CAKE is all.

Hair up,
Apron on,
Here we go!

5 days.
64 eggs.
2kg Valrhona 72% chocolate.
2 litres Anchor cream.
2.4kg Elle et Vire butter.
2 liters syrup.
9 cakes.
20 layers.

1 wedding cake.

here's how:

you start with a little drink..

all dressed up and saucy.

make her all gooey inside.

with a little smooth talkin'..

take her higher..

then perhaps another round?

brush up against her.

and play with her hair.

knowing you can complete her.

take her dancing.

a little caressing.

then take her for a spin.

a little romancin'..

with some roses..

then take her to meet your parents :)

Happy Silver Wedding Anniversary, Mum and Dad!


cake tasting

My mum and dad are celebrating their 25th wedding anniversary this year. They are inviting 350 of their closest friends and family to celebrate this momentous occasion at a classy poolside party next saturday evening. And what do you know, catering for 300+ sounds like just the kind of "biting more than you can chew" scenario I like to put myself into. So I, without hesitation of course, insisted on baking the wedding anniversary cake!

It's going to be stressful, and probably will induce several forms of bodily panic, but what better opportunity to really see how I'd get on under pressure in the food industry! Plus, I'd rather spend the money they would've used paying someone else on getting premium ingredients such as Valrhona chocolates, French butter and New Zealand cream. Oh, and also a KITCHENAID ARTISAN MIXER. In Pistachio.. to be exact. I am indeed, very stoked.

After several weeks of careful brain-action, I have decided on a classy, clean 14"-10"-6" stacked cake. Kind of like this: (except less ribbon, more cake)

(not my cake)

It will compose of generously imbibed vanilla bean and bittersweet chocolate genoise cakes, separated with creamy valrhona ganache, and encased in a layer semi-sweet smooth vanilla buttercream. It all seemed good and perfect in my mind, but I decided to bake a prototype to make sure the happy couple and fussy sister approve. 

I finally found the missing link in my lifelong plight in procuring perfect, light, retro "Magnolia Bakery-esque" buttercream..

The Kitchenaid.

And I should've known.

Each tier will contain twice as much cake as this for some classy height.

But for tasting, this cake is good to go.

I thought the cake was just the right balance of sweetness and bitternes, but it needed some acidity to really give the flavour some depth. So I think I will substitute the middle layer of dark chocoalte ganache with that of the white chocolate-raspberry kind for some added dimension. 

But so far, I think it's a good sign when Tania goes for seconds.

So not many changes..




Basic cuisine and patisserie graduation! And it's only the beginning.

Phew! 10 weeks went by so fast.. The classes from sunrise 'til sundown, the many cuts, bruises and burns that went with them.. all the time and strength I garnered up to get adjusted to cooking and delivering under pressure, was definitely worth it when I held my basic diplomas last wednesday morning. 

 Chef de Cuisine Bruno Stril, Chef Patissier Xavier Cotte and a happy me.

Though, I'd be the first to admit, I am not the coolest, calmest and most confident person when placed under the pressure of achieving perfection under strict time constraints.. (I think I had several near melt-down moments during both my pastry and cuisine exams..) It did feel really good being called up as the fifth place getter in cuisine. It was a massive surprise! I did not expect to get a placement at all in the cuisine side, as most of my time goes into practicing patisserie techniques. Getting a placement in cuisine, though some students may think is trivial and a silly thing to get caught up about, has given me confidence that I can also cook savory stuff. Next term I will spend an even amount of time practicing both disciplines and hopefully achieve better results for the two of them. 

Chef de Cuisine Bruno Stril, Chef Patissier Xavier Cotte, Chef de Cuisine Patrick Terrien, Chef de Cuisine Philippe Clergue, the director and 3 of the top 5 cuisine students.

So I hope I have made you proud dear friends in New Zealand! Thinking of you and missing you lots... now. To escape the fast approaching european winter, I'm off to Jakarta! But first New York chill for 2 weeks. Yikers!

bisous x


These past two months at Le Cordon Bleu, I have learnt to make numerous tarts, sponge cakes, pastries, petit fours, mousses, meringues and many many more delicious things. But this cold, cloudy morning, I found myself missing the humble muffin. Back in Auckland, these are easily found in any neighborhood coffee shop. In Paris, though there are baguettes, eclairs, and tarts-a-plenty.. One may find it a bit of a difficult task to track down these snack-size quick breads of happiness.

blueberry muffins

good with tea.
great with friends.



A blog about a log..

I love log cakes. Not only do they bake faster and much more evenly than boring round and square cakes, they are very easy to cut up and serve too! It also does not hurt if they happen to be pistachio flavoured and fully encased in CHOCOLATE. No sir. The "Buche Pistache-Chocolat" is not messing around.

I find that learning pastry is like being a magician's apprentice. In the past, when I've seen this cake in patisseries, I've always wondered as to how the chefs manage to compose this cake neatly and glaze it so smoothly.  Going to class and seeing exactly how it is done is like learning a new magic trick..!

The chocolate glaze is a mixture of chocolate, sugar and vegetable oil. It comes pre-made in a little bucket, and you melt it completely before, using a large ladle, you coat the cake in:


I was the person foolish enough to be the first to go up to the "glazing station" in the class. With Chef Jordan's intimidating watchful eye, I took a deep breath and just went for it. 

"Tres bien! C'est parfait ça!" said the chef.

thank. goodness.

You may be wondering why I put flowers all around it.. it's a log cake, ok. 
The pistachios on top are supposed to be like leaves on a vine.

I don't know if you got all that.. lol.



chocolate, raspberries and cream

Finally! We made something with a little bit of colour.

The "Mogador" is a combination of chocolate sponge cake imbibed 
with raspberry liquor and creamy chocolate mousse.

It is later glazed generously with raspberry jam..

The lightness of the cake provides a perfect contrast with 
the creaminess of the chocolate mousse.. 
just like the sweet-sweet chocolate balances 
the acidity of the raspberries.

It's the kind of cake you'd want to spend the night alone with....



Charlotte aux Poires

the pear charlotte..

tastes as sweet as it looks..

we piped the ladyfinger fence, lid and base all by hand..

to encase a creamy surprise inside! 

life is good...

life is good.


meet the brioche family

all these amazing food we've been making at le cordon bleu have started to stress me out. every day there is a battle in my conscience because I KNOW I CAN'T EAT EVERYTHING we make or... i'd have to say goodbye to by skinny jeans. and i really do not want to say goodbye to my skinny jeans.

but baby. 
these buttery brioches are very tasty. sliced with jam, made into pain perdu or just as/is. the sweet, buttery and the slightest bit salty rich flavour coupled with their soft, feathery texture is really doing my head in.

why bread gods. why.

so. let me introduce you to:
papa loaf brioche nanterre,
mama brioche à tête,
and baby petite têtes.

check out papa nanterre's crusty, golden armor.
but inside, he's really a softie.

we also made pain aux raisins using the brioche dough.
however as you may know, most of the time they are made using croissant pastry.
the chef said the reason why, is that not only does it save time and energy
but it is also more cost effective as croissant dough does not contain eggs.

but i find that using either dough..

they're just as tasty.

- - -

my breakfast this morning.