My friend Anna Chan is the founder of Sugar Inc, which has been in operation since Jan 2008. Baking for over 10 years, the former secondary school teacher/ dedicated mom of 2/ amazing superwoman consistently finds inspiration from studying the latest cake trends in US and UK, but skillfully tweaking them for local tastes here in sunny Singapore.
The BFF & I attended Anna’s latest “Design-A-Handbag Cake” Workshop and totally enjoyed ourselves! Interestingly, out of the 12 ladies, we were the only ones who made our bags a sporty baby blue while everyone else opted for flirty pink fondant over their chocolate cakes.
This is my first time working with fondant, though I’ve read up extensively before, being interested in making my own marshmallow fondant prior… I think I also bombarded Anna with other questions (stuff not exactly pertaining to the class, like tempering chocolate, etc) but the knowledgeable smart cookie gamely answered them all.
Here’s some pictures from the day’s four-hour plus workshop at Anna’s cozy home baking studio:
Sugar Inc babes - yours truly, Anna Chan and the BFF! Pam
Pam's cake up close... CUTE!
I was eager to start working on fondant... No one really eats it, but it does look very pretty on cakes, cupcakes, the works.
There were 3 tables of 4 in Anna's homely baking studio and we were all given a set of notes, an apron and provided everything needed to start making our very own cakes!
That's me in the corner. That's me in the spotlight, I'm. Losing my religion ... Okay, okay, so those were lyrics from REM. But really, that's me n the corner. Listening to Anna as she walks everyone through the cake making steps.
The BFF was in "journalist" mode. As usual.
To form the basic shape, cut the round cake into equal halves...
Crumbcoat it with the buttercream... and let it sit nicely before layering your fondants on your cake foundation 😉
The 2 of us gleefully went to our seats, directly under the air-conditioning, which was cool... but on the flipside, dried out our fondants really quickly!
The BFF's cake was a bit lopsided because one half was slightly bigger but I thought it was cute. It's a homemade cake after all and quirky imperfections make these personalized things special *grin*
That's me cutting our fondant into two so we can use them later...
Some of our friends at the workshop... Interestingly, everyone else used pink to color their fondant whereas Pam & I chose blue!
Carefully frosting my sister's birthday cake before laying on the fondant designs... The crumbcoat layer has to be thin but must cover the entire cake so the fondant (which is rather heavy) can properly stick on it and not slide off.
Velvety chocolate cake (in the making) up close and personal... As you can see, it was sinfully thick with the white chocolate buttercream in the middle 😛
The BFF's, which she called "the leaning tower of piza". i think she means cake 😛
Perfectionist at work 😛 The Libra in me is anal about symmetry!
Anna's bag is of a different shape, so she inverted it after cutting so the center of gravity's different.
Rolling out her pink fondant...
Carefully laying it over her cake...
Trimming around the edges...
I swear, Anna makes everything look so easy. But she's been doing this for over a decade, so there 😛
You can see the basis of her pink handbag taking shape.
My blue fondant all carefully laid out and trimmed... I decided I was going to make a sports bag since my sister isn't one of those "princessy" types who'd fancy a miniature Chanel *grin*
The BFF was really cute... There were moments where she was quite stressed, but I was rather enjoying myself 😛
Anna went around, giving help to those who asked for pointers and assistance. Her friendly persona helped everyone to feel at ease and it really helped that she used to be a teacher. You can bet students of her workshops would be back, with most bringing new friends, to learn new things 😉
The BFF's cake after she laid down her blue fondant. Her first layer was a bit too thin so she added another layer to hide the holes that showed the chocolate cake. Nicely done 🙂
Anna next proceeds to show everyone how she decorates the details.
Tadah! Seems like seams, don't it? 😉
Next up, handles and the works...
The fondant is made black and cut into strips...
A triangle is cut to hide the lines... clever tips and tricks are shared with all.
A zipper on the top is made, before the handles were added on top.
Almost done, but not quite...
Putting the finishing touches...
Yours truly with a cut-out of the letter "R" for my sister Ru.
Now you don't see it...
...Now you do!
The BFF proudly shows off her cake for the J team *grin*
My finished product... with a cute cupcake design which I later used for the cake box.
Not a bad first attempt for a 3D birthday cake. I remember my friend Mang asking "what is a 3D cake?! Aren't all cakes three-dimensional? Do you have a 4D cake? If got numbers, I want!" LOL!
Anna & me 🙂
I really had the most enjoyable time at Anna's 🙂 Check out my blog for more reflections on this fun 4-hour workshop!
...By the way, do check out Anna's delightful book "Gorgeous Cupcakes for the Home Baker", published by Boostprints Educational, 2008. To win it, check out my blog!
Pam's bag up close... yummy!
Anna is a formidable woman who baked her own wedding cake and she’s done some 3-tier ones for friends as well. I can’t imagine baking my own wedding cake, it must be really stressful!
Anyways… as mentioned earlier, the talented home baker has published a book and my friend will be giving away 10 autographed copies! Winners will be personally contacted by Anna for their mailing addresses so she can send them out to ya.
Here’s how to win your copy of a “Gorgeous Cupcakes for the Home Baker” recipe book written by Anna Chan that was pblished by Boostprints Educational in 2008!
To score a chance to win the book:
1) Join Anna’s Sugar Inc Facebook page Sugar Inc Baking Workshops
2) On her Sugar Inc Facebook wall, write “Sugar Inc rocks!”
3) Also include suggestions on a workshop you’d like to see, or an existing one that you’d be interested to attend
E.g. “Sugar Inc rocks! Could you do a macaron workshop please?” OR “Sugar Inc rocks! I love your Design-A-Handbag Cake Workshop!”
This fun Facebook contest ends at midnight of 31 August 2010, so don’t wait till the end of the month to do it – spread the word right now! Anna will announce the winners the week itself, and they will be personally contacted by her for their contact details so they can receive their prize.
For more info on her recipe book, available workshops, scrumptious pictures and useful links, feel free to check out Anna’s Sugar Inc 😉