Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Masquerade cake: Tutorial

Today we're going to learn how to make a gumpaste mask. But first, a more pressing matter. Check out this wicked apron I got for Christmas..

Tehaha Love it. Ok. Now onto more important things.. lets learn how to make this. 

You will need;
Gumpaste – any chosen colour

Rolling pin
Baking paper
Cling wrap
Led pencil
Plastic Mask
Royal icing
Piping bag plus tips
Sparkles!!! Or any decorations you want to use, like peacock feathers.

First off, design your mask. It’s always a good idea to have a design idea before going in. I always sketch my designs while surrounded by inspiration. But be flexible, sometimes the best laid plans can go awry. I made two masks, because my first design sucked. Seriously. It sucked hard, kids!

You also need to make a template for your mask. I found a few I liked and made a variation of them.

Trace your template onto some baking paper and cut out. Next you will need to cut your template out of gumpaste, so prepare your bench top with a sprinkling of corn flour and roll your gumpaste to approximately 5mm thick. We want it to be thick and sturdy. 
Lay your template over the gumpaste and using a small, sharp knife cut out the mask, leaving the eye holes til last.
You may find that the gumpaste will shift as you are cutting it. No problem, just used your index finger to smooth out and shape the gumpaste so it’s all even. Then proceed to cutting out the eye holes. Now, be patient. Once you put this on the actual mask to dry, you’ll probably have to trim the eyes again to get them even.

Now that you have your mask, you'll want to get that realistic shape. Enter the creepy plastic face mask! So, to stop the gumpaste from sliding off, place a layer or two of cling wrap on the plastic mask. You will also want to raise the plastic mask so the gumpaste mask doesn’t dry with its tips sticking out like a pair of tiny wings. I stuck an upside down bowl under mine, which worked a treat!
Once dry, we start the fun bit.. Decorating! I also took the extra step of trimming my dry mask with a small knife, just to round off the corners and even the whole thing out. You may also want to redo the eye holes.
Assuming that the actual mask won’t be consumed, we’re going to use a bit of led pencil to trace our design on the mask (and honestly, who of us didn’t suck on or chew the living daylights out of some led pencils in primary school? Didn’t hurt me).

Ok so, grab some baking paper and trace the outline of your mask, including the eye hole (don’t use your original template because the shape of the mask will have changed).
Use this to draw your design onto. Once you have finalised it, flip the baking paper over and trace the outline of the design. Then, lay the baking paper over the mask (right side up) and rub over the outline again. This will transfer the led on the back of the baking paper onto your gumpaste. Use this technique to ensure all your design is even and consistent.
Now we have a lovely stencil to pipe over. Fill your piping bag with royal icing, coloured to your choice. I was using very dark green/almost back edible sparkles so I tinted my royal icing black. I also used a round #1 size tip, but use your discretion based on your design. Work in sections so the royal icing doesn’t dry before you sprinkle your decorations on top. If it does dry quickly, just grab a fine paint brush and paint with a little bit of water, then sprinkle your decorations on.

To finish I grabbed some peacock feather which I glued to the back with royal icing. Attach to the cake with more royal icing and voila! One beautiful masquerade birthday cake for a beautiful girl.. Happy Birthday Ashleigh!

Friday, March 18, 2011

Frisky Friday - Punk Rock is not dead

Today I had a sudden realisation. You may recall that my Mac died a few weeks ago and I lost everything (promise this is the last time I will harp on about the bloody mac!). Well, today I realised that I'd lost all my music from years past, music that I firmly believe helped shape me into the person that I am today.

Music has always been a big part of my life. In high school I was a total punk rock kid, listening to Blink 182, New Found Glory, The Starting Line, etc. I'm also a contemporary and classically trained singer/teacher. Fo realz. My brother is a bad ass drummer who also plays guitar, bass, violin and probably many other instruments I am not aware of. And my father taught me everything I know about rock and roll.

I also realised today that no one has ever made me a cake. I've made a bucket load for my friends and families, but have never had a big pretty, fondant covered monstrosity to call my own. Don't get me wrong, I'm not complaining about this fact. If you're going to give someone a cake, I believe it needs to be a work of art and truly represent that person to a T!

Which again, got me thinking (big effin day for KayB!). If I ever got a special cake, what would it be? What would best represent me? Well, I found it. I WANT THIS BABY!!!

(photo by emptysound on Flickr)

Seriously, I am obsessed with The Beatles. Beyond the music and movies, I have numerous books and artworks devoted to the legendary four. They revolutionised rock and roll for the entire industry, and I don't think I've ever heard any artist say 'nah, I wasn't influenced by The Beatles'. I always have music playing while baking and I promise you, I've made some of my best cakes listening to The Beatles.

So, if you could have any type of cake, what would it be?

Just to get you in the mood, here are the rocking and rolling bips and bops;

This is one bad-ass 6 year old birthday cake.. rock on little dude!
Nothing says old school rock like a jukebox cake. Oh how I'd love a jukebox to call my own!
You can't deny that Gene Simmons' face on a cake is kind sexy.. what, just me? I love KISS!
Seriously, this 5 year old either has some wicked advanced design skills or the coolest parents ever. What kind of child gets a three tier, topsy turvy, punk rock, skull encrusted cake?

Friday, March 11, 2011

Frisky Friday - Kiss me, I'm Irish!

But seriously, show me some lovin'! St Patrick's Day is just around the corner and every year I celebrate at the local Irish pub near my work, eating Guinness Pie with mash and drinking several pints of Guinness. Oh and also avoiding all serious work by devoting myself to making countless origami clovers. Good day! My Mother's ancestors came out from Ireland some many years ago, but if you need any more proof of my Irish blood then check this out..

AHHH IT'S MY LITTLE BRO AND HE HAS RED HAIR! (Oh, hay there JayB! You're on my blog! It's cause you're attractive, like me). 

"Tee Har Tee Har Tee Har, Don't touch me lucky charms!" That's the sound a leprechaun makes, right? Ok. Enough with the red hair/leprechaun racism. 

So, do you celebrate St Pat's Day by eating and drinking yourself stupid? Or do you have another holiday that is all consuming of your energy (and Christmas doesn't count, cause I'm pretty sure it's actually law in most states now to eat heaps of food on Chrissy!). 

You've probably figured out by now that this week's Frisky Friday is going to comprise solely of Irish treats. And you would be correct. Congratulations. Please have this pot of gold as a prize. And by pot of gold I actually mean awesome links to rad food. Enjoy!

Pretty sure we need to make more pies, especially the variety with booze in them. Like this Irish Cream Pie
I HEART WHOOPIE PIES, particularly pretty coloured ones
Again, booze in baked treats. Guinness in cupcakes. I'm sold.
Ahhh more leprechaun jokes. And gold cake balls. Told you there'd be a prize pot full of gold!
The perfect St Pat's Day milkshake. It's also on the healthy side of the spectrum. You're gonna need that after all of the above!
Green Pancakes! But no more artificial colouring cause my head is actually about to explode. These have spinach, instead! Nom nom nom nom.

Happy St Patrick's day, y'all! x 

Monday, March 7, 2011

Masquerade cake and pretty peacock feathers

 I couldn’t wait any longer to show you what I’ve been working on for the last week. Tah-Dah! It’s so puuuuurrrrtttttyyyy!  I was asked to make this cake for a masquerade themed 21st birthday party; however the birthday girl had no idea about it up until cake time. SURPRISE!

I’m really happy with how it turned out. I would have liked the colour to have been a bit more ‘teal’, but there were some serious last minute fondant issues which meant having to start over all again *sigh*. Full tutorial on how to design and make this beauty will be up next week. For now I’m off to RADelaide for work. Catch ya’ll on the flip side!

Friday, March 4, 2011

Frisky Friday - The McGriddle is coming!!

Have you ever seen the movie ‘Super Size Me’ by Morgan Spurlock? It’s actually one of my favourite movies, I even used it for my HSC Drama studies. You may or may not remember Morgan discussing how “a pancake-wrapped creation..won my heart in Texas”. Well guess what. After much anticipation (and protesting by all of the 35 facebook fans who support ‘Bring the McGriddle to Australia') the McGriddle is coming late 2011!!! (according to Wikipedia).

Apologies if I’m way behind the times and you all knew that this was happening, but I only just found out today that McGriddle was on its way to our shores. And I’m excited. Let me paint you a picture. Image heading to McDonalds and not knowing what to get for breakfast. You’re torn between a Sausage and Egg McMuffin and the Hotcakes (perhaps you like your hot cakes decked out with ice cream and apple pies, I ain’t judging!). McMuffin, hotcakes, McMuffin, hotcakes. Now you can have them both, rolled into one!!!!! It’s frickin genius. Sausage, egg, cheese smooched together with two maple flavoured pancakes. Get ready, people. Get ready.

And now to bring myself down from this sugar/fat induced high, here are this week’s bips and bops;

• Blondes DO have more fun. I should know, last 12 months of my life have been blonde. Now I have Blonde Rocky Road to go with my super cute pixie blonde do.

• Last week I went to a music festival and I DIDN’T have a corndog. So now I’m making my own! Mwahahahaha deep fried goodness.

• Need some lunch time inspiration? Scanwich is my new fav site, dissecting the almighty sandwich from the inside out.

• Following on the Micky D’s theme, you gotta have the real thing French Fries.

Catch ya'll next week!