I’m Catherine Buñag, a stay-at-home mom of two boys and owner of Sweet Spoon, a home based business that offers different made-to-order dessert pastries and dessert buffet set-ups for all events and parties.
Mahilig talaga ako magluto. I think yun yung something innate sakin from the beginning. Noong bata pa ako, I always asked my Tita Penny to buy me those luto-lutuan made of palayok sa Antipolo kapag nagpupunta siya doon. And once I got them, namimitas ako ng mga dahon sa tapat ng bahay namin at yun ang hinihiwahiwa at hinahalohalo ko. Nagi-imagine ako na nagluluto at pinapakain ko yung favorite rag doll ko. ????????
The first time I cooked an actual dish was when I was 9 years old. It was Chicken Tinola with my Tita Penny’s supervision. I realized na super easy lang pala magluto. Since then, I always looked forward to learn new dishes from her and the Chicken Tinola became one of my favorite comfort foods. ????
I didn’t know anything about baking until noong highschool na ako. Wala naman kasi kaming oven sa bahay until I went to PWU-JMD at may subject kami na baking noong 2nd year. I was really amazed sa whole process ng baking. I looked closely at how my teacher, Ms. Diaz, held a stainless bowl with one hand and whisked with another. I can’t forget how she folded the whipped white eggs with flour with such finesse, and how she easily rolled the sponge cake using the white “good morning” towel. ???????? Palagi akong nagvo-volunteer mag hands-on pag Bake Day namin kasi sobrang interesting siya gawin. At since wala nga kaming oven sa bahay, di ko ma-practice yung mga recipes na binigay sa amin. So after highschool and wala na akong baking subject sa college, nawala na rin yung attention and interest ko sa baking. Though working in the kitchen is still my thing. Mas na-practice ko ang cooking skills ko than baking.
My interest in baking came back when I received a box of pastries from Peachy, my friend and workmate in a BPO company, on Christmas day. That’s when I started asking where I could find baking supplies stores and looked for recipes over the internet. The following Christmas holiday, I thought of giving pastries as well. And since I still don’t have an oven at home, I looked for no-bake recipes available over the internet. I gathered 5 to 6 recipes but just tried 2: S’mores Bars and Chocolate Truffles. Everyone loved them and encouraged me to sell them. So I did! And soon I also started selling Chocolate Mousse Tubs. So my humble Christmas holiday business started from there. Orders were coming from one office facility to another.
I decided to take my business to the next level. I enrolled in a 1-day cupcake baking class to learn more. Bumili na din ako ng tabletop oven (finally!!) para makapagpractice pa ako ng mga recipes. Tapos dun na nagsimula yung passion ko sa baking. Nag-self-educate and self-training lang ako kadalasan kasi mahal ang mga hands-on training sa baking kaya sa YouTube ako nagche-check ng mga baking demonstrations. Every rest day from work nagta-try ako ng mga new recipes or pag may natikman akong dessert pastries na nagustuhan ko, yon ang hinahanap ko na recipe tapos ita-try ko i-bake.
Naging signature recipe ko na yung S’mores Bar. Everyone loved it the first time na matikman nila. Yung tipong pag nakita ako parang last name ko na siya – “Keith S’mores!!!”???? Kaya yun ang first choice ko na dessert to give every Christmas.
I always try to save extra money to buy the best quality baking equipment. I realized kitchen aids really make a big difference. Example na lang yung electric stand mixer, perfect yung result ng meringue ever since ginamit ko yun compared to a hand mixer. Though it is still better to mix by hand for some recipes para maiwasan ang overmixing. Naka-experience nga ako na na-overmix ko yung brownie batter kaya ang result matigas ung brownies at disaster talaga. ???? Kaya takot ako i-offer yun dati sa buffet ko kasi matagal bago ko na-perfect yun. Pero nakuha ko na yung technique kaya I offer different kinds of brownies and blondies now. ????
Yung most memorable baking experience ko siguro yung super jam-packed yung orders for Christmas, na since newbie ako noon, sige lang ang accept ko ng orders without realizing na compromised na ang time to finish all of them. Kaya ang ending zombie mode to finish all of the orders from baking, packaging, and deliveries. But nawala lahat ng pagod kasi we earned P 18,000 for that day alone. Whew!
I’m still in the process of learning the ups and downs of the baking and events industry. It will be a continuous process to reach success. My baking goal at this moment is to get more intensive training in baking and decorating cakes including pastry art. ????
To end my baking story, I want to leave a simple tip to all the New Gen Bakers and readers out there. Don’t hesitate to spend extra to get quality baking ingredients because it will make a big difference in the outcome.
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