Thursday, July 3, 2008

How I got to Learn and Love Baking

My passion for baking started when I was in grade school. My mom bought us a cook book for kids and we used to make chocolate crinkles and cookies and other stuff.

I started baking on my own when I was in high school but the only thing that I baked then were chocolate chip cookies. I didn't have my tried-and-tested recipe at that time. I just used the traditional toll house cookie recipe.

When I was pregnant, I always baked brownies. Those were the times when I was always bored at home so I had to find something to do. I experimented with a lot of different recipes until I formulated my own... adding a little bit of this and a little bit of that, removing some ingredients, replacing other ingredients and stuff like that (but that's a different recipe aside
from the one I posted here). That was the time when I was kind of like the "brownie expert" because that's all I can do! Ha ha ha!

After I gave birth to Starr, I still baked on occasions but not that often since I was so busy with all the diaper changing and feeding and doing "
Mommy stuff." But when she got a little older I started baking again... with her distracting me and playing with all my baking stuff. Finally, she was nearly turning 1 and I really wanted to make her cake... I never made a successful cake prior to that! So a week before her birthday, I practiced and practiced but still, no successful cake. I still had high hopes though! I got a few offers from some of my mom's friends that they can make the cake but I said, "No, I want to make her cake." (Of course, not in a rude kind of way.) So finally, there it is, the picture of my first ever decorated cake. It's not perfect and smooth but I tried my best! I didn't have a star pan so I made 6 square cakes, cut them into triangles, and put them together. Well, I'm glad that my daughter's first birthday cake was my first cake!

After making my daughter's first cake, I got even more excited about baking and cake decorating until I found a forum that helped me a lot. They had step-by-step tutorials on about all kinds of recipes. This was their first recipe that I tried, the "Scratch Yellow cake with Box Qualities." This was my 2nd decorated cake I made for Mothers' day. It's funny because the flowers were already a year old. I got them from my cousin's wedding cake and placed them in a plastic container and funny because I got to preserve them for a year! But eew! We didn't eat them! Well actually, my sister helped with baking the cake but I iced it. I used the "Bake Shop Icing" and used the "basket weave method." It didn't turn out good... pictures are kind! Ha ha ha!

After I made this cake, I tried tons and tons of other recipes and I enjoyed it so much. My family enjoyed eating but my mom didn't enjoy all the mess I made in the kitchen! ;-P

Now, where was I? Oh yeah, so there, I made my second cake and after that, I made the tiny fondant cake for my cousin (The red one with polka dots and a flower.) After that, my sister, brother, and I made a welcome cake for our other sister (confusing ha ha ha!) who came home from the states on June. Then, after two weeks, I made my very first wedding cake, as you can see in one of my posts. So my first cake was February and my first fondant wedding cake was on June. I'm glad that I made some progress in 4 months without going to baking school and all that fuss! I don't mean to brag but I just want to share with you how easy it is to do something if you're really determined and interested... plus, if you're having fun with it, that makes it a lot easier! My cakes definitely don't look that good and I don't mean that you don't have to go to baking school. I do encourage taking baking classes. That is if you have the time and money... why not, right? But I didn't so I kind of taught myself and watched and watched and watched cake decorating videos. The advantage though of going to baking school is you will have a certificate, you will learn how to do things the easy way (like making flowers and other cake accents) so that saves you a lot of time, and you get to interact with those who love cake decorating as much as you do! (That is actually one of the things that I'm really thankful about. We have some churchmates who decorate cakes and are very helpful whenever I have questions. Plus, they let me borrow some of their baking stuff ;-P) So, I might really go to baking school someday, hopefully!