Friday, August 21, 2009

RSPCA Cupcake Day

Last Monday was RSPCA Cupcake Day - an annual fundraiser in which everyone in Australia is encouraged to bake cupcakes and sell them to friends, colleagues, etc, with all proceeds going to help our furry and feathered friends. Naturally since there was cake involved, I had to be too.

Having done dog and cat faces last year, I fancied a farm animal theme this year, and in the end I decided on sheep and ducks. There was, in the end, some contention about whether my sheep looked like sheep or poodles, but I figured either way they were still animals.

I handmade my little duckies out of sugarpaste, and they sat happily on top of a swirl of blue buttercream, one for each cupcake.

For the sheep, I wanted the actual cupcake to be the sheep. So....

How to Build A Sheep (or possibly Poodle):

Make yummy cupcakes......... Pipe buttercream all over them using a star nozzle.....

Add marshmallows for the head and ears.... Pipe extra buttercream on top of the head....

And finally add eyes and nose with black icing - voila! A cute little sheep (or, indeed, poodle). (And his army of clone sheepoodles who do not as yet have faces...)

Anyway, I took my little menagerie to the Muffin's playgroup, and sold almost three dozen of them, raising over $90 for the RSPCA. :o)

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

My little apprentice

Okay, so a completely self-indulgent-mummy post this week, just to show that this baking thing really is contagious - my little girl and I have been baking cookies!

The Muffin has loved helping Mummy cook for ages, but this is the first time she's had a controlling hand in the decorating side of things... Obviously the cookies were, shall we say, rather abstract in their design (some of the teddybear ones were declared "finished" with nothing more than a tiny belly-button), and the sprinkles went absolutely everywhere, but we had lots of fun.

The Muffin was so proud of herself - she was allowed to use Mummy's piping bag. I thought I'd help her hold it, but: "No Mummy, I want to do it my own." Very cute. But when asked what the best part of making the cookies was, there was no doubt at all in her mind - it was the sprinkles!

Monday, August 3, 2009

To boldly go...

...where yes, okay, lots and lots of cake decorators have gone before. But it's all good fun nevertheless.

Some weeks ago, I said to my husband, "So what would you like for your birthday cake, honey? Keeping in mind I'm going to have just finished a wedding cake, and I am so not going to be in the mood to do anything too full-on?" He said, "How about the Starship Enterprise?" I think he was joking. At any rate, my answer was "ha ha". But it got me thinking... Then my husband (who, by the way, thinks he is not a geek) announced that it had to be the original model, not the 1701-E or anything (because they are just soooo last week...) I started to wonder if it was possible to do sort of a half-hearted attempt without it just looking rubbish.

Then he said "Hey, what about a croquembouche?" I gave him the evil eye, and a choice: he could have a "normal" cake and churros at his party, or he could have a croquembouche. And no churros. He chose Option A. And "normal" for me meant, you guessed it, the USS Enterprise.

Anyway, here's the result - judge for yourselves! I'm sure that if I had devoted weeks of painstaking sculpting to this project, I could have made something a little more true to the original, but that just wasn't going to happen this time I'm afraid. So one evening and one Saturday morning later, this baby was ready to be beamed up. And everyone knew what it was. And my husband got to have his cake, and eat churros too - smiles all round.

(by the way, sorry for the dodgy pics - I forgot to take a photo of the finished cake before the party. You can't really see it at all in the photos, but the bridge section (ie the big round bit) was actually elevated a bit, to a) create a "floating" or "flying" effect, and b) because it's supposed to be higher up than the bottom section of the ship. The board was covered in black sugarpaste, dusted with silver lustre dust to look like distant stars.)

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