Monday, February 27, 2012

Cupcake Review: Miss Melicious

I'm so excited to have finally visited the amazing Miss Melicious cupcake shop! Missy (the owner) has known my hubby for quite some time, they used to go to concerts and gigs together. About a year or two ago I somehow got in contact and I've been watching as she goes from strength to strength. It was amazing news to find out she has her own shop but now even greater news, she's getting her own book!

Me and Missy
Me and Missy doing her "signature pose"

We stopped in at her store in Te Atatu to try some yummy treats and say hi. We had a great time and ended up in an intense game of Connect 4 (I won!) The shop is beautifully decorated and is so "Missy" I love it!

Cupcake Shop
Miss Melicious Cupcake Shop

Cute and Retro

Cupcake Shop
Pink Chandelier!

Flowers in Shop
Flowers on the table

If you want to get your hands on some delicious cupcakes head along to her shop (80 Gunner Drive, Te Atatu Peninsula, Auckland), it opens at midday and there are different flavours every day. (Check out her massive list of flavours here.) Missy will write on her Facebook page what flavours will be on display and sometimes even asks her fans what she should bake that day -how sweet!

Cherry Ripe Cupcakes

Perky Nana Cupcakes

Choc Mint Cupcakes

Pineapple Lumps Cupcakes

Chocolate Rose Cupcakes

Now I know you're all wondering the same thing...what do they taste like?! Well I can safely say they taste as good as they look! We got the Cherry Ripe and Pineapple Lumps cupcakes and we weren't disappointed. Cherry Ripe is one of my favourite chocolate bars and this cupcake lived up to my standards, I loved the icing and even though Hubby and I were going halves I found myself having eaten three quarters of it and wanting more! The Pineapple Lumps cupcake was so light and fluffy and paired perfectly with sweet icing. Yumyumyumyum!

Cherry Ripe Cupcake
Cherry Ripe Cupcake (my fave!)

Pineapple Lumps Cupcake
Pineapple Lumps Cupcake

Congratulations Missy, your store in amazing and I can't wait to pre-order my Miss Melicious book!

Monday, February 20, 2012

Ombre Wedding Cake

A couple of weeks ago I drove down (by myself!) to Tauranga (about three hours south of where I live, Auckland) for my cousins wedding. Hubby wasn't able to get any time off work so I was going to the wedding alone! The car ride down was a bit of a challenge trying to operate the ipod, the GPS, open the bag of pretzels, open the container of blueberries (which is fairly hard to do when you're not driving anyway!)
I made it there in one piece though! As soon as I arrived I saw two of my cousins who also live in Auckland and asked if they wanted to accompany me on the way back. Luckily they said yes and the trip back was a lot easier and a whole lot more fun!

Me and my Cousins!

Back to the wedding...we had a great time at the wedding, it was a beautiful service and beautiful weather to match! I got to catch up with my cousins who I hadn't seen in YEARS! We actually all got along really well and had a great time being stupid and singing songs (Glee style!)

James and Taylah (Photo from Taylah's friend)

My cousin and his (now) wife saw my orange ombre cake on my blog a while back and thought that would be a cool cake to have as a wedding cake instead of a traditional one. They have good taste! Their wedding colours were peach with a bit of greenery so I went with a light peachy colour and gradually made it darker toward the bottom of the cake.

Ombre Wedding Cake
Ombre Wedding Cake

Ombre Wedding Cake
Ombre Wedding Cake

The next day my family got together at a nice little cafe and celebrated my aunties 50th and my cousins 21st. It was so nice to relax with family and have a good time. We ate yummy food, took some photos then made our way back to our homes. The trip home seemed SO much faster than on the way up then it was home sweet home!

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Chocolate Cloud Cake

I made this cake for my mum and aunty's combined birthdays. It's another gem from the amazing Nigella who I got the recipe for Nutella Cake from.

It's also Gluten Free!

Chocolate Cloud Cake

I don't like to Google for Gluten free recipes anymore, they're all like 'half a cup of rice flour, half a cup or something-else-I-don't-have-in-the-pantry-flour, one teaspoon of tycloseblahblah' as if I bake Gluten free all the time and as if I have those things in the local supermarket!

Instead I look for 'flourless' recipes! Genius, I know!

The texture of this cake almost reminds me of a chocolate mousse, but with a bit more cakeyness holding it together.

Chocolate Cloud CakeChocolate Cloud Cake
Chocolate Cloud CakeChocolate Cloud Cake

You may think that is a lot of cream to throw on top (I don't even like cream!) but it goes perfectly with the cake and leaves you wanting more!

Chocolate Cloud Cake
Adapted from Nigella Lawson

250g Dark Chocolate (70% Cocoa)
125g Unsalted Butter (softened)
6 Eggs (2 whole, 4 separated)
175g Caster Sugar
Zest from an Orange

500ml Cream
1t Vanilla Extract
1/2 t Cocoa (to sprinkle on top!)
  • Preheat oven to 180 degrees C and line a 23cm springform cake tin.
  • Melt the chocolate in the microwave in short 10 second bursts then add the butter and let it melt together.
  • Beat the two whole eggs and the four egg yolks with 75g of the sugar,
  • Add the chocolate mixture and orange zest to the eggy mixture.
  • In a separate bowl, beat the eggs whites until foamy then start adding the rest of the sugar a tablespoon at a time then beat until the egg whites hold their shape (not too stiff though). Remember your bowl and whisk/beaters need to be oil free-so wash them in boiling water first!
  • Mix a spoonful of egg white mixture in with the chocolate mixture to lighten it up a little then fold in the rest.
  • Pour into the cake tin and bake for 35 - 40 minutes or until the cake has risen and the top is cracked and the centre is no longer wobbly.
  • Cool cake in its tin on a wire rack (do not take the cake out of the tin). The middle will collapse a bit and look like a crater, don't worry it's supposed to look like that!
  • When the cake is cool and you can't wait any longer to try this cake (it's worth the wait, I promise!) pop it out on to a cake stand or plate and carefully remove the sides from the cake tin.
  • Whip the cream until soft then add the vanilla. Keeping whipping up a storm until the cream is firm but not stiff.
  • This is the fun part! Plop the cream on top of the cake and smooth out to the edges carefully then sprinkle  the cocoa on top using a sieve.
  • Enjoy a little slice of this heavenly cake with a nice cup of coffee or milk.

Chocolate Cloud CakeChocolate Cloud Cake
Chocolate Cloud Cake
Chocolate Cloud CakeChocolate Cloud Cake
Chocolate Cloud CakeChocolate Cloud Cake
Chocolate Cloud Cake
Chocolate Cloud CakeChocolate Cloud Cake
Chocolate Cloud Cake
Chocolate Cloud Cake

It truly is like biting into a cloud! You can see why I like recipes that don't over complicate like this one right? So easy to make, yet unbelievably delicious! Do you have a favourite gluten free recipe? I'd love to hear!

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Cupcakes for an Engagement Photo Shoot

Early in January my friend, Danelle (remember she helped with the Toy Story dessert table) asked me to make some cupcakes for a photo shoot she and her partner, Hook, were going to be doing. I didn't have any idea what the photo shoot was about but went about making the cupcakes.

Danelle and Hook have teamed up to be one kickass photography team! They are called A Couple of Night Owls and this was their first engagement shoot. I think it looks absolutely amazing! Me and Danelle are big fans of wedding blogs like Style Me Pretty and Green Wedding Shoes and when I saw her photos I immediately said these are like the ones we see on the wedding blogs! I hope to see more of her work soon!

SooOOoo if you (or anyone you know) is getting married or engaged or just generally likes getting photos of themselves (like me) then let them know about A Couple of Night Owls because I really don't think you'll be disappointed!

P.S. Do you like my cupcakes?

Friday, February 10, 2012

Russian Fudge

I have fond memories of making Russian Fudge with my mum, I remember watching her testing the soft ball method like it was some sort of mystery.

What I don't remember is how hard it was to get right!

When I tried testing my fudge all I got was squiggly worms that sunk to the bottom!

Russian FudgeRussian Fudge

Then I remembered I had a candy thermometer, something mum never had. But hey, technology is here for a reason so I might as well use it!

So for those of you who are soft-ball-stage-mentally-challenged like me, you just need to get your fudge to 114 degrees C.

Much easier.

Russian fudge brings back so many memories, school fairs, baking with family, taking turns whipping the fudge until it was ready to set.

That's another thing technology has helped with, I now whip the fudge with an electric mixer which makes things much easier and is much less painful!

Thank goodness for technology, and fudge!

Russian Fudge

Russian Fudge

3 cup sugar
½ cup milk
½ cup sweetened condensed milk
125g butter
1/8 tsp. salt
2 tbsp. golden syrup
2 tsp. vanilla essence
  • Line a cake tin or shallow dish with baking paper and set aside.
  • Combine sugar and milk in a large pot and heat gently. Stir until the sugar dissolves, make sure it is completely dissolved or you'll get grainy fudge!
  • Add condensed milk, butter, salt and golden syrup and stir until the butter is dissolved.
  • Bring to the boil, stirring occasionally until you reach the soft ball stage or 114 degrees C, the mixture should be a caramel colour, slightly darker than it was before.
  • Let the mixture cool slightly, for about a minute.
  • Add the vanilla essence and mix until combined.
  • Beat with an electric mixer until the mixture thickens, loses its gloss and the edges are starting to get dry and set.
  • Pour into prepared tin and leave to cool before refrigerating.

Recipe adapted from Edmonds Cookbook

Russian FudgeRussian Fudge
Russian FudgeRussian Fudge