Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Sport Shirt Cookies - from Kiwicakes Test Kitchen

Our eldest just turned 6 and he is excited about his ripper rugby starting up again for the winter. We let the kids choose a theme for their birthdays and his was obvious (though at one stage there was discussion around a nuddy cake, go figure 6 year olds humour!)

Knowing it was going to be a busy time leading up to his little party, I chose to make the party favours 3 days in advance. I always try to give something homemade as a leaving gift and history has proven they are continually well-received!

I remembered Sandra making sleepover pyjama cookies (visit that blog post here) in the past and that inspired these rugby shirts.

To make these cookies you will need to mix up a batch of regular chocolate cookie dough, some homemade royal icing and have a sports jersey cookie cutter, sugar glue, black fondant, a piping bag and cellophane bags on hand.

I rolled out my cookie dough, cut rugby jersey shapes and baked them as normal. When cooled I brushed on some sugar glue to make the top surface tacky. I left a 2-3mm border around the sides un-glued as the fondant doesn't quite reach the cookie edge.

For my fondant I actually used a 50:50 mix of black fondant and chocolate brown fondant. I love the chocolate taste and the brown is deep enough to carry the colour from the black fondant and still create an overall jet black appearance. Just knead them together til combined. I rolled the fondant 3mm thick on a cornflour sprinkled board and used the same cutter to cut another 10 jersey shapes, which are simply placed on top of the tacky biscuits.

Then I made a quick royal icing by whisking together 1 egg white with 200g icing sugar and 1/2t lemon juice. I transferred the mix to a piping bag with a coupler inserted in it. ALBIE was using a tip#3 and the numeral 6 was using a tip #10. Alternatively you could snip 1mm off the end of the piping bag to write the name then snip the end off another 2mm higher up to pipe a fatter numeral.

The royal icing will need time to set and harden at room temperature before the bikkies can be packaged up and sealed for freshness. 

Then enjoy the looks of pure delight when these macho chocolatey delights are distributed!

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Completley Mad Cupcake Buffet - from Kiwicakes test kitchen

Crazy themed celebrations at the preschool our two youngest children attend are not a surprise to us anymore. They sure keep learning fun! To mark April Fools day a Mad Hatters tea party was held in a beautifully decorated garden. The high tea was complete with china cups & saucers and of course marvellous cupcake creations. 

The kids cupcake station was a world of colour and fantasy with buttercream to swirl then a buffet of decorations, sprinkles and edible spray paint to choose from. Able parents were on hand to assist but we found that the preschoolers were super capable anyway! Kiwicakes donated some magical topping products for us to use.

The firm icing discs (being pointed to by a cute, chubby finger no less!) are made from coloured fondant hardened with tylose powder and rolled out with impression mats. Ais especially visible on the pink heart, and mini cutters were used to shape the discs. These were made the night before to give them time to firm up. 

The variation achieved was just beautiful and so fitting of Mad Hatter style! 

And finally here is my littlest monster Mitchell being assisted by our good friend Kimmie. Yay for edible fun!!

Friday, April 18, 2014

Chocolate 'Hot Cross Bun' Cupcakes

Not everyone likes hot cross buns, yet it's something that screams Easter! These cute cupcakes are an alternative to the standard Hot Cross Buns. This recipe can be easily adapted for other seasons, simply change the design of the icing. This recipe is reprinted with permission from our friends at Chelsea.

100g butter, softened
¾ cup packed Chelsea soft brown sugar
2 large eggs, beaten 
1 cup plain flour
½ tsp baking soda
¼ cup cocoa
½ cup sour cream
¾ cup Chelsea icing sugar
1 tsp lemon juice
1 tbsp milk
Drinking chocolate to sprinkle on top

1. Preheat oven to 190° conventional (170°C fan forced). In a large electric mixing bowl, beat together the butter brown sugar and eggs for 2-3 minutes until creamy. 

2. Sift in the flour, baking soda and cocoa and add the sour cream then beatfor 2-3 minutes until smooth and fluffy. Spoon the mixture into a 12-hole muffin pan lined with cupcake cases or directly into self-standing cupcake cases.

3. Bake for 15-20 minutes until the cupcakes are puffed and spongy to the touch or a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean. Remove from the oven 
and set aside to cool.

4. Sift icing sugar into a bowl. Add lemon juice and just enough milk to make a thick, pipe-able icing. Use a piping bag or drizzle from a spoon to draw a cross on each muffin, set aside for icing to harden slightly. Sprinkle with drinking chocolate and serve.

Monday, April 14, 2014

Lemon Surprise Easter Egg Buns - from Kiwicakes test kitchen

These colourful Easter Egg buns are perfect for a celebratory Easter brunch. They provide a heartier alternative to traditional chocolate indulgences!

Firstly get your sweet bread dough mix underway. I used the recipie in my breadmaker booklet which is:

350ml water
1 egg
2T melted butter
1t salt
2T sugar
4c high grade flour
3T milk powder
2t yeast

My breadmaker dough cycle takes 1 & 1/2 hours. If you were making it by hand I would allow a similar amount of time for hand-kneading and proofing. This dough weighs 1.2 kg. I split it into 65 gram balls, yielding 18 nicely sized buns. I rolled them into oval egg-like shapes on a lightly floured silicone mat, which provided just the right resistance for rolling dough balls.

The sun wasn't out in Whangarei this morning so my proofing options were limited. Giving the buns 30 minutes in a just-warm oven worked perfectly and they doubled in size.

While the buns proof you have time to prepare your egg washes. Whisk together 1 egg yolk with 3T cold tap water. Then split into 3 bowls and add a squirt of your favourite gel colour to each. Today I used lemon yellow, sky blue and a tulip red / dusty rose Americolor combination. Remember that your colours may behave slightly different to normal when mixed with the yellow of the egg yolk (e.g. my attempt at pink/red was stubborn at keeping its orangey tinge).

Paint 6 buns with each of your egg wash colours prior to cooking. I used a pastry brush (pictured in an egg wash bowl above) for an easy and even coating. The natural bristles are soft and didn't mark or indent the buns.

Easter Egg buns take almost 10 minutes to cook on fanbake at 200`C. Keep an eye on them after 8 or 9 minutes in case you need to save the tops from browning. 

Now comes the lemon surprise - I injected my sweet rolls with a lemon curd filling. Simply fit a disposable piping bag with a long bismarck tip and push the tip through one side into the middle of each bun. Squeeze a consistent amount into each bun, aiming for about 2 teaspoons. The bun closes back up again nicely once you remove the tip and the filling stays hidden in the centre.

Look at this luscious lemon curd and how its texture compliments the soft sweet bread. Curd is a lovely and tart surprise in these buns but using your favourite seedless jam would work equally well with the bismarck tip technique.

Serve in a fun Easter basket for maximum impact!

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Easter Cupcakes with Chocolate Icing

I adore the colour "robins egg blue" - so these are my ultimate Easter cupcake. if you're looking to recreate these cupcakes - here at Kiwicakes, we have a fantastic selection of straight sided cupcake papers in stock see here. Recipe is reprinted with permission from our friends at Chelsea

150g butter
1 ½ cups Chelsea caster sugar
2 eggs
2 tsp vanilla extract
2½ cups self-raising flour
1¼ cups milk

1 1/2 cups Chelsea Rich Chocolate Icing Sugar
1 knob of butter, softened (approx. 10g)
2 Tbsp hot water (approx.)
Dark chocolate curls or flakes, mini Easter eggs to decorate or make coloured fondant eggs.

Beat butter in an electric mixer until smooth, add sugar and beat until light and fluffy. Add eggs and mix well. Add the vanilla, flour and milk. Beat until smooth.

Place individual paper baking cups in a cupcake tin, spoon in mixture until they are about 2/3 full - you should get 24 cupcakes (don't overfill as they will 'peak'). Bake in the oven at 190°C for 20 minutes or until golden. While cupcakes are cooling on a wire rack, prepare icing.

Measure Chelsea Rich Chocolate Icing sugar into a bowl, add butter and hot water, mix until smooth. Icing should spread easily; if too thick add a little more hot water to allow it to spread easily. To decorate: Spread chocolate icing thickly on to cooled cupcakes. Arrange chocolate pieces around the outer edges, pushing gently into the icing. Finish by placing mii eggs in the centres.

Tip: Use a vegetable peeler to shave chocolate curls from a block of dark chocolate or crumble a 'Flake' bar.

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

The Rocky Road to Easter - from Kiwicakes test kitchen

Today's treat is moreish Marshmallow Rocky Road. It has been Easter-shaped and packaged in clear bags set off with these limencello yellow styling tags

The star of the show in this simple recipie is limited edition marshmallow flavoured white candy melts. They are actually white! You could use regular white chocolate in its place, but it always has a creamier yellowish tone.

Once your 500g of candy melts have been melted over a double-boiler, let cool slightly before incorporating 200g mini marshmallows. Press into a lined sponge roll tin so the rocky road is between 1 and 2cm high then smooth the top. 

Sprinkle liberally with Yellow edible glitter for a real Easter feel. Do this while the mixture is still warm. Then transfer to the fridge briefly to set the chocolate.

Season your shaped cutters for easy release by wiping a little decorating cream around the inside. Here I am using the duck, basket, bunny and carrot cutters from the Easter Egg Cannister set of 10 shapes. Simply press down to create the desired shapes.

Here you can see how effective the really white white candy melts are against the coloured mallows and yellow edible glitter. How simple!

Here is a rocky road ducky packaged up ready for Easter giving. We also stock the cute little chicks pictured to accompany your Easter treats.

Monday, April 7, 2014

Green Chocolate Grass Cups for Easter - from Kiwicakes test kitchen

These cute little grass cups are a neat way to present little goodies or to give height to a plate. Perfect for an Easter surprise!

I melted a handful of vibrant green candy melts over a double-boiler then added a heaped teaspoon to the bases of regular pleated cupcake papers sitting inside a cupcake pan. Then I tapped it to coat the bottom evenly. I filled a disposable piping bag with some of the warmed chocolate (this is quite hot to handle so children may need assistance) and piped uneven-height spikes up the sides to create the grass effect. 

For the turquoise grass I used a mixture of green and white candy melts. I think both colour grasses look effective, so use whatever you have on hand. (Remember to keep some white melts to make your bunnies and easter figurines to sit inside).

Once cooled and set (refrigerate for 10 mins) the cupcake papers will peel easily away and leave you with funky grass cups to fill. I used mini-speckled eggs that are available in supermarkets at this time of year, but you could use jellybeans or other small lollies, too.

I also used our easter bunny variety chocolate mould to create simple bunnies to pop into the cups. Their whiter-than-white look is achieved with these limited edition white candy melts

Firstly, I turned a wee bit of the melted white chocolate to fluorescent pink. I simply stirred in 2 drops of fluoro colour with 5 drops of flo-coat (this is magic stuff!) to 1/8 cup melted white chocolate. I painted the pink bows and details in first, then topped up the moulds with the white melted chocolate.

Once the moulds are filled, tap them gently on a bench to release any air bubbles, then scrape the back of the moulds to remove any excess chocolate. They will pop out of their moulds easily after a quick visit to the fridge to harden.

There you have it - HAPPY EASTER people!

Friday, April 4, 2014

Feijoa cake

Feijoas are plentiful at the moment. We've had some great feijoa recipes on the Kiwicakes blog in the past (use the search function at right to find). This recipe comes from our friends at Chelsea.

4 Feijoas
1 cup Chelsea white sugar
125g butter, melted and cooled slightly
1 large egg
1 1/2 cups flour
1 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp baking soda
1 cup sultanas
2 Tbsp sliced crystalised ginger

Heat oven to 180°C. Scoop feijoa flesh out in small chunks and mix with sugar in a bowl. In a separate bowl, blend the melted butter and beaten egg together. Add this to the feijoa mixture along with the dry ingredients,a adding the ginger and sultanas last.

Bake in a well greased tin for 50 minutes.

Thursday, April 3, 2014

No egg chocolate cake - Poppy Bakes

Recently Uncle David returned home from the US. Poppy wanted to make him a cake to celebrate. She obtained this recipe from her school friend Briar. She decorated the chocolate fondant paua herself using this method. The green and blue rock gems are from Wilton.

2 1/4 C flour
3/4 C cocoa
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
1 1/2 C warm milk
1 1/2 C sugar
3 Tbsp Vinegar
150g melted butter
1 tsp vanilla

Preheat oven to 175C.
Sift dry ingredients together in bowl. Combine milk, melted butter and vinegar together  and pour into dry ingredients, mixing well. Bake for 40 mins in a greased and lined 8''/200mm cake tin.

Cream Cheese icing
Mix 125g cream cheese with 100g butter (at room temp). Combine with 3 cups icing sugar, 1/2 cup cocoa, add a squeeze of lemon.

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Gears & robot cake - fun futuristic birthday cake

Todays fun post comes from my American friend Autumn Carpenter. Autumn designs and manufacturers a broad range of cake decorating supplies, which I'm proud to stock at Kiwicakes.

This fun cake would thrill and child (and possibly some big kids too). The gears and cogs concept would also be great for steampunk cakes 

Tools and Ingredients
8" and 10" square 2-layer cakes
12" white square cake drum or board
gold rolled fondant
gray rolled fondant
red rolled fondant
blue rolled fondant
copper rolled fondant
milk chocolate
gold lustre dust
silver lustre dust
copper lustre dust
Autumn Carpenter's Manly Texture Sheet Set
clay extruder
Autumn Carpenter's Mini Accent Cutter Set
flexible poly blade/knife
pastry brush
number cutter
grain alcohol or lemon oil

Roll gold fondant to desired thickness and lay on cake drum or board; use poly blade to trim. Using the poly blade, detail the board with lines and knots. Brush the fondant with gold lustre dust. Roll the gray fondant and roll the gears texture sheet over fondant. Cut pieces to cover sides and tops of cake. Stack cakes on board and brush with silver luster dust. Mould gears in chocolate candy mould then paint with lustre dust mixed with grain alcohol or lemon oil. Attach to cake using piping gel. Roll a thick piece of copper fondant and cut a number. Detail the number using the poly blade as you did the cake board. Once number is hard, attach to gear with piping gel. 
Robots: Use wooden skewers as the main supports in the legs. Use different cutters and shapes to make the main robot parts. Arms and legs are done by using the clay extruder and wrapping extruded fondant around 18 gauge wire. Paint pieces with lustre dust mixed with grain alcohol or lemon oil.

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Golf ball cake pops using chocolate modelling paste

A quick and easy solution for golf ball cake pops is to use modelling chocolate (because it's darn near impossible to dip a cake pop in white chocolate and then get the little indentations in it).

Take a small piece of white modelling chocolate and cover your cake pop, bringing the edges of the circle together under the ball at the base of the stick, you don't need to be too tidy, as the golf tee will cover the join. Then using the back end of a paint brush handle, press repeatedly to create indentations. Take a small sausage of coloured modelling chocolate and slide it up the stick to form the golf tee. Don't model the tee before sliding it on to the stick, as the shape gets distorted as you slide it up the stick. The tee can be formed between your fingers pinching and moulding it into shape. The modelling chocolate tee will stick to the ball easily without any adhesive.

You can find your modelling chocolate here  and cake pop sticks here 
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