Cake Smash – Rainbow Style!

I was so very very excited when the boyfriend’s sister asked me to make a cake for her little boy’s first birthday cake smash. So excited I HAD to go and buy 5 new colour pastes (Americolour – from Relish at Logan Hyperdome) immediately as I had been aching to make a rainbow layered cake for such a long time!

Quick product review here: usually I am a big Wilton fan, as their colour paste is really vibrant and the quantity needed to achieve the desired colour is minuscule. BUT – the little tubs they come in are impractical. Americolour however is still a paste but is in a small squeeze bottle. Colours turn out vibrant and I could not tell the difference from Wilton – and even better, its $3 cheaper per colour! The availability of the Wilton colour pastes is also a bit sporadic with options lacking at most stores in the Logan area. Relish at Logan Hyperdome is great for Americolour, 2Garnish at the Springwood Mega Centre (IKEA Shopping centre) was having a 30% off sale when I was there last and there were only the less desirable colours of Wilton left – but usually they are stocked up with great variety and they are a local business – so I like to support them.

Back to the baking. To get some height which looks great on camera in relation to a one year old, 3 butter cakes batches were made. Here are a couple of the coloured cake mixes – the colour shows up great!

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Even better when baked!

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6 separate layers baked – Purple, Blue, Green, Yellow, Orange and Red – and this is the rainbow cake un-iced.

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To layer the cake I used a simple buttercream icing and then iced the outside completely with the same white buttercream and piped bright blue flowers around the top edge. Stay tuned for the photos from the Cake Smash, with thanks to Elisha and Isaac – the Cake Smashers and of course One Moment One Time Photography in Springfield (http://www.onemomentonetimephotography.com.au).

Here is a sneak peek of an adorable photo from the Cake Smash! Definitely looking forward to more of these – they look amazing and are so cute to look back on!

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Baking hiatus – but loading up with new products to review!

3 weeks since my last blog – and I’m getting annoyed that my life is getting in the way of my baking addiction! And I know there are many many of you out there that are also juggling work life, social life and everyday stresses – so for me, a full time real estate personal assistant with some rather odd hours of Property Auctions and Community Sponsorship events, I have taken what little spare time I have had and done what I do best… shop for new baking and decorating products to review when life settles down!

In the coming blogs I will review the below products as well as the selections available in the local area, as I’ve had to do some running round for some products.

Wilton – number 1 cake tin (from Kitchenware Plus – Loganholme)

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Rainbow Dust – Edible glitter (from Relish – Loganholme Hyperdome)

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Americolour – colouring paste (from Relish – Loganholme Hyperdome)

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Fondant cutter and tall round cake tin (from 2 Garnish – Logan MegaCentre)

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Tupperware modular mates – in the lovely limited pink edition (from a lovely Tupperware lady I found on Gumtree)

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And with these new products I can’t wait to make a rainbow layered cake for a friends cake smash as well as a first birthday cake for my friends adorable little girl and decorate them like crazy!

But this weekend I am off to the lovely Sydney for some Marketing training at Ray White Corporate, which happens to be opposite a rather large Westfield shopping centre, so no doubt there will be more products to catch up and review next week – looking forward to testing out all these products and hopefully I can give some handy hints on what to buy if you have any baking/decorating coming up soon.

For some ideas, check out my Pinterest Cake board – if you aren’t already addicted, I hope you are prepared for many hours of your life lost to pinning!

http://pinterest.com/leiperette/cakes/

Homebrand Rocky Road – Eaten quicker than my morning meeting

At the shops while grabbing all my favourite goodies for our delicious childhood sweet stall rocky road, I realised this was going to cost me more than an arm and a leg with Allan’s raspberries, Pascall marshmallows, Arnott’s scotch fingers etc – this is the perfect opportunity to test out “Woolworths Homebrand” and see if anyone notices.

My favourite thing about rocky road is you can literally put in any lollies, chocolates or nuts and it will be fantastic because it’s coated with chocolatey goodness! Now I’m warning you, this isn’t a gourmet or fancy rocky road recipe, this is just the best thing I can remember about having sweet stalls at primary school – you cannot stop at one, two or three pieces… And you cannot take into your workplace and leave it on the shared table and expect there to be some left when you get out of your morning meeting (big mental note to self: eat some before your meeting or be very disappointed afterwards).

Here are my Homebrand ingredients – I never stray from my Cadbury chocolate however.

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I use the full bag of marshmallows, half of the raspberries, half of the shortbread, half of the crushed nuts and 2 blocks of Cadbury cooking chocolate (keep the other halves of the ingredients and make it again, but try the swirl marshmallows or something a bit different to see what you like). I also had a small bag of Turkish delight in the cupboard which I tossed in too! A little tedious chopping of all the ingredients and a lot of “Some for me… Some for the rocky road” eating, this is my bowl of chopped up ingredients – prior to adding the melted Cadbury chocolate.

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Melt the chocolate over boiling water, add to the bowl of chopped ingredients and quickly mix and put into a lined brownie pan before it starts to set. Refrigerate for an hour then slice into bite sized chunks.

This is, by far, one of the quickest to be eaten things I make – and oh so easy! Swap and change ingredients, add anything in your pantry – except keep the raspberries…they are always amazing!!! And I am happy to say that not one person noticed I used Homebrand ingredients, most were surprised and said they didn’t even taste the difference.

Homebrand Rocky Road

Next on my baking to-do list is a clean eating banana bread, I may have recently made a lifestyle change but baking is part of my lifestyle so this will no doubt be a one off – I really love my chocolate and sugar too much to give it up! And only today I received another few new piping nozzles in the post – so keep posted, I will be doing some Wilton product testing soon!

“Cupcake Corer” + leftover icing = unnecessary baking!

Happy Monday everyone!

After baking a checkerboard cake for my workplace’s 2nd anniversary last week – and going well and truly overboard with white chocolate buttercream icing, I HAD to bake some cupcakes to use the leftover icing (and by had to I really mean “yay I get to bake with some logical reason besides just wanting to!”).

And as any baking enthusiasts would agree – I have a few tools, tins etc that I am yet to try for the first time – so hello brand spanking new d.line cupcake corer!

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Using my reliable vanilla cupcake recipe and allowing them to cool, I followed the instructions for the cupcake corer – but had some difficulties as it didn’t take the middle section out smoothly on my first attempt. I therefore had to eat this one….

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My second attempt also didn’t go very well so instead of removing the middle section I thought to condense the middle section (by pushing down the spring handle) and let the condensed section soak up the strawberry jam and be even more delicious. A heaped teaspoon of Cottees strawberry jam was perfect to fill the core – next time I think Nutella would be AMAZING!

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Using the leftover white chocolate buttercream (I had green and purple) I used a large star piping tip and combined the colours half-half to get a bit of a different look to my normal single colour. And you can never go wrong sprinkling yummy treats on top – especially when you are taking these along for dessert where two kids are involved. Mini m&ms are cute, yummy and very easy to quickly sprinkle over the cupcakes after you pipe icing.  I will definitely be using the cupcake corer again as there are so many things that go well in cupcakes; lemon curd, cheesecake filling, jelly… I could go on!

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Now to think of what to make next….. I’m thinking a twist on our childhood favourite rocky road with Allan’s raspberries!

My first blog – “Home Made” Shortbread

Hello everyone!

I don’t know how this is possible, but this is my first ever blog! My friends and work colleagues are always saying why don’t you bake as a job – but it’s one of those things I do because I enjoy it and it makes me super happy (most of the time that is anyway!) to make all my loved ones around me that little bit fatter with all the sugary goodness which is baking.

Starting with my mum asking my two brothers and myself every birthday, “What cake do you want this year from the Women’s Weekly Birthday Cake book?” – my love of baking started early and only in recent years I have attended some cake decorating classes. I won’t back track and go through what I have made – starting fresh I’ll start with my fave biscuit recipe I used to test out a new cookie stamper I purchased from Wheel & Barrow for $8.95 at Westfield Carindale last weekend.

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I love this basic shortbread recipe (Pepper Plate link below) and I always add glazed cherries like my grandma does. Super simple and people always rave about them! One tip with this shortbread is keep a keen eye on them in the oven – I like them just as they begin to turn golden brown and for this stamp it took 10-11 minutes.

To use this cookie stamp, I rolled a small ball of dough in flour and lightly flattened just with my palm, then stamped and carefully loosened the edges until the dough came off the stamp.

"Home Made" Shortbread

Freshly baked, this recipe made 32. I am definitely in love with this cookie stamp and 3 people I know have already gone and purchased one too since seeing these goodies!

Pepper Plate – Basic Shortbread Recipe