A Cake Decorating Class and an AppliancesOnline.com.au 8th Birthday Competition

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As many readers may know, I love baking and decorating cakes for family and friends.  I’m far from being an expert so any tips and tricks I can get is always welcomed.

I was invited by AppliancesOnline.com.au to attend a cake decorating class at Let Them Eat Cake in South Melbourne.  Owner Christopher Montebello and staff demonstrated their decorating skills and answered all the questions we had.  And trust me, we had plenty.

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Australia’s largest online retailer of appliances is celebrating it’s 8th birthday by launching a national cake decorating competition to find it’s official birthday cake.  The national competition encourages Australians to get creative by baking and decorating an appliance themed cake, to celebrate the birthday.  Entrants will go in the draw to win one of eight sunbeam food processors valued at $399.

To enter, create your cake and upload a picture via Appliances Online Facebook, instagram or twitter. Tag @appliancesAU and use the hashtag #AOLbirthday

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During our class, we were shown how to decorate cake to make it look like a blender. CakeDecoratingClass1

Doesn’t it look real?!

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Christopher also showed us how to write with royal icing.

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Not bad huh?

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Here are some cake decorating tips:

1. Buy fondant pre-made.  It can be difficult to achieve the right consistency when making fondant from scratch.

2. Sketch your concept before you start decorating and keep it simple.  The simplest ideas are often the best.

3. Use fruit or mud cake.  Fondant works best with firm cakes such as fruitcake or mud cake.  Make sure you don’t use sponge cake as it won’t support the weight of the icing.

4. Heat the marzipan.  If you’re using marzipan, take it out of it’s foil package and microwave for about 10 seconds to make it easier to work with.

5. Applying the fondant.  Knead on a clean board that’s been sprinkled with icing sugar.  If adding colour, apply sparingly and knead into the icing.  Roll out with a rolling pin and keep applying sugar throughout the rolling process.  Drape fondant carefully over the cake and then smooth gently with dry hands, starting at the centre of the cake, moving outwards.  Make sure to get rid of any air bubbles. Trim any excess fondant with a sharp knife.

6. Experiment and have fun with leftover marzipan and fondant icing which can be used to create simple figurines and flowers.

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Don’t forget to enter Appliancesonline.com.au’s competition.  Ends December 8th. So get on it now!

Bon Appetite,

Cherrie

Super Moist Banana Cupcakes with salted caramel.

Who doesn't like cupcakes? I have yet to meet a person you doesn't. Especially if the cupcake is topped with a delicious, rich and smooth icing and filled with a salty caramel goodness.

I was lucky enough to receive a jar of gooey salted caramel homemade by my good friend, Thanh. And what good why to use it up? I used it as a filling in my banana cupcakes. Bananas and caramel are a match made in heaven.

I got the recipe for the cupcakes from one of my women's weekly baking books. As for the salted caramel, I have never actually made them before so you will be able to google the recipe or have a very good friend make it for you :)

Banana cupcake recipe:
  • 90g softened butter
  • 100g firmly packed brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 75g self raising flour
  • 75g plain flour
  • 1/2 tsp bicarb soda
  • 1/2 tsp mixed spice
  • 2/3 cup mashed overripe bananas
  • 80g sour cream
  • 2 tbs milk
  1. Preheat the overn to180degC (160degC fanforced) and line a 12 hole standard muffin pan with paper cases.
  2. Beat butter, sugar and eggs in a small bowl with an electric mixer until light and fluffy.
  3. Stir in the sifted dry ingredients and the rest of the ingredients. Divide mixture between the cases.
  4. Bake for about 20 mins. Turn cakes onto wire racks to cool.
  5. When cooled, slice the cupcakes horizontally and fill with your favourite filling. Pipe the top with the cream cheese frosting (recipe below).

 

Cream Cheese Frosting recipe:

  • 30g softened butter
  • 80g softened cream cheese
  • 1 1/2 cups icing sugar.
  1. Beat the butter and cream cheese in a small bowl with electric mixer until light and fluffy
  2. Gradually beat in the sifted icing sugar. Mix until well blended and smooth.

 

Bon Appetite,

Cherrie