Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Staff Picks at Kiwicakes - CUPCAKES (by Grandma Kiwicakes)

-->With Christmas fast approaching we're all discussing our Christmas goodies . As Sandra is very busy getting all your parcels ready I thought I (Grandma Kiwicakes) would do a few posts on our picks for different items to use in our Christmas Baking . This week its cupcakes . The choices were endless.
We all had a really hard time deciding our favourites . To pick your favourites - Just check out the Category

Grandma Kiwicake's picks are

Sandra's Picks

Standard Cupcakes - Standard silver cupcake cases with silver reindeer picks and silver tree cupcake picks . These have just arrived and are really lovely

Karina's Picks

We all had a really hard time deciding our favourites. Which selection do you like best?

Photos from our last cake decorating class

Last Sunday was our figure modelling class with Lisa - it was booked out with 12 students. Our students made horses & teddies, these photos were taken towards the end of the class, some of the horses were finished further after the photos were taken. I think they all look great!. We've just 2 weekends of classes left until 2012. Click on the CLASSES tab above this post under the Kiwicakes banner to find out what you can do Dec 3/4 or Dec 11

It takes a bit to get me super-excited!

I shall try to refrain from using too many superfluous exclamations while raving about this new product. But I am so terribly super excited it may be a little difficult. The lovely Annabelle from Simmer Catering introduced me to this new product last week, I told her right away, it was something I wanted to share with you all. Well I won't beat around the bush............ I will get on and tell you about it.

This amazing range of fruit powder and freeze dried fruit, is a taste explosion in your mouth. It tastes divine, it looks wonderful and the moment I saw it, what seemed like a thousand ideas started rolling around my head.

These whole/sliced fruits and fruit powders are made from high quality, ripe and sweet fruit and then freeze-dried to produce intensely flavoured fruits and powders. Add the powders to icings, to your favourite brulee mix or smoothies. Chocolate dip the whole/sliced fruits, crumble them over ice cream, add to your cereal or just eat them as they are. There are 10 flavours in the retail range and they are all packed in re-sealable foil bags. The colour is intense and the strawberries when used in things such as rocky road, keep their wonderful sliced appearance (no mushing like fresh fruit)

These wonderful fruits have recently appeared in Gourmet Traveller magazine's Hot 100, Cuisine magazine, and they even featured on NBC's today show in the USA as a hot new product - which is no small feat for this wonderful product from li'l ole NZ.

Whilst I had a heap of ideas racing around my head - the very first thing I wanted to try was raspberry buttercream. I frequently make raspberry buttercream, I usually use frozen fruit (with or without seeds). It takes a little while to mash the frozen berries through a sieve for the seedless variety and the juice makes it a bit messy. This in comparison was a breeze. I found the buttercream intensifies slightly in flavour overnight, which in my opinion was great. I loved it in the evening and adored it in the morning. (photos to follow of my icing on cupcakes)

I am keen to also give the raspberry meringues a go, the recipe comes from Meredith's Restaurant and is available on a recipe card for anyone wanting to try this.

Which fruit do you fancy?. What would you make?

Saturday, November 26, 2011

4 new designs in the clikstix range

For those of you that love our clikstix cutters, you'll be pleased to know today I've added the 4 new releases to the Kiwicakes range. These are multi circles, multi squares, sports & multi bows.

 If you've never used a clikstix cutter before, you don't know what you're missing - the strip cutters have a built in ejector, so that if any icing does not immediately release, you can press the ejector and it drops clear of the cutter. Click here for the new clikstix designs.


Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Is anyone making shortbread for Christmas?

This year Christmas day celebrations will be held at our house, as the family comes to us. Which means I will be making shortbread. For anyone that remembers this post it will be that recipe I follow, and I will be sure to use Grandad's shortbread mould for at least one batch, but this year I'm pretty thrilled with my selection of Shortbread moulds, all new at Kiwicakes for 2012 - I might have to give another shape a try. Deciding which will be the hard part. Maybe I'd better let the kids choose. 

Our range of moulds are used to shape the dough, you wouldn't normally bake in them, but if you prefer to, they are oven safe.




Monday, November 21, 2011

Our cake decorating classes

This weekend, we had a cake pops class and a figure modelling class here at Kiwicakes. I sat in as a student on the cake pops class, as I had never made them, I enjoyed making them very much. Below are photos from the class, there is a mixture of student and tutor work, I'm not attributing each item to it's owner (as some didn't want me to), (but the elmo & oscar were mine, along with the snowman with carrot nose & strawberry)

A cake shaped like an art gallery

Many many moons ago - well around 10 years ago, I made a cake shaped like the then Geoff Wilson Gallery at what was the Nortland Polytechnic. Last week the new Geoff Wilson Gallery opened at what is now Northtec. On both occasions my hubby asked me to make the cake (as on both occasions he was in charge of the gallery). So I set out on what would be a 16 hour cake making journey. Now many of my customers may well have been able to create this quicker, but as I now only get to make around 6 cakes per year, I'm not super fast. It wasn't perfect, but towards the end of the project FATIGUED would have described the state I was in. The cake consists of 4x 11x7 sheet cakes, stacked 2 high. The roof is one 13x9 sheet cake, cut in half horizontally. Iced with black Satin Ice. The side walls of the gallery are licorice (as the real version has black corrugated metal sides). I found large rolled sheets of licorice from New Generation Licorice to use for this.

The cake was Pistachio flavoured (5 hours of baking) with pistachio buttercream. And I was surprised to find it was almost all eaten on opening night (we served large platters of cake adroned with small pieces of licorice) The front and back end of the galleries are different, my cake photo is actually the back entrance to the gallery, with the large picture window at ground level, for viewing through - from the covered walkway.

The photos of the gallery were the working photos I had (the scaffolding was removed on the day of the opening).

Thursday, November 17, 2011

New Metallic edible food paints are here - 14 colours

These metallic food paints have actually been years in the making - I've been waiting with baited breath all this time and they are finally here! The best bit is YOU WASH YOUR BRUSH IN WATER - no pricey isopropyl alcohol required for brush cleaning.

  • Radiant Metallic Paint
  • Ready To Use
  • Easy-to-clean your equipment after use
  • Once dry the lustre pigment is sealed within the surface - no dust or smudges!
  • Apply with a brush for fine detail work
  • Apply with an EasyCover sponge for large area coverage (may require 2 coats)
  • Use with an airbrush for a smooth finish (No need to thin)

    Coverage Guide: Using the EasyCover Sponge, we used half a bottle (approx 12ml) of paint to cover an 8 inch round cake (3 inch deep) which was sat on a 10 inch drum, also covered in sugarpaste. We applied 2 coats to get an even metallic finish.
Preparation: Rinse the sponge under tap water and squeeze dry. It will become soft and ready to use.

How To Use: Pour the Rainbow Dust Food Paint on to a paint pallet and gently press the sponge in to it. Now simply apply to your surface with a gentle dabbing motion. Leave to dry (approx 30mins) and build up with more coats to achieve the required finish. (2 coats is usually enough)

Simply wash the sponge under warm water. The dye from the paint may stain the actual sponge but this will not effect future usage.



Monday, November 14, 2011

Our students work from yesterday

This weekend we had our ladies themed cookie class. Our tutor Lisa showed our students how a handbag cutter could make a halter neck bikini, a frankenstein and more!. We had one teenager amongst our students and I was stunned at her level of achievement. This Saturday we have Modelling a boy and girl figurine in the morning and in the afternoon we have cake pops. Both classes are $40 each. Email me if you wish to attend we have places for both.

It was so lovely seeing the ladies leaving the class, they were on such a high, with all they had accomplished & learnt

Friday, November 4, 2011

How to make Camouflage icing

I have wanted to try camouflage icing for a while now, so when the latest release for Body Combat came out a month or so back I wanted to make camouflage cookie for the instructors, who despite being paid to instruct the classes, in my opinion go above and beyond the call of duty in their devotion to us regulars.
At work things were conspiring against me to keep me busy, so I owe special thanks to Lisa from The Whole Cake & Caboodle who put together the photo tutorial for "how to" for us.

The camouflage icing was made using Satin Ice fonadnt. The base is 15 parts white to 1 part chocolate. Roll out base thinly but thicker than required for final cookie (as it will become thinner later when rolling)

The other colours were created with (1) Green 3 parts + red 1 part (2) Brown 1 part + green 2 parts + white 8 parts (3) Brown 1 part + white 4 parts

Splodge shapes on in layers using sugar syrup or cmc for glue – I do it from dark to light and make snake shapes and rough Y shapes. You don’t have to be to exact with glue but if it too much pops out the sides it will have to be dabbed dry.

Once pattern has been created bearing in mind the size required for what the camouflage is to be used for (large splodges for a cake or smaller splodges for cookies) flip it over and roll it in both directions. Rolling it will increase the size of the shapes but will meld them together.

Flip it over and cut/use as required.

My cookies had edible image printed of the body combat logo, these were attached with edible glue. Bear in mind you can only have logos/licensed characters printed if you are the license holder for the image, or the item is being made for the company who is the license holder of the image.
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