Piece of Cake:

Creat­ing mind- blow­ing cakes is usu­ally a task best left to pro­fes­sional chefs. But with her new book, ENKHTUR MAINI is set to trans­form the most chal­leng­ing fon­dant fan­tasies into, well, a piece of cake.

Expat Living (Singapore) - - Contents - BY POLLY SWEET

An ex­pert baker and her new book

As any par­ent will tes­tify, throw­ing a chil­dren’s birth­day party is a huge job, and one el­e­ment of the day that can re­ally bring on the nerves is the cake. When faced with the re­quest for a three-tiered cho­co­late replica of a uni­corn leap­ing through a rain­bow, it’s there­fore lit­tle won­der that so many of us turn to the pro­fes­sion­als.

Enkhtur Maini is adamant that even the most bereft of bak­ers can cre­ate In­sta­gram-wor­thy cakes. The owner of Bake with Enkhtur cook­ing stu­dio has just launched her first book, Adorable Cake Fig­urines, which prom­ises to make light work of pas­try dec­o­rat­ing. Di­vided into 10 chap­ters, it of­fers a step-by-step guide to creat­ing pop­u­lar an­i­mal fig­urines, from flamin­gos to lions to, yes, uni­corns, and is en­tirely suited to fam­i­lies.

“Mak­ing a show-stop­ping cake is ac­tu­ally very easy when you know how,” says Enkhtur from the hum of her kitchen. “And the best part is that kids love it as well. For them, creat­ing lit­tle an­i­mals out of fon­dant ic­ing is ex­actly like play­ing with Play-doh, so as well as creat­ing your own child’s cake you get to spend qual­ity time with them in the kitchen do­ing some­thing you can both en­joy.”

For Enkhtur, bak­ing is, above all else, a way of con­nect­ing with peo­ple. Whether mak­ing some­thing for friends, fam­ily or for the oc­ca­sional client, she abides by what she calls “the three Hs”: home­made, hand­made and heart- made. It’s an ap­proach that her grand­mother in­stilled in Enkhtur while she raised her. “My fond­est child­hood mem­o­ries are of the two of us in the kitchen, cook­ing,” she re­calls. “Food was how she ex­pressed her love and there was al­ways lots of it. But the idea of buy­ing a dish or a cake was un­think­able. It had to be ‘home­made, hand­made and heart-made’ – and to­day I try and al­ways do the same for my chil­dren.”

Even when she was earn­ing her de­gree at the Lon­don School of Eco­nom­ics, Enkhtur would bake for friends in her tiny kitch­enette, and when later she lived in New Delhi, Paris and New York be­fore set­tling in Sin­ga­pore in 2013, bak­ing was the com­mon thread that linked each ex­pe­ri­ence. When one friend and then another asked her if they could pay for her ser­vices, she re­alised that there was po­ten­tial for a new business ven­ture. So, she left her job in fi­nance to set up her be­spoke cake com­pany.

To­day, be­tween rais­ing two chil­dren, run­ning her Bake with Enkhtur work­shops and writ­ing her cook­book, Enkhtur only takes on the odd com­mis­sion but she still reg­u­larly in­dulges in her pas­sion for pas­try. She’s cur­rently putting the fi­nal touches on a gi­ant ea­gle cake, which is to be auc­tioned off at a glit­ter­ing gala hosted by Women On A Mis­sion, a non­profit or­gan­i­sa­tion that raises funds for the char­ity Women for Women. Ear­lier this year, Enk­thur took part in a 10-day trek through Western Mon­go­lia with WOAM and she’s hop­ing the end re­sult will con­trib­ute to­wards their aim of rais­ing $100,000.

“That’s the thing with cake,” she muses. “It can touch your heart. There are so many mo­ments in life that need to be cel­e­brated – a beau­ti­ful cake just makes it even more spe­cial”.

For more in­for­ma­tion, visit fb.com/bake­with­enkhtur. You can buy Enkhtur’s fab­u­lous new book at ex­patliv­ing.sg/shop.

“That’s the thing with cake – it can touch your heart.”

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