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    Victoria, Australia

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  1. And here is the cake ... which nearly didn't end up at the wedding, and missed it's final adjustments (my poor boyfriend had to drive it for an hour, without me there) ... but tasted delicious!!!!! The transfers were a bit of a mess ... but hopefully better than zero decorations! The IMBC had added cointreau; the cake was a gluten free spiced chocolate cake (fresh grated ginger, fresh ground cinnamon, cloves, allspice and cardamom); and the ganache had orange zest infused cream. Thanks for all the advice ... one day I might get an eye for detail and want to perfect the look of things ;-)
  2. So I googled ... and upped the temperature on the chocolate (way above temper) ... and the transfer worked better ... had nothing to lose ... so on the cake they went ... very 'homemade' looking cake ... but no one was expecting a professional look for me (I'm much more known for how things taste, than how they look!!). This picture is prior to final clean up etc ...
  3. Oh dear ... transfer fail ... And the chocolate plastic looks really rough and not nice ... cake is due this evening (in Australia ... so in about 9 hours from this post) ... thinking of having to abandon all hope!!! The cake itself looks fairly good for my first attempt at doing sharp edges ... thinking of finding some roses on the way down and plonking them somewhere?!!
  4. Eeekk .... getting closer to cake d-day! Cake is due Saturday night! My sister has arrived from the USA .... WITH the chocolate transfer filmstrips! Would have liked to know earlier ... as I bought cutters to make it out of chocolate plastic! I'm going to wait until I see the transfers to decide ... if the filmstrip on the transfers are pure black ... then doing pure black on white chocolate around the bottom white IMBC will look odd (cream white chocolate colour, against the white) and around the dark chocolate top layer (black will make it look browner/dull?!) Still haven't decided if I should do chocolate ganache or chocolate plastic for the top layer!! I'm worried that either of them will not looking shiny?
  5. Thank you for all the wonderful ideas. Thank you JeanneCake ... I'd forgotten I'd made a cake covered in chocolate plastic before ... and I was already considering it for the top layer of this cake ... so am going to try to make a small batch to see if I can create the film strip idea. I don't need images in the film strip ... just the blank film strip sort of look ... I look for some cutters that I can use for the right shapes (and that's going to be fun doing all those tiny little holes and hope they are stable!). I really liked the idea of using the acetate or transfers as it would then by shiny rather than dull ... but I think it sounds a bit risky to be able to get the shapes just using acetate, and combining moving on to the cake without mushing it up! keychris - yes I've used Savour's transfers before, but the ones I was looking at (the film strip) don't seem to be available in Australia. I have an actual temperer, not warmer ... so it's nice and easy!! And it would be very appropriate to use tempered chocolate for this cake, as the cake is for the person who gave it to me!! I have a friend who prints decorations for cakes but I've never used them before and am not quite sure if that would put me back at using fondant, also she is about 2 hours drive away so not an easy thing if I need more/change my mind/run into problems. I did see on a cake decorating site the other day something about shiny chocolate spray ... has anyone got some experience they could add about whether this would work on chocolate plastic? As when I made the last cake it was quite dull.
  6. I was aiming it to wrap around the cake like a ribbon (at the base of the cake).
  7. Hello, I've been asked to make a cake with an edible film strip style ribbon (NOT made of fondant) and I'm trying to work out a solution given limited time (2 weeks) and limited skills (a lifetime's worth of lack of decorating skills and attention to detail!). Ideally I'd love to use a chocolate transfer sheet ... but the only ones I can find are in the USA (I'm in Australia) and the shipping time makes that impractical. I've been googling and not seen a decent alternative that I think I can do (actually I haven't even found something that is edible that I think looks good, even from professionals!!)! Fondant would be the most obvious solution but I've been given the instructions of no fondant (but maybe they wouldn't notice a strip?!) ... but chocolate seems possible. Some ideas I've thought of and would love feedback ... Could I use old film negatives as a transfer? Cut out the frames and then use the strips? (am I going to kill anyone with chemicals?!!) Could I create acetone strips by trying to stamp/cut out something that sort of looks like a film strip? Use it as a stencil instead? Piping on to acetate using an image behind as a guide? I can't say I have very steady hands so am thinking it would be very wonky?!!! If I did the outline in dark chocolate would I need a white chocolate layer to make it transfer onto a buttercream cake? I have a chocolate tempering machine, most likely to be using Callebaut 54% but could use Lindt 70%/85%/90%. I've really only used transfer sheets directly on to dipped chocolate, and acetate to create random curls for decorations ... I'm wondering about the logistics of getting the chocolate on the strips, keeping it shaped for the cake (I think the cake is square ... but maybe it might be round?!) and also transferring them on to the cake? (back up plan ... plain ribbon!!!) Would love any advice! Thanks!!
  8. Really pleased with how it turned out. Lots of back and forth from the fridge, especially making the flowers!!! The chocolate plastic was pretty easy to work with and I'd definitely use it again. Tasted delicious too (Callebaut). My sister helped me in the end ... and not only did we have to cope with heat, we also had to evacuate due to fires in the area!!!The photo is before it travelled!!
  9. Thanks for the replies. The aircon will be running this weekend as I attempt to make the decorations with temps over 90degC at home!! Lots of fridge time I think!!
  10. I’ve been asked to make a birthday cake in slightly difficult circumstances: hot weather, a 5 hour drive … then handed to caterers but not served for another 7 hours … on a boat … and I wont be there. Temperature in the area (and for the drive) will be around 43degC (110degF)!!! Yes, a total nightmare for any form of cake!!!! Luckily it is family, who will forgive if it isn’t pretty but it must taste good (and as long as I don’t give anyone food poisoning!). For transport I have the option of a car fridge and once it arrives at the venue it is likely to be able to be placed in a fridge. Please help with any advice/experience! Cake is going to be an adaption of the Claudia Roden Whole Orange Almond Cake (no layers, so stable). Decorating (how I wish I could just serve plain cake but not possible) … thinking of topping with a chocolate mirror glaze and wrapping around the edge of chocolate plastic or plain chocolate with a transfer sheet??? – which is more stable? I’ve made all the components before so I’m not too worried about them … I’m worried about assembling/transport/temps. Is it worth freezing the cake before trying to decorate? Mirror glaze first or chocolate edge first? I’d normally use a frosting to attach the chocolate edge with but trying to avoid anything extra. Also trying to work out how to cover/carry it (my normal cake carriers I don’t think will fit in the car fridge). I know if the chocolate plastic is refrigerated it can develop condensation – so am not sure I want the cake to be kept very very cold. The car fridge I can choose the temperature and I was wondering would a slightly higher than normal fridge temperature reduce condensation? (say 15degC?) but then if the caterers place it in a fridge does this just counteract that anyway? (once it arrives at the destination it is either fridge or 43degC!). Could I instruct the caterers to take it out before serving time and it might dry out but not melt?!?! Oh … just remembered the added complication – I work … so it will need to be finished the night before!!! (when I was asked I really REALLY didn’t think I was going to have to do this … and it is due in less than a week). I’m sure a nice stable fondant would be more sensible – but I can’t use that and nothing else I can find that are chocolate coverings are going to stand up to heat anyway. I’m thinking of calling it a chocolate orange PUDDLE cake … then no one will be disappointed at what turns out!! Many thanks for any suggestions (I so hate Australian summers!!!)
  11. I make these Tahini Pear Cookies: http://www.applecrumbles.com/2010/06/05/in-the-long-run/ I sometimes grind up the oats to make them more like fine milled cookies ... and I have also replaced part of the oats with besam flour (ran out of oats one evening!). It would be easy to replace the tahini with peanut butter I would think.
  12. I've tried freezing yolks a couple of times ... doing them plain I just end up with lumpy revoltingness that is useless for anything other than scrambled eggs ... mixing them with salt or sugar, I get useable yolks (you just have to mark which you've done - sweet or savoury).
  13. I would jump to buy a thermomix if it could temper chocolate properly and maintain it at the right temp ... but my understanding of chocolate and temperatures is that it isn't accurate enough and doesn't have a low enough temperature setting. I've been to Savour ... don't worry too much about basic skills ... they work with big melters so even though they show you how to temper at home (a quick demo), you don't need to know in that setting as it is all pre-done for you. Melters have different temperature settings ... so you can use the various methods for tempering - seeding, tableing, drop temp down/up, slow melt. Unlike an actual tempering machine which will vary the temps for you - melters just go to a certain temp. I keep drooling over melters but can't justify the cost for the small amount I want to do (especially since I mostly use molds so therefore want something big enough to cope with them). I have had great success getting a decent temper ... just never am able to keep it there long enough to do batches of dipping or molds - drives me batty!!
  14. Is there a particular reason for the 3 fillings? I've made a croquembouche before and most people are likely to eat max 2 choux and I doubt they'd want different flavours! I use pure pastry cream and to be a croquembouche IMO it has to have caramel!! Sure it makes a mess when served, but it is one of those desserts that looks pretty as a whole, once it is in the bowl it isn't going to look impressive anyway! Depending on the fillings and the room temperature ... most of it is going to go soggy (the caramel actually helps with crispness) and you'll have issues with creams going off.
  15. This pastry chef uses titanium dioxide to make white chocolate white http://www.masterchef.com.au/zumbo-v8-cake.htm
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