They said I do, I said I’ll bake.

Recently I had the Privilege of making a Wedding cake for two dear friends Shelly and Carlos. Now when the question was asked if I would make their cake I must say I had mixed feeling between Excitement and dread. Needless to say excitement took over and the dread changed to a beautiful challenge.

I began experimenting with different cake and frosting recipes. Came across a Blog called Lucy in the Larder when I was researching frosting recipes. Lucy had made her brothers Wedding cakes. A delicious chocolate Mud Cake with a White chocolate fudge frosting.

Coffee in hand I read on, it was like I could see the finish line before I had started, and the idea of making the Wedding Cake wasn’t so scary after all, so Thank you Lucy! I really enjoyed reading Lucy’s Blog, she shared the highs and lows along the way and might I say the Cakes looked Amazing Lucy!

The Frosting sounded perfect to go with the White Chocolate Mud cake I was making for Shelly and Carlos. I am all about Taste and not a big fan of sugar-craft or fondant, but I do appreciate the time, talent and art that goes into it. I loved the idea of the Wedding cake being rustic and more of a care free feeling which  Carlos and Shelly are, and I love that about them.

Shelly and Carlos are big fans of the movie “How to train a Dragon” so I made a suggestion of having some Kokeshi Dolls custom painted as Astrid and Hiccup to be their Bride and Groom Cake Toppers. I made an custom order through an Etsy shop called Knottingwood in the USA.  Kathy from Knottingwood did an amazing job and they turned out perfectly and another piece of the Wedding Cake Puzzle was falling into place.

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Next I made the cake bunting. Found some fabric which complimented the dolls and rustic style of the cake. Used some bamboo knitting needles as the posts and tied them on with gardeners twine. Really pleased with the way the bunting turned out.

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Everything needs a plan, so I sketched out the way I wanted the cake to look. It was good to use as a reference and guide putting the cake together.

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Made a minature cake for Shelly and Carlos to have a Cake tasting. Wanted to give them an idea of what The cake would look like. The rocks you can see are actually chocolate. I thought it tied in the theme of the Movie “How to train a Dragon” and more chocolate is always well received.

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Spent two days Baking the Wedding Cakes and Cupcakes. The wedding cakes consisted of two layers per tier so four cakes in total had to be baked. I kept a watchful eye over each cake as my oven is from the 1950’s and has hotspots. Each cake turned out perfectly. I was well and truly baked out. Now onto the cupcakes. These were a dark chocolate Mudcake with a chocolate Buttercream. Once these were made I started making the White Chocolate Fudge frosting from Lucys blog. Cakes were cut and leveled crumb coated and frosted. I asked my husband Bobby to help with placing the wooden dowels through the cakes to secure so the top tier wouldn’t slide off. He also tweaked a Wooden Lazy susan as the cake board. Thanks for your help Bobby! Cakes Done and Dusted. They all arrived safely and were enjoyed by the bride and groom and guests.

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The Wedding was fun, loving and every detail had Shelly and Carlos stamped all over it. The words spoken were beautiful. The reception was exciting and fun filled. The speeches were hilarious and heartfelt. This is one wedding that I will never forget. It was JOY!

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Shelly and Carlos Congratulations, May Your Marriage be Blessed Always.

We love you both very much. xoxo

Baking Basics or Mum, I need your help!

Do you ever start baking, stop and call your Mum for advice? I do!

In this post I am going to go through some baking basics. It might seem simple but this information is priceless when your Mum won’t answer the phone at 2am! and I have been known to bake at this hour!. This post is for my Mama Pam, shes a great teacher and I love her style of no-fuss cooking. Your the best cook Ma xoxoImage

Number One

Read your recipe from start to finish then, read again. Sometimes we fly through recipes and can’t understand why the cake is burnt, or flat as a pancake.

Number Two:

Make sure you have all ingredients baking tools and equipment out ready. This cuts down baking time and a messy kitchen. better to know before hand if you need to grab some extra eggs and butter or a special key ingredient.

Number three:

Prepare cake tins or cookie sheets. Parchement paper or in Australia we call it Baking paper, is a Bakers bestfriend. Gone are the days of scrubbing cookie sheets or tins.

Number Four:

Preheat your Oven, this is what should be done first. Let the oven preheat while you are reading recipe, checking ingredients and prepping bake-ware.

Number Five:

Measure baby Measure, when a recipe asks for measurements its because the amount indicated works so make sure to check and double check. If the recipe asks for flour to be sifted, its beacuse it will improve the texture of your baked delights also gets rid of any lumps.

Number six:

Crack those eggs seperatley! this is one step that my mother drummed into me as a jnr baker girl. “you don’t want one egg to ruin your entire mixture” My Mum always said. So grab a small bowl and do the “crack n sniff” test another of Mums saying I hear in my thoughts as I bake.

Number Seven:

Mix ingredients as the recipe reads. Dont be eager to drop them all in together, it will usually result in a flat cake. Take care to add them one at a time, looking back at recipe to check as you go.

Number Eight:

Its all in the time! Bake your goodies as the recipe states, ensuring no burnt tops or goey uncooked batter.

Number Nine:

Cool it! place baked goods out of oven to cool on wire racks, no sweaty cakes here!

Number ten:

Eat it, share it, Enjoy!

Amy, The Blessed Baker. x

Deliciously Done: Caramelised Onion Goat Cheese Tart with a Poppy Seed Crust.

Have you ever gone to a cafe or restaurant and didn’t have the courage to muster up asking them for a recipe? I am pretty sure there are a few of us out there and I for one am one of them. I went to a cafe in Leura called the Red Door Cafe, it is a bustling cafe full of people “getting their share of Blue Mountain fare”. The food is wholesome and tasty, but one item of the menu has my heart. The Caramelised Onion Goat Cheese Tart! simple but oh so delicious!.

I had the pleasure of tasting this delectable dish after a weekend away at the Katoomba Women’s Convention (KWC). After a very full on weekend and on our way home, a bunch of girls I had gone away with decided on a Pitt stop at Leura for a late lunch before we headed home to Sydney. Some of the girls ordered Bangers and Mash, others and Beef pot pie, but myself The Caramelised Onion Goat Cheese Tart!, Love at first bite?! I looked around to watch the staff of the cafe behind the counter, busy bees, I couldn’t ask for the recipe? no they look to busy I thought to myself. I resolved myself to coming back and having it again sometime soon. I enjoyed every mouthful.

I returned the following year, which coincided with The KWC again I ordered the Tart, again I shy ed away from asking, don’t get me wrong the owners and staff don’t look scary just really busy. I have had this tart every time I go and recently I thought well if your not going to ask you got to re-create. So my friends this is the recipe Red Door Cafe Inspired – The Blessed Bakers – Caramelised Onion Goat Cheese Tart with a Poppy Seed Crust.

Its Deliciously Done. Leanne this first Blog post is for you xoxo thank you for being such a beautiful encourager.

The Blessed Baker, Amy

Caramelised Onion Goat Cheese Tart with a Poppy Seed Crust

What you will need:

Tart Crust

175 grams plain flour

125 grams butter

2-3 tablespoons parmesan cheese

Iced water, enough to just bind.

Filling

120 grams goats cheese

4 eggs

1/3 cup cream

4 large spanish red onions

Butter to sweat onions

Poppy seeds to cover tart filling

salt and pepper

How to make:

Tart Pastry:

  1. Preheat oven to 180 deg C
  2. Combine together plain flour, cold diced butter and cheese in a food processor.
  3. Pulse on short bursts to make butter crumb
  4. Slowly add ice cold water; only use enough for pastry to come together.
  5. Take pastry out of processor and lightly knead together, on a well floured surface roll out to fit a pie dish or tin that has been greased with butter.
  6. Lay pastry in pie dish or tin and trim off any excess pastry.
  7. Place cling wrap over pastry and place in the refrigerator for 10 minutes
  8.  Take out of refrigerator, remove cling film, lightly prick surface of pastry with a fork and line with baking paper. Place ceramic pie weights on top and spread evenly.
  9. Blind bake for 20 minutes and take out of the oven. Remove baking paper and weights.

Tart Filling:

  1. In a fry pan melt butter and slowly sweat off the sliced onions, put aside to cool
  2. In food processor, combine eggs, goat cheese, cream and salt and pepper, process until well mixed together.
  3. Spread cooled onions on tart base and press down, pour cheese mixture over the top and place in oven for 25 minutes.
  4. Take tart out after the 25 minutes and lightly cover the top of tart in poppy seeds, replace tart back in the oven for a further 10 minutes
  5. Tart should be done when it is just set, very slight wobble to the filling.
  6. Cool on wire rack, cut into slices and serve with a rocket and balsamic salad.