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  1. I use the Magic Eraser on my quartz stone tops and they work every time, whether it's food colouring, turmeric, tea, coffee. (Magic Eraser is a white foam-type sponge for removing stains.) These have worked better than any spray cleaner, and it doesn't scratch the surface.
  2. FrogPrincess, thanks for your reports and fabulous photos of your cupcake testing. I'm glad you found a good recipe. I too enjoy searching, tweaking, sometimes it is easy to get obsessed with discovering the *perfect* recipe and very rewarding when that happens.
  3. Like Jeanne, this has only happened to me when I used oldish chocolate, and on those few occasions, it was with white chocolate. Even though the white chocolate was not beyond the use by date, I had had it for a while. Now I store white chocolate in the freezer or fridge, and it hasn't happened since.
  4. I get my BBQ meats from Sunny's BBQ at Hurstville; it is at the bottom of the railway escalators. Duck is impeccable, BBQ pork is good if you pick the fatty ones. Roast pork is also delish, as they only use the belly cut and now the whole pig. Ever since BBQ King was being mentioned in "trendy" food press it has gotten exxy, overrated IMO.
  5. I would recommend getting hold of Shirley Corriher's book, Bakewise. She describes the difference between the various methods of mixing, and gives the same recipe but with 3 versions, each using a different method (including hi ratio) and explains how the result is different. I used to use the high ratio method a lot, as it is quicker and less steps than creaming. However, recently I have gone back to the creaming method as I prefer the texture of cakes made this way. Hi ratio cakes are denser, with a soft tender crumb. You can achieve tender crumb with creamed cakes too but it takes a bit more care.
  6. You can get it from Coles: https://www.colesonline.com.au/webapp/wcs/s...=malt%20extract The brand is Saunders. You could contact them to find out Melbourne stockists.
  7. You can put them in a big brand new plastic bag (such as bin liners); I usually inflate it so that the plastic bag is not touching the surface as much as possible (in case condensation forms). I put it in a domestic refrigerator and it is fine for days. Remember the key thing is that it comes out into a cool-ish environment ; ie, not right into a hot summers outdoor party. Even on the occasions when a bit of condensation forms on the surface due to hot weather, it usually evaporates soon enough. Best bet is you experiment with putting a bit of fondant into the fridge and observe the results.
  8. I have refrigerated fondant-covered cakes, no problem. Just try to avoid bringing them straight out of the fridge into hot climates; airconditioned room is best.
  9. BakersCups Heaps of different bright colours, both paper and foil cases, very good prices (especially with the current exchange rate)
  10. Firstly, YES a crumb coat is essential. I would crumb coat with very light coat of buttercream, or cream cheese frosting, or whatever you have handy. Even white ganache at a pinch. You can't use the 7 min frosting to crumb coat, because you need to apply it as soon as it is made; hence if you used some to crumb coat and left it to set, the remainder of the frosting would be too firm come time to apply it. I doubt it would slide, it's a pretty sticky frosting. I actually go with the Italian meringue method, I've never tried the over the stove method, the Ital method is pretty easy and works.
  11. If you're going to Crows Nest, there was a terrific review on Matthew Kemp's new restaurant (called Burlington from memory) which has a terrific steak - available in 500g or 1kg serves??? Not sure who could possibly eat a 1kg steak, 200g is right for me. However, what really appeals are all the offal/secondary cut dishes which Kemp is known for.
  12. Or you could buy them from this dude
  13. Hi there, I'm sure you'll have lots of fun making the cake. The only thing I would add is, that I personally would make the flowers from gumpaste (also known as flower paste) and not fondant, because given the slightest humidity, the fondant flowers will wilt. It is also impossible to roll the fondant as thin as you would need, to make realistic looking flowers; it lacks the elasticity. You can buy ready-made gumpaste or make your own. If you've never made flowers before, it's a good idea to get some practice first. The orchid in your pic is a cymbidium orchid; the other flowers could easily be made with a 5-petal blossom cutter. Re your colouring question - given the purple flowers are a very deep colour, I would colour the gumpaste itself to a shade slightly lighter than I want the finished flower; then when the flower is dry dust it with petal dust; this gives you a lovely deep colour, which is not 'flat'.
  14. Thank you plafield for your response. Over the weekend I made a flourless choc cake and frangipane tarts (pastry made with gluten free flour); the tarts turned out surprisingly well. In fact, it was a bonus that the flour doesn't seem to brown as readily.
  15. I am toying with making some of my tarts (made with pate sucre) with gluten free flour, for a friend who is gluten intolerant. I was wondering if anyone has tried this (ie, using gluten free flour mix) and what the results are like, and whether it is worth doing. TIA
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