31 May 2011

Party Idea: Marshmallows dipped in chocolate!

So my babies turned 2 and 4 over the weekend and we had a BBQ in the park to celebrate their first birthdays in Australia!
Between markets and supply teaching I totally ran out of time to make a lot of food.... I even bought ready made sausage rolls (gasp!) but I did manage to get these cute little marshmallows done and they ended up being the party hit! The kids and adults loved them! And best of all, the don't break your budget!

They look soooo cute as a table centrepiece and you can do any colour to match any theme! Ralie had a Dora Dora theme, so everything was pink and purple!

You need:
1 pack of Cole's budget brand marshmallows (they are nice and big)
1 block of white cooking chocolate (Supermarket brands are good quality)
oil based food colouring, usually comes in a powder form (abut $3.00 from Spotlight or online cake decorating stores)
sprinkles (Woolies has boxes for $2.00 each, the same boxes are $5 each in Spotlight)
kebab sticks ($3.00 from supermarket)
something to poke kebab sticks in: foam pieces, glasses filled with flour

1. Melt chocolate over double boiler and add colour to chocolate, then put into flat bowl or plate with high edges so it doesn't run out
2. Poke marshmallows onto skewers
3. Roll though the melted chocolate and then shake the sprinkles over the marshmallow, turning the skewer around so the marshmallow is covered evenly.
4. Stand upright in foam or glasses to dry overnight.
5. As you can see, I stuck mine in a piece of foam and then in a cookie tin, but they were a nightmare and kept falling over in the car and blowing over in the wind. Lucky they are pretty hardy. I would actually put them in a glass or vase, so they present like edible flowers.

Don't forget you can make these for boys! Woolies and Coles stock big containers of blue and green dinosaur sprinkles for about $5 which is fab-u-lous value, and they look great on orange, blue and green shades!
Have fun!

16 May 2011

{Tutorial} How to make grass on cupcakes

The 'grass' is one of the cutest icing effects and can be used for any theme... from enchanted gardens and teddy bear picnics to under the sea!

Here is the low down on the 'grass' nozzles... and how to use them.

Nozzles that give you the grass effect are called multi opening nozzles. There are a few different sizes by various brand names such as Wilton and Ateco. I have the Ateco 234 and Wilton 233. Ateco will give you a bigger grass than the Wilton. But using the Wilton nozzle to pipe lots of grass can give you a very sore wrist!

To get a really good grass effect from either of these nozzles you have to have really really smooth icing. Use icing mixture, which is a blend of icing sugar and corn flour.  The corn flour stops the icing sugar sticking together, so you always get super smooth icing. 

If you need gluten free products, using pure icing sugar but sift it really well, at least once.

Both icing sugar and icing mixture can be used in our perfect buttercream recipe!

Bake your cupcakes just below the cupcake case. The pink case looks bigger than it actually is... it is only about 3mm from the top of the case to the cake. The case holds the grass in and stops it falling off the cupcake. 

Start on the outside and work your way around. Hold the nozzle just about the cake and squeeze, as you feel it hit the cake, gently lift the icing bag up as you keep squeezing, then stop squeezing and pull off. The grass should stand upright. you can see the first grass, it's shorter. I stopped squeezing too early.

 Here are the two cupcakes I did, both with different nozzles. You get totally different effects. The big Ateco gives you really lush thick grass, like a lawn that needs to be mowed...perfect for a teddy bears picnic!  The Wilton gives you smaller neater grass perfect for an enchanted garden. I used the Wilton 234 for the original enchanted garden cupcakes. Hope this is helpful! Happy decorating!

{Custom Order} Little red birds & whimsical bird house!

{custom order}little red birds and whimsical bird house. Naomi made the cake and put my toppers on top for her daughters 4th birthday. I love the mini bunting and the pink, red and white colour scheme.

15 May 2011

{Tutorial} I heart ruffle cakes

I have become slightly obsessed with ruffle cakes lately. I think they are one of the most beautiful cakes. They look really difficult to make but they are sooo easy and if you are on a budget, you can make your own for under $20!!

The only equipment you need is a petal nozzle. I used the Ateco 104 petal nozzle . The petal nozzle comes in different sizes but all have one thick end and one think end.

Here are directions with hints and tips so you can do it too and not stuff it up!

1. Make your favourite cake as usual. I trim the top off as I like the flat top and squarish edges. If your cake is really soft and at risk of falling apart, put it in the freezer for about 20 mins before you cut the top off.

2. Make a good consistency butter cream, you can find our recipe here...

3. To colour the butter cream I used a little sugar flair gel 'chestnut' to give that vintage brown undertone, and then a little 'ruby' to turn it into that vintage pink. Liquid food colouring is fine but will alter the texture of the buttercream and only give you a pale colour. If you are after a really bright colour you need to use a gel food colouring. You can get these at online cake decorating stores: www.bakingpleasures.com.au have the best range, prices and fastest delivery I have found in Australia so far.

4. Give your cake a 'crumb' layer. This is the first and light layer that grabs all the cake crumbs and prevents them mixing into the next layer, so you get a nice clean finish.

5. Starting at the bottom, with the thin end of the nozzle to the outside, zig zag up the cake. Its up to you how wide or narrow you zig zag, I made mine about 2cm wide.

At the red arrow, you can see what happens if you keep squeezing and don't move the bag... it all bunches up... this is my lack of co-ordination, moving the bag and taking photos!! LOL. So to get nice smooth ruffles you have to squeeze and move the bag back and forth. 

6. Once you have gone around the whole cake, you do the top. I finished with two rounds of ruffles on the top, starting on the outside to cover the tops of the ruffle columns on the side, just zig zag back and forth as you go around in a circle. I put pink pearls in the middle to add some colour.

7. You can leave it plain, or add other toppers to your cake. I put mini cake bunting on top. Make your own or you can buy some from our Etsy shop or other Etsy shops. There are heaps of cool designs on Etsy.

7 May 2011

{Recipe} Vanilla cupcakes! Australia!

So if you have been following my blog or my twitter and facebook, you will know we moved to Australia from the UK! I was devastated when I suddenly found my trusty cupcake recipe didn't work here! The Australian butter seems fattier, the flour heavier and the eggs have a strong eggy smell. So with some adjusting and baking practise, we have an Australian version of our Perfect Cupcake Recipe!

100 grams of good quality butter at room temp (I like Dairy Soft in the white container, 80grams of the yellow container)
100 grams of Castor sugar (approx 5 tbs)
1 egg
50mls of milk
150 grams of white wings SR flour (approx 7 tbs if you don't have scales like most Aussies)
1 tsp baking powder
1 tbs quality vanilla essence or paste

1. Beat the butter and sugar together until it becomes slightly lighter in colour
2. Add the egg, milk and vanilla
3. Sift in the flour and baking powder and beat with electric mixer until it becomes lighter in colour as well, about 2-3 mins.
4. Put into cupcake cases. This recipe will make 12 cupcakes using the smaller sized shallow cases that look more like patty cake cases. Or it will make 10 cupcakes in the bigger american-type cupcake cases.    A table spoon of mix in each one will produce cupcakes just below the rim (as pictured above), so you can seal in with icing to keep the cake fresh (as pictured below.
5. Bake in the oven for 10-12 mins at 180 degrees Celsius.

Viola! Pretty delicious cupcakes!

2 May 2011

Mother's Day Cupcakes with Belle Bazaar

It's Mother's Day this weekend (in Australia), so we have put together a special set of 6 vintage rose cupcakes, gift wrapped for the VIP night at the Belle Bazaar Boutique on Thursday night, 5 May 2011.

So if you are around Brisbane, why not pop into the Belle Bazaar Boutique on Lumley Street in Mt Gravatt and treat yourself to all their goodies they have in store! A box of cupcakes is $20.00

 If you are on the Gold Coast, you can order these online at www.jamosiesweet.com . Order by 5.00pm Thursday May 6, and get your cupcakes delivered to you FREE on Saturday May 6! Gold Coast City suburbs only).
A special 'Happy Mother's Day' to my mum whom I love dearly and am very thankful to have her around. 
I love you Ma. xo

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