Thursday, 11 December 2014

#makesomeonehappy

I'm a big believer in giving back. I'm extremely blessed and I don't take that for granted. 
When I saw the Channel 9 Today Show's #makesomeonehappy campaign - I instantly knew I wanted to be apart of it. 
The core of the initiative isn't about flaunting privilege, it's about genuinely doing something thoughtful (no matter how simplistic) to make someone else's day. I was excited to be able to share a little bit of my talent to make someone happy ��

So as we approach Christmas I am very wary of the fact that so many people and families find this time of year difficult. 
No matter your situation the very thought of Christmas, to many, isn't all Tinsel and Jingle Bells. 
My aim with this project is to make someone happy. 
To surprise them with a little something unexpected. 
To lift their spirit and share a little sugary love. 
Whilst you may have seen the Xmas tree cake I donated to a local Kindy - which made about 100 little people very happy- this time I am giving away a Pudding "lolly cake" Cake!


Very similar to Rocky road- but without the nuts. This can be kept and used on Christmas Day, or shared with friends, family or colleagues beforehand. 

There are only 2 conditions of winning this:
1- You must be able to collect this from my Alderley Home Studio on Saturday 13th December 2014 before 10am. 

2- I'd love it if the winner could pay the happiness forward- with a little #makesomeonehappy love of their own. 

That's it. 
To enter all you need to do is comment on this blog link on the Cake That! Facebook page. 
A winner will be drawn by Random.Org at 6pm on Friday 12/12/14. 

This competition is not sponsored or endorsed by facebook. 
This is a giveaway purely in the spirit of Christmas and holds no retail value. 
Should the prize winner not claim their prize- it will be donated to a local charity on their behalf. 

Thanks for reading and don't forget to take a little moment and #makesomeonehappy
Cheers
SJ 



Thursday, 30 October 2014

Cake Pride!



You know- I would never think of myself as an intimidating kind of person, so it always surprises me when I meet other people (as well as extended family and friends) who feel like they have to apologise or compare their cake triumphs to mine. 
Yes triumphs not tragedies. 
I love cake decorating, and I've been blessed to be able to do what I love every day. So when I hear "not like your cakes" or "I made a terrible cake" I feel sad. I truly love seeing other peoples creations. 
It can be such a sense of achievement after allot of hard work to complete a cake. 
I meet mums who dismiss their efforts as unworthy- when the truth be told these cakes they've made are the most special of any. 
I'm a huge advocate for parents making their own kids cakes. It really is a right of passage. 
My family will attest to some "challenging" cakes made for me as a kid. Not a single one looking like it stepped out of a magazine- but each and every one absolutely loved and cherished by me (and my friends). 
Goodness knows as a teenager I made many of my baby sisters cakes- we both beamed with excitement at the epic brilliant sugary creation before us! I tried many a design out on her (thanks for being my guinea pig Al)





Parents put so much pressure on themselves to create these magnificent cakes - when in reality kids love it (the cake) no matter how unlike the original idea the end result may be. 
No one has ever gone to a kids party and said "geez look at that poor excuse for a cake" - instead we all really cheer that parent/loved one on for how terrific the cake is- and it's backed up by the excited and proud grin of the birthday recipient. 
 So if you're a friend of mine, or if you meet me- please NEVER apologise for the awesome, filled with love, painstakingly put together cake you've created- stand up and be proud, as I'll be there cheering you on!

I have been honored to guide many friends to make their own cakes, and seeing how chuffed they are with their finished product makes me feel wonderful too!
I welcome you to share your proudest cake achievements in the comment section :)

Next year is the 10th Anniversay of Cake That!. I have some exciting things in store for 2015- so keep up to date by following me on Facebook!

Thanks for reading- and Happy Baking
SJ

Sunday, 9 March 2014

I'll bake the cake!

Ok- so pretty much I voluntarily put my hand up for what some could describe as the most difficult kind of cake you could ever attempt. 
It wasn't a super tall- nor an artistically sculptured masterpiece. It wasn't even something I'd never attempted before. 
So what was this cake you ask??
It was a lovingly made- frantically put together (read a houseful of builders and a short bursts of opportunity to put it together) and finished with a few "love bumps" that I'd be sweating bullets over on a regular order. But it was done. It turned out pretty funky (if I do say so myself) and it was delivered all in one piece. 
But why the stress you ask???
It was a surprise for a friend :)
"So?!?!!" I hear you say. 
But this isn't any ordinary run of the mill friend. This cake was for one of my fabulous "cake" ladies. One of the most gorgeous people you could meet. Talented beyond belief- and I was in charge of making her cake ��

Given I had full artistic license on this little gem- I colluded with my fellow cake bevy, got the thumbs up for my design concept (although they vetoed my idea of putting 40 candles around the base pfft! I mean everyone loves illumination don't they lol) 

Subconsciously I knew I had no reason to stress. I know had the shoe been on the other foot I would be ecstatic with anyone making a cake for me- but truth be told I'm a worry wart when it comes to these situations. 
What if she doesn't like it?
What if she had a grand idea of her own and I was treading on her toes?
What if....... She's allergic to coconut?!?!?

So maybe I'm a bit extreme when it comes to unnecessarily worrying ��

Anyway- I'm sure you've already guessed- but she did love the cake! (Phew) 

So after I made it to the venue- and handed over the cake in question- it was party time!!!
My fellow cake ladies are not my competition- they're my allies, my psychologists throughout my crazy weeks, they're my friends. I'm so very lucky to have met so many wonderful fellow cake enthusiasts that share not only a common love of cake- but have terrific senses of humour and genuinely are there to support you anytime. 


So this is my attempt at a cool "Rockabily" style cake. Cute and fun, zest lime and coconut inside (with white chocolate coconut ganache too!)

I truly hope that the divine Ms Amanda had a spectacular birthday!
Cheers for a fantastic year ahead xx

Wednesday, 19 February 2014

What's new in 2014

Hello!
Well it's already the third week in February- this year is flying by!
There's lots of exciting things planned for Cake That! this year. 
An exciting new venture- a new list of gourmet flavours- and perhaps the most exciting- a Brand new Workroom for me!! 

I've worked from home for almost 10yrs now- and with the need of a bit more space- I've taken a plunge and engaged builders and as I type they're building a new extension specifically for cake!!
Every home needs a cake room- it's sure to be the Media room of the naughties lol. 
My old workroom has been transformed back into the bedroom it once was- and whilst I'm on leave - the builders are creating me a new space just for my cake!
Work in progress- it's speeding along!
Choosing a functional design- finding a draftsman and builder- then the nitty gritty bits like floor coverings and handwashing sinks- it's been a job in itself! Worth it all none the less :)
It's not far from completion- I'm so looking forward to setting out all my racking and equipment- and having the space ready to start making new display cakes!

I've got so many ideas in my mind- here's hoping they come together and create big beautiful cakes :)

This weekend I'm keeping in touch and having a day of consults and cake tasting! I can't wait to test out some of the new flavour range on prospective clients!! 

I can't wait to have the new room finished and start on my new display cakes! 
Thanks for reading
SJ xx

Saturday, 15 February 2014

In the swing!

As some of you may know- I'm currently off on leave. I won't be back to caking until April 2014- time is flying- but that doesn't stop me itching to make cakes though :)
One of my friends is having a baby soon- this is her second baby- and it's due to be a little girl- so I was itching to make her a cute cake :)

After I got the all clear to make it my mind went into creative overdrive. 
I wanted to make something that wasn't too over the top- and also incorporate the mum-to-be's request for a soft iced cake and Red Velvet. 
While the cake itself wasn't exactly Red Velvet- it was an ombré pink Velvet cake:D
I kept true to the request and iced the cake in a soft icing. 
Using the petal method I piped the base tier in a pink ombré- then finished the top tier with a little bunting on the wall and a sweet sugar baby carriage on top!

This cake definitely satisfied my need to "make a cake" fix!

Thanks for reading
SJ xx




Cake That! Superfood Slice

Cake That!  Superfood Bar!

This delicious slice/bar is Gluten,Dairy,Nut and Sugar Free!

It's also vegan and requires minimal effort to make. I'm sure it'd last a long while in a container too- but it never lasts long enough here to test that theory lol


So here it is


Preheat your oven to 165degC


In a mixing bowl place

2 1/2 cups oats (if needed use GF oats)

2tbsp Chia seeds

3tbs Sunflower seeds

2tsp powdered ginger

2tsp cinnamon

200g sultanas

2tbs honey

2tbs flaxseed meal


In a blender- blend

2x over ripe bananas (med size)

200g pitted prunes

200g softened pitted dates (I put them into a bowl with a splash of water and microwave for 60secs)


Add blended mix to oat mix. 

Press into a lined slice tray and bake for 30-40 mins


The longer you bake the firmer the slice- I like it a bit chewy :)


Slice when warm- then devour once cold xx


I add other things to this slice and omit others depending on what I have on hand and what I feel like. 

As a base I use the oats and the blend mix- from there you can add coconut- nuts- dried fruit- different spices - whatever your heart desires!


You can even swap out prunes for more softened dates if you want. 

 I normally cut 18 pieces from a tray. They're a great little snack. 


Happy baking xx


Saturday, 28 September 2013

Emma Chisit?!?

I often get emails asking "how much is a cake?"
Or "how much for this cake?" 
The answer isn't as simple as saying $$
Each and every cake I make is crafted especially for the occasion it is being used for. 
Yes you may see and fall in love with a stunning cake- but it may be unsuitable for your needs. 
It could be miles too big!(and while we all love left over cake) choosing a scaled down variation may still show off its beauty without being ostentatious at your event. 
At the other end of the spectrum, I'd be disappointed to quote a price for a cake that's too small for the occasion, only to then have to add in additional kitchen cakes (and expense) to cover the numbers. 
There's no secret underlying reasons as to why I ask the following in order to supply pricing- I truly need to know. 

The Date- I need to know when your event will be held, so that I can provide my availability to you. If I'm unavailable for your date then sadly I cannot help with a cake. (I'm always happy to refer you to someone who might be able to help instead too) 
It's not my business practice to supply quotes where I'm unable to accommodate the request. 

Your Venue- I ask this to know how suitable your design will be there. Whether or not your venue has air conditioning, whether it is an outdoor venue, and of course it's location for delivery can all possibly impact on the design. 
For instance- if you're having an outdoor marquee wedding in January a soft iced cake is definitely off the cards. And dependent upon the availability of aircon to store a fondant iced cake until just prior to the reception will also determine what's suitable. 
The last thing I would want would be for your cake to turn into a melted puddle on the floor. 

How your cake is being served. 
Whether it's dessert or token pieces will effect how much cake you need. 
Also if traditionally you wish to retain your top tier will also mean that you may need more cake to cater for your amount of guests. 

While I often hear "no one eats cake" I'd beg to differ. I have countless thank yous and feedback from past clients telling me how they didn't get a single piece of cake as their guests ate it all on the night. 
People will eat great cake :D
While only you will know your guests well enough to judge their appetite, It's also etiquette to provide a portion for each and every attendee. 
Thinking that "none of the guys will want dessert" and wanting to order a cake 30 portions short isn't a cordial approach. 
Your venue will want to cut enough portions to provide each guest with that course. Culling dessert for those you think may not want it is like only serving some guests an entree- because they would normally only eat a main meal. 

So when looking for a quote on the perfect cake you've found- remember to supply the information above for a speedy reply. 

Take it easy
SJ xx

Thursday, 22 August 2013

Myth busted!


Are you ready to start planning your cake but feel overwhelmed from all the information? Where to begin? And what about everything you've  read/seen or been told by anyone who knows you're  getting married? And how do you stay within your budget?
Inquiring with your favourite decorators around 10-12 months in advance will give you a good idea of how much to expect your chosen design will be. Busy periods book up the fastest (Autumn and Spring, as well as any Public and School holiday weekends are most popular here in Brisbane) so it's always a good idea to get in contact early to secure the date.
Knowing the "theme" or "feel" of your wedding is an important part of deciding on your cakes design.  If you've chosen an elegant timeless venue and decorations, having an eye popping 4 tier Hot Pink and Purple Mad Hatter (Whilst may be completely fun) may leave your guests scratching their heads wondering how it fits in with everything else. 
Don't worry of you haven't decided every last detail, just so long as you have an idea of the direction you're headed in (with regards to styling) you'll be able to start considering designs. 


A week doesn't go by where I dont have a request for a "fake" cake to cut costs.
Unfortunately due to loads of misinformation clients are often lead to believe that choosing "Fake" tiers will result in a drastically cheaper cake.
The truth of the matter is that in most instances it won't make any significant difference.
With the exception of extremely large designs where the cakes itself  physically couldn't fit into a standard commercial oven! 
A Styrofoam (or Fake) tier still takes just as much time to cover and decorate as a baked cake (often more  due to it being so lightweight it is a bit more tricky to ice), the cost of the foam can sometimes be the same as a baked cake- when factoring in the foam cost plus a courier or time and fuel to have it delivered- sometimes it costs more.
Switching out an 8" round cake for foam certainly isn't going to save you any money- and in the end you will be left with a piece of inedible decorated styrofoam- Would you not prefer to simply have delicious cake leftover to eat instead?
When choosing the sizing of your cake you need to know what presence you want it to have at your reception. You need to considerthe space it is being displayed in. Does the room have really tall ceilings? Is it dark and intimate?
Do you want your guests to ooooh and ahhh over it? Do you want them talking about how Amazing it tasted and how they were so surprised by such a magnificent cake inside and out?
Or are you only having a cake because you feel you "Have" to have one for traditions sake? 
If your reasoning is because of the latter- then perhaps choose not to have a cake at all- there are no "rules" about what you must have, and personally I would much prefer to create a cake that my clients and their guests are going to love and enjoy rather than you feeling as though it is only there out of peer pressure.

Often clients are scared to disclose their cake budget to their decorator, when in fact disclosing your budget will help your decorator achieve a design that suits your needs and comes within the price range (and sometimes under) what you've accounted for. 
By letting the decorator know this he/she will be able to help (where necessary) make design changes to meet your limits, whilst creating a beautiful cake for your event. 
There are often alternatives that can achieve similar looks without as much cost. 
Use your decorators talents and knowledge wisely and you will end up with a magnificent centerpiece that you and your guests can admire. 
When deciding on a budget carefully consider how you'll serve the cake. If its being served as dessert, while you will require larger portions, you'll more than likely be saving on your event package. 
Here at Cake That! I offer a range of Baked from Scratch recipes to send your guests salivating over the menu to come. 
What better way to finish a beautiful sit down dinner than a piece of Salted Caramel and Roasted Peanut cake- with peanut butter ganache? Or a slice of rich Dark Chocolate Hazelnut and Sour Cherry Cake, or A tangy Lemon and Wattleseed White chocolate Mudcake? 

Are you hungry now? Hehehe
Complimentary samples are available at your consultation, and booked clients are welcome to continue to collect weekly sample on a reservation basis. 
 
So when you're ready to chat all things cake- get in contact :) I'd love to help create something stunning and wonderful for your special day
Keep Smiling
SJ 

Monday, 1 April 2013

Happy Easter!!

I hope you all had a fabulous Easter Weekend!!
I enjoyed a lovely break- relaxing with my friends and family.
It wasn't no baking for me though! I made some cupcakes and also some iced biscuits for fun.
Looking forward to getting back into cakes tomorrow.



Thursday, 7 March 2013

Baby cakes

To be perfectly honest I worry about making kids cakes. It's not the designs themselves that I feel uneasy with- its the idea that I'm potentially taking a little bit away from the Childs parents.
When I was a child I had all sorts of creations from my mum. None of which (respectfully) were "perfect"- but each one 100% made with love.
I appreciate that we live in a time poor society- so I absolutely understand that- to many- outsourcing your little ones cake is just another load off your mind.
I get countless requests for kids cakes- many at the last minute- but sadly like any other order- each is baked from scratch- and needed to be ordered well in advance to secure the date.
Most of the children's cakes I do are for returning clients.
I was lucky enough to make this Christening cake for Baby Dominic last month.
A cute dusty blue cake compete with 3D lettering and a (if I do say so myself!) an adorable hand crafted sugar giraffe!
I loved this little figurine so much! He was just so cute!!
He stood around 15cm tall and was hand modeled and painted by me!
I am blessed to be able to make such beautiful cakes for my clients!
So do you love this cute as Baptism cake?