Thursday, 27 October 2011

So jealous!

I've recently stumbled across a bzillion blogs and websites that do my humble little Maeli's Homemade blog to justice. They include Homemade Markets (Perth and Canberra) and Homemade Shops (Canberra), Fashion blogs between sisters and ideas for DIY cooking and projects. This is my favourite. And this! So I think I should start curating all of the things that I make and bake. Because there seems to be a great market online in design, creativity and boutique funky old school products.
I wish I could figure out how to make funky looking pop-ups on my blog that link to my BurdaStyle projects. But here is one:
I'd also like to start taking more professional photos of my cooking on nice plates so they can look as good as my favourite blogs. Handemadeology is now officially the coolest website too! I'd like to start a Handmade Market in Darwin that only operates 4 times a year. It would really attract the best designers and there are alot of creative people in the Top End.
Not sure how to do this though!

Tuesday, 25 October 2011

Recent Cookings at Home

Life has been very busy for a while. Preparing for my sister and Dad's visit was a big task as we took on renovating our entire backyard to make more outdoor space and an extra sleeping area for when guests are staying. The visit was fun and I have to show you a photo of the meringues I made for pavlova dessert one night.. I was very impressed! However, I did have the oven temperature up too high, hence the cracks and colour.
 Last night I made this roasted vegetable lasagne stack. Its so easy to make. Roast some vegies and boil some lasagne sheets and layer them on a plate with pesto and boconcini cheese. Superb!

 And lastly here are my famous/favourite apple shortcakes with soft chewy shortbread base and cinnamon apples on top. I skipped the last step with is a bit of a crumble on top but it still tastes amazing.. and there is so much butter packed into that small little tart!
Also, have a look at Josh's new website for his business: We need people to type it into google so it starts coming up in searches.

Tuesday, 20 September 2011

My first wedding cupcake tower

So it was a success. A success I hear you say? Yes a success!
I am very proud of what I achieved on the weekend. Here are a few photos of the cupcake tower I prepared and organised for my best friend's wedding. My dearest boyfriend/kitchen hand assembled it for me because I was busy being bridesmaid. And my good mum helped me decorate them all and lent me her kitchen for the preparation. Thanks to you both.

Wednesday, 14 September 2011

Wedding Practice

Since I got back from Italy/Greece I have been preparing for my best friend Lauren's big day. And no, not just because I am bridesmaid but also because I am making her a cupcake wedding tower of about 100 cakes when I live in different city. So for 2 and a half months I have been experimenting with fondant and royal icing and watching numerous youtube videos on cake decorating and buying gel icings and modelling tools and shaping foam and all this stuff that I have never heard of before. At times I got so frustrated with stupid fondant or making a rose out of royal icing for patty papers that were so waxed they didnt even stick to the sides of the cupcakes. I think I may have taken on something really HUGE!
Because I am travelling by plane from Darwin to Brisbane for the wedding, I needed to be able to make the cakes prior so that I wasn't so stressed the day before the wedding. I also needed to be able to transport all the decorations I have made so they can be applied to the plain cakes in Brisbane.
Tonight I fly to Brisbane and tomorrow I will decorate 100 cupcakes for the wedding the following day. Wish me luck.
Here are my experimentations.....................!!
My final royal icing roses

My first attempt at a royal icing rose - it stuck to the paper patty paper!

Marbled fondant heart cupcake toppers with royal icing initials

An experiment... until I found out that yellow was not in the wedding colour palette!

Saturday, 20 August 2011

Science Week Cupcakes

I haven't been back to the markets since returning from Europe. I found that with all the work I put into baking each weekend for a stall at the markets, there wasn't enough reward. I enjoy baking and putting in the effort for details but only when people appreciate it. The market in Darwin is different to the rest of the Australian population, made up of people who don't really desire a cake at 10 o'clock in the morning at a market filled with the smells of asian cooking.

Planets & Solar System Cupcakes

I miss baking so I volunteered to make science themed cupcakes to promote National Science Week at the Parap and Nightcliff markets. Have you ever had to make edible science treats?
Dinosaur cupcakes

I went through a few designs and discarded them for fear of putting people off cake altogether eg. the brain cupcake. Here are my designs... once again I ended up giving them away for free because I don't think people really associate science with food!

Monday, 9 May 2011

Another morning

Passionfruit and Raspberry Cupcakes
Gosh, I'm really glad that I don't have to earn my living from selling cakes at the market because it really is not a lucrative business, nor is it easy! Saturday Parap markets were not so busy this weekend and although I had a different spot in the shade, my cakes did not sell very quickly. Consequently, I had at least 15 leftover at the end of the market.. thank goodness for the invention of the "Special" so I could sell the remaining cakes to market stall holders and market stragglers for half price. So for once I actually sold EVERYTHING!

Additionally, this was my last market stall before I go overseas to Europe for a couple of months. And guiltily I was pleased to pack up my stall and take everything out of my car for the last time in what will hopefully be a while.

Lastly I would like to mention my newest idea for a business venture. As some of you know, I would love to open my own 24 hour cake shop like Greens and Co. in Perth.

It has the most amazing casual atmosphere with lanterns and a huge display cabinet full of cakes.. and for some reason it does really well even in the middle of the night. My idea tries to recreate the atmosphere of this cafe but also allow community business to be supported. It would allow people who don't want to have a market stall to sell their wares or don't have the capital to open a shop, to contribute to the food items or clothing, fashion, accessories items available in the store. But at the same time I would be able to bake my cakes as well.

So this is my last post for a while.. I bid thee adieu!

Tuesday, 3 May 2011

Happy Yess Markets

Hello again.
Two market stalls in two weeks I hear you say! Yes thats right, I am a Machine! Actually, I enlisted the help of two friends for this market as I was one of only two food stalls and its held in the afternoon.. more of a "cake time" of day. We had been pre-warned that cake would be in high demand even though the market is small and community oriented, so I made sure that we had plenty of product. My two friends were amazing help and made the whole thing a lot less stressful, and I could sit back and let them fuss around the cakes and sell them.
I still didn't make much money, but the stall price was cheaper so thats a bonus.

More cake to display.. so much to sell.. not enough people

I'm beginning to think that the Parap markets just don't suit cake. I will endeavor to try out the Nightcliff Markets on a Sunday morning where people are more likely to sit down and relax rather than rush into the market headed directly for the laksa stalls. The Happy Yess markets were cute and friendly so people bought slices of cake and sat down to eat it off a plate. THAT is the vibe I'm going for!

Look at that cake!.. thanks to chef Sally, it sold very fast