Sunday, 29 May 2016

Raffle Prize

I like to help out where I can, and I think it's always best to do that by offering your skills. I wouldn't, for example offer to help re-build someone's house if there was need because I don't know how to do that, but I would offer to feed them, and bring them cookies and tea. Therefore when friends of mine were running in the Race for Life in honour of their Mum, they wanted to raise funds by holding a garage sale. They asked if I would donate a little something for a raffle they were holding during the sale, and I am rubbish at running for anything longer than it takes to get the bus stop I was glad to help out in this way. I went with my classic raffle prize number, and made bouquet of pops in a mug. I kept the designs simple, so that anyone could enjoy these little treats!


Saturday, 28 May 2016

More Gluten Free Goodness

After having fun with the gluten free cookies, I had the chance to make some gluten free cupcakes. We were invited to a birthday party where I knew one of the guests was gluten intolerant so thought it would be a good idea to make her a little something to have when we were all tucking into the cake for the birthday girl.

It's interesting working with the parallel ingredients required to make gluten obsolete in these recipes while keeping the structure needed to make a cupcake and not a pile of batter once baked. It makes me quite grateful that I can happily put a cup-full of all-purpose flour into my recipes without any worries, but I am pleased I can make these cakes for those who do need to be careful about what they eat.

Sunday, 15 May 2016

Gluten Free Goodness

The term "gluten free" is everywhere, and is usually accompanied with the worry that there's nothing they can eat! Especially not cakes, because in case you didn't know, one of the main ingredients in cake is wheat flour making it most definitely not gluten free. I have made one cake in the past that was gluten free and by all accounts it came out well and tasted great! No one in my family is gluten free, however so I don't have the chance to make any gluten free treats to practice. That is until one of my friends went gluten free for health reasons, and is seeing the benefits therefore she's doing her best to stay on track, thus giving me a reason to try gluten free recipes. To add to the fun though, she is also dairy intolerant therefore making me think a little harder about what I might bring to a pot-luck that we were both attending.

I found this particular recipe on a blog called The Minimalist Baker. It even had the benefit of being vegan, but this wasn't a requisite for the pot luck so I stuck to the wall of safety and added an egg. The ingredients were easy to find and to use, and the texture of the dough was easy to work with. I liked the fact that sugar cookies are simply decorated with royal icing, which I knew would be gluten and dairy free.

Why make them look like Dinosaurs you ask? The obvious answer is "why not?" but there is more to it. My husband, who has been faithfully helping me study for my course, and in turn learning all sorts of names for things he never knew he wanted to know (this is the man who brought us the Latimoose!), recently was helping me study my muscles and once again, expertly rebranded the semi membranosus to the semi membranosaurus. So in fact, I did not make dinosaur cookies, I made semi membranosaurus cookies.



Sweet Prayers for an Ordination

I wouldn't necessarily say that I "specialise" in ecclesiastical cakes,  but I feel safe in saying that I am comfortable with the genre. I grew up in this world as my Father was a priest and my Mother was active within the Altar Guild among many other groups. The altar frontals, and their beautiful fabrics; the linens and their precise ways to fold them; as well as the vestments worm by the Priest with their symbolism and embroidery. Each piece has a meaning and can in some cases represent a different stepping stone on the path a priest takes in his or her training. For example, when a Deacon in ordained Priest his vestments are noticeably altered; The new Priest no longer wears the stole diagonally across their bodies but instead it falls on either side of their neck, over their shoulders.  Their chasubles also have a different looks because of where the bands of fabric are placed.

When trying to combine the two world and create edible vestments, I wanted to stay elegant. This cake was in celebration of our Curate being ordained into the Priesthood, and so I wanted to capture one of these visible changes. From now on, he will wear slightly different vestments, and be able to perform new tasks within the ceremonies, and hopefully this cake was a sweet start to a new chapter.
Congratulations James!

Sunday, 8 May 2016

Little Miss Minecraft

I never stop learning through cake making, and I'm not just referring to techniques. I learn all sorts about what's trending with people, especially children. I have experienced Minecraft before, but last time I made cupcakes of a Minecraft inspiration they were for the brother of this birthday girl who was receiving this cake. How things have changed because last time I made this little Chickie a birthday treat it was Frozen themed. Her Mother informed me that she was done with Princesses and was well into Minecraft, so let's try something new!

The birthday girl's request for the cake was "square" (check), "with lots of Minecraft characters on it"(check), and finally "Happy Birthday Tashi (of course)"(check). I hope I fulfilled all the requirements, and that the party was a success!

A combination of vanilla cake with green buttercream to stick it all together, and square gummies and cubed coconut for edible tiles made the decorations possible.

This is a pig....                                                                This is TNT (clearly)...

This is a Villager...                                                          And this is a chicken.

The requisite "Happy Birthday Tashi"


It squared off the be a really neat cake (:P)


Feedback from the Birthday Girl's Mum:

"14 very happy customers fell on this Minecraft cake like a pack of wild animals before I could take a photo! Success."

Sweet Roses for Sweet Mums

Mother's Day is yet again upon us, and what better way to celebrate than with cake! We had the family over to our house so I made simple cupcakes but decorated them with lovely little rose-buds and leaves. A few years ago I made Rose pops for our Mothers and two years ago our Mother's Day celebration warranted a big cake, (apparently last year was low-key post-wedding, as I didn't make a Mother's Day dessert!!) but this year I was sharing the dessert responsibility with my Mother-in-Law, so cupcakes seemed more appropriate for the meal.

I had wanted them to be a surprise for our Mothers, but my Mum ended up watching me make them. Looking back on it now, it seems appropriate because of all the times I watched her baking and decorating cakes, and generally "helping" her in the kitchen.


Happy Mother's Day!

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

 Me with my Sister Catherine (I don't remember why we had our faces painted but it was Easter!)
You can see how much "help" we were actually providing... sorry Mum!
c. 1989

Saturday, 7 May 2016

Bachelorette Sweets for a Sweetie

I think it's a sign of age when the little kids you babysat for years start to get married. On the other hand, I take it as a very good sign that after all these years they are still willing to talk to you!

In a former life I babysat three busy, fun, chlorine soaked siblings. Close in age, they were a delightful handful and a wonderful introduction to the world of child-minding and cat-herding. I think it's because of them that I can handle most children... and that's a good thing! The middle child is now just a few weeks away from her wedding day, and although I feel a little mouldy around the edges because of that, I am still so excited for her, and hope her day is perfect!

I know the Bride's Maid-of-Honour who not only wanted to satisfy her own cake pop craving, but also wanted to order some treats to celebrate the Bride's bachelorette! These are sassy but tame, and hopefully added a little flare to what sounded like a fun evening in the making.


Congratulations Annie-Bananie, I know you will be beautiful x