Friday, April 18, 2014

Chocolate 'Hot Cross Bun' Cupcakes


Not everyone likes hot cross buns, yet it's something that screams Easter! These cute cupcakes are an alternative to the standard Hot Cross Buns. This recipe can be easily adapted for other seasons, simply change the design of the icing. This recipe is reprinted with permission from our friends at Chelsea.

Ingredients
100g butter, softened
¾ cup packed Chelsea soft brown sugar
2 large eggs, beaten 
1 cup plain flour
½ tsp baking soda
¼ cup cocoa
½ cup sour cream
¾ cup Chelsea icing sugar
1 tsp lemon juice
1 tbsp milk
Drinking chocolate to sprinkle on top

Method
1. Preheat oven to 190° conventional (170°C fan forced). In a large electric mixing bowl, beat together the butter brown sugar and eggs for 2-3 minutes until creamy. 

2. Sift in the flour, baking soda and cocoa and add the sour cream then beatfor 2-3 minutes until smooth and fluffy. Spoon the mixture into a 12-hole muffin pan lined with cupcake cases or directly into self-standing cupcake cases.

3. Bake for 15-20 minutes until the cupcakes are puffed and spongy to the touch or a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean. Remove from the oven 
and set aside to cool.

4. Sift icing sugar into a bowl. Add lemon juice and just enough milk to make a thick, pipe-able icing. Use a piping bag or drizzle from a spoon to draw a cross on each muffin, set aside for icing to harden slightly. Sprinkle with drinking chocolate and serve.

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Autumn Carpenter sweet bird & more tutorials - all using one cutter set

Today's wonderful vast array of tutorials that all use the flutter friends cutter set come from my friend Autumn Carpenter. At Kiwicakes we sell a huge range of tools specifically designed and manufactured by Autumn, including her flutter friends cutter set.



Blue and Yellow Sweet Bird Cookies

Tools and Ingredients
sugar cookie dough
scalloped cookie cutter
light yellow rolled fondant
light blue rolled fondant
piping gel
pretty edible image sugar sheets
small teardrop cutter
pastry brush
baroque texture sheet

Cut and bake cookies. 
Roll fondant to desired thickness and cut using same cutter used to make cookies. 
Brush cookie with piping gel and lay fondant piece on top. 
Roll either colour of fondant thin and brush lightly with piping gel or water. 
Lay edible image over gel or water. Use bird cutter to cut fondant, brush with piping gel and attach to center of cookie. Roll both colours of fondant very thin, lay texture sheet down and roll over sheet pin rolling pin. 
Use small teardrop shaped cutter to cut wings for bird and apply to bird with piping gel.

Fluttering Friends Cupcakes

Tools and Ingredients
Autumn Carpenter's Mini Accent Cutter Set
Gum paste or rolled fondant in the following colours:
Blue
Light pink
White
Brown
Orange
Red
Piping gel
Sharp paring knife or flexible poly blade
Frosting sheets
Pastry brush
Pastry bag
Buttercream icing

Roll gum paste or fondant very thin. If using a pasta machine, thin to a #3. Cut pieces and allow to harden overnight.

Bird: Cut bird from blue gum paste or fondant. Cut a small piece of frosting sheet, remove backing and brush a thin layer of piping gel on the back of the sheet. 
Adhere sheet to a small piece of gum paste or fondant and gently press the sheet to the gum paste or fondant. Use largest tear drop shaped accent cutter to cut the bird a wing then attach to bird with piping gel. 
Cut the beak from light pink gum paste or fondant and attach with piping gel. Dot piping gel on the left of the beak and add a black non-pareil for the eye.

Ladybug: Brush the back of a frosting sheet with a thin layer of piping gel and gently adhere to a piece of white gum paste or fondant. 
Use ladybug cutter to cut the frosting sheet and also a piece of red gum paste or fondant. Use poly blade to cut the head from both pieces then attach the red head to the frosting sheet body using piping gel. Use the two smallest circles accent cutters to cut spots and adhere to body using piping gel. Place two piping gel dots on the tip of the head and place two black non-pareils on top for the eyes.

Owl: Cut owl from blue gum paste or fondant. Cut a small piece of frosting sheet, remove backing and brush a thin layer of piping gel on the back of the sheet. Adhere sheet to a small piece of gum paste or fondant and gently press the sheet to the gum paste or fondant. 
Use largest football shaped accent cutter to cut the wings then attach to bird with piping gel. Cut two eyes from white gum paste or fondant using the medium size circle accent cutter, two pupils from brown gum paste or fondant using the smallest circle cutter, and a beak from orange gum paste or fondant using the smallest triangle shape. Attach all pieces using piping gel.

Butterfly: Brush the back of a frosting sheet with a thin layer of piping gel and gently adhere to a piece of white gum paste or fondant. Use butterfly cutter to cut the frosting sheet. Roll a piece of blue gum paste or fondant in to a ball and another piece in to an inch long rope. Use paring knife to make marks in the rope. Attach rope (for the body) and ball (for the head) to the butterfly using piping gel. 
Attach black non-pareils with piping gel for the eyes. 
Cut dots from the smallest two circle cutters out of blue gum paste or fondant and attach to the butterflies wings.

Using a pastry bag fitted with the 1M tip, pipe buttercream icing on top of cupcake. Place hardened pieces on top of piped icing.

Love Birds Cookies

Tools and Ingredients
roll-out cookie dough
heart cutter
black rolled fondant
white rolled fondant
red rolled fondant
mini heart cutter
heart sprinkles
fine tip paint brush
black food colouring
piping gel

Roll rolled fondant to desired thickness and attach to top of cookies with piping gel. 
Use watered (with vodka not water) down black colouring to paint vines on heart cookies then attach small hearts with piping gel. Attach birds heart with piping gel.


Love Birds Cupcakes

Tools and Ingredients
cupcake wrappers
white gumpaste
black gumpaste
mini heart cutter
buttercream icing
1M decorating tip
piping gel

A day prior to decorating, roll gumpaste very thin and cut birds and hearts; allow to dry overnight. 
Assemble cupcake wrappers and drop cupcakes into wrappers. Use pastry bag fitted with tip 1M and pipe buttercream icing onto cupcake. Attach hearts to birds using piping gel and insert bird into piped buttercream icing.


Lydias Sweet Birdie Cake

Tools and Ingredients
9" x 13" cake
white cake drum or board
pink rolled fondant
light pink rolled fondant
lavendar rolled fondant
lime green rolled fondant
white rolled fondant
floral texture mat
rectangular cookie cutters
fluted rectangular cookie cutters
frill gumpaste cutters
piping gel
royal icing
lavender food colouring
parchment bags
letter press and cutter
number press and cutter

Roll light pink fondant to desired thickness. Lay texture mat over fondant and roll with heavy pressure. 
Brush cake with piping gel and apply fondant to cake. Pipe a small star tip boarder around bottom edge of cake. 
Roll lavender fondant thin and use bird cutie cutter to cut birds. Use the largest teardrop cutter to cut the bird's tail feathers. Use the largest football cutter to cut the bird's wing. Apply to cake using piping gel. Attach non-pareil eye. Cut rectangular pieces of fondant in desired colors using the letter and number cutters. Imprint the letters and number in to the fondant then fill recessed area with run sugar icing. Use frill cutters to cut pieces larger than rectangular pieces then attach dried letters and number to the plain pieces and attach to cake using piping gel.



Sweet Birdie Cake

Tools and Ingredients
6" and 8" two-layer cake
light pink rolled fondant
brown rolled fondant
light green rolled fondant
light blue rolled fondant
hot pink rolled fondant
small flower plunger cutter
clay extruder
feather texture sheet
flower former
piping gel
sharp paring knife
black non-pareils
flexible poly blade
light pink buttercream or royal icing

Roll light blue fondant very thin. Use bird cutter to cut fondant and lay aside to dry. 
Use pattern sheet to roll over fondant and cut bird wings using largest teardrop cutter from acccent set. 
Roll smallest feather texture sheet over fondant and cut smallest feathers. Use the same cutter to cut deeper into the feather leaving about 3/4" left. Use paring knife to cut edges of feather and pulling some of the fondant out. 
Gently move fondant feather to flower former and curl. 
Allow bird pieces to dry overnight until hardened. 
Roll light pink fondant to desired thickness and cover both cakes. 
Prepare cakes for stacking and place on stand or board. 
Pipe small bead border around base of both cakes. 
Extrude brown fondant from clay extruder to make branches and apply to cakes using piping gel. 
Roll light green fondant thin and cut leaves; detail leaves using flexible poly blade. Attach to branches with piping gel. 
Roll hot pink fondant thin and use small plunger cutter to make flowers and apply to cake using piping gel. Use piping gel to add feather, beak and eye to bird. Brush the back of bird with piping gel and attach to cake. Using icing, attach feathers behind the bird's tail.


Ladybug cookies

Tools and Ingredients
Gum paste or rolled fondant in the following colours:
Red
Black
Piping gel
Sharp paring knife or flexible poly blade
2 ½" fluted round baked sugar cookies
Grass tip
Green buttercream icing
Pastry bag

Roll gum paste or fondant very thin. If using a pasta machine, thin to a #3. Cut ladybugs out of both red and black gum paste or fondant. 
Use poly blade to cut between the head and body of both red and black pieces. Attach the black head to the red body using piping gel. 
Use the smallest circle accent cutter to cut black dots and attach to ladybug with piping gel. Place two dots of piping gel on the head and place white non-pareils for the eyes. Allow all pieces to harden overnite.

Using a pastry bag fitted with the grass tip, pipe grass on top of cookie. Be sure to make the grass a little thicker in the center. Slide hardened ladybug into the center of the cookie. If needed, pipe more grass in the back of the ladybug for support.

Monday, April 14, 2014

Lemon Surprise Easter Egg Buns - from Kiwicakes test kitchen


These colourful Easter Egg buns are perfect for a celebratory Easter brunch. They provide a heartier alternative to traditional chocolate indulgences!


Firstly get your sweet bread dough mix underway. I used the recipie in my breadmaker booklet which is:

350ml water
1 egg
2T melted butter
1t salt
2T sugar
4c high grade flour
3T milk powder
2t yeast

My breadmaker dough cycle takes 1 & 1/2 hours. If you were making it by hand I would allow a similar amount of time for hand-kneading and proofing. This dough weighs 1.2 kg. I split it into 65 gram balls, yielding 18 nicely sized buns. I rolled them into oval egg-like shapes on a lightly floured silicone mat, which provided just the right resistance for rolling dough balls.


The sun wasn't out in Whangarei this morning so my proofing options were limited. Giving the buns 30 minutes in a just-warm oven worked perfectly and they doubled in size.


While the buns proof you have time to prepare your egg washes. Whisk together 1 egg yolk with 3T cold tap water. Then split into 3 bowls and add a squirt of your favourite gel colour to each. Today I used lemon yellowsky blue and a tulip red / dusty rose Americolor combination. Remember that your colours may behave slightly different to normal when mixed with the yellow of the egg yolk (e.g. my attempt at pink/red was stubborn at keeping its orangey tinge).



Paint 6 buns with each of your egg wash colours prior to cooking. I used a pastry brush (pictured in an egg wash bowl above) for an easy and even coating. The natural bristles are soft and didn't mark or indent the buns.


Easter Egg buns take almost 10 minutes to cook on fanbake at 200`C. Keep an eye on them after 8 or 9 minutes in case you need to save the tops from browning. 

Now comes the lemon surprise - I injected my sweet rolls with a lemon curd filling. Simply fit a disposable piping bag with a long bismarck tip and push the tip through one side into the middle of each bun. Squeeze a consistent amount into each bun, aiming for about 2 teaspoons. The bun closes back up again nicely once you remove the tip and the filling stays hidden in the centre.



Look at this luscious lemon curd and how its texture compliments the soft sweet bread. Curd is a lovely and tart surprise in these buns but using your favourite seedless jam would work equally well with the bismarck tip technique.


Serve in a fun Easter basket for maximum impact!

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Easter Cupcakes with Chocolate Icing


I adore the colour "robins egg blue" - so these are my ultimate Easter cupcake. if you're looking to recreate these cupcakes - here at Kiwicakes, we have a fantastic selection of straight sided cupcake papers in stock see here. Recipe is reprinted with permission from our friends at Chelsea

Ingredients
150g butter
1 ½ cups Chelsea caster sugar
2 eggs
2 tsp vanilla extract
2½ cups self-raising flour
1¼ cups milk

Topping 
1 1/2 cups Chelsea Rich Chocolate Icing Sugar
1 knob of butter, softened (approx. 10g)
2 Tbsp hot water (approx.)
Dark chocolate curls or flakes, mini Easter eggs to decorate or make coloured fondant eggs.
Method

Beat butter in an electric mixer until smooth, add sugar and beat until light and fluffy. Add eggs and mix well. Add the vanilla, flour and milk. Beat until smooth.

Place individual paper baking cups in a cupcake tin, spoon in mixture until they are about 2/3 full - you should get 24 cupcakes (don't overfill as they will 'peak'). Bake in the oven at 190°C for 20 minutes or until golden. While cupcakes are cooling on a wire rack, prepare icing.

Icing: 
Measure Chelsea Rich Chocolate Icing sugar into a bowl, add butter and hot water, mix until smooth. Icing should spread easily; if too thick add a little more hot water to allow it to spread easily. To decorate: Spread chocolate icing thickly on to cooled cupcakes. Arrange chocolate pieces around the outer edges, pushing gently into the icing. Finish by placing mii eggs in the centres.

Tip: Use a vegetable peeler to shave chocolate curls from a block of dark chocolate or crumble a 'Flake' bar.



Wednesday, April 9, 2014

The Rocky Road to Easter - from Kiwicakes test kitchen


Today's treat is moreish Marshmallow Rocky Road. It has been Easter-shaped and packaged in clear bags set off with these limencello yellow styling tags


The star of the show in this simple recipie is limited edition marshmallow flavoured white candy melts. They are actually white! You could use regular white chocolate in its place, but it always has a creamier yellowish tone.

Once your 500g of candy melts have been melted over a double-boiler, let cool slightly before incorporating 200g mini marshmallows. Press into a lined sponge roll tin so the rocky road is between 1 and 2cm high then smooth the top. 


Sprinkle liberally with Yellow edible glitter for a real Easter feel. Do this while the mixture is still warm. Then transfer to the fridge briefly to set the chocolate.


Season your shaped cutters for easy release by wiping a little decorating cream around the inside. Here I am using the duck, basket, bunny and carrot cutters from the Easter Egg Cannister set of 10 shapes. Simply press down to create the desired shapes.


Here you can see how effective the really white white candy melts are against the coloured mallows and yellow edible glitter. How simple!



Here is a rocky road ducky packaged up ready for Easter giving. We also stock the cute little chicks pictured to accompany your Easter treats.

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Bright Easter Sprinkles - from Kiwicakes Test Kitchen


Brighten up your Easter Sunday with some simple and mismatched, fun and vibrant cupcakes! Use any and all cupcake paper sizes and designs you have to hand.


Fill a piping bag with multi-coloured icing then give it a couple of turns with a stirrer such as a cake tester or a skewer. That will be just enough to slightly marble the colours. Then twist to secure the top of the bag as normal and start piping. The swirly rounded tip used here is #109 (mainly used for drop flowers).


These Bunny, Chick and Duck sprinkles are the quintessential symbols of new life and make Easter decorating easy.


This cupcake is iced in white with a more feathery-effect tip and sprinkled with edible Jumbo Confetti.

Monday, April 7, 2014

Green Chocolate Grass Cups for Easter - from Kiwicakes test kitchen




These cute little grass cups are a neat way to present little goodies or to give height to a plate. Perfect for an Easter surprise!




I melted a handful of vibrant green candy melts over a double-boiler then added a heaped teaspoon to the bases of regular pleated cupcake papers sitting inside a cupcake pan. Then I tapped it to coat the bottom evenly. I filled a disposable piping bag with some of the warmed chocolate (this is quite hot to handle so children may need assistance) and piped uneven-height spikes up the sides to create the grass effect. 

For the turquoise grass I used a mixture of green and white candy melts. I think both colour grasses look effective, so use whatever you have on hand. (Remember to keep some white melts to make your bunnies and easter figurines to sit inside).



Once cooled and set (refrigerate for 10 mins) the cupcake papers will peel easily away and leave you with funky grass cups to fill. I used mini-speckled eggs that are available in supermarkets at this time of year, but you could use jellybeans or other small lollies, too.


I also used our easter bunny variety chocolate mould to create simple bunnies to pop into the cups. Their whiter-than-white look is achieved with these limited edition white candy melts


Firstly, I turned a wee bit of the melted white chocolate to fluorescent pink. I simply stirred in 2 drops of fluoro colour with 5 drops of flo-coat (this is magic stuff!) to 1/8 cup melted white chocolate. I painted the pink bows and details in first, then topped up the moulds with the white melted chocolate.

Once the moulds are filled, tap them gently on a bench to release any air bubbles, then scrape the back of the moulds to remove any excess chocolate. They will pop out of their moulds easily after a quick visit to the fridge to harden.


There you have it - HAPPY EASTER people!

Friday, April 4, 2014

Feijoa cake


Feijoas are plentiful at the moment. We've had some great feijoa recipes on the Kiwicakes blog in the past (use the search function at right to find). This recipe comes from our friends at Chelsea.

Ingredients
4 Feijoas
1 cup Chelsea white sugar
125g butter, melted and cooled slightly
1 large egg
1 1/2 cups flour
1 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp baking soda
1 cup sultanas
2 Tbsp sliced crystalised ginger

Method
Heat oven to 180°C. Scoop feijoa flesh out in small chunks and mix with sugar in a bowl. In a separate bowl, blend the melted butter and beaten egg together. Add this to the feijoa mixture along with the dry ingredients,a adding the ginger and sultanas last.

Bake in a well greased tin for 50 minutes.

Thursday, April 3, 2014

No egg chocolate cake - Poppy Bakes


Recently Uncle David returned home from the US. Poppy wanted to make him a cake to celebrate. She obtained this recipe from her school friend Briar. She decorated the chocolate fondant paua herself using this method. The green and blue rock gems are from Wilton.



Ingredients
2 1/4 C flour
3/4 C cocoa
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
1 1/2 C warm milk
1 1/2 C sugar
3 Tbsp Vinegar
150g melted butter
1 tsp vanilla

Preheat oven to 175C.
Sift dry ingredients together in bowl. Combine milk, melted butter and vinegar together  and pour into dry ingredients, mixing well. Bake for 40 mins in a greased and lined 8''/200mm cake tin.

Cream Cheese icing
Mix 125g cream cheese with 100g butter (at room temp). Combine with 3 cups icing sugar, 1/2 cup cocoa, add a squeeze of lemon.




Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Gears & robot cake - fun futuristic birthday cake


Todays fun post comes from my American friend Autumn Carpenter. Autumn designs and manufacturers a broad range of cake decorating supplies, which I'm proud to stock at Kiwicakes.

This fun cake would thrill and child (and possibly some big kids too). The gears and cogs concept would also be great for steampunk cakes 

Tools and Ingredients
8" and 10" square 2-layer cakes
12" white square cake drum or board
gold rolled fondant
gray rolled fondant
red rolled fondant
blue rolled fondant
copper rolled fondant
milk chocolate
gold lustre dust
silver lustre dust
copper lustre dust
paintbrushes
Autumn Carpenter's Mini Accent Cutter Set
flexible poly blade/knife
pastry brush
number cutter
grain alcohol or lemon oil


Roll gold fondant to desired thickness and lay on cake drum or board; use poly blade to trim. Using the poly blade, detail the board with lines and knots. Brush the fondant with gold lustre dust. Roll the gray fondant and roll the gears texture sheet over fondant. Cut pieces to cover sides and tops of cake. Stack cakes on board and brush with silver luster dust. Mould gears in chocolate candy mould then paint with lustere dust mixed with grain alcohol or lemon oil. Attach to cake using piping gel. Roll a thick piece of copper fondant and cut a number. Detail the number using the poly blade as you did the cake board. Once number is hard, attach to gear with piping gel. 
Robots: Use wooden skewers as the main supports in the legs. Use different cutters and shapes to make the main robot parts. Arms and legs are done by using the clay extruder and wrapping extruded fondant around 18 gauge wire. Paint pieces with lustre dust mixed with grain alcohol or lemon oil.

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Golf ball cake pops using chocolate modelling paste


A quick and easy solution for golf ball cake pops is to use modelling chocolate (because it's darn near impossible to dip a cake pop in white chocolate and then get the little indentations in it).


Take a small piece of white modelling chocolate and cover your cake pop, bringing the edges of the circle together under the ball at the base of the stick, you don't need to be too tidy, as the golf tee will cover the join. Then using the back end of a paint brush handle, press repeatedly to create indentations. Take a small sausage of coloured modelling chocolate and slide it up the stick to form the golf tee. Don't model the tee before sliding it on to the stick, as the shape gets distorted as you slide it up the stick. The tee can be formed between your fingers pinching and moulding it into shape. The modelling chocolate tee will stick to the ball easily without any adhesive.

You can find your modelling chocolate here  and cake pop sticks here 

Friday, March 28, 2014

Poppy cupcake toppers - from Kiwicakes test kitchen


Bake for ANZAC day this year and present your delights in these Black Lace cupcake papers. They really set off the center of the poppy.


The topper is formed using this new Poppy silicone mould. To begin, season the mould with a thin smear of Perfect Finish Decorating Cream by rubbing a smear all around. This ensures your topper will unmould with ease. Fill the centre with a tiny circle of black fondant and the leaf cavity with some green fondant as pictured. Lastly push in your red fondant to fill the mould (I used Satin Ice).

Once you have all your materials in front of you it takes no time at all to make these en masse to decorate for an army. As an indication it took me 10 minutes to make 6 poppies.



Order your poppy mould in advance of ANZAC day now!

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Decadent Chocolate Tart with Crystallised Violets


Crystallising violets is something I used to do with my granny when I was a little girl, seeing this cake brought back a flood of memories. It inspired me to race right outside to my garden to look for violets (which I always have growing). This recipe is reprinted with permission from our friends at Chelsea.

Ingredients
Chocolate pastry:
1 cup (150g) plain flour
1/3 cup (40g) almond meal
1/3 cup (60g) Chelsea icing sugar
¼ cup (30g) cocoa powder
150g butter, chilled & chopped
2 egg yolks

Filling:
300g dark chocolate, chopped
¾ cup thickened cream
4 eggs, lightly whisked
¾ cup (180g) Chelsea caster sugar
1 Tbsp Chelsea golden syrup

Crystallised Violets:
24 Violet flowers, stems attached, untreated with chemicals
½ cup (110g) Chelsea caster sugar plus extra for sprinkling
¼ cup water
Method
Chocolate pastry:
Place the flour, almond meal, icing sugar cocoa and butter in the bowl of a food processor and process until it resembles dry breadcrumbs.
Add the egg yolks and process a further 30 secs. Turn onto a work surface, and knead lightly. Shape into a 20cm round disc. Cover with plastic wrap and place in the fridge for 30 mins to rest.
Preheat oven to 200°C conventional (180º C fan forced).
Lightly flour the rolling pin. Roll pastry out on baking paper to form a 30cm disc. Gently lay pastry into a 24cm fluted tart pan with removable base; trim the edges. Place in the freezer for 15 mins to rest. Line with baking paper and fill with pastry weights or dried beans. Bake in oven for 10 mins. Remove the paper and weights and bake for a further 8-10 mins or until pastry is cooked through. Remove from oven. Reduce temperature to 150°C conventional (130º C fan forced).

Filling:
Place chocolate and cream in a bowl over a saucepan of simmering water. Stir with metal spoon until melted. Remove from heat.
In a separate bowl whisk eggs caster sugar and golden syrup until thick and pale. Using a spatula, fold the chocolate mixture into the egg mixture. Pour the filling into pastry shell. Bake for 40 mins. Allow to cool for several hours or overnight. Decorate with seasonal berries or Crystallised Violets.

Crystallised Violets:
Using a gentle water spray, wash violets. Leave the stems on the violets to allow for easy handling. Allow to dry on kitchen paper towel or wire rack.
Heat the caster sugar and water in a saucepan, stirring over medium heat until sugar dissolves. Allow to cool.
Using a fine brush coat each violet with with cooled sugar syrup.
Dust wet violets with a sprinkling of extra caster sugar ensuring each flower is well coated in sugar.
Lay the sugar-coated flowers on baking paper. It helps if the paper is sitting over a wire cake rack. Allow the flowers to dry for at least 24 hours.

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Candy Building Block Cupcakes - from Kiwicakes test kitchen


Add some Candy Blocks to your favourite iced cupcakes to win delighted looks from children. The really authentic look of the blocks will have everybody guessing if they're edible! 

These are a really handy sweet decoration to have on hand in the kitchen for your child that loves to play with Lego.

Monday, March 24, 2014

A Carrot for the Easter Bunny - from Kiwicakes test kitchen


These striking 'carrot' treats are packaged in a cake decorator's best friend - disposable piping bags. They come in a pack of 20 and are clear and unbranded, which make them perfect for this task. The individual piping bags work out at NZ$0.40c each, so they make a very economical packaging option.


Simply fill each piping bag with your goodies (e.g. orange jellybeans) and secure with a limey green curling ribbon.



A great portable treat, these 'carrots' are perfect for Easter gifting.



For those without a sweet tooth (strange people I must say! but they do exist) consider filling the piping bags with readily-available smallish orange cheese chips. Remember to tie the ribbon tight to keep the chips airtight and fresh and these can be prepared well in advance for picnics and outings.



Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Skittles infused Cupcakes



Last year you may recall I made skittles infused vodka. I still have a heap of it I haven't used, so I decided to try skittle cupcakes, as I had plenty of candy, too. I used a regular vanilla cake mix, to which I removed 1/3 cup of water and replaced with 1/3 cup of skittle infused vodka (the alcohol actually bakes out, leaving behind the skittle flavour - it's like using an extract really, so safe for kids to eat).


I tested baking with both whole skittles and skittles cut in half.



The skittles that were cut in half were the most successful in the baked cupcakes. The whole skittles made a big gooey mess, whereas the half skittles made a nice tasty addition when eating the cupcake.



I like the simplicity topped with a single skittle. To my buttercream icing, I added 1Tbsp of skittle infused vodka (replace other liquid you'd normally add). The icing doesn't taste of alcohol, and 1 Tbsp over an entire batch of icing is such a small amount, so the kids can eat this icing, too. Just make sure to put the vodka back on the top shelf, as it's a very enticing colour for kids. 


You can find the circus cupcake papers here.

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