Friday, October 29, 2010

Vintage Betty Crocker

How cute is this? Grandma Kiwicakes recently gave me this Betty Crocker vintage cook book for Boys & Girls. The graphics on the front cover, remind me so much of a story book I had as a child called "The tiger who came to tea". I really loved that book I even have a new reprinted copy of it for my children.


And what did I find inside?


Tigers!


(click on photo of book to make larger for viewing) The head is a cheese carcker, the body is an American "animal cracker" coated in chocolate. I can't quite imagine what a cheese cracker coated in chocolate tastes like. I'm not sure I want to try, but they look pretty darn cute.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Lee-Ann's Pink Champagne cupcakes

I just love it when you all send me photos of your cake decorating. Today in my inbox I received this gorgeous photo from one of our Kiwicakes members - Lee-Ann English of some pink champagne cupcakes, with a chocolate transfer topper. She made them for a newly engaged couple. Lee-Ann was inspired to try the recipe after I blogged about it here.


For Harry Potter Fans

Amy from amyBITES kindly granted her permission to repost her photo of her wonderful Harry Potter cupcakes alongside her Butterbeer tankard. You'll want to read her full post here Currently I'm in the middle of reading the third Harry Potter book The Goblet of Fire with my 7 year old. It's true what they say, adults will love these books as much as kids. The story is unlike any other you'll read. I too have dreamed of having a butterbeer and after reading about Amy's adventure to the Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal’s Islands of Adventure park - I now want to go there so bad!  For now I'll just have to satisfy myself making Amy's cupcakes.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Airbrush colour added to Kiwicakes online store

I'm pleased to say I've added a comprehensive selection of airbrush colouring to the Kiwicakes catalog. Click here to view all colours 
There are regular colours, electric colours and metallic lustre sheens. The cake above has been airbrushed with silver & gold sheen. The cake below has been coloured with electric colouring and then sprayed using the sheen colours. (photos copyright Americolor)

Mermaid cookies using the new mermaid cookie cutter

I just received this fantastic photo from The Whole Cake & Caboodle with permission to share it with you. The cookies are creating using this mermaid cookie cutter, from the Kiwicakes range. I really love the back view of the mermaids, what a neat idea. Aren't they great?


Thursday, October 14, 2010

Exciting SPCA cupcake day update

Today I received a darling letter from the SPCA cupcake day crew, thanking Kiwicakes for its involvement (Kiwicakes supplied prizes, advertised the event and baked for the day). The SPCA made a whopping $201,262 nationwide. This is a 51% increase over the results from 2009. For those interested, the tallies of funds for different regions will be on the Cupcake Day website in a week or so.


The winners of the SPCA competitions for a variety of categories can be viewed here

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Edible glaze in a spray can

This edible glaze spray, has to be so much easier than brushing it on from a bottle. A good 100ml size can, will surely last a while. Anything you want to make shiny - this is your product!

They're here! - after a really long wait PME lustre sprays

Stunning new lustre sprays in 8 colours - a lovely metallic sheen at the push of a nozzle!.


After a really long wait of nearly 2 months, our lustre spray has finally landed. Why you ask?, such a long wait? - well because it's illegal to send aerosol through the post, so we had to have these come on a dangerous goods carrier, as the contents are under pressure. If a can let loose in the post, we're liable for the entire contents of the mailbag ARGH!. It is for this reason, if ordering we cannot send to a PO Box, we can only send to st addresses, using a dangerous goods courier, as NZ post will not carry them.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Need ideas for your HAlloween cupcakes, cookies, cake & sweet treats

Wilton has some amazing ideas for Halloween, along with full instructional downloads, that you can print out, for the how to This skull cake using the 3d skull pan is just awesome.


There are masses of Halloween cookie ideas using Halloween cookie cutters As well as Halloween cupcakes from simple designs, displayed on this Pick your poison cupcake stand priced at just 19.95, it's sure to instantly transform your Halloween table.


Through to displays to feed large hoards.

If you're wanting to go shopping for Halloween cookie cutters, cupcake papers, stands & more. Click here to go through to the Kiwicakes Halloween catalogue

new look! love it? hate it? or?

The old Kiwicakes template on blogger had become outdated, with the wide screen becoming mainstream, blogger had compressed the screen view of the old template, in the process skewing the photos. So today I took it upon myself to update the template. So tell me, do you love it, hate it? or?

Monday, October 11, 2010

My cake filled Saturday - and the best ever chilli chocolate

Saturday was a day of cake, cake, cake and more CAKE!. My day started with a 5.15am wake up call, to get on the road to Auckland, as I was demonstarting the Cricut Cake machine to the Waitakere Cake Club. I love visiting the girls at Waitakere, they always make me feel so welcome. I had intended to take some photos for you, but as per usual, the morning whizzed past in a blur and before I knew it, the hall was empty and the floors were being swept.
After a quick lunch, I whizzed over to visit my online friends Kevin & Tracey from Chocolate Earth. They opened a brand new store in Clyde Road Browns Bay - October 1st. It's funny, it was the first time I'd met them in person, but we chat online so often, they feel like old friends.

The new shop is amazing. I don't get over to Browns Bay much (I do recall a visit to South Pacific Pictures at the studio for Shortland Street studio in the 1990s and a couple of visits to the Sunday markets over the last decade, but that's about it). For those of you that haven't been to Browns Bay, I suggest you plan a trip, the beach is right there, smack bang alongside the shopping area, so you can take the kids along for the ride. As I wandered the length of Clyde Raod, I was struck by these shoes, outside a shoe store, I thought they screamed paua shell colours, I envisaged myself wearing them for all of about 2 seconds and then continued on. (they were a lot more purple metallic in real life, than photo portrays)


Back to the new store..... I was treated to a hot chocolate, made with liquid chocolate, it was very yummy and one I'd have again in a heartbeat. I chatted with Kevin out the back of the store for a good while, in which time I watched him decorate a cake, make parchment paper cones at the speed of light, all while keeping an eye on an enormous bowl of melted white chocolate.

He also showed me some of the photos of his latest creations. The new store has the most amazing decor. Black & orange with classy cabinetry showing of their stunning range of cakes. And on the wall above the counter is a huge flat screen tv, which has a slideshow of some of Kevins creations. It can apparently show live feeds from the kitchen when interesting things are happening.




You can view Kevins amazing work on his website http://www.cakes.co.nz/ Kevin is a dab hand at 3d cakes and his airbrushing talents are legendary. He pioneered the paua airbrush technique in NZ.

From his website, you'll be able to follow his links to you tube, to see some pretty momentous cakes being created, including one that used a rubbish bin for a chocolate mould and one heck of a lot of chocolate. You will also find him on facebook.

Kevin kindly granted his permission for me to repost his pictures here for you all to see.


As I was leaving Kevin gave me a box of goodies to take home, a slice of his upbeet chocolate cake (it has beetroot in it), as well as a slice of his flourless chocolate cake. And a rather large Chilli chocolate. Apparently 1 round chocolate cake weighs 3.5kg, as he was telling me this, I lifted my take home box up off the counter, and I could see what he meant, there was a lot of chocolate in  that thar cake!
I snapped a photo of them on my knee in the car, in case they didn't make it home to Whangarei in one piece. (which they did)


Now what Kevin didn't know at the time, is I LOVE chilli chocolate. I am going to go out on a limb here and say Kevin's was the best I have EVER tasted. The centre was as smooth as silk and the chilli hit, was just perfect. If you're a chilli chocolate lover, you have to get yourself over to Chocolate Earth and get some NOW!.
When I got back to Whangarei I cut the point off each chocolate cake to taste test, It was hard to pick a favourite, from just looking at them, I thought it might be the flourless that won, but for me it was the "upbeet" chocolate cake.
Tracey told me as I was leaving the flourless chocolate cake is great microwaved, the ganache makes a sauce once heated. In Tracey's words "it's a self saucing pudding" - so I tried this with the remainder and in one word DIVINE!.

I whizzed back to Whangarei tired & happy, to collect my eldest child, who'd been disco-ing at the home of "The Whole Cake & Caboodle" for Miss Tessa's 7th birthday. Never to shy to ask for cake, I asked for a piece of chocolate orange to take home, as it's one of my favourite Caboodle's cakes.
The Whole Cake & Caboodles work can be found here on Flickr.

Lucky me, I was treated to an enormous plate of chocolate cake, orange chocolate chip as well as some gorgeous disco cupcakes. Well that's a lot of cake for one girl for one day. Nothing to do but eat it of course! (I did share)

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Mini ice cream cones - trial run for Christmas

A recent trip to Farro Fresh in Lunn Ave Mt Wellington (Auckland) set me thinking about Christmas and what treats I would be making. Every year I make some of the old family favourites. However each year I try to make something new and exciting - these new dishes either become a "family favourite" to make an appearance at future Christmases and gatherings or they vanish never to be seen again.

Today I will tell you about one of the dishes that started formulating in my mind (more dishes to come later, I can't possibly tell you about it all today, there's not enough time).

Ever since I went to the cocktail party for the Next Woman of the Year awards, I have wanted to find miniature ice cream cones. And I found them at Farro. I purchased plain (which I used today) and black sesame seed, I recall they also had cones coated with white chocolate on the inside. As I wasn't sure what I was going to do with mine, I bought the plain ones, thinking I could chocolate coat the insides later if I wanted to. They come with pretty little silver paper cones to sit them in.

I really had trouble deciding, use papers on no papers. Just in case you're wondering the mini cones are standing in Wilton crystal clear cake pillars.

I decided I wanted to trial a savoury and a sweet dish for the cones for a possible appearance on the Christmas 2010 menu. As I'd recently made cheesecakes again in cupcake papers (like the ones I did for Christmas 2009) I thought cheesecake would be a good place to start. I'd purchased Lime curd on my trip to Farro as well mmmmmmmmmmm it's from Lavenders Green and I thought it would marry nicely with the cheesecake.

Knowing how ice cream cones go soggy, I thought I'd best break out my swanky Ghiardelli chocolate bar (yes more than 1kg) bought for me, thanks to Grandma Kiwicakes. I melted just a little and filled the inner tips, using a piping bag, then I thought, as I'd melted far to much, I may as well do a swirl around the inside for added taste.

I then piped in a good squirt of lime curd. And topped with cheesecake mixture. I had thought for this test run I would just use cheesecake mixture from the supermarket (Tararua), as I was short on time. I have to say I was pleasantly surprised, I thought it tasted really quite nice and I may not bother making my own Dec 24th, when I'll have enough other things to do.

At this stage I'll admit I had a lot of ideas running around my head for how the finished cones would look. I really wanted to trial the new Dark Silver Stars and Green Christmas tree edible glitter shapes I was convinced my idea for popping a small piece of candy floss on top would be the winner. WRONG!


The candy floss was a nightmare to get right, it is so incredibly hard, to place a piece of candy floss on top of a cone and have it look good. I am convinced food stylists must apply each sprinkle to any food using tweezers. Sadly for me time did not allow. I think I probably tried about 10 pieces of candy floss on the cone before I got anything photo worthy. As you try to shape candy floss, it just squishes into a mess, so you have to try to pull and fluff it, whilst trying to shape it ARGH - even trying to describe it is difficult. I also noted when you lifted the candy floss off the cone, the bluish mess on the cheescake below, of melted sugar was completely unappealing. (and I was visualing the steps I would take to eat the cone - I think I would lift the candy floss off and put it in my mouth, rather than put the cone to my mouth)

So it was on to piped cheesecake mixture. I felt the cheesecake mixture with the cone was a little too mono in colour for my taste. So I added a little pink colouring.

Then I tried a different style of piping with green trees


I think the winner for Christmas menu 2010 - yes it will be appearing as it's a taste sensation is......................


The silver papers although difficult to photograph on the cone really finish them off. Now I just need to work out how I will serve them on the table.

Friday, October 1, 2010

Debbie Brown's Ezi-snap cake dowels

Now these aren't literally Debbie Brown's dowels - but for all the girls that attended Debbie Brown's workshops with me recently and asked me for these dowels, NOW I HAVE THEM. we were all amazed just how easy they were to use. Debbie told us, it's all that is used in Britain, she was gobsmacked (to say the least) that many of us were still cutting wooden dowels to length. And after seeing her in action with the plastic dowels, I can see why. 

They are so easy to use. Take 1 plastic dowel. Insert in to your cake - so you can see how long you need it to be.

Score once with not much more than light pressure, using a regular kitchen knife at required height - and then......

SNAP!

Priced at $1 each for standard size and $1.50 for large/heavy - click here to get some for yourself.
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