Monday, December 20, 2010

Kasia's 21st Birthday - The Shoe Cake

G’day my lovelies. Just a quick post to show you what I’ve been up to for the last week or so..


(Photo credit: Ben Wares Photography)

The stunning Miss Kasia turned 21 this month, and I was lucky enough to be asked to make her cake. I’ve known Kasia for a year or two now, and she is a very unique girl. She is extremely outgoing and definitely not a shy person. She is unbelievably friendly, and will go out of her way to make you feel welcomed and loved. But to quote the woman herself, “I’m bit of a diva let’s face it. I’m not a shy character...haha”. Can you see why I like this girl? Straight to the point, no mucking around and bloody hilarious! Obviously the cake would have to be spectacular, and Kasia knew exactly what she wanted.

She sent me this link of a gorgeous cake by Elite Cake Designs - The classic stiletto on top of a Gucci shoe box. The requirments for Kasia's cake.. No roses or Gucci, nice and simple with a black and white box. And the shoe? Well, it had to be purple and sparkly. To match her gorgeous dress. I was up for the challenge.

I spent a few weeks’ googling tutorials and youtube videos on how to make the shoe. I wasn’t too concerned about the box, I just wanted to get the shoe right. I found some really fantastic templates and videos which really helped, and the whole thing came together perfectly.

In the new year I’ll be following this up with two ‘how-to’ posts.. One for the shoe, and one for the box. So stay tuned if you’d like to see how I managed to pull this bad boy together. And may I say. It weighted a frickin’ tonne!

So, here are the stats.. Among many other things, this cake consisted of;

1.2 kilo dark chocolate
½ kilo milk chocolate
1 kilo butter
1.3 kilo plain flour
2.2 kilo caster sugar
16 large eggs
½ litre buttermilk
1 litre pure ream
1.5 kilo fondant
15 hours of baking and decorating.

Yum. Yum. Yum. Just the smell of this monstrosity is enough to make my thighs start jiggling.

I was very pleased with this cake. I think it’s one of my best and looked very professional for someone who is self taught in cake decorating. But most importantly, the birthday girl was thrilled, she said it was exactly what she wanted, and it matched her dress perfectly! Happy Birthday Kasia, hope you had a glorious 21st!

(Photo credit: Ben Wares Photography)

Well kiddies, I’m off for the holidays. Heading down South to ring in the New Year with Joan Jett! Have a lovely festive season. Drink lots, eat heaps and love your family, because you only get one.

See you in 2011!
Peace, KayB x.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Sydney Food Bloggers Christmas Picnic and Christmas Cupcake Toppers

Food bloggers, Assemble! Now all I need is a giant horn or seashell to blow on and the team will come a running!

The second annual Sydney Food Bloggers Christmas Picnic took place this weekend in the gorgeous Centennial Park. 50 plus foodies ventured out from behind their slr’s and macbooks with food and Kris Kringle presents in hand to celebrate the silly season together. 

Big shout out to Suze and Helen for organising the picnic. Two very proactive ladies in the blogging community, without who we probably wouldn't have so many wonderful opportunities to catch up with new and old friends. We ate, we drank and we were merry. 
I went cliche with my plate of food.. mini mudcakes with Christmas themed toppers. Let’s learn how to make them, shall we?

(Apologies for the horrific photos, my camera decided to die as I was making the toppers, so these photos are from my camera phone!). 
You will need:
Fondant - light pink, green, red and white colours.
Circle cutter (2 1/4 inch)
Piping tip (any type)
Small knife
Rolling pin
Veining tool (or tooth picks)
Water and paint brush
Blue gel colouring and tooth pick
Roll out your pink fondant and cut out circles for the elves and Santa faces.
For the Santa.. thinly roll out white fondant and use circle cutter to cut out rounds for Santa’s beard. Still using your circle cutter, cut away 2 thirds of the circle, keeping the smaller portion for his beard. With a little bit of water, attach the beard to the lower half of Santa’s face.

Next, roll out two small balls of white fondant for Santa’s moustache. Flatten the balls with your index finger, then pinch one side to form a teardrop shape. Repeat on second ball.
Using a small amount of water, attached to the top of Santa’s beard.

For his nose, roll out a small amount of pink fondant and attach with water right above his moustache.

Santa’s hat.. Thinly roll out your red fondant, and using your small knife cut out triangles, I made mine two inches wide at the base, and three inches high. 

Attach the triangle so it is just above the ends of Santa’s beard. Using a toothpick, gently fold the corner of his hat over and attached a small white ball of fondant to the point.

Thinly roll out the remaining white fondant and cut small strips for the trip on Santa’s hat (no measurements sorry, I just eyeballed it).
Use the blue gel and toothpicks to give Santa a couple of eyes.
For the Elves.. very similar except for the ears and mouth. Start with the hat, same size as Santa’s but use the green fondant. Attached as previously mentioned.
Roll two small balls of pink fondant, and flatten and pinch as you did with Santa’s moustache. Finish the ears by using your veining tool or toothpick to mark shallow indents down the  middle of the ears. Attach over the hat.
Roll a small balls of pink fondant and give him a nose, then use the large end of your piping tip to imprint a smile on his face. Use the blue gel to give him some eyes, and you’re done! Leave to dry for a few hours and attach to the top of some cupcakes using some icing of your choice, or a bit of apricot jam.

Monday, November 15, 2010

7-Eleven Day. The best weekend ever. Part Two.

What’s your favourite holiday? Christmas? Your birthday? Halloween?
Mine is 7-Eleven day. Ok, not exactly a holiday. But it should be. I mean, it’s free slurpees.

It was on again, for young and old. An annual race around Sydney to devour as many free slurpees as humanly possible. The challenge. Beat last year’s total of 9 slurpees in a shorter time frame. This year, the almighty powers at 7-Eleven headquarters decided to put a time limit on the festivities. 7am til 2.11pm. For those of you playing at home, that is exactly 7 hours and 11 minutes. Bucket loads of time to hit up 10 different locations, right? Yeah, in theory it was. But in practice.. well..

I don’t know how to put this delicately, so I won’t. I’ll give it to you straight, at the chance of hurting some feelings. This year we had a team of four people in my car. Miss Moon, BecFace, D-Gale and myself. Our story begins 12 hours earlier. Let’s move back to the previous day, shall we?
Saturday. Miss Moon was out for a night on the town with a male friend. Rad tunes and tasty beverages. Lots of tasty beverages. We all know what copious amounts of alcohol can do to you. We each have out limits. And sometimes when we hit that limit, we do silly things. But what’s silly about a playground? Nothing, you might say. Well, at 1am in the morning after many tasty beverages, apparently lots of things about a playground are silly. Including a flying fox. Upside down. Children, don’t attempt this at home. Miss Moon thought it would be fun to ride the flying fox upside down. It wasn’t. One busted shoulder later, followed by an emergency visit to the medical centre, and our quest for free slurpees was delayed several hours. I’d appreciated it if every single person who reads this would leave Miss Moon a heckling comment about her questionable decisions that night. Or, if you’ve done something even worse, let us know so we can make Miss Moon feel a bit better about her lapse in judgement. Moon, consider this your early birthday present. I love you. Ahem, ok, now that we’ve got that out of the way..
(Only 3 slurpees in and the team is already starting to lose focus)

We headed off at 11am.  3 hours and 11 minutes to hit up 10 locations. It was tough. We didn’t factor in getting lost (which happened approximately 2.5 times). We also didn’t factor in drinking time (some locations were less than 4 minutes apart, and the rules state that you must finish one slurpee before arriving at the next location, or you have to skull. Hello brain freeze!).

Speaking of brain freeze, I was the first solider down (shamefully, at the first location), followed closely by D-Gale. And this year the team would like to hand out some awards.
(D-Gale and Moon posing for photos. We're kinda famous at 7-Eleven)

First awards goes to ARNCLIFFE for
Best slurpee consistency.

Second award goes to MAROUBRA for
Most ineffective service.

Flavour of the year goes to
Kiwi Strawberry.

And the final verdict. Drum roll please..... we got 9 locations. Even with my manic driving, we didn’t get to 10 locations within the allotted time. We could have ‘cheated’ and grabbed two slurpees at the last location, but it just didn’t feel right.

The moral of the story. 7-Eleven people, please don’t put a limit on this glorious day. It just cripples the customers who love sluprees so much. Oh, and don’t hang upside down from a flying fox. Ever.

7-Eleven Stores 

7-Eleven Arncliffe
28 Princes Highway
7-Eleven Bexley
474 Forest Road
7-Eleven Caringbah
367 The Kingsway (Cnr. Willarong Road)
7-Eleven Cronulla
47 The Kingsway (Cnr. Gosport Street)
7-Eleven Maroubra
1 Meagher Avenue (Cnr. Malabar Road)
7-Eleven Matraville
515 Bunnerong Road
7-Eleven Narwee
161 Penshurst Road (Cnr. Hannans Road)
7-Eleven Penshurst
612 Forest Road (Cnr. George Street)
7-Eleven Ramsgate
368 Rocky Point Road

Monday, November 8, 2010

Zumbo's Macaron Day and 7-11 Day. The best weekend ever. Part one.

If I had my own way, I’d easily sleep in til 10am, 11am, even 12pm every day. Unfortunately The Boy likes to rise at 7am. It’s a trying fact in our relationship and something that we are currently working through. Lucky for me, he is away at the moment. And shamefully, this means that he missed me dragging my tired ass out of bed at 6am this Saturday in search of macarons. I would have received an absolute serving from him “What! You never get out of bed that early for me! Stop wasting the day!”.

Saturday, the 6th November is Macaron Day. The ridiculously talented Adriano Zumbo, of Zumbo patisserie pulls together 60 plus macaron variations each year on this day (also known as his birthday). And having worked last year on Macaron Day, this year I was getting up early and dragging Miss Moon to Balmain with me to get my macaron on!

The day started with a 6am alarm. Stumbling around my empty, dark apartment, tripping over coffee tables, etc. Then off to pick up Miss Moon via White Horse Coffee, Sutherland. Oh there is nothing better than good coffee and very attractive boys at 7am to make you feel perky about the day ahead. Honestly, I don’t care if the attractive cashier and even more attractive barista flirt with all the girls that come in for coffee. And I don’t even care that attractiveness and subtle flirting abilities are prerequisites when applying for a job at White Horse, just so long as they make me feel like the prettiest girl to ever walk into their shop.. ok, I’m getting distracted now. Sorry. But seriously. Go to White Horse. Just for attractive men. Oh, and coffee.

With coffee in hand, we were off to Balmain in the pouring rain. It was absolutely bucketing! Streets were flooding, drain pipes were exploding. Horrific weather. But we rocked up to Zumbo’s just after 8am and in line we waited for approximately 1 and a half hours.

People were coming out of the shop with boxes upon boxes of macarons! Once inside, one of staff members told us that someone had just spent $280 - At 2 bucks each, that’s 140 macarons! Made my measly 15 macarons seen pointless. But it wasn’t pointless. It was amazing! Between myself and Miss Moon we tried around 30 flavours. Below is the full list – highlighted in red are the ones that we tried.
(Insides of the Hamburger macaron)

Top marks go to the yoghurt, chilli and tangerine. Just the right amount of chilli and a hint of yoghurt which really made the citrus flavour pop. Shear brilliance in a macaron.

Unfortunately, at 9.30am, some flavours were still MIA. I was more than willing to buy a whole box full of Beer and Nuts macarons, but “they haven’t arrived yet”. Also missing were fish and chips, fairy bread and black garlic. A little disappointing considering the shop had been open since 7am.

Macaron Day 2010 
Beer and nuts
Black garlic
Black Sesame
Blood and chocolate
Blue cheese - all the savoury lovers, put your hands up! This is a winner for the cheese lovers out there.
Blueberry Lavender - only for fans of lavender. Is anyone not a fan? Very delicate and sweet. 
Burnt Toast
Cereal box
Chestnut Passionfruit
Cherry adzuki bean
Choc Banana
Choc Mayonnaise - this was Miss Moon's choice. Mayonnaise belongs on a sandwich. That is all.
Choc Salt and Vinegar
Choc Smoked Marshmallow
Choc Water (H2O) - chocolate, with a refreshing twist. Intriguing. 
Choc Zumbo
Cookie Dough - cookie dough centre was more of an 'Anzac biscuit' dough. I prefer choc chip dough, personally.
Cucumber mint yoghurt
Fairy Bread
Fish and chips
Hamburger - real beetroot and cheese. Bit of mustard tang. Messy.
Kalamata Olive with Candy
Lemon Verbena + Mint
Lollipops - like a vanilla and strawberry chuppa chup. Winner.
Lychee - filled with a small bit of lychee jelly.
Pancake and maple syrup
Peanut butter and jelly - jelly was a little bit gritty. But peanut butter in a macaron is amazing!
Pear Vanilla Macadamia
Pecan Danish
Pineapple + Coconut - tasted like a splice ice cream! I will go back for this one again, and again, and again..
Pinenut Gianduja
Rice pudding
Ruby Grapefruit
Salmon - holy shit! Props to Zumbo for recreating salmon in a dessert! Spot on! One small problem. Creamy, buttery salmon makes me gag. Terrible, terrible, terrible. 
Salt and Vinegar - all the salt and vinegar was Miss Moon's choice. Not a fan. That's just me. Sorry.
Salted Butter Caramel
Salted Butter Popcorn - creamy, creamy butter cream filling. Yum. 
Salted milk choc caramel
Sichuan pepper
Sticky Date
Strawberry Bubblegum
Toothpaste - tasted like spearmint. I like spearmint. 
Vegemite Sourdough - with the buttercream filling, this tasted EXACTLY like a vegemite sammie on white bread!
Yoghurt Chilli Tangerine - perfection. Absolute perfection. 

 White Horse Coffee

2/137 Flora St
Sutherland NSW 2232
0433 411 114

Adriano Zumbo Patisserie

296 Darling St, Balmain NSW

(02) 9810 7318

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Halloween Whoopie Pies and the best costume ever

Yeah, I know what you’re thinking. It’s ok to be jealous. It’s pretty much the best costume ever. And so versatile. Going to a Christmas party? Dress in green, whack some big red baubles on your ears and go as Christmas Barbie in-a-box! Grandma’s 80th birthday? Grab some comfy shoes, a cardigan and a blue rinse. Hello Grandma Barbie in-a-box. The same goes for men, just as a Ken (or Barbie if they wish. I don’t judge). Oh and the rest of the family looks pretty good too.

2010 marked the 3rd annual KayB, JayB, MummyB and DaddyB Halloween Moonlight Screaming, where we invite all our mates around, dress up in wicked costumes and eat wicked food while watching scary movies in the backyard.

Among the many many cool costumes, there are also many many cool food options. Miss Moon always makes these awesome Halloween Cupcakes. 

I also got my hands on some real life CANDYCORN! The national candy of Halloween in America. I love this stuff. The group was divided, some loving it, others loathing it. It tastes like jersey caramels. Whats not to like?

I also got creative and used my Halloween cookie cutters to make some Bat and Ghost chips. Get some tortilla wraps, cut out the spooky shapes and pop em’ in the oven for 5-10 minutes till they crisp up. Simple.

But my big cooking project for Halloween this year was the Chocolate and Pumpkin Whoopie Pies. Ever since I spied the whoopies pies on Bakerella, I had been keen to give them a try. I also just like the name whoopie pie. While they don’t necessarily look that appealing, they taste pretty darn good.
In essence, a whoopie pie is a cross between a cookie and a muffin top with some sort of delectable filling sandwiched between the two layers. By themselves, the cookie/muffin tops were actually quite plain. Pumpkin filling, however, equaled amazing-ness!!! Ohh boy, somebody get me a spoon. Quick. Someone. SPOON. GET ME A SPO.. oh too late. I just slammed my face into the bowl and sucked up all the pumpkin filling through every orifice in my face (insert Homer Simpson gurgle here). 
Chocolate and Pumpkin Whoopie Pies.
3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups cocoa powder 
1 tbsp baking soda
3/4 cup butter (salted)
1 cup castor sugar
1 cup brown sugar
2 eggs
2 cups whole milk
Pumpkin Filling
125g Philadelphia cream cheese
125g Butter
1/2 pure icing sugar (sifted)
1/2 cup of canned butternut pumpkin soup 
Preheat oven to 170 degrees fan forced. Sift flour, coco and baking soda into a bowl, set aside.
In an electric mixer cream sugars and butter until smooth. Add in eggs one at a time until just combined.
Add flour/coco/baking soda and milk bit by bit, alternating between the two.
Spoon onto trays lined with baking paper (desired size. They are normally very large, I made some of mine with a teaspoon size scoop, easier to fit into the mouth). Bake for 15 minutes or until the tops crack. 
Combine icing sugar, cream cheese and butter in an electric mixer until smooth. Add pumpkin soup until just combined. You may like to add more sugar as desired.
Sandwich filling in between cookie/muffin tops and decorate with orange sprinkles.