Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Who needs the gym?

When you can shift 120kgs of Cricut machines in a day. We've wrestled 120kg (or so the freight man told us) worth of Cricut today. And for all you girls that have ordered one, here is proof they're on the way. Right I think I need chocolate now WHEW!

Never listen to your mother!

I have been on edge all day, listening for the truck in the driveway bringing the Cricut Cake machines. Grandma Kiwicakes said to me "Go and get your lunch - they won't deliver them at lunch time" WRONG!. Poor Grandma Kiwicakes was left to take delivery of all these machines, mats & cartridges, as they arrived 5 minutes after I left. Lunch is eaten, so I am no working like mad over the next few hours, to ensure all of these wonderful machines are dispatched today to all those that have ordered. ENJOY!

Everyone please be sure to send me photos of your Cricut creations.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

A stunning orchid from Sue Walthert

One of our Kiwicakes members Sue Walthert kindly sent me a picture of this lovely Cymbidium orchid she made. She is working on these for her mother's birthday cake. Sue related to me how she has been emailing Tombi Peck backwards and forowards for advice and how helpful Tombi has been to her. I was impressed by how lifelike this is and was amazed to hear Sue had made her own veiners out of dental paste, after not being able to find anything to suit her needs for sale. Isn't it stunning?

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Kiwicakes has the best customers in NZ!

Thanks to everyone that came to the big day out yesterday. And for all your well wishes, hugs and congratulations - oh and presents! (yes I got some of those too!). It's great to hear you think I am doing a good job. We kicked off at 9am and it was 4pm before we knew it. I snatched a couple of bites to eat during the day - but was run off my feet all day. My apologies to those I didn't get long enough to talk to. Special thanks to go the Waitakere cake club for putting on such a special day.

Some of you I was meeting person for the first time - Ree was kind enough to send me a copy of the photo of us taken together.

Here we are with our Cricut cake hats on

Doesn't matter how many times I watch this machine cut cut CUT!, I am still in awe of it!. I just know those of you that ordered Cricut Cake yesterday will be in awe of it too, when you receive yours in close on a weeks time.

Monday, June 14, 2010

My time at Debbie Brown workshops

I had a fabulous time at the Debbie Brown workshops over the weekend. Debbie is without a doubt my favourite demonstrator. It was also lovely to spend time with fellow cake decorators from around the country, many of whom I have dealt with through Kiwicakes, many old friends and now some new ones too!.

I arrived just after 9am, after a perfect run down from Whangarei. Only to discover I had 2x 10 inch dummies, instead of 2x 10cm dummies argh!. I felt so helpless. However with great thanks to Jane & Hails, who each had 1 spare 10cm cake, I was back on track for the Funky Fairy Princess cake. We had such fun making this cake. Not one cake in the room was the same. Even Debbie's cake for the day, was different from her photo. We ran a little over time with this cake, there wasn't time to finish all the embellishments on her dress. Special thanks go to my host Catherine, who put me up for the night. Catherine joined me for the Saturday workshop and was able to make the fairy cake for her granddaughters 5th birthday on Sunday - perfect timing!.
Now we just need Debbie to come back in August, in three years time, so Catherine can make her grandson's 5th birthday cake too.

I learnt quite a few things from Debbie over the weekend, and she imparted a lot of special hints & tips. All weekend Debbie consistently praised Pettinice icing (Bakels brand). She kept metioning how it was far superior to what she works with in the UK. We were even shown things and told "I couldn't do this with my brand of fondant - it would rip or tear". Debbie wished it was available in the UK.

Debbie works with amazing speed, and she never ceases to amaze how she does everything only once. Although she promises us, things do sometimes go wrong.

Here is the photo we were shown before the workshop

Here is Debbie's cake from Saturday

Here is my cake from Saturday

Each petal strip of the dress was created very quickly, we first rolled a long thing sausage, then we rolled indentations along the length of the sausage, so it almost looked like a string of seaweed. We then rolled it flat.

The Mermaid cake was by far my favourite. Perhaps because it was not pink, but I think more likely because it was blue & had all the corals and sea life around the bottom which I love. This photo was taken very hastily, and I see as I upload it, I have taken the photo from the wrong angle - my mermaid, is not as badly placed as my photo appears. I took it very quickly before the 2 1/2 hour drive home, in case it broke (which it didn't). I will endeavour to upload another photo soon.
Even more so than the previous day, these cakes were wildly different from each others, as we all went to town creating sea life on our cake boards. Debbie again mentioned how much easier it was to create the spiral and the wrap for this cake using pettinice fondant, instead of what she uses at home in the UK. We even got the inside scoop, that the reason the little orange fishes are where they are, is because her fondant tore and cracked and she wanted to cover it up.

These two cakes will feature in her new book "gorgeous & Gruesome" which is due out very soon.

Here is the original photo we were shown

Here is Debbies' cake from Sunday

Here is my cake from Sunday

I was happy with my mermaids face (I don't have much experience with figures)

What's terribly exciting for all of us, is,  Debbies actual cakes are being raffled at the Big Day out in Auckland this weekend. (9am-4pm at the Remuera Bridge club ALL welcome), including the wedding couple in beetle car, she did the workshop for on Friday. Wouldn't it be great to win one of Debbies' cakes. Come along to the big day out. There are 6 demo's in total, as well as sales tables from various traders including Kiwicakes. I will also be there demonstrating Cricut Cake at my sales table. Entry is $25.00

Friday, June 11, 2010

Gumpaste tip I picked up.

Gumpaste as you know is notoriously hard and "gummy" to knead. I have found that "crisco" brand shortening (which has the consistency of margarine used straight from the container) is like nourishing hand cream for gumpaste. A quick smear over over the surface of the gumpaste before kneading and it is instantly more workable. This has proved remarkably useful for working with Cricut Cake.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010


Our new food pens have received an overwhelming reception by all who use them. As well as regular work, they have made fine detail work a pleasure due to their 0.5mm nib.

However, whilst using this fine nib, we must stress that a minimum amount of maintenance is required in order to keep your pen in premium condition. Most people will be using this nib to add details to sugar models. When it is used, tiny particles of sugar dust from the model are absorbed into the nib. Over time, these can clog the nib and would seem that the pen has run out of ink. All that is required is to dip the nib into warm water to melt and release the sugar particles, wipe dry and begin to use again. Your pen will be restored to its original working order.

Monday, June 7, 2010

Strawberry Shortcake party anyone?

I just saw this fabulous free printable Strawberry box & cupcake toppers on the sweetly Sweet blog and I just know many of you would have a use for it. To go to the original post and download the free printables. Click here.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

A chocolate mud cake recipe from the professionals

Today I wanted to share this recipe with you. WHY? because it is so good. So good in fact I believe a large portion of the Whangarei cake decorators guild (that sell their cakes) all use this recipe. Every few years, as new memebers join our guild, this recipe gets talked about again - and the recipe is again printed off for all members. Full credit for the original goes to Heather Clarke, a long term member of our club. The winning attributes of this recipe, is the cakes keeping qualities (allowing for several days decorating time during the week, ahead of a weekend wedding). It also tastes great, is lovely and dark & moist. And just when you thought it couldn't get any better, there is a tried & tested banana alternative. It freezes well. Many of the members say, even though they have tried other recipes from time to time, they always go back to this one.
Chocolate or Banana Mud Cake (Heather Clarke)
400g butter
3 cups sugar
2 cups milk
4 tbsp Golden Syrup
Warm together until sugar is dissolved. Cool. Add 5 cups of flour.
For Chocolate cake add
4 heaped tbsp cocoa
2 cups milk
4 tsp baking soda dissolved in milk
Optional* add 100g melted chocolate if desired
For Banana cake add
2 cups mashed banan
1/4 cup milk
4tsp baking soda (dissolved in milk)
Bake 160 degrees celcius for 2 hours (recipe will fill a deep 10-11'' tin). Tie wet newspaper (three or 4 thicknesses - do not overlap at join) around outside of tin. Don't use fan bake.

Friday, June 4, 2010

Live Laugh Love!

This cake was a little bit of fun. Just perfect for an engagement cake or similar. The lettering was from the elegant cakes catridge and the heart border was from cake basics cartridge (which comes with Cricut Cake)

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