Saturday, August 30, 2014

Rolo slice for the work picnic

Mr Becca's work have an annual staff picnic.  I remember my dad's work doing this - only he worked in a HUGE company, so there were rides and tents with food and everything!  To us children it was heaven, and we looked forward to going on the ski-jump ride each year, as we never went to fair or carnivals or fairgrounds or whatever those places are where they have a lot of rides and rubbish food to eat.  The work picnic was our carnival, and we loved it.

Mr Becca's work however, is small.  They have a marquee in case it rains, and a barbeque and some tables laid out for folk to sit at.  There is a large open grass area, and a playpark just through the trees. Actually, for a kid that's still kind of perfect :)
He asked me to make a couple of traybakes to take along with us, and I was happy to oblige.  A kind reader had once emailed me her secret recipe for a Rolo traybake slice and I had bought Rolo's a few months back in preparation, but forgotten about them.  Lucky for me, they were still within their use-by date.
The recipe needed milk chocolate, but I felt it would be a bit sickly, so added in a third dark chocolate.  Don't they look lovely melting up together?  Psst, Mr Becca didn't seem to notice there was any dark chocolate involved, so let's not burst his bubble, ok?  ;)
 At this stage, I really wasn't convinced.  I mean, be honest, that doesn't look fabulously tasty now, does it?
But wait, the addition of a layer of melted chocolate, pink glitter and some leftover Rolo's later and voila - That looks better!
It was so so good!  The children and adults alike absolutely loved it.  And despite there not being a full complement of staff and families that turned out for the picnic, there was no Rolo slice to take home to Becca Towers.  Score!

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Circus style cake for a birthday

A lady got in touch with a cake request that had me stumped at first.  She wanted circus style for her soon-to-be 5 year old daughter, and in my head I had visions of a two or three tier masterpiece, with modelled clowns and lions.  And panicked, because that type of cake is way out of my comfort zone, and doability.  Now that I'm lucky enough to have another academic year of work, I have less time available to craft more magnificent pieces of art than before, so am careful which orders to accept, and which I need to regretfully decline.

But after a bit of chat back and forth, we determined that it was something more suggestive of a circus than the epic masterpiece I had envisaged.  When added to the fact that her children preferred buttercream, I had a better idea of what would suit the family.  Bunting was a definite, as it's so fun!

Red and white were the only required colours, so I had fun with the bunting et voila!  

The bunting was printed onto paper, thanks to a link from The TomKat Studio - Kim puts so much fun stuff on the blog, it's hard to rein yourself in!
On the top of the cake was a plaque, but it just says simply Happy Birthday, rather than a name and age.
But we know it was Blythe's 5th birthday - hope it was fabulous sweetie!!

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Classic chocolate chip cookies for the first day back at school

I don't know if you recall, but last year and the year before (and perhaps even the year before that), The Team had fresh-baked chocolate chip cookies as a treat for their first afternoon tea on their first day back at school after the long summer holidays.  I had seen the idea on another ladies page, and her son was going into his last year of high school (daughter was already at college) and as he left his house that morning he said to his mum, I hope you're baking cookies today.

And I thought that was just lovely, that he still wanted the cookies after so many years!

So I resolved to make our girls cookies, even though they'd forgotten that they'd had the treat for the last two or three years running... 

It was a new recipe I'd tried, one I found on an American page, and purporting itself to be the best chocolate chip cookie recipe ever. (sorry to say that for the moment I simply can't recall which site. But I promise that if I find out, I'll include the link here so you can try it out and judge for yourself). So I felt it was only right to give it a go.  

And it made so much batter that I made half of it into cinnamon apple cookies!  They were flavoured with a package or two of Whitworth's new little snack bags of cinnamon apple goodness.  These also contained yoghurt covered raisins, so I removed them as I didn't think they'd bake up well at all. These cookies smelled and tasted great, but the kids preferred the choc chip ones.  
There were so many cookies in total that we ended up gifting some to their new teachers, for their first day back treat!  I've never done that before, but am pretty sure the ladies liked it.

Monday, August 11, 2014

Rustic style rainbow wedding cake

I haven't accepted any orders for wedding cakes before, because I never wanted to be under that much stress and pressure.  That's not to say that a birthday cake, or confirmation cake or order isn't stressful, as the cake will always be the centrepiece of the dessert table.  It's just that I've heard too many stories of bridezillas and the like, where the cake maker is under pressure of changed minds and specifications, despite contracts being agreed and whatnot.

So when I was contacted last winter for a wedding cake this summer, we sent many emails back and forth before coming to a mutual agreement of one stunning cake for their centrepiece.  The groom was one of the loveliest young men I've worked with in a long time, wanting to get everything just perfect for his bride.  He was kind, considerate of her feeling and wants, and a pleasure to work with. 

A rainbow cake is fun to make, but quite fiddly and time-consuming.  Then again, all the best things are, aren't they?  And those colours just make me happy!
I really like this shot, showing just a hint of what's underneath.  I had asked the groom to send me along a photo of them cutting the cake, so we could see the interior - but I guess they've got far more important things to remember than me, ha ha.  Like passports for their honeymoon I guess
Wishing Joe and Beth many many years of love and happiness, and a life as happy and colourful as the rainbow cake they chose...
P.S. Here's the update you've all been waiting for - photos of the couple and the cake at the venue...
 Doesn't it look lovely with those pretty pink and green flowers?
 And aww, aren't they just gorgeous!?!