Though she insists CantekSekali happened by “chance”, Rina Rahman has proven herself to be a very capable businesswoman. Beginning in her kitchen at home, Rina has expanded her baking business to a café/studio nestled in the heart of Kuala Terengganu, with customers coming from all over Malaysia, and even the royal families of Terengganu and Pahang. On top of that, she has been teaching baking to adults and kids for 7 years, conducting workshops at her studio and in Singapore and Indonesia.
How did you get started with baking?
I’ve always liked baking; I have many memories of baking with my late mom and grandma, and I started making bread for my family many years ago. Professionally however, it all started when I quit my job in Kuala Lumpur in 2003 to relocate to Terengganu with my husband. I was jobless for 2 years, so I decided to start a baking blog.
After starting your blog, how did you come to the decision to start your own business, CantekSekali?
It really happened by chance. I enjoyed blogging, so it filled up a lot of my time and I found a network of bakers who I could share recipes and food with. As my network grew, I began taking orders from friends, which sold like hot cakes. Though my husband was initially hesitant about investing in the company, I took it as a challenge and started my business with a small oven he had won in a golf tournament and a hand mixer I bought. Whatever money I made went into tools and baking wares, and slowly my business grew. 10 years on, CantekSekali is a flourishing success.
What were some of the biggest challenges you faced when starting your business? How did you overcome them?
One of the biggest challenges is making a home bakery business be profitable without compromising on the quality of ingredients. I don’t compromise; instead I reflect the quality of my handmade goods in the prices. As with any business, there are highs and lows, but support from my family and the awesome team at CantekSekali keeps me going the extra mile.
RASPBERRY CRÉME BRÛLÉE
¼ cup MONIN Raspberry syrup
2 ¾ cups whipping cream
¾ cup caster sugar
1 large egg
4 egg yolks
Beat egg yolks, egg, caster sugar and vanilla extract together in a bowl until thick and creamy
Pour cream into saucepan and stir over low heat until almost boiling
Remove cream from heat
Stir cream into egg yolk mixture until combined
Stir in MONIN Raspberry syrup
Place ramekins in a large baking pan
Divide custard between each, filling to the top
Fill baking pan with 1/2 inch of hot water
Bake in preheated oven for 30 minutes
Remove from oven and allow to cool to room temperature
Place in refrigerator for at least 1 hour or overnight
Sprinkle a thin layer of caster sugar over the custards surface
Caramelise sugar with a kitchen torch
Serve immediately or store in refrigerator for up to 1 hour before serving
BUBBLEGUM MERINGUE COOKIES
6 drops MONIN Bubblegum syrup
100 g caster sugar
100 g icing sugar
100 g egg white
Preheat oven to 200° F (95° C)
Place egg whites in a large mixing bowl and whip on medium
Once foamy and whitish, begin slowly adding sugar
When sugar is all incorporated, turn the mixer to high and whip until the meringue is glossy and very stiff
Fold in vanilla extract and MONIN Bubblegum syrup
Transfer the meringue to a clean piping bag fitted with a French star tip
Pipe 1-inch diameter kisses onto a parchment-lined baking sheet
Bake for 50 minutes
Turn oven off once baking time has passed but do not open oven
Allow cookies to cool completely (1-2 hours) before removing and storing in airtight container