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High on baking….

21 Mar
Its been quite some time since I last sat and scribbled some thing new…. Guess the weather is taking its toll on me….From the never stopping, on going, pulsating, vibrating, and exciting, not to forget hot and humid Karachi to the spine-chilling, cold, gloomy, quiet Toronto-the difference speaks for itself….Just sometimes one has to decide, based on not what the heart says (Yes in my case its sometimes) but what the mind says or better yet what some one, who is a piece of your heart, wants….for no rhyme or reason of your own!

Karachi



Toronto




Here I am braving the temperatures, way below the freezing mark, waiting just to be back….. And before I start again on Karachi, or some tweet distract me or my phone rings, let me just stick to what I planned…. 



I had never been a baking person…Never loved baked goodies, never felt like doing it myself…. And then I met this woman….who was high on baking…She WAS a friend…Mind the WAS! She would bring me amazing baked stuff, and would talk about baking all the time. She always wanted to join these cake decorating classes that another friend of hers had gone to, and she was all ga-ga about it. 

One of the first cakes-Made for a surprise bridal shower


Then one day she called and asked me to join the class with her. In fact she told me that I have to. Being the kind of friends we were and just to try it out, I enrolled for the class, shopped enthusiastically for the basics. Found out just days before the first session that she had to leave for UK because of some emergency. Without much of a choice, I attended the first session, only to fall endlessly in love with this new form of art, so much so that even after two years, I am still looking for new classes, new designs and an opportunity to learn!

I remember the first time I baked a cake, it was over-baked, and hard and lacked this thing called “taste”. Same goes for the first cake that I iced and well “decorated”…. Duhhhhhh!!! Horribly sweet icing, unrecognizable pattern though I used a stencil to copy it and most of all-even I couldn’t tell if it was a circle or an oval shaped cake.

Well I got better at decorating out of my pure interest- And now I had this new issue: I was a soon-to-be pro at decorating but horrible at baking!

Cupcakes🙂


This time around though, I could not go to any school becasue of time and commitment issues. So I thought of giving it a try at home. And as Aristotle said “For the things we have to learn before we can do them, we learn by doing them.” 

So I just practiced, not skipping a single opportunity to bake, treating every one around with my baked goodies on birthdays, holidays, Eid, Christmas parties, Easter, and what not, even without being asked for it.

Asim Jofa inspired cupcakes

Well, it worked. It worked a great deal to help sharpen and improve my skills. And two years later, I bake, and I get paid, and I get paid fairly good. Good because I can buy new decorating stuff, try new moulds, indulge in expensive brands for ingredients and so on… I bought a pantry exclusively for my caking stuff, but now one entire room is already spilling and I need more space…My teacher always says “When you become a cake decorator, you become a hoarder.” And I guess rightly so. 5 to 6 different tools to make one single petal of a flower. Visualize for a minute those multi-tiered cakes and fancy cupcakes and then imagine the tools and material required for each. 


Alice in Wonderland Cake and cupcakes
Baking and decorating for me is now more of a passion. When I am busy, am all drowned in flour, tinted in colors and I work straight 16 to 20 hours, sometimes even more. But end of the day, its the result, that custom designed cake, that gives me the sense of owner ship of each master-piece. Makes me high-it does!


Love it!



Alice In Wonderland

30 Jan

Power Puff Girls Cupcakes

28 Jan

Welcoming the BIG 30 cake!!

26 Jul

The Design!

I know many posts are overdue now. I was supposed to be posting a couple of recipes and trust me those are in the pipeline. However its been really kind of busy during the past days…All the typical summer picnics, bar b qs, and getaways. Plus the more happening days combined with the bake orders. And then to have all the fun before the holy month of Ramadan starts-phew!!!

While I was browsing some files, I realized that many fresh pics have not been uploaded. So just thought of sharing.

This cake was made for a beautiful energetic woman, turning the big 30 on June 30th. She approached through my page on Facebook and after an exchange of umpteen emails, pictures and ideas, she finally agreed on the design that I just made roughly to put her mind on paper. Well people with such precise details always are great to work with because they let us play with imagination and creativity. 
I started working on the flowers 2 days before. I always try to bake my cakes the very same day as of order to keep them as fresh as possible. While the order was booked for a Saturday morning, I spoke to the lady Friday evening. She mentioned that the cake was to be driven all the way from Brampton to Hamilton, and then kept outdoors for about 3 hours before finally being cut-all that in the simmering heat with temperatures forecast for 30 plus degrees!!

Had I known it before, I could have suggested something accordingly but then it was quite late, about 10:30 at night. I started with the layering and frosting, all the time just hoping that the cake makes it to the party as planned. You know heat is the worst enemy of fondant and gumpaste.Plus I was also concerned about the Vanilla buttercream filling to remain good and safe to eat in the sweltering sun. By the way it was a Vanilla cake with Vanilla buttercream.
I worked on the cake until about 6:30 in the morning. Then I snoozed for about 4 hours after which the cake was supposed to be picked up and I didnt want to let it go without taking pictures. I could see the happiness and satisfaction on the face of the girl, the client’s sister who came to pick the cake up. Well, I did get the message of thanks on the next day; the cake being a hit!! Like any artist, a cake decorator’s truly joyous moment are two-First when we finish the masterpiece and look at it and second when we get good reviews and positive feedback, which gives us that strength and courage to carry on our discovery.
Happy reading!!