Saturday, June 27, 2009
Saturday, June 20, 2009
Ok not really foreign. Some might think the shire is a country in itself (*cough* my boyfriend *cough cough*) But it aint that far from my current standing location. House sitting for my future sister-in -law in Miranda means baking in foreign surroundings. (note to self: cake tins will make great xmas presents for SIL). The good news is that for the next three weeks I’m located within walking distance to my ‘local’ cake decorating supplies store! Hurrah!
Anyway, continuing on with caking adventures. Make way for HAMBURGER CUPCAKES. This could be the most confusing eating experience of your life.. well apparently it was for a few of my friends, “I’m confused? Do I want cake or cheeseburger?”. Ha!
I like easy projects and again, this is super dooper easy. Yellow cupcakes cut in half to make the bun. Chocolate cupcake for the beef patty (though I have recently seen them make with brownies.. mmm yum), and coloured butter cream for the lettuce, tomato and mustard! (second tip: you can also use shredded coconut coloured green with liquid food colouring for lettuce).
Aside from cupcakes, I am a huge fan of fun t-shirts. Namely, threadless t-shirts (thanks Lauren for the introduction to the wonderful world of threadless! May be the greatest gift you've ever given me). They are the coolest shirts out, average Joes like you an me submit designs, members vote on the designs and if they are good enough, they get printed! You can check em out here..
Ok so what does this have to do with cake, I hear you ask. The time has comes for the second ever threadcakes competition!! Pick your fav threadless shirt, make it into a cake, and enter to win amazing prizes! My only problem is picking which shirts to use as inspiration! (let me know if you have any requests!). For further inspiration, check out the threadcakes site here and stay tuned for cool, threadless inspired cakes!
Monday, June 15, 2009
With family coming over for Easter I wanted to do something special to celebrate. You probably know by now that I’m hoping to one day become the human equivalent of Google, so as usual I turned to the trusty search engine yet again to get some creative inspiration.
I found more than inspiration, I found a full tutorial! Natalia of ‘Nati’s cooking adventures’ blog made 63 of these little cuties for charity last year. You can find her tutorial here.. http://natiscakes.blogspot.com/2008/03/easter-cupcakes.html
Along with the cute bunnies I also made a bunch of bee cupcakes too from a recipe I found in a kids party cake book. The cupcakes are a mix of vanilla and chocolate with buttercream and the body of the bee is a chocolate royal biscuit with white chocolate wings! Choc biscuit and cupcake together? Sooooo yummy!
Sunday, June 14, 2009
Can you already see the storm brewing on the horizon? It was a disaster. I bit off way too much to chew for my third cake attempt, all in the name of vain. Had to have the perfect cake, didn’t wanna pay someone else mega bucks for it when I can do it myself. Should have gone the mega bucks route..
(Brendan, my brother’s mate, felt the need to rub salt in the wounds by tormenting and heckling me while making the cake. This is me prior to snapping his neck. Kidding! Someone get me a beer.. please!)
Two tiers of mint mud cake and a third, top tier of butter cake with butter cream. Cake tasted good, but the bottom layer collapsed even before putting the second tier on top! WTF? Too much cake with too much chocolate icing! Mother and I conducted what we called at the time ‘cake surgery’.
(The ‘sweaty’ cake, just before it collapsed)
We got there in the end. Then came the black fondant.
I have since learned fondant is not the right type of icing to use if you require a deep colour, such as black. I ended up with grey fondant. So, how was I going to get it jet black? Paint it on! Brilliant! Again, I have since learned that you don’t mix water with food colouring if you’re going to paint it onto fondant, it won’t dry. Use a clear alcohol so it evaporates and dries. I ended up with a cake that looked like it was sweating!
(Still sweating.. but kinda looking like a cake. Maybe?)
To make do I chucked a heap of ribbon and fondant flowers all over it.. and from a distance it didn’t look too bad. I had my black cake, and I did get some lovely comments about it, but looking back it was an absolute disaster! And nobody ate it! That could have to do with the fact that my mum bought around 1.2 million profiteroles as well! Never mind.
I guess you would call it a good learning curve...
Wednesday, June 10, 2009
Truth be told my 21st birthday was the following month and I was planning on using Mummy’s as a test. In my mind, my perfect 21st birthday cake was three tiers, all black. Crazy, I know (that will be my next post).
Mum didn’t want a black cake. Fair enough. But, the bigger the better – Mum got a two tier cake. When it comes to recipes, ideas, colours, etc Google is my saviour. And Google (plus some local library books, which I forgot to take back – oops) advised me that I needed to place my top cake tier on a cake board, which would sit on top of the wooden cake dowels that I place in the bottom tier.
Well I don’t exactly have a local cake supplies shop. The closest is at Miranda, which is about a half an hour drive from my place (ask my boyfriend and he’ll tell you it’s on the other side of the world!). So I got creative and made my own from chopsticks! Yes yes, chopsticks. Logic behind the chopsticks was; they are kinda made of wood (bamboo) and you use them to eat food with so clearly they are hygienic! And might I add they worked a treat! And are heaps cheaper! Two whole bucks for a pack of twenty! Simple.
Cake dowels – check. Cake board – check. Cake recipe – check. Simple, right? You’d think so, and honestly it was. The worst bit? I fell down eight stairs the night before I planned to embark on my second ever cake.
Three x-rays later, no broken bones just some torn ligaments, lots of swelling and bruises – not to mention my bruised ego. Note – instead of rushing to my aid after the fall, as my father did, Mummy proceeded to point and laugh. Seriously considered not bothering with the cake! But I persevered, hopping around the kitchen for two days on one leg to make this damn cake (shhh – don’t tell my boyfriend, I was supposed to be resting, ankle elevated! Oops!).
Voila. One butter cake with vanilla butter cream and marshmallow fondant. All the decorations are made from marshmallow fondant aswell, left out to dry for a few days before sticking to the cake with royal icing. Proving to the masses that women can do anything. Even with several torn ligaments.
Sunday, June 7, 2009
So, in my quest to become the ultimate domestic goddess (move over Nigella Lawson), I thought I would attempt to make one for him. Being his 18th birthday, it required a special cake, not the usual mud cake that our family INSISTS on buying for each person’s birthday.
Unfortunately I don’t have any decent pictures of the cake, which was accompanied by several ‘mushroom’ cupcakes. But you can kinda see the resemblance.. I guess? (It also included a very cute '18 up' star.. 18th birthday.. 18 up.. get it!)
Not only does it taste better than marzipan, it is super dooper easy to make. And in keeping with the super dooper easy theme of this cake, I used a packet butter cake mix! I’m sure any cake decorator will probably banish me to hell now for admitting that, BUT everyone loved it, and my mum (whose birthday was coming up next) even requested the same cake for her birthday! (just not in the shape of a mushroom, obviously..).
So, I will do my best to keep my posts regular and consistent. I look forward to hearing your thoughts, comments, feedback, criticisms, critiques and gushing praisesJ.
But now, I think I will start at the beginning.. a very good place to start.