Saturday, June 27, 2009

Itchy baking fingers..

Gahhh! I haven't baked in a few weeks and I'm feeling a little anxious.. Lack of baking equipment at my current location is proving difficult. Walking past the baking isle in the supper market today nearly killed me! But tomorrow I'm hitting up the local shopping centre and going to town on some cheap baking tins - relief is coming! 

Recently, my good ol' Grandpa turned the ripe old age of 82! Grandpa Charlie is a racing fanatic! That's probably an understatement. They call him 'the burglar' at the race meets - cause he takes all their money - or so he tells us. 

Without even having to ask, my Dad knew I would be making a 'horse' cake of some description. Trusty google showed me a few different options, but I decided to attempt my first ever marzipan cake topper! Fun times. Seriously, its like play-doh for adults. Except it tastes better - mind you, I really liked the taste of play-doh as a kid, salty as it was. (*face turning red, clearing throat*) ok, so back to the cake.

I made a yummy lemon and sour cream cake! It was soooo good! It had a mosit, mud cake consistenly, yet was light and citritusy. And the sour cream balenced it all out perfectly. 
As usual with my cakes, it is covered with fondant. I employed a new technique to colour the cake - sponging! Really easy (as my life motto states) - get some food colouring, dilute with a little clear alcohol, grab a paper towel, roll into a ball and sponge onto cake! Simple.
Along with the fondant are chocolate decorations - fence palings to be exact - to make the cake look more like a horse farm. 

And needless to say, my Grandpa was blown away. He still has the marzipan horse sitting in the living room! :)

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Greetings from foreign locations..

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

Bunny bunny bunny!

These are so frickin’ cute I just can’t stand it! And super doper easy to make.

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..

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

Happy birthday to me, happy birthday to me..

21 is a milestone. Big party, lots of presents, even more booze and a big cake! Made by me, for myself. Happy birthday to me!

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

Happy Birthday Mummy

Mumma’s birthday was actually five months ago. But I did make a cake. Obviously. Mummy just wanted a butter cake. No other requests. Simple.

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

Joel's 18th Birthday Cake

As promised.. start at the beginning, which was my Brother Joel’s 18th birthday. Somehow, and I can’t remember how, I stumbled upon a picture of a cake in the shape of a ‘1 up mushroom’ from the Nintendo game Mario Brothers. My brother, being a serious gamer from way back in the day, would love this, I thought to myself.

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!)

I was planning on covering the cake with marzipan, but I needed a pure white for the mushroom base, and being my first ever attempt at a covered cake I had no idea how to make it from scratch! But rejoice for Google, as I found a recipe for Marshmallow Fondant! Hurrah!

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..).

The beginning

Well.. My first ever blog post! I’m brand new to the world of blogging and the world of cake decorating, and I plan to use this space as a collection of my triumphs and downfalls. I’ve been attempting to decorate cakes for around 6 months now and have had a few successful, and a few not successful, creations. Over the next few weeks I will be posting what I have come up with thus far on my decorating adventures. And hopefully over the next few months I will have some inspirational baked goods for you to salivate over. As this is just a hobby, I normally practice once every few months when a friend or family member’s birthday pops up. I have recently turned Sunday into my ‘baking’ day, testing recipes out on my dear friends at our ‘coffee town’ catch-ups on Sunday evenings.. (Such a sacrifice on their behalf.. don’t tell them I’m only doing it to fatten them up!).

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.

Peace out,
KayB xx