I have always loved baking (and making a mess. Mum always groans when I pull out a recipe book!) but recently I have REALLY loved baking!
I guess it all started with Cake Boss… easily the best show on television!! I am a sucker for any reality tv, but Cake Boss really took my fancy. I found the cakes so impressive, and was in awe of the skill of all the decorators and bakers. I also found I learnt a lot! After watching a few seasons I found myself sprouting all kinds of bits and pieces of cake-wisdom.
(Life Goal – GET TO CARLOS BAKERY!)
More than anything, though, it inspired me to be a little more creative in the kitchen. Around the same time as my Cake Boss obsession began, Mum gave me an article she’d found in the paper about a lady who made ‘cake pops’ for a living – funny little balls of cake and icing on a stick that a lady in Australia was selling after discovering the trend in the U.S.
I got my hand on a cute little book by Clare O’Connell (it’s great, really!) who has her own Cake Pop business. With easy to follow recipes, instructions and BEAUTIFUL pictures, I just had to try some myself!!
My starfish were meant to be red, but it was my first time working with powdered colouring and chocolate. (NB: I LEARNED THIS THE HARD WAY! DO NOT COLOUR CHOCOLATE OR CANDY MELTS WITH REGULAR FOOD COLOURING! YOU NEED OIL OR POWDERED COLOURS!) I am waiting on the arrival of my Wilton oil colours from overseas, and paid $5 for a tiny tube of powdered colouring at a cake shop near me. I used over half of it and they still went that pink colour. I didn’t want to use it all incase I ran out of chocolate and needed to colour more… I think I would have had to use the whole lot for them to be remotely red. $5 to colour ten cakepops.. Geez! But I thought they ended up looking quite Patrick-the-star-esque so passed them off as Spongebob themed!!
Living in Australia, I find it difficult to get many of the decorating ingredients listed in recipe books. Things like cocoa butter that are used extensively in decorating pops are so expensive and difficult to find from Australian retailers. The market here is simply not big enough to supply the products at the same price as over in the US. I recently picked up a Wilton magazine at my local Spotlight, and it was $30! I have ordered a few bits and pieces from America, and am impatiently awaiting their arrival so I can test them out! That said, it is unfortunate that many retailers won’t ship their decorating supplies overseas.
Ah, the tough life of living down under!
Exams approaching fast, have to lay off the making and baking. Will be watching Cake Boss instead!!