Every once in awhile, I’m hoping to post up quick tips to help you guys around in the kitchen.

This post is the first of it’s kind in the Quick Tips segment.

On today’s quick tips segment, we have ………Cake decorating tips and our fabulous rice-shaping technique, guaranteed to make your rice look well, as pretty as a picture. Remember those Sunrice ads when we were little – the rice used to shape itself into all kinds of magical shapes? Well.. this is sorta like this… but not as cool. Sorry.

Ok starting off with cake-decorating tip of the day. This isn’t anything special or complicated. In fact, it only involves 1 decorating tool – strawberries.

I made this cake for my boyfriend’s mother’s birthday. I did *attempt* to try and make swirly patterns in the icing, but it wasn’t the right consistency, so it kinda fell out. You can kiiiinda see them in there. That’s a lesson for another day, folks.

Ok, so after you ice your cake, wash and halve strawberries. You can remove the leaf part at the top if you like, but I think the green and red go together very prettily and its easy enough to just pick off. Then place your strawberries, leaf side up on the cake in a pattern around the cake until you have reached the other side of the cake. If you have some spare strawberries, you can arrange them in the centre, as I have done. If not, it still looks equally impressive. Super-super easy. This goes just as well over a cheesecake or any other cake of your choosing – but I think it goes quite well with a chocolate cake. The best thing is how easy it is and it seriously makes the cake look way better than just plain (or my usual decoration of……sprinkles. lol.)

Next up is our rice shapin’. This one is in the shape of a heart. I was lucky enough to get these adorable heart-shaped Maxwell & Williams bowls for Christmas from my boyfriend’s grand-parents. I love them. They come in three different sizes and I use them all the time. They’re handy for dips and snacks when we have people over, but I also like to use them for this.

(Sorry this photo is a little dark. I took a couple with the flash but it overexposed and you couldn’t see the outline of the rice as well, boo.)

Anyway, getting back to the post…

Making this rice-heart shape is so incredibly easy. You don’t have to use a heart shaped bowl either. My mum uses small round Chinese bowls to shape the rice to a perfect round bowl-shape, like they do at some Chinese restaurants. Just pack the rice into the smaller bowl that you are using (you can use a the rice paddle or just a metal spoon) until it is quite compressed. Then place the bowl gently down on your plate and bam, pretty rice. It’s important to pack the rice into the bowl so you don’t get stray grains going everywhere. You could also make shapes with fried rice, which also looks quite good.

Hope these tips have helped! What kind of handy or special tips do you have in the kitchen? I’d love to hear about it in the comments 🙂