Being part of something special.

I just love weekends away! The weekend just been was a long one in some parts of Oz, so we got the opportunity to take a cold drive south to catch up with family & friends. One visit I was particularly excited about was with a pair of our closest friends who have just had a wonderful addition to their family, a beautiful baby boy! Seeing them and meeting bub for the first time had me thinking about the special place friends have in our hearts, and the wonderful histories we create with them. (ohhh wow… can you tell I’m a big softy? Sorry if I’m being overly sentimental ;))

Just over 2 years ago, we were gathered together to celebrate at their wedding. It was a truly beautiful event and I was excited, proud, & more than a little scared to be part of the team that created the wedding cake.  I hope you will indulge me while I take this opportunity to share some photos & reminisce about the best cake experience I have been privileged to be a part of.

~The wedding cake~

Designed by the bride, the wedding cake was created with the theme colours of the wedding, a deep ruby red & satin white. The cupcakes were made in chocolate & red velvet, and were baked a generous muffin size to be used as the dessert at the reception.

Now to break down the collaboration which brought this all together. The cake team was made up of the bride (a chef) and her mother, who got together and baked the most delicious cupcakes, which I can’t quite remember how many there ended up being. I want to say 150… if it wasn’t that it was close. The decorating team was made up of the groom (a chef), my partner (also a chef) and myself (food enthusiast?). Oh yea… it was 2 chefs getting married. Hence my heightened nervousness with getting the cake right. 😛

Together, all the components of the cake decorating took well over 2 days (plus a good couple of nights of bow making) to get to the finished product. And it was so worth it. I can’t tell you how wrapped I was when we finally put it together. And how awesome it was to work with the guys. In the past the two had worked together in a few different kitchens, so not only were they a skilled, quick & formidable team, but they worked with an ease & a sense of humor that added to an unforgettable experience for me. (I felt like I was working with the cool kids 😉 )

The boys putting the big bow together for the top cake. 😀 And the trays of red & white finished cupcakes.

Just going through the photos has put the biggest smile on my face, and inspired me to revisit this design. Bows are such a lovely and elegant decoration. I’m happy to say, I think I have just found my first tutorial topic. Coming soon 😉

So I hope you have enjoyed this little step back in time for me.  I will post again shortly with something a little more recent, promise! 😛

Hope your having a fantastic week. Thanks for dropping by!

Miss Cat

~The happy couple~

Advertisements

Cupcakes for Breakfast!

Simple chocolate fudge mini cupcakes! Ok, maybe not for breakfast, but I did whip these up when I woke up today, as a nice little gift for a morning tea.  And yes… I did have at least a spoonful of fudge with with my coffee. So technically it counts as breaky. 😉

The thing I love about mini cupcakes is that you can make a heck of a lot of them, in a pretty short amount of time. Which is a good thing in my household, because when my back is turned they tend to disappear. In fact on one occasion, after a busy night of baking, my sad and sorry partner complained to me that he was suffering from a  tummy ache. After doing a quick count of what was left.. we worked out he had managed to eat 50 of them (and dip them in batter) over the course of the night. *sigh* Something about good help – hard to find? 😛

But I digress…. I just wanted to quickly post about how much I love the simplicity of a big star nozzle.  Quick fat swirls, a sprinkle of  pretty cachous and you have a lovely little gift.  Yea… If I can do a batch at breakfast, I’m a happy camper. Simple, understated & super fast. Big smiles from me!

And with these few pics, I will call it a night! Thanks for dropping by & have a great rest of your week!

Miss Cat 🙂

Chocolate Fudge Mini Cup Cakes with Mixed Silver Cachous.

Chocolate Fudge Mini Cup Cakes with Mixed Silver Cachous.

Mini Cupcakes for Captain Awesome!

Mini cupcakes for a special morning tea at work 🙂

I spend my days working with a strange assortment of people. (Although I readily admit that I am the strangest of them all 😉 ). The office  is quite a diverse little place, made up of a people whom are of differing cultures, ages and attitudes.  The majority get along really well, we all afford each other a great deal of respect and endeavor to keep a productive but easy going atmosphere. And lucky for me  there are a few special people who I can have fun with. It makes my days so much nicer knowing that someone is there that I can joke around with, let off steam with, & who on odd occasions tell me to stop looking so menacing and put the stapler down. Staplers should not imply “danger” 😛

Well today marked the last day for one of the fun people, who is moving on to greener pastures.  As sad as it is to see him go, its fantastic that he is movin on up!  So, it was only fitting to throw a celebratory morning tea complete with gifts & cupcakes!  Gez I’m rambling – I’ll to cut to the chase! Our team mate dubbed himself “Captain Awesome” quite a while ago, so today we made it official with an engraved medal to wear all day!  With the medal in mind, I worked on creating mini medal cupcakes this week.  A platter of mini cupcakes = big smiles from me!  I do love minis!

To make the medals, I used the base of a piping nozzle to cut nice small round discs. I then pressed the end of a coupling into the disc to give a small printed border. At first my idea was to write on them all with a food marker, but when I tried that, they looked quite plain and rough.  So I used a great little set of star cutters to give them more character.  I cut the stars out and stuck them on with sugar glue, then once dried I painted them all up with silver metallics & blue highlights.

I was really happy with the way they turned out. The final product was a bit of a let down though. I put them together this morning at 6 (which is harsh as I am not a morning person…) and I piped out chocolate fudge frosting as my base with blue piped “ribbons” to place the medals on. If I do them again, I will definitely cut the ribbons out of fondant to get a better finish.

Choc fudge mini medals for everyone!

So… hope this gave you a smile. If I could share them out, I would give one to you all.. 😀 Because everyone is special enough to deserve a medal!

I think the early morning is scrambling my brain. Time to put my feet up and switch off for the night.

Thanks for dropping by!

Miss Cat

Craft Swap – With a cupcakey twist!

Hiya! This is a “kinda” cake related post – part cake, part craft. 😀

I am a member of the “Sew Good –  Group for lovers of sewing and all things crafty” on facebook, which has just run its very first members craft swap. I have never participated in anything like this before, and I have never physically met any of the other members. They are such a lovely & knowledgeable bunch of ladies, and the idea of making something crafty for a stranger sounded like so much fun, so I decided to sign up for it! The time frame was a month – which seemed like ages, but wouldn’t you know it, the time flew… and what I thought would be easy, I actually found really hard – trying to make something for someone I didn’t know! I really wanted to make something that my swap partner would like, but I have spent the last few weeks completely stumped! Even with a short email of personal likes – which I found that my partner loved roses, rockabilly & pin-up – I was still drawing a blank. With a week to go, panic started setting in…. So I did some major brainstorming, and surprise surprise – I had a cakey flash of inspiration. 😛

The Kitch’n Vixen Cupcake Kit! – By Miss Cat

The Kitch'n Vixen Cupcake Kit! - My last minute craft brainstorm :D

The Kitch'n Vixen Cupcake Kit! - My last minute craft brainstorm 😀

So this is what I came up with – a cute rockabilly themed cupcake kit! I designed this gift box to have a little something to “decorate” the hostess – a yellow gingham apron with appliqué roses, a button necklace, simple bag & some hairclips (which fitted with the crafting brief), AND packed up a handmade retro record platter, and all the fixins for some simple rock n roll cupcakes. I made up some chunky black music notes with modelling paste & painted them with a little silver to give them a little more detail & shimmer. I also packed up a disposable piping bag, cupcake wrappers & some edible glitter so all that needs to be added is a Betty Crocker cupcake kit. Put together these cupcakes look absolutely adorable! I have made them before for our local rock & roll dances, and the simple little music note cupcakes displayed on the vinyl records are just too sweet!

Chunky Music Notes ~ Putting together the DIY cupcake kit to send.

Chunky Music Notes ~ Putting together the DIY cupcake kit to send.

I hope I didn’t go too off base with my idea, and I really hope that my partner is surprised and happy with her swap. It’s the thought that counts after all! Today was the finish date, so I have sent this little box of fun off in the mail. I really hope she likes it! Once all the swaps are received, we are to take a pic & post it for the group to see. I can’t wait to see what else everyone made!

Rockin Serving Platter - perfect for cupcakes & a pretty apron for beautiful baking!

It’s been so much fun getting involved in this group! Has anyone else participated in a craft swap or something like this? If you did, what did you do, & how did you find the experience? It makes me wonder if there is a cake or sweets group on facebook that I could join. Hmmm… something to ponder.

Anyway, now that I have finished off this little project I think I will take the night off and celebrate… glass of wine anyone? 😉 Have a nice night!

Until next time…. Thanks so much for stopping by!

Packed up and posted! 😀

My first ever cake course at TAFE (The rambling begining)

Prequel to my first cake course.

Cake decorating has always been one of my hobbies. In my early 20’s I thought, why not get serious, pursue some real training, get qualified and look into doing this as my grownup job? The issue… I live in a big industrial city. This means, if you are interested in mining, smelting aluminium, working for a gas pipeline, engineering or something similar then you can get training up the wazoo. If you are looking to gain your qualifications in something more creative like cake decorating… good luck. 😦  I was left with 2 options. Move or find a way to bring the training to me. Now, here is where I admit… I am not good with change (something that I am trying to improve). But in saying that, the idea of moving was a big deal. I still live in the city I was born. My family are here. My friends are here. And I just didn’t know if the risk would really lead to my future happiness (I’m not a big gambler either 🙂 ).

So I stayed, and I searched.  I called the local TAFE and at that point there was nothing. I looked through the phone books. I trawled the internet for accredited distance education courses. I even contacted the cake firm I most admired in Sydney and asked what steps & courses I should take to become a cake decorator. Their only answer was fly to Sydney and do there courses. Which is all good and well, but I just didn’t have the disposable thousands of dollars to do it. Thankfully the internet is a wonderful, wonderful source of information & inspiration! As well as the local library, and just plain experimentation. I didn’t give up, I just got over the idea of doing any form of course.

Well this brings me to now. Towards the end of last year I was looking for a horticulture course for my partner, and wouldn’t you know it… I stumbled upon a cake course. It was a short course, being held at TAFE in the next town over, every Friday night for 6 weeks. I was so excited I think I may have blanked out for a second. 🙂 With all the popularity of shows like Master Chef, there had been enough interest generated for the hospitality faculty to run a series of special interest short courses! In a heartbeat I had all of the course registration sorted out. And as a birthday present to me, as well as to help boost my confidence, my partner enrolled with me. (I am truly blessed to have the most wonderful man in my life).

So over a few rambling posts (which I will space out so they aren’t too tedious), I will cover the experience I had attending “Cakes in Bloom”. What I expected, what the reality was. What was engaging, and what was not. What I learnt from the class, and what I learnt about myself. 🙂 The first post will be up soon.

Thanks for stopping by! … aww, I’m at the end of this post and I haven’t added any pictures! I love pictures… Quick… 😀

Quick Pic! Cupcake design ideas 😀