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Posts Tagged ‘Fun

Another great workshop by Planet Cake. This time it was Novelty 102 where we made an island complete with a cute little pirate and treasure chest. I’m not sure if this was easier than Novelty 101, or if it was because my skills are improving but it certainly was still a lot of fun and i got to have a go at airbrushing which was surprisingly easy.

The island was made out of chocolate mud and the rest out of fondant (except the gold coins, they were bought and contained chocolate in them). For me, i think the hardest part was sculpting the island but i got there eventually!

Island with Pirate Cake

Island with Pirate Cake

Close up

Close up

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A couple of Saturdays ago i tottled off to my first ever cake decorating course at Planet Cake. Their cakes are one of the best in the business so i figured if i want to make cakes as outstanding as theirs, i’d better learn from the best. Their courses aren’t cheap (i’ll be the first to admit that) but they are very, very worthwhile.

Initially, i wanted to enrol into their Basics series (meaning classic shapes and designs) however i was a little too slow and the course dates i wanted had booked out. After speaking to Paris, the owner of Planet Cakes, she advised that i could enrol into the Novelty series and then pick up Basics later on. This suited me fine, it meant that i would learn different shapes and probably walk away with more skills as i was constructing harder shapes.

The first course for the novelty series was the circus tent and clown cake. When i first saw the cake i thought there was no way we were going to be finishing this cake in a day! It looked so complex and detailed, but of course, we did and looking back now i still can’t believe i actually made the cake.

We started off with a square block of cake (marble mud – yum) and had to sculpt it to a circle shape. With the extra pieces, we used that to build the pointy top. We also used chocolate ganache to stick all the bits and pieces together. It was cool, like having edible glue 🙂

 

Cake shaped like a tent

Cake shaped like a tent

The next step was to ganache the whole cake and make it as smooth as possible. Each and every lump should be removed otherwise you’ll have uneven fondant when you finally put it on.

 

Ganached till silky and smooth

Ganached till silky and smooth

After ganaching, you’ll need to let it set. We used this time to head off to lunch. After the ganache has set, it’s time to apply the fondant. Before applying the fondant, we brushed the whole cake with a syrup. This acted as a glue so the fondant would stick to the cake.

 

Decorating with fondant

Decorating with fondant

Then it was just a matter of adding decorating the tent and making the clown. It was amazing to see how with the right tools all the wonderful things you could do (and so easily).

 

Finished cake!

Finished cake!

I’m excited to say i’m booked into Novelty 102 where i’ll be making a mermaid cake. I’ll be sure to post photos once i’m done! 🙂

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Last Saturday, my friend Genevieve and I woke up nice and early to attend a cupcake charity drive held by Planet Cake. The aim of the day was to decorate 3500 cupcakes to be delivered to Sydney’s homeless on Christmas Eve. We know cupcakes aren’t life changing, but who wouldn’t appreciate a yummy cupcake? I know i’ll never say no to one!

Not only were we there for a great cause, we also had lots of fun and learned a few tips and tricks as well. We made a pretty funky looking cupcakes and so cute ones too. So much so that i can’t bear to eat them!

Here are the cupcakes we had to make. Since we were the morning shift, our aim was 1000 cupcakes in 2 hours.

A photo guide of the cupcakes

A photo guide of the cupcakes

Joseph was our team leader who guided us through the steps.

Joseph showing us how to apply buttercream

Joseph showing us how to apply buttercream

The un-iced cupcakes. Imagine how much batter and hours of baking to make 3500 cupcakes!

30 cupcakes per box

30 cupcakes per box

Christmas pudding cupcakes. Decorated with chocolate and white fondant.

Christmas pudding

Christmas pudding

Elf cupcakes – one of my favourites! They look so life like with the hat and ears.

Oh so cute Elf cupcakes

Oh so cute Elf cupcakes

Another favourite of mine is the Santa. Decorated with fondant and royal icing.

Ho Ho Ho - Santa cupcakes

Ho Ho Ho - Santa cupcakes

These poinsettia cupcakes were gorgeous. I don’t think the photo does it justice but it really was beautiful with the green and red and gold cachous.

Poinsettia cupcakes

Poinsettia cupcakes

And last but not least, snowman cupcakes. Decorated with blue and white fondant and orange fondant for it’s nose. The face and body parts were painted on with black edible paint. Too cute.

Snowman cupcakes

Snowman cupcakes

See what i mean by them being too cute to eat?

I know, i know. I’ve already got what i wanted. But believe it or not, there are other things on my Christmas wish list and funnily enough they’re all kitchen related! What is wrong with me? I’m usually lusting after an Alannah Hill dress or Prada heels. Not dining sets!

Anyway, whilst in Myer the other day, i spotted Gordon Ramsay’s new dining and cookware in collaboration with Royal Doulton. My heart skipped a beat, it was so gorgeous it was ridiculous. And so was the price hence why it’ll probably always remain on my ‘wish’ list.

Gordon Ramsay's dining ware in collaboration with Royal Doulton

Gordon Ramsay's dining ware in collaboration with Royal Doulton

 There are so many wonderful trifle recipes out there that i would love to make but i can’t. Why? Because i don’t have a trifle bowl. Making it in anything other than one would be sacrilegious!

Trifle Bowl

Trifle Bowl

Another thing on my wish list is a good, proper zester (is that even a word?). I know they’re readily available at good shops, but i can never seem to find one that will zest my lemons the way i like it (1st layer only, no pith please!).

Zester

Zester

And last but certainly not least, i would really love a food processor. Not just any food processor either, it has to be the KitchenAid 😉 Perhaps i’ll save this one for my birthday in a few months 🙂

KitchenAid Food Processor

KitchenAid Food Processor

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When hubby asked what i wanted to for Christmas, i knew the answer straight away. I mean, how can i be considered a proper baker if i didn’t own a KitchenAid? 😛 

He was also very good and let me have it early. We’re having a BBQ this weekend and i plan to bake my heart out so it was only fair i got to have it now. I used it last night and made lemon meringue cupcakes and boy oh boy is it good. It whipped up my meringue in a matter of minutes and just made the whole job so much easier.

Isn’t it pretty? I can’t stop looking at it!

The Box

The Box

A Guide to Expert Results book

A Guide to Expert Results book

The KitchenAid comes with a DVD

The KitchenAid comes with a DVD

A flat beater and dough (also comes with a pouring shield & wire whip)

A flat beater and dough (also comes with a pouring shield & wire whip)

Close up

Close up

My almond cream KitchenAid

My almond cream KitchenAid

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To say i had fun at this class is an understatement. In fact, when it was over, i really didn’t want to leave! Our class today was a small one of 3. It was supposed to be 5 but 2 failed to show up. Oh well, more attention for us 🙂

Walking into the store i felt like a kid in a candy store. So many cool decorations and gadgets adorned the walls and each and every single one i wanted! As the class was due to start soon i made a mental note to myself of what i wanted and made sure i gave myself enough time at the end of the session to have a look around.

Todays lesson was all about decorating wedding themed cookies. The teacher had baked the cookies earlier that week but she did give us the recipe.

Basic sugar cookies

  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 cup self raising flour
  • 125 grams butter
  • 1/2 cup caster sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 dash of vanilla essence

For coffee flavoured biscuits add 1 teaspoon instant coffee to butter and sugar.
For chocolate flavoured biscuits add 1 1/2 tablespoons of cocoa powder with the flour.

Method

  1. Pre-heat oven to 160C
  2. Cream butter and sugar and add egg and mix well
  3. Add sifted flours and mix into a firm dough
  4. Knead on a floured surface until smooth
  5. Roll out and cut into shapes and place on tray
  6. Bake for 10-15 minutes or until golden

For the wedding cake cookie (my favourite of them all), you’ll need 3 different sized round cutters and 2 cookies of each size. For the fondant, you’ll need a ribbed cutter about the same size as the cookie and 2 of each of those as well. It’s best to get them the same size as it looks better. As you can from my cookie below, when it’s cut to the same size it doesn’t look as nice.

Colour the fondant to your choice of colour. Today, i decided to make a pink cake and a yellow and white one. To apply the cut out fondant, apply a little bit of water with a brush to the cookie and place fondant on immediately. If there are any lumps, smooth out the the palm of your hand. Be careful when doing this though as the cookie can break!

To attach the cookie to each other, apply a small dab of royal icing. This holds the whole cake together.

Repeat the same process till all the biscuts are on.

Wedding cake cookie without flower

Wedding cake cookie without flower

To finish off the cookie cake, apply a fondant flower to the top again attaching it with the royal icing. To make it extra special, add a silver cachous ball in the middle using edible glue. You can buy the flowers or if you have a flower mould you can easily make it yourself (i can say easily now cos i know how to do it!)

Finished Wedding Cookie Cake

Finished Wedding Cookie Cake

The other cookies were relatively easy compared to the cake. The hand cookie was a little fiddly but it turned out better than i thought. First of all i think the hand looks creepy anyway but seeing how much work goes into to it i’m going to love it no matter what!

For the fondant, we used ivory colouring to give it the skin tone look. Then we used edible paint to paint on the ring and more fondant for the diamond and pearl braclet. We then used royal icing for the nails. To give the diamond and pearls the lovely shimmer, we applied edible shimmer with a brush (it’s amazing how many edible things you can get these days).

Hand cookie decorated with diamond ring and pearl bracelet

Hand cookie decorated with diamond ring and pearl bracelet

Onto the next cookie – the diamond ring. Grey was used to colour the fondant for this cookie. For the diamond part we used white fondant. We then piped the outline with white royal icing. As you can probably see from my photo, my piping skills needs major improvement! It was hard to keep within the lines and to keep it steady but the teacher assured us that we will get better with practice.

To finish off, we brushed shimmer all over it to make it look nice and sparkly. Just like a diamond should be.

Wedding ring

Wedding ring

Last but not least, the wedding dress! All we did with this was used white fondant and white royal icing for the piping. The design you wanted to give your dress was completely up to you. Seeing as i have no creative bone in my body, i went for the simplest design i could muster. I did think it would be nice to re-create my wedding dress but there was no way i was going to attempt piping lace!

Wedding dress

Wedding dress

After our session we headed into the store for some Mastercard damage. I managed to pick up:

  • 1kg white fondant
  • rolling pin
  • rolling matt
  • lemon yellow, chocolate brown and sky blue colouring
  • xmas cupcake wrappers
  • flower mould
  • heart, star and flower cookie moulds
  • pink sprinkle decorations

Total $65.00

Not too bad considering i can use these forever. Overall, i really enjoyed my class and can’t wait for the next one (yes i have already booked myself into another one – the Christmas cupcake bouquet class). It’s scheduled for the 20th December so if i think it’s half decent, i may give it to someone as a xmas pressie (poor them 😛 )

Cake Decorating Central
www.cakedecoratingcentral.com.au
23/9 Hoyle Avenue
Castle Hill NSW 2154
Ph: 02 9899 3065

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I am so excited – i have just booked myself into a wedding cookie class! The original class i wanted to take at Planet Cake was fully booked so i have been searching high and low for another one. As it’s fast approaching Christmas all classes were full so i was just about to give up when i came across this one. It’s not really cake decorating (which is what i wanted to try) but it’s close enough (hey you can still eat it). But best of all, it’s wedding themed so i am SOLD!

Class starts next Saturday (1st November) through Cake Decorating Central and goes for 3 hours. It sounds like it will be a lot of fun so i promise a full report and lots of photos.

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