Mum and daughter pair bake Chinese New Year goodies together fusing traditional and modern styles
TEXT: Dorothy Ng
PHOTOS: Bob Lee
With Chinese New Year just round the corner, many people are busy doing their shopping in Chinatown, decorating their homes and stocking up their cabinets with goodies. For 37-year-old Constance Chan and her mother, Emma Chua, the upcoming festive season marks yet another round of kneading and intensive baking – sometimes up to 12 hours a day - for her customers.
Constance's keen interest in baking pastries started since she was young as her mum used to make love letters, pineapple tarts and other pastries at home for sale to her relatives.
Determined to turn the dream of fusing two of her greatest passions, baking and running her own business into reality, she left her corporate job in end 2012 to venture into her new start-up business, tuiles: Customised Gourmet Treats.
Instead of traditional cookies, expect to see fortune cookies and cake pops. Constance explains, “Much as I love cupcakes (or cakes in general), I felt that cupcakes were getting too common in Singapore. Having chanced upon customised fortune cookies and subsequently cake pops, I decided to introduce them to the local market”.
Her fortune cookies come in numerous flavours including kaya, coffee, vanilla, chocolate, lemon amongst others. The auspicious messages are printed on tiny strips of toxic-free paper with wordings that are printed using edible ink. The mahjong tile cake pop, which is made of cake and white chocolate, has proven to be a hot favourite amongst her customers.
Though the business is barely five months' old, she has already been receiving a steady stream of orders for customised cake pops and fortune cookies for home parties and corporate companies.
Constance and her 67-year-old mum still bake together side by side. Her mum, sticking to her traditional pineapple tarts, while Constance works deftly on her modern creations. Constance confesses the pair does fight in the kitchen, but she says, “I try to give way whenever possible and I guess this is how we have been able to co-exist”.
Click next for more photos of how Constance and her mum put these Chinese New Year goodies together.