Archive for the ‘cakes’ Category


Sacha’s Box of Chocolates

May 17, 2009

chocolate box cake

My cousin Sacha is a confirmed chocoholic. With this in mind, when her mother asked if I could make Sacha a cake for her 20th birthday I knew the cake would have to contain a large amount of chocolate. But, I thought, is that enough? And then I remembered Bakerella’s amazing Valentines cake, and knew what had to be done.

Sacha's 20th birthday cake

The cake was, of course, chocolate cake, with chocolate ganache in between the layers and covering the cake. Then onto a fondant-covered board, a layer of fondant over the top to make the base of the box, and then a strip of the same around the sides. Probably a little thicker is better for the side stuff, if you try this at home.

Then I made cake balls (cake crumbs mixed with cream cheese) in various shapes and dipped them in chocolate to make the chocolates for the top of the cake.

Everyone seemed to enjoy the chocolatey goodness – my Dad did his best to get more than his share!

Happy Birthday Sacha! I hope you had a great birthday and enjoyed gobbling up the leftovers. 🙂


Gingerbread Noah’s Ark

May 6, 2009


Okay, so this was ages ago, and I know some of you have already seen it, but I just realised I never posted it here, so here it is! The idea for a gingerbread Noah’s Ark was conceived many moons ago, while pondering what else could be made from gingerbread (some friends of ours made an incredible gingerbread castle a couple of years back. I do mean incredible). And then, we had a weekend free and it sounded like a good time. So, out with the mixer! I think it only took four batches of gingerbread. And four packets of smarties. And three packets of marshmallows. Hmm… A lot of sugar!


We had various animals, including frogs, pigs, snakes, elephants, bunnies, cows, and butterflies. We also had Noah and his family – in this photo you can see Noah being nuzzled by a slightly disproportionate elephant. Noah’s wife was at the other end, and we put the other six family members inside the boat, sleeping. As you do.


Lastly, a close up of the evil pink-eyed bunnies. These are actually larger than the elephants, so scary indeed!


Last minute cakes

December 23, 2008

Well, I’m knee-deep in cake (not that many, which is nice – it looks like I’ll get to sleep tonight, which will make a change from this time last year!) but I did make a couple of extras so if you’re after a last minute cake, I have a couple of medium chocolate cakes (feed about 12, $25) and one medium fruit cake (same size, although it’ll go further by the virtue of being fruit cake, $50) – if you’re interested comment here or fire me an email –

Hopefully I’ll have a bunch of crazy looking photos soon – I do have quite a bit to do today and tomorrow, but if I’m lucky I’ll manage to squeeze in a post as well. 🙂


Order your chocolate Christmas cake now!

December 10, 2008

If you’d like a chocolatey alternative to a traditional Christmas cake I may be able to help! Homemade chocolate cakes are available for Friday the 19th and Wednesday the 24th of December, and delivery within Christchurch city is $10, or you can collect your cake from my home in Ilam.

All cakes are iced with ganache, a decadent combo of cream and chocolate, and are available in medium (20cm, up to 12 slices) and large (25cm, up to 24 slices).

Chocolate cake

Chocolate cake with white chocolate tiles, white chocolate curls, toffee shapes and gold chocolate stars. $35 large, $25 medium

Mud cake


Chocolate mud cake with fondant holly leaves and berries, and ‘Merry Christmas’ message. $40 large, $30 medium

Strawberry-topped cake

Chocolate cake with white chocolate bubble shell and topped with chocolate coated strawberries and dark chocolate curls. $50 large, $40 medium

If you have questions you can call or text me on 021 395 190, or email – and if you want to order, email me with the type of cake you’d like, size (small or medium), date you need it (the 19th or the 24th), and I’ll get in touch to confirm your order.


Operatic Chocolate Cake (but not Opera Cake!)

December 7, 2008


A friend celebrated his 21st last night, and asked me if I could make him a cake. He’s quite into singing and opera, so I went with a musical theme. The cake is chocolate mud cake with chocolate ganache, and the decorations are mousseline buttercream and fondant. And I was assured that it was deadly, which I’ll take as a compliment – I hope Alex got plenty to take home to keep him on the brink of a chocolate-induced coma for the next few days. 🙂


Cake or Death?

November 30, 2008

tile200-chocolate_truffle_cNot Quite Nigella is running a chocolate cake competition, and I decided that an 11th hour entry was essential, despite having baked a horde of cakes already this week, including a wedding cake for yesterday (post to come very soon!). Anyway, as you’ll know if you’re at all familiar with my blog, I do tend to make the occasional chocolate cake…But I decided my regular chocolate cake recipe (which I do highly recommend, as a reasonably failsafe, delicious and moist cake) was just not exciting or challenging enough.


So this is my cake. Looks fairly harmless, does it not? Boring even, you might say…

tower-of-cakeBut… It’s a huge tower of cake! That’s a 20cm cake that is 12.3cm high! (yes, I had to measure it) It is a crazy concoction of deliciousness, decided upon after much umming and ahhing. This is a five-layer cake, in alternating layers of Rose Levy-Beranbaum’s White Chocolate Whisper Cake and Donna Hay’s Rich Chocolate Cake, filled with White Chocolate Mussoline buttercream (another Rose Levy-Beranbaum recipe) and a cream-based chocolate mousse (concocted without a recipe) and all topped with a rich dark chocolate glaze. Phew! And I can assure you that it is quite deadly! Want to see the guts of it? Brace yourselves!

cross-section-shotNow, be aware, this is not your everyday chocolate cake (although the white chocolate whisper cake is a perfectly respectable everyday cake on its own), and in fact a normal-sized slice would probably clog your arteries instantly, but a tiny sliver with a small scoop of homemade vanilla ice-cream goes down a treat – a delicious way to finish off the weekend!

I promise I’ll update the post with recipes tomorrow, but at the moment it’s sleepy time – if you happen to be reading this and think you might be in the area in the next day or so let me know, though, because I just might be able to reserve a slice for you – we’re going to need some help with this one!


Daring Bakers Caramel Cake

November 29, 2008


It’s that time again – Daring Bakers reveal day! I’ve skipped the past two months (very naughty of me, missing two in a row) but I’ve been busy with uni (you probably noticed the lack of posts!) and battling it out with my stomach to figure out what it was I couldn’t eat (soy, but I tested gluten and dairy along the way). But I’m back, and just in time for a fabulous challenge courtesy of Dolores, Alex and Jenny, with help from Natalie. The task at hand was to reproduce Shuna Fish Lydon’s signature caramel cake with caramelised butter icing.


I found it pretty straightforward – fun making something a bit different, especially the butter icing, and it was utterly delicious. We still have a little caramel syrup leftover, which is going to go nicely over some of our fresh homemade vanilla ice-cream sometime very soon!

caramelsThere was also a bonus challenge this month; to make Golden Vanilla Bean Caramels, from Alice Medrich’s Pure Dessert. These were a little more challenging – not because they were difficult, so much, as just a little bit stressful not knowing how long I was supposed to wait for the mixture to get to temperature. I do enjoy this sort of cooking, though – very chemical-reaction like, although requires a fair bit of patience and attentiveness to catch the change at the right stage! However, these turned out very well, and I pressed some vanilla sea salt into the tops of the caramels once they had set.

Thanks to this month’s hosts, and I look forward to December’s challenge… Bring it on! 🙂