A taste for baking

15 Jun 2016 / 19:09 H.

WHEN it comes to cakes, Huen Su-Yin creates delicious masterpieces that her regular customers can’t seem to get enough of.
When it comes to her life story, Huen prefers to keep things more simple and down-to-earth.
In her first book, How I Built My Cake Shops: A Delectable Story, Huen talks candidly about her childhood, and having really no clue what she wanted to do.
Cooking and baking was something she took up with fervour while studying construction management in Australia. She started writing her own blog that chronicled her culinary journey.
Today, she spends her time running her four Delectable stores, as well as being a wife and mum to two children.
During an interview at Delectable’s headquarters in Glasshouse, Seputeh, Huen said: “I was approached by MPH two years ago to do an instructional cake book. It was supposed to be a hand-drawn, 3D kind of book
“Then I got pregnant with my first child and I thought I could spend my confinement time writing the book. That didn’t happen because I was too busy.”
The editor was still pushing for the book, but that plan was put on hold again when Huen got pregnant with baby number two.
The editor then suggested she write for MPH’s How I Built ... series of books. Huen then banged out How I Built My Cake Shops: A Delectable Story in 10 days.
In the book, Huen writes about her love for cooking and baking which began while she was studying in Australia; the blog which she started that made her a minor celebrity of sorts; and how she went on to take a short course on baking in the US.

She also shares the opening of her very first outlet, her journey as a businesswoman, how she met her husband and the many life lessons she learned along the way.
If you are expecting to read a book that tells you to follow your dreams, you will be in for a disappointment.
“It is tough!”confesses Huen on running her own business. She does not gloss over the hurdles she had to overcome to get this far.
But she enjoys doing things she has never done before, such as writing a book.
She says: “Writing a book felt natural to me. It was like telling somebody what I had done and what I wished I had done differently.”
The instructional cake book is still something she plans to complete eventually.
Are cakes still relevant in an increasingly health-conscious society?
“I think you can never take the birthday cake out of the birthday party,” Huen says candidly.
“I feel that when you have an intimate gathering, a cake is still a centrepiece. It is still what you will photograph, kids still wait for you to cut it.
“It is a symbolic thing. Maybe in terms of size, people want something smaller these days.”
In her book, Huen mentions a mysterious silver-haired stranger who showed up at her outlet in The Gardens mall one day and asked her what her business plan was.
Huen did not have one at the time and the gentleman gave her some valuable business advice before leaving.
“A few months ago, I went to this event and I thought I saw him,” said Huen but it turned out to be the wrong person.
Thanks to this mysterious stranger (whose name she does not know), Huen has expanded her business and is making a name for herself in the Malaysian culinary scene.


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