So about a month or so ago I was contacted on facebook about a catering order by talented Miss Van Anh Nguyen. She loved my stuff so much that she was keen to pay me to bake a few items for her for a high tea shoe party she was hosting. I have had questions from people at work about wether I considered catering but because I love doing it so much as I hobby I really never thought much about it. I was a little suprised about the request but agreed to take the order.
Knowing that she is also Coeliac I wanted to make stuff that she could actually eat. Macarons were requested so they were a given but she also requested a cake and some cupcakes.
For the cake I decided to do a chocolate hazelnut (flourless) cake. I also made some hazelnut praline to decorate the cake, ended up just crushing it and sprinkling it over the chocolate ganache because my shards didn't look pretty enough. I really wanted to keep the cake for myself because I just loved how the finish came out.
When I read that she wanted macarons I was nervous, these little temperamental but gorgeous little morsels strike fear in me every time I make them and I am yet to produce a perfect batch. They all taste fantastic but compared to the ones you buy, they were not exactly perfect looking, especially my feet.
I actually had to make these twice as I forgot to age my egg whites for the day I wanted to make them and produced a failed batch. I then put aside some whites to age to make them again the next day. A little heavy handed on the food colouring too, but the previous batch was even brighter! My feet were too wide but I wasn't prepared to make a third batch. These were just plain shells with white chocolate ganache.
Last but not least are the cupcakes, to keep with the girly pink theme I decided to make rosewater cupcakes. I bought some gluten free flour especially for these. Unfortunately they came out a bit flatter than I had imagined but I think it's because of the flour, first time using gluten free flour. The icing is simply lemon flavoured icing made of icing sugar and lemon juice with pink food colouring. Originally was going to decorate them with a single dried rose but I had a last minute request for letters to be iced on the cakes.
Because the white icing didn't quite turn out I grabbed a tube of black writing gel I had to trace over the letters. It definately created some striking contrast against the pale pink icing. The next morning, my flower cupcake was runny and smudged because it was slightly slanted so with some dried roses I went to cover up the mishap. The other cupcakes now looked a little plain so I went and poked in a couple of roses on each cupcake to pretty them up.
I left for work, telling my parents that someone would be coming to pick up the goodies during the day. At 3pm I receive an sms telling me that no one was answering the door. I started freaking out and made an excuse to leave work early to go home because I couldn't get in touch with any of my family members (who were close to home). Of all days Mum decides to go to the doctor and Dad was out. Mum said that because no one had come yet she thought she could quickly pop out but didn't realise that no one else was home. Anyway all dramas aside, and a good 30-45 minutes later Mum came home and the goods were picked up.
The goods were well received by my very first customer and her high tea partakers. It was a bit stressful baking knowing that someone was actually paying for the finished goods. There was also a little bit of negotiating of pricing which I think I was way too generous about but seeing as it was my first order I wasn't sure where to benchmark my goods. I can say it was definately a learning experience for me too, I just look it as a way to build up my experience.
Photo from Van Anh Nguyen
Photo from Van Anh Nguyen