This S’pore Millennial Runs A Baking Studio And Sells Korean-Inspired Cakes, “Fatfatcarons”


Fancy macarons that come wedged with ham and cheese, orh nee or durian mochi?

There’s a neighborhood patisserie, Nanatang, the place you will get these stunning and delicious-looking candy treats.

Instagrammable, plus-size variations of the macaron — generally known as “fatfat-carons” — have caught wind in South Korea.

Whereas a typical French-style macaron is often piped merely with a layer of buttercream, “fatfat-carons” are stuffed, nearly to the brink of bursting, with components from mochis to complete strawberries to gigantic blobs of cream.

Rolling Up Her Sleeves To Bake Full-Time

The bakehouse and studio alongside Kampong Bahru Street was based by self-taught baker Serena Tang in 2013.

The 28-year-old Singaporean holds a double diploma in advertising and promoting, and has had zero culinary expertise.

I began out as a house baker promoting on-line, totally on Instagram. I used to be simply baking part-time as a pastime whereas finding out and dealing full-time.

After working for just a few years, I realised that I don’t really feel achieved with an workplace job, so I made a decision to resign and deal with baking.

– Serena Tang, founding father of Nanatang

She has at all times needed to helm her personal bake store after a few years of residence baking. That was how Nanatang happened.

Serena Tang / Picture Credit score: Nanatang

“Nanatang was created as an area to carry collectively folks to create stunning issues and the place it’s regular to listen to folks say ‘cake is life’,” stated Serena.

“Nanatang is definitely a nickname that my buddies gave me. There have been too many “nanas”, so that they added “Tang” which is my surname to distinguish from others.”

Fats-carons / Picture Credit score: Nanatang

Her “fat-carons” retail at S$35 for a field of 10 and whereas they appear just like a daily macaron, they’re crammed with a thicker layer of buttercream in fashionable flavours equivalent to Speculoos, Citron, Earl Gray and even Cream Cheese.

Nanatang Fatfat-carons
Nanatang Fatfat-carons
Nanatang Fatfat-carons / Picture Credit score: Nanatang

And naturally, their star product is none apart from the Insta-worthy, tremendous thick and chunky “Fatfat-carons” that retail at S$30 for a field of 4, besides that they’re crammed with funkier fillings.

Suppose fascinating flavours equivalent to Apple Cinnamon Crumble, Ondeh Ondeh, Oreo Cheesecake, Kaya Fancy Cheese, Orh Nee, Durian Mochi and Ham and Cheese.

Flower cake
Flower cake / Picture Credit score: Nanatang by way of Fb
Beauty and the beast inspired cake
Picture Credit score: Nanatang

In addition to the “fat-carons” and “fatfat-carons”, Nanatang additionally specialises in buttercream muffins adorned with intricate flower piping which might be impressed from South Korea.

These Korean-style flower muffins have been in pattern not too long ago for his or her aesthetics.

Marrying Korean-Impressed Creations With S’porean Flavours

The Ham and Cheese flavour would in all probability increase eyebrows, however Serena stated that they needed to create “one thing fancy and stunning that purpose to set off folks to attempt them out”.

“We attempt to localise the flavours therefore we have now ‘Singaporean flavours’ equivalent to durian, orh nee and milo dinosaur.”

Ham & Cheese Fatfat-caron
Ham & Cheese Fatfat-caron / Picture Credit score: Nanatang by way of Fb
Ondeh Ondeh Fatfat-caron
Ondeh Ondeh Fatfat-caron / Picture Credit score: Nanatang by way of Fb
Durian Mochi Fatfat-caron
Durian Mochi Fatfat-caron / Picture Credit score: Nanatang by way of Fb

Versus S$20 for a field of 10 common macarons (or S$2 a bit), these “fatfat-carons” admittedly come at steeper costs, however you in all probability are getting extra bang to your buck with every “fatfat-caron”.

Along with her everything-Korean obsession in pastry-making, one would possibly assume that she is Korean. In spite of everything, she sports activities the identical dewy, honest pores and skin like most Koreans have.

Nevertheless, Serena careworn that she just isn’t Korean. “I simply occur to have very reasonable pores and skin and small, single-eyelid eyes,” she laughed.

Picture Credit score: Nanatang

She additionally simply loves travelling to South Korea — she would make a visit there no less than twice a yr earlier than Covid-19 occurred.

“I’ve many Korean buddies as effectively, whom I obtained to know from class collaborations so I’m very up to date with the Korean developments,” she stated.

“These “fatcarons” known as “뚱카롱” are tremendous fashionable in Korea and I needed to introduce them to Singapore.”

She added that they not solely need to be visually stunning, they should style good as effectively.

From Promoting Bakes To Conducting Baking Lessons

Whereas she may clearly carve a distinct segment for herself amongst Singaporean bakers, she didn’t assume that it will be sustainable.

As a substitute of promoting bakes in an already saturated trade crammed with home-bakers and bakeries, she determined that she wanted to distinguish herself.

There have been too many ‘bakers’ however not many ‘baking academics’. And what number of muffins do I must bake and promote with a purpose to be sustainable?

It was too tough. Instructing makes extra sense because it was not so saturated once I first began out, and sharing information was fulfilling for me.

– Serena Tang, founding father of Nanatang

Subsequently, when she noticed alternatives in instructing baking courses, she jumped on them.

“I stored experimenting with totally different recipes and went into Korean flower piping when it was getting fashionable,” stated Serena.

At some point, a Korean flower piping teacher despatched her a direct message on Instagram after seeing her work. She needed to collaborate with Serena to show courses in Singapore and that was how she began to maneuver in the direction of baking.

She opened her baking studio in 2017 to conduct baking workshops.

Baking Class
Nanatang Baking Class / Picture Credit score: Nanatang

They collaborate with many worldwide, award-winning baking instructors equivalent to French cake designer Luma’s Cake and chocolate sculptor Carla Puig.

At present, it’s a baking studio that caters for the newest cake developments by way of thrilling workshops and Insta-worthy muffins.

On common, they promote 200 to 500 muffins/bins/units monthly.

“It’s really not rather a lot as Nanatang focuses extra on instructing than promoting,” added Serena.

The place There’s A Whisk, There’s A Manner

Wanting again on her journey, Serena stated that she had zero information on organising baking courses.

“From discovering college students, to getting ready components and renting a studio to conduct courses, I explored each step on my own,” stated Serena.

It was actually enjoyable and that sense of accomplishment she will get actually retains her going.

“From there, I began to collaborate with totally different instructors with totally different specialisations. Because it goes, we turned stronger and greater,” stated Serena.

 Flower piping class
Flower piping class / Picture Credit score: Nanatang

Nanatang now consists of a group of people who find themselves captivated with caking and every particular person brings their very own strengths to the enterprise.

For instance, Serena is nice with piping expertise and macarons. Her assistant is nice at fondant modelling and 3D expertise whereas one other worker is nice with chocolate.

Because of this, Nanatang is “capable of present an enormous vary of merchandise and settle for any form of customized cake for any event”.

So does she have plans to open a restaurant right here?

It was really my purpose earlier than I obtained to know in regards to the instructing trade. However for now, I don’t assume I wish to open one after observing the cafe trade in Singapore.

– Serena Tang, founding father of Nanatang

She defined {that a} cafe might be tougher to handle [than a baking studio] and has its personal set of challenges particularly in operations and manpower.

With Covid-19 and the circuit breaker, cafes have been badly hit and Nanatang couldn’t conduct any courses both.

“We relied solely on promoting. Luckily, we had been capable of survive. Our “fat-carons” and “fatfat-carons”, in addition to our durian swissrolls and mochi had been well-received.”

Not Resting Her Laurels

Whereas she didn’t have prior culinary expertise to beginning her personal baking studio and on-line bakery, she says that her “simply do it” character helps.

“I’m somebody who doesn’t surrender simply. Once I need one thing, I’ll work actually exhausting in the direction of it.”

At 28 years outdated, she is likely one of the youngest baking instructors in Singapore.

Because of this, she channels creativity and recent views into her merchandise and courses. “I don’t like something too boring, therefore I’m continuously creating new merchandise and design,” stated Serena.

“There are at all times new concepts, new merchandise, new creations. Individuals who assume out of the field will often survive the longest,” she added.

She careworn that photographs are key — “you could know the best way to take good photographs, as they’re the primary issues that folks see”. Good photographs will certainly garner extra consideration, she stated.

On her recommendation for budding baker-entrepreneurs, she begs them to assume more durable earlier than selecting this profession as it’s robust one and one can fail very simply in case you are not distinctive.

In case you assume you may earn some huge cash [in this career], please rethink and possibly select an workplace job as a substitute.

It’s 100% not attainable to do all the things your self. You will have a group to work along with every particular person specialising in a sure space.

Entrepreneurship is filled with head assaults. If you’re weak, don’t do it!

– Serena Tang, founding father of Nanatang

Featured Picture Credit score: Nanatang


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