Monday, July 14, 2008

Cupcakes and The MIFB

It has always been my resolve that I shall never "stoop" to decorating cupcakes, because they're such girly things, and eugh, I can't get myself to pipe pretty pink icing, etc, mainly because I probably lack that particular creative gene. It also explains why I dropped out from finishing the final level of the Wilton course at the ICCA, because after an inordinate amount of flower piping in level 1 & 2, using buttercream and royal icing respectively, I was getting a severe hayfever allergy to piped flowers, and since level 3 consists of MORE flowers, with FONDANT, I decided to put the RM750 to better use. Such as buying a package of 10 spa treatments.

So, when mother of baby heiress called to ask if I would do cupcakes for her daughter's 1st birthday, virtue of the fact that these are old old friends, with whom we have laughed, cried, gotten drunk, ..... I didn't say no outright, but might have inadvertently stumbled on a novel concept that I intend to start marketing right away.

I said, well, why don't we all congregate at your house the night before the party, and YOU can decorate the cupcakes. Nothing appeals to the maternal instinct more that the idea of HANDS ON DECORATING for your baby's first birthday cake. Of course this idea was welcomed faster than a cop accepting a bribe, and in one fell swoop, I had accomplished
1. not having to worry about the birthday present,
2. satisfying an old friend's request,
3. brought more meaning and joy into her life,
4. creating memories that will last a lifetime, and something that can be shown in a powerpoint at the daughter's wedding.

So slaving over the kitchen top on Thursday night, I made approximately 40 vanilla cupcakes, and 30 chocolate cupcakes. To my horror, the 1st batch of choc cupcakes only rose to halfway past the half way mark in the cup. On Friday, I kneaded in the colors to my homemade fondant, (because to my horror, the 1kg packs of pre prepared sugarpaste in Bake With Yen were sold out). I KICK myself, because I forgot to take pictures of all the pre-preparation work.

Friday night, we skip Bible study and head down to the palatial mansion of the birthday girl's parents, and together with the birthday girl's mother, godmother, father, grandmother, wife, (mine), we embark on PROJECT CUPCAKE DECORATION. Half of the contingent stuck to sugarpaste, whilst another two tried their hand on piping buttercream. Unlike the Wilton buttercream, which is mainly shortening, and therefore gloriously fake, but holds its shape well, (just like other fake stuff that hold their shape well), mine was pure butter and icing sugar. Which was a bit stressful. Nevertheless, I'd say, for first timers, it was a mega commendable effort, for these were the finished results.

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Of course, credit should be given to me, the mixer and colorer of the icings, for producing such brilliant colors, inspiring the various Matisses and Van Goghs of the icing world.

I think all in all, it turned out fabulously, and I think I shall market this concept under HANDS ON MOTHERS. I'll bring the cakes and the icing, and gently guide you through the piping, so you can tell your chewdren, "mummy made these". Let's make it say, RM5 per cupcake. All you have to do is provide a venue, with a large table. I'll settle for plain water. Unlike in this case, where I was downing Johnny Walker BLUE Label, that costs RM 700 /litre.

And how did these babies taste? Well, with pure butter cake, and pure butter icing, it would take an idiot to really botch that up. I thought the butter icing, (though the usual response is argh, so sweet ah) really complemented the semi bitter chocolate cake. Nor were the vanilla butter cakes sweet at all. Okay, sugarpaste does nothing for me, in terms of edibility, so I honestly wouldn't eat that myself.

On a different note, on Friday afternoon, I decided to pop over to PWTC for the Malaysian International F& B Trade Fair. (MIFB). I was lunching at Oriental Spoon, Sentral, and decided to take the LRT to PWTC, and jostle with the rakyat. It's my first time doing that change of line from Putra to Star, at Masjid Jamek. I was quite impressed with how gorgeous that old mosque looks closeup.

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Now, the snag was, to get into the MIFB on Friday, apparently you need to be "trade" related. I can't jolly well say, "don't you know who I am, I'm FATBOYBAKES, doyenne of the local food industry". So, it was timely, that THIS name card, was freshly printed. Some of you may know that I am involved loosely with this new food magazine coming out soon, called MY NOURISHMENT. Roped in by the people of The Cooking House. If you look CAREFULLY, you'd see the designation as CHIEF FOOD EDITOR. Phwah, terror nya.

Anyway, fellow colleague, research chef, Ryan Kang was in the midst of doing a demo on healthy salads, and olive oil.

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If you look at the poster above, you'd see MY NOURISHMENT as one of the sponsors for the Cooking Revolution series of Demos. Ahem, that's the magazine I'm involved in. (heart welling up with pride).

The MIFB was interesting for a first timer like me, lots of stuff, from utter junk food, to healthy organics. A wide array of fruits were also on display, obviously not local. Iran appears to be quite a large exporter of temperate fruits. But not cheap.

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Ah, I've read about these ridiculously priced watermelons.

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Part of Ryan's Salad Demo. People were tucking in, and I overheard some old ladies raving about it. Dunno if they were raving about him, or the salad. He does seem to have that boyish appeal that make the aunties transfixed.

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Anyway, will keep you posted on the latest development of the magazine. Of course, there's lots of advertising space, for F&B related business. Feel free to email me for more information.


babe_kl said...

wat a brilliant idea to get them to decor their own cupcakes! bravo.

congrats on yr new appointment, so got first signed complimentary copy for me ka? :p

daphne said...

goodness me, a new mag + cupcakes.
Congratulations on both great ideas.

CUMI & CIKI said...

how do u get such fine work on such tiny cupcakes? amazing... and regarding ryan kang.. he looks like he's 16 or something.. no wonder the aunties love him.. harhar

fatboybakes said...

babekl, haha, i dont think the first issue is even out yet. anyway, its supposed to be free circulation.

daphne, thanks, but the new mag isnt my brainchild la, in fact i had to be dragged into it kicking and screaming....coz i very lazy one.

C&C, yeah, put him in a white shirt and olive green pants, can pass off as form 6.
errr, i dunno what you mean by "FINE WORK"...hardly seems fine to me. and them cups arent that small...they're actually the quantity of a normal cupcake.

Nic (KHKL) said...

what can i say...humour, technicals, sex, raw emo, violence and sights all rolled into one beautiful post.

i guess both you and "my nourishment" made the right choice. ;)

The Caked Crusader said...

Wonderful - these are the happiest cupcakes I have seen in a long time!

fatboybakes said...

caked crusader, love your nickname, and your blog. such yummy looking cakes. thanks for dropping by.

hairy berry, sex? got ah? hmmm, must go re-read. where ha?

Life for Beginners | Kenny Mah said...


Why on earth would people want square/cube-shaped watermelons? Some friends tell me they're easier to slice/de-skin but given a sharp knife, I hardly think there's much of a difference. :p


Sorry about that, FBB. Couldn't help myself. Back to your post proper... Lovely cupcakes... The colours alone do you credit, and I think them mommies would love the idea of having a hand in these creations for their kids.

And terror-lah your name card... I was reading a lil too fast, and I mistook your designation for CHIEF NOURISHMENT. Cannibalism, anyone? Hehe.

Nic (KHKL) said...

got...hmmm, for example: "HANDS ON MOTHERS"


Pisang Belanda said...

What is it with cupcakes nowadays? It's la gateaux du jour or something? Everyone's talking about it. It's so not good for kids' health lah.

fatboybakes said...

pisang belanda, EXACTLY how i felt!!! cannot understand the obsession with cupcakes. well, the unhealthy ones are them that use lots of margarine, and fake carcinogenic coloring i guess. ahem, but opcors, fatboybakes uses only pure creamery butter, AND wilton (FDA approved, presumably, and american, ahem) coloring.

hairy berry, yes yes, quite so, how could i have missed that!!! are you the one who said MIFB reminded you of another similar acronym?

kennymah, yalor, absurd right, some more exorbitantly priced. probably quite cruel too, forcing the watermelon to grow in the confines of a cube mould. a bit like that tribe in myanmar with the elongated necks. aww, thanks for the comps on the technicolor icing....

Dee said...

Those are the cheeriest cupcakes I've seen in a long while!

Also, regarding your question: I found the sour cherries in the Iranian grocer in Ampang. Apparently frozen sour cherries are a better bet - were they mahal?

"Joe" who is constantly craving said...

aiyoh compared to the 1s we did moons ago, u either seem to hav got urself a bunch of talented mothers or we were just (or i) was just useless at decorating cupcakes..

Henry Yeo said...

*cupcake phobia acting up*


CUMI & CIKI said...

regarding long necks.. me thinks it's the KAREN tribe fm northern thais, innit.. good analogy - artistically unnatural/impractical

CUMI & CIKI said...

and back to Ryan Kang... i thot male chefs suppose to look either like Hugh Fearnley Whittingstall or Gordon Ramsay, to be any good... lol.. not like school kid.. hahaha.. but.. i am sure he's very gooooood...

fatboybakes said...

C&C, hahahah, i think ryan read your comments. i'll let him defend himself. guffaw. yeah, and i think you're right, it is the karen tribe.

henry yeo, i also have the same phobia, except for the ones i made.

joe, yall were useless at decorating. actually, the piping work (buttercream) was done by me and one other. the sugarpaste, (the cut outs ) were done by 3 others.

dee, caked crusader said the same thing. why? i thought all cupcakes are cheery wat? sour cherries frozen were okay. i used to serve chillied cherries with choc mud cake, until it became too exp. ooh, must check out this iranian grocer.

Dee said...

Most cupcakes are girly and swirly; yours are colourful and too darn cute for words!

By the way, I forgot to congratulate you on your magazine. Very terror indeed ;) Is it all about healthy food?

Anonymous said...

fbb, Congrats on the magazine. Decorating their own cupcakes is a very good idea. I feel the same about buttercream and fondant. Even my kids won't eat them and they normally like sweet things.

Dee said...

FBB, the iranian grocer is in one of the alleys beside Ampang Point. You should be able to spot it from Jalan Ampang. I can't remember how much it cost though.

fatboybakes said...

dee, the magazine isnt only about healthy food...can u imagine me being involved in such a magazine? it'll be like asking me to pose for men's health!!! ARGH. (for both myself, and the readers). will check out iranian groaer when i'm in that neck of the woods. hope they sell orange flower water.

myfoodsafari, yeah, some icings are shortening, which are gross. or margarine. fondant is definitely a no no. however, pure butter icing, sugar and butter, sheepish look, is rather yummy!!!

CUMI & CIKI said...

oh oh.. sori ryan.. i just meant, ur too young and handsome to be a chef (saves her ass...):P

Lyrical Lemongrass said...

Did you just insult our cupcake decorating skills? (Re reply to Joe) Maybe it's because you didn't mix us such loverly colours like the ones featured here?

I like the creepy crawlies. So amateurish, but so cute. I think I shall like to do this for my birthday too. I LOVE cupcakes. Mmmmmmmm!!!!

boo_licious said...

they do sell orange flower water in Ampang. I bought bottles of it before from there.

Very good effort on the cupcakes and congrats on the new post. Will look out for the new magazine, as it sounds very interesting.

"Joe" who is constantly craving said...

omg..fbb how could u even suggest men health n u?? alamak..imagine company going bankrupt after seeing fbb on front cover..

ll: i say me lor..its up to you whether you want to read we or i haha..

fatboybakes said...

nipples, exactly my analogy. me write for HEALTH magazine? yes, of course its partially my fault, for not mixing such brilliant colored icing for you guys.

boolicious, thanks, must make my way there soon. i just got an email informing me of a new cake supply shop opening in jaya 1. how exciting.

LL, oooh, you can order from wondermilk i'm sure. (for your birthday)

ciki lalink, hahahah, back paddle back paddle...

breadpitt said...

nice cupcakes, wonderful colours

Paprika said...

phwaaarh you've really honed your decorating skills hor? So deliciously vibrant and makes me smile on a dreary day like this!

fatboybakes said...

breadpitt, thanks.

paps, is that sarcasm? snigger. but yeah, the colors did look nice i thought. incidentally both me and the other friend who did the piping work fell sick shortly after after ....i'm still sick-ish now. must be the strain of it all.

Hotel Station Master said...

Hello! Your site always leaves me wanting to go out my door and grabbing the first available snack/food I can find .... very sumptuous photos you have there. Thanks for dropping by my site too ... Let's all get together with John for another round sometime k? Look forward to meeting u and the mrs again! Cheers!