All posts tagged new zealand

4 Posts

A Caribbean “Surprise”

First post of 2014 and it’s going to be an eventful one, HAPPY NEW YEAR to all, I trust you over stuffed yourselves and indulged quite nicely over the holiday season – that’s what they’re there for!

My Mum’s Birthday is at the most inopportune time, TODAY actually, BIGGEST HAPPIEST BIRTHDAY to my amazing Wonder Woman Mumma!!!! It’s a time when everyone is still away on holiday or surviving on the lint in their pockets.

Aside from this big event we decided to host, I also kept my Business open during the holidays and that weekend just happened to be the one over filled with orders. Let me tell you now – “Sleep is for the weak” was either spoken by a Robot or they meant to say ‘Lack of sleep will make you weak’, DO NOT EVER sacrifice sleep, you will only get yourself into more problems.

So on top of all the cake orders, my brother and I and one of my Mum’s friends tried to plan a surprise party for My Mum which is stressful enough but then she found out when the marquee people called the HOUSE! When they came to set up they had the wrong size, it was too small, luckily they had a spare in the truck – crisis averted. The caterers were late and we were in a panic, at the same time I had to deliver three orders, on top of that it was 11am on Saturday morning and I hadn’t slept since Thursday morning, well actually, I went to bed at 7am on Saturday morning and woke up at 8am so technically I had an hour ‘nap’.

I wanted to make My Mum a Malibu bottle and thought I’d be smart and dowel the thing only because I just had to carry it downstairs… Everything was going wrong, the humidity was killing e-v-e-r-y-t-h-i-n-g.

I baked a total of 8 cakes (to stack), cake no.1 was a disaster, it decided to get it’s gangsta lean on and just wouldn’t do what I wanted it to and eventually when it did do what it was supposed to, bulges started appearing like a growth that wouldn’t subside.

Umm…I got a little hungry, if you can’t already tell…it tasted amazing!! Vanilla and Summer Berries with white chocolate ganache. Looks like a$$ though.

Cake No.1

Cake no.2 WAS working, till I realised that I forgot to dowel the actual cake layers and went downstairs to figure out how to fix it only to return to a cake flopped on its side in pieces…

Cake2Cake 2











Although it may look like it’s still whole, when I picked it up it was crushed to death by it’s own weight…I really should have slept before attempting this a second time.

It was now 5am on Saturday, I and was no closer to the finishing of this freeeeeeeaaaaakin’ bottle cake. I was exhausted, my brain had actually stopped working, I would go down stairs to get something and had no idea what I was doing there, I don’t give up easily but this was a very rare moment where I felt I was out of options. My Mum woke up to me crying and we turned it into a Caribbean Island which looked more like Hulk Poop. I did add a few more things to make it look like a “joke” and I was too tired to care. Of course my Mum “Loved it” but only because she’s my Mum and THANK GOD it wasn’t for a customer although if it was I would have done a proper job.


The beautiful and colourful mini cupcakes in the back were made by #BabyPiggy


I’m seriously considering sending this into Cake Wrecks  or nominating myself for “sh!t cake of the week” with Cake Dame Ednah. My favourite shot is Jack Sparrow running away from Borat’s mankini clad body and Tom Hanks being all “Wiiiiiiilsooooooooooon” and Wilson’s all “I’m outta here!” because that’s how sh!t my Island is. I also just realised that my ‘rocks’ look like dog kibble… OH GOD! 

Glad to say I had a chance to fix things today on her actual Birthday with this fancy number right here:


I was actually supposed to be a pineapple but then I found out that my brother’s shrimp suit was quite good for hiding inside and taking a nap and so, a Prawn Star was born.


(Credits to Sarah Fo’Shizzle for the “Prawn Star” name)

Sugar Cookie Madness – Simplified

Before someone goes into ‘attack’ mode because you don’t agree with what i’m saying, this is my opinion based on my tastebuds and what I was looking for in a sugar cookie. I am not Law, although sometimes I think I am but I do know that this will benefit a few people out there.

I am sure that many of you are still on the hunt for the perfect sugar cookie and just like me you have tried many recipes and all the tricks to go along with them, especially when you refrigerate the dough before baking the cookies to prevent ‘spreading’ but somehow what entered the oven as a sharp, pointed Christmas tree, emerged as Frosty the Snowman. WHY!!!???!!!!!

I’m not going to lie, my favourite part about sugar cookies is eating them, i’m not a fan of decorating them, i’m pretty sure I have slight ADD and cannot do repetitive work for a long time, I get so bored all of a sudden that I feel like this even if it means checking the mail box:



So here are my 3 recipes, trialed over and over to make sure it wasn’t a stroke of good luck and they’re all pretty simple and easy to follow.

1. THE ‘FLAVOUR QUEEN’: All Recipes – Sugar Cookies

These cookies taste amazing and it’s the vanilla extract that really gives these their superior flavour. There is a slight crunchy exterior with a soft, faint, chewy interior. My mouth is actually watering just thinking about them. They don’t always hold their shape though, but you can roll them quite thinly and pick them up off your floured surface without it cracking or stretching. These were meant to be sharp, pointed Christmas trees but the flavour is enough for you not to care what they look like.

Here you can see how thin we rolled them.

Here you can see how thin we rolled them.

Here's how much 'spread' they got even after chilling them in the fridge.

Here’s how much ‘spread’ they got even after chilling them in the fridge.









2. THE ‘DO WHAT YOU’RE TOLD’: The Party Times – Sugar Cookies (which is actually a recipe from Peggy Porschen)

These cookies will hold their shape no matter what! Even if there’s crazy thunder and lightning during a perfectly sunny day that you think it’s an apocalypse; take these babies out of the oven and they are still in perfect shape. I’m not too fond of the taste and texture of these though, they taste like a plain, sweet biscuit and they’re pretty crunchy. Unfortunately I forgot to take photos before I cut the fondant and stuck it on but you can see how close to exact the fondant and the cookies are. If you’re making Christmas cookie ornaments, i’d say this is a perfect recipe for them.

3. THE ‘BEST OF BOTH WORLDS’: Sweetopia – Sugar Cookies

The title says it all about this one, if you want flavour and shape in one, this is your go to recipe! We recently used this recipe on our Flower Fairy (Images by CICELY MARY BARKER) Cookies.

We needed these cookies to look a bit effortless but if you pay attention to the corners of some of these, they're pretty sharp, also they don't brown as much as other cookies which is always a bonus.

We needed these cookies to look a bit effortless but if you pay attention to the corners of some of these, they’re pretty sharp, also they don’t brown as much as other cookies which is always a bonus.

If you give any of these a go this holiday season, let us know how it went for you or post pictures to the wall on our facebook page. Oh and Christmas is only 8 days away…HOLY FLIP WHERE DID THE YEAR GO!?!

Rich, Flourless Chocolate Cake Recipe

For those of you that follow us on Facebook, you’ll know the story of how I came up with this recipe, for those of you that don’t – It all started with some pinning on Pinterest and a mouth watering picture with the words “quick & easy” written in quirky writing above a handsome slice of gooey chocolate cake. I thought – “no way, this is too good to be true, I have, no, I NEED to make this, NOW!”

You know when you’re so excited to eat something, you can taste it, like your mind starts playing games with you, you’re imagining that first mouthful, the flavours, the textures, the awesomeness, so much that your mouth starts to over-salivate it hurts!!! Yeah….and then the cake was done and I took a bite and almost lost a tooth due to the unmentioned texture of ROCK in the recipe. “Gooey” my a$s!!!

So here’s our SIMPLE AND EASY flourless chocolate cake. It has a soft outer crust with such a rich, dense gooeyness inside, she’s dangerous – don’t say I didn’t warn you, oh and before I forget, it’s pretty darn tasty straight out of the fridge too!

As there’s no flour in this cake (duh!) it’s obviously not going to rise much so depending on how large and flat or small and chunky you want it is up to you, however the one in the photo was made with an 8 inch round pie/tart pan. You can use a normal cake tin or springform pan just make sure whatever you’re using is well greased and/or well lined with baking/parchment/wax paper.

Flourless Chocolate Cake

So here’s what you’ll need (We weigh everything so most of this is in grams however if you don’t use kitchen scales i’ll put the estimated ‘cup’ measurments in):

175g (or 1 cup) Good quality chocolate  (I love dark chocolate but not too dark – everything in moderation right? So I used Whittaker’s Dark Chocolate but you can use whatever you love, except white because you’re going to add cocoa…or maybe that’s something new waiting to happen…I don’t know, i’ve never done it)

120g (or 1/2 cup) butter (if it’s salted – skip the salt, if it’s unsalted – add 1/4 teaspoon salt)

150g (or 3/4 cup) granulated white sugar

3 large eggs (we used size 7’s)

100g (or 1/2 cup) cocoa powder (sifted)

1/2 teaspoon instant coffee (powder or granules)

And here’s what you do:

Preheat oven to 160 degrees celsius for fan force or 180 for normal.

1. In a large saucepan on low heat, melt the chocolate and butter. When both ingredients are half way through melting, add in the instant coffee and stir until everything is completely melted and smooth. Be patient, you don’t want to burn the chocolate or coffee as this will give you a bitter tasting cake.

2. Add in your sugar and salt and continue to stir. When the sugar has almost completely dissolved, remove the saucepan from the heat.

3. Add the eggs, one at a time, whisking until each is almost incorporated then after the addition of the last egg, whisk until the mixture is smooth and glossy.

4. Add in your sifted cocoa powder and mix until the batter is smooth.

5. Pour your cake batter into your prepared baking pan/dish of choice and bake for 20-25 mins (this depends on your oven so just check it at the 20 minute mark, if you tap the top gently and it wobbles, it still needs a few more minutes but I don’t recommend you go PAST the 25 minute mark or you’ll get more dry brownie than gooey cake.)

6. Cool cake in pan/dish on a wire rack then transfer your cake to your display plate of choice. You can leave it as is and serve it with it’s BFF – Fork, or a side of cream or ice cream, you can top it with berries and a dusting of icing sugar, you can make a runny ganache and drip it over the top or drizzle melted chocolate across the top but whatever you do, START SMALL, this is a rich piece of deliciousness right here I tell ya!



  • Jane Mow
  • lydiaarnoldphotography-alarobe-14

♥ FEATURE FRIDAY ♥ 08.03.2013

I believe in Karma.

I believe that what goes around, comes back around – cue JT!

I believe that cake makes the world go round – literally, but that’s why man invented exercise: This guy makes it look cool, fun and even included New Zealand in the video 😉 Yeeeaaah Buddy!

So here’s my idea, justified by the ^above but these people are so awesome that it really doesn’t need justification.

I have had so many friends step up and help me out with anything and everything, especially because I suck at asking for help and they’ve just offered to help out. Each Friday (or at least most Friday’s) i’m going to feature one of these amazing people that I am so lucky to have in my life. Whether they’re here for the long run, here for the moment or just here for today, they’ve all played a part in shaping me and/or my business, so this is how i’ve decided to thank them:

The FIRST Feature Friday EVER:


Here’s a quick look at some of her recent work!

“Just Casually” Styling Mr Stephen McIvor for the ASB Tennis Classics.


But Jane’s not all work and no play, here she is with a hand-full of balls! Haha!!!

WHAT: Designer/Stylist/Make up Artist/Most honest, straight up friend

WHEN: About 8 years ago is when I first met Jane (OMG Jane do you know how long ago that sounds – it’s like it was yesterday that this little 17 year old walked in and handed you her CV…HAHAHAHA!!!)

WHERE: Auckland, NZ & Europe

WHY: Jane’s had photo shoots in the past which I’ve helped out with (on the sweet side of things obviously, photo below), in return she’s devoted so much time and effort into doing a ‘Miss Piggy’s Cakes Campaign Shoot’ (stay tuned…)  that is going to blow your socks off and I can’t wait to show you all the photos. She has come so far in such a short time and constantly amazes me. If it wasn’t for her, I would never even have thought of doing a campaign shoot.