Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Cakes That I Should Decline

Assalammualaikum,

Wow, the headline sounds like something wrong right? Don't worry. Nothing is ever wrong but it's more of like a quick note for my future references. I was browsing through Pinterest this morning on finding some ideas on everything that comes through my mind, and I came upon a pin called "Avoid This Cake Orders In Your Business". It sounds intriguing so I click.

 A blog post by Cake & Success stating that, we as baker should consider some guidelines or rules in our businesses, don't just go for the money without knowing a thing or two or because of money, everything can maaa. Nope, not like that.

She (I assume the writer is a she), said that there are some orders that we should really decline in order to gain some stress-free environment and a well-succeed business. As I go through her post, I noticed that some of it really does relates to me. Here are the cakes that I, or maybe we, should decline:-

1. ALLERGY AND DIETARY REQUESTS.

I once saw a post from one of the baker that I followed on Instagram, and noticed that she caters for vegetarian/allergy/dietary desserts, that somehow makes me things "Eyy, it would be cool if I can make it too. As those niche market can also be good sales target."

Then, I had a customer DMed me if I ever make these kind of cakes. But then again, would I really want to jeopardize my business for the sake of chasing the sales? It's better to say NO than messing with other people's lives while pretending that you MIGHT know what you are doing.

If Allergy/Dietary isn't something you familiar with, it's best to put that spatula down and step away from the mixing bowl. Plus, I wouldn't want to be held liable and go all viral and what not.

Do yourself a favour, and don't go there.

2. CAKES YOU AREN'T SKILL AT...YET

I hate it when customers requested cakes that I'm not skill enough to make, it's just makes me feel like I'm a total failure. Haha okay exaggerate much.

But, by telling customers you can make it, seriously putting a lot pressure into it. I remembered a cake that I accept, I had just finished a class on making flower buttercream, and this customer immediately order a cake from me. Deep down, I know I am not yet capable of doing it, but I was so happy that there is someone out there that would order from me.

She gave me a picture to follow, but I don't know why I didn't focus on it and by the time the cake had finished being decorated, then I've noticed it doesn't look the same at all! I am panicking and all I can say was, I never heard from that customer again. Haha.

In another case, fondant cakes. Nope, not yet in that line of business.

3. REPLICA CAKES

It's the same as above. It is surely kinda of hard to replicate cakes done by other professionals. I mean, I can make it as an inspirations but not 100% the same. I need to considered the tools used, the ingredients, the humidity all in all, there are just too many differences between my works and the other.

Plus, what if the cake doesn't resemble at all like the picture given? Yup, you guess it. If a customer do requests something like this or that, I would totally said that, I might able to make it, but it will be my own imaginations and creativity. A more originality from my line of work.

4. PAIN IN THE ASS CUSTOMERS

Haha. I think I have encounter some of it. It might not be as crazy as bridezillas, but some sure do give me some temper.

If a customer is a pain in the butt, it is surely not worth the money. Your energy is being drained, you are annoyed at the customer, and trust me it really affects your sales.

Simply tells the customers that you aren't the best fit and decline the request. You will be 100% glad you did!

Instead of trying to avoid budget clients and cakes you don't want to make, choose to build your cake business with having a clear, defined strategy to double your cake orders and attract clients who WANT the cakes you want to book!

Want to order some desserts or maybe cakes?
Whatsapp me at 0126714589 :)
Facebook - Bakes by AB
Instagram - @bakesbyab
Twitter - Bakes by AB

Much Love,
A

My 4 years as a baker

Assalammualaikum,

For those who have known me for the past few years know that I am in a baking business which just turn 4 years on March 2017. But I bet not many knew how do I turn out as a baker when I'm a Mass communication student for at least 5 years. Yup I did both diploma and degree, and proud of it. Just maybe there aren't any rezeki (yet) in that department. But, I do implement some of what I learnt into my baking business.

From what I remembered, it all started in March 2013 when one of my neighbor's son is getting married. My mom has always been the baker and home-cooker at home and all of our relatives, friends and office mates knew that my mum loves to cook. So apparently, my neighbor, Aunt Juridah, asked my mum to bake some cupcakes for the guests. At that time, we weren't into business yet, it is more of like, we helped to bake the goods as a friendly neighbor and my mom just charge the costing price to bake all the desserts.


When I helped my mum, trust me it wasn't easy to bake and juggling all the recipes and measuring and baking, it was a mess! With our small kitchen and to bake around 100+ cupcakes, it was really a challenged. But we managed to bake it and delivered it on time. As soon as the payment is received, I felt something in me, as in, when you received your first hard work payment. All I can think of was, "so this is how it feels to earn some money huh?" And it got me hook!

It's not that I'm saying, working 9-5 didn't earn much, it's more of the feelings that I couldn't explain why I may have prefer working on my own than working 9-5 jobs.

Starting small with mini cupcakes that I sold to every potential customers through online, festivals and bazaars, and now have more varieties to choose from. I sold more on social media including closed friends and families, I was really enjoying the process of making my own money at that time. It was all part-time work for me as I am still studying at that moment and balancing through working and internships. I can only cater orders on weekends. But, the payment were good enough for me that I managed to travel here and there and bought things that I want. Haha.


But, not many knew that, when u start your own business, it as the same as when you work with a company. You have your boss, I have mine. My mum. I didn't know how to managed my financial back then and always having mummy to chip in every time, sometimes it stresses me out and my mum is kinda picky and very keen on details. Being a rebellious and hot-headed me, we always fight. For the first 3 years, we always fight. Wait, not 3 years, but till now also. Haha. But now, it lessen a bit than before. The fighting can be huge, from just a small matter can turn big. Well, we both have our own egos.

Some of the misscommunications that can be shared here are I tend to be very messy, and very hogging all the table space. So whenever I'm in the kitchen baking, nobody can be in the kitchen. As simple as that. But as time goes by, honestly, I'm tired of fighting but I guess my mum wouldn't know about it as I prefer to just silent myself rather than arguing with her. For her, my silent is being rude to her for not answering back. Haha. Trust me mummy, I rather not argue.

One day, we had a huge fight while I was baking and got me an idea to find a proper place to bake, as how people say, a peaceful place to work, to do my own thing, without anyone interrupting or downgrading my ideas and creativity. I asked my dad if I can rent his small office back then but the location was not safe enough and the toilet/washroom was quite far plus the building is a little bit quiet.


A few weeks goes by, it turns out there's a space for rent close enough to home and my parents thought it was a good idea for me to have my own space as well as abah's office and mummy's kitchen. We rented out the third level from a 3-storey shoplot. Surprisingly it was large enough for me to put all my big appliances like oven and fridges. Am right now, trying to save up some money to spice up on decorations and storage.

Though, it might not look like how I wanted it to be, since mummy had already bought everything without even asking me, and managed to organize everything. Haha. Never mind, I can always change a little here and there. IKEA is always there right?

So, to this 4th year, I finally have my own space to expand my baking business. Yeay! I always pray that my rezeki will always be there for me so that I might help my family and myself a little bit. It may not be much, but hey, am still here :) Insya Allah everything will be fine.

So, if let say you guys are looking for some affordable and delicious desserts, give your girl a holla at 0126714589, I'll be replying soon or you can just like my Facebook page, follow my Instagram and my Twitter account too!

Much love,
A

Selamat Hari Raya Aidil Adha

First of all, if you guys read this today and wondering why my entry is like today is Raya Haji? It's because I was drafting it back then and forgot that I had this story. Haha, oh well, just enjoy reading it yah :)

Assalammualaikum semuanya! How ya'll been doing so far? How is your raya? Doing any sacrifices lately? Hehe.

Well, here I am in Terengganu going back to my hometown for Aidil Adha celebration. Not really fancy celebration just more of going to visits some relatives and also the beaches. Yes, beaches and the food atalss by the beach are what I'm always look for whenever I'm in Terengganu.


As of Aidil Adha falls after our National Day, the traffic jammed was the worst! Imagine we had to depart at 4.30 in the morning just to avoid tha traffic but luck is not on our side, by the time we reached Tol Gombak, the jammed had already built up.


Crawling like turtle in the car, the traffic was hella slow. Luckily, I had my trusty waze app woth me and we managed to avoid the jam at Bentong by using the old road and it saves us a lot of time and fuel.

Before reaching our hometown, we always took a quick turn to enjoy some beach scenery and looking out for some local dishes like satar, otak-otak and keropok lekor. We did found one restaurant but you know what, it doesn't interest us at all. The food was not good and even the staffs were rude! You better buy these foods by the road. I bet they appreciate customers better.


Around after Maghrib we reached my aunt's house and stay the night. By next morning, the Aidil Adha celebration was celebrated with a bucket pail full of daging korban ready to be distributed among family and friends. And also some for lunch and dinner, and mummy is cooking Sup Tulang and the smell is so good! 

So how is your raya holiday so far?


Monday, March 13, 2017

Festival Makanan Antarabangsa Thailand 2017 - Thai Food Fest

For those who know me, knows that I'm really into food though maybe not that adventurous but still curious enough to try on some.

So recently, I went to this Thailand Food Fest or as they call Festival Makanan Antarabangsa Thailand 2017 located at the Bus Station Precint 14. Driving there was already a problem for me. Search through waze and it ended in front of Alamanda shopping mall.

Make another u-turn and had me gone round and round and after about one hour, I managed to reach the specified place after having to park aside the road and google again about the details of this place. Sigh.




My first thought of when I heard about this event was, a huge market place with all sorts of Thailand's foods. But upon reach, only a few booth were there. Hoping on some creepy, crawly foods stall (nahh, just kidding!) but still I was hoping for local Thailand foods and not the normal foods that you can have it here, in Malaysia.

The only foods that closest to the Thailand dishes that I was hoping for were Pad Thai, Banana Nutella Pancake, Tomyam and Thai Ice Tea. And luckily, there were sold there and though it might not that similar to the original in Thailand, but it was enough for me.



The Pad Thai is similar to a kuey teow dish but served with peanut sauce and sadly, only two booths were selling them. I even had the dancing Thai Ice Tea, yes, the bartender (acewah) literally dance like the Teh Tarik crew (not the b-boys) but the pulling tea competition you seen on the TV way way back in years. Something that actually entertains the customers.


Me and my sister did bought a few of the foods sold - Pad Thai, Kebab, Chicken Pau, Kuey Teow Tomyam, Dimsum and Fish Sate. Yes, I know some of them doesn't really represent Thailand at all, but I'm hungry. In hoping that next year it would be much better.

Monday, March 06, 2017

Cybersquare Vertex, Cyberjaya - Atul's Birthday

On early of February last month, it was Cik Atul's birthday. So instead of just celebrating her birthday with cakes on a choices of hipster cafes, I tend to choose something different for her birthday this year.


A simple question to her was, "are you free on the 2nd and 3rd of February?" And she answered that she had one week off from work and surprisingly it was a coincidence for me to bring her for a short birthday getaway.



The place that I had choose was Cybersquare Vertex through Airbnb. It is one of the website that provides not just hotel or resorts but even homes for those who make it as a homestay.



A different way of spending a night rather than the normal hotel/resort getaway. This place has all the amenities closes to a hotel minus the breakfast buffet.



At RM100 per night, it was affordable enough for us. A soho-like home complete with queen sized bed, flat screen tv, wireless internet, kitchen, fridge and washing machine.



Attached with a small balcony, and a view of the pool was good enough for a short getaway. Located on a higher floor, the windy breeze through our window is just what we need on our break.


As we reached there for check in, the first thing we did were swimming in their enormous pool with an infinity end. And I even brought homemade sandwiches to save some money. Haha.



By night, we celebrated Cik Atul's birthday with not a cake but with Bread Pudding as what she requested. Plus a tiny small candle just to complete "the birthday cake" 😂 And also five regular-sized pizzas.


By tomorrow morning, we made a pitstop to Jasslyn Cakes near Bangsar, as Cik Atul wanted to try on their cakes and desserts. Since we were to full on cakes, we didn't have the chance to eat banana leaf rice. Maybe next time. Happy birthday Cik Atul !

Baking class with Dinda Delights

Recently, I went for another flower buttercream class at Dinda Delights, section 23, Shah Alam. Just at the back of my house.

*A quick note - I am selling these babies at 16pcs for RM100 only and you may follow my baking social media for more information :)*

Instagram
Facebook

I was browsing through my instagram timeline that I found a post stating in a discounted class from RM250 to RM180. As it looked bargain to me, I ping the owner. Just my luck, they can still squeeze me in despite they had already reached their quota.



The chef of the day was Chef Syahril from the tv show, Chef Hero/Chef Oven, though I have never watch it.

A small vendor boutique cafe was the place of learning and with 15 participants it might get a little cramp but as people say, for knowledge you might need to sacrifice some. Haha.





We learned on making 5-6 types of flowers using just 3 types of nozzles - 104, 81 and 125. It includes - closed rose, open rose, carnations, hydrangeas, daisy and some I don't know what it's name.





The chef was friendly, quirky and really loves to make lame jokes but still makes us all laugh. Haha. He shared on buttercream recipes and tips and tricks to get along with the buttercream texture.




If you read my last post, you might just say, didn't I went already on one flower buttercream class? Yes, yes I did. I guess I just need more info or exposure. As when I tried back home, it doesn't look like the one I made in class and I don't know why. Hoping that after this class and practice, I can achieved more.

After almost 4 hourse learning, starting from 10am, finally we finished making all the flowers on 11 cupcakes. Playing with pink and purple colored flowers. I am surely loving it!

The Hyacinth Cafe, Taman Malawati

The Hyacinth Cafe | For those who knows Kak Yani from @thekitchenguardian might know that she has a cafe called The Hyacinth Cafe at Taman Malawati.

This morning after settling some errands from the bank, me and my sister head down to KL to try out some of their desserts as their cafe is open from 11am till 4pm and CLOSED every Thursday and Sunday.




Driving through for about 45 mins from Shah Alam, and using my trusty waze app, we reached the cafe. Just a quick note, if you're using the waze app, it will stop you by the roadside. You may continue driving till u see an entrance on your left. Drive ahead and find your parking spot. Yup, its the white building. 

Big glass window and doors, you'll be greeted by their friendly staffs and you might just spoil with choices as soon as u get in the cafe.



Unfortunately I just had my portion of nasi lemak and cucur udang, I can only indulge on one type of cakes which I choose Sirap Bandung Lychee (RM15) and one piece of Cranberry Scones (RM5).

Serve on a vintage-looked plates makes it more nostalgic to indulge! As for me, I had the habit of trying a bit of the cake, plain without the cream, just to get a taste of how the cakes on its flavour and texture.


And suprisingly, you can taste the bandung flavour and the fragrance of a rose. The sweetness is just enough and when you ate it with the cheese buttercream, which I think been infused with rose or cranberry bits, makes you can't just stop eating one bite after another!


For the scones, it was really delicious. But I couldn't say more as I only had two scones in my life and this is the second time. First was at Jasslyn Cakes. I need to taste more types of scones to really get what is a scone. Hehe. But Hyacinth's scones was really good and they served with a slap of butter and raspberry jam.



By the decoration of the cafe, I can see that comfy is their number one priority. Using a non-cliché colour of Lazuli Blue (I think), it makes it comfort enough to walk in and not the feeling of industrial/wood pallets like all cafes are really into right now.




Drinks are also served at an affordable price but, I just had filtered water as I am already feel sluggish enough on sweet desserts. Haha. 

All in all, I would to be back again and try on their other cakes. Gosh, if I could I would buy each of every flavours! So why not you guys try heading out to The Hyacinth Cafe and lemme know on your preferred desserts. Xoxo.

Thursday, March 02, 2017

A year older, and a year wiser? Maybe :)

The month of March has always been my favourite month every year. Why you may ask? Because its my birthday month! 2nd of March to be exact !

From just a little kid till I reached 20 years, I always have celebrations made at my house either with friends or close families. Remembering all the good foods that mummy cooked and cakes bake with love also by mummy. Been given a lot of presents which eventually the amount got lesser by years. Haha.

It was always the best day for me - my birth date.

When I'm in my Uni years, I remember my roommates would get me a cake (which was my favourite back then - Blueberry Cheesecake) and a candle light for me. After a tiring day at class, and came back to the hostel for a surprise cake, was really wonderful.

Then there was one time, that I had friends who would treat me lunch and dinner and even a game of bowling while in Melaka.

In Degree, as friends come and go, honestly speaking, I miss having to be surprised or being treat for a meal on my birthday, but then again, one must not be so emotional right? Family and cousins are still around to celebrate it.

Uni years, have passed, and only closest friends are still with me. And in my 26th years of living, yes I'm turning 26 today, felt really old. Haha. Never had I ever been surprised with a bouquet of flowers and chocolates for my birthday! (I only have received flowers bouquet when convocation) But, the topic here is my birthday okay :)

So, on this day, my beloved friends Amani & Fuad decided to make a surprised by sending roses and chocolates bouquet to my home.

One call from an unknown number, and luckily I picked it up, saying he's in front and would like to deliver something, really makes me wonder, did I order anything from Zalora or Lazada?

It turns out its a flower bouquet and I'm LITERALLY felt like crying but control macho in front of the runner. Still confusing on who would send me these gorgeous surprise? I made insta stories asking and trying to figure out who would send this to me.

And, a thought of last night makes me wonder if it is Amani, as she seems suspicious last night, but I tend not to bother much. Haha. Confronted her on whatsapp and she said yes, it was from her and Fuad. Guys, I am literally crying my heart out of happpiness, haha, I have always always alwayssss wanted surprises on my birthday.

Looking at all the birthday surprises on internet, and instagram, damn, it hit me really hard, that I would one day wish I had that moment. And thanks to you guys, this year, I managed to have that moment. Thank you so much! XOXO I'll update the pictures soon.

Saturday, February 04, 2017

One night stay at Lax Boutique Hotel, Klang

It was on last December, that my colleague in Putrajaya decided to get married in Kuala Selangor. Giving a thought that it would be nice to stay one night over there, rather than driving back and forth from Shah Alam to Kuala Selangor, me and my friends decided it would be a good idea to find a decent hotel for a night stay.



Booking.com has always been my favourite website to search for hotels, but sadly, not much of choices located in Kuala Selangor. Most of them are fully booked, and closest to the wedding venue were setia city and klang.


Looking at some of the choices, we end up choosing Lax Boutique Hotel situated in Klang. The funny part was, it was just a 11-minute drive from my home. Haha. So much of an adventure.

By the look of the outside building, black and gold were the colour of choice and it is very near to the Blue Indian Mosque. After checking in at our room of 512 on the fifth floor, we managed to unwind our day for a bit before finding some early dinner by the dock at Pelabuhan Klang.



The building looked new and it turns out, the receptionist said, the hotel had just been open three months ago! wow, lucky me! No wonder the room and pillow case smell nice. Hehe.



The room was quite spacious, with queen-size bed, complete with flat screen television, water kettle, aircond, wi-fi, hot water, toiletries and also towels. It is enough for just one stay.

We head down to Pelabuhan Klang for our early dinner, since Cik Atul never been to this place. Hoping to eat some hot foods like tomyam, but the stalls wasn't ready untill 5.30pm and we reached there at 5pm. Sigh.





We walked down the road, and found some small stall of Char Kuey Teow and we just knew, we had to eat here. But sadly, Cik Atul got herself some food poisoning due to eating the shells (kerang).

By night, around after Maghrib, we drove around one-hour towards De Palma Hotel, Kuala Selangor for my friend's wedding ceremony. The foods were delicious, the venue was beautiful and obviously the bride and grooms were perfect for each other.



Around midnight, we head back to the hotel and call it a night.


The next morning, since the hotel did not provide any breakfast buffet nor set, we decided to just checked ourselves out and head to Bangsar for some KGB burgers and Jaslyn Cakes.