Monday, 14 August 2017

Heart of Te Fiti Cake: You know Who You Are...


The Heart of Te Fiti Moana Cake with edible moss, flowers. Birthday Cake.

"I have crossed the horizon to find you
I know your name
They have stolen the heart from inside you
But this does not define you
This is not who you are
You know who you are"

Lyrics from "Moana"
Lin-Manuel Miranda and Mark Mancina



Ahhh Moana! Such a feel good family story and definitely our family's current favourite Disney Movie! And I will say, my niece is just the cutest when she is belting out songs in the backyard: 


"My name is Moana!"

So it was no surprise that my niece wanted a Moana themed cake! We brainstormed a few ideas which included a quick Google - and anyone who has asked Google for a Moana Cake would have most likely seen the amazing Cynthia White's Moana inspired Cakes including the most beautiful Heart of Te Fiti  (and not to mention several replicas by other cakers!) To say she is amazing just doesn't seem to give her enough justice. (Oops I feel a cake crush coming on!)

Now if anyone knows my cake style by now, I am not a fan of fondant, I like a tall double barrel / extended single tier and I like to put my own spin on things to create my own piece of home baked edible art. So I went through a really different design process after seeing Cynthia's cake.


First I thought that my favourite scene is actually when Moana returns the heart to Te Fiti. This moment is not just a green swirl in the grass, it's full of light and spectacular renewal. I wanted to capture that moment and this became the focal point of my cake. Oh did I mention I decided all this on Thursday and the party was on Saturday? Last minute much! And this is why I used licensed Disney toys for the figurines - there was simply not enough time to make them out of fondant- however I was super pleased with the cake.




The next step was to figure how the heck I would create edible moss. So guess what I did? Yep Google to the rescue again. I found an incredibly cute blog post over at Semi Sweet on how to make moss for Easter Cookies. It's pretty much the same process for cakes and I adapted it slightly by using a food processor, local store bought biscuits and liquid food colour rather than gel.


For the sand I cheated and used biscuit crumb pie base. I find it has a lovely yellow sand colour. However the plain biscuits blasted in the processor would have been fine (and cheaper,) I just like trying different things out.




Edible Moss Recipe


Ingredients:

1 Packet of plain sweet biscuits
2-3 Tablespoons of liquid Food Colour


Method:


Place biscuits in food processor and pulse until you have a fine crumb.

Add one table spoon of liquid food colour at a time.
Pulse between each addition.
If you do this you should not have any issues of your moss becoming too wet.



Ingredients for Edible Moss Biscuits and Green Food Colour
Edible Moss & Sand Ingredients.
Biscuits in Food Processor  from Te Fiti cake
Process Biscuits, Then Add Food Colour.


For the the 3D effect heart swirls (yes that's a plural, if you look closely you will see that the heart joins together two swirls in the middle) I just used a piece of fondant with a little CMC added. I started with a naked chocolate ganache cake. The swirls stuck easily to it using some edible glue. The tricky part was getting the moss all over the cake. Normally I would have used a tip that Rose de Guzman-Warnick taught me, chilling the cake thoroughly so the ganache is rock hard and you can roll the cake around, however did I mention I was time poor and I was already incredibly pressed? Every minute counted! I don't have any pictures of my ridiculously messy method, but just imagine a cake covered in piping gel and me trying to pat on the moss with a paint brush - yes I did say it was ridiculous ha ha... however I was still successful in my madness! (Kids Don't try this at home!)


Chocolate Ganache Cake with Heart of Te Fiti Swirl and Edible Moss Recipe
Heart of Te Fiti Before & After Steps

After the super tricky covering cake in edible moss part was completed I painted the swirl using Rolkem Fluro edible dusts and added little flowers I had pre-made from my last cake.

Chocolate Ganache Cake with Heart of Te Fiti Swirl and Edible Moss Recipe
Edible Paint for Heart of Te Fiti Cake
I used half the box of biscuit crumbs for the sand on the board and decorated with my edible flowers and shells. Oh and I can't forget the chocolate Moana Cupcakes!! I can't believe I almost forgot to show you those!



Thanks to my friend Alexi at The Cupcake Orchard, I had these super amazing edible images printed free using the fabulous cupcake templates provided by Cupcake Diaries  and I placed them on the back of fondant discs. Totally looked awesome!



Moana Edible Image Cupcakes



An extra diary note to self:


I am not going to lie to you - this was crazy doing so much in such a short amount of time. I was so rushed and totally disorganised. What saved me I think, is my confidence in baking and ganaching a cake, it's the most important foundation for me. My blank canvas. Having pre-made items saved and stored from previous cakes is also a work smarter not harder tip from yours truly.


The Heart of Te Fiti Cake inspired from Disney's Moana Edible Moss Cake with Te Fiti Swirl
You Know Who You Are: The Heart of Te Fiti Cake



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Saturday, 15 April 2017

Easter Pancakes Recipe

Pancake with Easter Egg Pattern Displayed on White Plate with bunny

Hello Cakey Friends!

I hope you're having a fantastic Easter long weekend! Thought I would quickly share with you my Easter pancakes. My kids (and husband) love these as a fun family Easter morning breakfast treat! Why not make some for breakfast or lunch this weekend?!

I have always wanted to try this out after seeing countless teddy bear faced pancakes in my various news feeds over the years (you have seen them too right?) Well this weekend I FINALLY tried it out. And as you can see it really does work!

The trick is to put some of your pancake batter into a piping bag or a sauce bottle. I find the piping bag works best for me (phew another way to justify all my cake decorating equipment purchases to the hubby!) Then pipe your chosen design onto your low-medium heat greased pan. Let the design cook for a bit until you see the edges starting to brown.



Steps 1 to 4 on how to make a design in pancakes


Grab a spoon and pour some batter over the top of your precooked cooked design. Cook and flip the pancake as you would normally do.

Now, you can pretty much use any pancake batter. Premix, shake & pour, gluten free, Grandmas recipe... the options are endless really. Just in case you don't have one, or just want to try something different I have included my basic recipe below but be warned it's mostly made up in my head however I can assure you there are never any left overs! I use buttermilk because it makes my pancakes fluffier.

And remember this isn't just an Easter activity! I experiemented with other shapes and themes too, including love hearts, flowers and even Pokemon Pokeball inspired pancakes (These were a big hit with the kids and I now have school lunch box requests - oops what have I done!)


Love Heart Pokemon Pokeball and Flower Themed Breakfast Brunch Pancakes


Basic Butter Milk Pancakes Recipe

This is my basic pancake recipe. I don't really have conversions or exact amounts as I usually just throw everything in together very liberally and just kind of wing it. I've done my best to quantify everything although you may need to tweak it to make it yours.

Ingredients

2 eggs
2 cups of self raising flour (If you want thicker batter just add more flour)
2 tablespoons sugar
2 cups buttermilk (Yes, you can use plain milk)
1⁄2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 -2 teaspoons cooking oil  spray (For greasing a nonstick Pan)


Method

Following the basic add liquid to dry rule, put flour and sugar into a mixing bowl.
Make a well.
Add eggs and vanilla.
Gradually stir in buttermilk and continue to mix until smooth. (I use an electric hand held mixer for this step however you can just mix by hand)
Use your prepared batter to make the Pancakes above. 


Thanks for sharing some pancakes with me!
Naomi xx


 Happy Easter!
Questions? Let me know in the comments section below! 
(I love comments!)
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Sunday, 9 April 2017

Aloha! Luau Tropical Engagement Cake!

Luau Coconut, Pineapple, Flower Lei Fondant Toppers by Cake Decor in Cairns
Aloha My Cakey Friends!

I cannot believe it's been almost TWO YEARS since I last posted on my blog! Yes that's right 2 whole years! Have you missed me?  I have most certainly missed you! If you're new to my little cake corner of the world - welcome! I have come back online because I wanted to share with you what I feel is my best cake ever!  My niece's Luau Tropical themed Engagement Cake.

What started out as a simple idea to cross off making sugar / fondant frangipanis from my "cake bucket list" turned into a fully decked out Luau themed cake with all the tropical trimmings! Miniature fondant coconuts, flower lei necklaces, pineapples, Tiki mask, hibiscus and even a ukulele! 


Teal Chocolate Ganache Cake Fondant Frangipannis Hibiscus Grass skirt Pineapple Coconuts Tiki Mask Mats
Aloha! Luau Themed Engagement Cake.
All the tropical fondant trimmings!
Now I will not tell a lie - this cake took an incredible amount of time. As I said, it's the best cake I have ever made! And you know that "The Best!"  isn't something I can pull off the night before. 

The very first edible item I made for this cake was the fondant / gumpaste frangipanis (plumeria) - one of my all time favourite flowers. Nothing screams more tropical than a beautiful frangipani. This theme is so close to my heart - considering that I live in the best tropical city in the world!

I kid you not - these seemingly simple flowers were NOT so simple to make! I read a few tutorials, gumpaste flower books  etc and rolled and destroyed MANY trial flowers! Every tutorial pretty much said the same thing "simply roll petals together" well ha ha jokes on me because every time I tried, my dear fingers seemed to squish each one! Eventually I figured out that I needed to work with each petal individually and extremely slowly to painstakingly get those petals to join in some kind of a frangipanni manner!  Moral of the story? If at first you don't succeed try, try and try again. If you still don't succeed try experimenting and working with your own ideas and methods and keep trying until you win!


Fondant/Gumpaste Frangipani dusted yellow pic tutorial
Fondant/Gumpaste Frangipani dusted yellow.

Thankfully the other flowers were not so challenging, just time consuming, imagine punching out all those little fondant flowers you see pictured and then imagine yourself punching out about a thousand more! I had so many ideas I wanted to try so I made so many unnecessary extras "Just in case!" 

Luau Themed Fondant Cupcake Toppers Flower Leis, coconut, pineapple,
Luau Themed Cupcake Toppers

There are so many elements I want to share with you, however I feel I would end up writing a novel on just one cake tutorial! (No one's got time for that!) So let's have a quick look at some helpful tips when making Luau themed fondant toppers.

Tip 1. Grass Skirts:

To make these for the cupcake and cake toppers I used a Jem strip cutter. These sets are super useful for cutting strips (as the name says) in different widths. For this instance I used the skinniest one to make the grass strands of my skirt. Make sure your fondant is rolled out thin and slightly dry for best results!

Fondant/ Gumpaste Grass Skirt! Use Gem cutters to make the grass.
Fondant/ Gumpaste Grass Skirt!

Tip 2. Mat / Weave 


To make the mat / weave look on my brown topper bases I also used Jem Strip Cutters to create a woven mat impression. I dusted every second line with brown edible dust as pictured.

Cut out Circles, Gently imprint Strips - not too hard, and dust.

Fondant Gumpaste Pineapple. Grass skirt frangipanni tropical leaf flower necklace chocolate cupcakes
Edible Tropical Fondant Toppers! Aloha! It's  Luau Time!


Saving my favourite part to last, I had the most fun creating the main topper. I absolutely love wooden peg people so I jumped at the opportunity to make my very own fondant ones! Complete with an edible flower necklace and blue ukulele, these are the cutest bride and groom to be luau cake toppers on the tropical block!  

Luau Tiki Engagement Cake Edible Fondant Couple Toppers Grass Skirt and ukulele
The Creation of Luau Fondant Peg People Cake Toppers:
In The beginning there were two shades of fondant!


And of course it wouldn't be me if I didn't tell you that I used Teal Coloured Ganache to cover my cake in! I don't use special chocolate colourings - who has money to waste on more colours??! For this ganache I used normal Wilton Teal gel colour. If you're new to my signature cake covering style, you can check out my Coloured Ganache method by clicking here!

Teal Coloured Ganache Luau Tiki Hawaii Engagement Cake Edible Toppers Tropical Flowers
Luau Tiki Engagement Cake: Cake Decor in Cairns


Thank you for stopping by and sharing a bit of cake with me!


Any Questions? Let me know in the comments section below! (I love comments!)

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