Youth Power: Startup Weekend Bali
 

Startup Weekend Bali: Edisi Anak Muda Indonesia

I have been so glad to be part of this year’s Hubud Startup Weekend Bali: Indonesian Youth Edition. Startup Weekend is a global event where you get to pitch, validate and develop your business ideas in 54 hours! This year, Hubud hosted an all for Indonesian youth edition with 30 participants ranging from ages 16 - 23 years.

Ever since I started my business, Hubud has been a big part in supporting me; starting with presenting at a small session, Bali Bungkus, to the big Pecha Kucha Night, and then coming back to be a mentor for this year’s startup weekend!

At this event, I was joined by 5 other incredible mentors to support and guide the participants through the process of starting up their business. The event started with a pitching session where participants get to pitch their business ideas, followed by a voting session for the 6 favourite ideas to form the team for the weekend. I have to say, the ideas pitched were incredible and creatively out of the box. I was instantly reminded again how much creativity can flow out of a single youth. They were amazing!

I had the chance to mentor a group of three creative and bright people, their business being called VICtory. The idea was first pitched to provide more varieties of toys for disabled children in Indonesia to allow kids to have fun and help with their therapy all together.

 Image Source: Hubud & Startup Weekend Bali

Image Source: Hubud & Startup Weekend Bali

All the teams were sort of struggling with getting an understanding of the concept validation. The team I worked with was specifically challenged by making sure the toy has its complete benefit for the customers while keeping the cost as low as possible to make the price suitable.

They have also struggled with deciding on which category to focus on, as they originally wanted to work with a variety of different special needs kids. I managed to convince them to narrow it down to two specific categories which were Tuna Netra (Vision Impairment) and Tuna Grahita (Mentally Disabled) .

After the second day, the team began to understand what they had to validate and the process of it, which gave them big points by the judges at the end. Through what I experienced, I think they had a solid mission, vision, and a way to turn their ideas into a product they can sell. All three of the teammates were very compatible working together-which is so important when working in a group project. They were able to share their work efficiently and assuredly worked hard. I think most importantly was their courage and confidence in believing in themselves with little to no doubts.

To me, this was an incredibly remarkable experience because it’s something that I am so passionate about. It makes me happy to see other people happy, and to see the team I mentored won the 54 hour challenge made me feel a grateful and proud. It’s something I want to keep doing!

 Image Source: Hubud & Startup Weekend Bali

Image Source: Hubud & Startup Weekend Bali

 
Thyme & Caramel at TEDxUbud
 

On the first Saturday of May, I got the honor to serve my cupcakes at the TedxUbud event. I have been looking forward to be a part of this remarkable event!

It turned out to be one of the most hectic day preparing hundreds of cupcakes for the lovely TedxUbud guests. I single crafted each flowers and decorated these cupcakes live on the spot as the participants were rolling in. It was such a beautiful and joyful experience to be serving and sharing this moment with the guests. It was a pleasure to see so many smiles passed around :)

To share my excitement, here are some photos from TedxUbud

Thyme & Caramel at TEDxUbud

 I needed all the help I could get to serve the cupcakes while I was engaged in making more creations to complete the cupcakes. Meet Diah! She is a student at Kul Kul Connection, Green School Bali. She has been so sweet and really helpful throughout the day :)

I needed all the help I could get to serve the cupcakes while I was engaged in making more creations to complete the cupcakes. Meet Diah! She is a student at Kul Kul Connection, Green School Bali. She has been so sweet and really helpful throughout the day :)


 Floral creations in the making!

Floral creations in the making!


 Cupcake goodness! More than 250 cupcakes were served with all Thyme & Caramel’s signature flavours; Rich Chocolate, Passion fruit, Lemon Coconut  and Thyme & Caramel. Passion Fruit was easily the favorite one! (My personal favourite too!)

Cupcake goodness! More than 250 cupcakes were served with all Thyme & Caramel’s signature flavours; Rich Chocolate, Passion fruit, Lemon Coconut  and Thyme & Caramel. Passion Fruit was easily the favorite one! (My personal favourite too!)


 It felt heartwarming to be able to share my love for cake artistry live with hundreds of people!

It felt heartwarming to be able to share my love for cake artistry live with hundreds of people!


 I handcrafted all flower decorations with lots of love and passion which I hope would also resonate to those who ate them that day :)

I handcrafted all flower decorations with lots of love and passion which I hope would also resonate to those who ate them that day :)


 The Flower palette with unicorn colors. My favorite!

The Flower palette with unicorn colors. My favorite!


 I had the chance to interact with new people and even more people who have been part of the sweet fam with Thyme & Caramel.

I had the chance to interact with new people and even more people who have been part of the sweet fam with Thyme & Caramel.


 Look who came to my booth! Yes, it’s  NonaRia ! A great jazz musician group who was part of the performances to wrap up TEDxUbud 2018. Their music is so unique and lovely <3

Look who came to my booth! Yes, it’s NonaRia! A great jazz musician group who was part of the performances to wrap up TEDxUbud 2018. Their music is so unique and lovely <3


I hope everyone enjoyed my sweet treats! See you next year (hopefully) :D

 
How to Start up your own business?
 
 Thyme &amp; Caramel at Ubud Food Festival

This was the big question that I discussed with others foodpreneurs in Bali at Ubud Food Festival 2018.

I had the lovely chance to be part of Ubud Food Festival (UFF) this year - where all food enthusiasts and innovators from all over Indonesia gathered to share the best culinary experience. Held from the 13th to 15th April, UFF was attended by about 12,000 people.

I was honored to be part of the session ‘Food for Thought: Bali’s Startup Stars’. I was joined by four other Indonesian start up entrepreneurs, who have successfully built their businesses in the food industry in Bali, sharing how each business was first started.

Young Entrepreneur Bali

 

In this blogpost, I would like to share my perspectives based on my experience on starting a business, and hopefully help you who are looking on starting a business or merely finding your passion! :)

Firstly, I know the phrase “Find your passion” is sort of overrated, but to me it’s kind of true. This is always the first point on my list on how I begin this Thyme & Caramel journey. According to the dictionary, passion is an intense emotion, a compelling enthusiasm or desire for something. In other words, it's something that sets your soul on fire and gives you a good feeling when you do it.

However, how many of you might  still be struggling to find your passion? Actually, a likely source of what we are passionate about may come from anywhere, including what we were exposed to in our childhood. It could be simple things, such as sketching, cooking, music, collecting action figures or dancing. Ever since I was a child, I was obsessed with molding things from play dohs or anything to do that involves my hand working together with icky gooey dough. I made my very first bakery out of clay when I was 7 years old and it was kinda what led me to today as a cake artist.

From that level of hobby and obsession, you just need to add a few ingredients and spices, such as hardworking hours, devotion, and commitment. Passion will always keep you stronger everyday no matter what challenges stand in your way.

Secondly, the COURAGE to start. So, be courageous! One of the hardest parts of starting a business is actually the courage and the ability to just start and take the risk. I know that we all have different fears, however I believe that the only way to overcome our fear is to face it and plan ahead. At the beginning, you might not see the big picture, you might mostly feel clueless and that’s totally normal. What I did in the past was start with what I know and what I can do first.

The basic foundation for a business is, of course, your brand name, logo, your products, and how you would like to market these products. It’s also important to figure out your vision and mission of your business, including what impacts you would like to make in the world and what your values are. In my personal experience as I was forming the business value, I decided to sell only premium special occasion vegan cakes and cupcakes as Thyme & Caramel’s specialty.

In the process of starting up and making hard decisions for your business, you should not hesitate to ask for help from anyone you know. It could be your family, your friends, or even professionals who are already good at the field, but just keep in mind that the decision is all yours to make. 

The journey of a thousand miles begins with one step.
— Lao Tzu

Thirdly, be PERSISTENT in achieving your goal! The road to success and reaching your goals will always be under constructed and lined with tempted parking spaces. Imagine the possibility of the many paths you can take when you want to go somewhere. You might consider the distance and the traffic before you take a specific route, and also the goal you want to accomplish.

There will always be plan A, B, or C, besides, there are 26 letters in the alphabet and many possible routes. Be brave, know what you do and take a step, these are all that matter.

 

So! These were my three kickstarting steps on starting up Thyme & Caramel, despite any challenges that comes and go. I hope these tips can help you gain the confidence to start up your business, and when you do, tell me about it! I would love to hear your stories :)

There is a great opportunity this month to train the entrepreneurial mind of all young Indonesian in Bali where I will be one of the mentors to help validate your business ideas in 54 hours. For more info about the event, check out ‘Startup Weekend Bali: Edisi Anak Muda Indonesia’, the first Startup Weekend in Bali that is exclusive to those between the age of 16 to 23 years old. It is organized by Hubud and will be happening on 25 - 27 May. I am so thrilled to be part of it. Will I see you? ;)

 
What is Happiness For Me?
 
Arielle - Ocean Vegan Cake Bali

Being happy is a simply a choice from within, we get to decide to be happy. But what most people don't know is that we all have our own keys to being Happy! In celebration of International Day of Happiness on 20 March, I want to share with you what makes me happy.

I recently learned that baking is actually recognised as a benefit to reduce stress and anxiety!

Besides baking & decorating cakes being my passion, I actually find peace when I'm alone in my kitchen, which gives me happiness.

Baking

If you've tried baking a myriad of times before, you will realise that baking takes time. It's a process that can't be rushed, specially Vegan Cakes! I have definitely tried rushing the baking process and end up missing an ingredient or two sometimes even three, or leave the cake in the oven for too long. I learnt that taking each method step by step is the only way to obtain the perfect result. This gives me the time to calm down and think thoroughly.

Decorating

This I tell you, is my ultimate favourite part! If you haven't heard, I love getting my hands messy as a kid, working with many different gooey doughs, and I still do! Decorating a cake actually brings me so much peace when I'm doing it right, it brings me to my happy place, my lala land. During this process, I also reflect and think about many things, it's kinda where the magic happens.

Creativity

I am a big fan of creativity and I encourage everyone to use their own unique creativities! We are all gifted with a special talent and definitely creativity in us, I believe that it's important to channel our imagination and creativities into something beneficial/fruitful/rewarding.

Creativity is allowing yourself to express your thoughts on something freely, with no boundaries or worries, at this point, you feel no pressure, no trouble or no tension. It's like when I'm working on a cake design, the creativity runs through and I feel happy. Every month, I also get a chance to share this feeling by leading a workshop for kids and hope they can feel happy too,

Giving

Let all that you do be done in love

Baking and decorating a cake is my happiness and I love to share it with the world. I get to do so when I deliver my cakes daily, sharing my joy and my love through the cakes sent out, hoping for a ripple effect that they too will put on a smile and pass it on.

Happiness is as simple as smiling and telling yourself how content you are, an easy way to be happy is to be grateful with what you have and who you are. You are all beautiful people and deserve to be happy! So get out, soak that sunshine and put on a smile!

 
The History of Cakes
 
Kynd Community Birthday Cake Bali

Have you ever wondered who invented the delicious & fluffy cakes and how? I have! And as one of my homeschooling assignments, I did an online research of where and how cakes came about. Hence, I just thought that it’d be cool to share it with you. So, here it goes...

We live in a world where cakes are known as soft round shaped sweet treats, with a dozen different types to choose from. With the technology we have today, we are able to make a huge range of cakes and sweets by using different ingredients, methods and processes to create the cake we want.

From Ancient Egypt to Chinese Civilization

Cakes have been present throughout the history of mankind. The first recorded cake is traced back to the 13th century made by the ancient Egyptians and since then, the growth of cakes have been outstanding.

It turns out that cakes were especially made for occasional events ever since the ancient times. They were made in conjunction with the seasonal events throughout the year. Cake holds a special place in human civilization and often symbolizes offerings and gratitude. People used cakes as offerings to the gods and spirits who performed their wonders at certain times of the year.

For instance, the Chinese culture bake moon shaped cakes during their harvest season to honor their moon Goddess. The Russian culture bake sun shaped cakes during Spring to honor a deity named Maslenitsa. Interestingly, even though the Celts in Ireland and the Slavs in Russia are quite distant apart geographically, they both practiced a similar tradition in baking round cakes to celebrate the spring sun.

How cakes are generally made today

As I learned more about baking, the methods of baking we practised today is different than how it was in the past. A long time ago, bread was simply made from wheat flour, salt and water - it took 3 - 5 days for the dough to ferment and rise. Each village grew their own wheat, and of course, back then the ingredients were all entirely, completely and totally organic. That means no pesticides or chemicals were used.

However, as time goes by, and the world gets more dense with people, the need to produce food faster and in larger amount rises significantly. We see a ton of different boxed cake mixes which contain refined sugar, refined wheat flour, artificial flavourings and many other ‘fake’ ingredients. These mixes are being made in mass quantities in factories. This was never the case before as the largest producer would be a local artisan cake shop selling only to one village.

These chemicals taste and feel like the real thing, just like the Vanilla essence you mostly find in the supermarket where it suppose to be made from real vanilla beans. Consuming these artificial products may to some extent harms one's bodies and lead to unwanted diseases over the course of around 10 years.

Today, the immediate demand for food can be easily produced and obtained in supermarkets, but as a consequence, the connection between us and the food we eat has weakened, and to this extent, the connection to our own histories has weakened as well. This happens as technology enables us to synthesize chemicals for art and other stuff in the world, including a cake or food in general.

It is important for us to be more mindful while using technology in the modern world, to ensure that it promotes sustainability. Although there are differences between cakes in antiquity and modern cakes today, cakes are constantly being developed to cater one's perfect needs and bring joy to our homes.

 
Coconut Heaven
 
Coconut Heaven

Did you know that I’m loco for coco?

Also, did you know that the entire coconut tree is useful and there are varied products that can be derived from coconut?

As some of you may know, my cakes are coconut heaven. I use a lot of coconut products in my cake, including coconut flour, mylk and coconut sugar. So, in this article, I want to share you the goodness of coconuts and how an entire part of coconut trees can be transformed into something useful for humans.

Here in Indonesia, it’s really easy to find coconut because, well, you know.. as the one of the naturally richest tropical countries, Indonesia grows lots of coconuts.  That’s why I use coconut flour (and tapioca and rice flour) instead of almond or other imported flour as my main cake dough ingredients.

Coconut is one of the great substitute ingredients for vegan or gluten free dishes, providing a number of nutritions and benefits that prevents varied diseases and health conditions. According to a study published in the December 2006 issue of Innovative Food Science & Emerging Technologies, adding coconut flour to our diets can significantly reduce our risk of developing heart disease, lower our cholesterol levels and guard us from cancer and diabetes. Coconut in general is packed with protein and able to help digestion.

I also use coconut mylk for my cakes and cupcakes as a healthier alternative to dairy. It is believed that it may boost your immune system and protect your body against viral and bacterial infections. I produce my own homemade coconut mylk, in which case has its own natural sweetness and no added yucky substances, unlike the ones you might find in the store.

What other function does a coconut have?

Beside the health benefits of a coconut inside a dish, here in Bali, they use its old stems to build a shack, the coconut leaves for ‘Penjor’ or bamboo pool decoration during Balinese major holidays. Even the hard shell can be used for dishwashing or craft materials like the ones you find very popular on instagram, the coconut smoothie bowls ;)

Young or old, the whole coconut can be used in different ways for various purposes.

So, are you now loco for coco too? <3

 
Sugar In A Cake
 
Sugar in a Vegan Cake

As we commemorate the World Diabetes Day, I’d like to take this opportunity to talk a little bit about sugar. Based on the data from World Health Organization, The number of people with diabetes has risen from 390% increase in the past 34 years. From 108 million in 1980 to 422 million in 2014. In 2030, it is projected to be the seventh leading cause of death in 2030.

This may be one of the reasons why more and more people these days are trying to avoid sugar completely. I saw some extreme examples taken by people, like having non-fruit diets for example.

While limiting sugar intake to our body is important,  in my humble opinion, I think we must, first, understand the science behind sugar before we decide on making a drastic decision to cut sugar out of our lives completely.  I sometimes wonder, how many people know what makes up sugar, how they are being being made and in what natural forms do they come from.

Fortunately, my mother is a food nutritionist with a degree in chemical engineering. Her specialization is in organic chemistry. So, I learned a lot from her about sugar and it’s function in my cake. So, in this blog, I’m sharing you all the things I’ve learned about sugar so far.

The sugar ingredients I use in my cakes and buttercream comes from coconut sugar and sugarcane syrup - which naturally contain sucrose. When sucrose is eaten, a certain enzyme in our body separates it into sugar units of glucose and fructose. Our body generally uses glucose as our main energy source, and fructose for the extra energy we need. However, when not used, fructose will be stored in our body into fat. This unused fat is what then turn into health issues, such as diabetes.

So, it’s important to limit the amount of sugar coming into our body and to make sure to use them by exercising and being physically active!

We need to be mindful with the type of sugar being used and how much is in the cake.

As for the coconut sugar I use, I wondered if it’s healthier than refined / table sugar. I did some research and found out some interesting facts about coconut sugar. Here they are:

#1 Coconut sugar has 50%  lower glycemic index compared to refined sugar. Glycemic Index or GI is a measure of how quickly a food raises our blood sugar levels. Research says, coconut sugar has a glycemic index of about 35, whilst sucrose (which is table sugar) has glycemic index around 68. Which goes to ‘high’ category.

#2 Coconut sugar helps to ferment cake dough. Sugar is needed to be broken down into carbon dioxide and water, which in turns, raises the dough, making them easier for us humans to eat.

#3 Compared with table sugar which doesn’t contain any important nutrients, coconut sugar has quite a bit of nutrients. These are including iron, zinc, calcium and potassium.

These things make coconut sugar a better option than table sugar! However, we also need to still be mindful with the amount of coconut sugar we put into ur body. Because, you know, too much of everything is not good.

So, before we eat anything, we need to be mindful with the type of sugar being used and how much it is in one meal. As for mine, I only use the lowest amount of GI sugar products, like coconut sugar and sugar cane, and I make sure that I don’t put too much in them that it will be excessive for our body.

 
Bali Vegan Festival 2017
 
Bali Vegan Festival 2017

September marks the first year of me as a young entrepreneur and I couldn’t be more grateful for all the things that has happened! I have a sort of clear vision and lots of crazy ideas for my next year and this new season to come. But first, I’m about to take you back to last week.

I got the chance to kick off the second year of Thyme & Caramel by participating in one of Ubud’s largest festivals for vegans and vegetarians, the Bali Vegan Festival.

The event was held for three days from the 6th - 8th October. I opened a booth filled with flowery cupcakes and sweet desserts during the festival and it was worth all of the preparation to make this booth stood out. For 3 days straight I was there, many people came to show their love and support toward the work that I’ve done which I really appreciate.

DSCF2640.JPG

The booth wasn’t the only thing that kept me busy all weekend, I also had a talk on second day of the festival. At first, I doubted myself if I could do it or not as it required me tons of preparation for a 40 minute talk. But my thought was wrong, my worry was gone once I started speaking. The presentation turned out great and I got many positive response and encouragement.

Unfortunately, not all of them went as planned. I had scheduled to do a buttercream flowers workshop there, but decided to postpone it and later cancelled due to the weather. Anyway, for kids who missed the workshop, I’ll be having my first buttercream piping class on 11th November.

I’ll lead this class every once a month. So, sign up now, because there’s only 8 spaces available in every class! :)

 
One Year of Gratitude
 
 Arielle, young entrepreneur starting up vegan cakery business in Bali

I can’t believe that it’s been a year since I launched Thyme & Caramel, oh how time flies! This year has been filled with lots of excitement and amazing experience, thank you to everyone who has supported me. The growth of the business is beyond my expectation!

These experiences has made me realize how grateful I am to be able to find my passion at a young age and feel the joy in what I do, which is baking and crafting cakes. My biggest gratitude to the special people, family, friends, and even people from around the world, who have showed their love towards my work and supported my journey in what I want to achieve as a youth.

I’m thoroughly grateful for the path I have chosen and the support I am given, I believe that education is a lifelong process, and I have learned so many lessons each day from many different aspects. These lessons are ones I value most, reality education that has taught me how to sustain myself as a person and certainly to sustain my business.

I feel the need to share my happiness. That’s why, last month, I kickstarted a small fundraising project for my local farmer’s daughter who has been providing me with only the finest passion fruits for my cake. I’ve donated a percentage of every cupcakes I sold to raise fund for her education.

From one idea to another, I’m thankful to be able to make them happen one by one and step by step. This encourages me to motivate more people, to believe in themselves that how silly people might think your idea is, as long as you believe, there is always a way to turn things that started from only a dream into reality.

Now that I’ve managed my cakery for a year, I’m planning to grow and expand its wings! I am about to launch my buttercream flower making workshop for kids on November, to inspire them to use their creativity in the right place that can make the world a little bit better.

Another exciting news to welcome a new year of Thyme & Caramel, I’ll be participating in one of the biggest festival for vegans and vegetarians in Bali, which is Bali Vegan Festival. There, I’ll be holding my first public demonstration of cake decorating, giving a talk about my journey of positivity and happiness along with amazing speakers who are coming from around the world, and also having a booth at its vegan marketplace (The Vegan Village) where there'll be a little surprise for you. Wohoo!!!

It’s a three-days event in Ubud from 6 to 8 October. Entry to the Vegan Village (Ubud Soccer Field) will be FREE. However, all workshops, talks, classes and screenings require tickets for entry. Check out their website and purchase your ticket now! See you there :)

xx,

Arielle

 
Sweet Purpose of Being
 
 Thyme &amp; Caramel speaking at Pecha Kucha Night Ubud

Sweet Life of Purpose was the title of my presentation I gave at Hubud’s Pecha Kucha Night Ubud last Tuesday at BetelNut Ubud.

In celebration of Indonesia’s Independence day this August, Hubud Bali decided to do an ‘All Star Indonesian’ theme for the first time at the Pecha Kucha Night Ubud Vol. 33. I had the honor to be one of the speakers at this event along with other inspiring Indonesian Speakers who came from different backgrounds. Even though, it was their first time having all Indonesian speakers, it broke the record of more than 300 attendees on this Pecha Kucha talk! How cool was that!

Pecha Kucha is a very fun and interesting format of presentation originating from Japan, where you show 20 images, each for 20 seconds. The images advance automatically and you talk along to the images which is in total I had 6 minute and 40 seconds to deliver my message.

My talk was based on an ancient Japanese philosophy of life called ‘IKIGAI’. Ikigai literally means ‘The reason for being’ which is formed by four primary elements:

  • What you love (Passion)
  • What the world needs (Mission)

  • What your call is (Vocation)

  • What you can get paid for (Profession)

IKIGAI is that space in the centre of these four elements, it’s the source of value or what makes a person’s life truly worthwhile. It’s like a guideline for us, so we can walk our own paths of happiness.

DSCF1086.JPG
I want to encourage young people to use their creativity in the right place to make the world a little bit better.

I love this concept as it very much explains the values we should consider when starting up, or simply running a business. I believe that without one or the other element, no balance will be found. In addition, I also implement my four pillars of value which is Responsibility, Dedication, Commitment and Discipline in running my business. I believe that by simply practicing these values in our daily lives, we can build a more responsible and meaningful life.

My intention for my presentation was to encourage young people, especially those who are fortunate enough to get an education to feel empowered and inspired to use their creativity in the right place to make the world a little bit better.

It was my first time doing a presentation like this and I absolutely had a lot of fun preparing for my talk. It took me about a month to get my script and myself ready for the night. I gotta admit that it was very difficult to fit my message in 6 minutes and 40 seconds, let alone with automatic slides. But at the end, I managed to shorten my words and make them simpler, but still impactful.

I have to say, I was nervous at first as it’s actually been awhile since the last time I was on stage in front of hundreds. I missed this place where I can focus and express my words, a lonely yet powerful place to be. I’ve always liked the stage and especially enjoy it more now, knowing that I have a message I would like to share with the crowd. All in all, I felt really grateful and satisfied for that night, especially with the positive responses that are coming in after that.

You can check out my full presentation at Hubud’s Youtube channel or here:

P.s. I will be sharing my next presentation at the Bali Vegan Festival, and will hold a small workshop for kids. See you there! :)

xxx,

Arielle

 
How It All Began?
 
Vegan Cakery (out of clay)

Ever since I was 3 years old, I've only enjoyed puzzles and play dohs which were the two types of toys that I only played with. While others had barbies and dolls to play with, I was obsessed with molding things or anything to do that involves my hand working together with icky gooey dough.

Eventually, my mum knew what interest me most and decided to send me to miniature clay class when I was 7 years old. That’s where I made my very first bakery, out of clay. She thought it's important to nurture the things that interest me and have me use my free time to grow my hobby.

At the age of 9,  I was invited by a close friend to attend a 3D fondant cupcake class. There, the mentor saw that I had the potential in baking and above that, decorating. She told my mum afterwards and convince her that I shouldn't wait until I was 'old enough' to start, rather, when I am ready.

I have to say, I looove cakes and dessert, but sadly I found many cakes that are made from artificial and processed ingredients that are harmful to our body. In fact, each one of us always feel guilty eating one of the other sweets.

After a rather disappointing experience eating this super trending cake, which tasted so artificial, I was motivated to bake a healthier version of my favorite desserts. As I sat on that cafe table that day, I said to my mum, "I am going to have a bakery one day, serving cakes that has healthy benefits, using ONLY real ingredients."

I was soon to realize that I could do so much more than bake for myself, I found my own way to promote a healthier and more responsible lifestyle through my cakes. I never thought that my pastime could turn into a profession. I was 11 when I said it, and I thought that very statement was going to come true when I'm about 30.

Until a year ago, when I was 14, I started Thyme and Caramel, a vegan and gluten free cakery, aiming to spread a new concept of happiness and sustainability through cakes. Looking back in time, it's interesting to see that my journey in cake business didn't just start recently, but started ever since I was 3 years old. I'm lucky to have my mom support me in a very young age, and I hope that everyone out there in the world will have the same opportunity as I have to discover and develop their talents no matter how young they are. It is never too early for someone to follow their passion and dreams. Happy World Youth Skills Day!

 
Chocolate Heals!
Chocolate Buttercream
Life is like a box of chocolate, you never know what you’ll get
 

There’s this one girl that comes to my mom’s restaurant every week to buy half a dozen of Thyme & Caramel’s chocolate cupcakes.. Yeap!  every.. single .. week!

When I asked, “Why do you buy my cupcakes all the time?” She said, "The chocolate in your cupcakes tastes real, they don’t make me feel bloated after I eat them, and more importantly, it’s the only cake I like that is guilt-free and can actually make me smile!”

Knowing this makes me happy, because this is exactly why I launched Thyme and Caramel! I want my cakes to not just make people happy, but also help them lead a healthier lifestyle. This lady have found a better option of dessert through my cakes, and in addition to that, she gained more knowledge about healthy living.

Let’s talk more about the benefits of (real) chocolate!

The cacao ingredient I use are sourced locally from Kintamani in Bali. I buy it from a small chocolaterie owned by a Balinese guy that handpick organic cacao fruits with his own hands and process them into small batches of different chocolate products. That’s why my chocolate cupcakes taste like real chocolate, because they’re actually real!

Scientifically proven, chocolate is famously known as a medicine to help reduce stress, it contains phenylethylamine (PEA), which is the same chemical that  your brain creates when you feel like you’re falling in love. PEA encourages your brain to release feel-good endorphins.  Real chocolate may also help lower cholesterol and blood pressure. In other words, it heals your body and calms your mind.  (*Because Stressed spelled backwards is Dessert and dessert is basically chocolate ;)

All of these benefits, of course, works for unprocessed and less processed chocolate, not the ones you find in the supermarket, because most of them use artificial ingredients that don’t come from an actual cacao. More than 400 chemical compounds are required to create the flavor of chocolate! Do you really want to put that much chemicals into your body every time you grab that chocolate bar off the supermarket rack? I don’t think so.

So, here is the solution: make your own chocolate and use ‘real’ foods!

My gluten-free chocolate cake is made from tapioca flour which I mix with coconut flour, rice flour , cacao butter, cocoa nib, cocoa powder, coconut sugar and coconut oil. Coconut flour is actually high in fiber, protein, and healthy fats , it is free from wheat and other grains. That makes coconut flour a good substitute for those who have a sensitive digestive system. I also use coconut sugar for my sweetener replacing those nasty refined sugars. All in all, I carefully choose the ingredients that are better and have some tremendous benefits for our health.

Today is the day that all of chocoholic have been waiting for all year. You can eat many chocolates you want for the day, but choose wisely! Eat the right kind of chocolate to indulge in and you’ll be fine. Happy World Chocolate Day, everyone!

xx,

Arielle.

 
Inside the Mind of a Successful Young Entrepreneur
 
 Thyme &amp; Caramel at Bali Bungkus Hubud - Young Entrepreneur

A talk I gave at Hubud’s Bali Bungkus Event

Back in April, I went to Hubud Community Co-working Space in Ubud, Bali to deliver a special cake as a surprise to a special someone. When I gave the cake to the birthday girl, almost everyone at Hubud raved about how pretty it looked and was surprised that it was made by me, a teenager. That’s when one of Hubud’s members approached me and invited me to share my story at their skill share event, the Bali Bungkus in June! 

Weeks passed by until that day, the day that I got excited (and well, a bit nervous!) I saw on Hubud’s website that my talk was mentioned, titled “Inside the Mind of a Young, Successful Entrepreneur”. I got nervous because the title of the presentation was kind of intimidating, as I feel like I’m not that successful yet and that I had just started this business last year! They expect me to share something that I learned as an entrepreneur that people (aka the adults) can learn from, which is a bit tough! :S

As I (slowly) prepared and practiced my presentation, I learned that I actually had gone through quite a roller coaster ride with Thyme and Caramel. I realized that I had learned so much more and acquired a better understanding from managing my own business, than sitting in a classroom. So yeah, I feel like I can actually share a thing or two about being an entrepreneur! Nevertheless, I also realized that there’s still a lot of room for me to grow. Like, learning on how to manage my time better, et cetera, et cetera.

Fast forward to the D-day, I got nervous (again!), because this was the first time I presented in front of experienced adults, whom are known as the ‘digital nomads’ of the world. Presenting in front of people is definitely one tough thing, and as confident as I may have seen, I certainly was quite anxious inside.  

This little presentation went well though. I got a really great feedback from the audience. I got some interesting ideas that I want to test to improve my business, which is really valuable. :) I also gained more confidence in public speaking! The audience were really nice and supportive of me. I even got an order that day.

All in all, this presentation has given me another learning opportunity. It was a nice day. Oh, to close off, I’m going to share you my full presentation. Check it out and let me know what you think!  

PS. I’ll be sharing another one of my story at Pecha Kucha Night this August! More info to come :)

 (My presentation was 15 minutes long, the rest are Q&A)

Xxx,

Arielle

 
Why Vegan?
 
 &nbsp;Plant-based colouring powder: cacao, matcha,&nbsp;turmeric, and beetroot.

 Plant-based colouring powder: cacao, matcha, turmeric, and beetroot.

So, why vegan?

People often ask me this question.

Well, it all started because I, myself, am allergic to processed dairy. I have been having this allergy ever since I was little. I’m also very sensitive with artificial and processed food, I instantly feel sick and usually get headaches. I don't see it as a bad thing really, it makes me more aware and conscious with what I eat.

When I started baking, I basically wanted to give myself more food options that won’t do me harm. I want to be able to eat cakes without feeling sick afterwards. You see, I love food, and so do I love desserts and cakes, but eating random sweets that consist of artificial ingredients like sweetener and food colouring, instantly gets me sick.

I went to Green School and studied there for 2 years. Being in Green School that time, I was opened and introduced to the world of veganism.  I also learned a lot about sustainability. I learned that the world becomes messed up today with pollution, global warming, etc mostly because of us, humans. We don’t really care about how we produce things and what we give back to the earth. I also learned that most activism towards sustainability is often seen as something that is too idealist. That’s why I wanted to do something outside the box to help build awareness about sustainability.

At Green School, I saw quite a large demand in veganism. I saw that quite a lot of people are allergic to certain animal products, like dairy and eggs. I found out about this when I helped my mom bake cakes for her food stand at school, and we got a lot of cake requests from families because we make dairy free & gluten free cakes. That’s when my idea of launching Thyme and Caramel started! I thought, by creating a vegan cakery, it will help me talk about sustainability in a positive way.

Thyme and Caramel is actually the first vegan cakery in Bali. I serve cakes for birthdays, baby showers, anniversaries, and even weddings - for all happy moments! I think that by reaching out to people with something that makes them happy, it will be easier to inspire them about the values around healthy and mindful lifestyle.

Veganism can be seen in many different aspects and opinions, but I believe that it promotes a more mindful lifestyle. If you look at it from health perspective, reducing some animal products in your diet will most likely help your body digest food better, as a lot of animal products are now harmed by unwanted chemicals. Additionally, without the use of eggs and butter in my cakes, it certainly reduces the amount of fat and calories in it.

I also substitutes the ingredients with super foods such as pumpkin, beans and chickpea, which are a better and healthier choice for our body, making my cakes a guilt free treat. I thought, this will be a hit for the ladies! Because, you know, usually cakes are like a big no no to a lot of girls because of the high sugar and fat it consists.

So yeah, these are the main reasons why I chose to launch a vegan cakery. I certainly hope that Thyme and Caramel can promote about sustainability, but more importantly, give a better food option for people seeking to have a healthier lifestyle.