Writing and Baking and Eating

Hi there,

So in addition to whipping up cakes and other bakes I’m also a keen writer and was published last month on The Daily Telegraph, NT Nes, News.com and Body and Soul for a piece I wrote about being able to eat gluten in France (I normally can’t in Australia).

So here’s the link, enjoy! Right, getting back into the kitchen now - Suze

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Birthdays Galore

March is a busy birthday month for me with my mum and dad and several friends all born in the third month. For me that means many cakes... add in the commissioned ones not from friends and family and I've been burning through the butter and sugar (and justifying my shopping basket load at the checkout!).

Here's what March has seen me create...

 

Mini red velvet cake with heritage buttercream for my Mum :) her two favourite chocolates on top.

Mini red velvet cake with heritage buttercream for my Mum :) her two favourite chocolates on top.

A train birthday cake for a friend who is working on the melbourne rail tunnel - we had a good laugh about this one!

A train birthday cake for a friend who is working on the melbourne rail tunnel - we had a good laugh about this one!

My dad's birthday cake and my first gravity defying cake :)

My dad's birthday cake and my first gravity defying cake :)

This big cake for a birthday party, four layers of chocolate cake with salted caramel buttercream and meringues on top

This big cake for a birthday party, four layers of chocolate cake with salted caramel buttercream and meringues on top

A vanilla and passionfruit football cake for my 12yo cousin who is a BIG fan of the Richmond Tigers!

A vanilla and passionfruit football cake for my 12yo cousin who is a BIG fan of the Richmond Tigers!

And a 90th birthday cake for a client's Italian grandmother.

And a 90th birthday cake for a client's Italian grandmother.

Wedding Tiers

This month I've ventured into the land of tiered wedding cakes! I've done two three-tier semi-naked cakes and managed to transport them both to their venues in tact and standing tall! I read a whole lot of information about tiered cakes before even attempting it (gotta love the internet)! Little did I know that I'd be cutting wooden dowels with a mini hack saw and placing a level on my cake to see if it was stacked right - is this still baking?

Here's my favourite cake so far, a lemon and ginger cake with white chocolate swiss meringue buttercream - tastes delicious and I absolutely loved the flowers that were chosen to match the bouquet. And the ultimate compliment for my cake? The bride started crying as she loved it so much - wow!

My top tips for transporting tiered cakes are:

- Yoga mat in the back of the car for non-slip transport

- drawer liner under the cake board in the box for more non-slip

- box the same size as the cake board to keep it still (sensing a theme here?)

- it's all about that centre dowel! I've found a pencil sharpener very handy to get it sharp enough to go through the first two cake boards. 

Have you gluten-free cake and eat it too

I recently made this cake for a friend who has a strict gluten-free diet because of coeliac disease. I was fully gluten-free for 5 years before I discovered that I don't react to spelt flour (this was big big news for me and my baking) so I have no problem whipping up a gluten-free cake for a special occasion, such as my friend's mum's 70th birthday. 

I made a three layer 15cm chocolate cake with butterscotch swiss meringue buttercream (oh so yummy), topped with chocolate shards, meringues, macarons and fresh flowers. I loved the salvias, such a great colour, and had fun making the chocolate shards with a chocolate transfer sheet. I'm still perfecting tempering chocolate (it's so damn temperamental!) but was thrilled with how these turned out. 

Best feedback I got from my friend was that her brothers couldn't even tell the cake was gluten free! Huzzah! Probably something to do with the obscene amount of butter in it! 

Tart Time

So here we go, first blog from me on the barrabool baker (I also blog at asnoozielife.com) and thought I'd share this awesome tart recipe I found on Mia Loves Pretty for a raspberry, lemon curd and italian meringue tart - delish! 

I have wanted to perfect my pastry lately so have been on a quiche binge with rough-puff pastry and loving that. I use spelt flour when I'm baking for myself (hello food intolerances) and it works perfectly in both recipes. 

A family friend was coming over for dinner so while Mum made a yummy salad and dad cooked steaks I was of course in charge of dessert :) 

Raspberries, lemon curd  and meringue are three of my favourite things so I was stoked to make this, and also meant I would make my own pastry (it seriously tasted like shortbread) and also practise italian meringue and get to use a blow torch - winning!