"Cheap cake is not good cake"
and I couldn't agree more!
Why are premium cakes expensive?
Well, on top of the many, many, many hours (days usually) which we put into decorating a unique fondant cake, we also use the best possible ingredients.
I work in the healthcare industry (pharmacist) and am also a mother of four. I am therefore well aware of the myriad of chemical additives which go into store-bought processed food and also cheap bakery products.
Among the chemicals commonly used are;
- Preservatives, which make the products last longer.
- Emulsifiers (eg: Ovalette) which produce a wonderfully soft and smooth texture to cakes and many other food products.
- Anti-mold which prevents mold growth, especially in breads. Without this chemical, the common white sandwich bread would grow moldy in a day!
This is why I try not to buy bakery products too often for my kids. Whenever possible, I make my own. So, knowing all this, I cannot in good conscience feed my clients junk either.
These are some of the premium ingredients I use whenever possible. (In this small town, steady supply is unfortunately never guaranteed!)
Van Houten cocoa powder is luxuriously dark and robust in flavour! It is made in Holland, and Van Houten invented the famous Dutch process for producing cocoa powder. I have used other cocoa powders like Hershey's and just by comparing the colour, I can tell that Van Houten is the superior product. Hershey's is a light brown colour, whereas Van Houten is a gorgeously rich, deep, dark brown.
Belcolade dark chocolate discs from Puratos Inc., Belgium. This is a gloriously decadent, real Belgian chocolate. I love chocolate, in case you haven't noticed, so none of that cheap slimy stuff for me thankyouverymuch.
I use this chocolate to make my ganache and my kids will always be hanging around like vultures waiting for leftovers! lol!
Satin Ice is an American fondant/ sugarpaste. It's texture and taste make it my favourite fondant to use. It is correspondingly the most expensive, and to top it off, not available here! I have to get it from KL whenever I can. Otherwise, I use the next product...
Anchor cream cheese is rich, thick and creamy. I use a lot of it for my cream cheese frosting. Through experience I found that cheaper alternatives, like Tatura cream cheese, are higher in water content and produces a watered down frosting.
I also like Philadelphia cream cheese. It is really dense and creamy, but can be a tad to salty at times.
Kampung eggs (free range, organic eggs) are a beautiful thing. Their yolks are yellower, and the texture of the egg on the whole is firmer and denser compared to the more abundant, mass-produced ones. Though I must admit, they're not always easy to find. Sometimes they're available pre-packed at the supermarket, though I usually get them from the 'egg uncle' at the Stutong Market. (I have him on speed dial) But most times I have to use regular eggs.
A good cake starts off with good ingredients. It truly does make a difference.