a little bit of silliness....click on the picture to create a fly for it to eat....

Friday, July 30, 2010

Amara's croquembouche.....

Here's the latest fundraising venture...commisioned by the wonderful Toni for her beloved neice Amara...and to really make my day, when I delivered the croque Amara's generous mum Jann contributed another $50 towards the total!  I'm so lucky to have such wonderful friends...nearly there now.  Once the raffle is run I should be home and hose! Yay!

Raffle baskets from Nestle....WOW!

The baskets have arrived from the wonderful Renee at Nestle Australia and I am gobsmacked!  They are huge!  I've taken a photo...it probably dosn't do it justice but you can get an idea.  I'm going to be raffling one basket off with 250 $2 tickets and the other with 500 $1 tickets.  Let me know if you want to buy any or if you think you could sell some for me.  Anyone who sells $100 worth of  tickets gets a free one on one class. 

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

So dissapointing...

As a student of UNSW I made an application to be able to set up a raffle table at uni, I filled in the forms, got the support of the Education Faculty and crossed my fingers.  Sadly, the person with the power in the Student Services office decided that my venture was for 'personal gain' and not for a club or faculty!  How small minded can you get? 
So I'm going to have to sell the raffle tickets any which way I can, sometimes I get a bit overwhelmed by the scope of this venture...maybe it was a mistake to try to raise this money while studying full time and with no regular work, but I'm halfway there so I just cant give up now...what's more I don't want to give up - it's just a bit depressing sometimes when every great idea gets shut down by bureacracy.
OK, whine over...chin up...onwards and upwards.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Thank you Renee at Nestle Australia....

I've just talked to the wonderful Renee at Nestle Australia and she informs me that the company will be sending not one but two gorgeous gift baskets for me to use in my fundraising efforts!  Brilliant!  Since I'm not allowed to raffle them (I'm not a charity and I don't have a gambling licence) I'm open to suggestions as to how best to utilise this great resource...how can I make the most money from this fabulous donation?  Suggestions please....  I will post photo's of the baskets when they arrive.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Anna's cupcakes...

My good friend Ady ordered a cupcake stack for her gorgeous girl's 20th birthday...here are some photos for you to look at...

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Phuoc's Passion for pastry class....

It was with some trepidation that I set out for Cabramatta on Saturday...I'm such an inner city chook, but I actually arrived nice and early so after a lovely coffee we got started.  Phuoc had wanted to try to fit in all three types of pastry, short, choux and puff so we had to be very aware of time.  I decided to do a chocolate pate sucre - made into dulche de leche ganache tarts, choux to be made into coffee eclairs and chocolate puffs and an english puff pastry - there was no time to actually cook this pastry.
Pate sucre is simply a short paste made by creaming the butter and sugar rather than crumbing it.  The usual rules apply - keep handling to a minimum and use a lowish protein flour.  We reduced the gluten content in the flour by adding some cocoa.  The pastry was made, wrapped,
chilled then rolled thinly and baked blind.  The dulche de leche was made the easy way...boiling the tin of condensed milk for 3-4 hours.  To add an edge Phuoc added some sea salt...the addition of salt to caramel really brings a extra level of delicious to it. 

Ganache was made by using equal parts chocolate and boiled cream.  Once set I decorated the tarts with a little real gold leaf - which is edible.
The choux paste was made by hand, and piped out into eclairs and puffs but sadly the oven wasn't quite hot enough to give the required 'spring' needed for the necessary rise.  Luckily they rose enough to give us something to fill and decorate.

A point of care when making choux puffs is to pierce or cut open the puffs as soon as they come out of the oven so you can release steam and remove any uncooked dough.  Failure to do so can result in beautifully puffed up choux collapsing into a doughy lump as it cools.

Because we tried to squeeze so much into it the class ended up going from 11am through till 3pm!  These free classes are invaluable as practice sessions for the paying classes and for ironing out any little problems.  It is becoming apparant that I need to carry an oven thermometer in order to check on temperatures - absolutely necessary when cooking anything that requires 'spring' - pastry and breads.
I had a lot of fun and I hope Phuoc did also, I must thank her for her photography skills - as you can see she takes great shots.
The next class winner is KTBell, I'm waiting to hear from her to organise her personal one on one...get in touch KT...