Monday, March 30, 2009

Sneak preview of Kiwicakes ad

Here's a sneak preview of the new Kiwicakes ad, which will feature in the next NZCDG magazine. My lovely husband Vaughan made it for me. I prepared the text and then left him to it. Thank goodness I didn't have to do it myself, I would never come up with anything that looked this good.

Corn Syrup paint

Great for adults & kids too!
1. In small saucepan over medium heat, bring Karo corn syrup to a boil and boil 1 minute.
2. Divide Karo into 4 small bowls. Stir 2 drops food colour in to each bowl.
3. Use a fine bristle artist brush to decorate cookies; if desired, add candies. Dry thoroughly in a single layer before storing in airtight container.
Buy Karo at here

Chocolate Cupcakes

This is my most asked for recipe (when I take a plate somewhere). It makes deliciously dark chocolate cupcakes. And they have the best keeping qualities. After 5 days, they still look, feel & taste great (but don't worry, they never last that long)

Ingredients1 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoons baking powder
3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder (use baking cocoa, not drinking cocoa)
1/8 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons butter, softened
1 1/2 cups white sugar
2 eggs
3/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup milk


1 Preheat oven to 175 degrees C. Line a muffin pan with paper or foil liners. Sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cocoa and salt. Set aside.
2 In a large bowl, cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well with each addition, then stir in the vanilla. Add the flour mixture alternately with the milk; beat well. Fill the muffin cups 3/4 full.
3 Bake for 15 to 17 minutes in the preheated oven, or until a toothpick inserted into the cake comes out clean.
Makes 18 cupcakes (using Wilton cupcake papers) with flat tops

Replacement instruction for Wilton shaped pans

If you've lost the instructions for your Wilton shaped cake pans. Don't despair, you can download a replacement from

Another great site is

Sunday, March 29, 2009

50 uses for cookie cutters

If you thought Cookie Cutters are just for cookies, think again! Just take a look these creative things you can do with a cookie cutter:

1. Cookies (of course!)

2. French Toast

3. Shape Tracing

4. Sandbox Imprint

5. In Gift Bows

6. Appliqué Patterns

7. Christmas Tree Ornaments

8. Mobile for Child’s Room

9. Pie Dough Designs

10. Styrofoam Cutter

11. Cream Cheese Mold

12. Place Cards

13. Clay

14. Teaching Tool – name and shape identification

15. Grilled Cheese Sandwiches

16. Bulletin Board Hang-ups

17. Gelatin Shapes

18. Crispy Cereal Treats

19. T-Shirt Stamps

20. Biscuit Molds

21. Stocking Stuffers

22. Hair Bows

23. Gingerbread Designs

24. Sliced Cheese Cutter

25. Fridge Magnet

26. Zipper Pulls

27. Party Sandwiches

28. Pancake Cutter

29. Ice Cream Mold

30. Sun Catchers

31. Play Dough

32. Balloon Weights

33. Pattern Presses

34. Sprinkle Stencils

35. Color Flow Pattern

36. Petit Four Cutters

37. Butter Mold

38. Gum Paste

39. Quilt Patterns

40. Beach Toys

41. Picture Frames

42. Wallpaper Borders

43. Brownie Cutters

44. Potpourri Hangers

45. Airbrush Outline

46. Ceramic Molds

47. Funny Earrings

48. Stationery Stencil

49. Polymer Clay

50. Party Game – Reach in a bag and guess the shapes

How to mix icing colours

Dip a toothpick into the colour, then swirl it into the icing. Add colour a little at a time until you achieve the shade you desire. Always use a new toothpick each time you add colour; you want to avoid getting icing into your jar of colour to avoid contaminating it. Blend the icing well with a spatula.
Consider the type of icing you are using when mixing colour. Icing colours intensify or darken in buttercream icing about 1-2 hours after mixing. Royal icing requires more colour than buttercream icing to achieve the same colour intensity.
To make the colour commonly referred to as "Tiffany blue" - named after the packaging from the famous Tiffany's jewellery store mix "sky blue" & "Teal".
Other great colour mixes are:
ANTIQUE GOLD Add just an extremely small touch of Leaf Green to Golden Yellow
AQUA Sky Blue and Leaf Green
AVOCADO Use Moss Green color
BLACK (if not using black paste colour) Royal Blue, Christmas Red, Orange and Lemon
CHARTREUSE 9 parts Lemon Yellow, 1 part Leaf Green
CORAL Creamy peach and a touch of pink or orange and a touch of pink.
FLESH Add just an extremely small touch of Copper to white icing. Ivory can also be used. Light pink with a small amount of brown.
GRAY Add just a touch of Black to white icing.
HUNTER GREEN Kelly Green and a touch of Black
JADE Leaf green, Royal Blue and a touch of Black
LAVENDER Pink and Violet
MARIGOLD Lemon Yellow and Orange
MAROON Burgundy and Red Red
MAUVE Touch of Burgundy with very little Black.
MISTY GREEN Leaf Green, Royal Blue and a touch of Black
MOSS GREEN (if not using Moss green paste colour) Violet and Lemon Yellow
MULBERRY Rose with a touch of Royal Blue.
NAVY BLUE Royal Blue and Black
PERIWINKLE Royal Blue and Violet
PLUM Use Violet with a touch of Christmas red.
RASPBERRY Pink and Red Red
RUST Orange, Red Red and Brown
SILVER It is not advisable to attempt to simulate silver colour in icing. Instead, try silver lustre dust or silver edible paint.
TEAL (if not using teal paste colour) Lemon Yellow and Sky Blue
TURQUOISE Sky Blue and Lemon Yellow
WARM GOLD Golden Yellow with just a touch of brown.

How do you create cupcake with flat tops?

To prevent domed tops on your cupcakes, tap your muffin tray, filled with batter lightly on your benchtop several times, prior to placing the tray in the oven. Alternatively stir each cupcake patty with a cocktail stick prior to placing in the oven, this helps release the air, prior to baking, thus preventing the domed top as it is cooking.
To fill your cupcake papers, place 1 paper in each cavity of your muffin tray, fill a large piping bag with batter and pipe your batter in to the cases. It's very quick and mess free.

How to make MMF (Marshmallow fondant)

To make an icing that gives the appearance of rolled white fondant, but tastes great, you can use Marshmallow fondant, often referred to as MMF.

500g. mini marshmallows
2 T water
1/2 tsp salt
2 tsp lemon juice (fresh or bottled)
2 tsp corn syrup (helps w/ pliability) available on Kiwicakes website
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 tsp lemon extract
1kg icing sugar, sifted (aprx 7C)
Vegetable shortening (Kremelta or Crisco)

Grease microwave proof bowl with Kremelta. Also grease wooden or heat proof spoon. Pour marshmallows and water into bowl. Microwave for approximately 2 minutes stopping and stirring at 40 second intervals. Mixture should be soupy. (if you want pink fondant, just use pink/white marshmallows.) Take out of microwave and immediately add corn syrup, lemon juice, salt and extracts. Stir well. Sift confectioner's sugar into mixture, one cup at a time. After approximately 5 cups, grease your hands well with Kremlta and knead the mixture in the bowl. Add the sixth cup and continue to knead. Now grease your work surface well and turn mixture out of bowl onto counter. Sift remaining sugar, regrease hands, and knead well. If mixture seems soft, add one additional cup of icing sugar. Shape into a mound and put a coating of Kremelta on outside. Double wrap in cling wrap and insert into zip-lock bag. Press air out of bag and seal. Allow to rest overnight, but, can be used after sitting for a few hours

What recipe do you use for buttercream?

Since discovering the following recipe for buttercream, I have never looked back. Adding meringue powder can make a crusting buttercream. I have convereted many of my friends and customers to the following recipe. It not only looks great & is easy to pipe. It tastes great too!
1/2 cup vegetable shortening (Crisco or Sno-creme - do not use Kremelta)
1/2 cup butter or margarine
*1 teaspoon Clear Vanilla (however brown vanilla is fine, if your icing isn’t white)
4 cups icing sugar (I have found Chelsea brand to be the best)
2 tablespoons milk**
Cream butter and shortening with electric mixer. Add vanilla. Gradually add sugar, one cup at a time, beating well on medium speed. Scrape sides and bottom of bowl often. When all sugar has been mixed in, icing will appear dry. Add milk and beat at medium speed until light and fluffy. Keep icing covered with a damp cloth until ready to use. For best results, keep icing bowl in refrigerator when not in use. Refrigerated in an airtight container, this icing can be stored 2 weeks. Rewhip before using.
YIELD: 3 cups
*Substitute all-vegetable shortening and 1/2 teaspoon Wilton No-Colour Butter Flavour for pure white icing and stiffer consistency.
**Add extra milk to recipe to thin to medium & soft consistency.
*** If you want icing that crusts, but remains lovely and smooth underneath, add 1 ½ tbsp meringue powder. If piping buttercream roses, this is essential.

Many recipes from overseas call for vegetable shortening what is this?

In NZ we cannot readily purchase the same type of vegatable shortening that is available in the USA. The main brand of vegeatble shortening available in the USA is CRISCO it is simlar to the Kremelta we can buy in NZ but has the consistency of margarine making it easy to mix.
Check out the Crisco we have available on the Kiwicakes website (3 sizes avialable)here

How do you make icing a true black?

I've received many emails regarding how to make icing black. Do not add black colouring to white icing, you will only achieve a dark liquorice green colour if you do. Simply add black colouring to chocolate icing (chocolate fondant or chocolate buttercream). A lovely black icing will be easily achieved.

How do you make icing a true red?

Wilton's website states it can take as much as 1oz of red gel paste colouring to make 1 cup of icing red. After all red+white=pink. When colouring white buttercream other colours can only take a fraction of the colour required, compared to red. Do perservere. It can be done!. Colours will deepen on standing over a couple of hours, although not from light pink to red.
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