Sunday, 19 April 2015

How to Make Lavender with Flower Paste

Fed up of making flower paste roses and daisies?  Lavender is a great alternative if you want a floral flourish for your cakes.

How to Make Lavender with Flower Paste

 


















Flowers and plants are a natural decoration for cakes, irrelevant of the season, but they are especially popular in spring and summer. If you’re looking for something a little different to the usual roses, daisies and carnations, then lavender is a great choice. 

To make lavender it’s definitely best to use flower paste. Sugar paste/fondant icing doesn’t have the kind of hardness necessary to keep its shape for the small, delicate shapes you’ll be crafting. 

Achieving the lavender colour is fairly simple. Try mixing some blue flower paste with a white flower paste to soften the tone. Add a little white at a time until you get the desired colour. 

Making your Flower Paste Lavender
 
To make the lavender you’ll need the following: 
• Blue and white flower paste 
• Florists wire 
• Small flower cutter 
• Scissors 
• Edible food glue 

There are two methods to making flower paste lavender. Both are pretty simple, but we’ll cover them both as you may find one suits your needs better than the other.

Method 1: Using Scissors

To make flower paste lavender with scissors follow these steps: 

1. Take a piece of blue flower paste and a piece of white paste.  Knead them both until they become pliable in the hand, then mix them together to get the right shade. 

2. Roll your lavender colour flower paste into a sausage and cut into sections about 2 inches long each. 

3. Insert a length of florists wire down the length of one of your small sections of flower paste. 

4. Hold the wire with the paste pointing towards you. Then begin to snip into the icing with your scissors, rotating the wire as you go.  Gradually work your way towards the tip of the flower paste. 

5. As you snip the paste it should naturally form the textured appearance of lavender. 

6. Once you’ve covered the whole length of the paste, use your fingers to gently position the snipped flower paste and smooth off any rough or pointed areas and give it a more organic appearance. 

7. Put the lavender to one side and allow it to dry overnight before putting onto your cake.


Method 2: Using a Flower Cutter

 

 

















The second way of making flower paste lavender involves using a small flower cutter.  This method also allows you to make different shades of lavender icing so that you can give your decoration some different tones. 

1. Mix your flower paste together to get the desired shade.  Consider making two or three different shades to give your lavender a more realistic appearance. 

2. Roll out the flower paste on a work surface dusted with icing sugar. 

3. Press out several flowers with your cutter. 

4. Using a sharp knife cut them in half. 

5. Fix the halves to the florists wire using edible food glue. Layer them up along the length of the wire, mixing up the shades as you go. 

6. Once the flower paste is fixed in place gently run your fingers from the bottom of the lavender to the tip to smooth the ‘petals’ into place. 

7. Set aside to harden before adding to your cake. It’s amazing what you can achieve with flower paste. 

Why not try making these delightful sugar flowers yourself.  It doesn’t have to be difficult to yield great results, so give flower paste lavender a try. 


Disclaimer: This post is sponsored by Renshaw Baking. 

Saturday, 11 April 2015

Snips® Italian Storage - Maxi Ice Container for BBQ's and Picnics

New to the UK is leading Italian storage brand Snips® who have recently introduced the 'Take Away Collection'; a range of storage products designed to make outdoor eating as fuss free as possible.  Each product contains an ice pack or two to keep food cool for up to 2 hours. 
   
Let me tell you about the Snips® Maxi Ice Container which is perfect for summer BBQ's or transporting your picnic whilst keeping everything nicely chilled.
The clip on lid is airtight and the whole product is very well made.  It's easy to clean too and dishwasher safe. The container has a 7 litre capacity and measures approx 40cm x 26cm and is BPA free.

Photo supplied by Snips® since I could never take a picture like this which show the product in such detail showing how it works.






































The Maxi Ice Container consists of the main container, 2 cooling tablets, a removable grill, lid with safety closure and a large carrying handle. The cooling tablets clip onto the underside of the grill part so they don't move about in transport.
The Maxi Ice Container has a RRP of £19.95 I personally think is a fair price.

One very small thing (on behalf of any vegetarians out there) I think the designers should have perhaps left the picture of uncooked chicken off of the lid, it's not a sticker so doesn't peel off. 

Also in the Snips® range is this very handy Ice Cake Holder - brilliant for keeping cakes cool since it has a cooling tablet underneath.  It's ventilated too so your cakes won't go soggy!






































To see the rest of the Snips® collection and to find your nearest stockist pop over to ICTC
Twitter @ictcCookware


Disclaimer:  I was sent the Maxi Ice Container.  All thoughts and opinions are my own,  I was not required to write a positive review.

Tuesday, 31 March 2015

Sweet and Sour Pork - Tefal ActiFryDay Challenge

 







Takeaways are big business in the UK with Brits spending more than £6 billion on takeaway meals each year.  But this means that in just one year Britons feast on more than 12,000 tonnes of saturated fat from those takeaways.  As Friday night is the most popular time for Brits to order a takeaway, Tefal asked me to take part in the ActiFryDay Challenge which is to swap a Friday night takeaway for healthier alternatives.

Supplied with the ActiFry Express XL, the recipe and ingredients I was all set to cook!

Sweet and Sour Pork cooked in a far healthier way.  


Using the ActiFry doesn't mean  you  have to completely give up the food you love - just use less oil.
I'm loving my ActiFry Express and yes it does cook quicker than the ActiFry Family.  The ActiFry Express XL cooks up to 30% Faster than the ActiFry Family.

Monday, 30 March 2015

One-Pot Gourmet Gardener - Book

What a great book this is - full of lovely looking and easy to follow recipes.  Each recipe is followed though from the container pot it grew in to the recipe itself.  Step-by-step growing instructions on how to grow fruit, vegetables, salads and herbs.  And before you think (like me) you don't have a garden big enough, this book shows you how to grow produce in container pots.

Even if you grow just one herb in a simple flower pot it's a start. Take the herb basil for example; how much nicer it would be to add your own home grown herb to a pasta dish?   I'm feeling inspired by this book so as soon as it stops raining I'm going to give this a go!






































Due to be released early April which I say is perfect timing now that it's spring and the weather should start to get warmer.  Yep it's time to get planting!
One-Pot Gourmet Gardener is written by Cinead McTernan with excellent photography throughout by Jason Ingram.

Wednesday, 25 March 2015

Maple Syrup and Vanilla Bean Smoothie

Whizzed up in no time at all, tastes GOOD and is nice and healthy too.  You don't need much maple syrup in order for this be to sweet, so fear not and give it a go!































I'm still loving my Next Generation Optimum 9200 Power Blender and used it to whiz up the ingredients in a flash.  Of course you don't have to have an Optimum 9200 (affiliate link) power blender but it really is the blender of all blenders and it's so powerful it can actually turn stones into powder - please see link to my review post here.

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