When I posted the Earth cake, I did not expect it to get anywhere near the amount of attention it received. Getting featured on the Facebook pages Think Geek and I Fucking Love Science was a total highlight of my blogging life. I’m big fans of both pages so it was kind of surreal. A lot of my Zoology graduate mates are also fans of IFLS and you’d often hear conversations in the Masters office beginning with, “Did you see that post by IFLS today?” So I woke up to several of them messaging me about it and we all got super excited over it.
With the exposure those pages brought came a whole lot of people who wanted to know how to make it. I still get a couple of emails a week asking for a recipe. The cake was a total experiment on my part, and not one that went flawlessly. There were many imperfections within the cake and I never share recipes unless I know it’s absolutely tried and true. I’d hate to be responsible for a baking fail simply for giving a botched up recipe. But I also hate letting people down. So I decided to re-visit the concept so I could make a tutorial. That will come later in the week as I’m still editing it. But first, here’s the result of round 2.
One question I got asked a lot was if it was possible to make it a sphere. Absolutely it is. If you can make the hemisphere a sphere is easy. I didn’t want to make another Earth cake as I hate repeating bakes, so I opted to decorate it as something new. I threw around a few ideas ranging from something floral to a giant pokéball, but in the end I just wanted to make another planet.
A little while ago, my sister approached me with an idea. She’s doing an education degree, and her and her friends had to give a series of lessons on the geological sciences to a class of primary school kids. One of their lessons involved teaching the kids about the structure of the Earth. One of her friends came up with the idea of presenting a model of the Earth made out of cake. So my sister asked me if I could make a spherical cake with all the layers of the Earth inside it.
I told her I couldn’t do it. “How do you get a sphere inside a sphere inside a sphere?” I recall saying. “Oh yeah,” she replied, realising what it would involve.
I spent the rest of the afternoon thinking about it. I don’t admit defeat. Ever. But especially not with cake. Nothing is impossible is pretty much my baking motto, so to say this cake was impossible left me feeling weird. There had to be a way. A way that didn’t involve carving or crumbing the cake. I kept mulling it over until I had a breakthrough.
It finally arrived…
Originally I had planned on doing a regular sized cake as part of a gift to my boyfriend for our 5 Year Anniversary, but there were so many Valentine’s leftovers I thought I’d just make a little something.
It was at this same point I was trying to work out how to wrap/present his anniversary gift, when I was also trying to decide what to have the teddy holding. That was when I decided – why wrap a gift when you can put it on a cake instead?
I’ve been locked inside your heart-shaped box for weeks…
Were you ever one of those kids who used to sneak-read?
Your parents would tell you lights out and you'd pretend to sleep until you could hear they were out of range. Then you'd sneak a torch, or any handy light source, under the covers and get stuck into a novel, heart beating from the adrenaline at the thought of getting caught.
And just sometimes, you'd be so into the book that you'd fall asleep. Still engrossed in the story, your dreams would follow suit — you lived the story with eyes wide shut as you dreamed the hours away. That's exactly what happened to this little boy…
Turn the page…
Wow, Christmas was an eventful one this year. I spent three days baking the week before Christmas then froze everything while I was away on holidays. I came home on the 24th and proceeded to decorate the defrosted goodies and prepare all the canapés for my annual Boxing Day feast and fell into bed at 4am with a whole list of things yet to be done. Spent a relaxing lunch with the boyfriend's family then came home to visit my dad.
Then the storm hit. Amidst the biggest hail storm anyone in the area can remember, me and my boyfriend drove to my house to rescue my puppy who was outside in it. He was thankfully not seriously hurt. But when we attempted the drive back to my dad's in time for dinner we found the roads flooded. People were swimming on the road, cars were abandoned after people had tried to drive through them and shorted their cars, trees snapped clear in half and most people were standing out on the street in awe of the swampland that had been clear in the light of a beautiful summer's day only hours before. Apparently there was even a small tornado right near my house, though we never saw it through the hail. Thankfully we found one road in that hadn't been flooded and made it back in time. Phew!
Melbourne. She is a crazy place to live.
So it was a bit odd the following day when I had mine and my boyfriend's family over for lunch and everything was normal again. As always I made far too much food and filled up every corner of stomach present in the house. It was lots of fun to make everything and lovely that everyone was so appreciative.
I have so much to show you guys. Today I'm going to start with this.
Some months ago I had an idea for a Christmas cake I really wanted to try. I had no idea how to do it or if it could work as I'd never seen it tried before. Oh well, only one way to find out!
I’m dreaming of a white Christmas…
A belated post, and a rushed one (I’m not keeping up with this challenge very well).
This week I turned to one of my most disliked cookbooks. This is one part of a 4 pack of Pilsbury’s “Cookies, Brownies and Chocolate Galore”, this one being the “Cookies, Brownies and Bars” book. Another op-shop find from my dad, and was chosen for this week by my boyfriend.
Don’t get me wrong, there are some great looking things in here. But all recipes advocate using their brand, most of the recipes advocate using something that isn’t easily substituted.
I live in Australia. I can’t get most of it here.
But a cookie pizza? Cinch to sub.
Grab a slice…
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.
What’s in the box, in the box, what’s in the box today?
Here’s a good one for when you’re short on time. I used this quick mix chocolate cake to make two event cakes I had planned, and even had enough batter left over to make a few cupcakes.
Here’s a peepy:
Here’s for the rest…
After posting my Spotlight cake, commented saying saying she'd had trouble with the MMF. I'd heard a lot of people say the same thing in the past. So here's a blow by blow account how I do it, with pictures included.
Disclaimer: I always cook by feel, rather than exact quantities. Fondant especially cannot be measured accurately. Hence, I cannot give you exact amounts, but I can give you a rough ratio from which to go by.
Here we go!