Sunday, September 26, 2010

Glee bites, Butterflies and Tea Parties

For those of you who love Glee (and are in New Zealand!!) I strongly recommend you go and see the Gleevent!! I love the TV show - albeit mostly for the soundtrack - and when we saw the preview night of the stage show last week, it was fantastic. Visit the website for details, and/or my good friend Steph's blog for a more detailed review here.


For me though this was of course another excuse to bake, especially since I still had some left over mud cake (Yes, my household has really gotten to the point where there is EXCESS cake)

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Chocolate mud-truffles dipped in milk chocolate with yellow fondant and red edible gel pen

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Yum. Although not sure if I'm a fan of this edible writing gel business - the letters took forever to dry, and even then stayed sticky... questionable. Luckily we were more focussed on the chocolatey muddy goodness underneath.

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From this same batch of chocolate-mud truffles, I made these cuties to send to my sister in the far off land of Hamilton

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Also my first play with plunger cutters - which sound far more terrifying than they actually ARE - and more playing around with marbling fondant

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FYI - when marbling fondant, WEAR GLOVES. Even if you feel a bit spastic - I'm still trying to get the purple colouring off my fingers. I look diseased.

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So that's my week in pictures. Had a huge big shopping spree yesterday for the Tim Burton party which is now next Sunday (eek) and found lots of fun stuff. Was trying to represent all his movies, but a) I don't LIKE them all - I know, who would've thought - and b) there are too many. Put aside the fact that I'm now living in a room surrounded by severed fingers, tea cups, grass mats, tea pots and fake spiders, and I think it will be a success.

I couldn't wait any longer to open everything up when I got home, soooo.... HERE'S A SNEAK PEAK!!

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Tonnes to do this week to prep for it, fingers crossed I don't have a fondant break down this time!! especially since a topsy turvy cake will be involved....

- B xx

Monday, September 20, 2010

Impromptu Tea Party practice

In case you haven't caught up from my previous ramblings, Miss S and I are having a Tim Burton Tea Party - we had so much fun planning the Murder Mystery night (some details are here but alas I am slack, and have not yet done a full post with all the details - promise promise promise it's coming!) and couldn't wait any longer :)

It's a Tea Party partially inspired by all the Alice in Wonderland tea parties popping up all over the place since the movie came out, but since Alice was by no stretch of the imagination my favourite Tim Burton movie, I decided to make it a blanket Tim Burton theme - makes for a far more interesting range of costumes :)

FYI I'm still a die hard fan of the 1950 Disney version of Alice in Wonderland, or the slightly creepier but still gold MUSICAL version from 1985 - if you haven't seen it/them you should. (Warning - the 1985 movie is seriously questionable, Martha Raye as the Duchess = CREEPY, and talking/singing chess pieces haunt me to this day... Ringo Starr as the Mock Turtle is somewhat hilarious though, do it)

Eek, look at them -


Shivers. Serious creepage.

Anyway, due to said planning I have been doing the mandatory op-shopping for tea cups and saucers and tea pots and other bits and pieces, and since they were all sitting out in our conservatory looking bored - my mum and I decided to have an impromptu practice tea party on Saturday afternoon.

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We even got out the real silver spoon set - just because why the heck not. Although to be honest, we didn't actually USE them... they were a slightly questionable shade of old.

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But I DID get to use the silicon teacupcakes I found all the way back here - they worked, but were slightly hilarious/flawed when we tried to pick them up by the handles, since they're ALSO silicon and don't really work as handles at all... they are for cupcakes, not tea... but still! I made my Nanas recipe for light buttercakes (which only sporadically works out succesfully - luckily this was one of those times!) with lemon curd in the middle and buttercream icing - Tea with lemon! Yes, I'm really that tragic.

They were just as cute as Lemon Meringue cupcakes too

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We had homemade sausage rolls, mini wafers, toffee pops & squiggles (They're new, and DELICIOUS. Don't really taste a thing like their original normal size ancestors... but they're miniature, so it's ok) Chocolate teddy bears (thank you, Australia, just another one of the delicious original foods you've blessed me with) and mini pikelets with jam and cream - noticing a *cough*mini*cough* trend here?

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Not to mention tea. Obviously. Lots of tea. But not out of those pretty little teacups I used for the photos, since they hold a pathetic amount of said tea.

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But they were $4 for the whole set after all. Thank you Sallies Upper Hutt.

And thank you Wellington for the BEAUTIFUL view you provided for our tea party!

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Sometimes I forget to look out at our beautiful view. Thank God it's spring and I won't have that excuse much longer! Especially since I need to get away from all these cupcakes and out into the sun...

2 weeks till my flea arrives!! (My big sister loves being called that, really) She'll make a stunning Mrs Lovett

B xxx

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Tim Burton, Topsy Turvy Cakes, Tea parties, Jellyfish

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Well this weekend was supposed to be the perfect weekend for staying inside and being lazy - we got out the torches and candles in preparation for power outages, brought extra wine and cheese and snacks to make sure we didn't starve (the necessities) and made the most of the DVD sale at work to ensure we weren't bored (like I needed an excuse) - and then I'm pretty sure the storm just forgot to hit us. In fact beyond that, it's been overall a fairly gorgeous weekend! How does Sunday come so quickly?

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Faced with a gorgeous sunny day - and feeling slightly slobby and lazy about wanting to stay home
DESPITE said gorgeous sunny day - Mum and I took a drive up the coast to visit our bach and make sure it wasn't washed away (since apparently other areas of NZ WERE hit by said devastating storm, whoops, our bad :)).

Was divine - if blustery - up there, and the beach was covered in newly carved rivers, rubble and trees, lots of blue-bottle jellyfish (Ick - they really do look like plastic bottles) and a tennis ball. Obviously.

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Got the above gorgeous panorama through sheer cleverness (which let's be honest, was actually a complete fluke, unfortunately) but it doesn't show the mess on the beach particularly well. Oh well, we know it was there. In fact I'm pretty sure I fell over it at least once (which would explain how I got sand in my camera. Sigh. Technology and I are not a happy pair).

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So that was the end of my extremely relaxing and unexpected weekend. Started with Letters to Juliet and a glass of wine (both of which I would recommend, equally) an impromptu tea party (photos to come, but in the meantime you should know - mini pikelets with jam and cream = delicious AND cute) a night of watching Tim Burton movies to get inspired for the upcoming Tim Burton Tea Party (let's be honest, we only stayed awake for 3 movies - we're getting old and decrepit, Steph and I) and then a day at the beach. Luuuuuuuuuurvely.

Now I have Tim Burton on the brain. Though I can think of much worse things.

Happy Sunday!

- B xx


Monday, September 13, 2010

Burlesque Cake and Bake!

Surprisingly enough, I did actually manage to survive last week - JUST.

I had a minor breakdown on Friday after a far too huge and stressful week, vowing to never touch a cake again after some careless meddling broke 3 different fondant decorations, two collapsed cake tests, and some extreme worrying about a dress that may or may not still fit.

But a cup of tea, a cry, and a minor tantrum later, and I was back in the kitchen and ready to roll.

Tossing up my time between two cakes - the first was a Harry Potter cake for a 7th birthday (blog post to come, but you can sneak preview the photos on my website here) and the second was for Miss la Belle's Burlesque Cake and Bake!

Drum roll please:


The cake I'm pretty sure I was born to make.



If you know me at all, you'll know that my favourite things in life don't fall far from high heel shoes, red and black, and chocolate - so this event was pretty much made for me.

Now can you see why it was important that the dress still fit? (Though to be honest, I didn't breathe a whole lot during the night - corset boning = OUCH)


Since we had to come up with a name, my cake was called "Moulin Rouge" - another one of my favourite things


This was an INCREDIBLY decadent and heavy mud cake, with vanilla buttercream icing and pettinice fondant.


Hat and shoe were modeled on the versions I wore on the night - made entirely from fondant, and the shoe is held in place with toothpicks (FYI I didn't even try the netting, oops! That looked like a little too much detail for someone having a clumsy day)


All the tears and icing sugar behind me, it was a fabulous night! My good friend Natalia (you can visit her blog here - she made a DELICIOUS rich chocolate and raspberry vegan cake called Vegalicious!) won Audience favourite - very much deserved.


These are the seven gorgeous creations - one of them was a ridiculously good Chocolate Banana cake from Joy of Baking

And "Moulin Rouge" and I won the prize for best cake/dress match!


Which means free tickets to the Wellington heats of Miss Burlesque 2011, AND my very own bespoke Millinery from Amy Jansen-Leen! Perfect timing since I just (finally) picked my dress for the Melbourne cup in November. Go and have a look at some of her previous creations here - they're gorgeous!!

Thanks to Steph (as usual) for inspiration, and a huge amount of time wasted/procrastinating whilst discussing fondant colours and cake recipes - you shall be my date for Miss Burlesque next year!

- B xx


Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Chocolate shoes and fondant top hats



I have about a million new photos of new projects and delicious foods waiting to be uploaded and described and shared, including the details of the Murder Mystery party (which you can see over here at Catch my Party), my very first (and successful and delicious!) tiered cake (which you can see on my facebook page here) and the plans in the making for an upcoming Tim Burton Tea party (which is so secret that it doesn't appear ANYWHERE else on the net yet)....
BUT, I'm currently - and thankfully - typing on the brand new keys of a brand new laptop. So new in fact that the keys still click, and bonus - it has a delete key, AND a functioning t, d, 5 and 8! Plus it closes without needing to be hit - all features my old laptop was sadly lacking in its old age, may it rest in peace.

All these brand-spanking new features however also mean that my photos are over there >>>>>> on the old laptop sitting beside me, where I can't currently access them :) So the photos shall have to wait. But in the meantime life happens and while I may not necessarily be in the mood for it just at the moment, I have entered a competition for Saturday night that will be lots of fun - Miss la Belle's Burlesque Cake and Bake! Cake + heels + polka dots + corsets + feathers + lace = one epically fun night! Especially since one of the prizes is for the cake that best matches the cake makers outfit!

While I can't give away too much (In case the lovely Steph and/or Natalia read this - they're my competition!) I WILL say that at this time there is a giant chocolate shoe cooling on the bench, a design for a black fondant hat - beside it's wearable inspiration, and a WHOLE lot of red fondant waiting waiting waiting for decorating to begin tomorrow night. There's also a Harry Potter fondant scarf and spectacles waiting, but that's a whole other story!

Here's a sneak sneak peak of the dress - let's just hope it still fits.



Let's also hope that I can cut fondant in straight lines, or that boning is not going to happen at ALL.

More photos to come I promise! As I mentioned before, I do also have a Harry Potter cake on the go for a 7th birthday on Saturday, so that's keeping me busy too! Hopefully on Sunday I'll have time to sit down and sort all these things out - but let's be honest, I'll either be baking again, painting, or in the bath.

Since I'm going to end this here and leave you with a tiny bit of spare time that you might otherwise have spent reading my ramblings, please use said time to visit the Classic Hits website and vote for my shoes!!! Sounds ridiculous, it probably is, but I entered a pair of my favourite heels into this competition to win either a) a trip, or b) a new pair of shoes! Can't go wrong there. They're number 10!!! And you can vote from here. They're called Wicked Witches Revenge (by me) and they're red, and heels - two of my favourite things in life :) Yum.


I'm off to start melting down two entire blocks of dark chocolate (Oh yes, that's how good my Mud Cake is) and will have photos of the final result up soon!

- B xxx

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Itty Bitty Chocolate Chip Cookie-wiches

I really don't have the time tonight to be writing a new post, nor did I intend to - far too busy eating pesto-stuffed chicken breasts wrapped in prosciutto (Thanks Jayne!) followed by sweet tangy and thoroughly delicious raspberry and white chocolate cheesecake... YUM...


Oops, getting distracted - anyway, my point is that I'm far too busy to blog, but this really, actually, simply, could not wait.

I decided to just briefly check my reader in case anything exciting had turned up in the last 2 hours (which is generally unlikely, since it's the middle of the night for 90% of the blogs I follow) and this little gem was just sitting there waiting for me, from the amazing Jenny over at Picky Palate (who by the way, has just SHOT to the top of my favourite creations list).

Important thing you should know about me - I'm obsessed with toast, I eat it for breakfast, lunch, dinner, in fact I'd quite happily eat toast (and desserts) all day long if my mum would let me. I'm also obsessed with cookie dough - something I fell in love with during my time in the US, and which I now miss TERRIBLY since New Zealand hasn't cottoned onto the true magic of selling cookie dough just for the sake of cookie dough... Thus, I present to you my ideal food: Itty Bitty Chocolate Chip Cookie-wiches. Even the NAME is cute, but just wait until you see them..

This, is mini toast


Like actually, teeny tiny pieces of real bread-shaped toasty goodness. And only the cleverest person would think to put cookie dough on top...


And voila!


Jenny has officially created a whole new food group. YUM

For all the details - and the rest of the gorgeous gorgeous photos - visit Jenny at Picky Palate and look here.

- B xx