RINA RAHMAN: FROM HUMBLE BEGINNINGS

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

Ingredients

  • ¼ cup MONIN Raspberry syrup
  • 2 ¾ cups whipping cream
  • ¾ cup caster sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 4 egg yolks
  • Vanilla extract

Preparation

  • 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

Serve

  • 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

Ingredients

  • 6 drops MONIN Bubblegum syrup
  • 100 g caster sugar
  • 100 g icing sugar
  • 100 g egg white
  • Vanilla extract

Preparation

  • 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