Friday, June 29, 2012

Ombre Daisy Cupcake

There was a wave of rainbow cakes and now its the ombre wave!   After seeing some really good designs on line, I decided to venture on one with my very own daisy designed cupcake, albeit a simpler design.

Customers usually do have a theme in mind.  That makes it easier for me to propose designs of a similar theme.   Most of the time, they allow me a freehand on what I can come up with.  

There is also the other half of my customers who dont have a specific occasion and just want to order a box for tea or to be shared with family and friends.   I love working with this group cos it gives me the flexibility to explore new designs that I have never attempted before.   This is when the ombre daisy came into mind.   I think this batch is suitable for any occasion, even CNY!!

I'm hoping to venture into fondant work in the near future, especially on fondant covered cakes and figurine moulding.   Mom was telling me .. what so difficult, just roll out the fondant and put over the cake la .. hahaha wish it was that easy Mom :D

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Pirate Themed Birthday Party Cake!!

A specially commissioned 3D pirate ship cake and pirate boy cupcakes for 6 year old Nicolo!!!

When I was first asked to do a 3D pirate ship cake, I almost did not want to take the order.  Reason being, I have never really sculpted a ship cake before and was not sure if I could do it.     I have previously done a 3D LV Handbag cake using a different cake recipe (pound cake) but this pirate cake was to be in a moist chocolate cake instead!  Pound cakes are studier, easier to carve - but does not taste as good as a fluffy butter cakes, in my opinion.   Nevertheless, if you never try, you will never know.   So off I went to explore on my recipe and at the end, was glad I took on the challenge.

The test cake was baked with perfection - at least that's what hubby said.   Then I set out to plan the rest of the cake (in my head!)   On baking day, hubby was considerate enough to take Bryan out for half a day window shopping at Mid Valley while I worked on the cake.   I was so grateful.   Without any disturbance, I manage to complete it before they got home.  

In my heart, I was really thankful for the customer in placing her trust in me, a complete stranger whom she found online.   In return, I wanted to surprise her with an extra box of cupcakes - for free!!!     I immediately set out to bake a dozen cupcakes in vanilla, covered it with buttercream and designed it to coincide with the party theme.  

On the day of the party, I was getting quite anxious at home.  I could not help but wonder if the cake was well received (cos customer was a European expatriate) and if they liked the extra cupcakes.   

Then suddenly, later in the afternoon, the sms came in!

"Dear Joanna, thanks a lot!!   The cake and cupcakes were fantastic!  I have given your contact to some of the other parents.   Love, Giovanna."

Oh boy!  That made my day!  Showed hubby the sms ... cos so darn proud of myself in taking up this challenge.   Now this has spurned me to take on more orders which previously I would have rejected as I just didnt have the courage to explore something beyond my comfort zone.   I am so glad I am progressing slowly but surely, in something I ventured out to do for me and myself.  

For complete range of cake and cupcake designs, "Like" my page at

Monday, June 25, 2012

The Heritage Village, Seri Kembangan

We took a short walk around Heritage Village after we were done at Critterland.   The place generally looks not too well maintained.   This property is built facing a lake called Blu Water (I believe it used to be a mining lake) and is said to be maintained by the same property management team as the Palace of Golden Horses (Mr Google said so, not me).

Nothing much to be fancied but being a waterfront property, I must say it was a nice stroll around the area.     Sharing with you some photos we took there.   

They had stone statues of the 12 animals in the Chinese Zodiac sign, so naturally Bryan had to pose with this huge oink!    If it was not for the hot weather, we would have spent more time strolling around but its just too hot as we were there right smack in the afternoon!

Monday, June 18, 2012

Critterland & Paper Wrapped Chicken @ Seri Kembangan

We really dont know what to do or where to go during the recent school holidays.  As we are also planning for a trip to Singapore again during Raya and Port Dickson and Melaka during the long weekend of National Day, we decided not to take leave this round.

If we dont take leave, means we are only able to take the brat out on Saturday.  Sunday is rest day - cannot compromise .. hahaha.    Some more have to do housework.    So we ended up in Critterland located at Heritage Village, which was across the road from The Mines Shopping Centre.

I chose this place cos I heard there are hardly any crowd (meaning not very well maintained ... hahaha).   I also chose this because parents need not pay to enter to accompany their kids.    Living in KL is so expensive, not only have to pay to let our kids play, parents also have to pay to take care of their kids!!!  Hmmph!!!

Didnt have any expectations at all once I saw the condition of the building.  It seems like a service apartment with some 'water-front" dining which were all closed and generally not that well maintained.  Critterland was located on the first floor.

Was glad to let him run & jump for a whole 2 hrs before we decided to head out for lunch.      As we were just driving out of Heritage Village, we noticed a corner shop, tables filled with customers.   Without hesitating, we decided to have lunch there.  

Oh boy!  They indeed serve very very good chi pau kai (paper wrapped chicken)!   Loved it.  Even Bryan wanted second helpings!     You can read about Restoran Leng Ya Indah here.    Its really quite good.     One piece cost RM3.80.   Apparently they have been in operatations for quite a long number of years.   The yong tau foo is not too bad either.   Will definitely be back since its not that far from my place.

And oh ya, dont forget to try this too - pineapple juice with assam boi!   Naturally sweet (no added sugar, they say) - very nice too.   As you can see, Bryan simply could not wait .. hahaha.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Cartoon Drawing Cake

My first ever try at drawing cartoon designs on a cake!  

Pheww!    Always thought it would be hard but once you give it a try, its actually pretty easy.    Now I am more confident of trying out bigger shaped cartoon images and also more complicated background designs.

I find that when drawing (anything), the most important is to get the facial expressions right.   The other features dont really matter that much.   Once you get the face right, the image would seem right.   But if the face seems "deformed", no matter how accurate you got the face, body, legs & hands, the entire image would still seem deformed!    So if you want to give this a try, do ensure you pay attention to the face .. hahaha.

More designs available at

Monday, June 11, 2012

Chicken Curry Bread @ Kampar - Yumz!!

I've heard about this chicken curry bread even in KL years ago but never ever tried it.   So after our Gua Tempurung adventure and a good dose of exercise, naturally we looked for food.

Having a great tour-guide (bro-in-law) who also enjoys cuti-cuti Malaysia and food trips around the country, we headed to this famous place located at the town centre of Kampar, called Restoran Yau Kee. 

So glad they have airconditioned dining area!   After all cuti-cuti Malaysia is memang hot stuff ... hahaha.   And the next thing I noticed was every single table there ordered this similar dish - the chicken curry bread.   Looks totally ordinary ... but wait till you cut it open ...

Damn!  Before even posting up the inside of the bread, I already salivating while typing this.   Gosh!   Really need to go there again - SOON!!

The curry is really good!   Creamy and thick and taste heavenly.  The bread was really soft and fluffy and tasted darn good when dipped in the curry!!!!  Oh god, help.  Salivating like crazy now!

This bread dish comes in 2 flavours.  The all time chicken curry favourite above and also another version in herbal broth.   The herbal broth chicken is equally good I must say but when eaten with the curry version, the chicken curry just stand up so high above the herbal version.   I still enjoyed my herbal chic drumstick ;)   The kiddo loved it too cos the curry was a bit spicy for his age.

We had 10 adults + 1 kiddo so we had to order more dishes.   We had a fish, vege, tofu and marmite pork and the freaking bill just came up to RM130.  Can you beat that??!!    Really makes me feel that KL food is sooooo expensive that now I dont wanna eat out ... eeekkk!

If you are in Ipoh/Kampar area, dont forget to check out this place ok.  I can guarantee you its worth the drive!

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Yat Yat Seng Curry Noodles @ Ipoh

Time for brunch in Ipoh and bro-in-law introduced us to this stall for some hearty dose of noodles.   It seems they offer really good chicken hor fun (chicken kuay teow soup noodles) but it is the curry noodles that you need to give it a try.   Dont really know the exact address but Mr Google can be of help if you are in Ipoh ;)

This particular type of curry noodles is pretty thick and creamy and it has an extra strong smell and taste of curry paste that is similar taste and smell to curry powder.  You may or may not like having your curry noodles cooked with such strong smell - but for me, its worth a try - and I liked it.   Its different from the ones you would usually get in KL or Penang or from any curry noodle stall - totally worth a try!

Be forwarned that the lady cook is a bit lan-si, just like any other famous noodles stalls.  We were seated all the way at the last table placed on the walkway/pavement ;(   That is how packed this place is during our late breakfast.

Didnt get a good shot of my yummylicious curry noodles cos need to feed Bryan his noodles as well and it was freaking hot la in Ipoh, but anyway, here's a pics of my very satisfying late breakfast ;)

Actually, before I even step foot in Ipoh, I was already craving for the claypot crab tanghoon noodles ... but sigh ... we went there for dinner but I didnt know we had to pre-order.  Sampai sana, semua ada ... except my beloved claypot crab tanghoon noodles.   Can you imagine - salivating and all and DONT GET TO EAT???    My face also turn black like wok already but nevermind ....

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Gua Tempurung, Gopeng, Perak

Gua Tempurung - my vote for the most beautiful place to visit in Malaysia!!  Seriously!  I am so so glad my bro-in-law suggested we visit this place when we were there for a one-night stopover to Ipoh.   I am actually so ashamed that as a Malaysian for donkey years, I have never visited this place but spend so much money visiting other caves in Australia, etc.   This place is such a natural beauty - you really need to see it with your own eyes.

Below, my brat posing at the entrance.

I was not sure if it will be a difficult walk for the little one but my bro-in-law assured me that it will be fine.  There are good steel staircases for you all the way.  There are also some stop-rest-view areas where you can catch your breath.

Below is where the journey begins ....

I was not able to capture any good shots of the caves using my Iphone so I am sharing with you some pics I took from the internet.  Credit goes to the original photographer and sorry I didnt ask your permission first.   Its just too beautiful not to be shared.   And if you ask me - does it look as beautiful as in the photo - my answer is a loud YES, if not BETTER!!

We probably covered at least a few hundred steps.  Definitely more than what you see at Batu Caves (I swear!) but there are many stops along the way, so no worries.

We have no idea how far deep you can go but we stopped after about an hour.  There are guide which you can follow and listen to all the commentaries but with the little brat with us, we walked on our own and at our own pace.    At certain parts, the stairs were wet from water drippings but on most parts, it was easy but you will be still drenched in sweat albeit the natural "air-cond" inside the cave!!

You dont need any special shoes or anything although it would have been better.   We were in slippers.    Different rates for different activities in Gua Tempurung.  Our red sticker was for the "easy route"  There are more strenous longer routes and definately more challenging.

Do not miss this if you are in Ipoh.  I repeat, do not miss this.  Nature's beauty for only RM6.  What a waste that the Govt has not done anything to promote this place!