28 December 2008

Christmas is here!

Well after the whirlwind baking storm the oven broke. What does that say about how much baking went down in the last few weeks? After a panicky trip looking for a new oven before Christmas Day we found a stunner and I am so much more excited about baking again! YAYAYAYAY! I (or we??) got a stainless steel De Longhi gas top with an electric oven with so much more options and much more efficient baking.
For Christmas Day I made chocolate fudge with cherries and date place names and decorated with white fondant and used my blue sugar pen. Madeline helped out and proudly decorated a few herself. She did a great job and had fun too!
Thankfully with such beautiful weather we used the BBQ and I was hardly in the kitchen so we had a gorgeous day on the deck really. All I baked was some delicious bread and a ginger and sour cream cake, a simple but delicious recipe made with fresh ginger rather than ground dried ginger. The flavour was much cleaner I thought.
Here's the results...

19 December 2008

Teachers treats

For the teachers who always get the obligatory box of chocolates I usually buy something cute and small like a Christmas decoration but this year I thought I'd treat them to some home baking and use the fantastic gingerbread house recipe as it was so easy too.
Here's how they turned out..

At about 10pm in the evening I got a tad sick of baking and decorating and took to being rather mean with the gingerbread men...

14 December 2008

Gingerbread Shed and Cheeky Pirates

Well this week certainly saw a lot of me in the kitchen baking up a frenzy. Next week won't be too different as I plan to do all the cookies for the kids teachers. What have I got myself into???
I started out this week with lots of cupcakes for my sister in law and her new fashion line preview. Sadly the camera did not have batteries so I didn't get any pics so that's a shame.
I started and finished the gingerbread shed. Owen drew up the plans and I had to change them slightly but it was really fun to make, and boy did the house smell good!
I sneakily dropped it off on Thursday to the shed while the boys were all on the course working hard, making sure to close the door as the dog was looking mighty interested in eating it herself! And by Friday afternoon I had the board back sparkling clean so they must have enjoyed it!

I used the cheeky pirate cake I mentioned in the previous post and I was rather pleased with the results. It wasn't flat on the top but I kinda like the friendly rounded face. I used chocolate fudge (tried and true and egg & dairy free also) and added a rich chocolate filling to sandwich the two cakes together. Then I did the fondant, and I was also up until 2.30am with it. That's kinda my fault as I did go to see Quantum of Solace with Owen at 8.40pm! Then I grappled with a nasty little put-together-yourself kitchen as our present for Katie that I wanted to have up when she woke up. Bad idea at 3am in the morning...nearly threw it across the room out of sheer frustration!!!
But the week turned out well and its all good practice really isn't it?