Sunday, July 31, 2011

Angry Birds!!!

Another week, another birthday! My best friend’s littlest was turning 4 years old this week and I had it all planned months in advance that I was making him an Angry Bird cake, he is totally obsessed with the game on his iPad, yes his iPad!  We go to the shopping centre and the thing is tucked up under his arm, and when we took too long browsing at clothes... he whips it out and starts tapping away!! It is the cutest thing ever!!!

So when recently in Hong Kong I traipsed around the night markets in search for the Angry Birds iPad cover, I had to get a green pig one, but the red bird is on its way in the mail as we speak!  4 years old addictions eat your heart out!!

So I set out on my latest cake mission to define my very own Angry Bird!!  I went for round to simply it, and covered it in red fondant and embellished from there. He was quite a nifty little beast, with the help of some online images to view and get the tuft of red feathers right.  So enjoy the photos on another fabulous creation!

Sunday, July 24, 2011

1st Birthdays & Nick Junior’s Ollie!

A close girlfriend asked me if I would make the cake and cookie favours for her only son’s 1st Birthday, there is no time more special except the birth of that child!  I was completely flattered and honoured to be asked to do such a wonderful task.

I was told he absolutely loves Ollie... who I hear you ask... that was my reaction... who is Ollie?? I have a 2 year old and she has no idea who he is! Am I a bad mother? Well after much investigation, he is the muppet that is owned by Sesame Street, but is only in Foxtel’s Nick Junior Channel, he pretty much compares the channel!! Nice job but given the situation, nothing out there is the world of buying party or licensed products on the little dude! Thanks Sesame Street!! 

I managed after MUCH research to get an edible image of Ollie done, it also was meant to have text in the outer circle, but it didn’t get off the backing with much ease and I have to cut it down and improvise, which I much say, think it came out looking alot better, the 3D text I think gave the cake more depth.

I baked a gorgeous Butter Cake that I find foolproof from my little ole recipe book of favourites, I added orange syrup to the cake, a personal fav as I do think kids always LOVE orange cake and it always gives a very moist finish.  Under the fondant I had a layer of pineapple flavoured buttercream.  A very tropical flavour combination and received fabulous feedback from everyone, so my pick was well received.  Also  the fact that the colour palette I worked with was yellow & orange with a touch of blue, it matched the flavours.  The cookie favours were little cars, as Angelo is a little cars man, I need yellow cars for girls and blue cars for boys, all with an orange initial on them in chocolate candy writer. Once cellophane & ribboned up the cookies looked a million dollars!!

Price for Simple Personalised Cookie Favours = $3.00 each
Each child’s first initial for a favour with an extra personal touch!

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Charlie & Lola.... Lola & Charlie!!

This week I had a great cookie order, my favourite thing really! I absolutely love doing orders of cookies for people, especially when the cookie design is extra special or creative.  The instruction I had been given for it was that little Izzy was have a Charlie & Lola party, there isn’t much around in the way of party stuff, so could I come up with a suitable design for cookie favours?

Are you kidding me? Of course I can!

I decided to go with some artistic flair and do them on fondant and hand draw each one in exact duplicate. I got a good clear image and given I don’t have a projector I had to wing it free-hand!  I did a basic vanilla sugar cookie, but rolled slightly thicker than usual so I was able to push them onto lollipop sticks.  Next step with the fondant I went with an illusion of skin-tone as drawing onto the white background felt it could be too stark in contrast. A good choice I think.   Last of all, I painted on the yellow hair and blue hair ribbons.

I then went and drew each stage across all cookies in a step by step process so the duplicate of each inked line (in black edible texta) was replicated simply to minimise any error.  I drew all the Lolas first and then followed with all the Charlies.  But I went in stages of head outline, mouth, nose, hair then last of all I did the eyes as this was the defining feature I felt that made these charcters and then had to all be the same and precise!  A friend asked where Soren Lorenson was (I have to confess here that I had no idea who this person was and wondered if I wanted to at the stage of the end of completed cookies) but I soon found out thanks to google that it is Lola’s imaginary friend... a far easier image to capture in hindsight!

Price for Personalised Cookie Pops = $4.00 each
Great idea for a special party favour!

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Funfetti Cake Fair!

I was surfing Blogs yesterday, a common past time for a fabulous Snickers Cheesecake... I know I had one even though I have never actually made it, but its one of those things you see, you must have have that recipe, and so you save or print it off and store it away for a later date!  Well the date has arrived, a BBQ, and the host has selected from my choice of 11 desserts, the Snickers Bar Cheesecake... so the hunt began.  I did indeed find it, and will be making it later in the week, so if you love cheesecakes stay tuned for that one as I already have a twist in mind.

Anyway on my travels, I came across a fabulous looking Blog by ‘How Sweet It Is’ : and stopped everything today to make these ‘to die for’ cupcakes to test out for my up and coming 1 year olds 2nd birthday party. They were a huge hit, I flavoured the frosting with Peach flavouring oil, and if you like your cakes sweet than this is definitely for you!!! Enjoy and let me know how you liked making them, because I thought they were alot of fun. Actually Miss One, did the stirring and loved every minute!

Funfetti Cupcakes with Fun Lolly inspired Frosting

½ cup Butter – unsalted & room temp
1 cup Castor Sugar
2 whole eggs
1 tbsp vanilla extract
1 ½ cups Plain Flour
1 tsp Baking Powder
1/3  cup milk
1/3 cup non-pariels or 100s & 1000s

Pre-heat oven to 350’ or 180’.
Cream butter & sugar together with electric mixer, approximately 3 minutes. Add eggs one at a time and then the vanilla, beat until combined.Combine the dry ingredients in a bowl, whisk lightly around.  Add half the dry ingredients into the egg mixture, mix until just combined.  Add in the milk and then the 2nd half of the dry ingredients. Once mixed in, add the sprinkles(non-pariels).

Pour 2 spoons of mix into the patty cake wrappers, 2/3 full. Bake for approx 20, just lightly firm to touch. Let cool before frosting.

I got 18 small size cupcakes from this mix, otherwise it would get 12 large cupcakes.

Monday, July 4, 2011

Sailing on the Salty Caramel Sea

I spent the past week having an unusual craving of the very American acquired taste of Dark Chocolate with Salted Caramel... an unusual flavour I must say, but one I have definitely grown fond of.   So after a week of craving it, I caved and baked up a batch... clearly not enough however because I gifted 2 lots of 9 cookies and my Dad hoovered most of the remaining cookies within 24 hours!!  I managed to indulge in a mere 2!
The recipe I adapted was from the wonderful and it is a prize winner!

Salted Caramel & Chocolate Cookies

1 ¼ cup of Plain Flour
¼ tsp Bicarb Soda (Baking Soda)
¼ tsp salt
6 Tbsp unsweetened good quality Cocoa (I used Dutch Organic)
2/3 cup Castor Sugar
1/3 cup firmly packed Light Brown Sugar
5 Tbsp (or ½ cup) unsalted Butter
1/3 cup Sour Cream
1 ½ tsp Vanilla Extract
1 cup roughly chopped Dark Cooking Chocolate (do not use milk chocolate)
25-30 Caramels (I used Pascals Columbines)
Fleur De Sel for sprinkling (I used Flaked Sea Salt, but you can find Fleur de Sel in speciality shops)

Commence by preheating you oven at 180. Line 2 baking trays with grease proof paper. Now get a medium bowl and measure in the flour, bicarb soda and salt, stir it well with a whisk and set aside.

Next get a small bowl and pour in combining the cocoa and both sugars.

Then in a medium saucepan, melt the butter, once melted turn off the heat and stir in the cocoa mixture and whisk well until smooth, next whisk in the sour cream and vanilla.

Pour the chocolate mixture over the flour mix and stir until just combined, careful not to over beat, and then finally fold in the chocolate, some should start to melt but not all of it, you will see alot of the larger chips of chocolate.

Now for the fun squishy part.  Unwrap your caramels. Take about a tablespoon size of dough and make it into a disc shape, place the caramel in the centre, fold the dough around and then roll in your palm til the caramel is completely engulfed.  Place on the tray in rows.  Once you have completed the tray of chocolate balls, use the palm of your hand below your thumb, tilt and press down on each ball so it gives a ‘thumbprint’ appearance.  Sprinkle each cookie with a reasonable pinch of salt (Fleur De Sel) and bake for 12-15 minutes. You will smell them baking and you will think you are in heaven! Be careful not to eat them straight from the oven as the caramel centre will surely scald your mouth!  But hide some as they will disappear before your eyes.
Should make 25-30 depending on size.