Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Marshmallow Rice Krispies for cakes

I received this recipe below from Carol Hogg of the Waitakere Cake Club. You will have seen Rice Krispie treats used in many of the cake decorating shows.


Use as shapes for modelling or even a cake.

50 g Unsalted Butter  -  Salted will do

200g   White or White & Pink “Mr.Mallow” Marshmellows

160g   Rice Bubbles 

Melt butter over low heat, add marshmellows stir until melted. (Don’t leave

It, it will burn)  When melted stir a further minute.   Take off heat.

Stir in the cereal and stir until coated.  Then shape as needed.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Northern Advocate article May 23rd.

Last night, I was profiled in an online retailing story in the Northern Advocate. Newspapers nationwide seem to be giving a lot of coverage to online retailers at the moment. You can read the article here

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Rainbow Dust glitters new labelling & info surrounding the change


At the beginning of 2012, the Food Standards Agency (FSA) issued new guidance to the public, on glitters that are used around food. In order to meet the requirements for “Food Contact”, there are several key elements that a company supplying glitter needs to have in place. They are: a “Declaration of Compliance”, successful "Global Migration" tests and the product itself must be labelled correctly in line with the updated FSA guidance.
Rainbow Dust Colours has for many years, had successful migration testing in place and their labelling prior to the updated FSA guidance had been previously passed by Trading Standards.
As soon as the new guidance was announced to suppliers/manufacturers back in 2011, Rainbow Dust Colours acted immediately to display to their customers that their glitter products were in line with the legislation's. To do this, they retested their glitter to ensure it met the updated legislation, supplied the appropriate documentation to trading standards and labelled their products as per the updated guidance. Their glitters are 100% complient.

It has come to the attention of Rainbow Dust Colours that in light of the recent update to the FSA’s guidance on glitters, there are companies still not complying.
One of the main offences is a claim that a glitter on the market is made from Mica (E555) and Titanium Dioxide and "safe to consume". Please be aware that products do exist that are made from these ingredients and they are products like their Edible Silk Range or the Edible Shapes. However, there is NO material on the market that is insoluble, made from E555 and E171 and looks as vibrant as a traditional glitter.  Rainbow Dust knows glitter, they know what materials exist and what their purpose of use is.

To put an end to these false claims, Rainbow Dust recently carried out analytical tests on such materials using an accredited third party laboratory who have confirmed their suspicions. They received confirmation that the other companies glitters did not conatin any traces of E171 (Titanium Dioxide) or E555 (Mica) what so ever. This is/was a false claim and has now triggered a full scale investigation by the FSA into the offending company(s) and their products. Their labelling WILL be made to comply as a "Food Contact" glitter.

Please be aware of other companies that are illegally promoting their glitters or have not researched their product well enough to understand what it is made of. We suspect the current false claims to be a short term effort to claim market share. But at what expense? The publics trust? This is unprofessional and irresponsible.

Rainbow Dust Colours always complies to legislation's and labels all products according to current requirements. They work WITH trading standards to make sure all our products are correct, so that our customers have peace of mind that they are purchasing legal products.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Kiwi Cake Decorator - Sarah Clark

Todays Kiwi Cake Decorator - is a profile on Sarah Clark, if you'd like to be featured as a Kiwi Cake Decorator email me!.

Sarah Clark - The Cake Tin From June 1st 2012 until then it is
Sarah is also about to start a blog which is currently being designed
 How long have you been decorating?
About 5 years, just as a hobby for ages then late last year I turned it into a small business. I am self taught, although over the last couple of years I have bought some amazing books which act as my courses.

What is you favourite thing to bake & decorate – why?
Cakes. There is such great satisfaction in baking then decorating a cake.
I particularly love the decorating when (depending on the client) I can create the image I have in my mind. A well decorated cake can tell a story and seeing that come together is a fulfilling feeling.
There is no greater compliment when somebody collects a cake to have them speechless, or to hear that the birthday girl or boy did not want to cut the cake as they would ruin the decoration. While visual appreciation is lovely it is also nice to know they loved the actual cake inside too. 
What got you started in baking/decorating?
I used to bake when I was a little girl. I still remember standing on my yellow stool at the bench mixing cakes and biscuits with Mum. (and like all kids licking the beater)
My decorating started about 5 years ago when I made and decorated Christmas cakes for the cafĂ© I was working in. I found it really fun and loved seeing what I could do. Then I began making cakes for friends and family and things grew from there.  
What are your top 5 decorating tools you cannot live without?
My turntable, smoothers, non-stick rolling pin, modelling tools,  set of 5 small circle cutters.
(Oh I so wish you had asked for 10++++) So not fair to restrict this to 5! 
What do you do when you’re not decorating? 
I transform into a Mum.
Sometimes a bit of sewing if time allows but that is certainly not recently. 
What are some of your favourite creations you’ve created and why?
Oh Boy, this is such a hard question. I have to limit this to 5 or you will be here all day,  so here goes.
 #1 My Mum’s 65th Birthday cake

I had just recently purchased a copy of Confetti Cakes by Eliza Strauss which opened up my eyes to what you could achieve if you have the right ingredients, (Being self taught I had not even heard of so many of them). And so I made Mums cake which changed my world and made me realise that in the words of Walt Disney “sometime’s it’s fun to achieve the impossible”

#2      My Second Handbag Cake

This cake was made for a client, my next door neighbour, and was life like in size (somewhere there is a photo of her with her hand under the handle like she is going to pick it up)
Everything came together from the patent leather to the crocodile skin to the glittery initial on the chain. The scarf just finished the look.

#3      My Sari cake.

This is not my design but was provided by the bride for an Australian couple’s wedding celebration.
I love the bright colours of this cake. The gold has all been hand painted and the sari was brushed with lustre dust to achieve the right shade before piping and gold brushing the detail.

#4 My Porsche Car

This was created for my husband’s 40th Birthday
It was the first car I had made and I was so proud of all the attention to detail I had managed to capture. By the way, an avid Porsche fan, he loved it.

#5 My Mad Hatters Tea Party cake.

Inspired by Collette Peters this was for an Alice in Wonderland themed  40th Birthday. With it’s bright colours and quirky shapes it was so much fun to make and the cupcakes which accompanied it just finished it. 
What is you favourite Cake, cookie, or cupcake flavour? and why?
Ginger, it is such an intense and under-rated flavour, it also reminds me of  my Grandmother who used to make Gingerbread while I was a wee girl (sadly I do not have her recipe) and my Dad.

If you could have someone make a cake for you, what would it be like?
I try not to eat cake (yep I know crazy) but I suppose it would be anything but chocolate in flavour, a fun bright design, bit of zebra print, purple somewhere because that is my favourite colour and perhaps some feathers Certainly not too girly because I like fun and funky, 2 tier but small tiers 8” and 6” maybe. OR
A woman in a kitchen surrounded by all things baking and decorating.

Monday, May 14, 2012

Sugar mice from my childhood

I often find, a smell, a sight or a taste has the ability to transport me back to my childhood. Recently I tried some of the new Regalice white chocolate fondant and in my mind I was right back with these mice. 
I immediately telephoned Grandma Kiwicakes and asked her to find the promotional pamphlet for making these mice (it came with the tins of condensed milk) - shock horror it could not be found. But thanks to the wonder that is the online community and the responses I received to my facebook plea for the recipe, I was able to make these wee fellas. 
Special thanks go to Trish Woods-Curle, who took the trouble to search scan and email the brochure through. Trish's version at a guess, would be the copy after mine (mine was printed on white or cream paper with pink accents and black writing, prior to colour photography being the norm, it would have been printed in the late 1970s or 1980 - if anyone has that version I'd still love to see it). Trish tells me her Mum wouldn't let her make them. Funny that, Grandma Kiwicakes (my Mum) would never let us make them either, it was my Granny, who let my older brother & I make them during school holiday visits. Shockingly I can also add, my grandparents also let us have sugar or condensed milk on toast (they have a lot to answer for, for my sweet tooth!). I'm not surprised Grandma Kiwicakes didn't let us make them, as a parent I'm not sure I'd let the kids eat a bag of icing sugar and 1/2 tin of condensed milk for just 4 mice.

I made them just the way we did as kids, the recipe is for peppermint mice. However we only ever made the white ones peppermint and the pink ones were left plain. We also always used slivered almonds for ears, pink cachous for the nose and silver for the eyes. Granny always seemed to have a box of Black Knight licorice on hand and we cut a long flat strip up for tails and whiskers. I had forgotten how the resulting icing spread slightly before it properly dries, making the mice a little wider than when they are modelled (but it all came racing back to me). 

As an adult, I would struggle to eat a pink mouse, although a wee piece was nice for old times sake, I had to chase it down with a piece of peppermint mouse, to take away the cloying sweetness.

The original recipe, click to enlarge & print.

We always used licorice for tails, this recipe calls for string - but until I can see a copy of my original old recipe, I don't know if the licorice was something Granny came up with.
I've thoroughly enjoyed my "mice" memories, as during the time I sourced this recipe and tried it out, I've thought an awful lot about the baking I did with my grandparents, as well as the time I spent with them in Turangi, during my school holidays.
A note to those considering making this icing, it's not overly suited to modelling, it spreads before setting and dries with almost a wrinkly crust - great for elephants skin wrinkles though)

I hope you've enjoyed my trip down memory lane. Does tasting or smelling something have the ability to transport you down memory lane, if so what?


Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Kiwicakes 6th Birthday competition

Today our beautiful 6th birthday cake arrived courtesy of Sonya Brown the winner of our 6th birthday cake competition. You remember Sonya's design concept.

Well here is the cake....................................

The little Kiwi's are having so much fun.

This poor fellow got stuck in the chocolate pot.

Sonya's cakes tasted exquisite. The texture was great. Karina my parcel packer was beside herself. The white chocolate mud cake, is quite possibly one of the best I have tasted, you could actually taste white chocolate. The peppermint chocolate was divine. I am a huge fan of peppermint chocolate and this rates right up there. The chocolate ganache was super smooth and expertly applied. Karina declared the White Chocolate the best. Jenny & I declared them a tie. Poor Grandma Kiwicakes won't sample these until tomorrow.

Sonya tells me, she has only been making cakes seriously for a year. I am so proud of her achievements. You can follow her on facebook here 

I asked Sonya to take a photo of herself with the cake, before it left Palmerston North

We're very lucky as Sonya has agreed to share her recipes with us. 


300g white chocolate
200g butter
1 cup milk
3/4 cup caster sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 large eggs, lightly beaten (or 3 small eggs)
100g (2/3 cup) self-raising flour
150g (1 cup) plain flour

Preheat oven to 160 degrees Celsius (145 degrees Celsius fan-forced).

Grease a 20cm square cake pan and line the base and sides of the pan with baking paper.

Place chocolate, butter, milk and sugar in a large saucepan over low heat, stirring frequently.  Remove from heat when chocolate and butter have melted, and stir mixture until completely smooth. Allow mixture to cool at room temperature for 15+ minutes.

Add vanilla and eggs to chocolate mixture and stir until well combined.

Stir flours together in a large bowl. Add one cup of chocolate mixture to the flour and stir until a smooth paste forms. Repeat with another cup of the chocolate mixture.  Add remaining chocolate mixture and stir until mixture is smooth. This gradual method of combining the wet and dry ingredients helps prevent lumps.

Pour mixture into prepared pan and bake for about 1 hour 10 minutes to 1 hour 20 minutes. When the cake is ready, a fine-bladed knife inserted into the centre of the cake should come out without any batter attached.

Loosely cover cake with greaseproof paper or a clean tea towel and allow it to cool to room temperature in pan.

The cooled cake can be iced with the white chocolate ganache immediately or stored and then iced on the day of serving.

Store cake in an airtight container in the refrigerator and bring to room temperature before serving. The cake is suitable to freeze

Cooks notes: I basically hit the jackpot with this recipe and didn’t need to make any alterations, I did try a few different recipes before I stopped at this one and it is my husbands favourite to date.  The white choc is subtle and I find the cake a bit drier than my dark choc but the sweet  ganache compliments it.  I had considered substituting the butter in the cake for oil as in dark choc mud but think the buttery flavour compliments the white choc. Nom nom nom.


1 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
1 cup milk
3/4 cup oil
250g dark chocolate, broken up or roughly chopped
1 tsp coffee dissolved in..
3/4 cup Hot Water
2 cups flour
2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1 cup Brown Sugar
1/2 cup cocoa
2 eggs
2tsp Peppermint essence

Preheat oven to 180°C. Line the base of a 22 - 23 cm spring-form tin with non-stick baking paper.
Mix the lemon juice with the milk and set aside for it to sour the milk.
Place oil, chocolate and hot coffee in a microwave bowl or small saucepan and heat gently, stirring often, until
chocolate is melted and the mixture smooth. Cool.

In a large bowl, mix the flour
baking soda, baking powder, sugar and cocoa.
Mix the
eggs, peppermint essence and soured milk into the cooled chocolate mixture, combine thoroughly, and then whisk into the dry ingredients.

Pour into the prepared tin and bake for 1 hour.
Soooo easy but sooooooooooo yum J

Cooks notes:
The initial recipe called for only ½ C oil and 1 C strong black coffee.  I found it a tad dry for my liking so substituted ¼ C of the coffee for another ¼ C of oil and found it much better.
The original recipe asked for 1 C Chelsea low GI sugar, I heard that brown sugar can give it a lovely flavour so substituted that too J 
It also called for ‘strong black coffee, and dark choc.  I used 70% chocolate and 3tsp coffee in the hot water and I found it waaaaay too strong and bitter.  I reduced coffee to 1 tsp and used standard dark cooking chocolate and found it tasted alot better.  Some people may like it that way so could option for the original method.  The peppermint essence was an add in on my part to make a choc mud a lil more interesting and thought it would be good as a after dinner dessert (or for breakfast, why not? Go nuts!)  Ive tried a few different recipes and like my alterations to an already good recipe.

My hubby's 40th birthday

On May 6th my hubby turned 40. A birthday I never imagined when I met him 18 years ago. We had a party for him on Saturday night, at a local bar & restaurant - Vinyl.

In the time I've known my hubby, music has always been one of his biggest passions (listening to it, not making it). So when I started to think about making this cake, I wanted to include some of his interests. He is also a poet. (self published for book no#1 and book #2 is currently with a publisher)

Everything on the cake is 100% edible, from the miniature record covers, to the records and books. The brown leaves represent the leaves from the cover of his first book (called Falling Away from Blue). The cover photograph is the liquid amber leaves from the tree next to our house, against a brilliant blue sky.

As is so common these days, the invites for this event were sent to most guests via Facebook - the image used on the topper was the Facebook Event picture. For those of you that cannot tell, it is Bob Dylan. Some of the baby & childhood photos around the base with the filmstrip background were used on the Facebook Event page, to give the guests a chuckle at much our boy has grown.

When it came to cake flavours, it was left to me to choose. I thought I'd go for something just a little grown up. The cake flavours were orange & almond for the top layer and gin & lemon for the bottom layer. Both were very well received.

I really had fun making this cake. I think partly because, I didn't have any mistakes or hiccups along the way. Apart from not having enough time to really plan what I was making before I started, i think it turned out pretty good.

Thursday, May 3, 2012

A sunny rainbow party in Whangarei

There's a very special surprise inside this cake. Wait for it, I promise it will be good.

A short time ago, a very special lady named Minette came to see me. Minette is special, as she is the wonderful lady behind the Kiwicakes Trixie kiwi baker logo. She has a wonderful graphic design business here in Whangarei called Red Cherry Design (I can highly recommend her). I was also able to connect Minette with a charity I sponsor, SPCA Cupcake Day. Minette has designed the SPCA Cupcake day tea towels this year. I can't wait until they are produced, I will be giving some away here on the blog. Well back to the story................. Minette came to get some rainbow gel colour pastes for a rainbow party she was planning for her son Daniel. Her resulting party is shown below. After seeing these photos, I want Rainbow jelly for my birthday!

Minette said it took a few hours to make this jelly and by the time she was finished, she had more than she needed for the mould.

Everything had the rainbow theme touch!

I adore the sprinkles rimming these glasses.

Now wait for it, the party guests are going to cut the cake soon

We better take the guests photos first!

Ta Da! - a stunning interior, thanks to the gel pastes in the cake batter

Even the cupcakes got the rainbow treatment

As did the party bags

Thanks Minette for sharing your rainbow party with us. I hope it's given you some inspiration for your rainbow party.

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