25 November 2008

Christmas madness begins again...

Today I started my Christmas baking along with the arrival of my decorations & icing - Christmas pearls, sparkle red gel and red & green fondant from The Cake Shop, my new favourite online store. Who knew I would get so excited about these things! Naturally I had to test them out...
First things first was making the biscuits, unfortunately without a car (in the garage for a WOF) I had to use whatever I found in the pantry or fridge. I had no butter (actually I never have butter anymore, only spread...I'm on butter strike till the price comes down a bit) so I substituted rice oil in my basic biscuit recipe. It was a disaster. I used far too much oil and the dough fell apart. I managed to get 11 cookies with the cookie cutters (6 trees and 5 stockings) but I won't be doing that again. It was fun experimenting with techniques and designs. I also discovered oven bags make great piping bags as they are large, strong and don't stretch. I have 40 cookies to make by 18 December so it should be totally doable.

Katie's birthday is in a few weeks and with a pirate theme looming I have been on the internet searching for some inspiration. Suffice to say there's plenty out there and there's also plenty of awful stuff too. I wanted a simple and cute pirate face so I'm gonna attempt this one here. I thought it was damn cute and well in keeping with Katies nature!
What is interesting is how all pirate themes are geared towards boys - I can't find a single girls pirate theme for all those tomboys out there.

I made a cake today too and wanted to just play around a bit so I made a thank you cake for mum and dad (we are getting new outdoor furniture for Crimbo...YAY!). Again I had a bad baking day due to lack of ingredients and although I substituted plain flour and added baking powder for self raising flour the cake turned out like a giant slightly risen pancake. We live and learn...still looked pretty and it was still very yummy. Also spent the day doing all this with a fantastic assistant who cheered me on and also had the gruesome task of bowl licking and fondant scraps eating. Thanks Katie!