After I took part in RSPCA's Cupcake Day, I suddenly got a few people very [legitimately] interested in purchasing some cupcakes for themselves. Ever since I started getting more seriously into cake decorating, I have had a myriad of offers and requests about purchasing, but they always fell through for one reason or another.
So I find it amusing how, now when I am doing a Masters degree and barely have time to cook dinner every night, I suddenly have an influx of orders! The lady this one was for is a colleague of my boyfriend's — she was especially generous in both her donation and support for the RSPCA fundraiser, so I just wanted to find the time to make sure I could do this for her.
Those of you in the country may be familiar with RSPCA’s Cupcake Day. A friend alerted me to the event, and I couldn’t resist the idea of baking for a good cause.
So I set up my donation page and started collecting donations. The response was phenomenal. Far more than I expected. When I started this cause, I thought if I raised $50 it would be worth it. When the online total reached $260 before the day itself, I was stunned.
I love Easter. It’s a time where my love for chocolate in baking can be justified. This Easter I decided to host a party at my place. It was a lovely time to get together. But more than that, it was also an excuse to make lots of my favourite things: finger food. I love making all those small and fiddly things, finding new ways to miniaturise classics. Everything from mini tandoori pizzas to tiny burgers, lamb korma on mini papadums and gow gees… the list went on. But my favourite is and always will be the desserts. I shall do a follow up post later of all the mini desserts, but for now I will turn to the sole item that was not mini: the cake.
This is one I had been wanting to do for a while. I was just waiting for the right time of year to do it. A cake that looks like a basket. Hopefully. In fact, I would be wrapped if you looked at it and thought it was just a basket.
I’ve been much to busy to bake, let alone post about it lately. Though, when my 23rd birthday approached I just had to make time to. My problem? My muse had totally abandoned me. I had no idea what to do. Then I randomly saw a picture of a round brown box with green trimming around the lid. I dislike green as a colour generally. There are precious few shades of it I like. Something stuck me about this colour scheme that I absolutely fell in love with. The whole theme for the party ended up following suit.
With the billion assignments I have, as well as working, my research project, general house duties and all the finger food I had to make for the party, I needed something simple, classy and not fiddly. This is an idea I had been sitting on for a while. Though I imagined it in white, as a wedding cake tier. I never imagined how ridiculously long it would take to make the boxes.
For those of you playing at home, this Wednesday just gone was Australia Day. Now, I’m not particularly patriotic. I have a love for the land, for the wildlife, but I wouldn’t consider myself to be in love with my country. Not to the point I really celebrate Australia day, anyway. Though, do any of us really celebrate it? When we celebrate, it tends to be out of the love for a celebration, more than for some inherent patriotism.
Nevertheless, an excuse to bake is an excuse to bake. And since my heart lies with the wildlife, it was typical of me to do a dessert so themed. Hence, the koala truffles were born.
My cousin is pregnant with her very first baby. On the weekend just gone, she had a baby shower for him. This was also my very first baby shower. I wanted to do a little something special for her as a gift, as I wanted to give her something more than just the Baby Bunting voucher my Aunt said she wanted. Of course, any excuse to bake is a good excuse. Hence, these little ones were born:
The reason for my prolonged absence from the kitchen, as previously mentioned, is my new job. After 3 weeks of non stop work to get the new store up and running, the end of set up approached and we got a day off before the grand opening. I seized the opportunity to bake a celebratory cake for the occasion:
This was a cake for firsts for me.
First layer cake.
First neapolitan cake.
First time making marshmallow fondant.
First time piping words.
First time not refrigerating a cake (I know I know, but I have some weird compulsion to refrigerate them, so I was wrought with panic over not doing so. You don’t need to tell me how irrational I am)
I could go on. But the main point is, I was a bit of a nervous wreck brining it in. Presentation wise, to be honest, I didn’t like it. I’m not even sure why. But it wasn’t like the picture of perfection I had in my head.
When it came to the cake for my 22nd birthday party, no one else in my family was going to be able to make me a custom cake. So I set about doing my own. I’m a Zoology student with big plans to spend my life doing conservation work. My dream has always been to work in big cat conservation in the long run (though meantime I’m happy doing conservation work here in Australia) and I’m known for my love of big cats. So really, it was the obvious choice.