Tuesday, 26 February 2013

What the world needs now is love... (and cupcakes)

Firstly, I am very excited to write that my oven is fixed! It has been broken for weeks, and I have really missed being able to make cupcakes whenever I wanted! So now, I will be working through the list of cupcakes that I have had in my head (which has just been getting longer and longer), that I've eagerly been waiting to create :)

I had planned to make these for Valentine's Day, almost 3 weeks ago...

Excited about a new stencil I got from a Cake Decorating magazine, I rolled out some red fondant, placed it on top, and filled in the gaps with edible glitter.

Then with a little heart cookie cutter, I cut out as many hearts as I could, aiming to have them all be mostly patterned:

Next... I patiently waited until my oven was fixed :)

Today, with a new element in my oven, my red silicone patty cases, and chocolate chip butter cake mix (chosen as I thought about things that I loved {my husband being one of them} and things that he loves {which is not plan cupcakes}), I finally made cupcakes to decorate with these patterned fondant hearts!

In anticipation for Valentine's Day, I had also come across some little edible coloured hearts, that I sprinkled onto the buttercream icing once it was piped onto the cupcakes.

With the fondant hearts placed on top, I present you with some
(very belated) Valentine's Day cupcakes!

I hope your V day was filled with love, laughter, and/or CUPCAKES! :)

Well, I hope every day is filled with love, laughter, and perhaps cupcakes!!

Monday, 18 February 2013

Cookies and (ice) Cream... Again!

So currently, my oven is broken! It has meant that I've accidentally taken another 'vacation' from baking (and blogging)... I've joked with friends about my oven breaking down from being over-used, especially recently... I've been a bit bored knowing that I can't make cupcakes at the moment until a new element comes (hopefully soon), and with the busyness of children being back to school and routines and term activities, I haven't really done anything creative lately! With that as a shock to the system, I decided to make something that didn't need my oven to make!

I reminded myself of my many failed attempts at Cookies and (ice) Cream, and I'm sure I've mentioned before that my husband and I are both (well, the whole family really) fans of Ben & Jerry's ice cream... And my husband (at the time of these unsuccessful attempts) suggested that I try freezing the cookie dough instead of baking it!

... Genius !!

Taking that idea, and mixing it slightly with my own, I came up with making some of my favourite (like seriously) Ben & Jerry's ice cream bowls! The plan was to freeze the cookie dough in bowl shapes, and then scoop a small amount of (home made) choc chip ice cream into the bowls, and hopefully end up with bite sized cookie dough ice cream bowls!

With some prepared cookie dough, my new cake pop tray I hadn't yet used since Christmas, and an egg separater, I placed balls of cookie dough into the cake pop tray and squished them down to make the 'bowls'. I put them in the freezer while I made the ice cream.

Using my son's ice cream maker, I made vanilla ice cream, and then threw in some chocolate pieces before freezing it. The frozen cookie dough bowls turned out fine (I just needed to remember not to leave it in the freezer for too long).

Then I scooped some into my little cookie bowls, and voila! Home made rip-off replica Ben & Jerry's ice cream!!

 Tastes nothing like the real thing, but it was still fun attempting to make it!

And all my kids were more than happy to try them for dessert :)

Sunday, 3 February 2013

Panda cupcakes!

Again, it is another privilege and honour to be asked to provide cupcakes for a special occasion! An 18th birthday this time, and the request was for panda cupcakes, like these Mini Panda Cupcakes from Bakerella... I had to do some tweaking with the decorating ingredients to make them fit on normal sized cupcakes, but I think they turned out alright! I was constantly referring back to this picture I was sent, though.

The first job was to make the cupcakes... Chocolatey chocolate cupcakes:

Once that was done, I'd decided that before I iced the cupcakes, I should probably work out how I was going to make them look like pandas... For the eyes, I had mini marshmallows, Cadbury chocolate melts, and Coles chocolate cooking chips...

With the marshmallows cut in half, I placed them onto the chocolate melts, sticky side down so I didn't need icing, and then with some fudge frosting, I added the chocolate chips :)

Before long, the panda eye production line began!

Now I was ready to make the icing... I used Solite (a product I've used before) to make the icing whiter than usual. Next I piped the icing onto the cupcakes and dipped them in caster sugar to make the pandas appear 'furry'.

Another production line began, as I slid two Nestle chocolate melts into the sides of the icing to resemble panda ears; then placing the eyes I'd made on them, and lastly using a Cadbury chocolate chip upside down & fudge writing icing, I made the noses and mouthes! ... Once I had made a few, I felt confident enough to try different expressions, and I am very happy with how they turned out :)

All boxed and ready go to the birthday girl's mother, who was surprising her
daughter (who loves pandas) with them the following day!

Because I became so involved in making these cupcakes, I had boxed them before I took the finished photos of them! So, I took them out and took these photos, with them coincidentally placed on a bamboo green platter of mine :)

 And of course some individual portraits of the different facial expressions
and potential panda thoughts :)

And here's a photo of the cupcake display, and the birthday girl:

Happy birthday 'Mandy Pandy'!! :)