Saturday, December 22, 2012

One bite is never enough!

Since christmas is just around the corner, life has bcome very busy. So I thought I would play catch up.

Not too long ago I made a bithday cake for the daughter of a friend. Chocolate mud cake, with chocolate ganache and a chocolate lace border with ..what do you think?...yes, chocolate curls on top.

The smell alone was amazing and it weighed a tonne!

But, what I found out was that the birthday girl was just notified that she was gluten intolerant. She had just found out. So, I wanted to make a small gluten free cake as well and I found a lovely recipe on

There are some pretty good recipes around for gluten free options these days, thankfully.

So, i know I am not the only one busy this week so I will keep this a short post and say Merry christmas and a happy new year everyone.

Sunday, December 9, 2012

A teachers gift...

Okay, so Christmas is coming and very fast too. And because of that I have to think ahead a little to prep for teachers gifts. What! Christmas is around the corner..who am I kidding! Now, my little ones have a few teachers to consider for presents in order to say 'thanks' for all their hard work, care and kindness throughout the year, that they have lavished on my children. For I (and I mean 'we' here) do appreciate it all. My life runs as smoothly as it does because of these lovely people (okay so i am kidding that my life runs smoothly and stress free, but it isn't anything they can fix!).

So what do your get a teacher for Christmas, a gift of course! And home baked cookies! Now I know there are lots of mums (or dads) like me who work, and don't have much time up their sleeve, but I know you too like me love to bake and decorate. So, let me introduce you to a blog I follow - 'The Decorated Cookie'. Oh, you've heard of it...silly me of course you have.

It is fabulous and a little while ago there was this brilliant post about sprinkles or sparkles or whatever you want to call them. Either way it was an excuse for me to have some fun, and buy some more. Do you like sprinkles? I love them, on cupcakes, cookies, gingerbread houses and whatever...i think it is the 'hundreds and thousands' concept that gets me.

So, Meaghan has this great posting and I immediately fell in love with the cookies. I couldn't help myself and so my search began for jars....Oh I could go on, but needless to say Peters of Kensington saved my life...Ohh I loooooove that store, so many things I want to buy...but yes I am going on again. So yes,I found jars, and pretty sprinkles and made dough....lots if it! and made cookies. Lots of them!

I will share a few tips that I rely on this time of year to get through a large baking batch:
1. Firstly, pick a dough you like to use and stick with it. The one I use lets me change flavours simply enough.
2. Make the dough, roll into a log, and put it in the fridge. When it is firm enough I cut small amounts and cut my shapes. I then place those shapes directly onto baking paper lined trays and freeze (collect all the biscuits together when frozen and bag them) and place in freezer again.
3. This way I can bake them all together. So just take them out of the freezer when you are ready to bake and add a little extra cooking time (a minute or two). Cool, cool, cool.
4. Make all your batches of icing when you are ready to decorate and store in air-tight containers. I also used store-bought royal icing powder to decorate these cookies. I bought the Queens brand royal icing, and find it very good to work with, and that way I don't have to worry about raw egg-whites in my icing.

I hope the tips help.

I really feel these cookies offer a sparkle to the Christmas season. Yes, they are simple, but who wants to be complicated when you have so much Christmas baking to do!

Friday, November 9, 2012

Oh my little goodness

Okay, my usual posts tell you of my baking adventures and lets just say that there is very little in the way of nutritional benefit in my cakes although lots of yumminess.

Well how about a sweet with heaps of nutritional benefit and it still ticks all the yumminess boxes.... German chocolate fudge bites. they sound decadent don't they, and they are!

Made with dates and nuts and only a few more things these are really like biting into a truffle and are a great way to satisfy the afternoon cravings, and the children love them. I have made 2 batches this week and the family and I have almost eaten them all.

I can't take credit for this but tell you where to find them:

Katie, whom I feel as if I know already, has a great blog dedicated to healthy nutritional sweets among other things. I have a list of items from her blog that I want to make, but I do suggest you try these too.

Good thing I bought some more dates this week!

Friday, September 14, 2012

Anyone for a latte?

There is something about coffee, cream and alcohol in a cake that just makes me want to gobble it all up.

I have a great book I love to bake from called Sky High: Irresistable triple-layer cakes by Alisa Huntsman. There are many blogs out there that test the recipes in this book so I am not going to go on about it in great detail except to say that if you love to bake, and love layered cake combinations then this is a book for you. I love it and have made quite a few recipes from this book already and none have failed or even tasted mediocre - they all taste fab!

So getting back to the cake and coffee combination. I have a great friend who has a birthday around the same tome as my girls, and I know she loves my cooking and baking so I always like to make her a cake for her birthdays. Well anyone who likes the 'tiramisu' taste would love this cake too. This is a cappuccino chiffon cake, so it is light, airy and smells heavenly. It is then soaked in a rum and sweet coffee syrup and then smothered in vanilla cream.

I loved making this cake the first time so when I was asked to make it a second time I made a small one for my little gang and meto try, and it was worth it.

Sunday, August 26, 2012

a little birdy and a sweet girl

So still on the theme of birthdays I wanted to share with you the other cakes We made for the girls' birthdays.

My youngest is a bit of a 'hoot' fan from the ABC for kids channel, so for daycare we went with a yummy banana cake and maple flavoured frosting. From what I hear Maddy really loved it.

Then there was Ellawynne's school cake. I really wanted her to choose a cake design that she would love and enjoy decorating. As you can imagine she shows an interest so I really wanted her to enjoy and feel proud of her work too.

So after a few ideas being thrown around she choose a necklace and earrings cake from the latest womens weekly more kids cakes book. We adapted it a little design-wise and we chose a rainbow cake design based on the not quite nigella blog and had lots of fun making the necklace and covering cupcakes. There are some really nice ideas in the womens weekly book and lots for the kids to do or for you to try out.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Pudgy Princesses

Pudgy Princesses

It's funny how birthdays of your own children always come around so quick and take you by surprise. It doesn't matter that I had been thinking and prepping this birthday for a month or two before, it still crept up on me.

Now fortunately/unfortunately...depending on how you want to look at it, I have two birthdays to celebrate - 3 days apart..yes that is right, you heard me. And yes how lucky are we...both girls. Because the birthdays are so close together we decided to celebrate them with one party. But there was also the 'school' cakes too. 

But lets get to the party cake first. 

We decided to use a party venue this year and I am so glad we did! We chose Carnival Parties at Bulimba. What a fantastic place it is. I cannot recommend it enough. The children were entertained from the moment we stepped in and the place was decorated so beautifully. And the best thing of all..I got to relax and concentrate on the parts I love to do for parties, the cake and the goody bags (although they can help you out in that area too).

For the party we went with a pink/purple theme which is of course very 'girly'. I think our girls liked it as much as we did.

So for the cake we went with a castle theme which I also used on the invitations with two little girls, one in purple and one in pink, so I carried that theme through on the cake as well. 

The cake was a chocolate cake with a beautiful raspberry buttercream. I used real raspberries to make the puree for the buttercream and I love the tartness that comes through as it helps balance the sweetness of the buttercream.

The cake also had a banana cake tier with maple buttercream..yumm! The top tier of the cake and the towers and turrets are fake...I thought we had too much cake already.

I took the idea for this cake from a Debbie Brown book called Baby Cakes. I love this book, the designs are beautiful and I wanted to make the castle cake the first moment I saw it.

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Another Wedding...

Weddings always make me excited. I love them. I love being a part of them and always think its is very special of someone to ask me to be involved in their wedding, no matter what the request is.

So I was asked if I would make a wedding cake for a friends son who was having a second wedding in Oz. The cake and colour scheme was chosen by the couple who had seen another cake they loved the look of, with a few minor modifications by me.

Anyway, I hope they loved it as much as I loved being able to make it for them.

oh I keep forgetting...the bridal figures were made by the grooms sister too.
Such a nice present for them.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

An age and a day....

Okay, so life has moved on too fast for me since my last post. I wanted to put this cake up before christmas but never got around to it. Life got in the way so I hope you will allow me the slip up.

Anyway, I made this cake for a friends little boys birthday and the children in her mothers groups. I loved that she was providing a cake for the mums group babies. I think mums groups are a very special thing and I still love to hear from the ladies that I met through my mums group. We don't meet up anymore unfortunately, but I still hear from them now and then.

So this isn't the most exciting cake on the outside, but on the is a rainbow cake. You have seen one of these before I am sure and they never fail to impress. It is a white cake recipe coloured in the 7 rainbow colours and iced in a white buttercream. I added a bit of colour in the birthday message.

From what I hear it was a big hit. So belated happy birthday to Samuel and friends.