Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Happy Birthday Bapa! ~ From Jay ~ 5th March 2011

Another order from one of my regular customers, a friend, my ex uni mate; Jay. This time she ordered a kilo of fresh fruit cake with fresh cream as well as 50 pieces of chocolate moist cupcakes, swirled with yummilicious chocolate ganache and all individually packed. All for her beloved father's birthday last 5th of March 2011.

Since this is an entry on my friend's order, I hope she wouldn't mind my heart rending outburst that will follow.. hihihi.. ehem.. Okay people please get into the mood! I would like to start with a question, what is the price for talent or creativity? My answer is simple; PRICELESS. Having been in the business for almost two years now, I have my utmost respect for bakers & cake decorators alike.

I used to question why tasty, pretty and presentable cakes are very pricey. Now, a baker and a decorator myself, I truly understand, finally, that the price tag comes with thorough thought, effort, time, & of course money to name a few. But sadly, not many understand this.

"u mentioned SIMPLE fondant starts with RM25. Now, u r charging me more??!!" This was one of the many insulting short messages I got sent to my phone by a customer who requested for 3D figurines of Donald Duck, Mickey & Minnie Mouses & Goofy. Help me to comprehend this, the person requested for a kilo of cake covered with fondant, plus 3D edible sugar figurines of FOUR characters, with all the alphabets also in fondant and asked to be charged with the minimum price and insisted that all these are SIMPLE!

I politely asked the person to scout & survey around for a better price. I guess the person did because she contacted me again with the same rude manner and another threatening message; "Ok I'll pay the amount u gave BUT BE VERY SURE THAT I"LL BE SATISFIED with the result!". How did I react? I simply replied; "Sorry, I can't & will not accept your order. U've been a very unhappy person to deal with. I feel sorry 4 u. TQ".

Of course she didn't stop there, but I never once returned her rude gestures. I didn't deserve to be treated that way & I'm not as desperate for the money as how she put it. I'm earning more than enough money with my monthly income as an educator. Simply Chantique Cupcakes & Cakes is my way to share my happiness with my customers, my friends. I find joy in baking & decorating, that's why I tend to give 'more' than what asked of me. If only she were to treat me more humanely.. Well, just to share with you another sad episode of my baker's life. Let bygone be bygone. Now where's my Häagen-Dazs gelato please.... Thank you Jay for letting me share this entry hihihihi..

05 March 2011 ~ Alessandra's Engagement ~ A Moment to Remember

Congratulations to Aless on her engagement last 5th of March 2011. I'm so sorry for this very belated update hihihi.. again; GUILTY :-(

Aless was a darling, she was so easy to work with. She knew what she wanted from the beginning. By the way, the two pics above are courtesy of Aless, thank you dear. You simply spell

She ordered 3 kilos of vanilla walnut butter cake with simple fondant deco and lovely fresh red roses to top it off. The cake looks much smaller on photos hehehe..

I value Aless' trust on me to decorate the cake in the theme colors; pink & purple. I got the inspiration from one of my idols; Mich Turner's
Amaryllis Pearl. The 'pearls' were very time consuming but worth every pipe! It took steady hands, to pipe those 'pearls' in the same sizes throughout'. Seriously!
Whenever I felt my hands were getting stiffed, I had to stop, but just look at the result.. Call me complacent but I just fell in love with the cake when it's finally done. I LOVE my job! Hahahahaha!!

Well, my "Amaryllis Pearls" are not as perfect as Mitch's but hey! Cut me some slack hehehe.. they brought happiness to so many including me. I wish that one day I could meet her in person and Buddy of Carlos Bakery oh.. and of course the ladies at Georgetown Cupcakes.

Other than the cake, Aless had also ordered 60 pieces of vanilla & chocolate moist cupcakes frosted with simple swirls of pink & white buttercream topped with sugar flowers and heart shaped fondant; ROMANTIC! Dear Aless, thank you so much for letting me share your happiness. I leave you with a quote by the dearly departed Mr. Albert Einstein;

"A person starts to live when he can live outside himself."

A text message from Aless;

"Tisya the cake is sooooooo gorgeous! Thanks so so much!"
<05/03/2011; 11:12 AM>

Monday, April 25, 2011

Ira & Azmir ~ Unforgettable ~ 12th March 2011

Together, they make a handsome couple; Ira & Azmir. When I first met Ira for consultation, she strikes me as a very poised young lady, confident, pretty & graceful. She knew what she wanted and working with her was an enjoyable experience for me. She had been very helpful from the beginning, giving me a vision to work with. She emailed me a sample as well as the exact color that she wanted. Who could ask for more?

Since the 'cake' was meant for her engagement's '
hantaran' and she planned to bring it back with some cupcakes all the way from KK to Sandakan, her hometown, so we agreed on one thing; a dummy cake. Hehehe.. well, who could ever have the heart to eat this gorgeous 'cake'??

The 'cake' was covered with sugar paste that had to be dried out for a day before I went on with the other edible decorations. It had to be dried and hard enough to be covered with layers of luster powder just to get the desired vintage pink that Ira wanted and the result? Walllaaaa!

As for the gold tassels, we bought them during a trip to KL so, they're not edible hehehe.. Same goes to the colorful expensive japanese beads, but looking at the shines, they're worth it. The small gold ones were edible though hehehe..The gold draperies were of deep orange color before I colored them in gold. Ira had also ordered eight pieces of cupcakes in the same theme as the 'cake', arranged in a beautiful tray she provided me with.

To Ira & her fiance, Azmir, congratulations on your engagement. Enjoy getting to know each other better. Ira thank you so much for your trust in us & I pray for your happiness. The quote below is dedicated to the both of you. Stay in love forever!

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Fatin & Fazlan~A Match Made In Heaven

She's a nurse and he's an army, two of the noblest occupations. They are miles apart, Fatin's in Sandakan and Fazlan is serving in Lok Kawi Army Base Camp in Kota Kinabalu, but surely as the saying goes; action makes the heart grows fonder. Fatin was such a darling character that I couldn't say no to her order even though it was quite in such a short notice.

As you can see, she requested for 25 pieces of chocolate moist cupcakes, topped with delectable chocolate ganache and.. decorated with fondant figurines to reflect their careers.

I have to admit that I was a bit caught off guard when she sent to me the sample deco that she wanted. Well, it was last minute & believe it or not I've never been to any formal training or classes on making fondant/gum paste figurines. I even flunked my arts subject in SRP when I was 15! Hahahaha! But being Tisya, I couldn't resist the tempting challenges.

It was through trials & errors that I learned a bit tricks of the trade coupled with pricey imported books and of course youtube hehehehe... So ya okay let's get back to Fatin & Fazlan. So off we went to deliver the cupcakes to surprise Fazlan. It was a nerve wracking experience having to go through the thorough interrogation at the check point. Fuh!

Once the cupcakes were delivered, it was all worth it. Witnessing Fazlan's happy & smiling face upon receiving them, I just thought to myself; "I love what I'm doing even more each day." He never stopped thanking us when it was us who were supposed to thank Fatin & Fazlan for sharing a small portion of their happiness. Thank you so much Fatin & Fazlan. Saving lives is your best attribute and love does keep us ALIVE. Literally! Salute to all the nurses & armies serving the nation!

A text message from Fatin;

"W'slm kak, he3..tq so much kak sbb dpt buat abg Fatin senyum2 sendiri! Really apprcte it! N all da best utk simply chantique..!"
<27/02/2011; 8.00 PM>

Monday, April 18, 2011

Happy 4th Birthday Zulfan

Zulfan's dearest mommy, Noor Hafizah, ordered this 2-kg chocolate moist blueberry cake for his 4th birthday last 26th of February 2011. It was safely delivered to their place in Likas.

I would have to say, since I've started Simply Chantique Cupcakes & Cakes, I've , in way successfully 'evoked' the interest in baking in people around me, be it family, friends, critiques & cynics alike.

I'm happy to have very supportive family, friends as well as so-called 'family' & 'friends'. Hahaha.. blame the moon for my somber mood today. I don't mind sharing my humble knowledge & amateur skills but i do mind the back-stabbing & the deconstructive comments, sarcastic remarks, sneering looks & oogling through my facebook accounts for sites that I like or even my friend's list!

Just what happen to healthy competition??! Come on people.. it's a free country! Bake openly, decorate openly, sell openly. Who cares whether you're one of those who were & are still cynical about me venturing into this business. Who cares whether you've never cooked or baked before. Who cares when you're of those who criticized my baked products whenever I brought them to work for all of us to share for free, but towards the end of the day you're the one who ate the most & even secretly took away most of the cupcakes & cakes! Who cares??

.. but I DO care, when you go around questioning my customers on why the ordered from me, making them feel uncomfortable, only to promote your own I-never-thought-she-would-do-this-well-and-now-I-feel-like-baking-and-sell-as-well-God-forbids-nobody-would-know-that-I've-never-cooked-what-more-baked-but-I-just-can't-stand-watching-her-doing-well business.

My parents are business people. They taught me well never to play dirty. Competition is healthy, it makes you strive for the best. Support fellow business counterparts but yes.. life is a harsh reality. I just have to accept that even though this humble business of mine is a minute one, some are going 'big' to destroy it. My dad once told me; "Never wrestle with a pig; you get dirty; and besides, the pig likes it." Hehehehe.. made a sense. Thanks you so much Hafizah & Happy 4th Birthday Zulfan! May you grow up to be a respectable character.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Tatiana & Pierre ~ 27 February 2011

My dear Noor Ashikin Lisman of KL, if you are reading this, from the bottom of our heart, we would like to apologize for the very late update on your order :-( While typing this, it suddenly rains outside.. hehehe! Forgive me, I'm an English Literature graduate so I can't really let go of the 'dramatic' effect, once in a while.. okay, most of the time.
Ashikin ordered 86 pieces of vanilla and chocolate moist cupcakes together with 14 pieces of L sized fondant cupcakes for her bestie's engagement. She couldn't attend the event so she sent these on behalf.

We had received so many orders intended to surprise our customers loved ones. In delivering orders we had experienced getting lost, being interrogated, confused recipients & equally confused 'us' hahahaha! Nevertheless it was an utmost satisfaction when we succeeded in delivering as planned. If it didn't turn out as planned, then forgive us we are only humans and believe us, we sometimes went out of our way to satisfy our customers' needs.

In the case of Ashikin's order, we asked for my sister's help to assist us in finding Tatiana's place in Kg. Sindaanan, Penampang. She's more familiar with that part of KK. We tried to call Tatiana but no answer. We assumed that she's occupied getting ready for her big day, so didn't want to disturb her. We asked around for directions instead and got more lost than before hahahaha! Then only I knew how the postmen feel.. salute to you guys!

Finally, when all hope was almost gone, Tatiana finally called us. That was a major relieve for us, fuh! As usual, we had actually drove past the place.. sigh! Thank God, the cupcakes were safely delivered. That's the most important thing.

Ashikin asked for a simple fondant deco with the colors of Autumn as the inspiration for the 14 pieces of cupcakes. So I opted for a moss green background and showers of autumn leaves. I thank you Ashikin for your trust in us. In fact I thank all of our customers for your trust in us.

I still owe you the content of the 'threatening' sms that I had mentioned in the previous entry. Til then.. let me enjoy the rainy afternoon.. Will spend the evening celebrating mummy's birthday with her favorite carrot walnut cake. Love u mom!