Monday, September 30, 2013

Gingerbread Gals - from Kiwicakes test kitchen

Here's a good activity for the school holidays. Kids love to help with all the steps in the process and the mixture makes 40, so you fill the weeks baking tin! 

First, prepare your cookie mix so it can relax in the fridge for half an hour before you start rolling.

Gingerbread Gal Mixture

Cream together:

125g softened butter
1/2 cup brown sugar

Mix in:

1/2 cup treacle/molasses/golden syrup
1 egg yolk

Add the following to make a firm dough:

2&1/2 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
pinch salt
2 Tablespoons ground ginger
1 Tablespoons mixed spice

Wrap dough in gladwrap, rest in the fridge and then you're ready to roll. Knead mixture for a minute until it's completely combined and glossy.

Roll out with your heaviest cake decorating rolling pin  until mixture is 3-4mm thick. Use a gingerbread cutter (set) to press out shapes. These 4 cutters have options of man, lady, boy and girl. I find an angled spatula is perfect to slip under the shapes and transfer them to your baking sheet without distortion. 

Bake at 175' for 6 minutes then transfer to a wire rack to cool. The cooking smells will make your mouth water.

Meanwhile, prepare your royal icing for decoration. Always keep the top surface covered with gladwrap until ready to use. Fill your reusable piping bag with coupler fitted so you can readily change the piping tip width for finer facial type detail.

I opted to use a royal icing mix that I just had to whip up with water. A great item to have on standby in the cupboard and leftover royal icing keeps fine in the fridge for a month.

Then let your creativity take over and create features for these gingerbread gals with the royal icing. While it's still wet you can add sugar pearls and sprinkles or cupcake candy bling for individuality.

These farmer gals have googly eyes and green grassy feet.

Friday, September 27, 2013

Chocolate Hairdressing Set - from Kiwicakes test kitchen

Create these 3D beauty items easily with the use of a Hair Stylist Chocolate Mould set. Add a string of licorice for a realistic powercord to the hairdryer! 

We have a range of 20 different colour chocolate candy melts available. I used Colourburst candy melts for my styling set. It gave a true white finish with bright specks of colour.

The hairdryer is made in two halves. Stick the back to the front with some leftover melted chocolate and run a spatula around the join to remove any excess chocolate 'glue'.  They make great additions to any cake for the beauty mad cake fan.


Thursday, September 26, 2013

Pink cake pops - to raise awareness for Breast Cancer Month

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Remember a survivor with these cute pops! This post is reprinted with permission from My Little Cupcake Pop

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month and what a better way to thank someone for their donation or to show your support than by creating a little bit of pink perfection!

Donation drive idea?

Shopping List:
Pink Ribbon Sprinkles
Pink candy topper
Fondue Chocolate for Base
Pink Ribbon & Pink Paper
Mini Brads

mini brads, pink ribbon, and tag made from my home printer (hand cut), nail for making holes in tag & ribbon.

You can put the tag under the ribbon or on top as shown.  The long piece of ribbon is for tying around the cellophane bag of the pop.

With the tag under the ribbon.

Fundraiser centerpiece?  Or just a bouquet to say I Love You to your cancer survivor friend or loved one!

 It's actually easy to turn any container into a display piece.

1.  Add rice to container.   
2.  Measure opening and cut sytrofoam.   
3.  Place into container use tape to secure if needed!

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Salt toffee crisp truffles and my new favourite thing!

Recently after a trip to Trade Aid, my hubby introduced me to "Salt Toffee Crisp-70% dark" chocolate. At only $3.99 per block, it's a real bargain. However be warned it's very moreish and if you're anything like me you'll want to devour the entire block. It's my new favourite thing!

This awesome chocolate is:
* Fair Trade
* Organic
* Gluten free
* Sustainably packaged
* Suitable for vegetarians
* Has natural antioxidants - so it must be good for me!

I knew immediately I wanted to try making something with this chocolate. A truffle was the first thing I thought of. So back to Trade Aid I sent my dear hubby to procure some more for me.

The truffle filling is a simple ganache dipped in plain melted dark chocolate, garnished with a grain of Himalayan organic pink sea salt from Healthy Salt. The large grain of salt not only looked like a rough gem on top of the truffle, it really added a great salt kick when you chewed it.

200g Salt Toffee crisp 70% dark chocolate from Trade Aid
100ml cream
Dark chocolate for dipping
Rock salt grains for decoration

Over a double boiler gently melt the salt toffee crisp chocolate, remove from heat as soon as chocolate is melted (this ensures the toffee crisp pieces remain unmelted). Gently bring cream to boil, as soon as it begins to boil, pour in chocolate in two batches, whisking between each addition. Spread onto baking paper to cool at room temperature. Once cooled roll into balls and dip in melted dark chocolate. A dipping swirl  makes the job much easier. Drop each truffle into a bon bon cup and place a grain of rock salt on top at time of dipping. Allow to set.
Makes 24

I placed these truffles on a dessert platter, that included the mango slices and pecan truffles, which I recently blogged about here. Along with some dates that were stuffed at each end with a ribbon rose of marzipan. The dessert platter was a huge hit at the dinner party we attended. Many declared the salt truffles their favourite.  

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Make your own no churn ice cream - with this easy recipe from Gobake

After seeing this yummy no churn recipe for ice cream from GoBake using Easy Frost. I had to give it a try myself. Trish from GoBake created the recipe, her recipe shown below is for Butterscotch, but other flavacols from the range could be substituted to make different flavours.

100g GoBake  Easy Frost
100ml Cold Water
10ml GoBake Butterscotch Flavacol

Beat the Easy Frost and water together till it becomes light and fluffy just like whipped cream.
Swirl the Butterscotch Flavacol through cream.
Spoon into a snap lock container and freeze for 4 hours

This was my attempt at ice cream, I followed the recipe above, but instead of adding the flavacol, I used a good heaped tablespoon of Strawberry powder. The girls here at Kiwicakes loved it

Monday, September 23, 2013

Pineapple Bran Muffins - from Kiwicakes test kitchen

Warm up a cold day with these healthy yet flavoursome fruity muffins. They are quick to make and smell amazing!

Mix together with a spatula:

1 t baking soda dissolved in 1 & 1/2 C hot water 
1/4 C butter/margarine, melted
1 egg
1 C brown sugar
1 1/2 C flour and 1 t baking powder, sifted
1 C bran
1 pack Freeze Dried Pineapple Chunks (reserving 12 pieces for the top)

Spoon mixture into Muffin Tins and top with an extra piece of pineapple each. Cook on fanbake 150'C and test with a cake probe after 10 minutes. They cook to golden in 10-15 minutes depending on your oven. Transfer to a wire rack to cool and store in an airtight container. 

Adding margarine instead of butter can make this recipie dairy-free and lower-fat but personally I enjoy natural butter. 

I love these traditional muffins, but boosted with the intense pineapple chunks they are to die for, and you won't feel guilty about enjoying this yummy snack.

Friday, September 20, 2013

Banofee Crème Pie - from GoBake

Following on in our series of recipes from Trish at GoBake, we have this lovely Banofee Creme pie today.

Serves 4-6

100gm x Easyfrost
2 x Tablespoons Caramel Flavacol
2 x teaspoon spoon Butterscotch Flavacol

100ml x Water
1 x Sheet ready rolled sweet Pastry (8” pie dish)
3 x Bananas – Ripe
200ml cream
Non-stick Baking Spray
Baking Beans and Baking Paper

1.       Preheat Oven 180oc
2.       Lightly spray a Pie dish with non-stick baking spray
3.       Line with a sheet of ready rolled pastry, prick with a fork and blind bake for 15 minutes
4.       Remove baking beans and continue to bake for a further 10 minutes
5.       Allow Pastry case to cool
6.       Peel bananas and slice
7.       Melt the butter and sauté the banana until the just start to colour then add the Caramel Flavacol and cream, allow to boil until the cream mixture thickens
8.       Pour into pastry case, allow to cool
9.       Place GoBake Easy Frost into a bowl with the water, beat until it resembles whipped cream
10.   Mix GoBake Butterscotch Flavacol into Easy Frost Crème
11.   When the caramelised bananas are cool top with Butterscotch Easy Frost Crème
12.   Sprinkle with cocoa powder

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Homemade rosemary olive oil crackers

Lately I've been trying to make a lot more of the food our family eats, rather than always buying processed items. When I saw this post from Chef in Disguise I just had to give making my own crackers ago, as I'd never tried before. If I knew how easy and incredibly tasty they would be, I would have done it years ago.

Together with my husband we've been trying to grow more food and buy more locally grown food, particularly spray free or organic. My husband recently arrived home with olive oil that is grown & pressed locally by V-Oliva. Now it's all I want to use! There's just no comparison to what I used to bring home from the supermarket.

The olive oil is probably the only expense for these crackers, but the recipe makes a large quantity, which is still cheaper than store bought crackers. The crackers I grabbed from the cupboard to compare had over 20 ingredients, many of which were numbers or names I couldn't  pronounce, while these have just five ingredients.

I split my batch of dough in half and sprinkled one batch with paprika and one batch with parmesan before baking. In my photo above a paprika cracker is shown with the best ever feta from Grinning Gecko and yummy pesto from Hydro Healthy. Both of which I bought at the Whangarei Growers Market. We have so much fresh rosemary in our garden I opted for fresh over dried (as used in the original recipe).

1 Cup flour
1 Cup wholemeal flour
A good handful of fresh rosemary chopped finely
1 tsp salt
1/2 cup of olive oil
1/2 cup warm water

Mix dry ingredients together in a bowl, make a well in the centre and add olive oil, and at least half of the water. Stir together, until it forms a nice dough, add more water if needed (you may not use it all). Rest for 5 minutes.

Roll out very thinly on baking paper, or a silicone baking sheet. I use a pizza cutter to cut them into rectangles, it's much faster than a knife and prevents dragging.

Bake at 200C for approx 10 minutes or until golden brown.

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Rosette Meringues with GoBake Vanilla Bean Crème

This gorgeous meringue recipe was created by Trish from Gobake. It is one in a series I will be sharing with you.

Makes 12

1 x teaspoon Raspberry Flavacol
1 teaspoon vanilla essence
100gm x Easyfrost
2 x teaspoon spoon  Vanilla Bean Paste 

3 x Size 7 egg white
1 x cup caster sugar
100ml x Water

1.       Preheat Oven 120oc
2.       In a very clean mixing bowl beat the egg whites on high until just holding its shape
3.       Gradually add the Caster Sugar until it all incorporated and the mix is thick and glossy
4.       Line a baking tray with baking paper
5.       Pipe a rosettes using 1M nozzle
6.       Bake for 1 hour and 45 minutes or until meringue rosettes are dry but not brown
7.       Place GoBake Easy Frost into a bowl with the water, beat until it resembles whipped cream
8.       Mix GoBake Vanilla Bean Paste, place into a bowl to accompany the Meringue Rosettes
** Get creative and use different flavours and colours using GoBake Flavacol, just imagine a stacked tray of soft colours….very vintage

Monday, September 16, 2013

White Russian Walnut Cake Pops - from Kiwicakes test kitchen

Today I made a dozen dessert cake pops flavoured with Kahlua liquer. These would be scrummy served up with an espresso coffee for an easy dessert treat. Great for a fun dinner party event. 

White Russian Walnut Cake Pops

2 T Kahlua (or your liquer of choice)
100g room temperature traditional sour creme
20g finely chopped walnuts
250g cake crumbs (I used vanilla)

Mix liquer into the sour creme first and then incorporate all 4 ingredients, until you have a malleable mixture. To decorate you will need 200g white chocolate and a handful of roughly chopped walnuts

It was my first time making cake pops. I used our set of 4 cake pop moulds which I found gave me smooth and consistent shapes to decorate. It helped to roll balls of the mixture before placing into the mould. I used a palette knife for easy release .

When all your shapes are made, refrigerate them for half an hour to firm up. Then melt white chocolate and dip your lollipop sticks into the melted chocolate before inserting into the cake shapes. Let this chocolate dry to become a base for your cake pops.

Then coat your pop all over with melted white chocolate and roll in nutty pieces while chocolate is still wet.

Here is the finished product ready to serve.

They can also be packaged in clear cellophane bags for individual takeaway treats.

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Rachel Jenkinson from Operation Sugar is NEXT Woman of the year nominee

I can hardly contain myself, I have the most exciting news to announce. Rachel Jenkinson from Operation Sugar is a finalist with NEXT magazine for "NEXT Woman of the year".

Earlier this year I nominated Rachel for this award. I spent quite some time preparing a detailed application for everything Rachel does behind the scenes for Operation Sugar. This was an eye opener for me, as she does a lot more than any of us could imagine. I had great fun collating all of the wonderful press clippings about Operation Sugar that have appeared in newspapers, as well as on radio & TV across New Zealand.

It's been hard to keep the secret for the last month, until NEXT magazine came out today. Rachel is one of 5 nominees in the Community category and joins 24 other wonderful New Zealand women. 

The winner will be announced at a gala event in October at the Orakei Bay function centre. I'm extremely proud to be accompanying Rachel, along with her sister Tracey to the event as her date. 

Rachel and I have spent each afternoon for weeks messaging the odd thought for what we'll do while she is in Auckland (Rachel is from Balclutha, so her trip to Auckland will be her first time visiting). I think all of the ideas Rachel and I have come up with so far will require a year to do, so we'll have to work on narrowing our list down.

Rachel has received a snazzy invite for dinner and we've organised our glad rags

I am really looking forward to the awards evening. I was a nominee in the business category of the Inaugural "NEXT Woman of the year" in 2010 (you can read about my involvement here & here & also here). It was a humbling experience for me to be surrounded by such high achieving woman. I am thrilled to be accompanying Rachel in recognition of her amazing achievements with Operation Sugar. I'll be bringing you updates of our Auckland jaunts, as well as bringing you details of the awards night next month.

Please head on over to Operation Sugars Facebook page and leave a note of congratulations for Rachel here.

You can find out more about Operation Sugar here. If you are in a position to give a little, to help with the running of Operation Sugar, you can make a donation of any amount here. And Operation Sugar is always looking for more volunteer bakers & photographers too - check out their website. 

Friday, September 13, 2013

Peppermint and Chocolate NO BAKE Slice - from GoBake

This lovely recipe is another in the series, created by the lovely Trish from GoBake. Watch out for more coming soon.

100gm x Easyfrost
100ml x Water
2 x Tablespoons Peppermint Flavacol
450gm x White Chocolate, melted
2 x Packets Oreo Biscuits
150gm x Butter, melted
1 x Tablespoons Chocolate Flavacol
100gm x Dark Chocolate, melted


1.      Place GoBake Easy Frost into a bowl with the water, beat until it resembles whipped cream
2.       Mix in the peppermint Flavacol and melted white chocolate
3.      Crush the Oreos in the food processor and add the melted Butter and Chocolate Flavacol
4.       Line a slice tin with non-stick baking paper
5.       Press in the Oreo mix firmly
6.       Top with the Peppermint Easyfrost
7.       Smooth the top
8.       Drizzle with melted Dark Chocolate
9.       Refrigerate for 1 hour and the slice and serve

Go The All Blacks - from Kiwicakes test kitchen

Show your support for our national team by whipping these up on game day. I'm sure you will be popular! Tomorrow we play South Africa in Auckland.

The flag picks give height to your favourite everyday cupcake recipe and the black foil cases are both stylish and make for easy kitchen cleanup.  If you are a committed fan, or just want to go crazy, check out our full range of All Blacks party ware here for loads of inspiration.

There are matches against Argentina, Australia, France, England, Ireland and Japan coming up soon.  For a full list of the remaining 2013 All Blacks fixtures click here

And you can pick up a set of these Top 8 Rugby Team World Flag Cupcake Picks ahead of time to be really prepared!


Thursday, September 12, 2013

Chocolate Cake and Butterscotch Mousse Layer Cake - from GoBake

This scrummy recipe is yet another great creation, shared with us from Trish at GoBake.

Chocolate Cake Recipe
4 x cups flour
4 x cups sugar
½ x cups cocoa
1 x cups chocolate chips
2 x cups hot water
2 x teaspoon GoBake Coffee Flavacol
2 x teaspoons GoBake Chocolate Flavacol
1 x cup oil (like canola, soy, rice bran)
4 x #7 eggs

1 x cup buttermilk
2 x teaspoons  Vanilla Bean Paste
2 x teaspoons Baking Soda
1 x teaspoon Baking Powder
1 x teaspoon salt

Butterscotch Mousse
100gm xeasy frost
110ml x Water
2 x Tablespoon Butterscotch Flavacol


1.       Line a spring based cake tin, including sides
2.       Pre heat the oven to 160c
3.       Melt chocolate chips, cocoa, sugar, water, GoBake Chocolate Flavacol, and Coffee Flavacol in a pot until the sugar is dissolved. Do not let this boil.
4.       Leave to cool for 5 minutes in a separate mixing bowl.
5.       Once cooled, beat in the 4 eggs, buttermilk, GoBake Vanilla Bean Paste, oil and salt.
6.       Add the flour, baking soda and baking powder then beat making sure all the ingredients are well mixed.
7.       Pour into cake tin and bake for 1 hour or until a skewer comes out clean once inserted.
8.       To make the Butterscotch Mousse, place GoBake Easy Frost into a bowl with the water, beat until it resembles whipped cream
9.       Add the Butterscotch Flavacol and continue to mix until the colour is even.

10.   When the cake is cool, top with the Butterscotch Mousse and Sprinkle with GoBake Chocolate Power Balls
11.   Refrigerate for 3 hours
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