Browsing Tag

cake decorating

Cake Decorating Adventures

Uncategorized October 17, 2011

Sorry I haven’t been around much lately guys! I’ve been trying super hard to exercise a lot and eat really well to shape up for the wedding at the moment and it’s seriously taken all of my concentration. I mostly go to work, drive an hour, get to the gym, exercise like crazy and go home and eat food, watch a couple episodes of The Office and then it’s bed time and the whole thing starts again, hehe.

So not much time for blogging I’m afraid! But that doesn’t mean I’ve taken an absence from food or food photography, so I thought I’d do another pic-post of some of the things I’ve been whipping up lately (although I mostly do not have the energy to do an entire post for each item!)

Thank you for watching. 🙂


Choc chip cookies (yes, you may notice some of these foods aren’t exactly in my ‘diet’ category… cough.) These were great straight out of the oven but I apparently messed up the amount of flour in them resulting in 1 hour later, rock hard cookies…. whoops. Back to the drawing board! Couldn’t resist posting this pic though, because they still look good here! hehe.



Vanilla cupcakes decorated with a cream cheese frosting swirl, fondant cut outs and sprinkles. Man I love how fun decorating is!



A chocolate mudcake frosted with milk chocolate ganache and decorated with white fondant heart cut outs and strawberries. I love how easy it is to put together pretty designs without very much effort at all.


Lemon cupcakes with a lemon zesty glaze – my first somewhat failed attempt at food styling, lol.






We had Dyan’s first birthday without us on September 19, so a couple of our friends got together. I made this white chocolate (her favourite) cake for it.

You can check out the rest of the cake pics here.

Hope everyone’s having a great week!

Loooove and hugs!
xoxo
Christine

10 Comments
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Yellow Ruffle Cake

Uncategorized June 7, 2011

A birthday cake made for a friend who requested a black forest yellow ruffle cake.

I used Pioneer Woman’s choc sheet cake (and promptly forgot to add baking powder, derr.. This resulted in a super dense cake that did not rise) and filled it with this chocolate mousse, by the way if you haven’t tried that mousse yet, DO it. It is ambrosially amazing. I am counting the days to make it again! Also soo easy. I also added some frozen cherries to the mousse. Piped the ruffles with swiss meringue buttercream. For a final touch, I grated some dark chocolate and tried to make a heart shape using a heart shaped cutout of baking paper as a rough guide.

xoxox
Christine

17 Comments
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Valentine’s Day Cookies

Uncategorized February 28, 2011

Hey everyone! Sorry I’ve been MIA for awhile. I’ve been soo busy with work, church, apple picking and of course baking. 🙂 I thought I’d take a bit of time to do some blogging 🙂

I couldn’t think of what to do for my bf for Valentine’s day… Since at the time, his V-day gift to me was a surprise, I had to come up with something romantic. I figured that since I love baking, and there are so many cute V-day themed bakeables, that I should bake something sweet. I also got the chance to use my cupcake shaped cookie cutter for the first time! I ended up baking him a bunch of basic sugar cookies decorated with royal icing 🙂

Sugar Cookies (adapted from a bunch of sources, you will see this one everywhere)
3 cups plain flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 cup caster sugar
1 cup butter, softened
1 egg
1 t vanilla extract

Cream together butter and sugar, add egg and vanilla. Add flour+baking powder cup by cup until you have a crumbly dough. Refrigerate for about half an hour (makes it easier to roll out). Roll out, cut into shapes and bake for about 15 minutes at 150-160 degrees Celsius or until a pale creamy light golden colour (don’t underbake!) Cool completely and decorate.

For the frosting for this, I simply used a mixture of royal icing powder and lemon juice, then used Wilton paste dyes to colour it.

I loved making these, sooo cute!

This cupcake shape crumbled a bit on the side when I took it off the baking sheet, so I took the opportunity to make it “interesting” haha.

I also made some pale pink hearts with sprinkles.

Then experimented with some bow ties and polka dots.


In fact, I made so many that I bundled them up and took them to the office!

You can buy (quite large) cupcake shaped cookie cutters from Alfresco Emporium (I bought mine from Cherrybrook) for $9.95 🙂

Enjoy! xoxo

Christine

6 Comments

My new favourite frosting..

Uncategorized February 11, 2011

This my new favourite frosting. If you haven’t tried the wonderful thing that is Swiss Meringue Buttercream, then please, please give this a try. It is sooo deliciously softly silky smooth with the most wonderful texture. Another thing about this lovely frosting is that it has only three ingredients (not counting colours and flavour of course.) You only need egg whites, granulated sugar (just regular ole sugar, no need for any of this fancy icing or caster sugar, nooo siree!) and of course, softened butter!

If you get, the time I highly recommend Dyann Bake’s youtube video tutorial, it really helped me out a lot.

Ingredients  for one batch of SMBC

This is enough frosting to ice and fill one cake, or to make a ruffle cake – (keep in mind that those cakes require a lot frosting than usual to do the piped ruffles).

4 egg whites
1 cup sugar
1 1/2 cup butter

Take butter out of the fridge and cut it up into cubes while it is still cold (easier to cut up) and leave it on a plate to get to room temperature. You will want to introduce the butter to the frosting in a gradual manner, but it also needs to be soft at room temperature so that it incorporates smoothly and will not give you any lumps of cold butter.

In a clean glass or metal bowl, place your room-temp egg whites and whisk briskly with a pinch of salt (if you want. I mean you don’t really have to. It’s just what Dyann Bakes says to do. I’m not sure if it really makes a discernable difference, but it makes not much difference to me, so I do it anyway.

Whisk in sugar until the egg whites and sugar are thoroughly combined. Place bowl over a pot of simmering water and whisk vigorously for about 5 minutes, or until the sugar has completely dissolved.

Take the bowl off the heat and whip with a hand or stand mixer for another 5-7 minutes or until you reach stiff peaks. At the end of the stiff peaks, the bowl should no longer be hot (so that it doesn’t melt the butter when you incorporate it.) Here’s a handy note – this is essentially Seven Minute Frosting which could be used to frost a cake straight away if that tickles your fancy. I however, prefer the addition of butter for the Swiss Meringue Buttercream.

Have your room temperature butter cut up into pieces on hand as you will need to gradually add it into the frosting slowly.

About every 10 seconds or so, drop in a lump of butter until all the butter has smoothly incorporated into the frosting.

Tint and colour your frosting. I used Wilton’s pink paste here and some vanilla extract goes simply divine in this! Note : For some reason (for me, i’m not sure if this applies to other makers-of-SMBC;) my frosting seemed to develop the colours later on in the day. E.g. I added quite a bit of paste into this frosting because it didn’t seem to affect the colour too much, but later when I came back, it had turned a deep reddish colour (instead of the pale pink I was aiming for). So if this is the same for you, add a tiny bit of colour but don’t freak out if it doesn’t go the colour you want it to – let it stand in the fridge for an hour or so and it should be the colour you’re after. I also tried using a batch of SMBC the day ater I had made it and it tinted just fine straight away… Weird much?

See, it’s a very pale pink? I had actually used an insane amount of colouring in this.

Later on, the frosting looked like this ; (this pic also gives a good idea of how beautifully this frosting pipes. Keeps its shape soooo well. Also crusts, which I like).

Weird, huh? At least I’ve figured out a happ(ier) medium now anyway. I have used this frosting so far with brownie cupcakes and also on my ruffle cake with perfect results.

Enjoy this gorgeous frosting! I will never look back to butter-milk-icing sugar as my go-to frosting!!

xoxo

Christine

10 Comments
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Beach Cake

Uncategorized February 6, 2011

This was a birthday cake for two twin boys from my church who were celebrating their first birthday. I had a bit of time to decide on what I could do for it and Mum suggested something beachy, so I set upon google to do some research. One of the cakes that I like the most was from this blog here. It looked pretty simple but effective, so I decided to go along with something similar. I still think that this original design was a lot better than mine, mine was a bit too ‘noisy’ and seemed a bit crowded, but hey, first attempt. We’re all friends here after all.. Right? Right?

Here’s what you will need for one beach cake.
One cooled sheet cake (I chose chocolate)
1 bag of Tiny Teddies
1 roll of lifesavers
some coloured fondant (you can do this yourself or buy pre-dyed)
paper umbrellas
brown sugar
candle/s

One batch of Swiss Meringue Buttercream (or an alternative amount of the buttercream of your choice. SMBC is my new fave.)
4 egg whites
1 cup of granulated sugar
1.5 cups of butter
a pinch of salt

Whisk egg whites briskly with a pinch of salt and then add in granulated sugar. Whisk to combine. Place bowl over simmering water and whisk continuously for about 4-5 minutes or until sugar has dissolved (which will ensure that the egg whites have pasteurised  ; in other words, salmonella free! hooray!) Whip egg whites with an electric mixer (or hand mixer as I used) for about 4-5 minutes or until stiff peaks have formed. By this time, your bowl should be cool to the touch. While the beaters are mixing, gradually add in cut up butter (room temperature) until your bowl becomes magically filled with creamy, dreamy swiss meringue buttercream. it is a beautiful, beautiful thing.

This cake was freakishly easier than I thought it would be and took about half an hour or less to assemble.

Ok so start out with your cooled, unadorned cake. When I started out with my cake decorating, I would often bake the cake on the day of the decorating. I’ve found its a lot easier to do it the day or the night before – less freaking out and the cake is nice and cool and won’t melt your frosting.

Start applying your buttercream icing. Since there was going to be quite a lot of frosting and other decorations on the cake, I didn’t bother to apply a crumb coat as I usually would and it turned out fine. Using a tablespoon, apply your frosting in globs and smooth them out with a spatula.

Smooth out the frosting on the cake.

Using your spatula, push the blue frosting towards the middle of the cake to create a ripply/wave-like effect.

Now is the fun part – adding all the extra details.
I added some fondant details – a starfish, a surfboard, some fish and a beach ball.

This was all a bit fiddly and was like playing with not-as-pliable play dough. For the beach ball, I made a small ball out of blue fondant and then made balls of fondant (same size) in blue and green, then cut out sections (about a sixth of the ball) then replaced each section with different colours by cutting sixth sections from the other colours. Then I added a small red top to each side of the finished beach ball with red fondant (using the tip of plain icing tip to cut out the small circle).

For the surfboard, I just used a knife to cut the fondant into the shape of a surfboard and used my fingers to try and shape it as much as possible. For the starfish, I used the smallest star shaped cookie cutter I had and used it to cut out a very thick piece of rolled fondant and then moulded it into the shape of a star fish. The fish .. well I won’t even bother to explain the fish as I think it was a rather poor effort – or at least one that could be improved greatly!


There were bears covering each other with sand.


Bears making a sand castle.

This was a very easy cake to make – made a lot easier having pre-made bears, lifesavers and paper umbrellas to help make it look authentic without any extra work for me. The sand also looked great and required no extra work either – hurray for brown sugar looking so much like sand.. I was tempted to add some blue piping gel to the waves to make it look a bit more authentic but I ran out of time (I swear I spend more time washing up than actually making the cake haha) but I think it looked fine. Would definitely make this again if I had the opportunity – give it a try! Looks pretty good and is a great beginner cake 🙂

xoxo

Christine

12 Comments
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Brownie cupcakes with Peppermint Frosting

Uncategorized January 31, 2011

It’s no secret that I love anything choc-peppermint. I’m a huge fan of mint slices and choc-mint ice-cream. These flavours are also very popular with my friends and my boyfriend, so I don’t need an excuse to whip up anything choc-minty 🙂 In the past I’ve made choc-mint hot chocolate (sooo divine!); a rich chocolate ganache ice-cream with peppermint and let’s not forget, the choc-mint cake.

I hate showing up to any social-type gathering’s at someone’s house empty-handed and it’s always an excuse to bake (I shouldn’t say this because now whenever I visit people’s houses, they will demand cookies. Haha.). However I’m often very sleepy/lazy to want to whip up something crazy complex and complicated.. Easy is the best way to go most of the time 🙂 I pondered over the right type of baked good to bring to a housewarming for a friend, but I was running low on butter and eggs. Fortunately I had a box mix of brownies languishing in the cupboard… Box mix to the rescue!

These cupcakes result in a rich, fudgy brownie cupcake and is topped with a swipe of silky peppermint Swiss Meringue Buttercream (SMBC) and topped with some sprinkles to add colour. No fancy piping, decorations, special tools or skills needed! Fortunately for me I had an extra cup of the SMBC frosting from another cake sitting in the fridge just waiting to be used, but you could just as easily substitute it with a simple American buttercream (creamed butter, powdered sugar + a little milk.)

Ok, so let’s get this party started.

Start out with your favourite brownie box mix. My fave is White Wings (I swear by them! They make the best brownie box mix and believe me when I say that I’ve tried sooo many of them. This isn’t like, product placement or anything, but I wouldn’t waste my time with the other brownie mixes. Mostly they don’t bake as nice and moist as the White Wings brand or they taste crumbly/weird/have a strange aftertaste. I always have great results with this brand and it’s only in one bowl and takes a couple of minutes to assemble which is perfect for me.


This cake mix calls for 2T water, 1/4 cup oil and 2 eggs. I used a splash of water, 1/4 cup of melted butter, 1 regular egg and four egg whites (not for any particular reason, but because I had run out of whole eggs and I had used the yolks from those four to make ice-cream a day before. I kinda threw them in there hoping it would work and it turned out fine …But I mean, don’t go out of your way to do the same thing, I’ve used two eggs previously and it makes no real difference – in fact the texture seems slightly more fudgy with two eggs – probably as a result of the extra yolk.)


Melting butter for the cake batter.


Arrange your cupcake papers in the cupcake tin.


Mix cake batter together.


Here’s a tip for you; pour your cake batter into a small jug – this makes it a bit easier and neater to pour the batter into the cupcake papers rather than pouring it all in a big mess straight from the bowl.


Fill cupcake papers with batter.


Bake cupcakes and remove onto tray and cool.


You can pop them in the fridge for about half an hour if you like to help speed the cooling process along. Before frosting, ensure that cakes are entirely cool so they won’t melt the SMBC.


Tint and flavour your Swiss Meringue Buttercream (I used two capfuls of peppermint essence and gradually added Wilton’s green paste colour until I got the colour I wanted).

If you have made yours overnight like mine and kept it in the fridge, it may have gone a bit hard (due to the high fat content). Leave it out at room temperature and beat until it is smooth enough to handle. You may have to add a tiny amount of cream or milk to help make it smooth out a little bit but I found that the addition of the peppermint essence was enough to make it rather smooth again, instead of hard and lumpy. While adding peppermint essence (I added two capfuls to about 3/4 to 1 cup of SMBC icing), taste it and add more/less to adjust the frosting to make sure it is perfect. I like mine to be quite minty, but I could have gone a bit more pepperminty than with 2 capfuls (I ran out of peppermint essence).


Plop about a teaspoon of peppermint frosting onto each cooled brownie cupcake.


Using a flat butterknife, smooth out the frosting.


Sprinkle on some 100s and 1000s.


If you have more frosting or slightly higher domed cupcakes, you can create more of an upwards dome on your cupcake by smoothing the frosting upwards, like this.


nomnomnomnom.



Enjoy these cupcakes!!

Xoxox
Christine

2 Comments