Sunday, May 31, 2009

2 new pallets of stock coming

For those of you that subsribe to the Kiwicakes newsletter, you would've heard me say the first time I ordered a whole pallet of stock - something along the lines of "it's not likely I'll need to order in that quantity again". WELL, I've just returned home from an overnight stay in the town of one of my suppliers and I have TWO PALLETS coming, with heaps of fantastic new stock, as well as some great vintage Wilton tins. My only concern is now, that it does not rain on delivery day. I am going to phone our local storage on Tuesday after the holiday. I think I got a wee bit carried away buying!!! and I do not have room in the stock for two more boxes, let along TWO PALLETS. These products should begin to appear on Kiwicakes towards the end of next week.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

I so love this!!!


This awesome new tool has just landed, and I have whisked one off home for me!!. Designed to hold your bags whilst you are working, the picture says it all. A great buy at $26

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Cake Wrecks

Jen Yates of Cake Wrecks has a new book available for pre-order at Amazon. The title is titled: Cake Wrecks: When Professional Cakes Go Hilariously Wrong.
According to Jen, 80% of the material in the book is new and she has saved her “best” stuff for the book. It will be hilarious for sure.

What is a Cake Wreck? (according to Jen)
A Cake Wreck is any cake that is unintentionally sad, silly, creepy, inappropriate - you name it. A Wreck is not necessarily a poorly-made cake; it's simply one I find funny, for any of a number of reasons. Anyone who has ever smeared frosting on a baked good has made a Wreck at one time or another, so I'm not here to vilify decorators: Cake Wrecks is just about finding the funny in unexpected, sugar-filled places.

Auckland/Waitakere Big Day Out for cake decorators.

Everyone is welcome at Waitakere City Cake Decorators' Club BIG DAY OUT. SATURDAY 06 JUNE 2009, AUCKLAND BRIDGE CLUB, 273 REMUERA ROAD AUCKLAND.
The theme this year, is "if you go down to the woods today". THE DAY WILL COMMENCE AT 9.00 AM WITH A CUP OF TEA AND WELCOME

MORNING DEMONSTRATIONS:
START TIME 9.30, 10.20 AND 11.10 AM
EACH DEMONSTRATION IS 45 MINUTES.
THEA POOLE - Fallen Log in the undergrowth
HELEN CORDER - Flax on cakes and Maidenhair Fern
LINDY ROXBURGH - Bluebells & their Flower Fairy
AFTERNOON DEMONSTRATIONS:
START TIMES 12.45, 1.35, 2.20
EACH DEMONSTRATION IS 45 MINUTES
BONNIE HENRY - Woodland Flower- Lesser Celandine
CHRISTINE WILLOUGHBY - Painted Teddy
COLLEEN FELLINGHAM - Woodland Anemone & Cranesbill
THE AFTERNOON CONCLUDES WITH AFTERNOON TEA AND RAFFLE DRAWS

SALES TABLES WILL BE OPEN 9.00- 9.25AM, 11.55- 12.40 PM, 3.10 – 3.30 APPROX
Vendors include Kiwicakes - of course!!, Sugar Craft Hawkes Bay, BJ's, Cake Couture, Bakels &
Michelle Barnett colours
Cost is $25 - Morning and afternoon tea supplied. Please bring own lunch

How cool are these???

Look at these awesome licensed character biscuits just arrived at Kiwicakes. Disney Princess, Pooh & Tigger and Disney Pixar Cars. (Spiderman coming soon). The supplier has promised us more characters in due course. These are a genuine licensed product, imported from overseas. With the biscuits around 10cm each, they are sure to be a hit at your childs next party.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Baking a great cake

Source http://www.wilton.com/
They say baking is a science - to get a great cake, several factors can make all the difference between mediocre & awesome!. For optimum height and texture, cake ingredients should be at room temperature prior to mixing. Eggs and butter from the refrigerator usually need about one hour to reach room temperature.

Step 1: Grease the Pan
Prepare the pan by generously greasing the inside using a pastry brush or paper towel and solid vegetable shortening. For best results, do not use butter, margarine or liquid vegetable shortening. Spread the shortening so that all indentations are covered.

Step 2: Flour the Pan
Sprinkle about 2 Tablespoons of flour inside the pan and shake so that the flour covers all greased surfaces. Turn pan upside down and tap lightly to remove excess flour. If any uncovered spots remain, touch up with shortening and flour, or use Bake Easy™ Non-Stick Spray or Cake Release to coat the pan instead of grease and flour.

Step 3: Pour Batter & Bake
Pour batter into pan and place in pre-heated oven.

Step 4: Cool Cake
After cake has baked the specified time, remove it from the oven and let it cool in the pan on a wire rack for 10 minutes.

Step 5: Unmould Cake
Unmould from pan by placing on wire rack against cake and turning both cooling rack and pan over. Lift pan off carefully.

Greasing your cake pan

I have found two ways of greasing a cake pan, that far surpass anything I have ever tried before. One is greasing the pan with vegetable shortening, then flouring int he usual manner. The vegetable shortening, actually repels the cake batter, meaning your cake literally falls out of the pan - you believe it, utnil you see it for yourself!.


The other is a product which costs $9.50 per bottle and is simply the best thing since sliced bread! It is one of my all time favourite things. My Mum loved it so much, she bought everyone she knew a bottle for Christmas. It's called CAKE RELEASE and is made by Wilton.

No need to grease and flour your baking pan - Cake Release coats in one step. Simply spread Cake Release lightly on pan bottom and sides with a pastry brush and fill with batter. Cakes release every time, giving you the ideal surface for decorating. Now in convenient dispensing bottle. Certified Kosher. Each 8 oz. container is enough to prepare 17 pans. Especially great for use with any of the Wilton character or shaped pans.

How to bake a 3d cake

Source http://www.wilton.com/ Many of my customers have asked how it is done. SO here it is, step by step. We stock the 3d bear pan shown in the photo at http://www.kiwicakes.co.nz/

Baking a 3-D Bear Cake
3-D cakes are fun for all!
All 3-D pans work best with a firm-textured cake batter (pudding added mixes and pound cakes). Do not use a traditional white cake as the crumb is too tender.
Steps:

Step 1: Prepare Pan
Preheat oven to 350°F. Generously coat the inside of both pan halves and both the inside and outside of the baking core using Wilton Cake Release or solid shortening. Be sure to cover all indentations. If using shortening, sprinkle about 2 tablespoons flour inside each pan half and shake so flour covers all greased surfaces. Turn pan halves upside down and tap lightly to remove excess flour. If any shiny spots remain, touch up with more shortening and flour to prevent cake from sticking.

Step 2: Fasten Pan with Clips
Fasten pan halves together with clips, making sure the halves fit snugly together.





Step 3: Mix and Pour Batter
Make cake mix according to package directions, or use your favorite scratch recipe. (Most 3-D pans require 5 1/2 - 6 1/4 cups of batter). Pound cake or a combination of pound cake and yellow or chocolate batters offer the best results. Batters that contain nuts or raisins do not work well. Place pan on cookie sheet. Pour cake batter into pan.


Step 4: Bake Cake
Insert baking core into center. The batter in the pan will come right to the rim, almost to the point of overflowing. Cake fills out best when batter overflows slightly while baking. Secure core by slipping tabs of longer prongs under the sides of the pan. Pour 2/3 cup batter into core. Bake 50-60 minutes, until toothpick inserted in vent hole on top of pan comes out clean. Top half of pan may be removed during last ten minutes of baking to check cake.

Step 5: Cool Cake
When cake is done, remove from oven and place upside down on cooling rack 5-10 minutes. Remove top half of pan and cool 5 minutes more. Replace top pan, turn cake over and remove bottom pan. It may be necessary to tap pan with the handle of a spatula to free cake from pan. Cool 15-30 minutes.



Step 6: Remove Pans and Cool
Remove pans; gently remove the baking core and the baked cake centre. Set cake upright and cool completely.






Step 7: Fill in Cake Center and Decorate
Place the cake center inside the bear, filling any empty areas with buttercream icing. Position cake upright on plate, and secure to plate with icing or melted candy. Your teddy bear cake is now ready to decorate!



Tips for Baking 3D or Stand Up Cakes
All 3-D pans work best with a firm-textured cake batter (pudding added mixes and pound cakes). Do not use a traditional white cake as the crumb is too tender.
Be sure pans are either greased (with vegetable shortening, not oil or butter) floured or sprayed with a vegetable spray, or brushed with Cake Release.
It is important to follow pan directions for batter amounts.
Always allow cakes to cool overnight, resting in back half of pan.
We recommend hand washing pan in hot, soapy water.

Come and join us in Whangarei - 20th birthday

Come and join us in Whangarei to celebrate 20 years for the Whangarei cake dcorators guild. We are having an exhibition of members work at Reyburn house gallery (Town Basin Whangarei). Friday 12th June 10am-4pm, Saturday 13th 10am-4pm and Sunday 14th 10am -4pm. Entry by gold coin donation. There will be some great raffles avialble, with a cake baked and decorated by WCDG members, as well as prizes donated by Kiwicakes and Bakels. Check out the awesome poster we have advertising the event.

Kiwicakes 3rd birthday competition cake winner

Yesterday after much drama, the Kiwicakes 3rd birthday competition cake arrived. Tracy did a great job, and popped the cake on the courier in the Waikato on Thursday afternoon as planned. Friday morning, when our lovely courier arrived in the driveway, with just a new book for me in hand, I started to panic. After running a trace on the courier ticket, we found the cake had been "mis-sorted" to Auckland. An hour later I was told, "don't worry, the van has left Auckland and there is no Whangarei freight left in the depot", so I race to the depot at 2pm, only to find STILL NO CAKE. After some phone calls, the kind receptionist finds the go to lady for problem solving at the Auckland depot. She informs us, she has herself, not long put the cake on the passenger seat of the next van leaving for Whangarei, due in at 3.30pm. PROBLEM I am due to pick Poppy up from school at 3pm - 40 minutes away. So "Super Mum" (that's my Mum AKA Grandma) to the rescue. She picks up the cake at 3.30pm and drives it out to us at Hikurangi.

So despite the best laid plans, of having a friend available for photographing me & the cake on a lovely sunny Friday morning. I was left with failing light and poor "Super Mum" having to take the photo. I had great intentions of a lovely setup for the photo, but with a grey late afternoon, it was too dark inside and the artifical light did the cake no favours - so we opted for the cake on one of my dining chairs on the deck.

I hope you all enjoy seeing it - please feel free to use the comment section, to leave comments and ask questions.
My children Poppy & Lennox, thought it all terribly exciting, me racing around in a flap, added to their sense of drama.They each chose a candle they liked best and insisted that was the one they wanted to eat. AND YES, we did cut the cake and eat some. I tried all three flavours in quick succession - and ate TOO MUCH!
We had three lovely flavours to choose from. My favourite was the chocolate with strawberry buttercream filling. "Super Mum" liked the Citrus cake, which turned out to be lemon (because Tracy forgot she had put orange on her entry). Poppy liked the vanilla cake with cookies & cream filling.

I was impressed with Tracy's buttercream filling. After speaking to her on the telephone last night, I was able to discuss her technique. After she has mixed her buttercream, she adds melted white chocolate to the icing. Then refrigerates the cake before covering in fondant. This ensures she has a nice firm cake for covering, with no slippage or movement at the filled area. It tasted great too!. Tracy also tells me, her daughter Shayna (who helped with the original design drawing) helped her hand roll the fondant balls around the base of each tier.



Here's another look at Tracys winning entry & Tracy with her cake


Thursday, May 21, 2009

How to bake the perfect bundt cake

Kiwicakes is proud to be a supplier of Nordicware. We've got some great Nordicware pans in stock, with many more to come. Here are some great hints and tips, for how to bake the perfect bundt.
HOW-TO BAKE THE PERFECT BUNDT CAKE

Helpful Hints For Fail-Safe Results

You do not have to be a culinary expert to bake a perfect Bundt® cake or bake in any of the various Nordic Ware shaped pans. You just need the proper tools and the inside know-how! Say goodbye
to cake sticking to the sides of the pan and hello to the many “oohs” and “ahhs” you’ll get when presenting your work of art to guests or to the kids!
1. Use the proper cooking spray. Spray the Bundt® pan with a non-stick vegetable oil. We recommend a non-stick spray such as Bakers Joy* which contains flour. After spraying, take a pastry brush and brush the oil into the grooves of the pan and then turn the pan upside down on a paper towel, allowing excess oil to drain away. Avoid using spray with Lecithin listed as an ingredient as a gummy residue can build up over time. Better than using spray, brush pan with a solid vegetable shortening and dust lightly with flour. Briskly tap the pan several times with the palms of your hands to distribute the flour evenly and then turn pan upside down over a sink to remove excess flour
2. Avoid bubbles in the batter. To prevent air bubbles in the cake, slowly pour the batter in one corner of the pan and allow the batter to slowly flow in and around the Bundt® design.
Gently tap the filled cake pan on the counter a few times, this will make the air bubbles/pockets rise up and away from the outside of the cake.
3. Showcase the details using a spatula. Mixes and recipes may vary, so fill the pan about 3/4
full to avoid overflow. With a spatula, push the batter to the outside of the pan pushing
slightly up the walls; this will help the cake climb up the sides, giving you greater detail on the outside of the cake.
4. Bake and then cool for 10 minutes before inverting. Place the pan on the center rack of the oven. Black or dark colored pans require a 25-degree Fahrenheit (10°C) heat reduction from the recommended oven temperature. Bake for time indicated and cool 10 minutes – no less, no longer. With hot pads, pick up the cake pan and gently shake the pan from side to side listening for thumping. This indicates cake is loose and ready to invert. A plastic knife may be used to carefully loosen the cake around the center tube and sides if sticking persists.
5. Invert, continue cooling and dust or drizzle. Invert on plate or cooling rack; continue to cool. Dust with powdered sugar using a sifter or drizzle your favorite sauce on top. ENJOY!
*Instructions can be used with any Nordic Ware Bundt pan.
For more information about Nordic Ware visit www.nordicware.com

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

New silicone moulds just landed


I have just had the latest release moulds arrive from the UK. Don't forget Kiwicakes is the sole NZ distributor - so you won't find these anywhere else. Too many to show you here on the blog, but here are some of my favourites. Pop on over to Kiwicakes and check them all out!. The Koru hearts are sure to be popluar for wedding cupcakes. And goodness only knows what the underwear will be used for.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Wiltons latest release cake pans

Today at Kiwicakes, I've received in stock Wiltons latest release cake pans. Hannah Montana and Transformers. Priced at $34.95. Check them out! I think the Hannah Montana pan has scope for much use in future years, with space themes etc, as one baked, the Hannah Montana word area, can be iced right over.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

New Autum Carpenter design moulds

These stunning new designs by Autumn Carpenter offer up endless possibilities. In both flower and paisley designs, there is a mint mould and an accent mould. The accent mould can be used for making thin decorations for cupcakes and cakes, whereas the mint mould allows you to make matching chocolate favours. See how Autumn uses the paisley accent mould on her blog http://autumncarpenter.files.wordpress.com/2008/10/paisley-cake.jpg

Autumn credits her mother and grandmother for instilling her with a passion for the confectionary arts. Some of Autumn’s favorite memories as a youngster were the delicious candies from her grandmother’s 3-tiered candy dish and her grandmother’s huge group of “cake friends”. As Autumn grew-up, she worked closely with her mother on books, product development and classes. Autumn demonstrates annually at the I.C.E.S. (International Cake Exploration Societé ). And also travels across the United States, sharing the craft of cookie decorating and other confectionary arts.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Stunning chocolate transfers



These new chocolate transfers are simply stunning!. I'm having trouble deciding which one to use first, priced at $7.50-$9.50. Check them out here http://kiwicakes.co.nz/kiwi/index.php?cPath=67_242 a large variety of colours and styles to choose from, in 2 sizes.

Chocolate Transfers have a myriad of uses limited only by your imagination. Design is cocoa butter coloured with powdered food colouring. Spread melted chocolate thinly on the sheet... that's all it takes! Break up pieces and use them as elegant, unique cake & candy decorations.
You can cut up transfer sheets and place on top of your just dipped candies & chocolates.
Chocolate transfer sheets work on all kinds of chocolate, any colour; . Transfer sheets are flexible and can be shaped any way you choose. Cut in strips and place on sides of a cake with chocolate. Cut in strips and make bow loops.
Chocolate Transfer Sheets should last until you use them. It's merely cocoa butter and powdered colouring embossed onto a clear acetate sheet.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Crusting cream cheese icing recipe

For those times, when regular cream cheese icing just isn't right (wedding cakes and special occasion celebration cakes)
Ingredients
1 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup solid vegetable shortening
1 pound cream cheese, softened
1 tablespoon clear vanilla extract
3 1/2 pounds sifted icing sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
Cream butter, shortening, cream cheese and extracts. Gradually add icing sugar and salt. Beat on low speed until nice and creamy. This recipe is for a stiff consistency. For a thinner consistency, use 3 pounds of icing sugar instead. If you want a very smooth cake, let the cake sit for 15 minutes after icing. Then smooth with fondant smoother or dough scraper or non textured paper towel.

Adding pudding to cake mix

Ok, so most of the time we all like to bake from scratch, but sometimes that isn't feasible. In which case, a doctored cake mix can be fun.
I received this recipe from JanH in the USA, and have had a lot of fun, changing the pudding (instant pudding dry mix) in the recipe for different flavours.
Ingredients
1 box of cake mix (Betty Crocker or similar)
4 whole eggs
1/3 c. water
2/3 c. of buttermilk --full fat. If you use the low fat buttermilk, use 1 c. of low fat buttermilk and omit the water (if you do not have access to buttermilk, use 2 tbsp of vinegar in regular milk, wait 5 minutes for it to curdle)1/3 c. of oil
1 package of instant pudding
For a true white cake, you can just use 6 egg whites (and not whole eggs), but I find the cake sturdier using the whole eggs.

My favourite lately has been to add pistachio instant pudding or cheesecake instant pudding to a vanilla cake mix. The resulting cake is hard to guess has its roots in a packet mix.

Like a pig in mud




Today I'm like the proverbial "Pig in mud!". Some of my all time favourite things in cake decorating are glitters & lustres and today I've had a phenomenal selection arrive, with 24 new items to the Kiwicakes range.
Most notably is the edible Gold stars and Pink red hearts. There is literally htousands in a tube, so if used sparingly the $18 tube will last a very long time.
These are definitely my new favourite thing and I've whizzed off home with a pack of each for myself.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Cookie cutter and imprint mats by Autumn Carpenter

I Just love these new cookie cutter and imprint mat sets by Autumn Carpenter. In stock now at Kiwicakes.



Professional-looking cookies decorated in minutes! Use these texture sheets with freshly rolled fondant or crusted buttercream. Use the mats for an elegant embossed look, or add additional details with flowers or piping.
EACH SET INCLUDES A COOKIE CUTTER AND THREE DIFFERENT TEXTURE MATS The mats are a flexible, lightweight clear plastic. Two of the mats are designed to use with the cutter and the third mat has an all-over design to use with the included cutter, other cutters, or cupcakes. Detailed instructions and cookie recipe included with each set.



INSTRUCTIONS WITH FONDANT
Bake cookie using cutter from set. Cool completely. Lightly spray texture mat with a cooking spray. Wipe off excess with a paper towel. Roll fondant to approximately 1/8” thickness. Place texture mat on counter. Lift and turn fondant over on top of texture mat. Roll over fondant once. Turn over and remove mat. Cut fondant piece with cookie cutter from set. Attach to cookie with piping gel or a thin layer of buttercream.

INSTRUCTIONS WITH BUTTERCREAM
Bake cookie using cutter from set. Cool completely. Ice cookie with buttercream. Allow buttercream icing to crust. Place texture mat on crusted buttercream. Roll over mat once with a pastry roller or small rolling pin. Lift mat.



USE THE ALL-OVER DESIGN FOR CUPCAKES TOO!
One mat has an all-over design that can be used on cupcakes, other shaped cookies or other small treats!

Autumn Carpenter credits her mother and grandmother for instilling her with a passion for the confectionary arts. Some of Autumn’s favorite memories as a youngster were the delicious candies from her grandmother’s 3-tiered candy dish and her grandmother’s huge group of “cake friends”. As Autumn grew-up, she worked closely with her mother on books, product development and classes. Autumn demonstrates annually at the I.C.E.S. (International Cake Exploration Societé ). And also travels across the United States, sharing the craft of cookie decorating and other confectionary arts.

For instructions using Baby Onsie cutter

Please see

http://autumncarpenter.com/products/idea.aspx?idea=6

http://autumncarpenter.com/products/idea.aspx?idea=8

http://autumncarpenter.com/products/idea.aspx?idea=12


http://autumncarpenter.com/products/idea.aspx?idea=13

They can be used for both the funky and traditional


Bright Topsy Turvy Cake Cookies

Tools and Ingredients
whimsy cake cookie cutter texture set
green fondant
orange fondant
pink fondant
green royal icing
orange royal icing
pink royal icing
parchment cone or a pastry bag with a #1 tip
Orange with flowers cake: Lightly spray raised side of flower whimsy cake mat from whimsy cake cookie cutter texture set. Wipe off excess with a paper towel. Roll orange fondant to approximately 1/8" thickness. Place texture mat raised side down on fondant. Firmly roll over the mat. Remove mat. Cut textured fondant with cookie cutter from set. Attach to a baked and cool whimsy cake cookie with piping gel or a thin layer of buttercream. Use pink royal icing, thinned with a bit of water, to fill in the recessed cavities of the flowers. Use green royal icing, thinned with a bit of water, to fill in the recessed cavities of the scroll work and make dots in some of the flower centers. Use orange royal icing to make dots in the centers of the flowers and pipe lines of dots along the bottom edge of each tier.
Quilted flower cake: Lightly spray quilted flower texture mat from whimsy cake cookie cutter texture set. Wipe off excess with a paper towel. Roll green fondant to approximately 1/8" thickness. Place texture mat on green fondant. Firmly roll over the mat. Remove mat. Cut textured fondant with cookie cutter from set. Cut the bottom tier and attach to a baked and cool whimsy cake cookie with piping gel or a thin layer of buttercream. Roll orange fondant to approximately 1/8" thickness. Place texture mat on fondant. Firmly roll over the mat. Remove mat. Cut textured fondant with cookie cutter from set. Cut the middle tier and attach to a baked and cool whimsy cake cookie with piping gel or a thin layer of buttercream. Roll pink fondant to approximately 1/8" thickness. Place texture mat on fondant. Firmly roll over the mat. Remove mat. Cut textured fondant with cookie cutter from set. Cut the top tier and attach to a baked and cool whimsy cake cookie with piping gel or a thin layer of buttercream. Use orange, pink and green royal icing, thinned with a bit of water, to pipe on top of raised dots at the bottom of each tier. Use the thinned green royal icing to pipe small dots on the top tier at the intersections of the quilting. Use the thinned pink and orange royal icing to pipe centers in the flowers on the bottom tier.
Striped quilted cake: Lightly spray raised side of striped quilted cake mat from whimsy cake cookie cutter texture set. Wipe off excess with a paper towel. Roll orange fondant to approximately 1/8" thickness. Place texture mat raised side down on fondant. Firmly roll over the mat. Remove mat. Cut textured fondant with cookie cutter from set. Cut the bottom and top tier and attach to a baked and cool whimsy cake cookie with piping gel or a thin layer of buttercream. Roll green fondant to approximately 1/8" thickness. Place texture mat raised side down on fondant. Firmly roll over the mat. Remove mat. Cut textured fondant with cookie cutter from set. Cut the middle tier and attach to a baked and cool whimsy cake cookie with piping gel or a thin layer of buttercream. Use pink royal icing, thinned with a bit of water, to fill in the recessed cavities of the quilting on the bottom tier and the swirls on the middle tier. Use green royal icing, thinned with a bit of water, to fill in the recessed cavities of the stripes on the top tier. Use all three colors of royal icing to fill in the flowers at the bottom of each tier and create centers in opposite colors.
For more topsy turvy ideas see also


Tools and Ingredients

heart cookie cutter texture set
white fondant
black fondant
white royal icing
black royal icing
parchment cone or a pastry bag with a #1 tip
Baroque heart: Lightly spray baroque heart texture mat from the heart cookie cutter texture set. Wipe off excess with a paper towel. Roll white fondant to approximately 1/8" thickness. Place texture mat on fondant. Firmly roll over the mat. Remove mat. Cut textured fondant with cookie cutter from set. Attach to a baked and cool heart cookie with piping gel or a thin layer of buttercream. Use black royal icing, thinned with a bit of water, to pipe a small scroll and dot border.
Quilted heart: Lightly spray quilted heart mat from the heart cookie cutter texture set. Wipe off excess with a paper towel. Roll white fondant to approximately 1/8" thickness. Place texture mat on fondant. Firmly roll over the mat. Remove mat. Cut textured fondant with cookie cutter from set. Attach to a baked and cool heart cookie with piping gel or a thin layer of buttercream. Use black royal icing, thinned with a bit of water, to pipe a border of small dots inside every other square and a large dot inside the opposite squares.
“Love” heart: Lightly spray “Love” heart texture mat from the heart cookie cutter texture set. Wipe off excess with a paper towel. Roll black fondant to approximately 1/8" thickness. Place texture mat on fondant. Firmly roll over the mat. Remove mat. Cut textured fondant with cookie cutter from set. Attach to a baked and cool heart cookie with piping gel or a thin layer of buttercream. Use white royal icing, thinned with a bit of water, to pipe over the printed “Love” and the raised scroll border. Add dots around the outside edge of the scroll and triple dots randomly inside the border.

For more great heart cookie cutter ideas - See also http://autumncarpenter.com/products/idea.aspx?idea=16

http://autumncarpenter.com/products/idea.aspx?idea=35

http://autumncarpenter.com/products/idea.aspx?idea=33

http://autumncarpenter.com/products/idea.aspx?idea=14

Does icing consistency really mater?

Yes, yes yes! - it sure does.
For years, I never knew how important it was to get my consistency right for each task. SInce making sure my icing for leaves & writing was "thin", they have never looked so good.
Icing Consistency (source www.wilton.com)

If the consistency of your icing is not right, your decorations will not be right either. Just a few drops of liquid can make a great deal of difference in your decorating results. Many factors can affect your icing consistency, such as humidity, temperature, ingredients and equipment. You may need to try using different icing consistencies when decorating to determine what works for you.
As a general guideline, if you are having trouble creating the decorations you want and you feel your icing is too thin, add a little more icing sugar; if you feel your icing is too thick, add a little more liquid.
In royal icing recipes, if adding more than 1/2 cup confectioners' sugar to thicken icing, also add 1-2 additional teaspoons of Meringue Powder.
Options

Option 1: Stiff Icing
Stiff icing is used for decorations such as flowers with upright petals, like roses, carnations and sweet peas. Stiff icing also creates your figure piping and stringwork. If icing is not stiff enough, flower petals will droop. If icing cracks when piped out, icing is probably too stiff. Add light corn syrup to icing used for stringwork to give strings greater elasticity so they will not break.

Option 2: Medium Icing
Medium icing is used for decorations such as stars, borders and flowers with flat petals. If the icing is too stiff or too thin, you will not get the uniformity that characterizes these decorations. Medium to thin icing is used for icing your cake. Add water or milk to your icing recipe to achieve the correct consistency.

Option 3: Thin Icing
Thin icing is used for decorations such as printing and writing, vines and leaves. Leaves will be pointier, vines will not break and writing will flow easily if you add 1-2 teaspoons light corn syrup to each

Sunday, May 3, 2009

How do you fill the centre of cupcakes?

I often get asked how you get the filling in to the centre of a cupcake. It couldn't be easier. Using a decorating bag with your icing filling and round decorating Tip 230; insert tip in top center of an uniced cupcake and squeeze out a small amount of filling. Or, use the Wilton Dessert Decorator, which includes a filling tip and an easy-to-control cylinder for adding just the right amount. You can't really overfill these - give it a go and you'll see what I mean.

Cut open your cupcake or take a bite and find a yummy surprise! (source http://www.wilton.com/ photograph copyright 2004 Wilton Industries inc).

The options are endless with this technique, fill with lemon curd or other preserve. Cream cheese in carrot cake - so many ideas, so little time!

Kiwicakes latest ad


My dear husband is so clever. He made this latest ad for me, to replace the last ad I had for the NZCDG magazine. Last time I gave him the text and pointed him at a royalty free photo site and asked him to make me an ad. This time I found the photo myself and came up with the phrase "have you heard the news", but he took my idea and made it 10x better than I possibly ever could. There are certainly merits to marrying an artist & art teacher. Mum joked he should quit his job and go work for an ad agency. I think I'll run with this ad for a while, it's the best I've had yet!. We're approaching nearly 2000 different products in stock - so we really are NZ's largest online retailer of cake decorating supplies.
It would have been great to run it in colour, however I think it still looks great in black & white. Please let me know what you think of it.

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Wilton now on Facebook

Everyone's favourite Wilton is now on Facebook
http://www.facebook.com/pages/Wilton-Cake-Decorating/60255730918#/pages/Wilton-Cake-Decorating/60255730918?v=box_3&viewas=574207952

Home baking an upward trend

(Source Squires Kitchen Sugarcraft Trader May 2009)
A new trend is sweeping the nation – Caking. The art of baking cakes at home is enjoying a massive revival with 85% of Brits stating that they have baked cakes at home and nearly a third (29%) of British Bakers saying they are baking more than ever before. The research, commissioned by baking expert Dr. Oetker to explore the role of baking in modern life, reveals that nearly two thirds (64 per cent) of Brits bake cakes more than just for Christmas and Easter,
with a quarter (25 per cent) getting creative more than once a month. And just like the recent knitting revival, the Caking revolution is being led by the UK’s youth – 70 per cent of under 25s are baking regularly. A third (29 per cent) of the nation feels the recession has had a direct impact on their baking habits, with 52 per cent refusing to spend money on something they can make at home. Baking is becoming increasingly important (40 per cent) as a family activity, and dads are getting stuck in, with a third of men (33 per cent) now baking cakes as an educational activity to share and enjoy with kids.

Revolution in cake-making led by under 25s
Other key findings:
• 19 per cent of Brits are inspired by celebrity chefs to get Caking
• 37 per cent of men take up Caking for relaxation compared to 32 per cent of women
• 33 per cent see Caking as a creative outlet
• One in 10 (11 per cent) of Brits whip up a cake to impress dinner guests.

Friday, May 1, 2009

Kiwicakes 3rd birthday competition now closed!

The Kiwicakes 3rd birthday competition is now closed . What fun it's been! Here are the entries I received. Please feel free to add your comments, suggestions & questions. I'm sure the entrants would love to receive your feedback.
And the winner is Tracy Unsworth with her tiered creation above. Tracy fulfilled many of the competition criteria including "a cake that epitomises Kiwicakes". She used icing colours that matched the Kiwicakes website and fulfilled a secret wish of mine to use unusual cake & filling flavours. Tracy receives a $500 cake decorating supplies prize as well as having her costs covered for making the cake. I had the pleasure of delivering the good news to Tracy this afternoon. Tracy tells me her 15yr old helped her with the design and tells me "I threw ideas off her and she was very beneficial indeed". Tracy will be making the cake mid May and I will update you all with photos of the cake when it arrives.

As promised here are the entries I received, (in no particular order). I can honestly say I loved every one of them. I would have enjoyed every cake if it was the winner, but sadly there could be only ONE winner.







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