Sunday, December 26, 2010

My family recipe journey - New Years Black Bun

It has been a while since Grandma Kiwicakes & I tackled another recipe in our Family Recipe Journey. With New Years day fast approaching, we thought it a good idea to tackle Black Bun. I never ate this as a child - I can kinda see why, it wouldn't be to most kids tastes, but I do remember the hype surrounding it, when Grandma Kiwicakes' great aunt Jessie sent it from Scotland each year. The finished product is so darn heavy, the postage must have cost a fortune. When the Black Bun arrived, my Granny would never let anyone even taste a crumb until New Years day. So by the time New Years Day rolled around, everyone was desperate for a piece.
Black Bun uses a large quantity of dried fruit and is similar in some ways to a Christmas cake
At this stage once drenched in Brandy, the fruit itself is delicious.
The pastry calls for margarine, but Grandma Kiwicakes recollection of the margarine used in the 1950s, when she was in Scotland (prior to coming to NZ), was that it was not like NZ margarine. So we decided to use the butter flavour Crisco.
The entire Black Bun is encased in pastry, on the bottom, all 4 sides & the top.

Your fold the side walls of the pastry down, so when the top goes on, it helps form a good seal.
The edges need to be pressed with a fork around the circumference, pricked across the entire top and 5 skewer holes should be poked in, to let the steam escape.
We baked ours, in a 9'' diameter square cake pan, that was 80mm deep.
Black Bun
Pastry Ingredients
3/4 lb flour
pinch of salt
4oz butter
1/2 tsp baking powder
1 egg (beaten)

Filling Ingredients
1 lb flour
1/2 lb castor sugar
2lb muscatel
2lb cleaned currants
6oz almonds
2oz candied peel
1/2 tsp black pepper
1/2 oz jamaican pepper (this is allspice)
1/2oz ground ginger
1/2 oz cinnamon
1 tsp cream of tartar
3/4 tsp bicarbonate of soda
1/2 pint milk (300ml)
1 tbsp brandy or sherry
beaten egg as required

To make pastry. Sift flour & salt. Rub in butter or margarine. Stir in baking powder & enough beaten egg to form dough (like shortcrust). Roll out pastry to line your cake tin.

To make filling. Sift flour, stir in sugars. Prepare fruit (chop & stone raisins if reqd). Stir in fruits & peel & spices, add cream of tartar & baking powder. Stir in milk & brnady. Pack in to prepared cake tin. Level the mixture, fold down side walls of pastry over top of filling. Cover with pastry lid. Make 4 or 5 holes with a skewer, right to bottom of tin. Prick all over lid with a fork, and crimp edges around circumference. Brush top with beaten egg. Bake in moderate overn 350f for 3 hours. Keep for at least 10 days before cutting.

Friday, December 24, 2010

Mini gingerbread houses - simply too cute!

Check out these tiny gingerbread houses that are meant to be perched on the edge of a mug of hot chocolate. From the talented Megan of "Not Martha" blog. Full instructions on her blog here

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Stunning cookie cutter wreath

Check out this cookie cutter wreath from the blog From Glitter to Gumdrops

What an awesome idea for the cookie lover in your life.

How to use glitter in your cake decorating projects

Sunday, December 19, 2010

The easiest ice cream I've ever made

Her sheer enthusiasm for it made me think it must be pretty great - that is an understatement, it is FANTASTIC!
Since making this yummy icecream, I've puzzled as to how it can be so simple - making ice cream usually requires a lot more work and time. Spurred on by Mrs Cakes' assurances it wasn't, I grabbed a bottle of cream from the fridge and a tin of caramel condensed milk from the cupboard. YES that's it, that is all that goes in to it. I could not locate where my issue of the Donna Hay magazine was (leant out to friends and not back yet), so I followed Mrs Cakes' instructions.

Easy Caramel Ice-Cream (from Donna Hay Magazine)
395g tin caramel (found next to sweetened condensed milk in the supermarket)
300ml cream
Whip the cream until firm but still smooth. Mix in the caramel until well combined. Transfer into a 1 litre container and freeze overnight or until firm. (I actually froze mine in silicone cupcake cases, to make indivdual portions.
The taste of this ice cream is wonderful it is far nicer than the sum of the two ingredients - Grandma Kiwicakes and hubby commented it tasted like russian fudge (both are fans).

Prior to freezing this wonder concoction, it did occur to me, the creamy goodness would make a nice accompaniment to Christmas pudding or the like.

It even had the perfect texture of ice cream.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

I'm in love with this new shoe cutter set

Just landed today and I'm in love, with this new shoe cutter set.
Includes Sole Former, Heel Former & Shoe Cutter. The kit comes with 16 stage by stage pictures/instructions, along with shoe sole cutter and a former to allow your sole to dry in a glamourous shoe shape!
The heel mould is made of high quality silicone and features locking buttons, to ensure your 2 halfs of the heel match well. The plastic former allows you to get the perfect shape when drying the sole.Templates are included for the different shoe styles which makes the BEST SHOE on the market!


Gorgeous new gold chocolate transfers just arrived

I am thrilled with the new chocolate transfers that just arrived today. A beautiful Paisley and a versatile Marble design. Gold is a perfect match with dark chocolate and already I have a lot of ideas running through my head, for what I can do with them.

Stunning new Christmas bags for packaging fudge chocolates or whatever!

These stunning Candy Cane treat bags just arrived today and are a new release for 2010. The candy cane is a classic ever popular Christmas motif, but if this design isn't to your liking we have heaps of Christmas gift bag ideas, as well as clear cello bags and cellophane basket wraps. Check out the full Christmas packaging range here

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Building block lollies anyone?


Just arrived - because a lot of you girls asked for them. Building block lollies. You can stack em, just like plastic building blocks BUT YOU CAN EAT THEM. A bag is $6 and there's a lot of blocks in there. I've got 20 bags, they aren't going on the Kiwicakes website, so if you want some, email me and tell me how many. First in first served.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Fantastic cookies using Kiwicakes cookie cutters

I was thrilled to receive these cookie photos from The Whole Cake & Caboodle - they showcase cookie cutters from Kiwicakes Castle $6
A stunning princess crown cookie cutter $6
And this gorgeous glass slipper cutter $6

Clikstix! - the easiest strip cutters to use - built in ejectors

I'm thrilled to announce Kiwicakes is now the sole NZ distributor for Clikstix. Revolutionary alphabet, number & shape cutters from the UK, with built in ejectors, so you no longer have to pick out the fiddly bits of icing. Designs include three styles of alphabet & numbers, daisy, blossom, hearts & stars.

I received samples from the manufacturer, prior to taking on the distributorship for this product and I can assure you they're easy to use.

Priced from 16.95-19.95 per set. Click here to view the full range.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Silicone chocolate moulds at great prices

It's not often I can source silicone chocolate moulds at great prices, so I was thrilled to find these 2 Silikomart moulds from Italy. Dinosaurs OR Fashion (shoes, fans & handbags). Be in quick, not sure these will last at this price!

Pink Champagne cupcakes from a Kiwicakes member

I was sent these lovely photos from Ree Roebeck, one of our Kiwicakes members. She used the recipe I posted here. Don't they look awesome?

Monday, November 15, 2010

Today I am 35 years old

Goodbye 34!. Today I am 35 years old. I was very lucky and have been treated to two cakes. One by my children and one by my good friend Lisa.
My children are 7 & 4. Miss 7 drew up the plan beforehand and Mr 4 helped with the sprinkles. They were staying the night with Nana, she helped with the baking.
This cake made for me by my good friend Lisa was very tall, I love the piping gel on the glass, to look like condensation, the modelling of the umbrella & lemon slice were amazing.

The umbrella was based on a party invitation I had for a little get together with my girlfriends on Saturday evening.
I've always had a passion for cocktail paraphernalia. Here's a shot of just some of my glass swizzle sticks.
And I just adore the paper comb thingamebobs!
As the party on Saturday night was a cocktail party, I made (very quick 1/2 hour) Margarita cupcakes. I will post the recipe for these in the next day or so.
I was in a big hurry when I made these and literally flung the icing on, but I was happy with the coarse sugar rimming, to make it look like salted glass rim.


Sunday, November 14, 2010

Our fun weekend in Napier

Gosh it's hard to believe it was more than a week ago that Grandma Kiwicakes & I set off for Napier for the national NZCDG cake conference. We stopped overnight in Auckland on Thursday night, expecting the trip to Napier to take a very long time. What I hadn't counted on, was all of the road improvements since I last travelled that far south by road. (since the children have come along, we don't get that far from home - by car anyway).
We left Auckland at 7am and stopped in Tirau at Poppy's for breakfast (pancakes with maple syrup & bacon) and were back on the road again at 9.30am. Poppy's has two amazing huge Poppy flower scupltures on the top of their roof.
Around 11am, or just after we popped in to Taupo, from a  slightly different angle, to what we were used to, now that the bypass is in place. We had Taupo on our mental list of places to stop, as we were making a beeline for - as Grandma Kiwicakes puts it "The best darn kitchen shop in NZ". The shop in question is called Chef's Complements  if you're anyway where near by and haven't ever been. You simply must put it on your list of things to do. The lovely Vicki has an amazing cake decorating selection, as well as just about every kitchen gadget you can imagine and some you can't. I can see why Grandma Kiwicakes was so impressed, when she last visited. We actually did quite a bit of shopping there. Grandma Kiwicakes bought some Christmas presents, but I can't say what they were, as the intended recipients read this blog.
The road improvements were obvious, as we drove up the hill out of Taupo, past the Hilton - we read a road sign "Napier 146km", I drove a few hundred metres around the corner and was greeted with "Napier 136km". We had an easy run through to Napier, with only a few logging trucks to contend with. Just out of Napier, we stopped at a winery for lunch, it was raining at this stage, so no photos sorry.
Just after 2pm we rolled in to Napier and made a beeline for the information centre, to gather some maps & details of the area. As it was still raining at this stage, we had a drive around and checked out the beautiful Marine Parade. When I chose our accomodation for Napier, I wanted to feel as though I was REALLY staying in Napier. I found this lovely B&B on the internet MON LOGIS (photo from Mon Logis website) It's a beautiful old home from the 1860's and was one of the few on Marine parade to survive the 1931 earthquake. Our host for the weekend was a lovely french gentleman named Gerard. He tells a great story and was very kind to have our breakfast ready at 7am each day. Of which all of us that stayed there cannot rave about enough. Fresh baked croissant, lovely bread and quite possibly the best bowl of fruit salad I have ever had in my life (this is no exaggeration), yummy muesli. It set us up so well for the day, as it was super hectic at conference, we didn't have time to stop & eat, until mid afternoon. Gerard even offered me an omlette, but I didn't have a spare inch of room to squeeze it in.
Check out the view from our room! - at 6am Saturday morning.
 Looking up and down Marine Parade - I was struck just how decongested the roads are in this area - compared to back home.
We set up the Kiwicakes sales area on Friday afternoon at E.I.T ready for Saturday trading. It was great so see many old friends and lots of new ones too. Thanks to everyone that came by, especially to say hi!.
We had so much fun, we had an entire classroom at E.I.T to ourselves and it felt like one big Kiwicakes party all weeknd. Flo had fun demoing the Cricut Cake, as well as the Cricut Expressions (paper cutting machine). Unfortunately I was so busy for most of the weeknd, I didn't catch more than 20 minutes total  of what she was doing, grabbed in few minute bursts over the entire weekend.

Late in the day on Sunday, when I realised I didn't have many photos, I quickly snapped some photos of her work.
The little fireman is only about 7.5cm high and his little fire extenguisher is only about 3cm high. Flo cut this using red pettinice, with nothing added. She rolled it ultra thin using a pasta machine. The fireman comes from the Paper Dolls cartridge.
She also cut the filigree butterflies from red pettinice. She left them to dry over a container for the afternoon and voila, they were brought to life.
I was amazed to find, she used the pettinice straight from the packet and it dried beautifully, if I'd had to lay money on it, I would have sworn there was hardener in the icing. The butterfly is from the Cake Basics catridge.

Flo also cut out some cupcake wrappers using her Cricut Expressions (paper cutting machine)

On Sunday morning we grabbed a few minutes to look at the exhibition and competition cakes. The theme for the plaque competition was Art Deco. I would have liked to stay and look for longer.

 The 3 cakes in the photo above were created by E.I.T students after 20 hours tuition (students are enrolled in a culinary course at E.I.T)

On Saturday night we had dinner at Lone Star on Marine Parade, I've since learned this is a chain of restaraunts with locations throughout NZ. Our food was excellent, including my kahlua and moro bar cheescake. Thanks Rachel, Iman & Florinda for joining us.
I would like to extend special thanks to Ann, for travelling to Napier with us, for the sole purpose of helping us over the weekend, and to Flo for her inexhaustible Cricut knowledge.
We arrived home tired and happy at 7pm on Sunday evening.
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