Sunday, June 28, 2009

A Beep Beep Birthday

It was my birthday last week. When I was younger, I used to look forward to my birthday and count down the days till it was my special day and I got to do anything I wanted (within reason!) and it always seem to take aaaaages to come around.

But now that I am older, each birthday seems to come around quicker and quicker. I have come to accept that I am 'growing older' and that I have to be mature and knowledgeable about certain things in life, but I still feel like I am so clueless about so many things! There are so many things I want to learn, do and accomplish, but I feel like I am running out of time. Someone needs to tell this time-person to slow down for a bit :P

In case you are wondering, I did make myself a cake :) This is the first time, previously the boyfriend has always baked me a cake. A couple of my friends could not believe I made my own cake... "you can't make your own cake!"

The boyfriend did bake it, I just sculpted it. So technically, I only made half of my birthday cake ;) The VW Beetle is on my 'list of things I would buy if I won the lottery', so since I have not won the lottery, I did the next best thing... I made a VW cake.

Beep Beep

We went to The Sugar Room at Pyrmont for dinner and brought the cake along... The food was delicious and the service was really good. Luckily, they cut the cake up for us and plated it... I don't think I could have brought myself to cut the cake (I've never had to cut one of my own cakes before!).

White chocolate mud cake with raspberry white chocolate ganache... Served with really yummy vanilla ice cream.

The boyfriend also got me the creation kit from Red Spoon Company and the Dessert FourPlay book by Johnny Iuzzini. I've been intrigued with molecular gastronomy since trying to find a way to make sweet sushi roe, so I'm glad i now can finally play with it for real. The book isn't here yet and I hear it's got some recipes that require ingredients from my creation kit so I can't wait :)

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Simple and Yummy Shortbread Sandwiches

Baking is such a stress reliever for me. I had a long day at work the other day and while some people would feel like eating take out and watching tv, I got home and really had the urge to create something. It's weird, the normal thing would be to relax, not get all my equipment out and start baking! :)

I really felt like eating some sort of pastry, but I didn't really feel like a tart... so I decided to make shortbread. It's such a super easy sweet treat to make, only 4 ingredients.

I decided to make them like cookies (but you don't have to) and filled the middle with white chocolate, strawberry and vanilla buttercream.
The shortbreads came out crispy, light and melted straight into my mouth. Yuuuum.

Simple Shortbread
(from makes approx 26 sandwiched shortbread

250g butter, at room temperature

100g caster sugar

300g plain flour, sifted
90g rice flour, sifted

How To:

Preheat oven to 150°C. Beat the butter and sugar together until pale and fluffy. Then add the sifted flours and fold until the mixture becomes crumbly.

Then use your hands to bring the dough together. Roll the dough out and cut out individual cookies. Bake them for approx 40 mins until the shortbread becomes light golden.

Strawberry, Vanilla White Chocolate Buttercream

150g soft butter

75g icing sugar

100g white chocolate

1/3 cup strawberry puree or sauce

1 tsp vanilla paste or essence

Some milk

How to:

Beat the butter and sugar until light and fluffy (the longer you beat, the fluffier the buttercream will be).
Melt the white chocolate, add the strawberry puree and vanilla paste.

Mix well and beat into the butter and sugar mixture. Add some milk slowly until you achieve a smooth consistency (you won't need much).
Spoon into a piping bag and pipe between the shortbread.

And that's it, very simple and you won't be disappointed. Now I'm off to have another one :)

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Turning an Idea into Sugar Reality

It's been busy for me recently... both at work and in the kitchen. I've been trying to find some sort of balance but also trying to get everything done. At the beginning of the week, I know most people think 'urgh it's only Tuesday' but for me, recently it's been 'oh crap! It's already Tuesday!!' But on the plus side, the weekends do come so much faster :)

I haven't had time to reply but I want to take this time to thank everyone for commenting on the blog, it's so nice to hear from all of you and your encouraging words really motivate me to keep exploring all my ideas and turning them into sugar reality :)

On the topic of sugar realitites, I got inspired to make a tree shaped cake when I saw lots of round shaped flower covered trees in one of the boyfriend's computer game. They were so cute I had to do something with the idea. So although I made it all out of foam, I think it would be so cool as cake, imagine cutting into this:

The enchanted tree with lots of fun things!

The little birdie on top...

My favourite little bunny.

He's stuck!

Sunday, June 7, 2009

My First Cupcake Workshop

This last week hasn't been a very good one for me. I got sick last Friday and have been recovering since :( urgh. I hate the feeling of fuzziness in my head and the weak feeling in my body. I'm still feeling a bit tired this last couple of days, but luckily we've got a long weekend this weekend for me to build my strength up.

Yesterday, I ran my very first cupcake decorating workshop with Brian, my very first student! Brian contacted me because he wanted to learn how to decorate cupcakes for his fiance Renee. How sweet is that? Every girl I tell this to always gushes about how sweet it is that he would go to so much effort to do this for his fiance!

It was such a great session! I like the feeling of showing someone how to do something and see them succeed so well :) Brian did his research well and came armed with some photos and ideas of what Renee would like. He knew he wanted the cupcakes to be decorated with pastel colours and lots of cute food and bunnies. So after working with him to come up with a general theme and design, we got to work!

For someone who has had no idea about rolled icing, he had very steady hands and handled it really well. He was a quick learner and also had a note pad to take down notes! I was impressed and flattered that something I said could be worthy of notes... hehehe. Here are some pictures from the workshop...

Working on the little models.

Rolling out the icing...

Putting on the final touches...

Love the cute little faces he drew on the cupcakes

My favourite one :)

TA-DA... the final cupcake set! Look how pretty they are!

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