Friday, 31 October 2014

Lumière


Salam and good morning!

Here's a little something to motivate me and you. :)



May Allah make it easy for us to find and spread our light.

Thursday, 30 October 2014

The Naked Cake


Scarf dUCk / Dress Mimpikita

When my close friend got proposed to a year ago, she knew exactly how she wanted her wedding day to play out (as do all women huh). She knew the type of place she wanted it to be held at, the kind of ethereal dress that'll flow gracefully as she walked down the aisle, the kind of music to set the ambiance, and, she knew she wanted me to make her wedding cake, no matter what. Of course, I was so excited to do it for her…….until the actual day came.

Two days before the wedding, I had settled all the baking at one of the groomsmen home as his wife had a lovely KitchenAid mixer, and two brand new ovens. It was way more promising then my friend's vintage oven with a door that wouldn't shut properly, hahaa. So in the morning, I was feeling pretty confident having brought along all my tools, had all the cake layers in a row, had the fresh jam, strawberries and cream all readily whipped, and ready for the cakes to be stacked. But me being me, left the stacking of the cake slightly less than an hour before the ceremony was about to start, thinking I could do this in half an hour. Silly me forgot that my mum and helper weren't there to help me as they usually would back home. 

As I started working on layering each cake with jam and cream, I notice things weren't moving as fast as it usually would. At each layer, a family member or one of the guests would pop over and have a chat with me as they were excited to see how it would look like. Some even asked me to explain the process, and asked me to stop and smile as they wanted to snap pictures of 'the making'. I'm like, are you kidding me right nowwwww. I needed to be at the alter in half an hour and I was barely half done.  I kept that bridesmaid smile on, but I was panicking like mad inside! My laugh started becoming nervous laughters, my armpits started sweating (the weather was cold guys), and cream and sugar started creating beautiful stains on my scarf. Just great.

If you ask me, the cake was a little browner than I wanted it, the layer of cream wasn't as thick as it should be and the cake was wonky here and there. But, it was too perfect of a night to let these little imperfections bug me, and everybody only had nice things to say as they just couldn't wait to get a slice. Nobody cared for a perfect cake, not even the bride, they were just to happy there was cake.

So alhamdulillah, there it was, their rustic wedding cake, flawed and all. But it's okay cause I made it with love, so that makes it more beautiful than a lot of the wedding cakes I've made before. :)

Photos by Rob Tran & Lakshal Perera

Wednesday, 29 October 2014

Minty Gerberas



I wondered if this was anyone's favourite flower like what Peonies are to me. And just as I had that thought, the Vogue interview I was simultaneously watching caught Anna Wintour saying gerberas were her favourite flowers. Totally unexpected, but nice to know they're loved by someone. I'm not quite sure why, but gerbera daisies would be the last bunch of flowers I would ever pick up walking into a florist, even though they usually have the most vibrant mix of colours available all year round. Because of this, I never realized just how detailed of a centre this particular flower had till we started making them. And even with the time spent making them, we of course weren't able to fully replicate it. I guess it's easy to overlook the beauty of something unless we take a closer look at it.

Anyway, ever since we made this cake, it has become a habit of mine to walk over to the corner of the florist where all the gerberas are, and just take a closer look at them. Just cause you're not my favourite kind of flower doesn't mean
you're not pretty. :)

Monday, 20 October 2014

Stables Of Como


Scarf Duck / Top Mimpikita / Pants Zara

I woke up early on my last day in Melbourne knowing exactly where I wanted to spend my morning. Regardless of the unexpected chilly weather, I wanted nothing more than to be outdoors, enjoying one last soy latte and a big breakfast with my sister and good friend. And Stables of Como was exactly where I wanted to have that. After indulging in what was probably the most glorious breakfast spread I've had, a walk outside the cafe was exactly what we all needed to not fall asleep on our chairs from that full tummy. And behind it was a private and peaceful garden overlooking the historic white Como house of over 160 years old. Greeted with tall green trees and bushes of new spring blooms, we couldn't have asked for a more picture perfect backdrop to our morning walk. :)

Photos by Kim L.


Birthday Carousel



I almost couldn't believe my eyes when I saw the last time I shared a cake post was more than two months ago. If it were up to my best friend, she would've shut my blog down already. She makes it a point to remind me I haven't posted anything, ALL THE TIME. So since I'm not stuck in the kitchen today, I'm so happy to have some time to sift through my memory card and pick up where I left off with my last cake post.

Over the past few years, my mum and I have been blessed enough to have some regulars who will contact us for a cake for just about every celebration they have throughout the year. And every year, this particular one will call us for her son's birthday cake, and about a week later, the husband will contact us to make her a surprise birthday cake for the same day since their birth dates are so close. It's so sweet how he tries to surprise her with one every year. This year's cake was a little bit more special as he requested we make a cake to remind her of her favourite city, Paris. Ahhh, yes, Paris. Who doesn't want to be reminded of it? I'm still having withdrawal symptoms from my last visit.

As I looked through endless pictures of Parisian carousels as reference, the many beautiful intricate details caught my eyes, and how each and every one was different was truly inspiring. With that in mind, I tried to make my own with this cake and bring that same whimsical feel you get when you see one.

Voici un petit morceau de votre ville préférée. Joyeaux anniversaire mon amour!

Friday, 10 October 2014

Selfies


Last night, I managed to attend probably one the most relevant talk addressing humility in our era of social media. Sheikh Yahya Ibrahim spoke about photography and all those related. I know it sounds like something you've heard before and don't really want to hear again, but there were a lot of good points made. It answered a lot of questions I had floating in my head and I hope it'll be of benefit to you too inshaAllah. Just click on the picture below and it'll link you to the video yeah.


Alrighty, I'm off to bond with my cakes again. Have a good one! :)

Thursday, 9 October 2014

Love Generously



I've had these pictures sitting on this page for quite a few days, not knowing where or how to even begin with this post. So let's just start with how me and my close friend Lala met. 

I was thirteen years old when I moved to Perth and entered high school there. I was a loner who was too shy to speak to anyone and so I ended up eating my lunch mostly alone behind a hidden bush or beside the toilet. It doesn't get any sadder than this! hahaa. Soon enough Lala saved me and the rest was history. We became partners in crime and practically did everything together. And today, even though we live countries apart, somehow we've managed to still be in each others lives and there for when we need each other the most. And this was THE day.

 I landed a week before the big day and stayed at Lala and Richie's home along with her sisters family who had flew in for this as well. I was so so happy they welcomed me with open arms into their cosy home because I get homesick real quick and staying in a hotel would've made it so much worse. I was taken care of so so well by them, and to be honest, this was probably the highlight of my week there. The warmth I felt from just how generous they were with their home, time and just going out of their way to make me feel comfortable. One of the first few things they fussed about was getting me to a halal meat shop, which really brought me back to our high school days because her mum would always prepare halal meat when I came over to her house. So we bought a whole lot and everyone at home ate halal meat for the next few days.

Staying with them made me truly understand why in Surah Al-Baqarah, ayat 177, God includes taking care of a traveler, as one of the ways to define goodness in someone. "…shares their wealth, in spite of love for it, to relatives, orphans, the needay, the traveler, those who ask (for help, and for freeing slaves..". Making sure I had a heater and three blankets to keep warm at night, cooked rice for me in case I missed home because we Asian yo, picked me up from the train station and made sure I got home safe were just the few things they didn't have to do, but did just cause.

So to be there as her bridesmaid was really the icing on the cake for me. I won't get into just how amazing that day was as I'm hoping the few pictures I managed to capture (in between rushing to set up the wedding cake and making sure everything looked like her Pinterest board) will do the talking for me. I loved everything about that day. Everything was real; the smiles, the laughter, the beautiful flowers, the stress, the tears and most importantly, the love. It wasn't the fairytale kind. 

To my dearest Lala & Richie, may you guys build a beautiful home together and find ways to always love each other, especially when you get under each others skin. As Richie says, there's no turning back now because they're like one DVD now, side A and side B, hahaa.

Photos by Yours Truly and Imran N.