Sunday, May 27, 2012

Cake Pop Classes in Brisbane

Hiya all. I have been asked sooo many times if I ever do any classes on how to make my sweet treats, and YAY finally there is one on the horizon.

As part of the Hands on Brisbane Craft Workshops I will be at the Bleeding Heart Cafe in Ann St Brisbane on the 14th of July 2012 to run a cake pop demonstration and baking Question and Answer session.

I'll be showing how to make cake pops and create some simple fondant decorations so you can make your own plate of pops to wow everyone at your next party or event.

Plus I'll also be demonstrating the monster cake pops from my book Sweets on a Stick.

I should have some copies of my book Sweets on a Stick available to buy......oh and sign if you really want.....but seriously my writing is so messy you could probably take it into a chemist and they'll think it's a prescription :) Um does that joke even work now that they print prescriptions out or am I showing my age?

If you already have a copy of Sweets on a Stick and want my scrawly scratchings on it you can just bring it on it without buying one on the day.

The session will start at 9:30am and it runs until 11:30am and the cost is a sweet $12.

You can pop over and book tickets online HERE, while you are on the site you can check out all the other fun craft sessions being offered.

and in the meantime if you just can't wait for my book here is the amazon and fishpond links.

Oh and by the way if you have purchased a copy of Sweets on a Stick and it came in Black and White, please contact the place of purchase. It seems there has been some type of mix up with a reprint order, they should definitely have color pictures.

Or here at fishpond (Aus/NZ)

Sweets on a Stick: More Than 150 Kid-Friendly Recipes for Cakes, Candies, Cookies, and Pies on the Go!

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Raspberry Cream Meringues

A bit of a sad story to these meringues. I actually made them for an Enjo party I was hosting, but on the day I was unwell and had to cancel it.

I had planned on filling these with a lemon curd and vanilla cream, ahhh they would have been delicious.

Instead they sat unfilled in an airtight container for a week. By then I had moved on from the lemon and decided to rework the white chocolate raspberry filling from the original recipe in Sweets on a Stick by folding in a cup of whipped cream.

They turned out pretty yummy, so actually not so sad at all in the end.

The Meringue recipe is from Sweets on a Stick as is the Raspberry White Chocolate filling......just modify by folding in 1 cup of whipped cream to the cooled filling and pop into the fridge until chilled.

I do think I made them a bit big, I swirled the rosettes using a large 1M Wilton tip starting in the center and working my way out. Next time I'll be using a smaller size tip so the finished meringues are more petite bite sized.

Hopefully I'll have it worked in time for the rescheduled party.

Recipe modified from Sweets on a Stick by Linda Vandermeer:

Or here at fishpond (Aus/NZ)

Sweets on a Stick: More Than 150 Kid-Friendly Recipes for Cakes, Candies, Cookies, and Pies on the Go!

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Pink Ombre Ruffled Dress Cookie tutorial

These here are the pink ombre ruffle dress cookies I made up to match the cake I made for a fashion inspired birthday party.

Now Naomi V or her party stylist Putting on a Party didn't even ask for cookies, but y'all know I kinda have a thing for cookies, and ruffles, oh yeah and also ombre at them moment ........ so I wanted to create a ruffly cookie and this seemed like a perfect excuse.

Plus it was a bit of a test run, I wanted to see how the diagonal ombre would work before I started on the cake.

Yup this is the matching cake, click HERE for tutorial on this ruffled pink ombre dress cake

I actually really enjoyed making these cookies, although it took me around half a day to make just over a dozen. They are kinda time consuming but I don't mind I find the hand rolling relaxing and I like the uneven finish. But if you had lots to do you could crank up a pasta machine to whip out the ruffle strips much faster.

and none of my dress cookies were quite right for the look I wanted, so I made up my own template. Making a template pretty much just consists of drawing a dress on a piece of sturdy-ish card stock and cutting it out.

A template will work great if your only doing a few, but if you had like 200 wedding dress cookies to make I think it would be worth the investment to track down a cutter that matched or even have your own cutter made.

Pink Ombre Ruffled Dress Cookie Tutorial

Dress cookie cutter or template
Cookie dough - I used the recipe from Sweets on a Stick
White fondant (make your own marshmallow fondant or buy ready rolled)*
cornflour (corn starch)
Dusky Pink/ Burgandy Food gel color
small rolling pin
Frilling tool
non stick petal pad/foam (see here for example) optional for thinner ruffles
sharpe knife
water and clean brush (used for sweet food purposes only)

* Fondant dries out very fast. You must work quickly and keep in an airtight container when not in use. Knead well before use.

Knead the fondant well and using the food color make 4 different shades ranging from pale pink through to a deep dusky pink.

Cut out dress shaped cookies with cutter (or use template) place on a parchment paper lined baking tray and bake in the oven following recipe instructions until the cookies are golden. Remove from oven, leave on tray for 5 minutes, transfer to wire racks and allow to cool.

Lightly dust a clean bench top with cornflour (corn starch) and roll out the white until quite thin. I like to work with small pieces at a time to reduce the fondant drying out. Using the dress cookie cutter (or template) cut out a white fondant shape the same size as the dress cookies.

Brush the cookie with a small amount of water and adhere the white fondant to the cookie using the small rolling pin to gently press the fondant to the cookie making the surface as smooth as possible. Repeat with all cookies.

To Make the fondant ruffles dust the workbench with cornflour (cornstarch), take a piece of fondant about 1 1/2 tsp and shape it into a rectangle, using the small rolling pink roll in out into a long strip. As you roll you may need to press the sides in carefully with the sides/heels of you hands to stop it from getting too wide. (or if you find that is not working you can always use a sharp knife to trim it back to size) Keep rolling until the strip is quite thin. I like to pick the strip up after each roll to ensure it is not sticking to the bench and when necessary dust underneath again.

Pick the strip of fondant up and place it onto the non stick foam. Using the middle section of the frilling tool roll back and forth (like using a rolling pin) to make the strip even thinner, you will probably get it to double in length.

Then use the edge of the frilling tool rolling back and forth to frill one edge of the strip a little more.

Attach a short length of the fondant ruffle to the bottom corner of the cookie using a small amount of water brushed onto the fondant to adhere it. 

Continue to add more strips of ruffled fondant until you have reached to point where you want to switch to the next graduated colour.

After around 4 strips of the dark dusty pink you will be ready to switch to the next slightly lighter colour.

You can see in the picture above how I made some slight indents in the white fondant so I knew when to switch over to the next colour of fondant ruffles. I only did this on the first cookie and then I used that cookie as a guide for the remainder.

With this particular design I decided to stop at the waist. Continue adding the fondant ruffle strips until the whole skirt area is covered.

Cookie recipe used in this recipe was from Sweets on a Stick by Linda Vandermeer:

Or here at fishpond (Aus/NZ)

Sweets on a Stick: More Than 150 Kid-Friendly Recipes for Cakes, Candies, Cookies, and Pies on the Go!