Friday, August 30, 2013

SPCA Cupcake Day 2013

Monday 26th August was SPCA Cupcake Day. Here at Kiwicakes Laura and I formed "Team Kiwicakes" as SPCA Cupcake Day bakers. We baked over 100 cupcakes and raised $282.50 for the SPCA. We worked furiously together for most of the day. Thankfully Laura had spent the week before making many of the decorations. Many of the cupcakes missed being photographed, as we had customers calling early than we advertised to collect cupcakes.

Many of our customers took away 6 packs of mixed designs. We used the SPCA vanilla cupcake recipe created by Chelsea Winters (winner of Masterchef). We also had red velvet with cream cheese icing. What didn't sell over the counter by the time we closed, my team sold around the Kamo businesses - they were all gone in 10 minutes! Since Monday I've received some lovely compliments on them. We also received some extra donations from our generous Kamo business friends.

Laura used our dog & cat face stencils, to make these fondant discs ahead of time. The fondant had tylose added to harden them. They were stencilled using royal icing.

The SPCA letters were cut using the alphabet fondant cut-outs

Our edible wafer butterflies were great to create quick yet stunning cupcakes, which was awesome as some of our other designs were labour intensive.

Our Bunnies have a pink mimosa for a tail. The bunnies were cut using the larger of the two PME rabbit cutters. The grass was green buttercream icing piped with tip 233

This little doggy digging for bones was made using chocolate modelling paste. The little candy bones were from our range of sprinkles.

The little dog house and our yellow scaredy cats were both cut using cutters from our miniature precious paws cutter set. The blue paw print was made in just seconds by pressing fondant into our paws & bones silicone mould

I've been a part of SPCA Cupcake Day since its inception, both as a baker and as a sponsor of prizes. I looked forward to SPCA Cupcake Day 2014.

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Wilton - Fondant and gumpaste student graduation cakes

The following cakes are the finished cakes, from my students that have just completed the Wilton fondant & gumpaste class. (see our class schedule here for future classes) They are all gorgeous. Yet each is so very different from the other.

This cake was very tall, it was hard to photograph, so I've included a close up of the roses.

Kiwicakes Flavacol Launch Saturday 31st August 4-5.30pm

Ever wanted to visit Kiwicakes on a Saturday afternoon? You can this weekend 4-5.30pm for the launch in store of flavacols. We will have free mini cupcakes in store - iced with Gobakes new Easy frost which will be flavoured with flavacols. We will have Easy Frost & Flavacols available for sale.


Monday, August 19, 2013

Culinary adventures - On shore - cruising with P&O

As my family contemplates our time aboard the Pacific Pearl cruise ship with P&O cruises (from December/Jan 2012).  I realised there was a post that never made it to fruition. And that is the culinary adventures of our shore trips. We left Auckland Dec 26th and took in some gorgeous places throughout the pacific. Whilst the cruise was a long time ago. Our small children talk about it, like it was yesterday. 

I just have one photo to share with you from Port Vila in Vanuatu. This cake whilst unassuming looking, was seriously tasty. Grandma Kiwicakes and I had morning tea, in the restaurant of a hotel, that was out over the water. We could see fish swimming in the water below.

My hubby loved the garlic snails we purchased at the Isle of Pines in New Caledonia (I was too scared to try them). We also purchased what my kids describe "as the best hot dogs ever" - the long french bread sticks were filled with what can only be described as a cross between chorizo and salami. I have to agree, it's the best hotdog, I've ever had!

Our time spent in Noumea, was my favourite shore trip. I was really looking forward to trying out my 5 years of school girl french. I didn't do too badly - I even managed to impress myself, when turning to my hubby to say "look at that", the first thing that came to mind was "regardez la!". We left our cruise ship and joined a short tour around Noumea taking in some of the popular sites. At the top of a lookout, we pulled over and our hosts opened up enormous boxes from the local patisserie.

Of course I was the only one crazy enough to need lots of photos of them.

There was toffee

Filled with yummy patisserie creme

a dark bitter ganache may also have been consumed.

This kitchen store I got a little waylaid in - it was directly opposite the docks.

A little local colour

The smell within this air conditioned chocolate store was addictive

I'm used to marzipan fruits - but not marzipan breads!

I bought one of these marzipan peaches to take home - it was so hard to decide what to buy ( a fair few other things from this store may also have made it in to my bag)

These funnels caught my eye

This designer homewares store was such fun. I got a little tangled up in a few goodies here. A few sets of demi tasse came home with me from here.

The brioche and breads in this bakery were amazing, they fashioned breads in to all sorts of shapes for the holidays.

And if the bread wasn't already a fancy shape, you could adorn it with a bread crown.

I snapped this photo from the pages of their photo album. They made profiterole towers - or pirate ships

The supermarket directly opposite the docks - I wanted to take home to be my local supermarket. The bakery department, was nothing like you'd ever see in a NZ supermarket. Imagine caneles at your fingertips every day.

Grandma Kiwicakes & I - in the interests of research took back to the ship with us, one of every flavour macaron. We declared the violet the winner (and just about made ourselves sick in the process).

The petit fours were amazing considering they were simple supermarket fare.

The enormous bags of sugar almonds and silver cachous/dragees were only aprx $16NZ - I'll admit quite a few of those came home with me too. Fancy finding those in a supermarket!

I snuck in to Chocolat Morand while Grandma Kiwicakes was otherwise occupied. The window display had caught my attention. This large cone had circular discs, placed up the cone to act as shelves to hold up the chocolates - it was then covered in a burgundy metallic lustre.

Whilst I was there, I was able to purchase a couple of treats for Grandma Kiwicakes, as it was her birthday while we were away. Nougat and violet cachous - two of her favourites.

And right before we climbed aboard our cruise ship for what was to become our last shore visit (due to rough seas we could not disembark at Norfolk Island). Hubby & I settled in for a quiet wine along the docks, whilst Grandma Kiwicakes entertained the kiddies on board the ship.


Designer Handbag Cakes - from Kiwicakes test kitchen

My babysitter just turned 18 and her mum wanted to surprise her with a designer handbag birthday cake. I love that it's still possible to delight your kids when they are teenagers!

Her cake is pictured here along with my first attempt. I was inspired by Sandra's Table of Eight handbag cake class a couple of months back where I made the mini cream coloured fruit cake purse. I love the detail that the super-realistic silicone zip mold in conjunction with edible gold paint gives both of the cakes. A good trick I learnt from experimenting is to colour up your fondant for the features to be painted with metallic paint to grey (for silver) or peach (for gold). 

Here is the fondant setting (I do carefully count and remove the pins after!) 

I baked a 9" round chocolate cake and levelled the top then cut it in half to create two semi-circles. When stood up together and sandwiched with buttercream they give you this easily impressive handbag shape.

This purse has been finished using a bead mould to decorate the base. I used an impression mat from my floral set to beautify the handles and with a little tylose hardener in there I was able to drape the straps naturally across the top of the bag.

You will see that I used a different floral impression mat from my set to decorate the purple handbag panels. So simple yet effective! I am keen to invest in the fabric texture impression mat set at some stage too because they would have looked great here.

The finished product!
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