Being a baker in our wonderful country is really a test of mental endurance. First of all, whenever we decide to do a new recipe, we’d have to ensure whether all the ingredients are available. I remember when I was younger, I found a recipe that needed dehydrated meringue powder. Back in those days, baking supply shops were rare and most probably didn’t even exist. Whatever that was in the grocery stores, that’s what you work with. That’s when you began to get creative with substitutions. Haha.
You’d then have to deal with the crazy cost of the ingredients esp the rarer stuff that isn’t rare overseas. Of course, if the stuff wasn’t available here, you’d have to order it online and then pay for the shipping charges as well. And before hitting the CONFIRMATION button, you think to yourself, ‘Do I really need this?’ ‘Do I really wanna do this?’
And of course, our wonderful tropical heat. The bane of every baker’s dreams. Tell me what isn’t affected by our humid sunshine? When you’re baking up a storm, you normally end up looking like you ran a marathon, sweat everywhere. The heat affects fondant, buttercream, meringue, the baker’s mood, everything! How many times have you delivered a cake only to say a silent prayer that the cake (or its deco) stays as it is for the duration of the event? Esp if the event is in the afternoon and outdoors. Seriously whenever a client tells me that they’re having a garden party, I just wanna slap some sense into him/her. Why would you do that? Why?
But I guess in the end, it boils down to the baker. You work with what you have and you make the best of it. At the end of the day, this is your passion. Your livelihood.
Like mum always said, “If you can’t stand the heat, get out of the kitchen”.