Monday, May 23, 2016

Sugarcraft Flower Designs Class Bangalore

Sugarcraft for Beginners - 2 Day Workshop


Lillies in a Basket ( Practical Learning)

Orchid Flower and bud

Often I wonder how a person with mediocre skill becomes an expert or achieves a commendable change. When a person transforms, we often look at then with disbelief and often we discredit the success as a chance or fluke. Well, that's human nature!

The reality is that, we don't see hard work behind the change - daily hours of practice, or the time taken to polish a skill, etc.

Problem with the majority of folks (like me) is this - we give-up half-way or when we hit the first dip.

So, how much time should we spend to develop a skill. Well, according to Malcolm Gladwell, author of the book Outliners, an average person require 10,000 hours of dedicated practice to become an expert. Well, 10,000 looks like a mammoth size number for a person like me who can't stay still for 1 hr at a stretch. So, what's the next option.

Here's a blog post I read recently on how to learn anything faster. Apart from practicing your skill, keep reading blogs on topics that interest you ( culinary to gardening to flower arrangement, etc)

Sugarcraft - Art of creating lifelike Flowers
Just like any skill, you can become a master in sugarcraft. If you read the above mentioned article, you know what it takes to develop this skills. And, just like any art, it's equally true with Sugar craft flower making.

I picked my sugar craft skills by learning from two experts in this field - Joonie Tan, at Lavone, and Ashwini Joshi Sarabhai from Hyderabad. I feel a good teacher or mentor makes learning easier, faster, and more organized.

Can't I learn by watching Youtube Videos
Yes, you can. I know many you've mastered skills from online resources. But, there are many, who have acquired half-baked or often misleading information by reading recipe's online or watching Youtube videos.Often I feel is that in some blogs and videos, the maker doesn't explain certain steps and this can cause confusion. Also, don't believe everything you see or read on the Internet. Try to read more on the topic from different sources..

Honing Sugarcraft Skills 
Though I had the best two tutors from whom I learned sugarcraft, I feel that I'm far from being an expert. One of the problem I face is insufficient practice time. As usual, I conveniently blame my busy class schedule for not practicing. But deep within I know that I need to plan my time.

So, how do you go about advancing your skills? What's stopping you from learning to make sugarcraft themed wedding cakes?

In case, you're looking for the beginner level class in Sugar craft, then I conduct 2 Sugarcraft Workshop for Beginners in Bangalore

In this hands-on sugarcraft workshop, you will learn the exclusive art of making beautiful real life like Flowers with Gumpaste in this hands-on workshop! The flowers you learn will make a magnificent arrangement for a wedding cake!

Sugarcraft Flowers covered:

1.Rose
2.Ranunculus
3.Peoney
4.Stargazer Lillies
5.Orchids

Apart from it, you'll learn to make filler flowers to make a pretty bouquet!
Also learn how to use:

1. Airbrushing techniques on gumpaste flowers
2. Powder dusting and steaming
Duration of class:  2 days)
Time: 10:00am – 4:30 pm

For more details, pls contact me at 9379398865. I also have online classes for those who prefer to learn from the comfort of your home. For details, you can visit my exclusive online sugarcraft Facbook page.

P.S: If you're looking for shops selling sugarcraft material in Bangalore, then check with New Arif, or IBCA, etc. 

Saturday, May 21, 2016

Danish Cookies and Memories

My own Danish Cookies ( Not perfect, but very happy)

Freshly baked Danish cookies
Memory of Danish Cookies
I just can’t believe that I could make something which is so close to my heart. Danish butter cookies, which takes me back to my childhood.

I stayed in the boarding during my school days and always look forward to see my parents during vacation. And when my dad comes from Dubai, I had a big list of things which he promptly brings. My list starts off with Danish butter cookies, Quality Street Chocolates……

Danish Cookies - Gift & Giving Continues
After many years, when my brother first came down from Dubai he asked me want I want and again my list started off with Danish butter cookies and now every time when he comes down I will always get a box of same cookies without fail.

Today when I tried out baking Danish Butter Cookies myself for the first time, the smell, the taste which took me off to so many sweet moments in life. I could say that my first attempt was very much closer to the original Danish Butter Cookies.

And the best part is that I HAVE MADE IT !!!!!

Friday, May 20, 2016

2015 10K Run - Click, Click

Participants at 2015 10K Run in Bangalore 

Pose with Black Forest Cake - B'lore 

Chicken Liver on Toast - One of my av at Koshy's

Traffic cops overseeing the main city centre

Cop near Koshy's - Guardians of the city

Granite walls of HRC Bangalore

Hard Rock Cafe - Anil Kumble Circle

That's how I take a call in a noisy place

Poster on the wall - Theater scene 

Prayer time at St Antony's Shrine

St Patrick Church - Outside View

Inside St Patrick's Chruch

Coffee time at Koshy's

Koshy's Bangalore - Old world charm and more! 
One more black log post is now live. These are the pics taken during the 2015 10K run in Bangalore. Well, it's better late than never.

 I have tons of such memories and moments tucked in the picture folder, and most of the scenes haven't see the light of day. I mean, not posted on my blog or social media sites.

So, what's the use of not posting these pictures to the world. Probably, it will help me remember that time or moment of that day.

Well, let the picture tell a story.

Thursday, May 19, 2016

Crepe Delight

Crepe ( Caramel Delight)
Crepe for breakfast

After a long dry and hot summer spell, the rain drenched Bangalore made use forget the sleepless summer night. So, for a change, I made crepe for breakfast. This time, I tried one stuffing - banana and caramel sauce.

How do you make crepe at home?
Like every other household I used a non-stick pan to make crepe at home. But now, I use the crepe maker. Thanks to my brother for gifting crepe maker for my b'day. When I started with the crepe maker, the wooden ladle was a bit of a problem. My hand wouldn't move the way I want. Sometimes, it would get struck and my batter would be uneven. Well, practice solved these little problems.

So, what about crepe recipe.

Earlier, my mom used to make crepe but it was called churul appam. It's crepe filled with coconut and sugar mix. Well, in our family, it was common to make this Indianised crepe for breakfast. 

Sunday, May 8, 2016

Baking Ingredient Store in Trivandrum City

The Baker's Walk ( Baking Store in Nanthencode)
It's more good news for home based bakers and baking professionals. We have another fabulous and customer friendly store in Trivandrum.

For a long time, I wished there was a store which is easily accessible to people living in and around the city centre. And that wish has come true with this baking store at Nanthencode junction. The people who run this store is very friendly and they can patiently answer your calls regarding the availability of any item or ingredient. This store has become my rescue for all my last minute purchases. Sometimes, I have called them around evening 8ish in the evening and rushed to pick few baking items for the next day's class.

Baking Ingredients, Tools Available at Bakers's Walk

1) Baking powder
2) Icing sugar
3) Fondant cutters and modelling tool kit
4) Baking trays and molds
5) Dry fruits
6) Cooking butter
7) Ready-to-use fondant
8) Packing box
9) Cochineal colour and other essence
10) Cupcake liners
11) Cream cheese ( check for the availability)
12) Chocolate bars ( Dark, milk and white)
13) Bread box
14) Sprinklers
15) Whipping cream
15) and more..

Address:
The Bakers's Walk
( Opposite to Watt's Lane)
Nanthencode, Trivandrum
Ph 0471 4000977
Store timing: 11:AM to 8:30:PM
Sunday Holiday

I wish them all success. They also conducting few demo lessons in icing for beginners. I hope Trivandrum folks will find this store useful to try out their baking experiments.

Sardine Curry Day in Bangalore

Sardine Fry, Mezhukkupuratt and Moru Curry for Lunch
Fish Stall in Domlur  ( NLP Fish Stall)
From sea to fish stall and then to mud pot 

Fish Curry -  ( Sardine Curry)



Red Fish Curry - Kerala Style
Fish soaked in water ( Before de-scaling work)
Sardine Curry, Kerala Style

Are you like me - a devoted sardine fish fan? Well, I was not a born fish lover, but I acquired the taste recently, especially after my marriage with this fishy person. At first, I could hardly stand the smell of fish, and sardine been the worst in the list.

But, with time, my taste buds are attuned to fish rather than all kinds of meat.

As we buy sardine on a regular basis, it's also a challenge to make different types of curry or fry - from fiery red fish curry to meen peera ( Fish cooked with coconut).

Here are few tips on sardine cleaning and preparation:
  • Soak the fish in water. This helps in easy descaling
  • Use rock salt to remove the fish slime. Some people use lime or vinegar.
  • Use kitchen scissors to slice a part of the stomach area  
  • Try to use mud pots for making fish curry. It taste more earthy. 
  • Experiment with different tangy material ( I use tamarind, sometimes raw mango, etc)
Variations in cooking sardines

I often think of making different types of curry, but mostly I end up doing red fish curry or some close variation to it. Well, it's easy to stick to the same old recipe, but I know it's important to try new  recipe. Next, time I attempt a new dish, I'll share it on the blog.

Till then, keep enjoying sardines!

Thursday, May 5, 2016

Baking Ingredients and Accessories Shop in Bangalore

I keep getting these questions from students and home bakers:
  • I just started baking...where can I buy ingredients required for baking?
  • Which is the closest baking store? I'm put up at White Field...
  • I'm planning to buy an oven - Which brand do you suggest?
  • Where can I buy corn syrup, margarine, almond meal, etc?

These are just few questions I get from home bakers and from first-time bakers who are hunting for baking items. One thing on the mind of most buyers is this, which shop is closer to my home. Well, we know the Bangalore traffic, so it makes sense to hunt for a nearby shop.

So, based on my knowledge and some online research, here are the list of shops selling baking accessories and ingredients

Institute of Baking and Cake Art ( IBCA)

This place is located at Mission road in Bangalore. IBCA takes baking class, and it has a store selling a wide range of baking accessories to baking ingredients.

Ingredients available at IBCA:
Ready to use fondant, icing sugar, yeast, bread knife, cutters of all shapes, gelatin, cookie cutters, fondant modeling tool kit, buttercream kit, sugar craft kit, spray gun, all varieties of chocolate, cake stand, etc
Physical Address: Address: 46/3, Mission Road-Double Road Junction, Bengaluru, Karnataka 560027
Phone # 080 2210 6619
Website URL: http://www.ibcablr.net/

 Lakshika Traders

This is a relatively new shop where I purchase most of my daily baking needs. It's closer for people who are from Domlur, or Indira Nagar side.

The list of baking accessories and ingredients available at Lakshika:

Baking trays, packing box, bread box, cupcake liners, pineapple syrup, cherries, Tropolite whipping cream, chocolate bars, Dry yeast, fondant modeling tool kit, dried fruits ( during Christmas time), sprinklers, vanilla essence etc,.

Reach the owner Mr Suresh, at 9986017826, 07204911669
Timing: Open from 10:AM to 8:15:PM

New Arife Lamoulde 
Arife Lamoulde - Bangalore

Arife Lamoulde has a good collection of baking accessories, products and baking related items. After this stop opened in the heart of B'lore, it has become a one-stop shop for home bakers and professional cake sellers. There are few special items which I buy from this store - glass bottles, good quality chocolate powder, liners, trays, and buttercream sets.

This baking store is located at Koramangala 7th Block, 227,1st Main Rd,
Koramangala, Bangalore ( Back gate of Bosh, Opp side of )

Baking Ingredients available at this store:
Corn syrup, Amri Colors, Chocolate bars, Icing sugar, cutters ( A wall full of all types of cutters), whipping cream, chocolate essence, chochneil color, packing box, glass bottles, cake stand, fondant rollers,

Facebook of New Arife Lamoulde
Phone:080 4121 1122
Timing: 11:AM to 7:30PM
Sunday Holiday

Lavone ( Domlur)

Lavone is one of the most popular baking craft institute in Bangalore. It conducts weekend classes, Diplôme de Pâtisserie, and Sugar Art Classes, which are attended by home-bakers and professional bakers.

It also houses a small store selling baking related equipment and accessories.
The items on sale includes, Wilton colors, ready-to-use fondant icing, chocolate molds, cupcake liners, almond powder for macrons, colors, etc.

Website: http://lavonne.in/
Ph # 9740544442/9740544443

General Food Additives
Located at Sheshadripuram, this store sells different kinds of baking ingredients, cookie cutters, baking trays, chocolate essence, piping bags, baking pans, hazelnut paste, etc.

Telephone :  +91-80-2336 7878, 2336 0517

Bakers Nest

Located in the busy locality at Nagarathpet, Bangalore, this shops is for wholesale and retail users. In the initial days of my baking class venture, I frequently visited this shop for all my baking supplies.

This shop stocks cupcake liners, chocolate molds, cake boxes, chocolate packaging boxes, and many more.

PH: +(91)-80-41076838, +(91)-9980733205

CCDS at Cunningham Road
Buy a wide range of Wilton products from this store - from cake molds, to tiered cake stands, cupcake liners, cutters, molds, etc.

Food Hall #1 MG


Mall Baking trays, Liners, Corn Syrup, Different Cheese, etc

SPAR  Hypermarket in Koramangala

Baking trays, cupcake liners, cream cheese, etc.

JAMAL’s Forum value mall ( Whitefield)

Basic baking stuff such as trays, cups, cake cutters, etc

MK Retail ( Indira Nagar)

One shelf is packed with silicon molds, cutters, liners, cake trays, and more

Adams & Company 

One of the oldest shop's in Bangalore supplying bake ware, remiken bowls, blow torches, Wooden pizza serving platter. glassware, cupcake trays, spatula, and more.

Phone number: 080 66817444

Nilgiris ( M.G Road)

At one time, this used to be THE store selling baking ingredients and accessories in Bangalore. Well, even now they are very popular with dried fruits, Christmas cake dried fruits, different kinds of essence, etc. Time and time again, I visit this store to buy cochniel color.

Commonly available items in the store: Baking store, tutti-fruity, essence, bread molds, whipping cream, Fresh cream, Gelatine powder, Marshmallows, etc.

Online Stores Selling Baking Ingredients:

1)

http://mybakersmart.com/

2)

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Potluck With Students at Trivandrum

Focus on the journey, not the destination. Joy is found not in finishing an activity but in doing it.
It's being now 6 years since I am into baking, icing and cooking classes and in Trivandrum it's being 4 years now. So I decided to have a get together with my students and organised a potluck at my home in Trivandrum on 12th April 2016.
Bakers at the Potluck Event - Trivandrum
We gathered together and shared our doubts, innovations, creations about cakes, icing and cooking. It was also a ground to meet each other who shared the same interest. Those who were into selling cakes shared their experience which was helpful for the newbies.
Let's hear her story, her Journey - Small Intro from everyone!

I was surprised to see 25 people who turned up in spite being a working day and we got to taste 25 dishes which was out of the world, everything was so perfectly made. The foods ranges from Pullisery to Chicken Pasta and the sweet dishes from cakes to kesari and everything was made at home by each person with so much of love.
Food Assembly - Everyone's Hand in These Delicacies
           
  Well, before we headed for the luncheon, we shared a lighter moment with a ice-breaker game. 
Winners of the game with their little goodies!

At the table - tasting time 
Thank you all for making this event so wonderful and memorable. It was one of the unforgettable day in my life,
We're the Champions - Group snap!
We are planning to have another potluck on July 2016 but this time with a purpose ,that we will make lunch packets and distribute lunch at Regional Cancer Center, Trivandrum (RCC).
If I have missed out any of my old students please sms your name and number to 08861389165. I will add you in my whatsapp group and will inform the dates
Finally, I should thank all for giving me a surprise Birthday Cake!!!

Happy Birthday 2016

Thank you all for the birthday wishes. A special thanks to all the students at Cake Baking Class Trivandrum who gave me a surprise birthday cake and a handmade Apron Card
A special thanks to Biju Charles who baked a Chiffon Lemon cake for me, it was his first attempt.
Thank you all
B'day Breakfast - English Breakfast at my house


We had guests!

B'day Cake Cutting

B'day Cake Surprise - Thank you all, and the creator, Beena

B'day cake Given by my students in Trivandrum

Cake with simple Icing

At the dinner table in B'lore - Wine and Nasi Goreng
&

Sugar craft Classes in Bangalore



Sugar Craft Lessons 
Sugar Craft Flowers on Wedding Cakes
If you've always wondered how to make realistic flowers which you see on elegant looking wedding cakes, then a two-day workshop will covers all the basics to the skills required to make these dreamy flowers. 

In the sugar craft workshop, you'll learn to make life-like flowers using gum paste. These classes will cover other techniques and tips required to make sugar flowers for wedding flowers and how to attach the flowers using wires. 

If you're not able to attend a session, you can also learn these flowers through online class. These flowers ( Rose, Ranunculus,.Peoney, Stargazer Lillies, Orchids, etc) can be learned in 2 hr sessions. In short, you can learn the flowers at your own pace from the comfort of your home. Isn't that wonderful!

To know more about the online sugar craft class, pls mail to mennasdelight@gmail.com

Sugar Craft Class With Rebecca 

Had an amazing session teaching Rebecca who had come down from Mizoram to learn the art of Sugar Craft. Cake Baking Class Bangalore
Pic Courtesy : Ritchie Michael Gomez


Sugarcraft for Beginners

Roses and Buds 

Sugarcraft Flowers

With the Student Rebecca