Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Hairy Maclary is 30!

Hairy Maclary has been entertaining children all over the world for 30 years. To celebrate this, Oh Baby! magazine has created this wonderful birthday party. I was pleased to help with supplies for this wonderful party. (Currently if you buy this issue of Oh Baby! magazine at the supermarket, it comes with a free Hairy Maclary book).

I wish my kids were tiny again - they loved Hairy Maclary books and after seeing this photo shoot, I wish I could have a Hairy Maclary party too. I adore the dog bowl cake - what an awesome idea.

Our dog bone cookie cutter was used for the cookies, I love how they put different names on each bone. And our stainless steel ice cream cone holder looks awesome on the party table

Our dog bone cookie cutter was also used for the sandwiches and take home party favours.

(article copied with permission from Oh Baby!)

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

My weekend away - The Art of Cake Awards & Rotorua

This weekend past, Grandma Kiwicakes & I went on a bit of a road trip. We were due in Rotorua on Saturday for the Rotorua cake guild's demonstration day. On Friday we left Kiwicakes and I couldn't wait to stop at Westfield Shore City in Auckland, to check out the Art of Cake Awards Some of my good friends had made cakes for this competition which I couldn't wait to see up close.

Apologies I only had my Iphone with me for photos - this cake of a life size model is from Chocolate Earth.

This cake was made by Vanessa From Bella Cupcakes. Taking a photo of this one, I was cursing having left my camera at home, I had to lean a fair way over the barrier to get the bottom tier to show up in my photo (I'll admit to checking over my shoulder to ensure no security guards were watching me)

This cake was made by Sondra from Sweet Bites Cakes and had lots of little satellite cakes & cupcakes

This cake was made by Miss Melicious

This Cake was made by Thea at Cake Couture

With so many awesome cakes - and knowing some of the cakers, it was impossible for me to vote, so I gave my voting token to my daughter and asked her to vote for her favourite.

The cakes have been getting a lot of press, Tracie from Chocolate Earth was on Breakfast TV - watch it here (advance through to 1.08 hours)

This free exhibition showcases the ultimate in creativity and artistic cake decorating excellence, with cakes up to 1.4 metres tall, inspired by the theme Haute Couture.
The cake designers revealed their grand designs on Thursday 20th June. The winning cake will be decided by public vote ending July 10th, with the winning caker announced on July 11th.
If you want to visit the cakes, why not go at a time when there's cake craft sessions running. Whether you're a serious sugar crafter or a first-timer, this is your chance to learn the art of cake decorating from the experts at the Shore City Cake Craft sessions.  
Miss Melicious - 1pm, Sunday 23rd June: Master the Cupcake Bouquet (sorry folks this one has been)
Cake Couture - Midday, Thursday 4th July: The Art of Rose Making
Sweet Bites Cakes - 2pm, Saturday 6th July: Frosting & Figurine Modelling
Chocolate Earth - Midday, Sunday 7th July: Top Tips on Modelling Chocolate
To view more photos from Shore City of the cakes - check out their facebook page

What a great start to a weekend away the cake competition was. When we got to Rotorua, we had a lovely day with the Rotorua cake guild. On Sunday I met with these 2 cheeky gals above (Jo at left From Ciccio and Sarah from The Cake Tin). We chatted away the morning, I took some photos from Jo's cake cabinets for you all.

Jo has many wonderful tutorials on her facebook page - including her shoes & peonies. She actively promotes cake decorating and is very giving of her time to beginners. On her website she even gives out recipes here Go and check it out, especially if you need a carrot cake recipe for carving 3d cakes. (which is also on her facebook page under notes)

Possibly the best part of the morning is when Jo said "let's have some cake". We took home the two slices in the containers, which are sticky toffee date cake and coffee streusel (as I was told they would travel well), the toffee cake had a huge square of fudge on the end. The remaining three cakes all had mousse layers between them. According to Jo we had to try the apple spice cake, because it was her favourite, the tiramisu cake because it was new. And the carrot cake just because!. What you can't tell from the photo is just how enormous these cake are. Jo bakes her cakes in 14'' pans, so the slices are HUGE. I am sorry to say, not all of the cake we tested on Sunday morning was eaten, which was no reflection on how incredibly yummy it was.

I highly recommend a visit to Ciccio - The Italian Restaurant if you are ever in Rotorua. I'm told they do awesome dinners too.

Monday, June 24, 2013

Herman the German Sourdough Friendship Cake - from Kiwicakes test kitchen

Guten Tag! With a quick dust of icing sugar this cake takes you to a magical snowy German wonderland...

Sourdough has fascinated me ever since I ate clam chowder from a beautifully handcrafted sourdough bowl in San Francisco. Today's recipe is just as appealing because of its sweet, fruity component, and just about anything cinnamon flavoured gets my vote! 

The recipe has been around in NZ for decades. The smells from our kitchen today took my colleague back to when she was growing up and watching her mother take a scoop of sourdough starter from a yellow bucket to use in the same cake! It's so yummy I'm not surprised that her family made it every week. My sweet sourdough will be a hearty cake for the Kiwicakes crew to lunch on. 

A friend passed the starter onto me, which I have nurtured over the last ten days. Either ask around your friends for a starter or replicate your own from the multitude of recipes online. 

You will need:

350g (or thereabouts) of sourdough starter
1 cup sugar
2 cups flour
2 heaped tsp baking powder
2 heaped tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp salt
2 tsp vanilla
2 eggs
2/3 cup oil
1 cup raisins
2 large cooking apples peeled and sliced

Mix together roughly with a spatula and fill your baking tin. The mixture looks firm and chunky, but remember the moisture from the apples will be released during cooking. Bake for approx 45 minutes at 170 degrees. Use a cake tester to check for 'done-ness'.

I love the impressive forms of my German Bundt tin, but you can use whatever size or shape tin you have on hand. We have several specialty cake pans available, including a Cascade Bundt, a Bavaria Bundt, a Star Bundt and a Carousel Bundt pan in stock. The pans are made from a professional weight aluminium that cook beautifully, release easily every time, and are easy to wipe clean. I love the caramelised crust a bundt tin gives this recipe!

For a variation you could always try pear instead of the apples or replace raisins with cranberries or dried apricots. Wikipedia is a good place to research the fundamentals of Sourdough

Happy fermenting, cooking and eating!

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Spiderman Party Cupcakes - from Kiwicakes test kitchen

I have seen this effect in photographs before but never had a try myself - until today. With such bright colours it really is a simple and effective way of impressing Spiderman fans! I made a yummy golden cupcake for the design to sit on top of...

Cream 125 grams butter, 1 cup brown sugar and 1 teaspoon vanilla essence. Slowly add two large eggs, beating well throughout. Add 1/2 cup milk and a pinch of salt. Sift over 1+1/3 cups flour and 1+1/2 teaspoons baking powder. Mix again for 1-2 minutes until all combined and mixture is light and creamy. Spoon into black Foil Cases and bake at 175 degrees for about 15 minutes. Makes 12+ cupcakes. And our taste testers agree they are tops so you might be best to double everything and make 2 dozen!

When they have completely cooled, cut off the top dome so it is level with the top of the cupcake papers.

Mix up a simple butter icing to colour and spread over the cut surface...

Mix together with a bread and butter knife - 25 grams of butter melted, 3 tablespoons of boiling water, 1/2 teaspoon vanilla essence and 2 cups of icing sugar. This will achieve a runny consistency that will be easy to spread and pipe.

Colour 1/4 of the icing mixture black with a squirt of food grade colour and colour the remaining 3/4 with a good squirt of bright red. Spiderman fans will know if your colours end up pinkish or greyish (and guaranteed they will tell you!!) so its worth getting the right bright colourant.

Pop your black into a piping bag with a size 3 tip so you are ready to pipe. Its best to just work on one cupcake at a time so your icing is wet and the two colours blend nicely. Take a blob of red icing on your knife or spatula and cover the entire cut surface. Then work quickly with the black to pipe a generous dot in the middle of the red, as well as free handing three rough circles about 5mm apart as pictured above. It will look somewhat like a bulls eye. Then use a toothpick (or similar) to drag 8 equidistant lines from the middle of the cupcake to the outside.

If your icing firms up a little just give the red a few seconds in the microwave to bring it back to a nice runny consistency. By holding the black filled piping bag with the warmth of your hand for a minute it will do the same job.

And just like magic you have created a spider web effect. These can be made in any colour - and would also be good for halloween parties with a candy spider perched on top!

Another growing trend is to top cupcakes with rings that the party kids can have as party favours and wear as rings on their fingers afterwards. We have them available in many of our different licensed ranges. Certainly a quick and easy way to echo your party's theme! Check out our party supplies page for over 50 differerent ranges of licensed party ware - everything from Strawberry Shortcake to John Deere Tractor!

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

New classes with Trish from Gobake on Kiwicake's schedule for 2013

Saturday August 31st Beginner's cupcakes 1.00-2.30pm $49 with Trish from Gobake.
This 1 ½ hour course teaches all about the basics of cupcake decorating.
Learn to pipe 2 toned swirls, pipe a rosette and hydrangea and finish off by learning how to create Satin Ice flowers and butterflies to adorn the top of your cupcakes.
The course will teach you how to whip up GoBake Easy Frost Crème and Frosting then flavour with our very own Flavacol range.
Come with nothing and leave with 6 stunning cupcakes to take home to impress all your friends and family.

Saturday August 31st Advanced cupcakes 3.30-5.00pm $49 with Trish from Gobake
If you are looking to build your skill level from beginner to advanced cupcake decorator than come along to our 1 ½ hour Advanced Cupcake Class.
Refine your decorating skills using Satin Ice Fondant, Gum Paste and GoBake Easy Frost.
Learn the technique of brush embroidery using a very simple method with Easy Frost Frosting.
Create a beautiful anemone and handbag then finish off with the vintage quilting technique.
Bring nothing but yourself to this course and leave with 6 cupcakes.

Sunday September 1st 9.30-12.30 Figure modelling with Trish from Gobake $100
Learn how to make a variety of 3d figures using Satin Ice rolled fondant & gumpaste. In this class you will learn to create four cake toppers including a little girl & cupcake, high heels & handbag, cute bunny & a happy teddy. Everything supplied, just bring yourself.

Sunday September 1st 2.00-5.00pm Christmas cake (includes Christmas figure modelling) with Trish from Gobake $100
Have the best Christmas cake this year to show off to your family & friends. This class is suitable for anyone including beginners to the more experienced. Cover a cake in Satin ice rolled fondant, make a 3d santa figurine, penguin & Christmas tree from gumpaste. In class you will be working on a polystyrene cake dummy. If you wish to work on your own cake, bring either a buttercream/ganached covered cake to class. Or if using fruit cake, bring to class with marzipan layer in place. Everything supplied just bring yourself (and your own cake if desired)

Wilton 2014 yearbook available for pre-order now

It is with great anticipation each year that I look forward to the release of the Wilton 2014 yearbook. I've just received notification that our airfreight shipment is leaving the USA tomorrow - you can preorder your copy on the Kiwicake's website here at a cost of $35
I wanted to point out to those of you that have purchased a Wilton pattern book in previous years, that Wilton is not producing a pattern book in 2014 (I have been told they are going to make the patterns available online)

At Kiwicake's we have a trained Wilton instructor on site to help with all your Wilton needs.

Monday, June 17, 2013

Kiwiana Cupcakes class at Kiwicake's

We sure had fun this weekend past. Kirsten Day was with us in store at Kiwicake's teaching cupcake making classes, to celebrate the launch of her new book "Kiwiana Cupcakes, Cake Pops & Whoopie Pies"

Here are some photos from the class. We had 2 class, both sell outs, with 16 students per class.

I couldn't resist snapping some photo's some Kirsten's demo cupcakes.

Kirsten had never seen the pink sheep at Sheepworld - until her first visit to Kiwicake's. So here in Whangarei, we claim the pink sheep from the front cover as our own, as if Kirsten had not come to visit us regularly, she would never have seen them.

Thanks so much for coming to see us Kirsten - we can't wait to have you back (and for book #2)

Monday, June 10, 2013

French toast in a chocolate - from Kiwicakes test kitchen

Going out to breakfast really appeals to me if I can order french toast with all the trimmings - caramelised grilled banana and smoky bacon with a generous drizzle of maple syrup. Yum! So I tried to recreate the flavour combination inside of a chocolate bar and its not half bad.

To whip up this unusual but quite moreish treat you will need:

250 grams milk chocolate melts (or try your favourite mild-tasting chocolate)
1/4 cup bacon candy if you can get it, or traditional salty dried bacon bits 
1/4 cup banana chips 
2 teaspoons of Nutrafresh sparkling banana powder
1/2 teaspoon maple-flavoured oil
1 teaspoon flo-coat  

Chop your banana chips and bacon candy/bits roughly - the chunkiness you can get away with will depend on the size and shape of the chocolate mould you are using. Then simply melt the chocolate pieces in a microwave set on its medium-power setting. Heat in short bursts stirring  between bursts until liquid. Stir in all the other ingredients to the chocolate and simply pour into your mould to set. Remember to 'drop' your freshly filled mould onto the bench as many times as it takes for the air bubbles to be forced out. 

I used a chocolate bar mould and this quantity made 6 chocolate bars. Happy experimenting!

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