Friday, August 22, 2014

Stencilled Heart Cookies - from Kiwicakes test kitchen

This classy cookie was achieved with a Cookie Cutter and Stencil Set. Our range includes an arrow heart, a double heart and a folk heart for all of your valentines, anniversary or romantic occasions.

On top of my baked vanilla cookies I stuck baby pink fondant heart shapes rolled to 3mm thick. 

A couple of drops of fluorescent pink mixed into a small amount of royal icing gave me this vibrant highlighting colour. This food colouring even fluoresces under black light!

I used an angled spatula to spread a thin layer of the pink royal icing over the stencil placed on top of the fondant surface. They don't take long to dry then you can package them in a cellophane bag and tie with a matching ribbon. Pretty!

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Girly Cookie Art - from Kiwicakes test kitchen

Today I'm going to share with you some cookies I demonstrated at the Auckland Cake Expo in July. They all have an element of beauty - perfect for feminine occasions.

These confused cupcake cookies were made with this basic cutter and adorned with vibrant fondant using the same cutter as for the cookies. The bottom striped 'wrapper' section was made using a marbling technique you can watch in an earlier Kiwicakes blog here. If you look closely you will see that even the orange has faint parallel yellow lines in it. Its a neat trick to learn and help avoid fondant decorations from looking flat. The cupcake 'tops' were made glam with the addition of mini silver balls spaced out perfectly with the aid of this Press Ice Tool and the faintest touch of edible glue. The bow, butterfly and mini pearl additions were made simple with a really versatile tiny features silicone mould.

This racy red stiletto was also made with a basic cookie cutter. The fondant I chose was red for impact and I used a peacock impression mat to texture the surface - only because it was right beside me at the time. Its funny how sometimes you try something though and it just works. As always I stuck the fondant shape to the cookie with edible glue. An even swipe of silver lustre from a pump brush gives it subtle sparkle and then rice shape dragees stuck on turn this into an evening shoe. The wee bow on the toe was made from the same mould as used with the cupcake cookies above.

This dreamy castle was made easy with our Castle Cookie Cutter. Its shape is based on Schloss Neuschwanstein, which for me evokes fond memories of a teenage exchange to Southern Germany. Younger children nowadays would invariably associate it with their favourite princess movies and stories. The two stars of the show for me here are the suggestive brick impression markings and the dainty pink padlock feature. Magical!

Monday, August 11, 2014

Yummy fudge now available in store at Kiwicakes

Something exciting is happening at Kiwicakes. We now have yummy, creamy home made fudge for sale. Made right here in the Kiwicakes kitchen. Our gorgeous Laura is handing out free samples to anyone that wants to pop in and try it today. 
This fudge has been in the planning stages since much earlier this year, I wanted to offer a tasty treat to our customers that pop in store to see us. Our fudge allowed us an endless range of flavour possibilites - right now as I type we have lemon meringue, chocolate, double chocolate, salted caramel, rocky road, jaffa orange swirl, sticky date caramel, irish cream, cookies & cream, rum & raisin, chewy chocolate, caramel pecan, ginger kiss & maple walnut. Through facebook we'll aim to update you with our new flavours as they're created. We have some pretty awesome flavours to come later this week, and a few in the development stage.

Special thanks to Guyco in Whangarei that have worked with us, to create a new counter to house our fudge. And Jeff Oliver Print for our new Kiwi fudge labels which were designed by Minette from Red Cherry Design.

Currently our creamy dreamy fudge is available in store at Kiwicakes - however within a few weeks we'll have it loaded to the Kiwicakes website, so we can share it with our Kiwicakers around the country.

Princess Elsa's Coronation Frozen Party Menu - from Kiwicakes test kitchen

If you need inspiration for a winter wonderland themed party then check out this balanced mix of fun food ideas from my daughter's party recently. 
I labelled the individual dishes as our party girls are at the school age where they love learning to read and these gave them some giggles. We have stylish tags available online at Kiwicakes too.
Slices like this can be made up to a week in advance, covered in coconut 'snow' and stored in the fridge until party day. 
I love the crunch and vibrancy these bought to the table.

Yum yum hot from the oven. The 5 & 6 year old party girls thought this sign was hilarious! In the background you can spot the easiest table decoration ever - a tall glass vase filled with sparkly blue and silver christmas baubles.

These lemonade tasting 'clouds' were soft and billowy. Thank goodness for nanas who bake and help with food prep.

I was careful to avoid peanuts in the party food so these are almonds.

I normally endorse buying New Zealand made but in winter I feel lucky that Australia exports these summery fruit here and surprisingly at a really reasonable price. We bought 3 punnets and this was the first dish to run out!

We served creaming soda drinks (similar to lemonade) in these cool clear retro bottles. Check out the range of various designs we have in stock. Alternatively you could fill them with water, blue fanta or milk and all would still pass as 'melted snow'.

These cookies can be made a day ahead and are a fun project for kids to assist with. You will need shortbread cookies, white marshmallows, white chocolate, licorice, dried apricots and blue sugar pearls on your shopping list. The more inconsistent and 'melted' they look the better!
I think this jelly shortcake slice beats jelly cups which never seem to get finished. And leftovers make great lunchbox surprises for days to come. This was made with 50:50 blueberry and lemonade packet jelly mixes to get the mid-aqua colour.

Plump raisins were offered as 'snowman eyes' but you could even use chocolate drops or other confectionery.

A party is not a party in my house until there are cocktail sausages. Enough said.

These store-bought pretzel sticks made nice woody-looking 'arms'. Eskimo lollies are another easy supermarket item to pick up that is in keeping with the theme.

Lastly we sent the kids home with a signature handcrafted cookie. Its easy to do.

This snowflake cookie is topped with fondant which is gently ice coloured, textured with a stoney look from the manly impression mat set, shaped with the same cookie cutter, stuck on with sugar glue, finished with a dash of glacier glitter and presented in a favour bag

Big smiles all around!

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Kiwicakes 8th birthday cake winner - Paula Andrew

At the recent cake expo in Auckland. Paula Andrew our winner of the Kiwicakes birthday cake competition delivered her winning cake. The little Trixie Kiwi unfortunately forgot to hop in the car, for the tip down to Auckland from up North. However we think Paula did an amazing job to get it to us at all, with all her wee ones out sick with the flu.

It was great to be able to share our birthday cake with many expo visitors and our friends from other cake stalls around the hall. It sure was a tasty cake (raspberry and lemonade). Everyone commented just how gorgeous it was to eat. We done Paula, we loved our cake!

Monday, August 4, 2014

Princess Anna of Arendelle Frozen Cake - from Kiwicakes test kitchen

It was difficult for my daughter to move past her favourite movie Frozen when choosing a birthday party idea. So as mum I accepted the challenge and went about creating a cake to suit. This was my first attempt at a dolly varden style cake and I am pleased with the result.

Princess Anna's skirt is made with a dolly varden pan and she is sitting upon a hexagonal cake. I liked that it had 6 points reminiscent of a snowflake and thought it added more interest than a traditional square or circle base. 

This is a white chocolate mudcake so quite dense in texture and really easy to work with when decorating. It was a big mixture to fill both tins generously. We are talking 5+ cups of caster sugar and 700g butter eeek! Once baked and cooled I covered both cakes in a thin layer of buttercream that I added a couple of Tablespoons of sparkling plum powder to for a sharp fruity hit.

I first covered the skirt cake in a 'petticoat' thin layer of white fondant so it was sealed all over. Blue pettinice was the perfect colour to finish Princess Anna's skirt. I draped it in two panels, the front being embossed with a swirly design from the floral impression mat set. I covered the joins with a ribbon of jade fondant. Blue sugar pearls were inserted into the middle of the embossed flowers before the fondant dried. A purple scalloped base was made from fondant and a small circle cookie cutter and all were adhered with a little sugar glue. Rose designs were added to the sides to keep it looking authentic.

This dolls legs are incredibly long as she is pointing her toes. They ended up going halfway down into the base cake! It meant cutting a hole in the cake card for her ankles to slot through. I wrapped her lower body in plastic wrap so she didn't get dirty then used an apple-corer to cut a space down for her legs and bottom. The cake board was adorned with various size snowflakes made with this plunger cutter set. Actually I didn't even make the snowflakes, my daughter (then still 5) managed to stamp, plunge and glitter them entirely herself. We used white sparkes but they would've also been neat in silver or sea green. 

Here is our birthday princess in her specially tailored costume for the party - gotta love clever Nanas! Six years old today XX

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Tiki head Hawaiian cupcakes

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.

The manner in which these cupcakes are piped with royal icing could be used with any impression mat from any of Autumn's range, not just the tiki head.

Tools and Ingredients
standard size cupcakes
buttercream icing
brown rolled fondant
assorted colours of neon or electric run sugar icing
parchment bags

Ice cupcakes with buttercream icing. Roll fondant to desired thickness. Roll tiki texture sheet over fondant to make recessed images and use cutter to cut tops. Apply to top of cupcake. Fill parchment bags with icing and fill in recessed images with run sugar icing.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Kiwicakes Sprinkles in the making

I was recently invited to visit our New Zealand based sprinkle manufacturers factory, I'm not sure what I expected, but a scene reminiscent of Willa Wonka's greeted me. At Kiwicakes I'm proud we have our own brand of sprinkles and sugar pearls produced right here in NZ, which are nut free, gluten free & suitable for vegetarians. Where possible our sprinkles manufacturer opts for natural colourings too.

First of all I had to costume up like a sprinkles maker.

They even make their own icing sugar right here in the factory, starting with good old NZ Chelsea brand sugar. 

They make a heap of each colour at one time (the sugar pearls start off as non pareils and are grown larger, to the size required the more time they spend spinning in the drum)

I wonder how many years it would take me to use this many yellow sprinkles?

Here's how the sprinkles called Jimmies or Hail are made - it's just like a giant mincer. Once the sprinkles are extruded, they are chopped up and enter a low humidity drying room, the temperature and atmosphere is so pleasant in that room, I could have stayed there all day, not just because of the gorgeous smells permeating the room. The sprinkles are dried in there for a few weeks.

What you cannot tell from my photo is that these drums were spinning around and around, quite quickly and noisily. I sure had a blast visiting my sprinkles manufacturer and am proud to be selling Kiwi made merchandise.

Butterfly Party Food - from Kiwicakes test kitchen

Last month our wee girl Indie turned 4. She's into all little insects, bugs (and even slugs!) so we ran with a butterfly party theme. This is her cake and it is followed by plenty of plenty of sweet treat ideas below...

As I do with all my kids parties, I popped a keyword into the Kiwicakes Quick Find box for decorating inspiration. The search "butterfly" currently brings up 41 varied products to enhance cakes and parties. Our party table was full of edible fluttering beauties.

These ever-popular honey rice bubble cakes were made by my mum. Bless! The mini butterflies on top look like they are ready to take off. They were made the day before with thinly rolled pink fondant (with a pinch of tylose worked in) stamped out with a mini plunger cutter, sprinkled ever so lightly with some pink glitter and set to dry resting in a v-shape overnight. Like all pink/purple fondants remember to keep these in a dark place away from fading UV light. Shoe boxes are great for fondant decorations as they are dark yet they still breathe. The sparkly butterflies were adhered with a wee dab of electric pink coloured royal icing just before serving. Royal icing can also be made, coloured and refrigerated in a piping bag in advance.

These pretty cookies are a basic chocolate biscuit base shaped with a butterfly plunger cutter. Coloured fondant was plunged with the wing design and adhered to each baked cookie with sugar glue. Again these can be made in the days leading up to the party.

Here's a twist on regular fairy bread - just use the same butterfly plunger cutter as for the cookies above. It makes a nicely sized item for small hands!  Lightly butter soft white toast slice bread and dip into/sprinkle over non pareils of your choice. You will get 4-5 butterflies per slice of bread. To stay fresh these must be assembled right before serving so enlist some help! I know I am mad but I proudly save the crusts and trimmings so later on I can turn them into an easy and colour-spiked bread and butter pudding with currants and zesty lemon that everybody loves. Yum.

These winged beauties were made on the morning of the party. All you need is a bag of pretzels, a bag of pascall clinkers, a wee bit of melted chocolate in a disposable piping bag and some edible bling! This is best achieved as a 2 person job as you need to work quickly while the chocolate is still warm. Kids loved seeing the surprise colour inside the chocolate clinker and the pretzels added to the savoury mix on a very sweet-laden table offering.

Inside the birthday cake I electrified my everyday cake batter by marbling 3 coloured batter portions. I used a wee squirt of gel colours electric yellow, electric blue and electric pink and swirled them with a cake tester before baking. I made a double mix to fill a round and a square tin. The butterfly torso was 1/3 of the square cake and the remainder was cut in half for the top wing shapes. The bottom larger wings were two halves of the circle.

To crumb coat the butterfly body and wings I made a ganache using 2 Cadbury blocks (so 440g dairy milk chocolate) chopped and added into 180ml almost boiling cream. The fondant-covered cake was decorated with flowery panels utilising my floral impression mat set and topped off with pastel coloured share-pack mini mentos lollies.

Monday, July 21, 2014

Frozen Snowflakes & Melted Snowman - from Kiwicakes test kitchen

These winter wonderland treats are right on trend and are particularly fitting for these chilly winter days we are experiencing. So much for living in the winterless north!

To achieve todays yummy crafts I cracked into some modelling chocolate, which tastes divine as well as having great stick-ability and moulding qualities.

This snowflake was handcrafted out of light blue modelling chocolate made with 1 part blue plus 4 parts white. It was rolled 4mm thick and snipped into shape with kitchen scissors then dusted with sapphire edible glitter

Although these look like cake pops we actually cheated and used ferrero rocher chocolates for the centres. It's an easy no-bake solution. Just unwrap, stab the ball with a cake pop stick then wrap with a circle of white Chocit. The red round cutter from this cookie cutter circle set is the perfect amount to mould into position. Just use clean dry hands to roll into a smooth ball. It seals the ferrero rocher in and adheres to the stick without any need for edible glue. Then the coated ball can be dusted with white edible glitter for some texture and shine.

Decorations like the blue snowflake stick magically when you press it gently onto the ball and they easily hold their shape! This is also true for the snowman decorations like his arms and all facial features. My snowman's hair is the only part that does not self-support for very long so he might need a quick hair touch up before serving. His nose is made from a wee bit of orange Chocit and it too sits proudly without wilting, I just used the end of a paintbrush to make a divet to press the carrot nose into. His arms, hair and other features are made using a little Brown Chocit rolled thinly and cut into strips. Rainbow packs are a great way to start your modelling chocolate collection. 

To make the melted snowman cookies, roll out your favourite cookie dough and make snowflake cut-outs to bake.This is a really effective shape! When cooled, top each biscuit with a rolled round of chocit, press into place and trim the base. 

Then gather his edible accessories, stack on top and smush into place to resemble the effect of melting!  

A snowflake also looks good in light blue or turquoise with a basic shape etched on top. This is where your flower modelling tools come in handy.

Finally the magic is completed with some edible glitter on the edges...

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