Monday, 23 July 2012

Cupcakes = Brain food

As you are well aware, my preferred method of cupcake decorating is to use fondant. Butter cream and royal icing are fine, but from my experience if you want the “wow” factor than fondant should be your cupcake decorating companion. Although I believe this whole heartedly, I must confess butter cream came through for me this past weekend.

I was very honoured that my dear friend Camila, who was planning her dad’s 50th birthday party, placed a cupcake order with me. Although I was slightly disturbed by her cupcake request – brains! Her dad is a psychologist who specialises in brain trauma. Hence his admiration for brains.

Although I found the idea somewhat difficult to stomach, I am not one to turn down a cupcake challenge. So after extensive google research, I realised that perhaps fondant was not the most appropriate cupcake decorating companion for this particular bake job. I know BLASPHEMY! In the given circumstances, it appeared that brains are best suited to butter cream!

Putting the brain cupcakes together was a lot easier than I had imagined. Basically, I made a batch of chocolate cupcakes, whipped up some vanilla butter cream frosting, mixed through a little pink and brown food colouring and piped little swiggly bits on top of the cupcake. And the next thing I knew, I had freakishly looking brains starring up at me.

Who would have thought, cupcakes were brain food?    

Saturday, 21 July 2012

Getting into the Olympic spirit

I have said it before and I will say it again, I married into an over achieving family! Yes, at times it does make me feel slightly incompetent. But then I think, it makes me over achieving by association and I am somewhat comforted by this notion. A fine and adequate example of my over achieving in-laws is my sister-in- law, Ash. Not only was she a Miss Universe contestant but she is also a part of the Australian National female hockey team, The Hockeyroos! And to top it all off, she has been selected to represent Australia at the 2012 London Olympics. Bah - I am exhausted just writing about her achievements!

As you can imagine, with the lead up to the Olympics, Ash has received considerable amount of publicity. The story writes itself really: "Not just a pretty face - Miss Universe contestant is to represent Australia at London Olympics". Our Ash even made the front page of The Westralian (one of the most popular daily newspapers in Western Australia). Don't be fooled by those big eyes and gorgeous face, she can do some serious damage with a hockey stick in hand!

Front page of the West Australia 3rd July 2012

We bid her farewell last week as The Hockeyroos made their way to London to prepare for the Olympics. To bid her farewell in the manner that she is accustom to (after all she is royalty being a Miss Universe contestant and all), the family organised a little party in her honour. Naturally and to which I did not object, I was put on cupcake duty.

To keep with the Olympic spirit, I decided to make Olympic themed cupcakes. I had to make the fondant toppers a few days early as I was flying to Singapore for work (literally fly in and fly out - I think I was there 20 hours in total)! My flight to Singapore was at 6AM, so I decided I would just work the night through as I had to be up and ready to leave the house at 3.30AM. After working the night through making little Olympic ring toppers for his baby sister, Brendyn woke up at 3.30AM and said sarcastically asked "Why did you use froot loops to make the toppers?!" and insert smirk here. I wanted to punch him in the face but I refrained as I needed a lift to the airport after all. Desperate times call for desperate measures, or more appropriately, reserve measures.

The cupcakes turned out well despite the Olympic ring toppers looked like they were made out of froot loops! They were all consumed and Ash was bid farewell in the manner that she deserved, a party complete with great company and copious amounts of food and champagne.

The Olympics is due to kick off in 5 days and her first match is soon after. To read about her Olympic experience, check out Ash's blog:

Keep an eye out for The Hockeyroos number 8, Ashleigh Nelson. Don't forget to cheer on our little Aussie batter/beauty queen.

Monday, 9 July 2012

Presenting our latest product:

Rainbow cupcake in a jar!

I came up with this idea when I was driving the kids (the niece and nephew) home from school. It was after a little storm had hit Perth and the sunny was shining and the rainbow was out loud and proud. Zac pointed out the rainbow and asked me if we can drive to the end of the rainbow, so that we could collect the pot of gold. As much as I thought that would be a great idea, I am also a realistic and I knew my chances of finding a pot of gold was the same as me winning the lotto.

So I thought to myself, what is the next best thing to finding a pot of gold or winning the lotto? Well, cupcakes of course! One thing led to another and voila the idea popped into my head, a rainbow cupcake in a jar - my own little version of a pot of gold (or at least the next best thing).

If you decide to try this at home, please be sure to check that the glass jar is thick enough to withstand the heat of the oven. Otherwise, the glass jar may shatter and that would not be fun for anyone! So bake with caution.

Wednesday, 4 July 2012

Sweet, sweet music

Mini Mousey had her first piano recital this past weekend! I can't believe how fast she has grown up. It feels like only yesterday that we were taking her home from the hospital. Now I am picking her up from school and attending her piano recitals!

Parents were asked to bring a plate of food to share after the recital. Ade, Mini's mum, asked me to make cupcakes. I mean, what choice did she really have?! Even if she didn't ask, I would have conveniently brought along a box filled with cupcakes appropriately themed of course!

Once I secured the bake job, I had to get cracking on the all important cupcake theme. Mini Mousey is a typical girlie girl! Everything has to be either pink, purple, gold or rainbow as these are "girl" colours. Every other colour apparently is a "boy" colour. Which is somewhat surprising as I thought yellow would be categorised as a "girl" colour - clearly not accordingly to the law of Mini. So basically, I had to make pink cupcakes and given that we were attending a piano recital, the cupcakes had to be piano themed. I consciously used the word "had" because I had no other real other choice.

There is only one thing sweeter than sweet, sweet music and that is sweet, sweet cupcakes!

Oh and in case you are interested, Mini Mousey did extremely well in her recital. Despite her short performance, she was outstanding. Not that I am bias at all. :)