Sunday, February 27, 2011

Extreme Cake Decorating

Every cake decorator knows the challenges of working under extreme pressure.  Working long into the wee hours of the morning, expanding air bubbles, difficult clients and of course, the weather.

This weekend we had the most marvelous group of ladies, one who even made the trip up from Busselton for our Buzzy Bees workshop.  At the end of 6 hours hard work, everyone went home with an impressive cake.  What was more impressive though, is producing these cakes in extreme weather conditions.  Perth's world record of 22 hot days.... with the weekend being 38°C.  If you can produce a chocolate cake in this weather, you can pretty much make a cake in any situation....that my dears, is Extreme Cake Decorating!

Oh chocolate, glorious chocolate!! Every girls' second best friend!

Sugar bee production - guaranteed to make you smile!

And this little one, just looked so adorable next to his beehive.

Viola!  Classic 101 completed!
 Well done class it, you really inspired us!


Daring Bakers February Challenge

It's been a while since I've posted a Daring bakers challenge.  There have been so many wonderful challenges and they really are challenging - which is the idea of the group, that between Christmas and new year, I couldn't find the time to complete them.  

Anyways, without the excuses, this month's challenge of Panacotta just fit in fine with the summer we've been having! 

The February 2011 Daring Bakers’ challenge was hosted by Mallory from A Sofa in the Kitchen. She chose to challenge everyone to make Panna Cotta from a Giada De Laurentiis recipe and Nestle Florentine Cookies.

Unfortunately, I wasn't able to manage the florentine cookies that were part of the challenge, though they look positively divine in this months results.
I chose a mango gelee as the fruit component to accompany the panna cotta.  The pannacotta itself, sweetened with honey had just the right amount of jiggle and smoothness, for me, it was a tad on the sweet side and the honey a little overpowering, but it did impart a lovely homely sort of dimension to the dessert.

Visit Mallory's blog for the recipe and check out the results of the other Daring bakers! 

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

The big 40

I haven't quite got to the milestone yet, but I've always viewed 40  just over halfway to the top of the hill... and then naturally the aim is to get up there and then stay up there for as long as possible!! 

This week was a lovely week to be able to make 2 cakes for some lovely people hitting the Fabulous Forty.
Firstly a chocolate collared, strawberry covered cake for Carmel's Irish pub event.
Carmel was so sure that she wanted a really yummy chocolate cake....with berries, and so this is what we came up with.   Filled with a generous layer of chocolate buttercream and lavender strawberry confiture, then all topped with chocolate dipped strawberries.  

Carmel said via sms: 'the cake was delicious and looked great, everyone loved it.  I had a really great night....40 IS Fabulous!'

Awww.... how sweet!  Makes me feel all warm and fuzzy inside!


The other 40 cake was made for Julian.  Julian's dad, Gordon,  flew all the way over from Queensland and organised the cake as a surprise.   Gordon in fact celebrates his birthday on the same day and turned a spritely 75.  

We thought it would be cheeky to add him onto the birthday message as an afterthought.

Gordon was lovely enough to call to personally thank me this morning and to let me know how much they enjoyed the cake and how surprised Julian was.  I wonder who got to eat all the hardware...?


Also just a short note that classes for June are up on the Cake Love website. 

We've got pillows and popcorn and even the odd Macaron or two.

Let us know what you want to learn!

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Transformers and Valentines

For all you lovebirds out there,

Hope you had a wonderful Valentines' Day that was romantic and sweet or if you're like one of my favourite clients...had a bit of an inside joke.

Apparently this adorable couple are known as the "black sheep" amongst their friends...and hence, they have to stick together.   What better gift than to have one you can laugh about!

This is the true love in my godson Isaac.  He is going to grow up to be an international lawyer/playboy.....we might be a tad biased though!


Without revealing my age....yes, I am at that age that I have to start lying about it........  I remember Transformers when it was first popular in the 80s.  I endured many a weekend of my brother flying around the house with his transforming cars.  So with a whole new generation of children who are discovering Optimus Prime and Bumblebee, it brings back so many fond memories of my brother at age 5.  (Not to mention the standing ovation he and his friends apparently gave the movie preview when it screened a couple of years ago- boys will be boys)
Doting Dad Tommy wanted a edible version of Bumblebee for little Nathan's 4th birthday.  Many thanks to darling James for lending me his beloved Bumblebee to be a model. 

What do you think?  

 More than meets the eye..............??  

and now I can't get the tune out of my head!!!


and these photos just in,

The professional shots of Carolyn and Ezra's cake last month.  Much thanks to Evermore Photography for taking such lovely shots of the cake!

Monday, February 7, 2011

Hoppy New Year of the Rabbit!

Wishing you all good health, good wealth and sweetness in everything you attempt this New Year of the Rabbit!

First duty of the New Year is to take a walk in my grand aunt's most auspicious garden.

The peach tree laden with ripening peaches, signifying long life and good health.

A Cereus flower bud getting ready to bloom.  This is a very very auspicious occasion, as poets, emperors and concubines throughout China's imperial history lament how this precious flower blooms only for a few hours by moonlight and then dies as the sun rises.  It is said that concubines would lure the emperor to their imperial residences with the promise of a cereus flower ready to bloom.

 ©Lela Bouse-McCracken
The Cereus flower shortly after full bloom.

And what is this I wonder......


Ripening and flowering wolfberries!!  Otherwise known as the wonderfruit Goji Berry!

All this garden wandering, before the tea ceremony too!

When the unmarried people and children are given red packets for luck. 
Then onto lunch......

Lunch at my favourite aunt's is our family's tradition.  This year with a spread that included pork rib noodles, roast pork with the most amazing crackling and for dessert some toffee pudding - which wishes us promotions and success in the new year.  *phew*  and there is more eating for the next 10 days!


Back onto the caking!

This cribbage board cake for Paul.  Commissioned by Paul's best mate Scott, and naturally, Cribbage opponent I assume.  I had a great time making this cake....researching it, made me almost want to learn how to play the game correctly!

I heard the cake was a great hit and after being a perfect model for photos, it also is floating around online somewhere being cut and eaten!   It just gives me such a nice fuzzy feeling when you get rave feedback like that!  I hope Paul had a marvellous birthday!!


And a sneak peak at Cake Love's photo shoot last weekend

Touching up our gorgeous show cake.

Sometimes, you just can't take yourself too seriously!  Glenda and I had a blast!

Hope you all had a fabulous weekend too!!