Thursday, 26 August 2010

Radio Daze

It's been a very exciting week here at Fantasy Icing Towers. Not only because I managed to take a couple of days off and have my sister and sometimes adorable niece and nephew to stay but also because I had the priviledge to be a guest on BBC 3 Counties new food and drink show '3 Counties Kitchen' ~ and it was fabulous.

The show, which is hosted by the wonderful Nick Coffer aka @mydaddycook (in twitter-word) is a magazine type programme designed to showcase the best in food and drink in the Beds, Bucks and Herts area. It airs every Sunday night at 7pm and is well worth a listen to.

My part in the production was to bake a cake for the occasion that could be easily re-created at home ~ so I opted to do something that involved one of my favourite things (cheesecake) and one of my least favourite things (lemon curd). As an aside that's not as mad as it sounds, I like to take things I'm not so keen on and find a way to present them in a way I am keen on ~ the theory is it gives me a much better repertoire of recipes. In this case it culminated in a Lemon Curd Sponge with Lemon Cheesecake topping, which, if the speed it was eaten at is anything to go by, was rather good ~ I certainly didn't get to take any of it home with me. If you fancy a go at baking it yourself you can find the recipe here.

In fact the show was a bit of a star studded affair as it also featured Dhruv Baker, Masterchef Champion 2010, plus the wonderful Vickie Humber of Humbers Homemade who makes the most fabulous jams and chutneys ~ and brought a rather oversized marrow with her ~ as you do. There was also a cook off between 2 local chefs based on ingredients choosen by the listeners. Okay hands up, I don't know what they cooked as I was in the pub by then ~ but I bet it was great.

It is a now a slightly damp, grey and overcast British Summer afternoon, the washing machine is wizzing in the background, there is tidying up to be done, and dinner to think about ~ in other words real life needs to be dealt with.

However things are not quite the same -  I've done something new - something I never thought I'd do, and I loved it. So from now on, whenever life begins to feel a bit like a rainy afternoon, I'm going to stop and remind myself of my moment in the sun ~ when I was on the radio.

Wednesday, 18 August 2010

Dressed To Impress ~ Cupcake Wrappers

Putting your cupcakes in cupcake wrappers is a bit like putting your glad rags on to go out. It's not something you do everyday but on those rare occasions, (rare for me anyway ~ but then my idea of getting ready for a night out is not having food colouring under my nails) it can take you to another level.

The range of wrappers on the market these days is astounding. There are brightly coloured cup cake wrappers for kids parties through to intricate laser cut designs which can add a perfect finishing touch to wedding cupcakes by matching the design of the cupcakes to the cupcake wrapper.

So the next time you have a special occasion to celebrate, make sure your cupcakes are dressed to impress with the perfect cupcake wrapper.

Tuesday, 10 August 2010

It'll all end in Tiers ~ In This Case A Two Tiered 25th Wedding Anniverary Cake

25 years marriage is certainly worth celebrating, and Edward and Noreen wanted a cake befitting the occasion for the party. Noreen knew she wanted a 2 tier sponge cake incorporating the theme of the party ~ silver hearts ~ so it was up to me to come up with a few cake designs. We looked at various options and eventually settled on a 12" base cake for the first tier and a an 8" heart shaped cake for the second tier, cut so it sloped down at an angle towards the base cake. The face of the heart cake then provided the perfect frame for the inscription.

The cake is decorated with silver sugar paste hearts, but as sugar paste doesn't come in silver I had to colour some sugar paste light grey, then spray it with PME Pearl Edible Lustre Spray. This added enough sparkle to make the end result look silver. Silver ribbon was put around the base of the cake, and overlaid with piped white royal icing before being studded with silver balls. The final piece of decoration is a spray of silver sugar paste hearts jutting over the top of the heart cake. I'm pleased to say they loved it.

Tuesday, 3 August 2010

Cupcake Decorating Parties ~ For Kids of All Ages

If you want to have fun, learn something new, and get something great to eat at the end of it, then a Cupcake Decorating Party could be just the thing.

Ideal for anything from kids birthday parties, to wedding entertainment, a girls night in or a hen weekend activity, decorating cupcakes brings out everyones inner artist and  / or inner child.

Kids from around 4 upwards can quickly learn simple skills such as making Frog Faced Cupcakes, then let their imaginations run wild in a haze of buttercream, icing and sweets whilst making colourful creations on their cupcakes.

For adults it's about having fun, laughing with friends and learning a new skill ~ such as how to pipe buttercream into elegant swirls, or how to make simple sugar flowers that will turn any cupcake into a sophisticated tea time treat.

Why not use cup cake decorating next time you need a childrens entertainer i.e. during wedding photos or speeches ~ not only will the kids be entertained they'll also be proud as punch of the cakes they've created.

So next time you're looking for party ideas, and find you've exhausted all the usual ones, think about how much fun it would be to create an edible work of art.