Here comes 2016

Hello! Yes, it has been wayyyy too long since this page has been updated!

Rather than go on about how fantastic 2015 was and how hopeful we are for 2016, let's just run through a couple of important things:

1 ) If you are out and about in Central and wondering where to get some gluten-free and dairy-free treats, well, there are a couple of places where you can find our products:

SpiceBox Organics Cafe in Caine Road have our cupcakes and tea breads in their menu. They also sell our gluten-free and dairy-free breads there as well as in their Sai Ying Pun store. Please contact them at info@spiceboxorganics.com for product availability.

Genie Juicery in IFC  (www.geniejuicery.com) now stock our banana breads (gluten-free/dairy-free). They recently opened a second branch on Hollywood Road - opposite Kinwick Centre by the Mid-levels escalators. 

Please do visit these stores and give our products (theirs and ours).  

2) We will be at the Sassy Gourmet Evening on 9 March 2016. It will be held at Loft 22, 22/f California Tower, Lan Kwai Fong. Hope to see you there!

Enjoy 2016!

 

 

And now it's May

Oh hello! Seems like the month of April whizzed by and suddenly we are in May!

We were at the Foodie Markets last 17 April at the Opendoor Cafe. Our first time to join an event organised by the folks at Foodie. It was a lot of fun! Certainly a lot of food-loving people came as the venue was packed to the rafters! Hope Foodie will organise another event like this.

I've had several people asking about Island East Markets. Sadly, they never reopened in March and I am not sure when they will do so. I am sure I am not the only one hoping they would reopen after summer.

Meanwhile, we were at the Discovery Bay Markets yesterday - 10 May. It was a fun day despite the bit of rain and mugginess. We were very happy by the positive response to our feature cupcake flavour "Calamansi". It was a bit too tangy for a couple of people, but certainly a lot of people enjoyed them. Our banana-cacao nibs loaves and brown-butter pound cake slices were also snapped up rather quickly. So pleased that our "first timers" did very well.

The best thing about selling at community markets such as the DB markets, is giving those who do not always get to enjoy a treat - due to their gluten intolerances - a chance to do so outside their normal routine.  The second best thing is getting people who are NOT gluten-intolerant to buy the products simply because they are tasty! One lady came over and asked what is used instead of wheat flour. I told her about the blends we use as she tasted the cake samples. Her comment "oh! you can't even tell the difference on the taste! it's good!". I am glad she was curious and was satisfied with what she tried.  

Our next market appearance will be at the Hidden Truffles Bazaar on 30th May 2015 at The Space, 210 Hollywood Road, Sheung Wan.  The Cake Minstrel will be there with our sister brand "The Baker's Jar" - which had its first outing at the Dine and Design Festival last weekend (1-May 2015).  Hope to see you there!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Spring

February went by rather quickly, didn't it? A few things happened that month:

1. The Cake Minstrel moved into a gluten-free facility in Kwun Tong! - hooray! It did mean a bit of getting used to the ovens in the kitchen and making friends with them. But we are certainly getting along now. The baking continues.

2. We were at the Discovery Bay Markets (previous post).

3. We were on TV (!), in the Money Magazine segment "Epicure Entrepreneurs" which aired on 22/2/2015 on TVB Pearl. This segment featured the Kitchen Sync program started by Lori and Patrick Granito. Ever thankful for the chance to talk about The Cake Minstrel and Ktichen Sync. 50 seconds of "fame"! ;) 

The Year of the Sheep certainly started off with a bang!

On to March, we've been busy creating new cupcakes and cookies which we hope to include in our product line soon. 

For those who want to order bread and cupcakes, please email info@thecakeminstrel.com. If you happen to be a Health Essential customer, we can arrange to include your bread with your online purchase from Health Essential. Just make sure you place your bread order 2 days prior to delivery date.  Email us for more details.

 

 

 

 

Sunday at the Discovery Bay Markets

So, we were at the Discovery Bay Markets yesterday. It was a great day! The weather was lovely and the Markets had a nice vibe.

We were assigned to stall #68. It was a pretty good position. It was so sunny, though, that we had to close off one side of the stall with a make-shift curtain to give us a bit of shade and protect the cupcakes! Other than that, eveything went smoothly.  Everyone who came by to speak with us were very cordial. One lady said that it's so good she can buy stuff for several of her friends who have food allergies just from our stall.  So glad!

I was so happy to tell a customer yesterday - who told me he has coeliac disease - that our products are produced from a 100% gluten-free food factory kitchen. That customer happily tasted our products and bought some, too.

And yes, this is true.  I bake from a food factory in Kwun Tong that is a 100% gluten-free facility. To some people, gluten cross-contamination is not a big deal. But for those who are highly sensitive - coeliac sufferers, for example - it is important that no cross-contamination can occuring during production and packaging and serving of gluten-free food. We can give them this assurance.

 

2015 - one month in!

How could it already be the last week of January 2015?! 2015 certainly is moving fast.

A few fun things we got up to this month.

The first Profiteroles Tower - this was a special order for a friend's 40th Birthday celebration. It was interesting to make this GF and DF! I was also unsure on how I would transport the cake to the venue. But it got there and everyone enjoyed it. 

Now I have a little bit of a profiterole obsession.

The other birthday cake I did was for Ela. I used chocolate ganache to cover the chocolate cake and then decorated it with daisies made from wafer paper. I got to break out my new Spellbinder and die cutters to make the daisies. It's my kind of fun! Anyway, Ela and her guests got a bit of a kick eating the daisies. They gave the cake thumbs up, and a lot of "I wouldn't even know it's gluten-free!".  

I did get a challenge project from one of the guests who cannot have sugar. She asked me to try and bake her something tasty. I have noted it in my "to do" list. 

We were at the Healthy Living Asia seminar on Gluten Free Living.  I attended the seminar on 27th January. Laura Paul gave a very informative seminar giving those new to the gluten-free lifestyle in HK excellent resources. 

The last week of January is still full of activities. Not least is gearing up for the next sunday market which is going to be in Discovery Bay on 8th Feb! Will send out the details soon!

 

 

 

To market, to market....

We'll be debuting at the Island East Markets on Sunday 16 November! I am so excited and nervous. I am hoping the weather will be better by then. It's been raining on and off the last couple of days. 

We will be selling pound cakes, cupcakes, sugar donuts, and breads. I hope people who are not gluten free and lactose free will not hesitate to try our products. They are yummy treats for everyone!

Island East Markets is on Tong Chong Street, Quarry Bay, i.e Taikoo Place (Taikoo Fong). It is easy to get there by MTR - get off at Quarry Bay station and take exit A, then cross the road to Taikoo Place. Markets open at 11am and goes until 5.30pm. Hope to see you there!

 

 

 

 

Granola Rawnola Bread

This afternoon I visited the shop of Anything But Salads in Tai Ping Shan Street. My purpose was to buy a tub of coconut yoghurt which I tasted a couple of weeks ago at a friend's house. I thought I can use it in my chocolate cake recipe. When I got there, I was instantly drawn to the shelf with the bags of Life Rawnola. The rawnola looked very insteresting, so I grabbed a bag and added this to my purchase.

Since I haven't baked bread for a while, I decided to try another bread recipe using the Four Flour Bean Mix a la Bette Hangman. Found a  Sweet Granola Bread recipe, and thought why not use the Rawnola?! So, I did just that, and also replaced the white sugar with coconut sugar (just to see what would happen).  And I'm so happy with the result I know I will make it again!

 

Cause no one should miss out on cake!

I must let you know. I haven't been gluten-free for very long. In fact, I still on occasion eat gluten containing food - especially when there's no gf option and I am very hungry (beware of HANGRY me).

Going gluten-free was not easy. Not for me who loves to eat and hates to be limited on my choice of food (I already have an allergy to crustaceans and hate missing out on seafood meals!). Not for me who could almost never say no to a slice of cake or any dessert for that matter. 

Thankfully, there were others before me - traditional bakers not willing to give up on their traditional cakes simply because they became gluten-sensitive. Decadent chocolate cakes, and breads far better than the crumbly kind are no longer out of reach. Thanks to these bakers and the internet, newbies like me do not need to go without.

So, here we go... The Cake Minstrel brings you classic cakes and breads, only they are gluten free!