Tuesday, 4 March 2014

I'm having my Cake... and Eating it too!

Although this happened a while back, and near to the last posting, I've been on somewhat of a break from adventures in the kitchen because I've started a new project....




With happiness and surprise, late on the evening of the 16th of February, my then boyfriend Patrick asked me to marry him. No second guesses what I replied!!! We've been together three years and 3 months (now four months), and we keep proving to ourselves that we're a good partnership. I'm excited to be able plan our wedding, to make it true to ourselves and reflect our personalities.


I needn't tell you that I will be taking care of making my own cake, as well as sweet thank-you gifts... or course.







Wednesday, 12 February 2014

St. Valentine Cupcakes

What a week it has been so far! On top of all the other Valentine pops to make, I provided cupcakes for a decorating workshop at a near-by day care. I've worked with adults before, but children have their own unique style of decorating so this was a new experience. All the prep-work was more than worth it as I watched every pair of eyes light up when they saw all the icing, the sprinkles, the candies and the cupcakes they were about to decorate; They were all so excited!

Cake decorating and cooking with my Mum was always a favoured past time of mine as a little girl. Despite my Mother's probable desire to make the cookies/cake/casserole as quickly as possible, I would wander over to her and ask if I could help and she didn't often turn me down. Many times this just consisted of me sitting on the counter questioning every ingredient my Mother added to the bowl. I was always impressed with the strength of her arm as she mixed batters to a smooth consistency. When I'd have a go, I was quickly exhausted! Needless to say, looking at the pride on these young kids' faces at the daycare as they finished their cupcakes, and listening to them list all the people they were going to make these cupcakes for, I thought of all the "helping" I did for my Mum and happiness I felt.

Over the course of the morning I oversaw the decoration process for about 8 groups of children; The groups ranged in size from eight to 19 children, who ranged in age from a little under three to six-years-old. I was most impressed with the youngest group of children and how quickly they caught on, and with how organised the older kids were with their decorating. By the end of the workshop I am not ashamed to admit I was exhausted, but satisfied. There will be lots of happy kiddies enjoying their beautifully decorated cupcakes, and I was happy to have been a part of it all.

Nearly 300 cupcakes, which is good enough incentive never to eat cupcakes! (which clearly didn't last because I'm sitting, typing, eating a cupcake.)

Several batches of butter cream...

Bags of sprinkles and sweeties, my trusty Sharpie pen for labelling plates, and my card tin with my logo for life printed on the box ("Keep calm and craft on...") 

All packed and ready the night before (be glad you cannot see a clock...)

Some of the beautiful creations from one of the older groups of children.
 
And some of the cupcakes from one of the younger groups. Talent all round.


With the left over cupcakes, I did a quick decorating job and made up a tray for the hard working teachers at the day care! I have to say how grateful I was all their help. The teachers helped keep fingers out of icing and from children bathing themselves in sprinkles.
 

 
A great day all round, at a wonderful facility.
These are indeed lucky children getting a great start to educational life!
 
Happy St. Valentine's Day Learning Tree!
 
 

Monday, 10 February 2014

Have You Found Your Valentine??

There are only days left until we are awash with red and pink products, and we look adoringly into our loved one's eyes and just enjoy eachothers' company. Chaps, what if this year you presented your Darling with a bouquet of edible flowers made of cake and chocolate? Wouldn't she be happy? And Ladies, you could make your special Guy feel extra special with a collection of adorable pops? Manlier than a box of chocolates, and definitely not flowers.

If you would like to place an order for St. Valentine's 2014 or have any questions, please either send me an email (smcconway@yahoo.ca) or send me a massage via my FaceBook page (search "Mini Cake by Mini Marge") and let me know by Wednesday the latest to avoid disappointment!! (Please note I don't make left-overs, so if you're interested please order ahead of time!)



*Vase not included... this one's mine, but this is something you can do with your bouquet!

Make a variety of pops, or stick with one type.

 

Golfing in St. Vincent

They're back! Your friendly neighbourhood golf ball cake pops!

You may remember that last time I attempted to make these it resulted in several attempts to make my own chocolate mould (unsuccessfully I might add), a few carefully chosen blue words, and more than one late night. Nonetheless, they got finished on time and I learned a lot (let's try and take a positive from all this).

This time round I was wiser, so I went straight back to the successful moulding method that had won the day last time and as a result they behaved much better, and none were threatened with being thrown across the room... I am ashamed to admit that that does happen every now and again.

When talking about the details of the golf balls, I asked my friend ordering them what colour she wanted. At first some were going to be white, then the idea of going with the St. Vincent flag colours was thrown out there and in the end we went with that. I think they turned out really well and were a lot more interesting than just plain white edible golf balls on a stick- they were personal.


Because the St. Vincent flag did not immediately pop into my head, I did a bit of Googling and used these as my guideline.
 
 
 
 
And this is what came out of that.
 

Saturday, 1 February 2014

A Singing Cake

You've heard of the cards you open where immediately you're bombarded with a digital-sounding song like "Happy Birthday" or "Brown Eyed Girl", right? Well I wanted to use that concept except with a cake. I wanted to make a cake that could be appreciated by our choir director, so I wrote the sentiment on the cake in a language I knew he could read; Instead of writing "Happy Birthday" in English, I wrote it in music...

How it all began, lemon layer cake filled with lemon curd (makes my cheeks water thinking about it!)

Add to that a simple layer of butter cream icing.
 
Then to top it off, give it a layer of fondant.
 
Next, with the help of my trusty pasta press I cut out the treble clef staff.
 
And after, I placed the carefully planned out notes.
 
Then I made them look less Mediaeval.

 
 
 Finally, give it a key, and timing and we're good to go!
 
  With great relief on my part, after our Choir Director "played" his cake on the organ, he smiled and said "and no mistakes!!!" (Phew!)
 

Monday, 13 January 2014

A Treat for Volt

Why not try something new every now and again? What about a dog treat? My Mum has made dog biscuits before and I used to think they were fab but since then I haven't had a reason to make them. Recently however, friends of our have acquired two new fur-babies; A German Shepherd puppy named Volt and a grey tabby kitten (who was still nameless when we met him). We were lucky enough to meet them both last night, so I knew I had to make something special. (We didn't know the kitten had arrived yet, so I only made something for the puppy...hopefully the kitten wont hold it against me.)

So although these weren't for human consumption (unless you have a taste for peanut butter and parsley together), it was still baking and therefore worthy of the blog!

 Just to be sure it was clear who these were for, each biscuit got a paw print!
 
 
 Who stole the cookies from the cookie jar??? Woof!!


I should confess I was a little worried Volt wouldn't like the biscuits..... I shouldn't have......
they proved to be quite popular! 

Wednesday, 1 January 2014

HAPPY NEW YEAR!! 2014!!

I hope everyone's 2014 started off happily and safely!
Remember, don't worry about not keeping your resolutions, just set goals for yourself. And don't worry about going to the gym come January 2nd... just make lots of turkey soup, and go dancing!
 
Happy New Year, all. To Auld Lang Syne....