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Discovering Shiberty Bakes with Olympus Pen F

In the blink of an eye, I have been the owner of a dessert cafe for close to 3 months now.

Where does the time go?! It feels like just yesterday that I was searching for a suitable place to rent, running around like a headless chicken, trying to get everything sorted out, and now, Shiberty Bakes has been serving up yummy desserts 6 days out of a week… And what a CRAZZYYYY roller coaster ride it’s been!!!

I have learned so much about life and business through these few short months, and I have much more to discover. I’m a real rookie in this industry, so every baby step is considered a huge learning curve for me! Everything from learning how to deal with suppliers, customers, staff, coming up with new dishes, perfecting the recipe and execution… these things have been responsible for keeping me up at night, and making me a better, stronger person. Didn’t realize till now, how even the simplest of things can be extremely difficult to accomplish yourself.

I have never slept or lived the same way ever since starting this business, but I wouldn’t trade this experience for anything else. Owning a humble little space I can call my own that serves up yummy food has always been a dream of sorts for me, and I’m glad I have the opportunity to try this out before I hit 24!

From the very beginning, I made it a point to document this life-changing F&B start up experience with my latest photography toy – the highly raved about Olympus PEN-F!

So for those of you who haven’t been to Shiberty Bakes before, let me introduce you to my café with a little help from the Olympus PEN-F!

 

The kitchen, in the beginning. It has now been converted into a war zone and looks like this but 10x messier X)

Blank space by Taylor Swift comes into mind when I look at these photos of before the cafe got filled up with furniture, and everything else! So much room for possibility and creativity. When I see a blank slate, I don’t think of emptiness, but I see potential.

Let’s take a little tour and see what Shiberty Bakes looks like now together, shall we?

The above photos are all taken with the Vintage filter, which is in built, and my personal favorite filter because it makes my cafe look like a bakery that popped up from the 1950′s!

One of the unique points about the PEN-F is that it has a creative dial located on the front of the body of the camera, and features 4 different filters – Monochrome, Colour Profile, Colour Creator, and Art Filter! This makes it especially convenient and useful for people who are not too fond or well versed at Photoshop or have no time to edit their photos, yet want to achieve a dramatic mood with their pictures.

Some Before & After examples of what you can achieve with the filters - I love how the same image can look so different, with a simple twist of a dial! These are all unedited photos.


Featuring Light Tone filter


Featuring Vintage filter. Don’t you just adore our tongue-in-cheek personalized calligraphy quotes?!


Featuring Pin Hole filter


Featuring Colour Profile. I love how this mode makes the colours pop!


Featuring Monochrome. This mode makes a relatively ordinary filter look very nostalgic and evokes more emotions than in color, for sure!

Featuring Colour Creator

And y’know, because I’m the owner of a kick ass dessert cafe, you’re about to be treated to a visual array of absolutely decadent desserts, proudly taken with the Olympus PEN-F.

Don’t worry, these sweets don’t cost you any calories when you’re only looking at them through a computer screen. If you’d like to get your hands on some of these, though, you know where to find us!!

You don’t have to do much work to get good photos when the PEN-F is so powerful and the photography subjects this colorful and delicious-looking!

Our opening month’s special – Fairy Floss toast! With Fairy Floss that looks like unicorn hair, cotton candy and vanilla ice cream

Salted egg yolk macaron

Chocolate Baileys cake, which was a popular flavor until we removed it from our menu!

Matcha and Red Velvet macarons

Buttermilk Waffles! With sea salt and vanilla ice cream, drizzled with maple syrup. Would you look at the ridiculous amount of berries we lovingly pile onto every plate?!

Customizing fresh floral cakes is our forte.

Blackcurrant Blueberry (aka Ribena) cake, we were surprised to have a local celebrity walk in and ask for this for her birthday celebration!

Charcoal Waffles! These waffles will stay crispy throughout your entire stay here, we promise!

Customized cupcakes for Twitter’s office in SG :)

That time I helped a friend deliver this cake and flowers (whom I also ordered for him) to his girlfriend..

Matcha toast

Rocher toast!

It’s quite amusing how different our toasts look now, as compared to these Beta 101 versions you see above. We’ve only been open a couple of months but have made drastic changes and tons of amendments to our menu, recipes and general operations! Everyday, we are striving to serve our customers better. And I admit, we have a long way to go still, and we humbly ask for everyone’s support and kind understanding.

There’s always something to be improved on, and something that can be done better. I would like to thank everyone, from my followers, to my friends and even complete strangers who have enjoyed our desserts from the bottom of my heart for showing their support to Shiberty Bakes since our opening, this wouldn’t have been possible without you guys! Hope to see more of you at the cafe soon!

Shiberty Bakes is located at 46 Owen Road #01-277 s210046 and we are open Tuesday – Sunday, and Public Holidays, from 1pm to 10pm (9:30pm last order).  

Call us at 6291 5221, or drop your orders at orders@shibertybakes.com if you want anything you see here for a special occasion! We still do cater dessert tables and customized cakes for weddings, birthday parties and other events, by the way!

Shout out also goes to Olympus for always producing amazing cameras, such as the PEN-F, allowing me to capture these memories and photos so well. :)

xoxo,
Jess

Danone Yoghurt

I never used to be much of a yogurt person, all until frozen yogurt dessert chains started popping up a few years ago! Froyo made me appreciate the sourish taste of yogurt, while making me feel like I’m making a better diet decision because it’s supposed to be better for your digestive system than ice cream (right?! please tell me I am right).

Danone yogurts are made with 100% Australian Milk, fresh fruits (not dried) and it is ultra thick and creamy! I love that it’s made in Australia. Australian produce are always fresh, top-notch and overall usually unbeatable quality!

Look at all the delicious flavors I got my hands on. Black Cherry, Raspberry & White Chocolate, Honey, Blueberry, and Strawberry! Totally spoilt for choice.

Because I’m obsessed with anything white chocolate, I singled this flavor out as my top favorite – Raspberry & White Chocolate.

I love the taste and texture of this yogurt! It is thick and smooth while retaining a refreshing lightness. The fruity flavor is distinct and not at all artificial.

The most basic way to enjoy the yogurt is obviously just by the spoonful for a snack or for breakfast, but because I AM miss baker extraordinaire, I had to find a way to include this gloriously creamy ingredient in one of my baked recipes! And I thought a rustic yogurt loaf would be the best fit for this verstatile ingredient.

Raspberry & White Chocolate Yogurt Loaf

Ingredients:

  • 1 and a half cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 3/4 cup white or brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon fine salt
  • 1 cup Danone Raspberry & White Chocolate yogurt
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup of of raspberries

Method:

  1. Preheat oven to 180 degrees
  2. Lightly dust medium sized loaf pan with thin coating of flour, tap out excess
  3. Whisk the flour, baking powder and salt
  4. Add in yogurt, oil, eggs, and vanilla extract in a separate bowl, mix until well incorporated
  5. Fold in dry ingredients into wet ingredients until mixture is smooth
  6. Stir in raspberries lightly into the batter mixture
  7. Pour the batter into the prepared loaf pan, bake for approximately 50 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the loaf comes out clean
  8. Let loaf cool in pan for 15 minutes before transferring onto wire rack for cooling

This is the first time I’ve ever made a yogurt loaf, and I fell madly in love with the outcome! The texture of the cake is incredibly moist and crumbly.

The best part is probably how fragrant the loaf and entire kitchen smells after baking, thanks to Danone’s amazing yogurt. I’ve made this recipe but with different flavors of yogurts (a total of 4 times!!!).

I made more yogurt loaves, namely Blueberry (with fresh blueberries), Honey (with walnuts), Black cherry (with fresh strawberries) and each and every one of them was legit to-die-for. The sweetness of the loaf is just perfect, and it’s something even people who do not usually eat cake will definitely enjoy.

There’s no need for fancy glazes or toppings because the loaf itself is so delicious!

I sliced up this yogurt loaf made with Danone yogurts and packed them as gifts to bring for different people as I visited them at their work place and homes. Needless to say, they were extremely well-received.

So much that I’m considering selling this as a permanent item at my dessert cafe, Shiberty Bakes! It’s just perfect for an afternoon snack or even a sweet breakfast treat.

You HAVE to try this recipe on your own, because it’s so fuss-free and easy that anyone can achieve great results with this!

Danone yogurt is having a contest, whereby you can stand to win a 2D1N getaway at The Sofitel Singapore Sentosa! Simply post a photo of your favorite yoghurt recipe, and hashtag #CreateWithDanone in order to qualify! The top 10 winners will also be receiving a special prize.

For more information, hop on over to their Facebook Page and Official Website!

xoxo,
Jess

Olympus Baking & Photography Workshop

In conjunction with Olympus and Baker’s Brew Studio, I held a cupcake baking workshop with some photography tips for some lucky followers who RSVP-ed for this Father’s Day themed event!

During these 3 hours of fun, I taught them how to bake deliciously moist red velvet cupcakes from scratch, frost them with decadent cream cheese buttercream and then take tantalizing photos of the #foodporn they’ve created with loaned Olympus E-PL7 cameras!

The RSVP response for the event was overwhelming to say the least, and I’d like to thank everyone that expressed interest in attending, unfortunately we had to limit the number of invites due to the capacity limit of the venue! I would’ve loved to meet all of you. But I’m sure there will be similar opportunities to get up close and personal with you guys in the future.

Knowing how to bake and teaching other people how to bake are two very different things. The first is a personally acquired domestic skill, while the other relies more on clear cut demonstration while executing the activity.

Doing public speaking while trying to juggle demonstrating the activity live as well sure isn’t easy for someone who struggles with multi tasking like myself, and while it’s always a challenge, I do enjoy conducting the various baking lessons I’ve done!

My biggest worry of any baking class, more than “will their bakes turn out alright?”, is “are they having fun?”. But there wasn’t any need for concern that day, I was thrilled to see smiles and laughter all around from enthusiastic participants!

Much to my relief, most people seemed to tackle the baking task rather efficiently, it’s not easy to handle such a large group of people and it helps a lot when people have prior experience in the kitchen and the willingness to learn!

While our red velvet cupcakes slowly cooked and rose to little red puffs of perfection, we enjoyed refreshments provided by Baker’s Brew Studio and I shared more with these girls more about how I take my #shibertybakes and #shibertycooks photos on Instagram with my Olympus PEN cameras!

I love Olympus as you can always trust the image quality to be amazing with an easy-to-navigate user interface. Having had a PEN E-PL5 before, the PEN E-PL7 is the perfect camera for me and my lifestyle! With a super convenient flip-down screen & 3-Axis Image Stabilisation, taking high quality selfies have never been easier. Also, I can edit and upload my photos from the camera straight to my phone with the Olympus Imaging App! As I’m always on the go, this is a great feature as I do not like to compromise the quality of my photos.

During the event, there was a range of accessories and props available to suit the different looks you can pull off with the customization properties. You can choose different strap patterns, bright coloured camera skins, various camera body colours and lens selection according to your own personal style and flair!

With the My PEN, My Style Online customization service, you can carry your PEN E-PL7 as a fashion accessory to suit your getup! Choose from a wide range of colourful and exciting strap options from the likes of floral prints to patterned shapes and a handy assortment of premium leather camera bags from American brand Jill-E, and chic, colourful Cath Kidston pouches to keep your camera well protected from dust or scratches!

Customize your own camera fashionable PEN E-PL7 at https://www.shopatolympus.com.sg/mypenmystyle.html!

With the flip-down selfie screen, it’s so easy to take a flattering photo of yourself & your friends now!

I really enjoy bringing around my Olympus PEN E-PL7 these days, because despite being lightweight, it packs a punch delivering high quality photos. You can choose between 4 different lenses to suit your PEN E-PL7 but I chose the M.Zuiko Digital 25mm f1.8 lens as it’s great for food photography! Not only does it let me take my food images up close, but, it creates a soft defocusing effect which brings out the finer details in my photos. Also, I don’t have to worry about dimly lit areas as this lens has got it covered!

I also shared with them some photography tips that I find extremely useful when I’m taking food pics for Instagram: in short, always style your food item making use of the elements on the table (or other tables nearby!), fill the frame leaving little white space, up the contrast and saturation of the photo, and play around with your angles so as to gain new perspectives.

We had a mini contest whereby they had to upload pictures of their freshly baked red velvet cupcakes to the #OlympusXShibertyevent hashtag on Instagram, using the convenient in-built Wi-Fi function the Olympus PEN E-PL7 offers, that sends the pics straight to their smartphone where they can upload to social media immediately, and I would pick a winner with the best photo to win a box of macarons by shibertybakes! I was very impressed by several entries and had a hard time picking just one winner..

But pick a winner I did, and rightfully deserved it was!

Congratulations on taking such a good photo and I hope you liked your box of macarons!!!

Thank you sweet girls for your wonderful presence and participation, I had a great time teaching you how to bake red velvet cupcakes and it’s always a blast meeting you people in real life!

Special thanks to Olympus for organizing this afternoon of baking and photo taking for us to partake in!

xoxo,
Jess

Anyone can bake with Betty Crocker!

Everyone seems to think that baking is an extremely complicated activity – it can be occasionally, but what they don’t know is that it doesn’t have to be like that all the time.

I know a lot of people get put off by the idea of baking because it seems like you’ll require a ton of specific kitchen equipment, time, effort and washing up.. That’s why you’ll be surprised how simple and fuss free baking becomes with the help of Betty Crocker!

Betty Crocker is a brand name and trademark of American Fortune 500 corporation General Mills. Every time I think of Betty Crocker, I picture a really cheery American mom in her white picket fenced home and rustic looking kitchen whipping up pies and cakes for her children. She’s the aunt I never had. Something about the name is so convincing! Before I even knew how to fry an egg, I attempted baking with Betty Crocker products. This was when I was about 13 years old.

My friends and I would buy Betty Crocker cake mixes after school and attempt to bake brownies, cookies and cakes together…. some turned out great, better than expected (much to our surprise!) and other attempts – not so amazing. We burnt a few batches of batter here and there, but we always had a great time trying. I believe I’ve tried baking almost every single Betty Crocker cake mix product out in the market, and I’ve never been disappointed by the results, considering how quick and easy it was to make it!

Since Chinese New Year is around the corner, baked goods are aplenty around! There’s so many cookies and different snacks available in the market for you to choose from. But in my opinion, the best kind of goodies to be presented with are the homemade type. There’s nothing like a cookie or cake fresh out of your own oven. It doesn’t matter if you don’t have fancy kitchen equipment or the best recipe in the world. Sometimes it doesn’t even matter if you really know how to bake or not. The effort of making something yourself counts way more!

Betty Crocker’s Chocolate Chip Cookies have been a long-time favorite of mine.

They’re chewy on the inside, crisp on the outside and contain loads of delicious melted chocolate chips when they’re still warm, reminding me exactly of the kind of cookies I used to bug my dad to buy for me when we were on holiday in America.

Following the simple instructions found on the back of the packet, all I had to do was add softened butter and 1 egg to the premix, and combine the ingredients!

Simply put all your ingredients in a bowl, then mix well. Your cookie dough should be moist and looking like the above!

No electrical mixer or multiple tools / bowls required at all. An ideal baking session for those who seldom bake but still want to give it a go every now and then, because there’s so little to actually clean up and you won’t have to invest in tools or equipment that you will hardly use.

Scoop small little lumps of cookie dough onto a greased baking pan or a tray lined with baking paper, then bake at 180 degrees for 10 minutes in a preheated oven or until the cookies are golden brown!

It doesn’t matter if your cookie dough lumps aren’t particularly round in shape, they will flatten and bake in a round-ish shape in the oven! Besides, I think oddly shaped cookies have character and look more homemade. What I love most about baking is how heavenly the whole house smells when something yummy is in the oven. You can’t escape the wafting aroma, I make my neighbours jealous every day!

Once the timer for the oven goes off, let the cookies cool for about 5-8 minutes and then they’re ready for consumption!

Look at my beautiful Betty Crocker cookies that were completed in less than 20 minutes! These can be made by absolutely anyone. You can attempt this as a fun activity with your kids, parents, boyfriend / girlfriend or even by yourself – a guaranteed good time!

I love eating my bakes fresh out of the oven. These cookies reminded me of so many good times, and each bite I took into them reminded me of the many occasions I’ve made them for friends and family to enjoy over the years! I’ve made two batches of these in the past week alone with different friends and everyone was extremely surprised by how easy the process was and how good it tasted. In fact, the second batch I made at a friend’s house without a proper oven and it baked just fine in a small toaster oven as well!

If you’re one of those people who label yourself as someone who “can’t bake”, Betty Crocker will change your mind! Why not impress your loved ones this Chinese New Year by picking up a packet of Betty Crocker cake mix and unleash your inner domestic goddess? Who knows, you might just discover a new found love for baking after you’ve had a taste of what it’s like to be able to show love to people through baked goods. It will always be one of my favorite things to do for other people because it brings them so much joy!

xoxo,
Jess

What’s Bakin’? #15

I know.

How long has it been since I did one of these? I almost forgot that I actually do these What’s Bakin posts. But since I’ve been doing some different stuff lately… I got excited and wanted to share with y’all two new updates:

1) Instead of Shiberty’s Sweets, I am planning of rebranding the name to Shiberty Bakes!

One step at a time, the website and future shop will be going by the new name. I got too annoyed & frustrated with how people called it Shiberty Sweet, completely missing out the apostrophe and alphabet S. Also, Shiberty’s  Sweets sounds too much like a tongue twister…. you should see my expression when some people try to pronounce the name. Sherbertee sweats. WHAT?! Shiberty Bakes is a lot cleaner. Although, the word Shiberty in general tends to confuse people…. but…. I’ll rebrand myself another day perhaps. (in the distant future, or perhaps never).

2) We’ve started offering DESSERT TABLES!!!!!

Which is the most fun thing to do ever, I tell you. So instead of just cakes & cupcakes that we originally started out with, we thought… why not just do the whole thing? A whole table full of desserts. Anything sweet you ever dreamed of. All customizable to your party theme and preferred flavors! So much yummies on one table, you’ll go weak at the knees.

Check out our current tantalizing menu for dessert tables:

  • Macarons
  • Chocolated coated strawberries
  • Cookies
  • Brownies
  • Jello shots
  • Cake pops
  • Cupcakes
  • Cheesecakes
  • Panna Cotta
  • Various flavours of whole cakes
  • Pies / Tarts
  • Creme Brulee
  • Marshmallow Pops
  • Meringues
  • Tiramisu
  • Rice krispie treats
  • Chocolate fondue fountain
  • Layered desserts in a cup
  • Chocolates
  • Doughnuts

And we’re also willing to try and include anything your sweet tooth mind can dream up that’s not already on the extensive list above.

Here’s what I’m talking about.

A customized dessert table set up done for a little boy’s first birthday! So proud of this table!!!

Styling by MerryLove. It was great working with them once again, the last time they styled my shoot with Yina & Melissa! With every dessert table, customers will get simple table decorations that are in theme with the party and free rental of our cake display stands!

What would a party be without a glorious cake to take center stage and steal everyone’s attention?

Rice krispie treats – with melted marshmallows! I loved this treat when I was in the US. Hope it catches on in SG sooner or later!

Little cheesecake cups with personalized label stickers on them…. Not bad, huh? ;)

Marshmallow pops dipped in white chocolate (which was then colored blue) – the kids won’t stop popping these.

Deliciously fudgey brownies. I’ve featured the recipe here before. Wonderfully rich and sinfully chocolatey, it would be an even bigger sin not to try one of these babies because as Sam says, they’re the best brownies he’s ever had!

Jello cups – can be done with vodka for a more adult dessert table. Jello shots are awesome.

All dessert tables also come with free delivery to your location, set up and tear down after the event. They’re my new favorite thing to do because there’s so much more to explore with, in terms of creativity and flavors, as opposed to just working on cakes!

More dessert table pics…

Individual creme brulee ramekins. So much fun caramelizing the top crust!

Strawberry cheesecake hearts

Pretty macarons & cuppycakes for a baby shower!

Tiramisu cups that really pack a punch. Another dessert that you HAVE to try.

I never used to even like macarons…. now I think I’m positively in love with them. They’re so dainty, delicious (well some of them are, some aren’t) and the flavor possibilities are endless.

These were the Valentine’s Day macarons special we had, that was a total hit with everyone. Flavors included nutella, salted caramel, green tea, wild berries, earl grey, lemon curd, and lychee rose! And yes, I wrote on every single macaron and drew hearts with edible red ink. After a few hundred of these, my poor hands were all cramped up because you can’t use too much pressure.. or the macaron shell would break!


Aside from dessert tables, of course, we’ve been up to our usual customized cakes.

Here’s a few I actually managed a picture of because most of the time, I’m too caught up in the moment or busy that I can’t whip my camera out for a shot.

A balenciaga bag cake. 3d bag cakes are very popular these days! We’ve done Chanel, Hermes, Dior, Balenciaga to name a few.

Adventure Time, which we’ve been seeing a lot of lately too!

League of legends cupcakes. Geeky cupcakes makes the nerdy gamer girl in me secretly happy.

A grand 3 tiered birthday cake for a classy celebration. Fit to be a wedding cake! Each pearl ball was painstakingly hand rolled and then spray painted.

This was when our cake was featured in PRESTIGE‘s magazine Christmas spread. It was awesome seeing our creation get professional styling treatment, definitely an eye opening experience that changed the way I took pictures of my food after that. So much work goes into a good food photo despite it being an inanimate object… you can’t even imagine.

Look at it sitting in all its grandeur. We made those little cookies on the plate, too!

So, you guys have seen all sorts of customized cakes from Shiberty Bakes.

Girly ones, manly(ish) ones, adult cakes, children cakes… of every imaginable size, design and variation. But what you haven’t seen a lot of is actual eating cakes, created solely for the purpose of putting into your mouth and relishing the taste… Not until now. We’ve seen an increase of cakes that require zero customization, food coloring or unnecessary additives and preservatives.

Just pure food porn.

Lemon sponge cake with lemon curd, lemon whipped cream and freshly grated lemon zest. The zesty smell and taste of fresh lemons is to die for!

I’m working with a certain restaurant to provide them cakes, and this sells out the fastest every time. Cookies & cream with a vanilla sponge cake base is here to stay.

Coconut gula melaka – actual coconut cream being whipped into the frosting, with gula melaka syrup and dried coconut drizzles and sprinkled everywhere. One for the older generation.

This is something I haven’t learned how to say no to……… Strawberry shortcake!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! *heart heart heart* 

You know what’s the best part about making your own strawberry shortcake? You get to pile on the strawberries. MOUNTAINS if you wish… which is exactly what I did.

A naked, rustic strawberry shortcake I did for Marie. Her family had nothing but compliments for it! Which I was all too happy to hear.


Need a customized cake, dessert table or simply craving for deliciousness?

Find us at shibertys.blogspot.sg! ☻

xoxo,
Jess
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