Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Harry's 4th Birthday Ben 10 Cake.

Another day, another challenging birthday cake! I got a call from Harry's mum last week to ask me if I could make a Ben 10 cake for his 4th birthday party. This was exciting for me as I haven't made a Ben 10 cake before so it provided a good challenge for me. Off to Flickr I went for some inspiration and found many wonderful creations that I passed onto Harry and his mum so they could select a cake. They came back to me with Harry's choice and his mum laughed that he had picked the "biggest cake he could". (I need to say a big thankyou to Andrea for allowing me to use her cake as inspiration)

My modelling skills got a good workout, as I needed to create a Ben 10 character out of modelling paste. The figurine turned out ok, didn't really look like Ben 10, but it is always good to put your own artist spin on your cakes!

 My interpretation of Ben 10!

The cakes were all dark chocolate mudcakes with dark chocolate ganache filling and then covered in fondant. The sign, no.4, omnitrix' were all modelling paste. I am very happy with the finished cake.

I delivered the cake a little while ago and Harry was over the moon with it. It is always such a great feeling when the recipient of the cake is excited when they see it for the first time.

Happy Birthday Harry, enjoy your 4th birthday :)

Mrs KT :)

Monday, June 28, 2010

Indi's Bunny Birthday Party!

Being a part of the blogging world introduces one to many wonderful people. One of these people is Leanne from Mrs A in the Cove. Her gorgeous little girl Indi turned one over the weekend and Leanne put together this sweet bunny themed party for her. Please head over and check it out. The pink and chocolate colour theme is fantastic.

{Image via Mrs A in the Cove}

Happy Birthday Indi :)

Check back in tomorrow to see the Ben 10 cake I am creating for Harry!

Mrs KT :)

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Mickey and Minnie Mouse Sugar Cookies

I have had a really busy time the last few weeks so haven't had much time to do any baking, so it felt like I was having withdrawal symptoms. Luckily I had a little spare time today, so instead of tackling the mountain of ironing, I baked some cookies!

I purchased some new cookie cutters this week off ebay. I had seen some fabulous cookies on Flickr that were used as cupcake toppers, so headed off in search of the cutters and was able to find them. (Thankyou to The LoneBaker for sharing her creation) The cutters are Mickey and Minnie Mouse and Winnie the Pooh and Piglet.

They are a two piece cutter and stamp set. 

I used my favourite vanilla sugar cookie recipe, which I originally got from Cake Journal.  The dough produces a lovely, shortbread texture. The cookies are lovely with or without icing.

Vanilla Sugar Cookies

Ingredients (Makes about 25 - 30 medium sized cookies)

100g castor sugar
100g icing sugar
450g plain flour
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
200g unsalted butter, at room temperature

Method (Preheat oven to 170C)

1. Mix sugars, vanilla and eggs in a mixer with a paddle attachment. Add the flour and butter and mix until the dough comes together. Be careful not to over mix the dough.

2. Roll portions of dough between 2 sheets of baking paper and refrigerate for about 1/2 hour. Or it can be frozen in an airtight container.

3. When the dough is firm cut out using cookie cutters and place on baking trays.

4. Bake for about 15 - 20 minutes or until golden brown. Place onto a cooling rack immediately as the cookies will continue to cook once out of the oven if left on trays.

I used fondant icing for these cookies, so have this cut out and ready to place onto warm cookies.

They turned out quite cute and could be done in any colour. The taste testers are too busy building with their lego to try them, but I am sure they will go down a treat!

 Mrs KT :)

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Jeremiah Turns One!

You must head over to Tracey Lau's Blog and check out this gorgeous party she held for her little boy, Jeremiah, who turned one. The details are fabulous. Tracey is a very talented photographer, party stylist and mum.

P.S. My life is crazy busy at the moment, so I have been neglecting all the fabulous blogs, but hopefully will get back to them all by the weekend.

Mrs KT :)

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Homemade Vanilla Extract

Since becoming so interested in baking and cake decorating I have met many wonderful people, mainly through the internet. Many of these people I have not met IRL, but one that I have is Gail (Claytons Blog). We met about 2 years ago on the Taste forum through a discussion about the Wilton Giant Cupcake pan, and our friendship went from there. 

Gail has introduced me to many things baking and cooking related, one of which is fresh vanilla pods. This may sound strange, but I had only ever used vanilla extract purchased from the supermarket and only ever seen those shrivelled up stick looking things on the supermarket shelf that are labeled vanilla pods. Not very appealing and very expensive! Anyway, Gail purchases bulk vanilla beans and sent me some a while back. Wow, they are such a wonderful thing, the smell is divine. I first used them to flavour custard and glace icing. 

Another topic on the Taste forum was homemade vanilla extract. Such an easy thing to do and so much better than anything you purchase at the supermarket.

All you need is a bottle of vodka and fresh vanilla pods.I used a 750ml bottle of vodka (brand doesn't matter) and about 8 - 10 pods. Split the pods and drop into the vodka. 

(This is my first bottle at about 1 1/2 months old.)

Place it in a dark place, the top shelf of the pantry is a good place, and leave for at least 3 months to mature. The bottle needs a shake every now and then. It turns a lovely dark brown colour and the smell is amazing. I use it all the time in my baking now and would never go back to store bought vanilla again. I have a couple of bottles on the go now and the bottles can be topped up several times.

I have bottled it up in smaller bottles and given it as gifts as well.

 If you can get hold of some juicy, plump vanilla beans give this a go, it is definately worth it!

Mrs KT :) 

Sunday, June 13, 2010

50th Birthday Cupcakes and Cookies

What better way to spend a Sunday morning than baking cupcakes.This is what I did today. I had cupcakes to make for a 50th birthday celebration. Other than the flavour, which was vanilla and chocolate sponge, I was given free reign with these cupcakes. I decided to display them on the black wire stand, so decided the colour scheme should be mauve, black, white and a hint of silver.

I was really pleased with the end result and received a great reaction when I delivered them.

I also made co-ordinating cookies as an extra touch.

Happy birthday Julia, hope you had a wonderful day with your family and friends :)

Mrs KT :)

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Spiderman Cake for Lachlan.

This is the second year I have made a birthday cake for Lachlan A and he likes to provide me with a challenge!! Last year he was turning 5 and decided he wanted an R2D2 cake. So off to Flickr for some inspiration and managed to create a great cake.

 This year Lachlan and his family moved about 3 hours from where I live, and luckily his grandparents are going to visit him to celebrate his birthday and I was asked to make his cake again. This time he decided he would like a Spiderman cake! 

Of course I knew this would mean piping a spider web of some description. Piping is something I am not that confident doing so there was added pressure that it would be black and straight onto fondant. For anyone who has done this before, you would know that you only get one chance with black royal icing on fondant!

Lachlan chose a cake from Flickr (thankyou to BradysCakes for allowing me to use one of their cakes as inspiration) and I set about baking a dark chocolate mud cake, covering it in ganache and then fondant. The Spiderman face was made out of modelling paste and the web is royal icing.

I am very happy with the final result and hopefully Lachlan will be too. Fingers crossed that it travels the 3 hour drive safely.

Happy Birthday Lachlan and thankyou for providing me with another challenge!!

MrsKT :)

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Emily's 8th Birthday Sleepover Party - THE PARTY!

The party day has finally arrived. I was up early this morning finishing off the cupcakes and baking gingerbread cookies to complete the candy / dessert table for my niece Emily's 8th Birthday Party. I had emailed the birthday girl some pictures of the cake and cookies, and she was most excited!

With the car all packed, I headed off to my sister's to set it all up. I was very pleased with the final result and hopefully the girls will enjoy the candy/dessert table as much as I enjoyed putting it all together.

 The cake took centre stage on the table and set the colour tone for the rest of the table. There were mini marshmallow, musk sticks, sherbet sticks, sherbet lollipop's, fruity mentos, fruit tingles and musk lifesavers for the candy. The desserts, all made by me, were vanilla and chocolate cupcakes, vanilla sugar cookies, gingerbread butterfly cookies and the birthday cake was chocolate cake. Party cups and plates by Sambellina.

The cake was a bed filled with little girls, all personalised with hair colour and style, to represent the sleepover. It was chocolate cake with butter cream and fondant icing. The decorations on the cake were made from modelling paste.

The cupcakes were my favourite recipe which is chocolate and vanilla sponge cake with butter cream swirls and fondant disc's. Pictured here with the vanilla sugar cookies.

I made gingerbread for the first time today using my friend's recipe from over at the Clayton's Blog.

 It is an easy recipe to make and tasted delicious.

The finishing touch was the cookies to go in the party bags. These were personalised for each guest.

It was a pleasure to create this for my niece, Happy Birthday Emily Rose xx

Friday, June 4, 2010

Sneak Peek : Emily's 8th Birthday Sleepover Party - Part 3.

The party is one day away and I have almost finished all the baking that I am doing for my niece. This morning I completed the cookies for the candy/dessert table and also the cookie bags for the girls to take home with them. Keeping with the Sleepover Theme, I searched Flickr and found some fabulous ideas which inspired these.

They are little girls in sleeping bags on a vanilla sugar cookie. Each is personalised with their name and hair colour/style.

The cookies for the candy/dessert table are also vanilla sugar cookies with fondant icing. As you can see I have been getting a lot of use out of my new Message in a Cookie set!

The cake and cupcakes are waiting to be decorated. Please stop by tomorrow to see the completed party setup.

MrsKT :)

Thursday, June 3, 2010

My Cake Story Continues - Cupcakes!

The popularity of cupcakes a couple of years ago increased my passion for all things cake. Again my first few efforts were very much "amateur hour", but I am happy to say they have improved!!

Here are some of the early ones, complete with store bought flowers!

Since then I have improved my "swirl" and learnt how to make many different types of decorations for cupcakes.

Cupcakes are popular with children and adults alike. Pop back next week to see the 50th Birthday cupcakes I am creating.

MrsKT :)

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Sneak Peek : Emily's 8th Birthday Sleepover Party - Part 2.

The party planning continues, today I worked on some details for the birthday cake.

It is all coming together nicely. Next on the list is the cookie bag tags and the labels for the candy/dessert table.