Monday, 28 November 2011

Paddle Pop Ice Cream Cake!

My youngest sister had her 12th birthday recently and asked if I would make a cake for her.

I got the idea from a Woman's Day magazine, it's pretty simple and looks very effective.

I melted chocolate for the top and smoothed it on with a rubber scraper thing, the magazine recommended piping it but I thought that would be too messy and complicated and a little unnecessary. I used pearl coloured cauchos to follow the swirly line of the chocolate. TIP: if you do something like this make sure you stick the cauchos on straight away as the chocolate hardens pretty quick, I learnt the hard way! For the stick of the ice cream I used copper gel colour to make the stick orange and then put some more colour in but didn't mix it in completely so that when I rolled it out it looked a bit like a wood grain!

This is a bit I cut off the cake, I recommend that if you ever have a small bit of cake leftover ice it and keep it as what I call a 'candle cake'. You can stick a whole bunch of candles in it and it doesn't matter if wax drips on it rather than ruining your masterpiece. 

For this cake Woman's Day recommended using an oval pan to cook it in and then cutting one end off but I didn't have an oval pan so I just used a rectangular pan, used a round pan to get the rounded top. I included a diagram below for how I cut it out - the bits shaded green are what I cut off.

On the left, Stacey's friend Zoe then my beautiful sisters Stacey, Carly and Ellen at the back.

Cake time!!!

Blowing out the candles, possibly getting a bit of help from her friend!

So lovely to see the cake get eaten, people went back for seconds which is always a compliment! I personally can't though or I'd feel sick because it's so sweet
Stacey got a super cute puppy for her birthday and I was lucky enough to be able to sneak a cuddle. Her name's Tilly and she's a Jack Russell x Chihauha - going to be quite the yapper but she is pretty cute!
Also how much do I NOT look like the rest of my family?!

Sunday, 20 November 2011

Birthday Cake

So, once again it has been a while since my last post...

I've been busy finishing Uni for the year but finally finished on friday with my final exam! So, being that it was my final day of Uni and also the day of my birthday party I made a cake.

It was a nice and simple cake, I used a whole 250g packet of marshmallows and had leftover fondant afterwards - the packet had both pink and white so it was super convenient because I didn't have to colour anything. I find the fondant is easier to work with without colouring in it, when you knead colouring in the fondant gets sticky and so you add more icing sugar but then it gets a bit stiff to work with - so this way meant that the fondant was really pliable.

This cake would be really great for a baby shower or for a christening - it's simple and it would look really cute with a yellow or blue bow. This cake was also my first attempt at a bow, think it turned out okay!

Best part about this cake is that it wasn't too big so it got eaten that night, I hate having half a cake leftover!

Thursday, 29 September 2011

Also.... I got a new hair cut

Two posts in one day! I'm a woman on a mission today. 

This was just before I got the chop. (this is my room btw)

I'm on of those people 'blessed' with thick curly/wavy hair. I've been letting it grow and grow and grow, not because I'm one of those people that desire to have super long hair and panic at the sight of scissors... it just kinda happened.

Then I realised it grew TOO long. Now I'm not saying that I'm one of those people that have to keep an eye on where their hair is when they go to the loo... it was never that long but long enough to take too long to style. Not only was it too long to style but too thick and heavy to put 'up'. So I decided to get the chop. BEST THING I EVER DID.

I actually have a hairstyle now, I can brush it without ending out looking like a lion, it doesn't take half a week to dry or straighten.
I took this photo just then, so it's not even salon fresh and shiny and I still love it!

Gotta give the credit: 
If you live in Adelaide and want a decent 'do, this is where I go:

Anyway, just thought I'd share. It excited me, thought it might excite you.

So if you've been finding that you hate your hair right now and keep contemplating  new 'do but keep putting it off, I say go for it! Hair always grows back, you can always get extensions or re-dye it.

I wonder if it's possible to get pink polkadot patterns in your hair.........

just kidding, I hate pink.

Jim Beam Cake

So I'm perhaps a little slack at posting, that's what most people are like right?

Well... this post is about my third cake. It was a friend's partner's 21st and she asked me to make a cake for him in the shape of a Jim Beam bottle. 

I was quite apprehensive about it at first because the two other cakes were simply me making them because I wanted to experiment with making cakes, no one actually depended on me being successful!

This cake was actually really easy as she ordered the edible image label (I'm from Adelaide so we got it through and ordered a mud cake slab from Woolies. So my job was pretty simple, I just had to make the fondant and cut the cake down to shape. We went with a pretty basic shape, without cutting in too much in case we went wrong. 

I didn't have the right colour tint to colour the fondant brown, so I just sifted in cocoa powder with the icing sugar. The icing tasted like chocolate marshmallows, yum! The only slight problem with using cocoa powder is that you can see the tiny dark granules of cocoa if you look closely but it's not very noticeable at all.

I brushed the cake with water afterwards because it was powdery from all the icing sugar. Here's a picture of the cake after we finished it. This is pre-prettying it up because I did it at night and by this time it was 11:00 and I had to work in the morning so I didn't stick around for the clean-up, lucky me, I got to make the mess and didn't have to clean it up!

The next day was his 21st, so I went and received many compliments on the cake. With some of the cut off's we had made a small square of cake and iced it with fondant to stick the candles in... and when it came time for cake they refused to cut the cake! The square with the candles was cut and handed out but the Jim Beam cake remained untouched all night because no one was game enough to cut it because it was too pretty? I take that as a compliment of course... but what good is having cake if you can't eat it too? (Pardon my pun). I was later informed that within the next few days it had been cut and eaten with enjoyment. So overall, whilst it was a pretty basic cake I think it was a success. :)

Friday, 12 August 2011

My super amateur attempt at making a police hat cake for a graduation!

I am fascinated by arty things... and my latest fascination has been with fondant. After intensive googling and youtube videos, I picked my recipes and decided to make a police hat cake for someone I know. I first attempted a police shirt cake, for an earlier graduation lunch, based on other shirt templates I'd seen online. It went pretty well, was surprisingly easy and tasted great! The Sergeant's 2 year old son especially loved it, deciding the icing was by far the only part worth eating.

So this was the police shirt cake I made, I'm glad I tried this before I attempted the hat because I had no prior experience, no template for the hat so it was just a matter of winging it!

First I baked two cakes of a similar size to the hat, I made buttercake with raspberries and white chocolate.... yum yum yum

Then I levelled them off, was good because I got to have a taste test... a test they well and truly passed.

I buttercreamed the first one, filling in all the gaps and attempting to make it smooth..... I think a flat bladed knife would be good for this because my good old butter knife wasn't doing a very good job! Because I wanted the cake to be slightly raised at the front as the real hat rests on its brim rather than flat, I stuffed a few bit of sliced off cake under with some butter cream to build it up.

Then I wacked the second cake on top, bottom up, and cut it down to make the shape I wanted.

Then I buttercreamed, buttercreamed, buttercreamed, & buttercreamed some more till it was completely covered.

Then the fun part! Making the fondant, which is Marshmallow Fondant or MMF. There are plenty of ways of making it but all I did was pop 2 x 500g bags of white marshmallows, tablespoon of hot water in the microwave for about 1 min 20 secs. When I did it for the shirt cake I didn't need as much icing, so I used half the amount and it only took about 40 secs. So, however much you want to do, you pop in the microwave till it is almost completely melted like above. Then you stir in a bit of vanilla essence if you want, stir till melted then sift in some pure icing sugar. You mix it in, sift in some more, mix it, sift in some more etc till it's too hard to mix. Then you chuck a heap of icing sugar on the bench, sugar up your hands and knead icing sugar in until it becomes like playdough. Then you can colour it, mould it or whatever! Store it in an airtight container or gladwrap if you're not using it immediately. If it goes a bit hard, it can be popped in the microwave for 5-10 secs to get it soft again. Good stuff. and it tastes yum.

I made the checkered band by rolling out a thin long strip of white fondant, then cutting out the squares of blue and white fondant and attaching them alternately to the strip with water. Some bits are a bit wonky and a bit bigger than others but I think it makes it cuter. Some of the blue colouring smudged onto the white though because of the water which was disappointing :(

Then I rolled out a big piece of white for the top, & this was the hard bit! Because there was so much excess fondant as I smooth it down because it was sloping in, trying to make it smooth and neat was really hard and I'm not quite happy with it but it's reasonable.

Then I rolled out a piece of fondant to make a cord to pop around the top and attached with water.

I made a black brim and supported it with scraps of fondant, I don't like the shape of it, think it looks a bit like a shoe but its okay for a first attempt! I brushed it with a tiny bit of vodka which I read makes it shiny, well regardless hopefully people get drunk and don't notice the imperfections. I sourced the badge from somewhere because I was not keen to attempt that! Cut out some stars and letters with cookie cutters and bobs your uncle, one very amateur, but remotely accurate police hat cake!

Thursday, 4 August 2011

In the beginning...

For my very first blog, I thought I would share a little bit about me and the origin of the name 'Dirdy'.
My name is Kirsten, I'm the second oldest of five children and when my youngest sister was little, she couldn't pronounce my name and called me 'Dirdy', hence the name... which like most nicknames, have little meaning but just seem to stick. I needed a reasonably original name, so Dirdy Diary it was.

So, why am I writing a blog?  I'm one of those people that have random thoughts I feel like sharing... but just don't ever fit into the context of the situations I'm in. I'm also someone who likes to try my hands at new things, until I discover I am dismally hopeless at them and abandon them in the search of something I am actually really good at. (Yet to find out what that is). Yes, over the years, I have entered fashion parades, photography competitions, singing competitions, art competitions, studied 'image management' blah blah blah so on, so forth..... none paying off to well. So, I decided I will start sharing my thoughts, my ideas, my attempts, successes and failures with anyone who cares to see.

So, welcome to my private world.
My youngest sister,
 flower girl for Dad's wedding.
 Safe to say she can pronounce my name now.

Catch you on the flip side.