Monday, 28 February 2011

tip: clearing the air

Photobucketever tried to whisk up some buttercream frosting and the second the electric mixer hits the icing sugar you breath in a nice waft of sweet air? let's face it, icing sugar goes EVERYWHERE. the only solution i've managed to conjure up is going old school - a wooden spoon and melted butter (almost to a liquid). if you slowly fold the butter into the icing sugar so they're partly combined, less icing sugar will float up into the air and the cleaner the kitchen (ie/ happy mother).

another suggestion i have come across is the aid of cling film. however, when i put this insider tip to the test, i foolishly used a plastic bowl which the cling film refused to cooperate with (a glass bowl is probably going to work best for this).

before fixing the two metal whisks into position on the electric handle, pierce two holes in the middle of your piece of film.

stand the two whisks in the icing sugar mixture and cover the bowl with cling film, making sure the whisks are above the surface, through the previously pierced holes.

next, fix the whisks to the electric mixer and start combining the ingredients. however, the cling film isn't exactly durable so take extra care to prevent further splitting of the holes.

hopefully, you should be able to combine the ingredients in just enough time before the cling film is ripped to shreds!

Sunday, 27 February 2011

big fat gypsy cakes.

for those of you who have been keeping up with channel 4's recent series of Big Fat Gypsy Weddings you'll have noticed that the bigger, the better. to complete the fairy tale wedding, the cake is almost as important as the over-the-top-20-stone dress.
most of the cakes are centered around classic disney films complete with the fairy tale castle, icing flowers and bows and edible glitter as well as the traditional bride and groom placed on top. it seems the bride's chosen colour is almost always pink and it isn't uncommon to dress the exterior further with trinkets such as fairy lights and feathers (most likely in the same colour). 
in the above photo, taken from episode 3, you'll see that in addition to the extravagant cake in the centre, there are roughly 15 cakes (probably more) surrounding it. even the skirts of the dolls' dresses are cake and i'm not exactly sure who is expected to consume all of this sponge?!  
‘They are willing to pay for that magical cake and the cost increases with the complexity of the design,’ says ruth daniel of Sweet Art Cakes in bristol. ‘lots of decorative piping, pillars and tiers creates the right look.’
cost: £1,000 (although the above cake make cost a few (a lot) more pennies)
xxx
Big Fat Gypsy Weddings are available to watch on 4oD
(quote source: daily mail)

Saturday, 26 February 2011

formerly honey buns...



due to existing blogs/companies we have a new name. with this comes a slightly new look and a temporary logo (apologies for lack of graphic skills). this is the first and only time we'll be going through a name change, i'm not that fickle.

from now on find us at www.winkwellcakes.blogspot.com and drop me a line at winkwellcakes@gmail.com.

please note, i am based in the uk so while i welcome all enquiries from across the globe, international orders are not possible at the moment. :(

xx

tip: avoiding a sticky situation

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i'll admit, i'm the messiest baker around. my mother always frowns when i announce my baking arrangements, especially since the edible glitter spray managed to waft it's way upstairs adding a pearlescent sheen to almost everything. my worst nightmare is when you've no extra pair of hands to assist you when adding the contents to an icing bag. fiddly, flimsy and frustrating is how i feel about this.

however, there is one small item to remedy the situation - a pint glass. all you need to do is place the icing bag inside the glass and fold the ends over the edge so the icing will effortlessly drop into the bag with no fuss nor mess and you're ready to pipe!

xx

Thursday, 24 February 2011

cookies from the box - a review

for those who have seen previous post, cheeky choc chip, you'll see that my younger siblings are preparing the batter for double chocolate chip cookies. today, we've revisited this.

the mix we're using is by Pillsbury, Dark Choc Chunk Cookie Mix. all you need is 3 tablespoons of hot water, an egg and 1/3 cup of oil to add to the mixture. once combined the batter only needs 8-10 minutes to bake. if you're in need of an instant cookie fix, this certainly ticks all the boxes.
xx

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lucy measures the oil and mixes the ingredients below.

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play-n-bake: the edible play-dough

during my adventures across the pond, i have discovered a child's favourite, and what they like to call, 'edilble play-dough' (i. know). my immediate reaction was 'how can this be?!' (i didn't even venture into the territory of 'why?') before the child within desperately needed to see this stuff in action.

as it turns out, "Play-N-Bake" is merely pots of standard cookie dough combined with some (probably unnatural) food colouring (about a 70/30 split in favour of the colouring).

for the littluns, the job of crafting your favourite object (be it a car, a bear or in my sister's case, the sun) is just as enjoyable as scoffing the biscuit once baked.

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Friday, 11 February 2011

from hummingbird, with love

my favourite bakery never fails to deliver and for valentine's day the hummingbird bakery are offering 3 different surprises to choose from. hurrah! 

my favourite is definitely the chocolate box selection of cupcakes including Ginger, Strawberry Fondant, Chocolate Rose, Chocolate Praline, Brandy Chocolate, and Caramel Chocolate inspired from classic chocolate selection box flavours.

box of chocolates

mini delights

heart shaped red velvet cake

a velvety valentine's...

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nothing says 'i love you' like a large slice of red velvet cake. every time i type 'red velvet cake' into google images i'm left bemused as radioactive red sponge crowds my computer screen and i'm left with muddy brown cupcakes that resemble a half arsed attempt at chocolate cake.

the bad news is, if you want to bake a classic RVC for your other half this valentine's day, you'll have to put all health commitments aside and go artificial. the creme-de-la-creme of food colourings i have tested so far is Dr Oetker. Their 'red' colouring suffices, although i would add a cheeky drop or two more than advised.

however, i recently discovered 'Artificial Food Colouring in Cochineal'. while cochineal normally has a slight pinkish tone, the sponge will still bake a vibrant red - perfect for any RVC. i highly reccommend this colour over the standard red.

while going artificial isn't ideal, i have tried Dr Oetker's Natural Red Food Colouring and the colour has sadly been compromised.

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