Saturday, August 17, 2013

The Country Experience - Bakes Bakes Bakes!

  Living out here in the country has been definitely eye-opening, but occasionally mind-numbing, depressingly isolating and lonely as well. I've had a chance to spend a heap of alone time, reflecting, thinking, planning, reflecting more, organ-idling to my heart's content and finding/re-igniting hobbies and passions. 

For the past 8 months, I thought I would perhaps pick up a new hobby or skill (such as keeping a chook), or hone my existing skills in things like baking or music. Well the chook didn't happen (too troublesome and expensive to keep a chook just for it's eggs), and it recently dawned upon me how much I truly enjoy baking. Not cooking mind you, (I enjoy it, but spend most times microwaving for the sake of ease), but baking some how provides a more long-lasting satisfaction. (Probably because the stuff sits there longer than a plate of fried rice would)

I decided to compile shots of whatever cakes and bakes I've made over the past 8 months! They've all been edited with some ripoff version of instagram so that they look hippy and cool (who says I'm too grandma to use what those youngsters are using these days).

As you can see cupcakes have been my favourite thing to bake. Namely because they're pretty and bringing them to the office is such a joy. This has been one of the best investment hobbies I've had! Even if a batch of more 'atas' cupcakes might cost me a bit to bake (e.g. cream cheese, chocolate etc), the satisfaction from seeing hardworking teacher-mums in the office appreciating that mid-afternoon sugar hit is always worth it. If I can make someone's day or week for a dollar or two, why not right? Plus, I have a soft spot for working mums. :P (I rarely offer their kids cupcakes because they get enough sugar and aren't half as appreciative as their mums. Plus they don't need the sugar, it's their mums who do!)

One of the first bakes, Chocolate Easter Cupcakes   
One of the best hits I made, Strawberry Cheese Cupcakes (I know it's a hit when the teachers tell me their orgasmic, haha)

Chocolate Orange Cupcakes (I had a couple of oranges sitting there for a week)

My version of Awfully Chocolate's chocolate banana cake, hurhur 

Ombre Raspberry Cake with Cream Cheese Icing (for my colleague's farewell). She's quite a princess-y girl which was why I thought a pink/purple ombre cake would suit her! 

 Coffee Walnut (one of the earlier attempts and hence a rather bbfftttt outcome)

I think these were chocolate malt cupcakes? Awesome stuff when you use Horlicks!
Pumpkin Cream Cheese! (another orgasmic hit with the ladies) 

 And then recently, one of the amazing bakers at church shared her amazing bread recipe with me, you know the ones where you get soft asian white bread? OMG NEW HOBBY!! These were my second attempt the day right after because it was just so addictive baking bread!
Simple chocolate ones for an afternoon tea with my colleague and her kids. The kids are massive chocolate fans

And I thought I would make it look fancy for a bit! But we chucked them in tupperware and headed out to the park anyways, so this was purely for photograpy's sake! These were my first attempts at baking the buns and breads. They were fluffy but not as fluffy as I wanted (and hence the OCD person in me woke up early the next day to try again)
The original Pumpkin Cream Cheese attempt. I was trying to make them Maroon in honour of the first State of Origin game between the Maroons and Blues. That's when I realised how impossible it is to make maroon with food colouring, haha..
One of the random Saturday afternoon bakes.. I think it was raspberry brownies? (You can guess where the ingredients come from, haha)
Quite a fail attempt at Peanut Butter Macarons. Hardly any feet here
And I think these were Chocolate Peanut Butter cupcakes

I've baked a lot more but often forget to take photos, either that or they kinda half fail so I'm not too impressed with them. Many times I have awfully off days where everything on the baking tray just sucks, hahahaha


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