Wednesday 15 October 2014

Close Your Eyes.........

Close your eyes, let me tell you all the reasons why...I think you're one of a's to you...the one that always pulls us through...always do what you gotta're one of a kind...thank God you're mine....

I recently returned from my holiday in was more of a baking holiday, I attended classes, explored new recipes, tasted new desserts, explored new favourites....I pondered a lot! Think that was the reason I went there.....

Now, I have all this things lined up for execution, but...........

You will see it when I did it..... as for now let me share with you one of my favourite tart crust recipe ....Pate Sablee...a sugar cookie dough to produce a crumbly tart base...the recipe is from Martha Stewart's Pies and Tarts book...

3/4 cup butter, from chiller
1/2 cup icing sugar
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
3/4 tsp salt

Cube butter and rub into flour and sugar mixture until crumbly. Lightly knead the dough to become a ball that come together. Press it on a greased tart tin....I usually use a 10 inches round tart tin...make holes by using a fork to release air when baking the crust. Chill for at least half an hour before baking in a preheated oven at 170C for about 18 minutes.

For the filling...go figure!

P/s I am feeling tired and sleepy but I couldn't sleep...must be the jetlag.... nites peeps....

Tuesday 24 June 2014

One Year and Six Kilos Away.....Blessed Ramadhan To You!

Assalamualaikum peeps! I'm back (briefly) after a long hiatus. Well, when I quit work I thought that I would have more time to myself, but I got that wrong ....and no I am not complaining. I have been baking a lot, more than I expected...well, to make ends meet. But really, I just couldn't turn down orders, tak sampai hati....last Saturday I baked 12 cakes, 50 mini pavlovas, one pavlova and 2 double deck chocolate pavlovas....a record, I think! I always think that at the end of the day come what may, enough sleep or not, collapsed meringue, overfold macaron batter, all orders were delivered...on time, maybe a few slight we just had to do it!

What I wanted to ramble here is not about my daily chores, I mean nowadays its private classes on Mondays and Tuesdays, baking on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays and classes on Sundays. My off day is usually on any of those days that there weren't any orders or classes. Since working on my own going to favourite hang out KLCC is just to get some air...but hey, I realise that I don't draw any salary, but I buy a shirt or two and hijabs almost weekly, hehe.....

Thursdays were supposed to be my soul feeding session with Ustazah Fatma Zahra, however, after Eid last year I was tested with orders so much so I dodged quite a number of sessions. Thank god I went to her last session before we begin our Ramadhan session this Thursday....I have missed a lot to my dismay!

Since working on my own I was tested many many times, not in monetary terms but others...and I realise that it was almost a year ago that I left permanent work and became a self employed in the beginning of Ramadhan (1.7.2013 was the official day I left work, and Ramadhan was about 7 days away). That time the Ustazah said we were entering Madrasah Ramadhan....a school ie a month where /when you learn to cleanse yourself, discover yourself, feel hungry and empathy for others. And just before Eid, the Ustazah reminded us that let the teachings from the Madrasah remain even after we left the Madrasah and breath through to the other months....

I failed miserably, I was tested......

And now, we are on the eve of Ramadhan again...fasting to me is a challenging ibadah since I love to eat! But , since last year I am embracing the month with open arms....this year I have decided to limit my orders so as not to tire myself. Allah is great, since that is my niat, I had a handsome figure confirmed corporate orders came in last month. I wanted to do only 2 classes in Ramadhan , however, the requests were overwhelming and I'd rather fulfill people's hopes, so classes will be on 5, 6, 7, 8 and 12 July. I will be honouring only one or two cake orders daily and inshaallah I will open for Raya orders soon! Raya orders will only be for Victoria Sandwich Cakes and Chocolate Cakes only. With this, I pray that I will have the energy to do all the ibadahs, inshaallah...

Well, it is also during this month that I will plan for the next moves for TheKitchenGuardian.... the studio needs a facelift, I need to do proper accounts, I need to compile my recipes, I need to register my mark, I need a fulltime assistant, I want to incorporate a private limited company...I need to draw a salary....

I will be attending a few short courses in Paris in October, I will share the knowledge in the classes held in the last quarter this year. In the mean time Alhamdulillah we are booked till November. I will also spend more time in food photography as in using my dslr instead of my smartphone! Looking forward to a food photography workshop with some food bloggers in Europe or US....America more likely next year!

......and I need to lose this 6 kilos that I have piled in the last 12 months, haha.....I have tried meal replacement diet, no carbo except my cakes diet.....but it is water therapy that seems to work, gulp 3 litres of water daily...your skin will plump up, you will feel full and food intake is less, hence weight reduction....I have not lost any kilos since this, however by BMI, bodyfat have reduced and I lost some inches too!

Okay enough rambling for now. I still owe you the Cookie Dough Nutella Cheesecake recipe. Will upload soon. In the mean time here's wishing you a blessed Ramadhan...ampun dan maaf di atas segala kesalahan kekurangan, be good folks! Bye!

Monday 21 April 2014


A macaron tower made with my student, it was her first experience making macarons!

Hiya peeps! It has been more than two months since I last wrote here. I have been terribly busy....well all the home bakers have been busy! However, I must make some jottings here as 1.4.2014 came, and left us, that marked a one year anniversary since I threw my resignation letter. Time passed by without you even realising it, especially more so when you are doing what you love!

I should have done this sooner, actually! There has been ups and downs (when I lost my baking mojos, you wouldn't believe it), but I wouldn't go back to a full time job! In my current world now, there is so much love and hard working and very caring people!

I love baking and trying new recipes, but I also love meeting new people during my classes, and they are my students. I love it even more when they say that their sales that week increased when they introduced new cakes the recipes they learnt in my classes. I have somewhat left an impact on another person's life......

Looking back, I realised that I have worked even harder, working means heating the oven for some early bakes as early as 3 am or frosting and finishing cakes during those wee hours. When in full time job, I had my coffee while going through my emails at 9! Now, by 9 am my cakes would be ready for collection....

When I left things were very uncertain, I used up all my resources...after 4 months working on my own I replenished those resources, alhamdulillah....I am not afraid anymore... When I left I wanted freedom of time, now I wanted to give more....during classes I share tips and techniques, now I want to give away more funds for the needy, inshaallah....when you have more time, ie more time to think and ponder, you realise that happiness is when you make other people's lives better....I don't think so much about my material beings anymore....

Okay, until the next post, which I do not know when....but I have to go now, tonight is one of those rare nights that I didn't bake (well, I busted a tray of mini Chocolate Pavlovas...I call them my boyfriends as they are very temperamental with me !) I need to catch up with some sleep. The pavlovas I will make them tomorrow...good night , take care peeps!

p/s   Wait up for TKG (thekitchenguardian)'s press interview, due to be published soon, wink

Thursday 6 February 2014

Team Work Makes The Dream Work

Hi ya peeps! Except for the Kuala Lipis macaron tower drama, I had an awesome most demanding week, last week. There were lots to be done, but thank god for the support that I got form my ad hoc team members!

...first there was the wedding fondant cupcakes' team, Zulaikha and Nadia dropped by my studio to assist with topping the cupcakes and covering them with fondant. Zulaikha also helped made the sugar blossoms...

...then, at the very eleventh hour, we pulled our sleeves together, I mean Fadli, Farhanah, Yan, Afiq with my guidance assembled and put together a macaron tower...Yup the controversial tower that was not a confirmed order the day before I had to pull my resources to get it done.....and then, I almost flew, but for the snail traffic from Gombak toll all the way to Raub...and sped to Kuala Lipis.....only to arrive at 3 pm and was not greeted, let alone thanked by the bride. Delivery was never in the agenda as I had to assemble the ruffled wedding cake above, which all was settled at around 11.30 am. 

...anyway, as much as I told myself I had forgotten and forgiven the Lipis incident, I was disturbed by the whole thing, I lost my baking mojo.......lately, there has also been a series of orders confirmed with no deposit collected by me, and I was stood up. This customers did not turn up to collect their orders.

...hence, as much as I hated the idea of collecting monies upfront, think I have been forced to resort to this...and yes, I noticed that those customers who placed some deposit actually confirmed their orders before the delivery day...hmmmm..

Anyway, as I happily entertained my down feelings, I was shaken out of this when I learnt that one of my customers who recently got married had lumps all over her breasts, a swollen thyroid gland and her blood with traces of copper! With all this uncertainties for her, I can only count my blessings, right....

I'm still trying to pull myself together, but I realise that the daily orders are meant to meet my daily expenses, any forms of savings would be from projects such as classes, corporate orders or the likes...hence, life is what happens to you when you are busy making plans.....

Hence, pull up your socks, moan if you have to , but not for long, my friends....enjoy this video...


Tuesday 28 January 2014

Hello February!

Hiya peeps! They say that time flies when you are having fun....I guess that is what I am going through felt like yesterday that we hopped into 2014, and now we are in the last week of January already! What scares me is that I haven't written my goals properly for this year, erk! So...I might just drift into an auto doing mode....

...there are many things that I wanted to achieve, one of them is to add value to people's I do that is by having regular baking classes, now.....and what do you know?! I see many have took off with a very rewarding part time cake business and for those who bake full time, their business have increased! I am very happy for them! On my part I really have to come out with new recipes.

January has been a very busy month for us.....Ibraheem is now in secondary school, Yusof sat for his O Levels exams, Khadijah is in her last A levels semester, Hajar in standard one, Muhammad has enrolled playschool and Umar will be sitting for his primary 6 exams soon!

....and my caking business has never been busier! Syukur! Even though think I need to do some adjustments here and there to cope with the orders.....I also realise that I have been doing more cakes for weddings lately! I won't complain as it sheer joy to be part of their special day even though in a very small, small way indeed! I am happy to announce that we are booked till March!

...alright i have to pen off, I have to rise early and tomorrow and the rest of the week would be a long busy one as I have a few projects in bring joy to others on their special day! Good night!


Tuesday 21 January 2014

Chocolate Chocolate Chip Cookies

Hiya peeps! As promised, here's the recipe for Chocolate Chocolate Chip Cookies I made a few weeks ago. It was basically melted chocolate with a wee bit of flour and eggs and baked to a chewy and gooey cookie!

Ingredients (Recipe is from David Lebovitz's Ready For Dessert Book)

450g bittersweet chocolate, I used Callebaut 58% cocoa buttons
60g butter
70g flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt,I sprinkled fleur the sel
4 large eggs
350g sugar, I used 250g sugar and 100g brown sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla paste
320g bittersweet chocolate, I used Ghirardelli
100g walnuts or pecans


Add chocolate and butter in a heat proof bowl, Melt them over a pot of simmering water. Remove from heat.
Whisk together flour and salt and baking powder.
In a stand mixer or using a hand mixer, whisk together the eggs, sugar, and vanilla over high speed until a ribbon is formed with the mixture. With the mixer running slowly add the melted chocolate butter mixture until well incorporated.
Then using a spatula mix the rest of the ingredients ie the choc buttons and nuts.
You can either refrigerate the batter/dough, or bake immmediately. Of course I couldn't resist, and baked immediately by dropping tablespoonfuls of the batter on silpats and baking paper. Bake at 165C about 9 minutes.

After that enjoy, enjoy and enjoy till the last piece that you could dug your hands into the cookie jar! Hihi, it was that good!  

Enjoy this video

And this video reminds me of my secondary school days when we just loved to perform!

Friday 17 January 2014

Swinging into 2014!

Hiya peeps! I have been away from this blog way too long that I don't know where to begin! It has been almost 7 months since I left full time employment, I don't miss it a bit except the friendship and companionship of my colleagues! But I do pop by Menara every once in a while for coffee or lunch....

I think I am getting into the rhythm of my new life now...yeah only now, but slowly... from when I started baking full time, I have progressed to having my own studio. It was not in the plan, however, my house was slowly turning into a mini bakeshop so much so that I had to look for a new hideout!

...but I must say that the opportunities that came after I left my job has been abundance, alhamdulillah....well sure there were cakes not collected, or cakes consumed unpaid! Hehe, think that is part and parcel of business, you win some you lose some....I had 2 slices of cakes for dinner just now from an order that was not collected!

So, okay, what do I want to do in 2014!? Bake more cakes for sure and to be able to support the kids private education, that is is foremost important....I was supposed to give a new outlook on the cakes, which idea I have in mind but acting on it is another story....I wish to do more fondant cakes this year...yeah I will be joining a few other cake artists for a Couture Wedding Cake Class with Lori The Caketress in March in Jakarta....super excited about that...I can see doing more sugar flowers after this (really need to speed up with my roses...err I only love making peonies and orchids hehe).

I have to resume my mengaji classes that I have abandoned since Syawal last year, boo me for failing in this department....but I try to do my tahajjud every now and then, and having super powers after performing those solats, I don't kid you!   

I wish to try more recipes and share them here or in classes, as I feel big if I could make other people's life better! That aside, I have made so many new friends and been surprised by my customers ... a few were the whose who in the legal fraternity ant there have been occasions where polis mahkamah popped by my collect cakes hehe..

I have been honoured too to make a cake and some macarons as door gifts for one of the nation's most respected veteran politician and father....all this opportunities wouldn't come by if I were working then.....of course, I had to laugh out loud when no monies, yup absolutely no monies trickled in when I took a break and went to Kuching! Haha, the realities of working your own business, no sales means no business no business means no money! But alhamdulillah, things are moving fine now...and I haven't checked what's the bonus from ASB yet...wink wink!

Okay....I have to go...actually I have a few cakes to bake now and prepare for my macaron class tomorrow, instead of updating my blog...err I also have some messages to reply....sabar ye my dear customers:p (I also have this pictures of chocolate pie flashing in my head, oooh....)

Enjoy this video that is a continuation of Anuar Zin's Ajari Aku video ..... good nite peeps, take care!

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