Thursday, February 26, 2015

February Meeting 2015-Basic Tool Kit

 Cake Pans: Several different sizes, even helpful to have two of the same as they cook more evenly.  Most widely used is the 8’’ or 20cm round pan.
 Cake Boards: come pre-cut, pre-wrapped, and ready to go!  Available in oodles of shapes,sizes and colors.  Get one several inches larger than your cake.  An 8″ cake deserves a 10″ board.
 Rolling pin: Large French pin and smaller one for small items. Good if it has the removable rubber rings which set the width of fondant you can roll out for consistency.
Mat: Non stick/silicon, some have markings on them to help measure size of cake or cutting out shapes
Smaller mat or board: Useful for working with small pieces of fondants. Can be made from plastic or soft foam.
Powder for dusting: Either Cornstarch or Potato Starch. Icing sugar stains darker fondants. Can also use Crisco or Kremalta to stop fondant sticking and to also soften it up.
Spatulas: also known as a Palette Knife. Useful for spreading ganache or buttercream on cakes and lifting fondant off the boards. Best to have different sizes and one flat one and one offset one.

Fondant smoother: polish over the fondant to get smooth finish.

Piping Bags: Disposable or reusable. Available in different sizes. Can also buy bags with two pouches for two-tone icing.

Couplers: Standard or large. Consists of a base and a ring. Worth having several in the kit.

Basic set of tips: Depending on what brand you use to what numbers are used. More in later workshop.

Cake Leveller or Serrated Knife: Cake leveller is useful as you get smoother cutting and can set the chosen height of each cake so that it is consistent.

Turntable: Very useful from ganaching the cake to piping decorating evenly. Helps get straight sides and smooth finish.

Cutters: Basic must haves are 5 piece rose cutter set, 3 size daisy cutters, 3 size rose calyces, blossom cutters and rose leave cutters.  You will find that your collection of cutters will grow as you purchase specific ones for new projects

Tools: Gum paste tools are recommended for creating realistic flowers and you should have at least have a ball tool, dog bone tool and veining tool. (good starting place is the Wilton Flower Cutter set)

Small scissors and Tweezers:  useful for snipping fondant to get feather texture. Tweezers useful for placing cachous balls.

Cutter: The wilton stitching fondant tool is helpful which has 3 different wheels.

Brushes: Different sizes for brushing on glue, luster or glitter.

Gel food colours: (Americolor) Better than using the water based ones at the grocery store, which affect the consistency of the fondant. Can use toothpicks to add colour and mix either using hands (recommend using gloves) or using standing mixer. Better yet buy the already coloured fondants like satin ice or bakels. Having the primary colours is good starting place

Fondant: Satin Ice or Bakels. Can also make your own.

Lustre/Dusting Powders: Useful for adding colour or sparkle to fondant or buttercream. Useful lustre is Hologram white glitter as it reflects and enhances the surrounding colours. Basic colours is having silver, gold, red, blue and green and yellow for flowers.

Edible writing pens: Useful for small details on fondant such as eyes. Best not to refrigerate as can cause them to dry out. Black is an essential.

Gum Tragacanth or CMC: Useful for adding into fondant to harden quicker and stronger. Can buy gum paste fondant but useful also to add to other colours.

Edible Glue: Can buy already made or make using vodka and Gum Tragacanth. Useful for sticking small bits of fondant together.

Spirits or vodka: To make glue or use to stick bits of fondant together. Can use to mix dusting powders in and make coloured paste. 

Monday, November 25, 2013

Michaels's silicone mould demo (useful links)

Here are the links Michael gave us, during his silicone mould demonstration
Mould making tutorial
Purchasing silicone products

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Esme Dawson - recipes & visit

Last night Esme demonstrated for the Whangarei cake guild. Earlier in the day, she made 2 gorgeous chocolate cakes (see recipes below) She used gorgeous fairtrade sugar and cocoa, which I recently purchased from Tradeaid. The cane sugar, has a wonderful golden colour. Esme and I were discussing it and she and I agreed, it was very similar to the golden caster sugar often used in British recipes. Esme tells me, it gives a more caramel top note to your cake YUM!. The chocolate was Whittaker's fairtrade Dark Ghana.

She wowed all of our guild ladies with her Swiss meringue buttercream (she used this recipe on the first challenge on Chelsea New Zealand's Hottest Home Baker" last year). Most of us admitted to never having made it before. We'd had a request from a guild member to pipe a cake using the Wilton 2d tip so Esme opted for an Ombre style cake. Everyone agreed it tasted delicious. A fun night was had by all

Esme's Swiss Meringue Buttercream
Egg whites
Caster Sugar

Right. Now this is a bit of a different recipe, the above ingredients are weighed in ratios i.e. 1:2:2.5

Example, 150 grams of egg whites, 300 grams of sugar, 425 grams of butter. 

Put your egg whites and sugar in a bowl of a pot of simmering water. Stir regularly until the sugar has dissolved and the mixture if quite hot to the touch. Rub some inbetween your finger and thumb and if you can't feel any grains of sugar its ready! 

Pour the mixture into your stand mixer and whip with the whisk attachment until the mixture if thick and it is at room temperature (will still be a little warm, but you don't want it to be too hot that it will melt the butter). 

Now change to the paddle attachment and add the butter 50g at a time. Do this on a low speed, otherwise you run the risk of whipping out all the air. Take your time with this part. I sometimes find I don't need all the butter, but keep adding it until your buttercream comes together. It  may look soupy/curdled at one stage, but do not fear, continue with the butter and beating and it will come together to form a luscious mousse like buttercream that is not too sweet. 

You can add any flavourings you like at this stage e.g. melted cooled chocolate, essences, fruit puree/powders. Refer to Note below regarding cream cheese. 

The weights I gave above are enough to pipe generous swirls on 24 cupcakes or fill/ice/decorate a 23cm cake. 

Whilst this is quite an expensive calorie rich buttercream, it is a real decadent treat and well worth the extra effort!

Cream Cheese SMBC

You can turn this into a cream cheese frosting, but there are some rules you must follow to ensure success. 

To this recipe you can add 250g cream cheese. 

First, you want the cream cheese to be at room temperature. Then you need to beat it until light and fluffy. A stand mixer is good for this. Turn the mixer down to low. 

IMPORTANT, you need to add the buttercream to the cream cheese (not the other way around or you will split the delicate buttercream). 

Take a big dollop and with your mixer on low add it to the cream cheese, keep adding in 4-5 more parts and mix until smooth. Do not over beat. You want to mix it on low until it just comes together. 

Esme's Chocolate Mud Cake recipe

1 cup milk
1 T vinegar
250g dark chocolate
1 cup boiling water
1t coffee
2 cups flour
1/2 cup cocoa
2 t baking soda
1 t baking powder
1/2 t salt
1 cup sugar
2/3 cup oil
2 eggs
1 t vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 170 degrees. 

Pour hot water over chocolate, add coffee. Leave while you prepare the rest of the ingredients and tins (1 x 23cm or 2 x 20cm). 

Mix vinegar and milk together. Sift dry ingredients. Stir in sugar. 

Whisk the chocolate mixture until melted and smooth. Whisk in oil, mik, eggs & vanilla. Mix the wet and dry ingredients together, with a whisk until mixture is smooth. Pour into prepared tin(s) and bake for 40-45 minutes for the 2x 20cm tins or 50-55 minutes for the 1x 23cm tin. 

This is a lovely moist chocolate cake, which you can ice/decorate as you wish. It is equally delicious served warmed with custard and fruit. This cake keeps for several tins in an air tight container - if you figure out how to make it last that long please let me know!

Happy Baking :)

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

New 2013 programme

Our committee has been hard at work planning the 2013 year. We are in the process of organising fun workshops around the SPCA cupcake day and the first part of the 2013 programme has been set. Click on the 2013 tab above for details.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Chocolate Chip Biscuits

Chocolate Chip Biscuits (Diana Johnson)

250g butter, softened
½ cup sugar
3 Tblspn condensed milk
½ tspn vanilla essence
2 cups flour
2 tspn baking powder
1 ¼ cups chopped dark cooking chocolate

Preheat oven to 170deg. Line 2 baking trays with baking paper. Beat the butter and sugar together until pale and fluffy.  Beat in the condensed milk and vanilla essence. Sift the flour and baking powder together and stir into butter mixture alternately with chopped chocolate.

Roll into golf ball size balls and place on prepared trays at least 8-10cms apart to allow for spreading. Flatten with a fork. Bake in preheated oven for 20 mins or until golden. Allow to cool completely. Store in an airtight container.

Feijoa Loaf

Feijoa Loaf                   (Laura Dalton)
In a large pot boil for 5mins stirring regularly:
·         1 generous cup of diced / mashed feijoas 
·         1 cup sugar
·         1 cup water
·         50 grams butter
Let cool (1/2 hour or more) then stir in:
·         2 cups sifted flour with
·         1 teaspoon baking powder
·         1 teaspoon baking soda
·         1 beaten egg
Pour into greased and lined baking/loaf/muffin tins.  Bake at 175` fanbake and start testing with a skewer after 15mins. Worth doubling when fruit is abundant in autumn – this loaf freezes well.

Buttery Lemon Bars

Buttery Lemon Bars (Ngaire Le Clerc)

250g butter
2 cups flour
½ cup icing sugar

Cream the above, press into a deep 19x30cm pan and bake 15 mins at 180deg C. Then beat together:

4 eggs
2 cups sugar
½ tspn salt
1 tspn lemon rind
5 Tblspn lemon juice

Combine with:

5 Tblspn flour
1 tspn baking powder

Mix well. Pour on hot crust and bake at 180deg C for 15 mins until golden. Dust with icing sugar.

Cognac Triple Choc Brownie

Cognac Triple Choc Brownie (Kimberley Costello)

·         300 g really soft butter (but not melted)
·         3/4 cup caster sugar
·         1.5 tsp vanilla
·         4 eggs at room temp, beaten
·         40 mls Cognac (Hennessy is good)
·         1.5 cups plain flour
·         1 cup good quality cocoa
·         Half cup White choc
·         Half cup Milk choc
·         Half cup Dark choc (70% cocoa solids)

In a mixer, cream butter and sugar until very pale. Add vanilla. Turn mixer on to low and add egg a little at a time and mix well after each addition. Add Cognac, and mix. In a large bowl, sift dry ingredients together. Take half of each chocolate and chop. Leave some chunky and chop the rest until quite fine. Add all choc and dry ingredients to the butter/sugar/egg mix and very gently fold together BY HAND until JUST MIXED. Turn mix out into a lined baking tray (roughly 20x30cm) and spread evenly into tin. Bake at 175 degrees celcius for 20-25 mins. A skewer should come out clean but not too clean. (nice and gooey in the middle best!)

Anzac Slice with Golden Syrup

Anzac Slice with Golden Syrup (Jeanine Rossouw)

·         125g butter, chopped coarsely
·         1 cup (220g) light brown sugar
·         2 Tbsp golden syrup
·         1/4 cup (60ml) water
·         1/2 tsp baking soda
·         1/2 cup desiccated coconut
·         1 cup rolled oats
·         1 cup plain flour, sifted
·         2 cups icing sugar
·         1 Tbsp golden syrup
·         20g butter
·         2 Tbsp hot water

Preheat oven to 120 C. Grease 24x32cm swiss roll pan, line base and long sides with baking paper, extending it 5cm over sides. Stir butter, sugar and syrup in medium saucepan over low heat until sugar dissolves. Remove from heat. Stir in the combined water and soda then coconut, oats and flour. Spread mixture into the pan, bake ~45 min.  Meanwhile make golden icing. Sift icing sugar into medium heatproof bowl, stir in syrup, butter and enough water to make a thick paste. Set bowl over medium saucepan of simmering water, stir until icing is spreadable. Spread slice with icing. After 15 min transfer to a wire rack to cool and set at room temperature. Cut into 40 fingers. Store in an airtight container for up to 1 week.

Tasti Fruit Slice

Tasti Fruit Slice         (Lynne Butcher)

·         1 1/2 Cups Flour
·         1 1/2 Tsp Baking Powder
·         1 Cup Coconut
·         2 Cups Mixed Fruit
·         1 Cup Sugar
·         1 Tbl Golden Syrup
·         150 gm Butter                                                                                                                                                                                  
·         1 Egg
·         1 – 2 Tsp Icing Sugar
Sift flour and baking powder, add coconut and mixed fruit.
Put sugar, golden syrup and butter in saucepan, heat gently until butter has melted.
Cool slightly. Add egg to saucepan then pour over dry ingredients. Stir to combine.
Press into sponge roll tin and bake 20 mins at 180c. When cool dust with icing sugar and cut into squares.

Chocolate Fudge Cake

Chocolate Fudge Cake     (Heather Clarke)
Place in saucepan and melt:
·         225 grams Butter                                           
·         1 cup Sugar
·         2 Tablespoons Cocoa                                   
·         1 large Tablespoon Golden Syrup

Allow to cool then add:

·         2 cups Flour
·         2 teaspoons Baking Powder (sifted together)
·         1 cup Coconut 

Mix well and place in sponge roll tin. Bake at 180 degrees C for approx 20 mins.

Ice with chocolate icing while still warm.

Cut into pieces when cold.        

Friday, June 8, 2012

Stencilling with thanks to Heather

During one of our recent Cake club meetings, Heather kindly deomstrated stencilling She was kind enough to give me the examples, so I could share them with you all. Our members were thrilled to see how easy it is to stencil on to cakes & cookies. Simply by changing the colours, it was amazing the effects Heather achieved. The examples do have some glad wrap over the top in photos, so not 100% clear.

Monday, May 28, 2012

National executive comittee meeting June 23rd

On the 22nd & 23rd June we are hosting the National Guild Committee.

They will be holding their meeting at Sierra Motel on Saturday 23rd from 8.30am until 5/6pm. We have

7 people to billet so if any of you are able to have someone stay, please let me know. They arrive on Friday afternoon and leave on Sunday morning. You are very welcome to sit in on their meeting.
We will be having a pot luck dinner together on Saturday night at 6.30pm at the same venue
Please come and join us and help make them feel welcome. They like to meet as many members as possible

Please bring sweet or savoury food to share.

(We will have plates, so does not necessarily need to be finger food i.e. can be salads, casseroles, desserts etc.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Baking sharing & recipes

At our committee meeting last night it was decided at our cup of tea time we'd have baking brought by a volunteer member each club night. Laura started us off with her wonder Feijoa loaf.  Each month from now on we'll have 2 lots of baking from 2 different volunteers.

Laura's recipe is below

Feijoa Loaf (I normally double this to give some to the kind owner of the feijoa tree)
Boil together for 5 minutes in a large pot, stirring regularly:
1 generous cup of feijoas - diced or smushed up
1 cup sugar
1 cup water
50 grams butter
Let cool (1/2 hour or more) then stir in:
2 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 beaten egg
Pour into greased and lined baking/loaf/muffin tins. Bake at 175 deg fanbake and start testing with a skewer after 15 minutes. Takes 20 mins in my oven.

Friday, January 27, 2012

New 2012 programme

I hope to see you all at our first meeting for 2012. Tuesday 7th feb at 7pm. Don't forget fees are due at this meeting. $45 for the year. Our new programme for the first part of 2012 can be found under the Programme tab at the top of the page.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Photos from our December meeting

Our final meeting for the year was so much fun. We had surprise boxes, that included a 7'' square fruit cake, a tub of Satin Ice (each team had a different colour) and a variety of tools to make a finished cake.he challenge was not having all the creature comforts of your tool box at home. Our members were split in to teams of 5. The cakes were created in 1 hour and voted on by the members (they could not vote for their own cake). The winning team was team BLACK.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Recipe from Frances' visit & demo - Lemon Coconut Cake

Lemon Coconut Cake

Recipe from Toba Garrett’s book “The Well Decorated Cake” (Toba iss demonstrating at conference 2011)

This is a delicious cake which I use a lot (with but often without the coconut!) and keeps for three weeks wrapped in the fridge uniced, I’ve kept it in the fridge for a few days but it’s so easy to eat I don’t know how long it keeps.  Keep for two months in freezer.  Best with a butter cream icing rather than fresh cream. Try the Italian Meringue for a lemon meringue cake! Frances Dalton-Hayward

1 cup (250g) butter
2 cups white sugar
1/3 cup lemon curd (or lemon flavoured yoghurt)
2 tablespoon lemon juice
zest of 3 lemons

3 cups flour
3 tsp baking powder
½ tsp salt
1 cup coconut, optional, if not using no need to substitute with any dry ingredients

5 large eggs
2 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup milk

Preheat oven to 180ºC (350ºF). Grease and line pans, these can be 2 x 20cm (8 inch) or 1 x 25cm (10inch) or 1 x deep sponge roll tin.

Cream together butter, sugar, zest, lemon juice, and lemon curd for 5 minutes.  Stop and scrape bowl and cream for another minute.

Sift together the flour, baking powder and salt.  Mix in the coconut if using.

Whisk together the eggs, milk and vanilla.

Alternately add the dry and liquid  ingredients to the batter in three turns.  Mix batter until smooth.  Spoon batter in to prepared pans.

Bake 45 to 50 minutes for 20 cm pans and the same for the sponge roll pan but 60 – 70 minutes for the large 25 cm pan or until a tooth pick inserted into the centre comes out clean.

Recipe from Frances' visit & demo - Italian Meringue icing

Italian Meringue (Magnificent Pie Meringue)

recipe from Shirley Corriher’s book ‘Bakewise’

This very stable meringue is incredibly versatile – it makes magnificent billowy white peaks to brown if you wish.  It is a large recipe so halve it if you do not need a cake iced and a pie covered too!  This recipe shows: adding the sugar as a hot syrup cooks and swells the meringue immediately- no problems with weeping. Tested often by Frances Dalton-Hayward

1 tablespoon cornflour        1/3 cup cool water

Mix together in a small saucepan and whisk over a medium heat until thick and cloudy.  Set aside until needed later.

To cover one cake
To cover a pie & cake

large egg whites (No 7)
½ tsp
1 tsp
cream of tartar
¼ cup
¼ cup

With whisks and bowls immaculately clean, beat the egg whites and cream of tartar until soft peaks form when the beater is lifted.  Add in ¼ cup sugar and continue to beat at medium speed while you prepare the syrup below.

¾ cup
1 ¾ cup
1 ½ tsp
1 tbspn
Corn syrup or glucose
¼ cup
½ cup
½ tsp
1 tsp
Pure vanilla essence
1/8 tsp
¼ tsp

In a heavy unlined saucepan (do not use non stick coated pot), stir together the remaining sugar (¾ or 1¾ ), the corn syrup and water.  Bring to boil and rinse down the sides of the pan with water on a pastry bush.  Continue to boil until the syrup reaches 120ºC (hard ball stage) use a candy thermometer to check temp or drop small amount into cold water.

Continue beating whites until stiff peaks form.  Ideally, have the whites stiff when the syrup reaches 120ºC.  Drizzle the hot syrup carefully into the meringue while beating on a medium speed[1].  Try to avoid drizzling onto a beaters or side of bowl.  The meringue will swell dramatically to fill the whole bowl.  Beat until the meringue has cooled, about 10 to 13 mins.  Beat in vanilla and salt, then beat in about  2 - 3 tablespoons of the reserved cornflour paste, 1 tablespoon at a time.  The meringue is essentially cooked but is still snow white.  It is a perfect palette for a masterpiece.

Spread and cover over layers of Deep Dark Chocolate Cake and wait for the fantastic response.  Black and white looks good in the plate. Great on Lemon Coconut Cake too, sandwich cake with lemon curd then cover with meringue for lemon heaven!  Or spread meringue on pie and place in middle of preheated oven (190ºC) for about 10 mins to brown ridges.  Remove and touch up with blowtorch if needed.

[1] Use fresh room temperature eggs for successful meringue. Beat at a medium speed for longer for a more stable foam and add sugar as soon as soft peaks form.  Using cornflour paste prevents shrinking when baked and prevents tearing when meringue is cut.