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Hey there, you may be wondering where I disappeared on Portfolio of Patisserie for the past three months. Where have I been? I have been failing.

I’m not a professional baker, I’ve not been to culinary school and I certainly have no gift in fine cuisine. I just love exploring new ideas in cake, cookies and sweets. So it’s been incredibly frustrating to be failing every single time. I will post my failures but by the time I bake, decorate and photograph the cake to realize that the taste/texture of the recipe is a little off, I can’t seem to muster enough energy to blog about it. Anyway, here goes:

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Fail 1: Sakura and Green Tea Castella Cake




I bought a box of sakura home from Tsujuki market in Japan but ended up having to throw most of it away because it was startng to rot. This was a failure in part because I was too impatient with the frosting (I don’t even recall what kind it is.. buttercream?) and I should have let it cool down first before frosting a rather overly most and sticky castella cake. I got tired of circles and opted for pyramid forms. Most of all, I wanted to play with color. Punches of pink against cool white with a tranquil green center surprise.

I purchased gold leaf in Japan for an insanely good price:



It’s really funny: when I was in Japan, I asked a salesgirl how to apply gold leaf. Do I need to invest in a tweezer? Her reply: use chopsticks.

Asia for the win.

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Fail 2: Matcha Cheesecake

Laura and I fell in love with the aesthetically pleasing outcome of this cake. I seriously think this recipe, which came from a Japanese cooking site (Laura translated) needs a lot of tweaking but it tasted extremely sour due to heavy amounts of yogurt and sour cream. But the texture and color of the cake is impeccable. As you can see, I added the lace print border around the cake that I got from the Jusco $10 store and it’s the perfect height! The cake knife is also from there too- thought it would look nicer than a fruit knife.

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Fail 3: Matcha Cheesecake (Round 2)

Not soon after Laura left back for Japan, I tweaked the entire cheesecake recipe to contain less sour cream and yogurt and more cream cheese. Anyhow it was better but still not to my expectations. Also the hue changed from emerald green to a duller shade with a brown tinge around the side. The ‘polka dots’ was just an extra touch to my third failure.

Anyway that’s all I can contribute for today. I’ll try to find some time to blog about my long ago birthday (the dessert part!) and Agnes’ birthday cake which was… a semi fail as well. T-T Help! I need a breakthrough!

One of my favourite things about baking in this kitchen is when I can sit in front of the oven with a friend, talking or simply reading magazines while we wait for chemistry to prevail. I can just stretch out my legs and lean my back against the cupboards. It’s so comforting.

Laura and I back in March, reading Japanese baking books and ViVi magazine.

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Photographer and Patissier’s Note

I forgot to mention in my last post (if you were wondering why I sounded all wound up) that I anticipate to plague you all with about ten entries I’ve drawn up around my trip. It was quite difficult to differentiate and categorize every dessert and sweet but I think I’ve done quite a nice job to distinguish them from one another. Sorry if I spam your Facebook or whatever you use to follow blogs- I hope you find some amusement in what amuses me- whether or not you’re disgusted by my sugar intake. If any of us look fatter/skinnier in the photos, please bear in mind I’ve been relying on my Sigma 10-20mm lens hence the distortion. Links to the following places are included at the bottom. Anyhow, I thought to launch the start of this series by taking a look at my past and present sakura matsuri picnics. O Hanami! Oh Joy!


Nenrinya: http://www.nenrinya.jp/cafe/index.html
Manneken: http://www.manneken.co.jp/index.html