When life gets in the way of plans…

I’m a visual planner, you see. I love making lists and plan my days out. This applies in my personal life as well as at work and for this website. It just makes it easier for me to visualise what things need to be done and I can also prioritise my tasks visually.

At the start of this year, I had so much planned for this website. I had recipes and techniques I wanted try and to then share the experiences here, as well as other general “life things” to write about. I had a list.

However, things started to get busy at work and I was also quite overwhelmed by other things in my life that it didn’t really go to plan. In the end, I just decided to let it go for a bit and not be so rigid. I had to stop being so harsh on myself for not posting regularly.

I have learned from my recent experiences and through my ex-colleagues that, sometimes, “plans will need to catch up with the changes in our lives”. I translated that from a Chinese phrase I saw at work. The phrase was “计划要赶得上变化”, it is what my ex-colleagues wrote on their white board and I agree with it wholeheartedly.

I could plan and make endless lists but at the end of the day, I need to learn to be flexible enough to not resist change. I’ve slowly managed to embrace changes in certain aspects of my life rather than being scared of them. Obviously, there are some areas of my life that I am holding on to the status quo a lot firmer but we have to take small steps.

While I did not update this space, I did actually bake some stuff here and there on my days off work. Here are some snippets:

Earl Grey Lemon Opera Petite Patissiere

Earl Grey Lavender Opera with a hint of Lemon

Chocolate Shells Petite Patissiere

Practising my chocolate tempering skills

Lavender Macarons Petite Patissiere

Lavender Dark Chocolate Macarons

Vanilla Bean Macaron Shells Petite Patissiere

Plain Macaron Shells with Vanilla Bean Specks

Roasted Milk Chocolate Macaron Petite Patissiere

Roasted Milk Chocolate Macaron

That’s it for now, my friends. Have a nice week ahead!

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Happy 2nd Birthday, “Petite Patissiere”!

I’ve been so consumed by what’s been happening in my life that I’ve completely forgotten to do a celebratory blog post for my website’s 2nd anniversary! (Not that it is crucial but I do like celebrations.)

I’ve been on a blogging hiatus for the month of May, it was an unplanned one but I decided to just let it flow. Some things happened in my life which distracted me from baking on the weekends but it is all good now! 

The “tart” pictured above marks my return in baking on my days off and I’m happy to say that it feels great.

What I can say for now is that you really do have to do the things you truly enjoy to be able to feel motivated and happy about yourself everyday. That’s not to say it solves all the problems. Sometimes courage and timing both need to coincide to enable things to happen and passion definitely makes it slightly easier. 

Happy belated Birthday, PetitePatissiere.com. Thank you for being a great platform for me to share my thoughts and ideas. Thank you for helping me meet one of my closest friends through blogging. 

As for all of you who are reading, thanks for all your support for the past two years! I apologise for my on & off hiatus but sometimes unpredictable things happen in life so I am grateful for your continuous readership! 

I have grown and changed together with my website and I’m looking forward to what the future holds for the both of us. Sounds so cheesy but it is true. 

🙂

Making: Matcha Choux Puff

I think I’ve documented my struggles with choux puff on this blog a couple of times and I’m happy to announce that I finally produced something of a standard I can accept a few weekends ago! 

My craquelin layer was thin, my puff was hollow and dry on the inside and my custard cream was smooth and delicious. All the criteria that I think are important, were met to a certain standard. 

Obviously, there are still a lot of room for improvements but for now, I’m happy. 


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Making: Almost There Triple Caramel Tart

You know the thing with baking? It can take you anywhere.

It always starts with an idea, and then it plays out and you never know where it’ll take you until you’ve completed the whole product. This isn’t always the case since baking is a science and everything happens according to plan if you follow a recipe, but if you’re creating something as you go, then it is interesting to see where an idea can take you.

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A couple of Sundays ago, I had an idea in mind – I wanted to make a tart. I didn’t know exactly what tart to make but I knew I wanted to make a tart for sure. I played with the idea of making a raspberry chocolate tart because that is a flavour combination that I was familiar with and also had the ingredients for, but as the day went by, my ideas changed and this “Almost There Triple Caramel Tart” was born.

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Making: Quick (Lazy) Apple Tart

You know the thing with Friday nights? It’s usually the last working day of the week. Now, I really enjoy my job but I always feel liberated when I walk out of the doors of my workplace because I’m always excited to be able to do what I want to do, at my own pace, for 2 whole days! Yes, there are the boring daily chores as well but… Friday night! Weekend! I have really come to appreciate the weekend ever since I started work about a year ago because it usually means home baking time! (No partying for me)

apple tart 8

A couple of Fridays ago, I came home and I felt really energetic, which is unusual because I’m usually exhausted after a long day of standing and running around at work. I wanted to bake something really badly but it was late and I didn’t want to stay up too much. So again, I had a look around my kitchen and just made do with whatever ingredients I had on hand to make something really simple.

Frozen puff pastry, apples, eggs, almond flour, sugar, butter… done!

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Tutorial: How to Pipe Buttercream Roses

Hello! Happy Monday, everyone!

My buttercream flowers class post has been one of my most popular posts since I published it and many Google search terms also lead to that post. This shows that many of you are actually very interested in learning about piping roses!

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With that in mind, I decided to make quick video on how to pipe buttercream roses using Italian meringue buttercream for you all!

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Making: Variations to the original chiffon cake

I love a good chiffon cake – light, fluffy and yummy. They’re not hard to make once you master the basics of whipping the egg whites to the right consistency, folding it in properly and then ensuring your oven temperature is correct.

A few months ago I posted my trial of a Gula Melaka chiffon cake recipe that I found online but I commented that it didn’t turn out as well as I expected it to be. After making a few more chiffon cakes after that, I feel that it isn’t my skill that was the problem, I think that perhaps the recipe did actually need a lift from baking powder due to the heavy nature of some of the ingredients (coconut milk & gula melaka).

lemon chiffon cake 2

Since then, I’ve tried out a vanilla chiffon cake, a lemon chiffon cake and an Earl Grey chiffon cake and I would like to share the simple ways you could try to modify a basic chiffon cake recipe!

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New Year, New Me?

Happy February, everyone! How have you all been in the past month? I hope everything has been well and that 2016 has been kind to all of you.

petitepatissiere

When I decided to go on a blogging-free month, I had such high hopes for myself in terms of the work that I would be doing to this website behind the scenes. There are so many things on the backend that I would have liked to change but it just did not happen. For one, I simply do not have the expertise in making the changes. Html and the relevant knowledge regarding migrating websites and such are not part of my interests. Therefore, it was harder for me to concentrate when I read FAQs and tutorials online. So, nothing much happened.

What was within my skill set though, was to change the About section on this website. I feel that I have grown & therefore the website has also evolved over time and it is only fair that I updated that section. Small steps, small steps.

Anyway, I did think about my plans for petite-patissiere.com, and how I want to proceed from here for 2016 at least and here are my plans.
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The Beginning of a New Year

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Happy new year, everyone! I hope all of you have had a good break over the holidays (if applicable) and are all refreshed and ready to face the new year.

If you have been following my blog, you would have noticed that I’ve slowed down a little in terms of updating towards the end of last year. That is mainly due to work getting a lot busier at the end of the year and it will continue to be hectic in January.

Other than that, my family have started their holidays in Malaysia so I’ve also been busy spending time with them over the weekends. Throughout the year, my family members are all scattered around the world so I do treasure the times when we are all together in the same country (or region) at the same time.

I have decided to take a break from blogging in January because of the above reasons, and to also take a step back and think about my plans for this website in 2016. Hopefully I will come back in February with more fresh ideas to share with all of you!

Making: Dark Chocolate Eclairs with Cocoa Streusel

“What would you like for dessert?” I asked my Boyfriend.

“Eclair!” He replied.

So eclair it was! I haven’t had much luck in perfecting pate a choux, every batch seems to look different but I was determined to get this right!

I vaguely remember the textures of the choux paste to look out for in both Eclairs and choux puffs. One is softer than the other. So with this vague memory that I retained from class two years ago, I decided to venture into the eclair territory this week to test my skills (and luck) in making pate a choux!

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