Saturday, October 3, 2009

Happy Birthday my little angel

God bless precious, my little lady bird! you are year of years of years of amazing memories...and many more to you always say....I love you from here till the moon and back.

Two weeks ago Anu and I sat down to choose her birthday cake. We had 2 daunting tasks...what flavor and how should it look. My little hippie chick....never settles for the has got to be something outside the box and so she decided on Chocolate-Cherry (Moreallo) cake in the form of an abandoned bird cage! (yes!...she's very deep...this is what I meant by outside the box), covered with vines and flowers and bugs and bees. And so this is what I delivered...and she loved it. We were getting ready to cut the cake when one of her friends said," your mother is a good cook" (without even tasting the cake!! ...bless! :) ) and Anya proudly replied, " yes, my mum is the best cooker!!" haha. That said it all.....ask no more.

The kids loved the cake....coming back for seconds and thirds....( a bit concerning for me, for I did not know kids could eat that much cake) and the parents liked it too. The flavor was a bit hit, as the moreallo cherries cut back on the sweetness of the cake, and the cake itself had cocoa instead of chocolate...this one is a keeper.
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Anya's Birthday Cupcakes

Saturday 3rd October was Anya's 7th Birthday. My little princess is 7 yrs old......time feels like a few months ago we were celebrating her 3rd birthday and now its the 7th!.
She asked for cupcakes to share with her class mates at school, so I made 26 white chocolate cupcakes topped with Swiss butter cream. Of course the birthday girl got a special daisy on hers. I was running late with these cuppies as my second batch of batter gave up on me and I had to start all over again, so I was able to delivered them around 10am at school. The minute I stepped in.....the kids were all gasping and buzzing with excitement on seeing the cupcakes.....that was all I needed......NO WORDS JUST SMILES. Loved it.
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Monday, September 21, 2009

Thank You

12th Spetember 09 will mark a special day in my dairy for two loving brother Vijay's birthday and my very first opportunity to coordinate a stall...not just any stall...but the most anticipated, most sought after and the MOST SWEETEST stall of all (literally) the cake stall.

A week filled with loads of baking, wrapping paper and ribbons and cupcake cases and cookie cutter all over the house......we were in desperate mode the night before the Fair. My good friend Jin ...ever so reliable, dependable....every virtue one could expect in a real friend came to my rescue. Armed with both her kids and husband, she was at my door step at 8.30pm and we started wrapping, all the goodies. With everyone assigned a task...(yes, everyone...even the little ones) we were able to complete packing by 1am!!! Dawn of the fateful day...I was busy creaming 2 different icings for the 140 cupcakes I had made the night before. A quick stop over at the school at 8.30 for decorating the stall and I was back home to complete icing the cuppies. Finally managing to get to the school with all the goodies at 10.45....I was greeted by Jin and Felicia again....bless them. We started selling and my banker/cashier Jin ,was as expected SUPER efficient at managing the cash. At the end of the day we had collected $680.00 and managed to sell out every thing in the stall. Yeeeaaaaahhhhhhh!!! so happy with the results...specially because they will go directly towards the Computer Lab at the school.

I had to thank all the wonderful volunteers at my stall and this is my way of saying a big thank you to all the parent volunteers for helping out at the cake stall at Anya's school's Spring Fair. I baked close to 40 Custard Yoyo's and packed and labelled them and personally delivered them to the volunteers.
Thank you Jin, Felicia, Jaya, Deva, Dewi, Beena, Amanda, Prasad and Mica. With such fantastic support I look forward to next years Spring Fair.
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Sunday, September 6, 2009

Father's Day Red Velvet Celebration Cupcakes

So it was meant to be a picture perfect day....sunny, 21 degrees, with a subtle chill wind, we set out to celebrate a double hat-trick....Fathers day and my Birthday. All reservations were made for lunch at our local Thai restaurant....or so we thought!!! cause we were informed that the reservation your truly made was misunderstood for 4.45pm instead of 12.45pm.....yes, I hear you say what??? but the hostess was apologetic and accommodated our tiny gathering of 8. The food took a while to arrive.....and the little ones were behaving as if they were on a sugar high..guessing that's what happens when you starve them! When the food did finally arrive, we attacked it and devoured it as soon as it was brought. It was divine and worth the wait. As this was a big occasion and all, I decided to match it with an equally divine cake and so decided to make Red-Velvet cupcakes (might I add, this was the first time). I was very happy with the way they looked and the beautiful yet distinct flavour that the cupcake had (due to the magic ingredient: buttermilk). I would highly recommend this recipe if you would like to shine.....cause that's what this cake does....MAKES YOU LOOK LIKE A PRO....SOMEONE WHO HAS FIGURED OUT ALL THERE IS ABOUT BAKING!!

These are the list of ingredients you would need:

2 1/2 cups sifted flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
2 oz. red food coloring (two bottles)
1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
1 1/2 cups sugar2 eggs, at room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup buttermilk, at room temperature
1 teaspoon white vinegar
1 teaspoon baking soda


Cream butter and sugar until pale and fluffy. Add eggs one at a time and beat well. Add cocoa powder and food colour and blend.
To the above mix add half of the buttermilk and sifted flour and Baking powder. Stir gently and add the remaining, remembering to add flour at the end. Now mix the baking soda and vinegar in a separate bowl and add to the batter. Stir to incorporate all. Spoon in cupcake cases and bake in a preheated oven marked 180 degrees for 15 minutes. Baking time varies according to your oven temperature so check them at the 10 minutes mark. This recipe makes approximately 18 domed cupcakes.
Decorate with a swirl of cream cheese mixed with icing sugar.
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Thursday, September 3, 2009

Sample Labels for Spring fair

I am very excited to introduce these labels. These are samples (and may I say how very pleased I am with the outcome :)) of labels being made by myself for the very very very BIG Spring fair at my daughters school next weekend.
The idea and inspiration for these labels came from Ratukek on flickr. She was more than kind enough to share her techniques and methods in helping me make them. Her work is truly out of this world...beautiful and very inspirational. Thank you Ratukek.
Now that I have some idea of creating these....all I have to do is get someone trusting ....( Neil!!!) who is a computer wizzzz with an extra wizzzzzzzzz to help...(I'm sure this will do the trick :)) and get the labels ready before Friday next week (no pressure love!).
I will try and post some snaps of the finished products sometime next weekend....between baking, more baking, wrapping up baked goodies, making posters for the stall...and on and on and on.
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Recipe for Basic Vanilla baby cakes

Ok! so how long does making 180 baby cakes from scratch take??? well .....lets say from start till the end (not including frosting) it took me 2.5 hrs. Given they had to be frosted and delivered by 4.45pm....I was running out of time. I finally managed to get all things into the boot of the car with the kids all dress up for the BIG...(yes....really big....THIS I'M TOLD BY MY 6YR OLD :)) PYJAMA STORY TIME at school , last evening. It was a huge success ( the story time, I'm told) and so were my baby cakes. Parent were invited to visit the school's library for the Book fair and have a cuppa with cake/cookies ...for a gold coin donation. This is my favourite quick recipe for basic Vanilla Butter cakes. This recipe would make: 1 6inch cake or 18 regular cupcakes or for the adventurous chef's 48 baby cakes. This recipe is taken from The Australian Womens Weekly Cakes and Cookies Booklet. The ingredients you would need:


125gm Unsalted Butter (chopped @ room temp.)
1 tsp Vanilla essence
3 eggs
2/3 cup Caster sugar
11/2 cups Self-raising flour
1/4 cup milk.

Preheat oven to 180 degrees. Place all ingredients in a eletric mixer and beat on low spead for 1 minute or until all ingredients are combined. Turn the speed to medium and beat for another 3-4minutes. By this time the mixture will resemble a paler colour. Pour or divide mixter into baking pan/trays and bake. For a single cake check after 30minutes and for cupcakes it would take 15-17 minutes depending on the our oven.
Turn cake/cupcakes on a wire rack top side up for cooling before spreading with your favourite frosting. ENJOY.
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Friday, August 28, 2009

RSPCA Cupcake Day 2009

I got all excited when I recently read an article in the local paper about the fundraiser for the RSPCA. It was as simple as 1,2,3...or so I thought. 1: I registered with the RSPCA to become a volunteer baker.2: I started making small figurines made out of sugar paste to be placed on each cupcake, which took more than a few hours/days to there ends the simple part because 3: finding people to buy the cupcakes...well! lest just say that was the hardest part. I approached several people only to be knocked thank you or not interested. Its a shame...when the same people see an add for a homeless dog or an injured animal they make all the uuuuhhh and ahhhhhs but when it comes down to actually donating or helping raise money for a charity that helps millions of animals every year...the answer was a simple NO. I shed several tears over this, given the fact that the RSPCA receive less than 2% of the governments funding and I wanted to do my best to help. But as luck may have it, I did find genuine people, who even though did not have pets of their own, did not hesitate in donating or purchasing cupcakes to help the RSPCA.

This is a big THANK YOU to all of you from me and Mya (our 3yr old Labrador ). Thank you Harry, Jane, Linah, Jin, Shafali, Supriya, Smitha and Heather. Your donations have been forwarded to the RSPCA. I am still hopeful and so I hope for a better result next year.

Sweet beginnings

My passion for baking and cooking started in my mothers warm loving kitchen when I was 12yrs old. Pasta was unheard of in India at that time (.....late 1980's) and I found one of my mothers Good House Keeping magazine which had a recipe for home made pasta. Need less to say I tried my hand at it.....without mum knowing and used a whole lot of whole wheat flour instead of plain flour and several eggs and peanut oil, the outcome: Yuck! but my mother still smiled through it all. After that, I stuck to learning the basics and then progressing to the much more complex dishes. My mother used to bake the most moist, delicious and decadent tasting caramel sponge cake ever. It was so good that my dad learnt it from her and watching them I learnt it too.
My early days into my undergraduate degree saw more and more cakes being baked by me and devoured by my brothers and much so that I used to bake my own birthday cakes too!!
Moving to Australia showed me a completely new side to baking: decorating. It took me a while to discover the different types of icing and fondant. All these new tools, gadgets and techniques kept me busy baking batches of cupcakes and cakes which my daughters daycare and my husbands work were more than happy to try out. A few cake/cupcake decorating course with Plant cake and Sweet Deliveries has brought me here today. My ultimate aim is to enrol for a course with Le Cordon Blue and master and sharpen my skills.

Through my very many ups and downs, my husband Neil and my mother have been my pillars of strength and my shoulders to cry on. They have encouraged me through every step ...even when the step was not so perfect and to them I will be forever indebted. My conscience: Neil (my husband) and my mum have always believed in my ability and this achievement of mine is dedicated to you.

This is my journey, my Zen and I share it with you all through this blog.