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!

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: 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)

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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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Sometimes, love just isn’t enough.

It’s true. Sometimes, love just isn’t enough to bring you across the difficult times in the kitchen.

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You could love what you’re doing but it may not take you to where you want to be. The love for what you do usually is one of the basis for success. Without it, you won’t have the drive to enhance your skills and gain more experience. However, love can only take you this far.

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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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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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Making: Cinnamon Rolls

The day I decided to make cinnamon rolls was the day my apartment was filled with the beautiful aroma of cinnamon. It was perfect. I love the smell of cinnamon and cinnamon rolls make me happy. The soft but crusty roll, paired with sweet buttery cinnamon sugar filling is just perfect.

I have always been a cake girl and never dared to venture out to the bread territory because that’s just an area that I am not familiar with, at all! Proofing, yeast, kneading – these terms are all so new to me and I just wasn’t trained in bread making. However, at work recently I was exposed to making bread dough, danish dough and croissant dough that it really sparked my interest in making bread.

Bread making is quite fascinating. It is definitely not easy because you need to learn the technique of dough reading. Different doughs require you to knead them to a certain gluten level and I’m still quite new to this. That being said, cinnamon rolls are quite easy to make!

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Making: Strawberry Swiss Rolls

Swiss rolls are one of those things that I ate a lot while growing up and it’s something that I really love eating. When done right, the cake is soft and the filling is deliciously sweet and light. I have never made swiss rolls before but I do know that it is one of the pre-requisites before you can become a qualified pastry chef. As an aspiring patissiere, of course I had to attempt a swiss roll!

After searching online for recipes that I could use, I decided to use the sponge recipe by Ochikeron because it looked really soft and moist and her rolled cake looked good. Also, following my success in making her Japanese strawberry short cake, I knew her recipes are ones that I could trust.

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Making: Choux Swans

To me, choux swans are one of the most elegant pastries out there. Not only is it beautiful to look at, it is also oftentimes delicious. Light puff filled with cream, what’s not to like?

This weekend, I decided to attempt making choux swans at home and I think it turned out alright for my first attempt. It looked like a swan and tasted great.

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