Sooty and Sweep cake

I made this cake for a dear friend of mine for his birthday- if you remember Sooty and Sweep you will love this just as much as everyone did.

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Firstly I had never made this cake before and was so worried that it would look NOTHING like Sooty or Sweep and would look like some freaky grey and yellow thing that smelt like cake. Sooty and Sweep cakes aren’t that common the way I wanted to do it so I literally had to go by a picture in my head.

I drew some stencils, elevated their noses and mouth area by moulding cake with my hands so they weren’t so flat and it was still hard to tell if they would look anything like them when they were just cake.  But finally after the crumb coats, coloured fondant and all the finer details… it did actually resemble those gorgeous little puppets we love.
I was going to cut out the writing with fondant but the cutters I bought- horrible!  So quickly whipped together some royal icing and problem solved!

The cake was red velvet with vanilla buttercream icing covered with Vanilla fondant.

 

Why I love May…..

I have always loved the month of May and Autumn and the May of 2013 my dearest Ulysses and I got engaged. *insert heart here* 🙂

From all the excitement and now fishing through wedding magazines I thought I’d do a post on wedding cakes! I love the rustic look and loving the whole piece of wood as the cake stand!

I’m interested to know- what was your wedding cake? What is your dream wedding cake or one that you have tried that was simply divine!  Would love to know.

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25 dishes for 25 years…

Hello everyone!

My apologies again for the loooooooong break from my blogging. Thank you for being so patient and supportive.  Now let’s get straight back into it!

As my birthday is just around the corner, I thought I would share with you what I did last year for this special day 🙂

I LOVE hosting parties and of course I have a massive focus on food.  My close friends and family are huge foodies like myself, so I never have a problem with motivating them to bring a plate of food.  But not just any plate!

For my 25th birthday the idea was ’25 dishes for 25 years’ and everyone could bring a dish. Doing parties with a huge focus on food are so much fun.  Talking to everyone about what they made, exchanging recipes and of course being in a complete euphoric state because of the food!

As you will see in the photos, the colours were amazing and everyone got to give their dishes a creative name. (Now that’s making the party sound lame- but it really wasn’t)!

My lovely cousin AKA my foodie lieutenant also made my cake- in the photo you can’t really see but the cake was a deep purple.  Thank you again x

Have some plastic containers, a massive roll of aluminium foil for all those leftovers and you will be sending home some very happy guests.

Stay tuned for some more incredible food parties……

Enjoy!

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Tess

and then there were four……

Hello my followers!  Sorry I haven’t posted anything in a while but I have a very VERY good reason!!!!

Uly and I are now the proud parents of two beautiful….. kittens!  We rescued two 4 month old kittens from the RSPCA and have given them a wonderful home which they have settled into perfectly. Remember if you ever want to add to your family, please go to an animal shelter and rescue one who is in desperate need of a furrrrever home.  Both Uly and I grew up with animals and have missed having them in our lives and knowing we saved two little precious creatures is so unbelievably rewarding.

So without further adieu, I would like to introduce you to Finch and Sparrow!  Finch, the ginger one loves plastic bags and is fascinated with what I get up to in the kitchen. And my dear Sparrow, the black and white one with a fuzzy possum tail likes browsing through cook books and watching cooking shows…. and speaking of cooking, I will be back to posting soon!!! I promise!  Happy days everyone. x

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Valentines day cookies

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These cookies are simply delicious and smell incredible when opening the lid after storing them.  Made with a good quality jam you will definitely gobble these up.  I made them for Valentines day but you could use this recipes with all sorts of other cookie cutters and different flavoured jams.

http://www.taste.com.au/recipes/19012/raspberry+jam+heart+cookies

One thing I did do that isn’t mentioned in the recipe is when I rolled out the dough and cut the shapes, I put it back in the fridge just to harden again.  When I rolled it out and then tried to pick up the hearts they would misshape and get really sticky.  Quickly putting them back in the fridge makes it so much easier to handle when getting them off the baking paper and onto the baking tray.

Dust with icing sugar and have with a lovely warm cuppa or a chilled glass of milk. Y U M !

cake……. oh and another cake!

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So it all begun when a dear friend at worked asked me if I would make her cake for her 50th.  “Hell yeh I will” I replied with excitement.  The decision was a champagne bucket cake with a champagne bottle.  Easy enough I thought.  Solid bucket shape, a bottle and decorated.  I researched, I studied, I asked for advice from fellow cake makers- I was set.

Then I was suddenly asked by another dear friend if I could make a cake for a kitchen tea as the person they had cancelled on them. “No worries, when and what kind”?……. the SAME CAKE due the SAME WEEKEND! What are the chances?! Laughing from an unbelievable coincidence I thought well I’ll already be making one, might as well make two!

I did calculations and bought my supplies and was ready for take off!…….of course my preparation didn’t include my week to be THE BUSIEST MOST INCREDIBLY STRESSFUL WEEK OF MY LIFE!

I don’t know where I got the idea that doing two of these cakes while also working a 40-50hour week would be fine!?….. but I am going to be very positive about the whole experience because I learnt a lot and felt such achievement at the end of it.

So in the end, I did it.  When the 2nd cake was picked up and taken away I actually stood there and said to myself “oh my god, I did it”. Everyone loved the cakes and I would like to thank my family, dearest friend and my other half for helping me through my breakdowns and meltdowns. For listening to my “I can’t do this” blabbers and sobs mixed with  profanities and more. Thank you for putting up with me.  Love you all x

*The cakes were platinum mud cake brushed with an apricot jam and Cointreau glaze, covered with bittersweet dark chocolate ganache and finished with fondant.  The bottles were made out of homemade rice krispies treats AKA LCM’s.

If you have any questions on how I moulded the bottles or anything else about the cakes, just ask! 🙂

Blueberry Pie

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blueberries IMG_3403 IMG_3419 IMG_3420Blueberry pie….. need I say more? *drools*

I have NEVER been able to make a blueberry pie PACKED with just blueberries as they are just so expensive in Sydney.  So as I was on one of my Tassie adventures, I saw a sign pointing up to the top of a little hill saying “Blueberries, $15/1kg”.  Well I was sold and up I went.  I also learnt that there are a number of different kinds of blueberries, I thought blueberries were just blueberries!  I tried about 5 different types, all subtle little differences in flavours but my favourite was a variety called Denise.

To make the pie, I used blueberries, cornflour, sugar and orange juice.  That’s it!  I took about a handful of the blueberries and squashed them in my hand and mixed in the cornflour, sugar and orange juice.  I then mixed in the rest of the blueberries.

Poured straight into a shortcrust pastry pie shell (uncooked and store bought) and baked at about 180-200 (depending on your oven).  I do like Jamie Oliver’s way of thinking about pastry, if you don’t work, have no kids and all the time in the world then sure, make your own pastry!  The store bought stuff is fine.

If you wait for the pie to cool completely it sets much better…… however none of us could wait.  It was eaten slightly warm with ice cream and a dollop of cream…… divine!

It was definitely a beautiful cooking experience I will never forget.

Stuffed baby pumpkin….

IMG_3411 IMG_3414When you need a vegetarian option for a guest, a stuffed pumpkin is very impressive, or you can make a whole heap of them for everyone!

I got this little golden treat from a little farm in Tassie where a lady was selling blueberries.  I bought 1kg of blueberries and saw the pumkin and just had to get it for my sister….. (I will post what I did with the blueberries very soon)

I baked the pumpkin whole in the oven at about 180 until it just started to get soft enough to scoop out the inside.  Removed the seeds and kept the pumpkin for the rest of the filling.

The great thing about stuffed pumpkins or any stuffed vegetable is you can stuff it with whatever you have on hand.   I used fresh bread crumbs, garlic, marinated goats cheese, shallots, mixture of herbs and mushrooms.

You don’t want the stuffing to be too dry so using things like olive oil, cheese and mushrooms will keep it moist but not soggy.  Then I put it back in the oven until it was ready but sticking a skewer in the side with ease.

Yeh…. it was pretty good!

Rhubarb and Blackberry pie…

I am back home in Sydney… but only for a few days- I’m going straight back to Tassie on Friday for the weekend with my parents and I can’t wait.  I’ll be going to the Harvest Market again bright and early Saturday morning and then cooking a lovely feast.  But first, I still have so many more things to post from my first week there.
I bought a bunch of rhubarb for $2 and had some lovely blackberries and a few strawberries left over- so of course I made a pie!!!!  I used store bought shortcrust and it was fine. I didn’t make this with cornflour which definitely does help it set, but it all still tastes the same. Mixed with some brown sugar, bake until brown and you have yourself a pie!

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melted away in a moment…….

I now understand why they are called “melting moments”.  After finally trying a really good one, it all makes sense! They really do melt away in your mouth!

This one was recommended to me by my sister’s fiancé from the Exeter Bakery 20mins north west of Launceston.  It was huge, and i normally hate BIG cookies, but this actually worked well big!

Sorry I only took a photo of it inside the plastic…. after my first bite, everything was a splendid blur from then on…..

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