Monday, 27 July 2009

Book Review- Hummingbird Bakery Cookbook

I've only ventured as far as the cupcakes. Not that I haven't been tempted....I just haven't had the time or the inkling. But the cupcakes....oh the cupcakes. The vanilla ones are as close to perfection as any vanilla cupcake has come - perfectly domed and deliciously scented! And the red velvets? To die for. The frostings? Well I've done the buttercream vanilla and the cream cheese frosting. They are amazing too.

The recipes are tried and practiced and I must say...perfected. I love them. Not one thing has gone wrong yet! However, there are errata on the Hummingbird Bakery website- worth checking before you bake!

Next to try? The black bottoms- just how long can I wait?

Monday, 20 July 2009

Aces and hearts

It was my mother-in-law's birthday on the weekend and I decided to make cupcakes. But I wanted them to match my kitchen! No, the truth is I wanted them to be her favourite colour- red.

Her name also starts with A- that's why I decided on the aces. I made 12 aces- orange poppy seed cake with fondant tops (I used chocolate fondant in the spades and clubs- to cut down the bitterness from black icing). I also made 12 red velvet cupcakes with cream cheese frosting and cachous (thanks Hummingbird Bakery Cookbook!).

My wilton stand only holds 23 cupcakes- what a shame we had to eat one!

Friday, 17 July 2009

Teddy Bear's Picnic

When I made my piggies I ended up with extra pink fondant....and I had some extra blue fondant from the autumn leaves. So I grabbed my newest cutters- teddy bears and made some chocolate fondant bears to go on top of the pink and blue tops.

I used a skewer to do the dots for their ears, noses and mouths.

I like the cachou eyes as well... but they also look a little scary!

Wednesday, 15 July 2009

Cure for swine flu!

These cupcakes have no medicinal value, but one daily will at least make you smile!

So many people have got swine flu here in Sydney that I thought I would make some cupcakes to represent the flu! Of course, the pigs on the cupcakes aren't really swine...more like little piggies.

I was inspired after watching this youtube video. I made vanilla cupcakes from the Hummingbird Bakery cookbook and used fondant for the tops. I used pink writing icing for the eyes and mouths.

Tuesday, 14 July 2009

Book Review- Hello, Cupcake!

It has finally arrived! Yay! I ordered this book using a voucher and it has finally arrived. It was recommended to me on and I was immediately excited when I saw it was available on dstore.

To be honest, I love the concept, but not being in the US I can already see it's going to be hard to source some of the "find them everywhere" candy ingredients. I love the way everyday items are used, I just can't imagine Coles stocking them all. I guess I'll have to test the idea out next time I'm shopping before I can pass judgement.

The ideas are incredible, I think even if I can't find the exact ingredients, I should be able to come close with substitutes. The pictures as well are quite inspiring- the bowling cupcakes have already gotten me inspired for my husband's birthday- he used to bowl every Sunday night!

I love the cupcakes with the bunnies bottoms! Such a cute idea! Realistically, something like that could be achieved with fondant if I can't get the right bits for their feet.

Would I recommend buying it? Yes, the ideas would be great for children and parties for children as they are quick and easy to put together and bright and cheery. I just don't know if they fit with what I'm doing with cupcakes as I like their colours to be slightly more subtle. Having said that- I'm definitely glad I bought it though, and I'm sure I'll use many of the ideas.

Monday, 13 July 2009


My husband recently travelled to the UK for work. So I did what any self-respecting person would do. I jumped on and ordered books: Planet Cake, Seriously Naughty Cakes and Marzipan Magic.

I wrote out a list: cachous, sprinkles, all things cake!

(Now...ignore the steradent and the qantas pj's!) Everything else was amazingly exciting....alphabet and number cutters, silver, pink, blue, green; silver hearts, pastel hearts and patty tins- in gold and silver! Also a copy of Cake magazine!

Wow! Plus there was an "unauthorised" purchase...the Hummingbird bakery book!

Saturday, 11 July 2009

Cardamon, Carrot and Cashew Cupcakes

We're having Indian tonight. The Butter Chicken is in the slow cooker, the Lamb Khee is going on when the distinguished guests get here and the Bhaji's are waiting to be fried. The Saag Aloo is done too! (Sorry, it rhymed!)

And I made some cardamon, carrot and cashew cupcakes from Cupcake Blog.

The first lot were too small and flat- I blame the patty papers- they are too small for my tins! I also only filled them 2/3 full as suggested in the recipe- but they didn't dome and my oven was definitely hot enough- if anything it tends to be too hot. The extra thermometer was reading 195 degrees celsius at one point and I definitely had it set at 175.

So I bit the bullet and filled them right up and loaded them into bigger cupcake papers....and voila!

I'm not going to frost them- I think there's enough fat in the butter chicken to compensate for the lack of frosting. Also the recipe ended up making 36 cupcakes. That's a lot of cupcakes! Maybe I should have waited till tomorrow to make them- I know they would be eaten at work! I've frozen some, with the idea that I can defrost them when I feel like cupcakes but don't have the time/ energy...

So naked cardamon, carrot and cashew cupcakes for dessert? Maybe not completely Indian- but "inspired"?

Thursday, 9 July 2009

Book Review- Australian Women's Weekly Cupcakes

Excellent! Personally I love this book. It has some great cupcake recipes and also some amazing decorating ideas. I took the idea for the hearts cupcakes in Post one from there, although I did change it somewhat. The recipes are straightforward and easy to follow and there are fantastic tutorials in the back for different decorating ideas. Great stuff!

What have I baked from here:
vanilla cupcakes
marble cupcakes
double choc raspberry cupcakes

What I plan on baking:
aces- but with a different bottom. They are the inspiration for the cupcakes for my mother inlaw's birthday. Possibly a carrot base or orange poppy seed.

The toppings and cakes are interchangeable and they are all interesting sounding.

The cupcaketress warms up!

Cake decorating has always been a dream for me. I love cake. Well who doesn't? More importantly I love decorating, embellishing and make things look to good to eat.

Why have I taken up cake blogging? Well....

It all began a couple of months back. With the cupcake bake-off at work. One of my colleagues was leaving to go overseas and I decided to bake some cupcakes. I did them the night before, banana cupcakes with yellow sprinkles, vanilla raspberry cupcakes with pink frosting and marshmallows and chocolate cupcakes with sprinkles. One of my other colleagues made perfectly iced vanilla cupcakes. PERFECTLY ICED.

So I enrolled in a cake decorating course. My first cupcakes are documented here:

They were vanilla cupcakes with vanilla buttercream frosting and a layer of fondant. Not so bad for attempt 1.

But there is something lacking in vanilla cupcakes. I like flavour. In fact I love flavour.

So next came the double-choc raspberry cupcakes:

The ones with the brown tops are iced with chocolate fondant as well as the decorations.

This week however, I was inspired by autumn leaves and have created these beauties.

These were a vanilla and chocolate marble base covered with fondant.