you. Hahah NO! When I went through my own dark moments, depressions, sadness and poor (I am still facing these), surprisingly my siblings did the least to help me to start over. The people that really helped me was my mother(of course) and she is the only one that would do anything for me without asking. And I bet if my Dad is still alive, he would do the same too. Then my younger sister fiza who were so sweet and despite being in the same predicament as mine, she would do anything within her means to help me. Some other sibling openly said NO to my fucking face. Yup! but its ok. Its funny thought that some of them said NO to help me and in fact gave excuse right away of how they can't help at all but what did I found recently, new huge bathroom renovation that cost more than MYR10,000. Huh? What? Is that a bathroom or a guest room? But to throw a few hundred bucks for my pocket money or food is so far from it.

When I face such hardship like this, my life really start at 40. Only different is the "starting balance" of my life is negative in everything and owing so much everywhere and probably will be thrown to jail if fail again. Whereas when I was 21, started my life was a breeze compared to now. Life is such a bitch I tell you!

So now, I do not know how to face my current situation with my company that I have closed down the operation as there are so many pending important matters and they are all required money, money, money. A quote from ABBA's song...

"Money, money, money 
Must be funny 
In the rich man's world 
Money, money, money 
Always sunny 
In the rich man's world 
All the things I could do 
If I had a little money 
It's a rich man's world" 

but in my world now..nothing is funny anymore...scary is. I do not know how to solve my problems as the only thing that I need to solve them is with money. And I have sold my cheap-ass low cost apartment just so that I could use the money to pay all my debts but that has been 6 months ago and still the paperwork to transfer the ownership to the new buyer is not completed. Don't know how much longer I have to suffer like this. So tired!

On a positive note, I know that God give me talent that I can develop into making an honest and decent living. I know I will be ok in the future with this new venture, for how much longer only God knows. And I do have the passion for baking and cake decorating, this is not far off from my previous nature of work. I hope I could settle all my debts this year and move on with a new clean chapter and write my new exciting history with passion, love and excitements.