Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Cupcakes: A Birthday Bash and Baby Shower

'Tis the season for cupcakes in our household, thanks to several friends who wanted custom cupcakes for two special occasions. The first was a birthday bash for a glamour-puss nominated Member of Parliament that co-incided with a Pink Party for a certain mobile phone brand. The brief, naturally, was "Think Pink", so I spent a few days trawling through my books to come up with ideas for the cupcake tower. Butterflies, roses, gifts and periwinkles made it on my list, and in the end, they chose a pink tower of rose-themed cupcakes.

Truth be told, I was terrified that the fondant was not going to make it in this heat. It certainly didn't help that the party was held outdoors, by the beach on Sentosa. But they were only slightly worse for wear by the time the cake was cut.

The top tier is a moist chocolate cake covered in pink fondant and embellished with a hot pink ribbon, while the rest of the cupcakes were a strawberry sponge topped with royal icing and fondant roses. On top of these, I also made "eating" cupcakes. (While fondant cupcakes are pretty, I can't say they make for the best eating — I know only two people apart from children who like the overly sweet taste of fondant or royal icing).

Of course, these dessert cupcakes were in pink flavours — strawberry with fresh cream frosting, pink velvet with cream cheese frosting and rose with, well, rose frosting.

The following weekend, I had such fun creating these fondant cupcakes for a baby shower. I just love those mini booties and babies in a blanket.

Monday, October 01, 2007

A Month of Macarons!

Whoopee! It's October and the start of Canele's much-awaited (well, by me anyway) Macaron Festival. Just for this month, Chef Patissier Pang Kok Keong (Singapore's answer to the likes of Pierre Herme and Paco Torrablanca) has created a range of six special macaron flavours, packed in an irresistibly pretty box with a charming illustration of a Thumbelina-esque girl wearing macaron booties.

These limited edition flavours — Marron Glace (chestnut cream and candied chestnut), Pistache et Griottine (with pistachio cream and brandied cherry), Sesame, Matcha, Noisettine Truffe (truffle cream and roasted hazelnut) and Citron Vert (with green lime cream)— are sold in boxes of 6 or 12.

I'm trying to go through my precious stash slowly, which means so far, I've only tried the Citron Vert and Marron Glace. The former is a tangy, fun flavour, with the buttercream tasting surprisingly like lime soda. The latter has all the lovely, mellow sweetness of chestnuts. I'll let you know when I've sampled the other flavours in the days to come. (Believe me when I tell you that every ounce of self-restraint has been called upon to prevent myself from inhaling them all at once).

Already my friends and I are planning to head down to Canele sometime next week to try the Entremets (more lavishly assembled macarons). I'm looking forward to the Passion Chocolat, which promises an oversized macaron sandwich filled with milk chocolate cream, light passionfruit cream and caramelised bananas.

Meanwhile, I'm also hoping to check out the high tea macaron buffet (available on weekends) at Macaron (which sits beside Canele). For $55++ per person, you get a choice of appetizer and entree from Macaron's regular menu, followed by a buffet offering 18 macaron flavours, 7 macaron entremets and 2 ala carte servings of Canele's homemade ice creams or sorbets. Sounds like heaven to me.