Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Young vs. Old - The Daring Bakers Tender Potato Bread Cookoff

The Daring Bakers are at it again, and this time its savoury, includes yeast, really sticky dough and in my case helpers!

This month challenge of Tender Potato Bread was meet ed out to us by Tanna of My Kitchen in Half Cups, and many of us were jumping with joy and already smelling the baking bread in our ovens.

Tanna has taken the recipe for Tender Potato Bread from Home Baking: The Artful Mix of Flour & Tradition Around the World Jeffrey Alford and Naomi Duguid, and from my experience of the recipe it is a winner.

If we ever make bread, or actually if I even step into the kitchen with intent, both my kids want to help. Well this time was no different, except I had left completing this challenge down to the last minute, and really didn't want to deal with the extra mess that the kids can create. But I relented and promised them that they could make their own rolls. They picked their own Rosemary crushed their own pepper and salt, brushed their own oil, mind you they didn't clean up their own mess. And not surprisingly they did a wonderful job, I am actually more impressed with their efforts and creativity, as mine was a run of the mill, by the book focaccia, whilst they created gingerbread men and star shaped rolls which they baked perfectly and scoffed for dinner with their choice of cheese and olives.

When trialling a recipe I try to stick as close as possible to the original format so that I have a sound base to make adjustments from, the only choice i made was to use 12oz of potato but if you read the recipe at My Kitchen in Half Cups, you will see that you can use 8oz - 16oz. So I wasn't disappointed when the focaccia was soft, moreish and so so good. I highly recommend this recipe to all bakers and wanna bee bakers. Be aware that the dough is really soft and sticky, but don't be tempted to add too much flour to counteract this, just go with the flow.

As for the Young DB'ers vs me the Old DB'ers, place your votes. I will cast the first one and vote Young, but they have an excellent teacher.

I can't wait to see what is in store for December but you will all have to wait until almost next year, how crule.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007


Does anyone have any questions about, cakes, cupcakes, cake deco supplies, tachniques and the community garden, that you might have asked in the past and I never got back to you? Or want to ask.

If you do please ask again in the comments on this post and I will get a Q & A post happening.

Hang in there

Welcome back, I have been MIA for a while, still posting pictures on flickr but my zeal or mojo was non existant. Sorry, I have really dropped the ball. Its been a busy month, birthdays, engagements, more birthdays, gardening, chickens, need I say any more. Thank you for still checking up on me, and I will be around visiting some of your blogs soon.
I have also been trying to get on top of the weight gain that I have experienced over the last 12 months, little bit of depression, little bit of not loving myself, little bit of greediness . . . ok alot of greediness. I think most of us go through stages in their lives where they forget to care for themselves, but I am 3kg down and will let you know every now and then how it is going. But don't sweat, this is not going to turn into a weight loss blog, it is still going to be full of sugar and butter.
But to make up for it I have just completed two handfuls of posts for your viewing pleasure. And there is more to come over the next few days. And then we/I should be caught up and ready for the Christmas rush or baking, omg, its going to be busy.

Happy 3rd Birthday - Samantha

My little girl turned 3, last month, and she requested a fairy, princess, butterfly party, with pink castle cake and cupcakes. I think I achieved her wish.

Classic Rich Chocolate Cake, torted with pink vanilla buttercream, modeled with pink white chocolate fondant. All decorations are made from fondant or modelling paste. The castle design & fairies are from Debbie Brown's book Enchanted Cakes for Children. I really had trouble with some unexpected humidity, the fondant was very very soft, so it didn't really work out as planned, but added CMC and became very patient. But the overall effect works and the birthday girl was very happy.

I am looking forward to remaking this cake, next time I will allow myself more time. I love the modern take on the style, it is really easy to get this one wrong, but I pulled it off . . . just.

Pretty Pink Coconut Cupcakes - Samantha's 3rd Birthday

My little helper/ratbag/cupcake theif turned 3 on the 2th Oct, and guess what we had cupcakes, as well as the castle cake, we're just greedy.

Coconut Cupcakes frosted with Pink Vanilla Buttercream, styled with purple edible glitter, pink, yellow & white sprinkles and pink & white sugar butterflies.

Cupcakes baked by cupcaketastic, Cupcakes decorated by very close friends, cupcaketastic had to leave the room so she wouldn't take over! Thank you Abby, Christina & Zach, you did a great job.

And why is cupcaketastic talking about herself in the third person? Very strange.

Another Mater Cake

Yes, another one, it is so popular.

Classic Rich Chocolate Cake, torted with vanilla buttercream and crushed violet crumble. Styled with more crushed violet crumble, and tv mix, topped with a remote control 'Mater'.

This one is for a lady leaving Australia to work overseas. Lucky her. Poor old Mater he is really getting a work out.

Mag Wheel Birthday Cake

Classic rich chocolate cake, torted with Nutella buttercream, covered in chocolate fondant. All details made from fondant and the only non edible item is the candles.

I must say I loved how the tread on the tyre turned out.

And to go with the Mag we had 12 individually named classic chocolate cupcakes frosted with Nutella Buttercream, styled with fondant name discs, royal icing and chocolate racing cars, to give to the kids as thank you presents. The whole set of cupcakes and cake turned out wonderfully.

Bounty Cupcakes

Light and lushious, coconut cupcake, topped with sinful dark chocolate ganache, simply sprinkled with shredded coconut. This one is definitely a keeper, and I got some killer photos as well.

My cupcake mojo might be back!

Peanut Butter Cheese Cake

A Whimsical Bake House recipe, Peanut Butter & Chocolate Cheese Cake, rich, rich, fattening, but if you love peanut butter and chocolate and can't go past cheesecake this is a winner. Styled with a Ganache Galaxy in red & gold. Yum

Carrot Cakes - Basic & Stacked

Just a basic Carrot Cake for our C4 group, my son calles it 'Mummy Craft', but really if the truth be told there is very little craft going on at the moment.

And then there is a stacked Carrot Cake, which has a total of 4 torts, a little too high but still impressive.

Seville Orange Cupcakes

Once again a set of cupcakes for the community garden that I am co-ordinator for. These ones are for a session on how to 'Create an Energy Efficient Home'.

Seville Orange Marmalade & Dark Chocolate Cupcakes dusted expertly (by my special helper) with icing sugar.

We also had rounds of Zuchini & Bacon Frittata and Silverbeet & Feta Frittata topped with Tomato Relish and fresh chives. And mini vege pizzas.

I get questions about my time, and how do I get it all done, looking after 2 kids etc. Well I just shrug my shoulders and say that baking keeps me happy. But I have to confess that I DO have an assistant. Check her out!

Choc Peppermint Cake

Chocolate Chip pound cake, torted with whipped cream and choc mint biscuits, covered in dark chocolate glaze and crushed peppermint crisp.

I so stuffed this cake up, I over baked it. And it was for the hubby. The idea needs some work, love the styling, but the crazy angle does not work. And to top it all off, bad photography, I should be shot.

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

My brother got down on one knee, yippee!

Congratulations on your Engagement
Bryce & Tania

This is the bestest cheesiest photo I could find, stole it from their Ceroc (dancing) Club's website. Talk about smiling for the camera.