I found these little delights in Cybercandy in Covent Garden. If you’ve never been to Cybercandy, then you should make it a point to make a trip there. It is where you go to feel like a kid in a candy store because there is something for everyone. Even if you do not have a sweet tooth, you’d struggle to leave without buying something. Tanseid is the brand of these sweets. As you can see from the photo they are very petite indeed. The manufacturers of this peculiar sweet treats are in the same opinion as me: Cakes and most desserts are as visually pleasing as they are to the tastebud. To be honest though, I have not actually tasted these sweets. I bought them because they were miniature cakes. I bought into the idea. I was sold on the concept. Sweets disguised as slices of cake? Love it! So they sit on a platter on my mantelpiece together with my badges, pins and brooches. In another bowl sits the donut marshmallow puzzler that Sarah brought over from New York. Is it a donut? Or is it?
I love the idea of things in disguise. Heidi Kenney is an expert in giving personalities to random objects and food items like used tissues to mushrooms, donuts and tampons!
Like the jingle of the ice-cream man van, kids growing up in Malaysia are also familiar with the Roti Man’s beep. In the days before giant supermarkets and 7-Elevens, the Roti Man served communities. Housewives would buy their roti(or bread) while their kids would eye packets of Twisties or cream buns.
I guess I never really quite noticed how strange the concept is. The Roti Man rides a kapcaifilled with a variety of bread, crisps and sweets. Everything is packed in plastic sacks and tied to a steel frame attached to the back of the kapcai. As you can see below, more plastic sacks filled with baked goods are tied to the handlebars.
Not unlike the ice-cream man, when the Roti Man beeps the horn, the ladies and the kids run out of their houses with some small change. They skip back to their houses, armed with all sorts of goodies: raisin bread, buns filled with vanilla or chocolate cream, roti kelapa (sweet dessicated coconut) and fairy cakes, smiling to themselves.
In the world of multiple-course dining, people generally fall into two categories. Those preferring starters to desserts, and those preferring desserts to starters. I fall into the third category, which means if I had my way, I’d have a starter and dessert.
Main courses tend to fall short of starters, and desserts look like sweet dreams. How do you resist?
I love how pretty pudding can look. The problem with pudding is that it looks better than it tastes. But that doesn’t matter. Although it is why cakes, ice-cream and all manner of candy look great on clothes and accessories.
Cupcakes are so popular because they look so good. I love baking ’em because I love how they are presented. Baking allows me to disguise my messy cooking in a pretty package in the form of a treat.
I remember In Barcelona, I stood in Papabubble. I was captivated by the magic-making of beautiful candy to the cools sounds of Lemon Jelly. I watched as the candymakers, these sugar-dreamweavers pulled colourful sugar into long strips, on which they built more layers of colourful sugarstrips.
And there it is: a piece of candy. Bite-sized and pretty much edible art.
When the candy sits in glass containers and the sun rays reach out, the shop walls are hit by a stained glass effect. They are sugar candy kissed.