This is going to be a random post about my birthday, cake and just ramblings :p
Yesterday was my birthday!! The final year that I can still declare myself officially as 30s! Don't know why I'm becoming more afraid of aging now? I must treasure my time this year and enjoy fully, partly because somehow stepping into the big 4 scares me, and partly because the kiddo is entering Primary School, a new milestone for both of us.
Anyways, went for a long spa therapy, followed by Korean BBQ dinner with the hb and kiddo, and finally birthday cake at home. It was simple, but lovely and I felt happy and blessed. Yep, that's how I feel so far this year, somehow I'm feeling quite high with generally good moods, different from last year where I was grumpy, grouchy and moody.
I remember last birthday was quite bad, I was feeling totally lousy. Worst, after looking at my birthday photo, my self-esteem dropped to an all-time low, I was overweight and looked haggard and ugly. Therefore, I made a wish to change myself for the better, through conscious healthy diet management and regular exercise. The path towards weight-loss wasn't easy, but somehow I persevered and survived, and lost about 7-8 kg. Read about my ramblings here.
So for the upcoming year, hope to lose another 3-4kg, so that I can buffer for weight gain, given that I really love to eat and actually dislike exercise. LOL :p
Well, for the past 2 years, the hb and kiddo had been buying the "Decorate-It-Yourself" cake from The Icing Room, and honestly speaking, the cake tasted blah -_- Sorry if I sounded snobbish or rude because I know many people love the concept and buy the cakes there, but I really disliked the cake.
So I decided, I will bake my own birthday cake. All along, I thought it's pretty weird to bake your own birthday cake, I mean, a bit pathetic right? The birthday girl still has to bake her own cake, can't her family buy cake from bakery or patisserie or something? But then again, I am a homebaker, I'm quite picky when it comes to cakes and pastries. Since I've been baking and selling cakes for others' birthdays, why can't I do it for myself? I can have any flavour and design I desire!
Initially I had big ideas, to try new recipes, new flavours etc. But I just returned from a sea-fishing trip in Malaysia, and tired lah. Cake, what cake? Oh ok, how about we just stick to my rainbow cake? I baked so many for others, I also want one for myself :)
Now, my family doesn't have very sweet tooth, and so do I. I always prefer the very tender and light type of cake, not too sweet as well, like the Japanese Strawberry Shortcake. Totally disliked fondant cakes as the cake texture is usually quite dense and the fondant is cloyingly sweet! Actually I'm not a big fan of buttercream either, a little bit is fine, but not a lot. Many people love chocolate, I like it, but likewise, not a lot. Finally 2 years ago, I attended a workshop on roll cakes and liked it a lot, so adapted the recipe for layer cakes instead. Spent much time and effort trying out, and managed to come up with a formula for order customization. So sorry, can't share the exact recipe or formula table, it's my baby.
Basically, the cake layer is baked using Japanese-style genoise sponge method where only 5 ingredients are used, flour, sugar, unsalted butter, milk and whole egg. The filling and frosting is made using whipping cream and mascarpone cheese and icing sugar (optional). Usually I will decorate with fruits or marshmallow (favourite for young children) but I wanted a sweet-looking flora look and I happened to have a box of swiss meringue buttercream in the freezer. While I really like the pretty-looking cakes with big blooms of roses and flowers that's very popular now, like I mentioned I'm not a big fan of buttercream (I'm not eating so much buttercream flowers), so I just randomly piped a few rosettes and some petite flowers and petals with whatever piping tips I have.
Heehee, turned out quite pretty, I'm pleased with it. I think I can add this design or similar to Meg's Pastry Studio :)
How the cake layers looked like before filling and frosting. Each layer is prepared and baked individually, as in prepare batter and bake, repeat 4 times (and not prepare one batter, divide into 4 baking pans). Very tedious!
The cake must be chilled, and best eaten cold, or just thaw for about 10-15 mins.
Love the cake texture, very tender and moist, pairs with the chantilly cream very well. The buttercream part was not bad; had reduced sugar so not too sweet, ate just a bit.
Looking forward to a great year of baking, cooking, travelling, dining and having fun!