Every Mixer Needs A Name, What Should Mine Be Called??

Bosco AS1200HD Multifunction Stand Mixer

Bosco AS1200HD Multifunction Stand Mixer – image supplied by Bosco Appliances.

Above is an image of my new toy, that I am expecting a delivery by the end of business hours tomorrow.

My little mixer that I purchased for $49 AUD has done well in the last 18 months, however it is now starting to protest when I start to mix larger quantities. So I have spent my time researching for a replacement. Looking at all the well-known brands and then stumbled across Bosco purely by chance.

The Bosco AS1200HD Multifunction Stand Mixer

Features:

  • Planetary mixing action.
  • Integrated suction cups on the base to ensure no movement during operation.
  • One Touch Button Automatic Dough Mixing with auto shut down.
  • Exclusive BOSCO double dough hook design for superior mixing and dough making (similar to commercial machines).
  • 4 programmed auto functions (just select a program and walk away)
  • Heavy Duty Die Cast Aluminium Housing All metal gears (front and planetary) and the gear box
  • Commercial Quality design and components
  • Sophisticated Automatic Electronic Controls with manual speed override.
  • Powerful 1200-1400 Watt motor
  • Head tilting mechanism with stainless steel reinforced arm for easy access and durability
  • Convenient one hand use “push and twist” attachments
  • Huge 6L mixing bowl made of fine stainless steel with ergonomic handle and transparent splash guard/cover
  • Robust heavy duty design to last for years
  • Overload protection
  • Up to 3 kg dry ingredient mixing capacity

Benefits:

  • Super easy to operate.
  • Easy to clean.
  • Blender, stainless steel bowl and cover are dishwasher safe.
  • Huge money-saving by having multiple appliances all in one.
  • Make your life in the kitchen much easier and pleasurable
  • Save kitchen bench space and kitchen cupboard normally used for all those appliances
  • New attachments coming soon
  • Make delicious healthy meals in minutes.
  • Save money by purchasing fresh ingredients and turn them into delicious meals with the help of your BOSCO kitchen machine
  • Great performance and reliability.
  • Heavy Duty Metal Construction Design built to last for years.
  • Makes any kitchen bench look modern and hi-tech.
  • Proudly Australian owned company.
  • After sale support even outside warranty period.

Details of the attachments included:

  • 1.5 L heavy duty glass design blender– with super strong stainless steel blades rotating at 19,000 RPM. Crushes ice in seconds. Can process hot/cold ingredients. Blends fruits/vegetables to completely homogenised consistency.
  • 0.25 L mini grinder – perfect for grinding coffee beans/nuts/herbs/spices or fruits/vegetables. Perfect attachment to make baby food.
  • Professional mincer with sausage making accessories – including 3 size dies (fine, medium and coarse) to grind fresh mince in seconds. Also includes kebbeh making attachment.
  • Set of pasta extruder dies – including angel hair, spaghetti, fettuccine, rigatoni. Cookie extruder attachment tool for 4 different types of cookie extrusions.

What’s in the Box:

  • AS1200HD stand mixer.
  • Blender attachment.
  • Mini Grinder attachment.
  • Whisk attachment.
  • Flat beater attachment- standard.
  • Double dough hooks.
  • Mincer attachment, feed tray with tamper, 3 mincing dies (fine, medium and coarse)
  • Pasta extruder dies.
  • Sausage tube.
  • Cookie extruder.
  • 6 litre stainless steel bowl with handle.
  • Splash guard.
  • Silicone Scraper Beater.
  • Operating instructions and quick reference guide.

To say I’m excited to test drive this would be an understatement!! I will be putting my review up on this blog in the next couple of days. As well as adding a link to Bosco Appliances.

The cost of the mixer is $439 AUD. Which is an amazing price, considering what you get for your money and considering the cost of other well-known brands, and that is before you start to add all the attachments.

So every great mixer needs a name, and I need help to find a name for this beasty. I would love to hear your suggestions.

Change of subject now, in the next week I have to make a cake to be professionally photographed to be put in a full-page ad for Melbourne Wedding & Bride Magazine. Which is an amazing opportunity. I wasn’t sure if I wanted to do it at first, and was thankful that I even got a phone call, when I know there are much better cake people out there than me. However I have decided to take a chance and go for it.

So I am currently trying to work out what cake design I want to do. I know that it will be chocolate as that is really the direction that I want to go in. And I can see cherry’s on the cake, big beautiful cherries, but that is as far as I’ve got. Definitely a work in progress. I will obviously put the cake up on the blog once I have finished. In fact I have to make 2 cakes as there is another ad in the same magazine, but this time I have to take the photo and add the words. No idea what I’m going to write! Or for that matter what cake design is going to be either. Deadline is on the 22nd April, so really need to be sitting down and working it out.

I will also be tweaking the blog. I am wanting to add food that is more than just cake. In the last 6 months or so I have started to make my own cleaning products, and starting to make our own breakfast muesli and bread. I want to become more self-sufficient, so to speak.

So I will be sharing, advice, tips, recipes and much more as I continue this journey. And I will be adding links that follow this same path.

On a personal note, Mr Hollipops is loving the muesli!! He has already gone through one container and is currently going through the 2nd container!

On the next blog I will add the muesli recipe and photos, as well as the Bosco Stand Mixer review. Keeping busy as always!

Until next time, happy baking 🙂

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A Direction, A Hope, A Purpose, A Resolution, A Will

This is me

This is me

For the past year most of you would have only seen a photo of the back of my head. So I decided that with the new year, I would show you me in all my gory detail. Love instagram for having the ability to hide those imperfections.

I was born in 1977, raised in the UK. March 2003 I had my first daughter, and April that year I got married. In 2006 we decided to move to Australia. July 2008 I gave birth (after having 3 miscarriages in-between) to my 2nd daughter – and our first generation Aussie.

For most the new year brings about resolutions most of which will be broken by the end of January. I have made no resolutions, but have decided on some changes that need to be made, not just for the new year, but for life.

With some technical issues with my health last year, I have to continue my path to a better body. Mentally, physically, and spiritually. With exercise, healthy-ish eating (I can’t give up chocolate), and some time for me.

In the last few months I have been tinkering with homemade cleaning products, as I would like to cut down on the amount of chemicals. I’ve also managed to make a dog shampoo (ironic that I don’t own a dog). This shampoo has had great results, and so looking at other things I can do – detangler for you long hair dogs, and the baking continues with dog treats for bad breath.

Sample bottles - Dog Shampoo and Flea deterrent for pet beds

Sample bottles – Dog Shampoo and Flea deterrent for pet beds

The dog products require little physical effort, unlike the cakes. For me to go in this direction, there’ll be lots more planning, study and work. I don’t want to screw this up by not doing the appropriate research first.

I considered stopping the cakes. I’ve no formal training, I spend most of my time winging it, and there is the obligatory amount of self-doubt. They can take up lots of time, and you just know as soon as it comes to decorating my 2 daughters always kick off!

I have had to cut back, but have decided not to stop the cakes.

The thing is I love to make things, whether it’s cakes, general cooking, knitting (image below), cross stitch, crochet, other crafts, making the cleaning and pet products. I even have a recipe for anti wrinkle cream – yet to test. I just need to find a way to merge these all together. I need a business plan, I need a name, worked for Martha Stewart, why not me?

Work in progress - entrelac knitted cot blanket

Work in progress – entrelac knitted cot blanket. 3.75mm needles. 4ply 100% merino wool.

I have a book of my recipes for cleaning and other tips & tricks, which my eldest daughters jokingly calls my witches brews.

I come from a crafty family, my Grandad was an artist, my Dad is an artist, my brother’s art work can be seen in Sydney – his next show is in February. My Mum still does arts and crafts after running a playschool in the UK with her Granddaughters.

I have a purpose, a hope, a direction, a resolution, and a will to make this work, I just need that one sign or signal into how to make it all work together.

So there will be changes abound, which I for one am looking forward to. I am not going to sit on my arse and waiting for those changes, I will be making it happen.

Phoenix henna tattoo on my hand.

Phoenix henna tattoo on my hand.

Like the Phoenix henna tattoo I had done recently. From the death of old the phoenix obtains new life by arising from the ashes. And that’s exactly what I plan to do from the ashes of 2012.

 

 

 

Chocolate Winter Wonderland House

176There is something about working with chocolate that feels very organic.

I love how you can turn chocolate into anything, in fact I find it easier to use than fondant including turning chocolate into veggies!

Chocolate veggies

Chocolate veggies

Chocolate trees with angel, veggies and flowers

Chocolate trees with angel, veggies and flowers

This house was a special request for a local primary school, to raise end of year funds. I decided that everyone does a gingerbread house, but not chocolate. So I decided to go for a chocoholics dream 🙂

The walls are chocolate with rice krispies to give the structure strength. I made 2 sheets. I then carefully cut out the template that I had drawn up.

Putting together was a simple affair, using melted chocolate as a glue.

After that it was just a matter of making it look like a house. With chocolate windows, flowers, veggie patch, and adding a lot of lollies!!!

Before the chickens were made.

Before the chickens were made

The next morning I decided that we needed chocolate candy cane looking window frames, and I was missing a mother hen and her chicks.

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Chocolate Mother Hen and her chicks

Chocolate Mother Hen and her chicks

White chocolate and marshmallow chimney

White chocolate and marshmallow chimney

Chocolate door :)

Chocolate door 🙂

There is no cake inside, this was a hollow structure, it still weighed quiet a bit. I must admit I pulled a shoulder muscle carrying it up the hill to the school. Who needs the gym when cakes are my weights.

I also made a little chocolate Christmas scene for my daughters teacher for a small gift.

All Chocolate - A Mother hen's Christmas

All Chocolate – A Mother hen’s Christmas

Lastly – I’ve had a topsy turvy 2012, one that I would not wish to repeat, so I am looking forward to a new year, and a fresh start. And with that I would like to wish all that view my little blog a wonderful 2013.

Happy New Year to you all and to all a goodnight xxx

Princess Castle Cake

Princess Castle Cake

Princess Castle Cake

This is my first Princess Castle Cake. Ironically with 2 daughters neither one has asked for a castle ……. yet.

I made stain glass window, flowers, window boxes, leaves, tree and birds. The hardest bit (my fault) was doing the individual cobbles on the wall. It seem to take an age!

This was made for a friend of mine, for her niece’s 1st birthday.

Inside the cake was chocolate pound cake – I kept it simple because it was a childrens party.

It was good fun, and I love how it shines in the sun.

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The back

The back

 

This Little Piggy …..

This Little Piggy …

As most of you know that I have cut back a bit on cakes due to some unforeseen issues.

However I had an SOS call from a friend who needed a piggy cake for his wife’s 40th birthday.

I did have an idea of making a big pig rolling in mud. However when thinking about it I decided that maybe the wife didn’t want to be cutting into a pig for her birthday, especially as her husband said I think she loves pigs – definitely didn’t want to offend!

So I decided to make lots of little piggies.

All piggies are made with fondant.

Never making pigs before it was a challenge to get them right, especially as they are all quite small.

I then placed them all around the cake, with some flowers. Unfortunately the writing didn’t quite go right as the bag exploded on top of the cake. So the top-tier doesn’t look like the original idea as I had to change a few things. It came out ok, but not as good as the original plan.

So this is the final cake. I love my piggies 🙂

Next cake is a week on Saturday where I have to make a beautiful pink and girly castle cake for a 1 yr old princess.

Inspired Van Gogh ‘Starry Night’

A Starry Night

A Starry Night

Here is my version of Van Gogh Starry Night.

My canvas was chocolate cake, my paint was buttercream. My tools were piping bags, nozzles and a brush.

The rest was me. I’ve never copied a work of art, so this was definitely a new thing for me.

Technique — I made that up as I went along.

Originally I was going to do a 3 tier version, but decided against that at the last-minute, due to finding a frame big enough to hold the cake. The cake measure 17×12 inches.

It is 2 layers of chocolate pound cake, orange sugar syrup and chocolate orange buttercream.

Chocolate fondant covering

I added a chocolate fondant border made with leaves and gold shimmer spray. With the same fondant I covered the cake.

Scribed a rough image onto the cake.

I then called it a night (was getting weary). The next morning I mixed up large quantities of buttercream, which I then divided into 8 different colours. Before I started decorating I scribed a rough image onto the cake. More guideline than exact drawing.

Decoration begins..

Icing

Icing was trial and error, I kept going until I was happy with it, as you can see from the above photo, a few of stars were larger than which I rectified before taking it up to the school for their Arts Expo.

The finished cake at the School Arts Expo

I really was very calm and completely stress free during the making of this cake. And honestly I didn’t over think it, I just went with the flow.

It obviously doesn’t even compare to the original masterpiece, and I decided not to replicate the buildings (more to make my life easier). As a donated cake to help to school fund-raising I was more than happy with how it looked.

There is a little tutorial on Facebook – Hollipops Cakes.

Cake recipe + 1 cup of drowsy = not a good idea

Chocolate Cake

I’m too tired to decorate properly cake.

My eldest daughter volunteered my services to make some chocolate cupcakes for her class party. Her teacher had said it was a wonderful idea. Shame she didn’t tell me… well she did give me a couple of days notice. After all her and her teacher had discussed this 2 weeks prior.

This was all going fine, up until I had to take some medication.

This little tablet made making cupcakes one of the hardest jobs I’ve ever done.

I sat down making all the pure chocolate decorations in the afternoon, so by the time I had baked, cooled and piped a swirl on top, I knew that it wouldn’t take long to finish and head for an early night.

Class party cupcakes

I love my chocolate roses, I’ve definitely improved my technique since I first made them last year. Thinking about it, I’m glad I took photos, or I wouldn’t really remember these cake at all.

I had enough cake batter left over that I made our house a little cake. With some brushed sugar syrup to keep it moist and oodles of chocolate buttercream to please my sweet tooth. I was so tired that I grabbed the biggest piping nozzle I had, and piped this cake in 3 minutes. I don’t even remember putting the gold balls on (so it was a nice surprise in the morning).

The up side to the cupcakes was the class loved them, and one even said it was the best cupcake they had ever had. So I must have done something right that evening. The kids especially like the modelling chocolate decorations.

Fortunately I don’t have to take this medication again, so no more sleepy baking sessions.

I have a few things planned for October. I am doing a 3 tier chocolate cake inspired by Van Gogh ‘Starry Night,’ for the school Arts Festival. The cake will either be a raffle or silent auction – must be strong and not bid on my own cake…or I won’t be able to fit into the wedding dress for next year.

There is a few birthday cakes, and obviously Halloween. Which I must improve on my Jack O Lantern Cake from last year – in the gallery.

I also want to make a Hansel & Gretel wicked witch house. Again, must remember my waist line!

A friend of mine has also asked whether I’d be interesting in teaching some cake basics to some customers of hers. So there are plenty of things to keep me busy in the next few weeks.

And not only baking,I have my knitting class to plan. Must design and knit a springtime shrug, write the pattern down. Easy peasy…. much easier than baking with a dose of drowsy.