How to make creepy cookie fingers!

I’m a bit late, but who needs an excuse to make these creepy looking cookies?! Make them and scare your friends or they might just avoid eating them like a few people did when I put them on the table haha! As most of you are aware Halloween just passed and there were so many awesome treats floating around and of course these have been done many times but I thought i’d share how I made mine. I have never made these before but my sister was throwing a hallowen party so I thought I would make some cool Halloween themed treats. My usual style of cookie is pretty and girly so when I was making these I was actually nervous that they woudn’t turn out. The fun thing about these cookies is that you really cant go wrong, they are super easy, fun and you can get messy without feeling bad about it!

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I used my plain sugar cookie recipe to make the cookies and I shaped them using my hands. I first started by rolling them into a sausage kind of shape and then I made some slight dents in the sides. Use your own finger as a guide. I then pressed a fork into two areas of the cookie, the same as my own finger (I sure hope my fingers don’t look like this lol). I then made a small indent for the nail part.

TOP TIP: Don’t make a huge indent for the nail and try keep that area a bit pointed and less wide. Another tip is not to make them too big because they may spread a bit in the oven, unless your going for Shrek vibes.

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Once the cookies had been shaped I popped them into the freezer for about 10 minutes.
I baked the cookies and let them cool. Once cooled I dusted them with cocoa powder, I was originally going to use brown petal dust but I thought cocoa powder would taste better, it’s more cost effective and it’s the perfect colour if youre going for a ‘I just crawled out of the ground’ look.

For the nails I used almonds, try get the ones with the shell around the border, it looks like dirt under the nails (GROSS!). For the ‘blood’ I used thinned down royal icing and red gel food colouring. I added the almonds over the icing and BAM! Just like that I had dead fingers lying around my bench ooOooOooh creepy!

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Another cool idea would be to add green food colouring to your dough to make them look more like Shrek fingers or even wicked witch of the west fingers!

Here are a few other treats I made for halloween! Hope you all had a wonderful Halloween! Until next year!

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Happy baking! Love, Nelle xox

 

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Pet Parties!

Calling all animal lovers, specifically crazy cat lovers and owners who celebrate their pets birthdays’ because, our pets are our children! My little cat is named Bella and she is a pure white half Persian half tabby and tomorrow on October 26 she will be turning 6! Now I’m not writing this blog so I can boast about bella but to boast about her previous birthday party. Yes, that’s right you heard her birthday party! DUH! Last year we celebrated her 5th birthday and she had a little gathering with a few human friends and we had a seafood spread to celebrate Bella’s love for seafood of course. My aim for this blog is to show off her little dessert table and to share my love for my pet because they deserve just as much love as any friend or family member. I’ll be sharing my tips and ideas for the fury friend in your life, and if you’re as crazy as me and want to throw a pet party then keep reading!

Firstly, meet bella! Majestic, sassy little thing isn’t she?!
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I decided to give bella a pastel themed party showcasing the colours pink, mint green and white. I chose these colours bevause these are the colours of my cat bella! Her eyes are green, she has pink paws and a pink nose and shes completely white. Now, my cat is as sassy as they come (hence why my business is called sassy sprinkles). She obviously gets the sassiness from me HAHA and so I decided to make Bella an edible version of herself because what else would she want!
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I carved the cats body and head out of rice krispy treats and covered it in royal icing to give it a smooth finish. It was then covered in fondant and then scratched with modelling tools to give it a fury look. This figurine sat on top of a vanilla ice cream cake which I attached little pink chocolate dipped bone cookies around the sides. I made the ice cream cake by using store bought vanilla ice cream and a 6″ cake tin. I placed the ice cream into the tin, lined with cling wrap and i smoothed it out using a spatula until it was cake like and then i popped it into a freezer! Don’t forget the cling wrap because this is how i removed the ice cream cake from the tin. You can also use a tin with a removable base.
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For the desserts I wanted all of them to be cat themed. I made chocolate dipped strawberries to look like little mice, I used almonds for the ears, lollies for the tail and sugar pearls for the ears and nose. Try choosing the pointiest strawberries when making these so you get the snout look that mice have.
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I also decided to make chocolate dipped oreos and decorated them to look like Bellas’ cute little face! I used fondant for the ears, eye sprinkles and I used food colouring to paint on the details. The cool thing about these oreos were that they were vanilla, not chocolate oreos!
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I also made a “meow” mix for the table by mixing together strawberry panda treats, bone cookies and pink popcorn.
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The cutest little mini cupcakes sat underneath the cake and I went simple with these and made pink fondant ears and piped a little dot of frosting. I used a wilton 8B piping tip. Simple and sweet.
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14925807_10208961159120390_5799183843851119627_n.jpgTo style the table I wanted to use the colours mint green, pink and white so I used a mixture of cake stands to add height and variation to the table. I used a fish bowl to hold the meow mix because as we all know cats love fish and I thought it was a cute touch. I managed to also have a vintage tassel garland that I had handmade previously and it went so nicely and tied everything together. I made the garland using different types of fabrics and ribbons and string to tie them onto. It’s a simple and effective way to add colour to your table.
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If you want to see what I’ve whipped up for Bella this year, head on over to my Instgram @sassysprinklescakery, click follow and stay tuned!

Love, Nelle xox

 

How to make 3D Little Nut-brown Hare cupcake toppers!

Anyone who knows me know that I am OBSESSED with rabbits! Anything with a bunny on it and i’m in! I literally have about 6-8 bunnies hanging around my room. No joke theres stuffed bunnies, ceramic bunnies, rose gold and moss green bunnies. I guess you could consider me to be one of those old ladies that collects spooky dolls but bunny edition HAHA.

I’ve also had 2 pet rabbits in my lifetime so it’s not just faux bunnies that i’m obsessed with, my fur babies were even cuter! Now that i’ve revealed my strange obsession with rabbits let’s now explore my long awaited desire to create something peter rabbit, or in this case the nut-brown hare! I was so excited when I was asked to create cupcakes according to this theme and so when I was designing these cupcakes I actually didn’t know where to start! I often get inspiration from the characters themselves. I happened to have a tin with the characters on it and inside are cute little nutbrown hare themed  chocolates, a special gift from my nene (grandmother). I then had the idea to use the stories of the nut-brown hare as inspiration for the cupcakes! I wanted to recreate a scene from the book “Guess how much I love you” where little nut-brown hare and the nut-brown hare are staring at each other ever so lovingly!

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PS Check out my watermark, pretty fancy hey 😉

Anyway, heres how I made the little nutbrown hare, enjoy!

I used white fondant and hand painted it brown to match the colours in the book. You can do the same or use a light brown fondant and a bit of white.
Firstly, roll a ball of fondant with one side being thicker than the other and then shape it like shown in the image below.

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Now to make the little thighs and feet that sit flat against the side of the body. Youll need two of these. Start by rolling a little piece of fondant with one side thicker than the other and leaving one end with a slight ball to act as feet. I didn’t manage to take a picture of them individually but they are seen in the bottom of the image above in a blur (sorry guys!). flatten the large side slightly and arch the little foot upwards. You can also choose to add some detail to the top of the foot by cutting two slits into the foot (you’ll see in the images later).

Once you’ve made two, leave them to the side and work on the arms or paws whatever you want to call them.
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Make two of these arms and add the same details you added onto the foot/thigh, onto the ball of the arm.

Ok so I also forgot to photograph the maing of the bunnys head, just roll a decent sized ball of fondant into a slight football shape with only one side being a football? Youll see what I mean shortly!

Now to make the ears take a ball of fondant and roll both ends into a little point, leaving the middle bit fatter.
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Once you have two of these, flatten them slightly.
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Then, using a ball tool, flatten them out in the middle to further enhance the centre and achieve that dented ear look.
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Once you’ve made the ears you can work on that cute little bunny tail by using a small round ball of fondant, flattened slightly and then pricked with a tooth pick to give it that fluffy texture! Now you have all the pieces you need to mak this little guy, but lets juat make sure! ROLL CALL!
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  1. Body
  2. Head
  3. Bunny tail
  4. 2x ears
  5. 2x thighs
  6. 2x arms

Lets put it altogether!

Using a little bit of water and a paint brush, glue the thighs to the sides of the body and add the little slits using an exacto knife or a tool of your choice to the top of each foot. (Refer to image)
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Next, glue on the arms to the front of the body and cut slits into the balls of the arms to create the look of paws.
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Afterwards, you can attach the little bunny tail to his bottom and also attach a tooth pick where the head is going to sit. This will provide some stability. Just warn your guests. IMG_3141.jpg
Attach the head and ears and using a ball tool, poke small indents where you want his eyes to be!
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And voila! You have cute little un-painted bunnies, waiting to be brought to life! Simple shapes but oh so cute!

It’s best to leave them to dry over night before you start painting.

When you’re ready to paint select a few colours or powder colours that you think would work best, remember you can use this tutorial to make whatever bunny you like! If you want to make the little nut-brown hare in the same way i did then use these gel colours and dilute them with some clear-alcohol. I used rose spirit.
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I began with a light coat and let it dry and then slowly added layers as i pleased. I used more of a spongey motion in comparison to a painted brush stroke, as i wanted to create a similar look to the book. As i wasn’t happy with just a flat look to the fur i ended up actually using a little bit of water over the paint to create the effect of “fur” which actually looked more like the story book, in my opinion.

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I also added little balls of white fondant for his eyes and painted a portion of it using black food gel (undiluted).

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Aren’t they the cutest! Heres what they ended up looking like, which mimicked the scene from the story so beautifully.

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I also made some veggie patch cupcakes to go along with the theme, which I fell in love with!
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I hope you all enjoyed the tutorial and learnt some new techniques that you can implement in your own creations!

Follow me and my cake journey on Instagram @sassysprinklescakery and if you want more sneak peeks add me on snapchat! @nellejas

As always, happy baking!

Love Nelle xox

 

How to make a unicorn cake!

And we’re back again with more unicorn magic! Love them or hate them they are here to stay and who doesn’t love a little magic now and then 😉

This particular design has been done many times and the original design was by the amazing Jenna Rae Cakes! It’s such a simple, clever and effective way of creating a pretty unicorn cake. It’s also an incredible flexible design which can be suited to many colours, themes and can be for boys or girls! You can pretty much make whatever unicorn your heart desires. I opted for a traditional unicorn, is that even a thing? A traditional unicorn? HAHA! I went for the cliché rainbows and unicorns theme by making a simple pearl white unicorn with a rainbow mane. I used an 8″ tin and baked about three vanilla cakes, it had roughly 6 layers of cake inside, layered with strawberry SMBC.

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I added some adorable gold star sprinkles and made sure the horn and ears were adorned in gold, and gold glitter. The ears, horn and eyes are made with fondant. I used a petal cutter to create the ears by using two different sizes, one large petal shaped cutter for the outer ear and a smaller petal cutter for the inside (gold glitter section). Both the horn and ears were supported with bamboo skewers to keep them upright. I suggest making these parts at least a week in advance.
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The horn is a sausage of rolled fondant (that sounds totally weird) but it is what it is! One side is thicker than the other which gives you that spiral look. I wrapped it around a bamboo skewer using some edible glue to glue it altogether. Once dried I painted it in gold lustre dust mixed with rose spirit, I always use rolkem!

Now for the fun part, how did I make that rainbow mane!
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If you’re anything like me, then you have probably had some bad experiences making rainbow buttercream. This is why I have a love/hate relationship with rainbow anything!

Here are a few of my tips to making the perfect rainbow buttercream!

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1. Colouring your buttercream can be a challenge but if you want to recreate the buttercream colours I used for my unicorn cake here is what I used: (All colours were americolour brand unless stated otherwise)

Blue: sky blue and turquoise
Purple: electric pink and sky blue
Yellow: lemon yellow
Green: electric green
Pink: fuschia and electric pink
Orange: peach

TIP: DON’T add a whole blob of food colouring to your buttercream, add drops and stir until you achieve the desired colour.

I wanted to create a bright rainbow but also subtle colours that would blend nicely together, when you create very bold colours sometimes they can end in a mess and become cloudy when applied to the cake.

  1. Be cautious of purple! For some reason purple tends to take over the other colours and it turns into a funny grey colour, avoid using too much purple if you can.
  2. When piping buttercream rosettes or swirls onto cake use the cling wrap method which is lining up your buttercream side by side in whatever colours you like I positioned them from pink, orange, yellow, green, blue, purple. Once you have lined them all up next to each other roll the cling wrap into a sausage shape and pop it into a piping bag with a piping tip of your choice.
  3. Don’t over fill the bag. I unfortunately learnt this the hard way and by the end of it my pants, hands, table and floor had buttercream blobs everywhere! Just fill the bag with minimal amounts and keep making cling wrap sausages when needed!
  4. Another helpful tip is to colour your buttercream with minimal amounts of food colouring and let it sit for 10-20 minutes in between so that your colour deepens so that A) you don’t have to use much colouring and B) you don’t end up with a colour you didn’t want.I also made some matching cupcakes!

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    I hope these tips were helpful! If you’d like to keep up to date with all my latest creations head on over to @sassysprinklescakery on Instagram! Happy baking!

    Love, Nelle xox

Tips to making the perfect cake pops!

I believe cake pops came about a few years ago and were first seen by Bakerella, a total baking babe. Her cake pops are immaculate and come in so many designs and shapes! They are such an economical and environmentally friendly sweet if I do say so myself, as they are usually made using scraps of cake. But of course the cake world turned it into more than just a cake scrap and now people are baking their cakes and breaking them apart, sad but delicious!

Here are some of my tips to making cake pops whether they are plain round or shaped. Here are a few questions I’ve received lately:

  1. How do you get them so smooth?
  2. What chocolate do you use?
  3. How do you melt the chocolate?
  4. How and when do you colour the chocolate?
  5. Easiest way to get a smooth chocolate finish on the cake pop?

To answer the first question, I would probably start with my recipe! I use ganache with my cake scraps, I find that it gives me a more solid cake pop as well as a smooth texture that I can roll into balls or shape them. When immuring shaped cake pops, I roll out my cake pop dough to a decent thickness and pop it in the freezer for a couple of minutes and then cut out shapes. Pop it back into the freezer to set nice and firm before you handle. Shaped cake pops are more difficult but are a lot of fun!

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Ganache is especially good for shaped cake pops, in my opinion. It also tastes delicious! You can also use buttercream. To get a smooth finish on my cake pops I always make sure my dough is completely fudge-like, no dry cake. If you have dry cake it will most likely promote cracking and this will give you lumps and roughness. I always ensure my cake pops are even, I measure the amount of dough per cake pop (yes, extremely OCD). I usually have 30g of dough per cake pop. When I roll them I always flatten them completely and squish them in my hands to take out any air pockets and cracks and wrinkles, the aim is to roll it in your hands until you see no wrinkles or cracks and it’s got a nice “shine” to it.

Next question…I use nestle melts! They have always worked for me and I’ve never had an issue. Sometimes I thin down my chocolate using coconut oil or copha chips. I melt the chocolate in the microwave in 30 second bursts and stir in between.

To colour my chocolate, I obviously always use white chocolate. I add either powder colours, gel colours or chocolate candy colours, never liquid. When using gel colours, I always mix the gel colour before-hand with some “flo coat” which can be found in most cake decorating stores. By mixing it with “flo coat” before you add it to your chocolate it will help avoid seizing the chocolate as well as having those nasty little colour granules. The best results I’ve had with colouring chocolate has been with candy colours! These are made specifically for colouring chocolate so if you can get your hands on them, do it!

TOP TIP: If you want to colour your chocolate blue, without using candy melts, add titanium dioxide powder or white gel colouring with the addition of “flo coat” or coconut oil (preferably wilton white) to your chocolate before you add the blue. If you don’t add these products beforehand you’ll most likely get green, as white chocolate had a yellow-ish tinge to it.

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Now the easiest way to dip my cake pops and achieve a smooth finish on them without lumps, streaks and other annoying problems is to first start with your smooth cake pop as I mentioned earlier, and then of course having smooth melted chocolate. Your chocolate shouldn’t be thick or thin it should “flow” if your chocolate is sticking to the spoon when you flip it upside down its too thick, if the chocolate doesn’t coat the spoon it’s too thin. You can’t have your chocolate too thick or it won’t coat the cake pop and if it’s too thin it will crack and if you’re using white chocolate on a dark chocolate cake pop you will see through the chocolate! It should “flow” in a ribbon effect. If you want more of a visual I suggest watching Elise from My cupcake addiction on youtube! I use a little jug with high sides and lots of depth to it so that my cake pop isn’t touching the bottom of the jug and it covers the entire surface in one dip! Don’t shake your cake pop, tap your wrist and spin it slowly to get a consistent surface.

I hope these handy little tricks have been helpful and answered a few questions ive had recently. Here are some of my cake pop creations!

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Happy cake-poppin’!

 

Love always, Nelle xox

RAINBOW VIBES!

Who doesn’t love a rainbow? It’s the thing we look for after a sun shower, it’s that little reminder that we often to instil in us that life is beautiful! Rainbows can be suited so many themes and cakes which is why its so much fun to work with! You can have colourful and vibrant rainbows or go for a subtle pastel rainbow, either way, its stunning!

Recently, I made a trolls themed cake and if you’ve seen this fun, feel good film you’ll know just how wonderfuly colourful it is! Not only are the characters bubbly, fun and completely colour crazy, but the scenery itself within the film is just bursting with colour! Now, sometimes less is more, and that’s exactly the idea I had for this cake. Ive seen so many beautiful trolls themed cakes with crazy colours, decorations and I wanted to go nuts with sprinkles, lollies and essentially everything but the kitchen sink. But, I showed restraint and found that not only did simplicity really bring out the features in the cake but it also allowed the colours to speak for itself. I have to admit, sometimes simple wins!

The purpose of this post is to share a few tips and tricks I have learnt that helped me achieve the striped rainbow buttercream look. Now don’t be fooled, it looks easy peasy lemon squeezy, but really, its difficlut difficult lemon difficult (credit to a HILARIOUS meme on favebook! LOL). Silly me, only had 3 round piping tips… I wanted to use 5 colours. Depending on how many colours you use, that’s how many piping tips you should have if you want to get everything precise and clean.

Here are a few tips:

  1. Figure out how many colours you want to use, for this example lets just say you want to have 5 like I chose.
  2. Measure the height of your cake and divide it by how many colours you have (For example, 8 inches in height divided by 5 is 1.6 inches, therefore you should pipe each colour to reach 1.6 inches in heigtht)
  3. To help with the tip above, I used tooth picks at each interval to make sure I reached that height (yes I know, the light pink is taller than the rest of the colours, we all make mistakes!)
  4. Another great tip is to weigh your buttercream, once you have the total weight of the buttercream divide it by how many colours you have and voila you will get even amounts of each colour!
  5. Have a tall enough scraper to scrape your cake, I actually used a plastic ruler for this one as it was extremely tall.
  6. Tip for colouring: If you have really vibrant deep colours like my cake I would suggest letting your buttercream sit for 15 minutes after you colour it and give it a mix, you’ll be surprised how much the colour deepens.
  7. Lastly, if you often second guess yourself about colours check out the AMAZING colour chart by “Love at first bite” which gives you an awesome visual on what colours to mix in order to achieve certain colours.

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I hope this was helpful, Happy baking!

 

Love, Nelle xox

 

EXCITING NEWS!

As most of you know, I was recently a guest on The Morning Show! If you’re not in Australia, this is a live Tv show. I was really excited when I was asked to feature on the show and showcase some amazing treats! The theme was unicorns! Yep, you either love them or hate them and at the moment they are trending all over the place! This magical and mythical creature has been turned into every single sweet imaginable, from donuts to ice cream, waffles, milkshakes, cookies and cakes!

I decided to make no-bake unicorn cheesecakes in little individual cups! The unicorn cheesecake and rainbow chocolate shards I made is inspired by all the beautiful unicorn/rainbow goodness that has graced us over the past few years such as goodies from Katherine Sabbath, My Cupcake Addiction, Yoyo Max 12 and many more! I chose to use colours to match some gorgeous sprinkles given to me by Twinkle Sprinkles (@twinkle.sprinkles.au). For all who missed out on seeing the short and sweet segment called “Fantasy food” where I made unicorn cheesecake cups as well as showcased a whole bunch of unicorn treats then check out the link below! I’ll also post the link to the recipe below for those who want to give it a go!

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Click to watch the “Fantasy Food” segment

https://au.tv.yahoo.com/the-morning-show/video/watch/36350548/unicorn-desserts-with-janelle-halil/#page1

Click for the recipe!

https://au.tv.yahoo.com/the-morning-show/r/36349317/unicorn-cheesecake-recipe-the-morning-show/

Here are the unicorn treats I created for the show!

Introducing Eunice, the unicorn. She was named by my mum!
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And here are the rest of the goodies that were seen on The Morning Show!

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A big thank you to everyone who has supported me and allowed me to get to this point in my career/cake journey. Its been such a wild ride that I wouldn’t change for the world. I am so moved by the amount of love, support and encouragement i’ve received and I cannot thank you all enough. This was an amazing life opportunity and im so grateful.

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As always, happy baking!

 

Love, Nelle… And Eunice 😉 xox

 

 

How to: Fondant grape bunch

This week I was making a holy communion cake and amongst the details, a bunch of deep purple grapes was requested! Now I get so excited when I get asked to make fruit, I don’t know why but I think this stems from a fascination of “fake” fruit as a child. I would always ask my mum to buy fake fruit to put in the fruit bowl at home because it would never go bad, always stay shiny and we would look like a commercial house with fancy faux fruit HA! Anyway, I always loved the look of the faux grapes and how it had that same waxy, cloudy glaze (which my mum pointed out could possibly be chemicals lol).

Fun aside, I actually had no idea where to start in making these. I knew I wanted them have a big lush look to them that you would find in a supermarket. I initially thought the easy way out would be just roll little purple balls of fondant into semi oval shapes and glue them together, simple enough? Ugh, no. What about the grape stem? What about the leaves? So back to the brainstorming board, a few google searches and lots of fondant grape images later and voila! I started by colouring my fondant using electric pink and royal blue using Americolour gel. You could also use regal purple but mine ran out… what luck.

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I achieved a beautiful lilac colour which is definitely not what I wanted but with the help of some colourful friends we changed that… keep scrolling 😉

I then sectioned each of my balls off evenly by rolling out a medium thick piece of fondant and cutting circles out using a circle cutter to ensure I had the same size and amount grape. I know, not all grapes are the same size but in this case it would be best to have them almost the same size so they could fit around the bunch nicely.

Once I rolled out my oval sized balls, I cut some floral wire into shorter pieces and created a little hook at the end using some plyers. Once that was done I used some edible glue to wet the end of the hook and pushed it into the end of the grape. I then twisted the end to adhere it to the hook properly (poor description, I’m sorry). But you should get something like this.

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Let your little grapes sit overnight and dry out so that you don’t squash or damage any when wiring them together.

Once your grapes have dried nicely, it’s time to colour! YAY WOO my favourite part. I used an eggplant coloured purple dust, fuchsia, and red non-toxic chalk pastels. I used the eggplant colour all over the grape, and the fuchsia and red to bring it to life.

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What a difference 😉

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After all your grapes have been dusted you can start wiring!

I used two pieces of  floral wire and taped them together using green floral tape, green for obious reasons. I started with one and then taped each grape securely to the wire like so:

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Just keep going until you are happy with how big the bunch is. Try to place them higher and higher as you go.

Once you have finished you can also make the leaves. I am lucky enough to have a grape vine growing in my backyard so I was able to use them as a template and veiner to achieve authentic looking leaves. I washed and dried a leaf and cut it out of gum paste and then veined the fondant using that same leaf. Once it was dried I also dusted it with some petal dusts. I used brown and orange. You can individually wire your leaves and add them to the bunch or you can add them to the bunch and secure with royal icing like I did.

Here is the finihshed product and the cake it ended up on! I loved making this and I hope I get to make more faux fruit in the future.

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Love, Nelle xox

How to use food colouring and petal dusts!

The past few weeks have been interesting, I had many cakes to make and of course they were all completely different! One of these cakes was MOANA! Now I know what you’re thinking, Nelle, we are done with Moana, sick of it! Well the children of the world aren’t done with Moana yet so here we go again! I can’t get enough, there’s so much you can do with this theme and I had the opportunity to make something different which I love, I also got to play around with my airbrush and learn some new techniques and now I want to share some of them with you!

For this Moana cake, it was requested that her flag was included and I chose to add some cute little sea shells because you just can’t have a Moana cake without them!

My tips to achieve that authentic almost distressed/stained look to the flag is to use ivory food colouring! I used the americolour ivory food colouring, thinned out with rose spirit and a paint brush to use to coat white gum paste. I coloured the flag in layers, I painted a thin layer on and let it dry. This shouldn’t take too long if you’re using clear alcohol. I wouldn’t recommend using water as this will leave a sticky, shiny mess. I added the colouring on, layer by layer and I also added more food colouring as I painted. I also dabbed it on to create darker areas and further details. After it dried, I used brown coloured petal dust to dust the edges and in the corners to add further details.

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Drug store edition!

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Now if you only make a few cakes a year and don’t want to go all out buying these products which can become costly, you can use what you have at home! I’ve used coffee mixed with a little clear alcohol and I have tried it with water but it does take a bit longer to dry. You can also use vodka if you have that handy at home 😉

For the brown petal dust you can also use ground coffee but I found it to be a little grainy, so you can use cocoa powder! Works perfectly 😉

For the sea shells, I wanted it to look really authentic and as if they were real shells at the beach. I have to admit I wanted to go nuts and add more and more details but I had to be cautious and use self-control here (HA!) So I made the shells out of gum paste and then let them harden completely. Its best to paint them when they have hardened completely so that their little details aren’t compromised when your touching them and moving them around or poking them with the brush.

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I also used ivory to paint the shells as I did the flag but I only did this very lightly. I used brown, orange and fuchsia petal dusts to colour these shells and I wanted to go with an orange/tan look to the shells. This was so the shells would blend nicely in with the colour of the sand, orange in the airbrush and also blend nicely with the rest of the cake.

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I enjoyed making this cake so much! Happy 3rd birthday Tahlia!

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Happy baking!

Love, Nelle xox

Shopkins cake Q and A!

Over the past few weeks I’ve touched on a few themes and now im going to dive into the crazy, cute world of SHOPKINS! I know, you’re probably sick of these little guys lying all around your house, dodging them while you walk around the lounge room, hoping to not step on those suckers in the dark (ouch!). But here I am to bring you more about shopkins! Now this theme is particularly interesting because they are the cutest and weirdest kids toy craze around, there are about 1000 different varieties of shopkins from strawberries to lawn mowers. Yes, there is a mini lawn mower with eyes on it. I can’t deal. My little sister and cousin are OBSESSSSSSED with shopkins, I remember walking into my sisters’ bedroom where she has perfectly lined up all her shopkin toys, shopkin houses and accessories. It literally hits you in the face, its bold, pink and so cute!

I have been longing to make a shopkins themed cake for quite some time now, purely because I wanted to attempt making those darling little figurines. So when my aunty asked me to make one for my cousins’ birthday I had to go all out. I initially asked her to choose some of her favourite shopkins… She handed me something that looked like a soy sauce bottle?! She then handed me one that looked like a bag of rice!? Obviously I was hoping for the cute ones like the cookie, strawberry…No she chose those…

We convinced her to pick some more and I was so thrilled to see she had picked some cute ones (YES!) she picked apple blossom, lippy lipstick, kooky cookie and I added in Delish doughnut.

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Now there are millions of shopkins cakes floating around so the original designer of this cake was I don’t know who, but if you do leave a comment below! I did change a few things and added my own characters and added a sassy twist 😉

I had a few questions in relation to this cake so I thought I would turn this blog over to you guys, let you take the reins and I’ll answer those questions! Let’s GET STARTED!

Q1: What kind of tools do you need to make the figurines? How did you get it so accurate?

Q1A: Well, I mostly used my hands, looking at pictures definitely helps and YouTube tutorials (shout out to Laura from Krazy Kool Cakes). I would definitely say you needed a selection of round cookie cutters, round piping tips with different sized round nozzles, a clay extruder if you aren’t confident getting thin sausage lines with fondant, paint brushes to add water to attach pieces together, and dry brushes to add colouring using petal dusts! I also have to add in I used colour shapers to just neaten up edges and get into the areas my big as Shrek fingers can’t get into.

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Q2: What was the hardest part about making this cake?

Q2A: Hmmm… Id say the most difficult part was probably making the figurines? It was a blast making them but they are definitely time consuming and fiddly as there were so many tiny details!

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Q3: Do you have any advice about which colours to use? What was the creative process behind allocating what shopkins characters made the cake?

Q3A: When choosing colours its always best to choose colours that POP! I wouldn’t make blue shopkins characters and have a blue background for the cake base. I would be looking at complimentary colours and contrasting colours that really catch the eye. One little fun fact about me is that I did an art unit at uni (OoooOoooh fancy me). Th entire unit was dedicated to painting and it focused on colour contrast and comparison which taught me so much about complimentary colours and how to capture the eye with colour. My advice would be to with what you would think suits best, pink and blue look awesome against each other hence why my board and cake were blue and pink, as well as the little shopkin house which had blue and pink aspects. The little characters were also all of different colours which made it really pop. Orange and blue also look great against each other which is why Kooky cookie really pops on the cake!

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Q4: What is most exciting about making children’s cakes?  

Q4A: Making children cakes are exciting for me purely because they have the most colourful themes! Colours are what bring cakes to life! They have such interesting themes, characters and colours that you sometimes cant to with things like wedding cakes, or for lack of a better word “Adult” cakes (no no not nude ones HAHA). It’s fun also because you can really revisit your childhood sometimes, especially for me, when I get to make Disney themed cakes I get to relive a little bit of my childhood and I think that’s quite nice as an adult. We often forget what it’s like to be a child and dream, so for me this is a fun way to hold onto those fond memories.

Q5: Did you have to research on Shopkins to understand color scheme/fonting/vibe of the concept?

Q5A: I didn’t have to research in the sense that I had to watch their show (I know, I cant believe they have a show and I don’t HAHA!) But I did have to google search their characters to capture their details. To make the name for the cake I really wanted to get “shopkins” type font, so I actually googled “shopkins my name” and this funky little website came up where you could type in any name and it would shopkins your name. of course, I couldn’t save it so I screen shot it, and printed out the picture onto normal paper and cut it out by hand sing an exacto knife! (add that tool to your list)

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Now I have a question for all of you… Which was your favourite shopkin character from this cake? Comment below!

If you have any other questions don’t hesitate to post in the comment section below!

 

Happy baking! love, Nelle xox