Thursday, January 20, 2011

Alice in Wonderland

I think the new movie Alice in Wonderland is a great theme for a party from young to old, guys or girls. So I was very excited to be asked to make cupcakes for a wedding based on the movie.
They wanted the cupcakes to look like they were from a tea party and nothing to childish and were very happy with these.
Most of the flowers were brought as I didn't have the time or the courage to attempt making them for the first time, apart from the little turquoise coloured rose buds that my sister made for me. All the hearts on tiny butterflies I made by hand.
There were a range of flavors such as carrot, chocolate, vanilla and banana and a range of icings like ready to roll and the classic buttercream.
Of course my favourite was the one at the bottom with all the flowers and a little butterfly!

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Best in show

Well it has really been a long time, but I haven't stopped my baking.
The pictures above are of the birthday cupcakes my sister and I made for our mothers 50th birthday. They were vanilla, chocolate and banana with butter cream frosting. Some were decorated in edible glitter, some with lil red rose buds and pattern indented in the ready to roll icing, some with cachos. It was lots of fun. I don't really know where I got the idea for the teacup filled with red roses but I think it was a great idea.
As for the bottom left picture, I went to my first Cupcake camp. It was definitely a great learning adventure. I got to met with other cupcake makers from around Auckland (maybe even from further afield), to see what they had made and we even got to taste the cupcakes others had made. There were so many different styles and flavors!
I had entered the Best in show competition, making red velvet cupcakes with a cream cheese frosting, topped with lil chocolate hearts I had made from a mould. Then sprinkled them with coloured sugar and some edible glitter for extra sparkle. I even decorated the cake stand I took with pearls and feathers.
I didn't come anywhere that day but I learnt what I was capable of and was proud of myself for giving it a go.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Mad in the kitchen

Well I finally got a new USB cord for my phone and can upload some pictures of baking that have been building up. These have been taken over the last two or so months.

These are chocolate and lemon muffins made for work but they never made it.

It was my bosses birthday so I made whisky and sultana cupcakes with chocolate ganache icing.
And cookies & cream cupcakes. First time using vegetable shortening in cupcakes. Not to bad but I prefer butter. These had crushed Oreo cookies in the batter, with vanilla butter icing.

These were a practice run. So the family got to eat them. Vanilla cupcakes covered in ready to roll icing and then I stamped on the hearts with black food colouring.

More practice runs. These were made with ready to roll icing pressed into a cookie sheet with shapes. I painted the orange flower where as the others I coloured the icing first.

Practicing stencils cut out and put onto cakes. I think the stencils should of been a bit thinner, will have to practice these a lot more.

For this one the stencil was held onto the cake and then hand painted using food colouring. Next time I should try thinning the food colouring with vodka or something.
Overall I have been busy in the kitchen and learning from my mistakes. I have really enjoyed it and will be baking more soon.

Friday, July 2, 2010

All things sweet

I have found over the last few years I have been more and more intrigued by all things sweet. I have always had a love of baking and eating of that baking but I think some what it has become a bit of a slight obession (even though slight, it is building).
I found myself baking more reguly, at least once a week and when I'm not in the kitchen I am looking at baking sites and recipes online. It's amazing being able to find just what I'm looking for at the touch of a button or click of a mouse.
Cupcakes being the main sort after, their are endless pictures, cartoon sketchers, comic strips and everthing to accompany you in the kitchen to make the best cupcakes ever. I am so glad that I don't have a credit card right now.
It has given me a lot of inspiration and now I find myself daydreaming of the next cupcakes to create.

Unfortunitly though I don't have a camera so over the last few weeks of cupcake baking I don't have any photos to upload yet. I will attempt to bluetooth some later on.

In the mean time I have also baked cookies with my daughter Nikita. She is quite the kitchen whizz. I found I could stand back and just help with some of the measurements. so I was very proud of myself to of passed on my baking expertise.
We made chocolate chip cookies with a recipe my brother gave me. I think these are delicous and so did some of my friends. The other cookies were space rocks with sprinkles mixed in like little rainbow specks. But cannot recommend the recipe, as Nikita and I were not impressed with the out come. The sprinkles were fun but the cookies didn't taste right. Needless to say we will attemp to bake these again soon, but with help from another recipe.

Good luck with your baking.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Get some kiwi in ya!

Seams to be I get board if I don't bake something at least once a week. But over recent weeks it's been more like two or three times in a week.
My younger brother-in-law is going over to America for a few months and were had a family dinner to say 'goodbye' and 'happy travels'. So the best way to say that of course is with home baking or in this case...cupcakes.
I wanted a bit of a kiwi theme so that when he remembered his last meal with us he was reminded of home. I think Pineapple lumps are a great kiwi icon. So I made chocolate cupcakes with a pineapple cream cheese icing, sprinkled with grated chocolate and topped with a pineapple lump. Oh everybody loved these, but just encase somebody wanted something else I made Boysenberry cheese cake cupcakes. I didn't have a recipe for either of these, but I did have a picture of something similar I had seen.
I made Vanilla cupcakes to be a little bit crumbly like a cookie base. Topped with a cream cheese icing, then melted a little bit of jam to pour over the top. Next I crushed a Shrewsberry biscuit to sprinkle over.
I just loved the way these looked and they tasted wonderful too. I don't know if they were kiwi inspired but I don't know anyone that doesn't like a good cheesecake.

Friday, May 14, 2010

A cake filled weekend

So this is the second wedding cake I have done.
A lovely friend of mine was without a wedding cake maker just 3 weeks out from her wedding date. So I put my hand up for my mother and I to make it for her and the groom to be.
She asked for a caramel mud cake and a chocolate mud cake, having done a lot of chocolate mud cakes before I didn't think this would be a problem and threw myself into a test run of baking the caramel mud cake for my family to try.
I put 2 recipes together to create what I thought would be the best caramel mud cake. Turns out my family love to be guinea pigs to my baking and this was one of the best mud cakes I had made.
To put the wedding cake together the bride asked for ribbon and pearls and pillars between the layers, with flowers to go on top.
It was a busy couple of days baking and with my mother and sister Kim in the kitchen it proved a test of patience and cooperation. But looking at the end result I couldn't of been happier. The bride and groom loved it too.

The next day was my little sister Jessie's sweet 16th birthday and I knew I wanted to make her a cake. I had plenty of bananas in the freezer and some icing left over from the wedding cake.
Early Saturday morning I began baking. Then created the coloured balls and dress from some ready to roll icing I had left over in my pantry. My sister Kim that had stayed over to help out with babysitting the children, loving iced the cake while we were at the wedding. I got home to find the cake with stand and coat hanger waiting for us, ready to go.
We added some glitter and took it to one very happy Jessie.
(p.s: you will have to excuse the picture was taken at tenpin bowling.)

Well my daughter has been begging me to make some banana cookies, so off to the kitchen...

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Somethings are worth a try

The carrot cake is something I never like when I was younger. I don't eat walnuts and carrot in a cake was always something I second guessed. Was it meant to taste nice, or just a ploy to get people to eat carrots? So in my years of baking I never really made it (I don't think it counts standing in the kitchen when someone else makes it).
Then when I got older I thought it would be to simple and boring to make. Just a cake with cream cheese icing, where's the challenge in that?

Well the other week my husband requested a carrot cake and the only thing standing between me and this cake was, I started to get nervous, could I really do it? Was it going to turn out moist and taste good?

So I hesitated for a week. The following Monday I decided there was no time like the present and dove straight in.
It turns out it was easy and yes it was moist. Even the family seamed to like it. So there was no need to procrastinate. Who's knows what you can do when you give it a go!

So here is the recipe I used...go on give it a go!

Carrot cake:
150g self-raising flour
150g plain flour
2tsps ground cinnamon
1/2tsp ground cloves
1 tsp ground ginger
1/2tsp nutmeg
1tsp baking soda
200ml vegetable oil
230g brown sugar
4 eggs
125ml golden syrup
500g grated carrot
60g chopped walnuts

Preheat oven to 160c. Brush a deep 22cm (9") round cake tin with melted butter or oil. Line the base with baking paper.
Sift flours, spices and baking soda in a large bowl. Make a well in the center.
Whisk together the oil, sugar, eggs and syrup. Gradually pour into the well, stirring into the dry ingredients until smooth.
Stir in the carrot and nuts. Spoon into the tin and smooth the surface. Bake for 1 hour 15 minutes or until the skewer comes out clean when inserted into the middle. Leave in the tin for at least 15 minutes before turning out onto a wire rack to cool completely.

Cream cheese icing:
2Tbs butter softened
1/4C cream cheese
1c icing sugar
1/2tsp grated lemon rind

Beat butter and cream cheese until creamy. Mix in icing sugar and lemon rind, beating well to combine.
Spread over cooled cake.