Enjoying the challenge of finding new tastes
When she made her first honey cheese cake three years ago, Jescar Yu of Sweet House Bakery felt very happy and excited.
That feeling has now turned into a sense of challenge to find new tastes for her cakes, and to make the perfect cake.
“I just want to bake cakes to make people happy, and I’m happy to try new tastes,’’ said Jescar, who combines tastes that are popular, special and also her favourites.
She looks for new ideas online and also comes up with her own versions of tastes and designs.
During the Movement Control Order period, orders had increased by more than 60%.
The extra money earned comes in handy when she wants to attend cake making courses, which she finds necessary to gain new knowledge.
While fees range between RM80 to RM400 per course, about 80% of the money spent can be earned back through baking more cakes.
A busy Mum of three children aged between two and seven, Jescar has attended more than ten classes at bakery shops, and 20 classes online.
Recently, she attended a class on making curry chicken and Thai curry bread; she has just learned to make the hazelnut chocolate cake which requires a long baking time.
There are different tastes for each layer of the hazelnut chocolate cake: starting from the top layer is the hazelnut cookie, hazelnut mousse, hazelnut ganache and finally, the hazelnut sesame sponge cake.
A seven-inch hazelnut chocolate cake costs RM95 each; an eight-inch, RM105.
This hazelnut chocolate cake takes five to seven hours to make, as she has to freeze and allow each layer to set.
The ice cream cake which Jescar is going to try making soon, also needs quite a long time for it to set.
This ice cream cake has to be made very carefully, as the blending part does require some skill.
Most cakes take about three hours to bake; for Sweet House Bakery, among the most popular cakes are the fruit, pandan layered and chocolate cakes.
Mostly priced between RM30 to RM100 per cake, a fruit cake, for example, costs between RM60 to RM100 each for six to ten inch cakes.
For Chinese New Year, she also has biscuits and nougats made of black dates and walnuts.
When she makes a new cake, she will try it out herself first; if she has any problem, she will consult the instructor.
Once the cake is successfully made, she will post a picture of it on Facebook and WeChat, and get feedback from her customers.
Jescar got interested in cake making after she started making cakes and desserts for her children.
She makes cakes for customers after work, and is grateful for the support from her husband and parents, who are staying with her.
Will she go fulltime into cake making?
“I’m happy with my current lifestyle, having a fulltime job in the office and making cakes at night, if there are orders,’’ she said.
With her hands full, she needs to plan and arrange her time to attend new classes and try out new recipes.
She tries to find time for holidays, and may take her children on their year end school holidays for a trip within Malaysia; she has travelled a lot and her favourite country is Japan where the places are clean and people, nice.
Meanwhile, Jescar is enjoying the challenge of cake making, and is investing further with her time and money into making the best cakes.
By Yap Leng Kuen, Chief Story Teller, The Artisans Haven