Friday, June 28, 2013

National Strawberry Week

Strawberries are at their very best right now so if you do nothing else this weekend, promise me you will pick up a punnet? Dine on strawberries and cream in front of the Wimbledon finals or tune in here for the best Eton Mess and no-bake strawberry cheesecake recipes! You will also find some healthier ways to enjoy this yummy fruit!

Bord Bia have loads of info on this super fruit- did you know that an average serving of 8 berries = 27 calories?! Another reason to buy Irish strawberries! Head over to the National Strawberry Week page for more.

If cream ain't your thing, try dipping your strawberries in white chocolate ganache!

To make the ganache simply whisk together 250g of good quality white chocolate with 125ml of whipping cream (you'll find out about the different types of cream on today's show!) over a double boiler until melted. Pour over strawberries and enjoy!

If you're out and about this weekend don't forget the Wexford Strawberry Festival is happening, with one of my all-time favourite bands, The Original Rudeboys, headlining Sunday night. This is definitely a festival not to be missed!

How do you eat your strawberries? Let me know in the comments section below.

Enjoy your weekend, stay sweet! x

Friday, June 21, 2013

Back from Austria!

So folks, I'm back! Hope you didn't miss me too much! ;) I'm sure one dose of sUCCulent wasn't enough for you over fourteen days, nevertheless here's the latest show.

If you weren't too snappy taking down the infamous Sachertorte recipe, find it here.

Hope you like my holiday pastry snaps below. 

The delicious strawberry layer cake!

The pretty, but not so tasty chester cake.

Have you visited Austria? Or do you just love Viennese pastries? Let me know in the comments box below!

Have a great weekend, stay sweet! x

Cake Decorating: Fondant How-To Guide

After drooling over fondant-covered cakes I did a lot of research on how to cover a cake. A lot of my initial preconceptions were entirely wrong:
  • No marzipan necessary :)
  • It takes time- bake, cool, crumb coat, set, fondant, decorate...
  • Practice makes perfect!

I found loads of YouTube videos but after checking out the comments section I found that those tutors had made mistakes, also some tutorials don't go into enough detail for first timers!

Norman Davis and Zane Beg of The Sweet Life Bakery in DC have a great series of YouTube instructables, start off with this one on crumb coating and follow up with this covering lesson. They have a lot more gumpaste modelling tutorials, but I found these two most helpful for beginners. I watched these videos a couple of times each before attempting a cake and now I know all of the steps off by heart, and I'm getting quicker each time I make a cake :)

This is the first cake I ever covered with fondant. I cut out squares of fondant using a table knife, and used a piping pen (Dr. Oetker) to write a CV and Intern Application (this was a cake for a career advisor!) 

I used those piping pens to fill in the Belgian flag, (as we had been to Belgium with said faculty member). I outlined the black, yellow and red and then flooded with icing on the inside, using a table knife to spread the icing.

The gold gel used was bought in Brussels, at Home of Cooking. 

After asking questions at my local sugarcraft supply store (Cake Craft Carrigtwohill) they advised me that the Create-A-Cake Ready to Roll Icing was too heavy to use in covering and better for modelling, therefore I changed to Renshaw Professional Ready-to-Roll Icing.

This cake was for a member of Cork Campus Radio staff who was sadly leaving (Miss you Bridget!!) 

To say thank you to the person who taught me everything about radio I used the Renshaw fondant, and Dr. Oetker black piping pen to draw earphones, a mic and musical notes. 

To spruce it up a little I rolled up balls of yellow Create-A-Cake fondant and secured them to the base of the cake using buttercream.

This beauty was for my sister Aileen's birthday back in April. Renshaw fondant covered, Home of Cooking gel piping pen, yellow Create-A-Cake fondant rolled into balls, secured at the base with butter cream and also used same for roses. 

I have seen loads of different rose tutorials but this is what worked for me: cut rolled fondant into slices about 1cm thick and not more than 7cm long. Roll the slice to create a rose, gently pulling the petal tips outward for more realism. Bundle up on top of each other, secure with a dab of buttercream. 

To make these very realistic I cut a tiny bit of the gold wrapper from a Moet and Chandon bottle of champagne and secured it with buttercream so that the flowers resembled a bouquet. (FYI, I would only advise this if you are there to remove this bit of inedible material, otherwise you run the risk of choking your dinner party!)

I topped the whole cake with edible disco dust in a neutral hologram colour.

This cake was for my aunt, Noreen's birthday. The same as above but I placed the roses in a pile in the centre so you could see roses from every angle.

I piped in a circle for a more sophisticated look, topped with disco dust and finished with a gold ribbon tied around the cake.

The recipes used for these cakes are just ordinary sponge, so whatever's your favourite will do! I'll share with you my special chocolate sponge recipe soon.

Hope you enjoyed this post, and that it helps you get started with fondant! I have a long way to go so if you have any tips please leave a comment below!

Stay sweet! x

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Fun with Fondant

As you read here, I love sugarcraft! At the Cork Sugarcraft Fair I bought some bits and pieces and started making cakes every occasion that I could since. Here are the creations thus far. I definitely need to get more practice in- and patience! ;) I'll give a step-by-step soon as well as the ingredients used in each!

This was my first ever attempt at decorating with fondant. I loved the simplicity of it and the clean finish.

This was the second attempt. Loved the roses, and got inspiration for the balls from Ace of Cakes!

Making a cake to represent radio is no mean feat but I think I pulled it off pretty well! 

A more polished update on the original birthday cake from above!

Tomorrow morning I'm jetting off to Austria for the First Aid Convention in Europe competition, as part of the Irish First Aid Team. Hopefully I'll get to taste some yummy Austrian treats! 

Have a great weekend, hope you don't miss sUCCulent too much!!

Watch this space for more info on the cakes featured above, and as always...

Stay sweet! x

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Summer is here folks!

The sun officially shined this week, the lift in spirits is tangible! I'm loving sprawling out wherever I can- beach, grass, patio you name it I'm there! Along with my SPF 60 of course! ;)

Loved this show, tune in for some great BBQ ideas as well as 'halfway homemade' cheats'  recipes like this chocolate cake in a mug- LOVE! 

Enjoy the rest of your weekend, stay sweet! x

Insanely Delicious Blueberry Crumb Cake

I loved Gwyneth Paltrow's Blueberry Muffins as you probably saw here. But I had LOADS of berries and wanted to try something new. In particular, I wanted something which would give a bigger yield because as much as I love cupcakes and muffins sometimes there can be a lot of waste from transferring between bowl->case and case->mouth. 

Ree Drummond, AKA The Pioneer Woman had the answer- a traybake cake! Even better, apart from the cereal bowl used to prepare the topping,it pretty much only took the mixing bowl... If you like washing dishes this may not be the recipe for you :P

I've adapted the recipe a tiny bit, to suit what I had in the cupboard and it was ridiculously tasty.

Rolling the blueberries in flour is a good way to give them some friction in the batter and stop them from sinking to the batter. Since this isn't a very thick cake it doesn't make too much of a difference, but it's a handy tip nonetheless!

Warning: This makes a gigantic cake, embarrassingly big. 9x13 inches is HUGE! Even more embarrassing, I ate about a third of it myself. No judgement here folks, only happiness- and blueberries = sheer bliss.

I think the cake looks really pretty in the transparent glass rather than in a baking tin too.

You will need:


  • 1/4 Cup plus 1 Tbsp of butter (at room temperature)
  • 3/4 Cup sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 Tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 Cups self-raising flour (sieved)
  • 3/4 Cup of milk 
  • 2 Cups blueberries (washed, dried and gently rolled in flour)
  • 1/3 Cup butter (at room temperature)
  • 1/2 Cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 Tsp of cinnamon
  • 1/2 Cup flour (I used cream but I'm sure self-raising will be fine!)
  1. Preheat oven to 175 degrees Celsius.
  2. Grease a baking tin.
  3. Cream together butter and sugar.
  4. Add egg, mix until combined.
  5. Add vanilla and mix.
  6. Add flour and milk alternately (I did it by 1/2 cup of flour and 1/4 cup milk).
  7. Mix until totally incorporated but do not over beat.
  8. Gently stir in your blueberries using a spoon.
  9. Pour batter into tin.
  10. Combine topping mixture in a separate bowl, if you have a pastry cutter by all means use it but I just mashed it up with my fingers. Don't worry about having big chunks of crumb because you'll have loads of batter left and they taste PHENOMENAL!
  11. Sprinkle the crumbs all over the batter, covering every inch!
  12. Sprinkle with a little sugar, if you wish!
  13. Bake for 45 minutes or until the topping is golden brown and a knife inserted comes out clean.
Confession: My family literally picked at dinner just waiting for the cake to be ready. The aroma coming from the oven was heady!

If you have any sense, MAKE THIS!! It's a life changer, no lie.

Take it easy guys, stay sweet! x

Berry Niiiiiiiiiice!

Apologies for the lack of posts... I'm not really that sorry- there was an unidentified yellow object in the sky! Oh yes, the sun finally arrived in Ireland for longer than five minutes!! I think a few pigs flew past at the same time ;)

This show is from two weeks back, but the offer of 2 punnets for €3 (blueberries or raspberries) is still on at Lidl, go get yours now!! Fab quality, just be sure to keep them refrigerated.

Here's the show, hope you enjoy! Some nice summer 'choons' in there! 

Scrumptious blueberry recipe coming up!

Hope you had a great weekend, wherever you are!

Stay sweet! x