Friday, February 7, 2014


Photo: Stacey's birthday cake today.....words fail me

photo borrowed from my friend who grew up with my daughters.

Mum learned to make Western Butter cakes.  She made beautiful rectangle cakes, round cakes, square cakes. But she never made a crinoline cake.

Our neighour made them, but her cakes were for display, not not to be eaten. We used to go to their place and stared at them.

I have been chatting with a facebook who was my neighbour's kid, and posted posted a photo of a similar cake. My daughter told me it is a Crinoline cake and asked me why I never made one for her.

Do you know they break the legs of these dolls? Once when we were doing our Charity for Kenya, some one donated a whole lots of legless dolls. I could not have my children see their dolls with their legs broken off.

Here are stories of the Chans that will warm the heart.

One was looong ago. Mum had twins, a boy and a girl. For their birthday, mum made two cakes, and she used a thin layer of water icing before she put on the royal icing. Because we were in the tropics, the icing sweated,
Mum's idea was to dry them in the sun.

Can't remember if she asked one of us older kids to keep an eye, that wasn't important.

Next thing, when Mum went to check, Dog had bitten a big hole at the side of Boy Twin's cake.

Mum was angry with Dog, and Child who was on duty.

We told her, just use one cake for both. But mum won't hear of it.

On the birthday, she produced two beautiful cakes. She quietly told the Older Child when she was cutting to serve the cake to make sure not to cut the section where she had "cemented" with a big lump of royal icing. Mum is really smart.

Cake making and icing in the Chan family and now Tiong (Grace's) is a family affair.

For the beautiful wedding cake in the last post involved a lot of work. She made sugar flowers, leaves and figurine. Grace couldn't remember how long it took. She did it when she was free on and off during the day for 2 weeks. It was tough work mixing the sugar dough or fondant icing and gum paste. The gum paste had to be rolled to tissue thin and and not break. Royal icing for some of the leaves.

Grace reckoned if she worked full time, it would have taken 10 hours for those things, leaves, flowers, bows... colouring, She couldn't use spray paint as it was done at home. 1 flower was made by a friend of KK. That's the small peach one.

She spent another 5 hours to ice the cake and cover with fondant and put on final touches. Mixing the cake, cooking and cooling took another 4 hours.

Grace was so passionate and almost a perfectionist. She told her daughter Jessie that she took off the crooked lines and redo and redo.... That's why she was so stressed when she make the cakes.

Grace recruited her brother-in-law to knead the dough for her until it was pliable enough to use rolling pin on it. His hands got so tired and hot. Her cousin in law James helped paint the flowers and arrange the bouquet. James it was hard work because the flowers are brittle and not flexible like real flowers where you can squeeze through the foliage etc...

Grace says, "Things like that people don't know, only the cake people know. if doing for 1st time like me, then it was a surprise!"

For all the effort, Grace can say, "I can say, I did it. hehehe"

My comment is, Grace is a very special person to go such a long way for a sister in law. This is not the first cake she made, She made another fantastic cake for our nephew Raymond's wedding. Again, it was a family effort. Some of us returned from Australia and Singapore to help.

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