Monday, 30 May 2011

Kitchen Casualty!

I was having a real flat day today and came home a cranky little vegemite. To pick up my mood I decided to bake. Nothing picks up my mood like dancing around in the kitchen to all my favourite tunes while baking cupcakes. Having said that, there was a casualty in the kitchen on this occasion. While dancing to ‘Sexy Back’ by Justin Timberlake, I accidently stepped (could have been an over enthusiastic jump) on the bin top and now the bin top is broken.

Brendyn’s favourite desserts include choc mint ice cream and mint slice cookies. The boy loves mint! I realised the other day that since we began dating, I have never made him a peppermint cupcake. So I had to rectify this situation pronto. I decided to make one of his favourite desserts into a cupcake – mint slice cupcakes!

As the cupcake base, I made my usual Lindt chocolate cupcake. I then made a peppermint cream icing to squirt in the middle of the cupcake and the first layer of cupcake icing. To squirt the peppermint cream in the middle of the cupcake, I had to squish the icing bag and nozzle in the centre of the cupcake to the base (as you can see from the photo below). I then made a dark chocolate butter cream icing to pipe on top of the peppermint cream layer of cupcake icing.

I am pretty happy with how it turned out considering I was experimenting and made the recipe as I went along. Personally, I would like the peppermint cream to pack a bit more of a punch, but Brendyn loved them, so I guess that is all that matters. Insert vom, vom here.

Saturday, 28 May 2011

Wanna-T Baker

My close friend, Chad and I have an ongoing joke, which has now stemmed into a rivalry, as to who is more talented. This rivalry has even developed a vocabulary. We fight over who should have the title of “T-1” - “T” standing for top. Being the competitive Asians that we are, neither of us is now willing to back down. A number of people have begged and pleaded to be a part of our T- competition, but they simply couldn’t handle the heat of competing for the T-Crown and as the saying goes, if you can’t handle the heat, get out of the kitchen (sorry Wanna-T Hini and Rach)!

Putting our T-differences aside, I decided to make Chad his birthday cake last year. He demanded that an epic cake be made in his honour. So I thought long and hard about what I could make my fellow T-competitor.  The only thing I thought that could do him justice was a cake of him!

 I firstly created a photo of him in pop art form, and then used that image as a template for decorating the cake. I baked an A3 size sponge cake and decorated the cake using fondant. Once again, this was around the time I found fondant, so I was keen to explore the ways it could be used.

If I had my time again, I would ice the sponge cake before layering the fondant on top. As you can see, the fondant started to warp on the left hand side. I think the moisture from the cake seeped through the fondant and this caused it to warp.

Wanting to be me (I don’t blame him, after all I am the number one T) Chad challenged me to a hotdog eating and bake-off competition. The hotdog competition was fairly straight forward - who could eat the most hot dogs. Given that the bake-off was held on the same day as the hotdog competition, we had to both make baked goods that resembled hotdogs. I thought I could be smart and cheat by making cupcakes with hotdog themed fondant toppers. I ended up making a topper of Chad and I eating hotdogs and burgers. Chad - on the other hand - followed the rules and made a hotdog cake. Despite being penalised for not following instructions, I still came through with the win!

I am sure a large number of you are holding your breath in anticipation as to what Chad's hotdog cake looked like. With out any further a do, please find Chad's cake below.

Realising that he is a Wanna-T baker, he asked me to help make his mum’s birthday cake this year. Initially we decided on a two tier cake – nice and simple. So on the day of his mum’s par-tay, I woke up early to put on the finishing touches. Brendyn wakes up a few hours later and broke the news to me that it looked a lot like a wedding cake. So, in a state of panic, I decided to make mini pink cupcakes to place on each tier of the cake. And it turned out alright.

Sorry to expose you T2! I feel as though I should part with you with some wise words of advice from some very wise women:
If you wanna-T a T1 baker,
you gotta, you gotta, you gotta, you gotta, you gotta,
slam, slam, slam, slam
Slam your body down and wind it all around.
Slam your body down and wind it all around.
Slam your body down and wind it all around.
Slam your body down zigazig ah
If you wanna-T a T1 baker.

Friday, 27 May 2011

Childhood loves

I am supposed to be out on the town tonight, but instead I am at home in my jam jams feeling sorry for myself after getting a fluey fever at work – with horrible accompanying flu sweats! Woe is me. So instead of being out on the town or baking a batch of cupcakes, I am at home blogging about my childhood loves.

Sadly, my mum is not much of a baker. I grew up having frozen cheesecake and ice cream cakes for every birthday. Growing up, I loved Barbie and always dreamed of a Barbie cake for my birthday (i.e. a Dolly Varden type cake). Perhaps it was because all of my little friends had Barbie cakes for their birthday. Perhaps it was because it was a pretty girlie cake, or perhaps (most likely) it combined my two loves, cake and Barbie.

Having never had a Barbie cake for one of my birthday, I decided to be in charge of my own destiny and made my very own Barbie cake for my Hens Day High Tea. Also, the day of my Hens was my very good friend’s birthday.  She’s a true friend who shares a lot of my interests, and over time I’ve dubbed her ‘Twin Pole’. Being my Twin Pole, she shares my love for cake and Barbie. Given that I never got my dream of a Barbie cake, I thought I would fulfil her dreams and give her the Barbie cake for her birthday!

Usually, the Dolly Varden cakes that I have seen are decorated with butter cream icing and candy. However, my Hens Day was close to the time that I discovered fondant and everything had to be made in fondant! Including Barbie’s dress, a pink dress of course!

Ok, so let’s get back to basics and talk about why we are all here, cupcakes. When I got to middle primary school, and grew out of my Barbie phase, my cousins (yes, you Liz and Andy) got a Super Nintendo . There were two games I became quickly obsessed with: Super Mario Kart and Donkey Kong Country. They were by far the coolest games ever. I would spend most of my weekends glued to the television playing these two respective games. So when my esteemed colleague, (and good friend) asked me to make Mario and friends cupcakes for her, I couldn’t have been more excited. When making the Mario cupcakes, Brendyn and I were humming the Mario Kart tunes all day. I particularly enjoyed this baking adventure as it was fun for the whole family!

Anyway, I am going back to feeling sorry for myself and watching Parks and Recreations with the husband. Peace out.  

Wednesday, 25 May 2011

Mad Fads!

I have been guilty of following my fair share of fads growing up, including wearing midriff tops, piercing my ear lobes twice as well as my left upper ear, nursing a muffin top (oh wait that was not a fad, just my poor fashion sense) but by no means do I understand the recent Australian fad of planking! Nevertheless, I am a woman of the people and what the people want I deliver.

My colleagues (who are also quite the bakers) and I joked the other day about planking, specifically the man who planked on the UWA river statue, and we joked about making a planking cupcake. And before I knew it, I was telling everyone and anyone who would listen that I was going to make a planking cupcake.

I am not entirely thrilled about how it turned out. I had envisaged it would have turned out differently, but to be entirely honest after a long days work, I really couldn’t be bothered fixing it. Which is odd, given I am a crazy perfectionist.

Who would have ever thought I would have planked?! How hardcore ...

Monday, 23 May 2011

WARNING: Controversial blog post

In email correspondence this morning with my best friend (and part time life coach) Koko Butter, we discussed my blog (this blog actually!) and my search for the perfect cupcake. In his email, Kosta suggested I not lose focus of my blog’s purpose, and that every post should reveal, in some way, what I think makes the best cupcake.

He had plenty of suggestions. Is it the taste? Is it the toppers or the concept? Is it the joy it brings people? What combination of these is it?

This leads me to my next post (this post actually!):

In 2008, I visited the United States of America to attend an international conference called Global Village (GV). During my stay in the big US to the A, I spent about a week in New York City. Like many people in the world, I am a big fan of Sex in the City and visiting NYC was a must for that reason alone. Oh my goodness, can I be any more of a cliché?! I like cupcakes, I like pink, I like Audrey Hepburn, I like Sex in the City ... OMG I am totally like, you know, like, not like a stereotypical girl or anything.

Anyway, while in NYC I signed up for a Sex in the City tour. We visited a number of the famous sites from the show, including Pleasure Chest, Meat Packing District, Scout and the famous Magnolia Bakery. I was so excited by the prospect of tasting a cupcake from Magnolia Bakery. If it was good enough for Carrie Bradshaw, it was sure as heck good enough for a small town girl from Perth!  Here is a photo of me and some exquisite GV ladies about to sink our teeth into our delicious cupcake.

I had a vanilla cupcake with vanilla frosting. It was a nice cupcake. It didn’t exactly float my boat. But, don’t get me wrong, the cupcake didn’t violently offend me either. Like I said, it was a nice cupcake. Would I say it was my perfect cupcake? Probably not. Now, I know this is quite the controversial statement to make, but in my opinion, it wasn’t perfection in a cupcake (please note statements of opinion are not legally actionable). But why trust my opinion; I openly admitted to cheating with Ms Crocker, what would I know?!

So Koko Butter, in answer to your question about what makes the best cupcake – everything you suggested and so much more! Am I asking too much? Am I being too demanding? Probably, but hey, I am a clichéd, high maintenance girl, living in my own cliché world!  

Sunday, 22 May 2011

I cheated with Betty Crocker and I liked it!

Recently I have started to follow a number of baking blogs and I have noticed that a large number of blogs have made the baking pledge. That is, the bakers have pledged to make only homemade baked goods from scratch. Although I would like to include such a pledge on my own blog, I feel as though I have to first come clean. I cheated with Betty Crocker and I liked it!

This is probably not the smartest blog to post, given that I just openly admitted to cheating and it was only a few weekends ago that my husband was away in Melbourne. But it is true - I have been known to cheat with Ms Crocker on more than one occasion!  Please note, I only cheat with the best and Ms Crocker is the very best. I wouldn’t just cheat for anyone.  Ms Crocker’s vanilla frosting is to die for.   

Now, I am not one to make excuses, but sometimes I find it difficult to find the time to bake, especially when I need to make a big bake order on a school night after work. Anyway, enough with the excuses, here are the number of occasions when I have cheated:

It’s me. Not baking. I need more “me” time before I can have “baking from scratch” time. However, from today onwards, I am making the pledge - I will only make homemade bake goods from scratch!

Friday, 20 May 2011

Everything changed the day she found fondant!

I was introduced to the wonderful world of fondant late last year and I have never looked back.  I would go as far as to say that it has changed my baking life. Personally, I do not like the taste of fondant, and now I know how much it needs to be handled in order to make decorations, it kind of creeps me out to think how much the fondant on other people’s cakes has been played with! I am glad other people don’t share the same irrational quirks as I do, otherwise I would be out of business before I could even get started. I feel as though I need to explain myself, so just for the record, I am very hygienic - I wash my hands and use clean utensils FYI!

I first experimented with fondant for my little niece Emily’s baptism and first birthday. Never having used fondant before, I didn’t know what type of cake the fondant would go well with. After a little bit of research, I realised that fondant is mainly used on wedding cakes to cover chocolate mud cake or fruit cake. Not being a big fan of fruit cake, I decided to make white chocolate mud cupcakes instead.

For Emily’s baptism, I made pink cupcakes with white bows and letters spelling out her name. At the time, Emily had a little duckie that she loved dearly, so I tried to replicate the duckie out of fondant (somewhat unsuccessfully - the duck kinda looks scary).

For Emily’s all important first birthday, I decorated the cupcakes with fondant cupcake decorations. Yes, I made cupcake cupcakes! Crazy times...

But like Zachary says, a birthday party is not a party unless there is a birthday cake! So of course I had to make Emily a birthday cake, a three dimensional duck cake in fact.

My beautiful friend Rohini told me recently that our friend Daniel commented on my baking saying that “everything changed the day she found fondant”. And he is absolutely right, everything did change, fondant rocks my world and has turned my baking life upside down! Fondant opened my eyes and heart to the wonders of cupcake decorating.  Anything is possible with fondant!

Wednesday, 18 May 2011

Me want cookies!

Growing up, I loved my food, junk food in particular. Think Jenna Maroney’s “ME WANT FOOD” character and that was me! Nothing much has changed really. Naturally I developed an affinity with the Cookie Monster as he openly encouraged excessive eating of cookies.
Last year, a Charity Bake Off was held at my work place. As you can imagine, I jumped at the opportunity to donate and of course bake! The posters advertising the Charity Bake Off had a Cookie Monster cupcake on it. Please note that it was not just any Cookie Monster cupcake, it also had a chocolate chip cookie coming out of its mouth. It was a cupcake with a chocolate chip cookie!!
Wanting to win the bake off (no I am not competitive, I just love winning), I decided to attempt the Cookie Monster cupcake. In order to get the cupcake to rise high enough, I had to add extra baking powder to the mixture. I wished I had added an additional pinch or two to have the cupcake rise higher, but hindsight is a wonderful thing.
Decorating the cupcake was fairly straight forward. I had to cut the top of the cupcake to the centre and place the chocolate chip cookie in between the top of the cupcake and the base. To make the Cookie Monster’s fur, I had to use food dye to colour the shredded coconut. To make his eyes, I used white chocolate duds and stuck milk chocolate chips for the eye balls. Using vanilla frosting, I stuck everything together and before I knew it, I had a Cookie Monster cupcake staring at me.

Although I still very much like the Cookie Monster, he is far too politically correct for my liking. We no longer see eye to eye on one major issue. Unlike him, I do not believe in eating cookies in moderation! ME WANT COOKIES, not cookie!

Tuesday, 17 May 2011

What would Audrey do?

Like millions of women in the world, I think I am a ‘fair lady’ and would like to have anything, let alone breakfast, at Tiffany’s given the opportunity. Although it is the dream of most, only one woman has done it all - Audrey Hepburn.
In my eyes, Audrey Hepburn is the epitome of a woman – she is the perfect mix of femininity, sophistication and class. 
A number of people have commented that I dress like Audrey Hepburn. Don’t get me wrong, I am not delusional enough to think that I am the next Audrey Hepburn, but I do appreciate the ego boost. Brendyn, who loves poking fun at me whilst deflating my fat head, brought me a book titled ‘What would Audrey do?’ for Christmas last year as a joke. Well, the joke was on him as it was actually a really good read.
I decided to dedicate a blog post to Audrey Hepburn, but in order to do so I had to somehow incorporate her into my cupcake adventures. So having thought ‘What would Audrey do?,  I decided to put the famous pop art of Audrey Hepburn from Breakfast Tiffany’s on to a cupcake topper.  I used an edible ink pen and drew Audrey Hepburn on to a circle fondant topper and voila:

The next step was making the cupcake itself. I whipped up a simple batch of lemon cupcakes and lemon frosting and placed Audrey Hepburn at the top of her cupcake throne. There you have it, Audrey Hepburn cupcakes.

What would Audrey do? Probably not put her face on a cupcake and eat it, but I sure would!

Sunday, 15 May 2011

Professional moments

I like baking more than the average person, but never in my wildest dreams would I ever have thought of baking professionally. Like I said in a previous post, I am not particularly adventurous, or much of a risk taker. I have a stable and secure job that keeps me more than busy, and although I adore baking, I have always maintained that baking will remain a hobby. Having said all that, recently, after a number of my baking adventures, the thought has crossed my mind that I should, in the wise words of Nike - “just do it” - and open my own cupcake business.

Professional moment number one
The founder of ‘Unwrapped’, my friend Ebony, employed my services to make cupcakes for ‘Unwrapped's’ 5th birthday. ‘Unwrapped’ is a biannual market that promotes the work of emerging Australian designers in Perth, Western Australia (to read more about ‘Unwrapped’, visit: www.unwrapped
Ebony’s instructions were simple - a batch of 100 mini chocolate cupcakes. She was very trusting and gave me artist freedom regarding decoration. So, I started this cupcake expedition by designing a fondant topper.  I decided to top each cupcake with a ‘fashion’ medallion. The medallions were about 3cm in diameter, roughly the size of an Australian 20 cent coin. Given how small the medallions had to be to fit the mini cup cakes, I had to hand cut each fashion image to place on the medallion – dress, hand bag, silhouette of lady, stilettos, sun glasses, suit and top hat.  Here is a photo depicting the size of the medallion.

Moving onto the actual cupcake itself, I made mini Lindt chocolate cupcakes with red vanilla butter cream frosting. Trying to get the icing red enough was quite an ordeal. I was fearful that I didn’t have enough colouring gel to get the job done. Luckily enough, I had just enough and the red icing looked vibrant! Here is the final product:

After putting all the cupcakes together and seeing them all lined up, I experienced my professional moment number one. I sensed an overwhelming amount of pride and satisfaction and thought to myself that I really could open my very own cupcake business.
If you are in Perth for the next ‘Unwrapped’ make sure you attend - you will not be disappointed! And who knows, I might have a little cupcake store of my own!

Professional moment number two
Friday, 1st of April was Autism Awareness Day. A number of famous buildings around the world were lit up in blue to increase awareness, including the Perth Bell Tower. To support the cause of increasing awareness and fundraising for autism awareness, I baked mini penguin cupcakes. I made the blue fondant penguins the night before baking the cupcakes. Originally, I was only going to make male penguins, but as my good friend Stephanie, puts it “even in the world of baking there is gender equality!”  

Similarly, after putting all the cupcakes together and seeing them all lined up, I experienced my professional moment number two.
Who knows? Maybe a few more professional moments like these and I will open my very own cupcake business. Watch this space ...

Thursday, 12 May 2011

“Ohhhh! My Little Pony Teeeeeee!”

My little niece Amelia (Zachary’s sister) is growing up so fast! Every day she is becoming more and more like a girly girl much to her mother’s dismay (as her mother was quite the tomboy growing up, she too hoped for a tomboy). Amelia is the most adorable little person, she has such spirit and character, and she has only recently turned three! She is a real all or nothing type character, and when she wants or likes something, she is determined to get it.
We first noticed her girly nature developing when she showed an interest in Minnie Mouse between the ages of one and a half and two years old. She was fascinated by Minnie Mouse – I think it was the polka dot dress and headband and the pink high heeled shoes that fostered this fascination.
Also, at this stage, Zachary being three was unable to pronounce Amelia, so he called her Mini. Soon enough Amelia’s nick name became Mini Mousey. So on my little Mini Mousey’s second birthday, I made her Minnie Mouse cupcakes while she took her afternoon nap. When she woke up and saw the cupcakes, she was completely shocked and speechless. But this didn’t stop her from getting stuck into the cupcakes!

These days, Amelia, although she still likes Minnie Mouse, has developed a new fascination with My Little Pony. She is absolutely obsessed with all things pony, but My Little Pony in particular. This came as a bit of a shock to me one day when we were out shopping and she saw a My Little Pony quilt set. She exclaimed with delight “Ohhhh! My Little Pony Teeeeeee!”. I didn’t even realise she knew what a pony was, let alone My Little Pony. Anyway, being the sucker that I am, I brought her the quilt set and then proceeded to Big W and brought her a My Little Pony toy (minor details).
That year for my birthday, she begged that I make myself a My Little Pony cake, specifically a Rainbow Dash cake. So what did I do? I made it of course (Did I mention I was a sucker?)! As when she first saw the Minnie Mouse cupcakes, she was completely shocked and speechless. However, she did manage a little “Ohhhh! My Little Pony Teeeeeee!”  When it came time to cutting the cake, she was eager to get stuck into it. I, on the other hand, was a little reluctant, after investing six hours into making the cake I wanted it to last forever.

Alas, we sang happy birthday and Rainbow Dash got cut up and served for dessert.

This year leading up to Amelia’s third birthday, she knew exactly what she wanted. Surprise, surprise, it was a My Little Pony cake. But not just any My Little Pony cake, a carousel My Little Pony cake! In the months leading up to the her birthday, I googled various carousel cakes and I decided to attempt making a three dimensional carousel cake using My Little Pony as the horses surrounding the carousel. In order to do this, I had to make two cake bases, one cake to be the base of the carousel and one cake to form the pointy top of the carousel. Also, I had to make the inner carousel part as well, where the horses are housed. It was yet another late night in the kitchen baking and rolling out fondant. But we got there in the end.  

What was Amelia’s reaction? “Ohhhh! My Little Pony Teeeeeee!”

Tuesday, 10 May 2011

I heart, heart, heart Little Cupcakes!

If you haven’t already guessed from the title of this post, I adore little teeny tiny cupcakes! I love eating them and I particularly love baking them. If decorated correctly, they are just so darn adorable. And did I mention the icing to cake ratio?! It’s a win, win situation really.  50% cake + 50% icing = 110% satisfied Tina. Here is a photo of some mini cupcakes topped off with handmade fondant toppers I made a few weeks ago.

Brendyn has just returned home from a boy’s trip to Melbourne to watch the footy. I was thoroughly jealous that he was leaving me behind at home. Not because I am an avid supporter of the footy, but because I missed out on the opportunity to visit my favourite cupcake store in Melbourne, Little Cupcakes. This little cupcake store off Flinders Street is always jam packed with people getting their cupcake fix.

Little Cupcakes is not only an adorable store, but it also sells the most amazing cupcakes in terms of taste and presentation. The thought of their cupcakes simply makes my mouth water. Have a look at their Cherry Choc cupcake below that I enjoyed last year when Brendyn and I were in Melbourne for the Australian Open. Needless to say, it was YUMMA!

Sadly, the husband didn’t greet me at the airport with a box of Little Cupcakes, instead he greeted me with something equally as grand, a kiss ... NOT REALLY ... a box of a dozen Krispy Kremes!

Brrr, it's cold!

As I am fairly new to the world of blogging, I am not yet familiar with the blogging etiquette. How often should you post? Is posting more than once a day too much? Is posting once a week too little? How long should each post be? This is an insight into the hard hitting questions that I deal with on a daily basis. So, I have set myself a blogging goal, I have decided to blog at least once a week and no more than once a day. Please make sure I stick to it and if I don't, pull me up on it!

I woke up this morning feeling terribly cold which caused me to reminisce about one of my baking adventures that I embarked on last year. Zachary’s kindy class had a ‘’cold’’ themed party in early June to celebrate the arrival of the winter season. Parents (and aunties!) were asked to bring a plate of food to share that was “cold” themed inspired. Not surprisingly, I jumped at the opportunity to make cupcake but was a little stuck on the theme.

Whilst at work on the morning of the day I was due to bake the cupcakes, I glanced over to my lolly jar and noticed little banana lollies (my favourite) and an idea came to mind – banana split decorated cupcakes. Banana splits are not only cold, but super fun! But how was I to do this? I thought the best way to construct such a cupcake was to split a banana lolly in half, use multi-coloured Kool fruits as the ice cream scoops and drizzle melted chocolate as the chocolate sauce.
When it came time to executing the cupcake, it was a lot more difficult than expected. The Kool fruits were too big for the banana split lollies. I looked in my pantry and luckily, I had raspberry and vanilla marshmallows (another lolly favourite of mine). I tore a marshmallow into thirds and started to play with it and rolled the marshmallow into little ball (not to worry, my hands were cleaned). Given the sticky nature of marshmallows, it formed a ball and sat between the two banana splits perfectly. It actually looked like ice cream scoops too! But don't take my word for it, you be the judge of that:

The kids loved the look of the cupcakes! The look on the kids' faces, especially Zachary's, made it all worth it.

Sunday, 8 May 2011

My raspberry frosting (yes Gina, I know it is your favourite)!

I am not a very adventurous person and especially with respect to baking, I always stick to the recipe and when I find a good recipe I keep using it! Having said that, in the wee hours of one morning when making cupcakes for my workplace, I decided to do something crazy and out of control, instead of following my usual vanilla frosting recipe I decided to add raspberry jam to it (I know crazy)! This left the frosting looking and tasting a bit off – not quite vanilla, not quite raspberry.  I had to think fast and improvise, I remembered I had a packet of frozen raspberries in the freezer and decided to throw in handful. This made the frosting turn into a bright pink colour and tasted amazing! I piped the raspberry frosting onto the mini cupcakes and this was the final product:

I have used the frosting since and it has never failed me. I love the natural vibrant colour that the raspberries add to the frosting. I recently used the frosting for the cupcakes I made for my friend’s baby shower. Knowing how bright the frosting is, I made the fondant toppers to match the frosting colour.  The frosting together with the toppers really made the cupcake set!

It doesn’t really seem fair that I am going on and on about this raspberry frosting of mine and not allowing you to have a taste of it! So, for my fellow bakers, here is the recipe:

Raspberry frosting
  • 250 grams of salted butter
  • 500 grams soft icing sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 tablespoons of raspberry jam
  • Handful of raspberries

  1. Sift icing sugar thoroughly and set aside.
  2. Beat butter until the butter becomes pale (almost white).
  3. While the mixture is beating, slowly add half of the sifted icing sugar to the mixture.
  4. Add vanilla extract and the remaining icing sugar.
  5. Ensure that the mixture is thoroughly combined before adding the raspberry jam and raspberries.  
  6. And now for the secret ingredient, add a pinch or two of salt to counter the sweetness of the frosting.  
NOTE: If you are working with frozen raspberries, you may find that the frosting may be a tad tough to work with due to it being slightly frozen. When you place the frosting in your piping bag, rub the piping bag between your hands. The warmth of your hands should make the frosting easier to pipe out.


Gina, now that you have the recipe you can now make it yourself! :)

Thursday, 5 May 2011

Boys will always be boys ...

My baking adventures officially began last year, when my little nephew Zachary turned four.  He asked me to make dinosaurs cupcakes for his kindy class. I made these little vanilla cupcakes with dinosaur short bread cookies on top and dinosaur sprinkles. I was so proud of my efforts! I honestly thought I was the bees knees being able to produce cupcakes of such a high standard. 

I now look back my first baking efforts and I can’t help but giggle. Let's just say, I can see now how much I have learnt this year.
Zachary’s parents decided to host his birthday party this weekend past. Still being obsessed with dinosaurs, he had a dinosaur themed party. But, not just any dinosaur party, a Zachyosaurous themed party - Zachary wears red spectacles and his mum managed to find an image online of a dinosaur wearing red spectacles, which we subsequently named Zachyosaurous!
Given all the work his mum and dad put into organising the party, I felt the pressure to step up to the plate and bake something extraordinary. I made twelve raspberry cupcakes topped off with Zachyosaurous edible fondant toppers and a butter cake with a giant fondant Zachyosaurous sitting on top. Originally I had planned to make a three dimensional Zachyosaurous cake, i.e. carve the dinosaur out of butter cake and decorate it with fondant, but sadly ran out of time.

In my usual style of leaving everything to the last minute, I only started to bake and make the cupcake toppers the day before the party after work of course! Needless to say, I stayed up for most of the night to make sure everything would be finished on time. The only thing that was keeping me sane at 4AM, with fondant and flour in my hair and colouring smeared down my pants, was the thought that Zachary would eventually grow out of novelty cakes. But then it hit me, I still bake novelty cakes for my adult husband!
Anyone who knows Brendyn knows that he loves Batman to the extent that he thinks he is Batman. Being the supportive wife that I am, for his 25th birthday last year I made him Batman cupcakes.

Wanting to make my husband the best cake possible (and being a good wifey), I researched various Batman themed cakes over the past year for Brendyn's  26th birthday.  I came across a Batmobile cake and knew that I had to make it!

I guess boys will always be boys ...