Friday, May 28, 2010

Today I received my SPCA Cupcake Day registration pack

Have you got yours? Click here to go to the SPCA Cupcake Day website to register and help this wonderful cause.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

This machine is so addictive

Today was mouse free luckily (see yesterdays post). However I did find regular work got in the way of play time, and I wasn't able to get the Cricut Cake turned on until 11.30am. However the parcels must go out! Today was gumpaste day (yesterday was edible image sheets/frosting sheets). I am still slightly overwhelmed by the number of shapes I can cut, and as I'm still in test mode, I decided to cut out some shapes, that I had already cut in frosting sheets - so I could easily compare their properties. The posts of gumpaste will be updated here as time permits, as unfortunately for this blog, I still have a few hours work to put in tonight. However I do have time to share with you some of my day. This afternoon I had a visit from my lovely long time flickr friend Lisa who was visiting Auckland & Whangarei, on a short business trip. Lisa and her lovely husband Donald are the wonderful couple behind Denheath desserts in Timaru. If you have never tried their custard squares, cheescakes or E-squares, you simply must - do you remember the box Lisa sent me? (oh dear, I feel my credit card twitching, I feel a mail order coming on). I urge you to check out their website, their overnight service for awesome edibles is second to none and a great way to send a gift to a loved one, in another city.
I was able to show Lisa & Donald just what this wonderful machine can do. I am sure Lisa won't mind me sharing , that she was impressed with the fine filigree it can cut out.

Despite the fact I was late in getting to Cricut cake today, we still had time to break for afternoon tea, whilst this only consisted of store bought lamingtons, I thought I would surprise Grandma Kiwicakes and give afternoon tea, the Cricut experience. A daisy for each - and who could resist an edible lace doily for underneath.
I couldn't decide initially round or square doily?
In the end, I think square won!

One of the things that impresses me most about Cricut cake, is you can cut a daisy such as this from very tiny, going up in 1/4'' increments, right up to 12''. That's around 50 different sizes for just one shape!

So if you saw this cake photo, you could not immediately guess the size of the cake - it could be 4'', it could be 12''.

Ok so it's 6'' - this gives huge scope for custom favours, to match a cake, for any wedding party or special occasion

I said to my dear hubby Vaughan when I got home today - this machine is more addicitve than wine!

In the last few days, I have learnt an increible amount, about all things cricut, this is thanks in part, to the wonderful Audrey & Flo. Who have been very kind in sharing their vast knowledge bank with me. I'll be sharing more from Audrey & Flo, as we go along. Thank you ladies!

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

New release Dora & Spongebob Squarepants cake pans

Today the new release Dora & Spongebob arrived. Both of these pans have been made in other styles previously, but these are all new designs.

Wilton character pans just arrived

2 new character pans just arrived today Elephant & Dump truck, priced at $31 each.

New Cupcake wrappers just arrived

These 2 new styles of cupcake wrappers have just landed today. I think the Olivia sea blue-green wrappers would be perfect for Paua or beach themed weddings as the wonderful photo below shows.

Or perhaps Sophia in Cheetah design, to let you show your wild side.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Fondant Quilting

I often get asked how to do quilting on fondant - I just saw this snazzy wee post on Wilton for how to Click to go to Wilton's how to It uses the fondant cutter embosser tool and this great tip is one of hundred in the book Celebrate with Fondant.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Somewhere over the Rainbow

I just love to announce price drops - I think this one could even be classed as a price plummet. Just in 10 colours of floral tape. Now only $4 per roll (previously $6-$8.50 per roll)

Friday, May 21, 2010

Testing! Testing! 1-2-3

Recently I've had a special feature added to the Kiwicakes website, which allows me to offer discount coupons throughout the year. And I need to test it out. Until 24/05/2010 enter the coupon code BLOG at checkout, to receive 10% off orders over $50. (excludes gift vouchers - limited to one per customer). Offer does not apply to orders processed before or after this time.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Decorating Tools Demystified – Lily Nail Set

Wilton has a fantastic recent blog post on how to use a lily nail set. Well worth a look from both the experienced & beginner. Click here to read the full post

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Today I had the honour

....... of being the first person in New Zealand to try the Cricut cake machine. Many of you may have read about this wonderful machine on overseas cake forums or blogs. Here in NZ we were waiting on the arrival of the first Cricut cake machine with an Australasian plug, which was manufactured after the American plug machines. I can't remember when I had more challenging cake fun in one single afternoon.

I first learnt about this awesome machine some months back and have been like a kid in December waiting for it to arrive. Last week the awesomely wonderful (and humourous) Chris (pictured throughout) and Tony (who hid from the camera) invited me to bring a selection of icings and to come and play with the machine.

When I arrived Chris announced "you are the first person in New Zealand to play with this machine". I had to believe him, it still had all it's protective packaging in place. We popped in the cake basics cartridge & away we went. We had several trial runs, at first things did not go smoothly, but as we tried different pressures & speeds we began to cut some amazing things. Chris even cut out S - a - n - d - r - a for me in paua shell icing. We tried edible image sheets & gumpaste.

Chris suggested if he wore the official Cricut chef's hat things would work properly. Chris is also the qualified "fix it" man. Should you ever have a problem with your Cricut machine, he is the man to fix it under guarantee - this is true only of machines purchased within NZ (Machines purchased from any other countries need to be returned to their country of origin for repair)

Then Chris suggested that I needed to wear the hat to ensure our icing was perfect.

I spent nearly 4 hours playing with this wonderful new machine - boy time flys when you're having fun. I don't pose for photos easily, but I was so happy I couldn't help but smile!

The good news is, very soon Chris & Tony will be shipping this sleek shiny red beast up to me to play with for ONE WHOLE WEEK - I cannot believe my luck, I will really get to put it through its paces (I want to try modelling chocolate & fondant), 4 hours simply wasn't enough, as in that time I had to learn how to use it. I am a firm believer if you stick your tongue out it works better.

Even better news, is Kiwicakes will be offering this wonderful machine and all it can do for you for sale. We just need to wait for the stocks to arrive (as currently only the demo model has landed). Rest assured, the moment pricing & stocks are available, we'll be the first to offer the machine & assorted accessories to you.
For those of you intrigued about what this machine can do, we suggest watching this video direct from cricut - if you're still interested, there is this video and from this page, their are even more videos to watch. For those of you that already own the Cricut paper crafting machine - the cartridges you use with that machine, can be placed directly in to the Cricut cake. Allowing for matching paper crafts & cakes. Such as invites to match your cake or placecards.
AND YET MORE EXCITING NEWS - I have booked the demo machine to bring to the "Big Day Out" hosted by Waitakere Guild June 19th, at the Remuera Bridge Club in Auckland, so if you're coming, you can see this wonderful machine in action. By which time I will have learnt to work it properly. No doubt this will mean I no longer need my hat.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

SPCA Cupcake day 2010

Registrations for Cupcake Day 2010 with the SPCA are open now. Click here to go to the SPCA website to register.
On Cupcake Day 2009, Cupcake Cooks across New Zealand raised a grand total of $133,755.31 for SPCA branches around the country.

The SPCA has this cool map which shows just where that money went, in Northland Whangarei raised $2917.10 (this doesn't include the rest of Northland). I was thrilled to be a part of Cupcake Day 2009 with these little cupcakes

Gosh I'll need to get my thinking cap on, to come up with something for this year!. Are any of you baking for Cupcake Day this year?

Saturday, May 8, 2010

A cake from my children

This week my husband turned 38 (my children 7 & 3) love to decorate cakes and of course think it should be them that decorates Daddy's cake, not me. For the past few years, this has involved them squeezing lots of tubed gel icing on to the cake and covering it in sprinkles, which quite simply doesn't taste very good, in the quantities they use. My dear husband Vaughan was always careful to praise their talents, despite scraping most of the icing off, before eating his cake. This year I came up with something a little different. A blank edible icing sheet (I just ordered some in to have a bit of a play with, to see if they were easy to use for this style of project, before offering them to you all). I Gave my daughter 7 the round icing sheet and cut up strips for little Mr 3 to decorate (his work is the scribbles below). The crushed rope border and large finger hole, is also courtesy of my 3 year old, he was a little over enthusiastic when presenting it to Daddy on his birthday. The pictures were drawn using Rainbow dust marker pens available in 23 colours. Now that I have seen what the children can do with image sheets, I am interetsed to have a go myself, it was definitely eay to do and beats drawing straight on to a cake. I think it would be a great way to make personalised edible ribbons for around the base of a cake.

Friday, May 7, 2010

Recipes for the Kiwicakes 4th birthday cake

Gosh I've had a lot of emails saying how wonderful Fiona's prize winning cake looked and asking for her recipes. She has shared with us 2 of the 3 recipes. THANKS FIONA!. Here is a copy of what she sent me last night.

The recipes:

The bottom tier - Woolworths Brand 'Freefrom' Lemon GF cake mix! I added a couple of tablespoons of fresh lemon juice to the mix. The buttercream is normal with fresh lemon juice, and a couple of tablespoons of lemon rind.

The middle tier - Tamara Jane's recipe for chocolate banana cupcakes (from her Divine Cupcakes book), just baked in an 8" square. Buttercream is normal with some of the icing sugar replaced with cocoa.

The top tier.... sorry, it's a secret ;) The buttercream is just normal but with some orange rind, and fresh orange juice.
Thanks very much for that Fiona, everyone needs a secret or two, especially a recipe that is special to them. Now many of you have bought Tamara Jane's book from Kiwicakes, a lovely book from an awesome Kiwi author (Tamara Jane also runs cupcake decorating classes in Wellington). If you don't own a copy, I can reccomend it for some awesome flavour combinations.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Taste update

Today I have taste tested (several times I might add) the lower two tiers from the Kiwicakes 4th birthday competition cake. Tier no#2 chocolate banana COUNT THOSE LAYERS OF FILLING! boy oh boy was that a yummy surprise.
My favourite from today had to be the gluten free lemon - I can see the rind there in the cake and it had a light lemony after taste. This was a new recipe for Fiona, she wasn't raving about it after she had baked it. However what Fiona couldn't have known was this cake tasted just like a light pound cake I had in a little deli in New York on my honeymoon, gosh more than 10 years ago now. And the after taste - with me as I type now, because I just scoffed some more, is deliciously light & lemony.

Well I guess that is it for another year. April 2011 will see the 5th birthday competition - can't wait to see what that brings.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Kiwicakes 4th birthday cake competition winner

Today the cake arrived!. For those of you following the Kiwicakes 4th birthday cake competition, you will know the winning entry was a design by Fiona Hume. Today Fiona's cake arrived. Fastway couriers did a great job of delivering it in one peice (only a tiny piece of bow fell off, and it was easily popped back on)
This cake had action on all sides, it was impossible to photograph from just one angle. I don't even think this cake has a front
A view from the top down
A closeup of the flower
I love the marbled board & the lifelike pages of the book
Fragile - often need that label!
The parcel is from KIWICAKES of course!
The Art of Baking - a great title!
41 muffin lane - I'd like to live there!
This afternoon I cut the top tier, it tasted just as good as it looked. The texture was perfect, the taste DIVINE! with not ONE but TWO layer of orange buttercream, in a lovely orange cake.
Tommorrow I will update you with layers two & three (chocolate Banana and Lemon). When I ran the competition I secretly hope for great flavours, beyond chocolate & vanilla - I wasn't disappointed. I can't wait until tommorrow, when I'll be taste testing those other two.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

New cupcake paper designs

For those of you that are fans of the straight sided cupcake papers, I've just received stock of brand new colours. Black dotty, red & blue gingham check and pink & red hearts. All available on the kiwicakes website.

Wilton have finally shown us the cover!

Wilton don't usually show us the cover of the yearbooks before their release, this year they have. Here at Kiwicakes, I get the yearbooks air freighted to NZ on the day of their US release. Rest assured, the moment they arrive, we dispatch same day - In a few weeks time, we'll load a preorder for them on the website, so you can be sure to secure your copy.

Here's what Wilton had to say about the new yearbook.

Start planning a year of amazing celebrations with the new edition of the 2011 Wilton Yearbook. In 2011, the Wilton Yearbook is packed with more cake and dessert ideas than ever before!

You’ll find more than 250 exciting designs for every occasion, in tune with today’s most exciting themes and colors. Our Party Animals special section of the 2011 Wilton Yearbook features a wild world of unforgettable cakes, starting with our sensational circus cover scene. It’s a 3-tier, 3-ring circus, with colorful brownie pop animals, clowns and ringmaster complemented by a dazzling carousel cake with a whirl of colorful fondant ponies and stars. What a perfect way to top off a birthday and it’s just the beginning!

You’ll also find the best in traditional and contemporary wedding designs, festive holiday desserts, today’s hottest character cakes, wonderful cupcake creations and more.

As always, the 2011 Wilton Yearbook features step-by-step instructions, technique resource guide, complete product section and a website link to more great designs with techniques featured in Wilton Method Cake Decorating Courses.

Soft cover. 240 pages
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