A Wed­ding Cake

Singapore Tatler Wedding - - CONTENTS - TEO PAU LIN

What goes into the mak­ing of a wed­ding cake and why it’s worth get­ting a real one

The beauty and grandeur of art­fully tiered cakes are more than just vis­ual rep­re­sen­ta­tions of the cou­ple’s tastes; they are mas­ter­pieces of fine work­man­ship and in­ge­nu­ity. Three baker ex­traor­di­naires give Tan Lili a glimpse into the amount of hard and heart work that go into cre­at­ing a cen­tre­piece con­fec­tion.

As a science stu­dent, Teo Pau Lin was never the top in class where the sub­ject of arts and crafts was con­cerned. When she en­tered jour­nal­ism af­ter grad­u­a­tion, she had thought she would spend the rest of her life in the writ­ing field – a sen­ti­ment that brought her nei­ther joy nor fer­vent an­tic­i­pa­tion.

Which is why no one could be more sur­prised than Pau Lin her­self when, fast­for­ward 15 years to 2013, she left jour­nal­ism to of­fi­cially open a bak­ery that spe­cialises in be­spoke fon­dant wed­ding cakes with beau­ti­fully hand­crafted sugar flow­ers.

In­ter­est­ingly, while she took some ba­sic sugar flower mak­ing lessons at the start of this sec­ond ca­reer, Pau Lin con­fesses that a lot of what she does now was gleaned from the in­ter­net. But what she lacks in decades of ex­pe­ri­ence, she more than makes up for in her knack for cre­ative artistry as well as un­canny abil­ity to un­der­stand and pre­cisely de­liver what her clients want.

SIN­GA­PORE TATLER WED­DINGS (STW): What kind of cake does Crummb of­fer?

TEO PAU LIN (TPL): I have cake repli­cas of var­i­ous sizes, so it de­pends on the cou­ple’s pref­er­ence as to how much real cake they want. But cake repli­cas are much lighter than real cakes, so to pre­vent the cakes from tak­ing an un­for­tu­nate tum­ble dur­ing the de­liv­ery, I would rec­om­mend the mid­dle or bot­tom layer to be real for a typ­i­cal three-tier wed­ding cake.

STW: How long does it take to com­plete a three-tier wed­ding cake?

TPL: It takes about three to four days. But I al­ways tell my cus­tomers to place their or­ders at least two months in ad­vance, es­pe­cially for more elab­o­rate de­signs that may re­quire mailorder ser­vices.

STW: What’s your se­cret to a flaw­less cake?

TPL: Here’s my se­cret: I cover the sides of the cake with white choco­late ganache, then leave it overnight. This step is re­peated once to en­sure the ganache makes a smooth, solid base on which I cover with fon­dant on the third day. The hard­ened shell also protects the cake, keep­ing it moist and fresh on the in­side. This is also why fon­dant cakes are ex­pen­sive; they are ex­tremely time-con­sum­ing! Not all bak­ers in­clude this step. Some use buttercream to coat the cake in­stead be­fore lay­er­ing on the fon­dant, but this takes ex­pert skill to en­sure the fin­ish­ing is smooth. Next, af­ter wrap­ping the choco­late ganache-pro­tected with fon­dant, I would im­me­di­ately trans­fer the cake to a wine chiller to firm up the fon­dant be­fore em­bel­lish­ing the cake as the fi­nal step.

STW: What’s the most mem­o­rable cake you de­signed?

TPL: In keep­ing with the botan­i­cal theme of her wed­ding, a bride wanted a sim­ple white cake with seven sugar swan feath­ers art­fully strewn on it. So I hand­made the feath­ers out of sugar … and sat in front of the cake for a good three hours, won­der­ing where and how to po­si­tion the feath­ers! It wasn’t easy, but I’m re­mark­ably pleased with the fi­nal re­sult.

STW: Your sig­na­ture style for wed­ding cakes is min­i­mal­ist. For your cake dec­o­ra­tions, where do you draw your in­spi­ra­tion from?

TPL: When I first started out, I would pay at­ten­tion to pat­terns and trends around me. What­ever I thought could be trans­lated into cake de­signs, I would. But af­ter a while, I de­cided I wanted to de­velop my own style. One thing I learned over the years is that you can’t be ev­ery­thing to ev­ery­one – you just have to stick to what you’re good at. And since my top cake de­signs have al­ways had the clean, min­i­mal­ist look, I knew it would be a pity if I didn’t spe­cialise in that.

STW: Have you no­ticed any trends when it comes to wed­ding cakes?

TPL: Om­bre, ruf­fle and rosette cakes have been all the rage since two years ago but, in­creas­ingly, I’m get­ting more re­quests for metal­lic fin­ishes. An­other trend is the use of wafer pa­per in­stead of gum paste to cre­ate the flower or­na­ments. The flow­ers look more whim­si­cal, as op­posed to the life-like ones made us­ing gum paste.

CRUMMB

80 Ri­fle Range Road (show­room; by ap­point­ment only) For more in­for­ma­tion or to make an ap­point­ment, email paulin@crummb.com or visit www.crummb.com.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Singapore

© PressReader. All rights reserved.