Thursday, April 26, 2012

A Black and White Affair

 Little nephews and nieces are just the cutest and have the inate ability to make you smile on the inside. Plus, you can hand them back when they cry or need a nappy change. Perfect.

After a busy time recently changing jobs and doing some cake decorating, it is nice to take some time out to go on holiday to visit family. Travelling down to the south end of the country also involves a slight change of weather and I must admit I’m quite enjoying the cooler temperatures and rainy skies for a few days. This allows for the wearing of wintery outfits and warming up in front of the fire in the evenings.  Hmmm one sunny day wouldn’t go astray.

 Last weekend whilst still in the North, I created a black and white themed 50th birthday cake for an ex work colleage.  I baked a 3 layer devil’s food chocolate cake, then filled and frosted it with a chocolate buttercream. After letting it firm up overnight, I covered it with white fondant, black stripes, white lid and silver ribbon and bow. I decorated with a hand painted gift tag (paint is made by mixing black powder colour with clear alcohol such as vodka) and a white fondant rose made using the Jem easy rose cutters. Roses are so pretty and these cutters make them easy peasy. The final finishing touch was a few clusters of shimmering pearls and a string of pearls to "attach" the gift tag.

The book Planet Cake by Paris Cutler has step by step instructions for a present box cake (I did mine a little differently), and for making a big fondant bow. Planet Cake have also made this great video on making a bow.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Plum and Almond Cupcakes with Heavenly White Chocolate Cream Cheese Frosting

What does one do when faced with the dreaded phrase "I don't like chocolate"? Well, in short, you whip them up these amazing plum and almond cupcakes and hope like hell that they don't mind white chocolate in frosting!

I LOVE fruit in cupcakes.

Just had to have that sentence stand alone as it deserves it. Fruit (and vegies for that matter), give cakes a lovely moist texture and great flavour. Banana, carrot, pineapple, berries, pears and plums all make fantastic cakes. These cupcakes are simply divine as they are moist and tasty but not too sweet thanks to the cream cheese in the frosting. They make for pretty little morning or afternoon tea cakes, and dainty minis would be perfect for a do it yourself high tea. Try them, they are quick and easy to whip up and I have not had a single person not like them as yet.

Sunday, April 8, 2012

The Last of the Easter Bunny Cupcakes

Inspired by the fabulous Bella Cupcakes I created these little cakes today to celebrate Easter. The cupcakes were leftovers from a trial run of a marble mudcake recipe so some are marble and some are white chocolate mudcake. I wanted to try to recreate the cuteness of my inspiration with a white, pink and purple colour scheme.

I was also inspired the equally creative Bakerella to try her cute little chick cake pops. These did not go as well as I substituted white chocolate for candy melts as I didn't have any. The white chocolate did not colour very well, neither does it go on very smooth. It's still a little bit of cuteness to brighten up the day.

Friday, April 6, 2012

The Best Homemade Easter Hot Cross Buns

Just brought these little bites of joy out of the oven a couple of hours ago. The glaze was quickly brushed over the top, the buns pulled apart and a generous swipe of butter applied while the steam continued to escape. I hurriedly took a couple of snaps before sinking my teeth into what is an amazingly satisfying hot cross bun. Once that was devoured I made up another for myself, this time a chocolate variation. Both were delicious with a warm, soft centre and a slightly crunchy outer. My personal pick of the two however will have to go to my version of the traditional Easter hot cross bun.

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