Monday, December 21, 2009
Sunday, December 20, 2009
Christmas is happening a little late this year in my house. I have been away on a photography course in Australia and haven't even begun my usual Christmas prep! No time for my regular Christmas cakes this year so I made little baby ones.... just as yummy!
Saturday, November 28, 2009
My little niece turned 4 today and we had an "Under the Sea" party with mermaid/pirate fancy dress. Molly told me the mermaid HAD to have a pink tail and asked for a shark coming out of the water.
I modelled the mermaid to match the image I used when I designed her invites. I wish I got more pictures of the party but sadly the lighting wasn't the best in the hall where the party was held.
Originally I had planned to make these pirate cookies for the "loot bags" but the cake took longer than I thought and I ran out of time so instead I went with starfish. Each child also got a personalised sweetie bag full of sea/pirate candies.
Happy birthday you gorgeous girl xx
Saturday, November 14, 2009
This is for one of my husband's best friends (obviously a Police Dog Handler too). I'm not even going to tell you how long this took.... more for the fact that I kept having 'issues' (with the cake that is) at various stages!!!
I had many ideas given to me by his work colleague but most were just down right mean, wrong or involved the word "hooters"
"Git" is part of his nickname..... they are such a nice bunch really LOL
The label reads "Full bodied and slightly fruity"
Happy birthday.... Steve.... Pikey... The French Git..... whatever name your presently going with.
**Everything is handmade, handpainted & edible**
Wednesday, November 4, 2009
My sister-in-law is having a surprise dinner party for her Mum who is turning 70. She wanted something floral (I don't normally 'do' flowers as I am not talented in that area!). As this was to feed only 12 people I was quite limited in the design as I didn't want too much left over cake. As it was going to be the centerpiece of the table I wanted it to be fresh and striking. My sister-in-law is setting the table in black and silver so I think this will go well in the middle.
I am really pleased how this turned out. As I only make cakes for my family & close friends I just want to add a wee note....
To any family members who are thinking of requesting this cake..... think again... this is a one off.... never again type of deal!
The stripes alone took me 5 and a half (non-stop) hours. I can't even imagine the hours in the roses.... but lets just say there are about 70 roses on the top.... each rose has 15 petals..... each petal is individually frilled and curled and then applied...... THAT IS 1050 PETALS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I went through a very similar type of feeling when I last did a half marathon.... it was like there was just no end.
Tuesday, November 3, 2009
THE SWEETEST THING ON MY BLOG!
My passion for photography is just as about as strong as my passion for all things sugar! And while this is indeed a cake blog I just HAD to share this with you all.
When one of my oldest and dearest friends had a baby recently I knew I wanted to try my hand at a newborn session.
Here is this little angel at 2 and a half weeks old. She so well behaved and just slept and feed all day long letting her Mummy and I do all sorts of things to her!
How I love her so :O)
Friday, October 16, 2009
Sunday, September 20, 2009
For three years I have been wanting to do a cake I fell in love with on a website. Lexi (my niece) gets Christened today so for the past three months I have been so excited about doing the cake. I even spent an extra $50 on cutters from Canada.... and the day I went to put it all together I TOTALLY went off the idea!!!!!!!!!!!
This has never happened to me before. I am a PLANNER!!!!!!!!!!
So with less than a day to come up with a new design.... an extra 5 kilos of fondant as I changed colours of this cake halfway through.... here she is. LOL
Shoes, ribbon and bow handmade by me and they are edible :O)
Saturday, September 12, 2009
Saturday, August 22, 2009
Thursday, August 20, 2009
So today I am a cake maker to The Stars ... well a star's mother-in-law :O)
Three years ago when I started 'getting into cakes' I remember showing a photo of my latest (photos I have since hidden as they were soooo bad!) creation to my darling friend Georgie (we met through work). She made the usual ooooh's and aahhhh's that supportive friends do and then casually dropped it into the conversation that her soon-to-be daughter-in-law also 'did' cakes. She told me that she had a website and when she got back to her desk she sent me the link.
When I opened it up I nearly fainted on the floor.... there before me on the screen was the one and only Peggy Porschen
Quite funny when I look back on it now. When I went to the UK on holiday in 2007 Georgie organised for me to go and spend the morning with Peggy at her studio in London.... what a thrill!!!! I even got to eat one of her cupcakes.... secretly I wanted to put it in by bag and take it home and keep it in a locked cabinet LOL
Georgie to this day remains one of my biggest supporters and it still drives her a little insane that I don't and won't do this for a living. I am meeting up with her for lunch today to celebrate her birthday and these are made especially for her.
Happy birthday my gorgeous friend xxx
Tuesday, August 4, 2009
I have seen and read so much about Red Velvet over the past couple of years but I've never tried it!
One of the things I love about the 'Cake World' is the fantastic bunch of friends I have made! One of those super talented people Louisa shared this recipe for Red Velvet.
I made a quarter of the recipe and made my own cake flour (1 3/4 cups flour & 1/4cup cornflour). I often cut a recipe in quarters if I want to make a small amount (like for after school treats) cupcakes work really well for this. Halving her recipe will give you 18-20 cupcakes and I baked at 180c for 20mins.
The texture was really lovely and perfect with cream cheese frosting. Can't say it will become my all time favourite cupcake flavour but I am glad I have now tried them and this recipe is a keeper!
200 g butter, soft
460g caster sugar (fine sugar)
4 55g eggs at room temp (In Aust they are sold as 700g cartons)
45 ml red liquid food colouring
400 ml luke warm butter milk (heat in microwave)
500g plain flour (I didnt use cake flour)
25g cocoa powder (I used 22% cocoa solids)
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1 1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
1 1/2 tsp salt
1 1/2 tsp vinegar
2 tsp vanilla extract
Pre heat oven to 160 degrees fan
Line base & sides of 7.5cm (3") high 22.5 (9") cm round cake tin with heavy duty greese proof paper. I used one layer of paper.
Mix red food colour, vinegar,& luke warm butter milk.
Cream the butter first for approx 1 min
Slowly add the sugar, cream for approx 5 min. Add vanilla essence.
Add eggs one at a time, scraping down bowl after each addition.
Sift flour, salt, bicarb soda, cocoa & baking powder
Add sifted flour mix to creamed mixture alternating with the warm butter milk. Have mixer on low speed.
Remove bowl from stand & with a spatular make sure its all combined.
Pour batter into lined cake pans
Bake at 160 degrees for approx 50 min or until skewer comes out clean, turn cakes half way through cooking.
Remove from oven, stand for 15 min then turn out onto wire rack to cool completely.
Trim the layers, slice in half & fill with your fav icing.
Refrigerate for 1 hour before serving.
Note: 1 tsp is 5ml
eggs are 55g out of the shell
liquid food colour was used not paste.
Sunday, June 28, 2009
Friday, June 19, 2009
Yeah I know BIG call!
Who doesn't love a Brownie!? Most people have clear preferences to how they like their brownies. I like mine fudgy and chewy... not moist and cakey. I have a REALLY sweet tooth and I came across this recipe a while ago and haven't found one I like better (although that doesn't stop me trying new recipes).
Be warned, it is not for the faint hearted..... or calorie counters!
(Recipe comes from a well known bakery here in NZ)
Pandoro's Chocolate Brownie recipe
100 g cocoa
200 g butter, melted
400g or 2 cups caster sugar
1 tsp vanilla
90 g flour
1 tsp baking powder
200 g chocolate chips
Sift cocoa into a large mixing bowl. Add melted butter, sugar, eggs and vanilla. Mix to a smooth paste. Sift in flour and baking powder, and then add chocolate chips. Pour mixture into a 20cm x 30 cm Swiss Roll pan. Bake in a preheated oven at 150 degrees C for 65 minutes.
Cool in pan
Friday, June 5, 2009
Friday, May 29, 2009
It's my 'little' girls birthday next week. Tomorrow we are having a family get-together so we will celebrate and eat cake!
She asked for Hello Kitty, bright green & pink.
The photo above was taken about 13 years ago.... she will be turning 15 on 2nd June *sob* ... my baby girl is all grown up.
Happy birthday Mikayla xxx
Friday, May 15, 2009
It's been 6 months since I have decorated a cake. I get quite a few emails asking for tips and advice on cake decorating.... the biggest trick in my opinion is PRACTICE PRACTICE PRACTICE! Cake decorating (for me) isn't like riding a bike.... I was rusty and this cake kicked my butt LOL
This is for my lovely (hunting mad) husband who turns 39 tomorrow. Made with loads of love (a few swear words).
Friday, May 8, 2009
These were ordered by my Mum and have now been delivered to the District Nurses who used to visit my Dad on a daily basis over the past three years.
District Nurses do the work that none of us could or would ever dream of doing. The care and compassion shown to my Dad was amazing. I am so thankful that there are individuals out there who respond to this type of calling in life.... they are truly special and remarkable people.
Wednesday, May 6, 2009
Today was a housework catch-up day... until I got an email from Chelsea (a New Zealand sugar company). Thought the idea of adding a pudding mix into a cookie sounded interesting! http://www.chelsea.co.nz/
I either need to go on a baking ban, or hire a maid...
Instant Pudding Biscuits
***Please note: the recipe on their website didn't mention the egg in the method so I added it after creaming the butter & sugar.
150 g butter
3/4 cup Chelsea White Sugar
1 packet (70 g) instant pudding - any flavour will do but our favourite is butterscotch
1 1/2 cups flour
3 tablespoons cornflour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 cup sultanas or chocolate chips
Preheat oven to 180°C. Line an oven tray with baking paper.
Beat butter and sugar together in a bowl. (*I beat in the egg here). Add the dry ingredients and sultanas or chocolate chips. Roll into balls and flatten with a wet fork on the prepared tray. Make sure they do not touch each other and allow a little room for expansion. Bake for 15 minutes. Cool on a wire rack and store in an airtight container.
* I got 36 cookies
Saturday, April 25, 2009
New Zealand and Australia share a tradition of Anzac Biscuits. Both countries claim to have invented them, but Anzac Biscuits are similar to many other older biscuit recipes that are designed to produce crisp, hard and nutritious biscuits that keep well.
One of the food items that women in both countries sent to soldiers during the First World War was a hard, long-keeping biscuit that could survive the journey by sea, and still remain edible. These were known as Soldiers' Biscuits, but after the Gallipoli landings in 1915, they became known as Anzac Biscuits. Soldiers themselves may have made a similar form of biscuit from ingredients they had on hand: water, sugar, rolled oats and flour.
The traditional Anzac Biscuit is hard and flat - ideal for dunking in tea and then eating. During the First World War, some soldiers used broken biscuits to make a form of porridge to add some variety to their diet.
Over the years, softer and chewier versions of the biscuit have appeared. There are many recipes for Anzac Biscuits. Common to most is the inclusion of rolled oats, coconut, butter and golden syrup. Eggs almost never feature. This may be because eggs were in short supply during the First World War. Many varieties of biscuit do not have eggs, however, and like Anzac Biscuits rely instead on chemical rising agents such as bicarbonate of soda (baking soda).
GIANT Anzac Biscuits (Cookies)
Recipe from Taste Au
1 cup plain flour
1 cup rolled oats
1 cup desiccated coconut
3/4 cup brown sugar
125g butter, chopped
2 tablespoons golden syrup
1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
Preheat oven to 180°C. Line 2 baking trays with non-stick baking paper. Sift flour into a large bowl. Stir in oats, coconut and sugar.
Place butter and golden syrup in a small saucepan over medium-low heat. Stir until melted. Remove from heat. Combine bicarbonate of soda and 2 tablespoons water in a small bowl. Stir into golden syrup mixture (mixture might become frothy). Add immediately to flour mixture and stir until well combined.
Roll mixture, 1/4 cup at a time, into balls. Place 4 biscuits on each baking tray. Flatten to about 12cm (diameter) round, allowing room for biscuits to spread. Bake for 15 to 18 minutes, swapping trays after 10 minutes, or until biscuits are golden. Allow biscuits to cool completely on trays.
These are crisp Anzac biscuits. If you prefer them chewy, flatten biscuits to 10cm (diameter) rounds and reduce cooking time by 1 to 2 minutes.
**I halved most of the mixture and made smaller cookies, which I baked for about 12mins.
***My husband rated these as the best EVER.