Sunday, February 27, 2011


Salam once again, dear friends!
And a special Salam Maulidur Rasul to all our muslim friends!

Welcome once more to another Norbaini Cakes blogpost!

Today Muslims all over the world celebrate the Prophet Muhammad's birthday. Here at Norbaini cakes, 5 friends stopped by to learn how to make the two-tiered steamed buttercream wedding cake. Chef Baini couldn't be happier to welcome her friends to her humble abode on such an auspicious day. What made it even more special was that one of them brought along her children, so Jannah and Milla have little new friends to pat attention to today!

Milla was especially excited; the gregarious little child that she is, she just loves having other kids around to play with! As you would have expected, today's homeclass was a little more noisy than usual!

Now the steamed buttercream cake is a very tasty cake; its richness, texture and flavour make it very edible and pleasing to most everyone's taste buds. Making it requires heating the buttercream to a fluid state by way of double boiling. The fluidity is required so it can be it poured over the cake. Now this means no stressed shoulders, sore forearms nor aching palms when it's done, because there is no balling, re-balling, rolling and re-rolling required, unlike fondant. That is what all newbies 'enjoy' once they get back home after a fondant class!

Please bear in mind that after the buttercream has cooled, it is still a liquid thus extra care must be taken to prevent it from smearing or smudging. In physics, it would be called a supercooled liquid, because although it maintains it form, it is still fluid albeit it does not appear to move.


Did you know that glass is also a supercooled liquid, even though it looks and feels solid? If you were to observe a pane of glass in any window over a long period, you will notice that the glass forms a bulge at the bottom. but the time it will take (under normal room temperature and sea level atmospheric pressure) is roughly 100 years! Glaciers move an inch or two in a year but glass take a hundred years to move along that same distance!

So without further ado, lets meet today's friends. They are :

 1)Kak Maslinda

2) Ida

3) Saibah

4) Malia

 5) Nana, and finally....

6) Ida

First, Chef Baini showed everyone how to shape the cake's top into a curved parabolic surface.This is to allow the buttercream to flow evenly over the top to eventually spill over the side (remember, since the cake is round in shape, there is only 1 side!).

Chef Baini showed how to cook the buttercream in a hot bath (or double boiling). The water in the pot boils into a steam which rises in contact with the metal bowl that contains the buttercream. Extra care must be taken to avoid the botom of the said metal bowl from touching the boiling water. Once the desired viscosity is achieved, the buttercream is poured over the top of the cake, from its centre.

The picture below shows Malia and Ida  stirring the buttercream in the double boil....
Also, another technique in cake decoration is to smile when as you work! Being happy while working will definnitely produce a happy-looking cake!

As it lumps on top of the cake,the cake is then lifted and dropped back on the strainer repeatedly, with a terrible gentleness to ensure the force transfers evenly to the buttercream. The vibrations from the motions of the 'little lift and little drop' technique causes even coverage of the cake in its entirety.

 A Brief Interjection.....

Since the class was all about buttercream, the decorative roses, leaves and vines are made out of the same stuff too, Now, some of you might sat, where we have roses, we must have thorns, So go ahead, make some buttercream thorns! Unlike the real thing, they are soft and sweet to eat! As you know, what makes a great cake is the details!

 After the cake is covered to an acceptable thickness, it is left to cool for a few minutes for any excess buttercream to drop off the side. When the cake is cooled, the surface will be solid or strong enough to receive decorations without affecting much of its nice, clean surface.

 So while the cake is cooling off,, take a short break to snack on something or to gossip! Good gossip make for good cakes, great gossip takes too much time! Now that the cake is ready, the students began to assemble the cake with the roses, vines, leaves and what-not....

Malia Creations

Kak Maslinda Creations

 Today's blog post ends the same way it began, with this picture!

And so, dear friends, we have come to the end of today's blog. In closing, Chef Baini would like to close off today's entry with a quote from a famous poet and philosopher, (the Sufi mystic sage Khalil Gibran) that precisely describes how friendship should be treated:

Friendship is always a sweet responsibility, 
never an opportunity.

 - Khalil Gibran

These are sweet words to live by. Thanks so much for visiting today's post, dear friends! Until next we meet, take care and be well.

Love always,

Chef Baini.

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