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I have just saw a post for Christmas in July, it made me think about Christmas and how popular our traditional, heirloom recipe fruit cakes were and I had so many orders for them, I was worried that I wasn't going to have enough time to make them all.......... So I am taking expressions of interest for Christmas this year. I can't believe how quick this year is flying by.

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This weeks theme is a frozen cake for my daughters 13th birthday.  I wanted to try something a little different and add lights a cake and thought this would be the perfect opportunity give it a try, knowing that if it didn’t work that I didn’t have to worry that it was a customers order gone wrong.  I am really pleased with the result.

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Over the years I have been asked to do a number or different cakes, so people send me pictures for ideas and ask for changes and others want me to recreate the cake to look exactly like the one in the picture that they gave.  Well we all know that it is virtually impossible to recreate the exact thing.  Even if I was to make the same cake 20 9r 30 times it would be slightly different each time.


Today I created one of the ugliest cakes that I have ever been asked to make.  It is what the customer wanted and what the customer wants the customer gets, right!  They were having a 40th birthday and doing a bogan theme so they wanted a cake that looked like the lady was lifting up her top flashing her boobs and that is exactly what they got.  I heard that some of their neighbours are religious, I hope that it will not be too much of a shock for them or that they have a really great sense of humour!!  Well anyway, I am sure that there will be lots of fun and laughter.


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It seems like everyone is enjoying the little sweet meringue based treat so I just had to have a go at making some to see what all the hype was about, but 1st I thought I would find out where the little macaron came from.


When I was looking for information about the macaron, they were labelled the French macaron, even recipes found were for the French macaron, but when I started reading about them it would appear that they were original created in Italy 1533 by a Chef called Catherine de Medicis.  Catherine was married to the Duc d'Orleans who became King Henry II of France in 1547.  The name macron came from the same meaning as macaroni, meaning fine dough.  Hence why they are called the French macaron.


The basics of making the macaron has not changed over the years, made from, almond flour, egg whites and sugar.


Macarons were a saving grace for Caramelite nuns during the French Revolution as they baked them and sold them to pay for their housing, they became known as the Macaron sisters.  They were made as single discs.


It was not until 1830’s that the macaron changed to 2 discs sandwiched together with buttercream or ganache between them.


The macaron is often called a macaroon and as I remember from being at school a macaroon was a coconut based cake.  Many have adopted the French spelling of macaron to distinguish the two items in the English language. However, this has caused confusion over the correct spelling. Some recipes exclude the use of macaroon to refer to this French confection while others think that they are synonymous. In reality, the word macaroon is simply the English translation of the French word macaron, so both pronunciations are technically correct depending on personal preference and context. In a Slate article on the topic, Stanford Professor of Food Cultures Dan Jurafsky indicates that 'macaron' (also, "macaron parisien", or "le macaron Gerbet") is the correct spelling for the confection.[7]


Today the macaron is made in many different colours and flavours and have become a very popular treat to have with a cup of tea.  I would suggest that you go and try one if you haven’t already!

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The wedding industry is a billion dollar industry.  The fun and excitement starts when two people who fall in love and decide that they want to spend the rest of their lives together.  I was looking to see what the average cost of a wedding was in Australia in 2013.  The average cost of a wedding in Australia this year is between $36,700 (IBISWorld), and $48,296 (Bride To Be magazine).  Staggering…. Does a wedding have to cost this much money to be beautiful?  I don’t think so, there are so many options out there, that I am pretty sure that you can have a perfect dream wedding without breaking the bank.  You just have to think outside the box!

Here are a few tips to help:

Set the Date - Book your wedding date on a week day, this could save you heaps.

Invitations - rather than send one per person or per couple, send one per household, that way you're not buying extra invitations.

Wedding Dress -  with the online market being a big competitive business, there is no need to spend a fortune on an expensive designer dress, you can get something equally as beautiful if you shop around. You can even hire your dress, after all, what do we do with it after the day, mine is sat in my wardrobe, it won’t fit my daughter as she is taller than me and I am not even sure that she would want to wear it, I know I didn’t want to wear my mums.


Mp3 vs DJ – why not create your own playlist, you can set the mood and style and even chose the music for your ceremony, you just have to make sure that the venue has access to compatible sound system to be able to play your music from your ipod or mp3 player.


Bouquet – go for something different to the tradition floral bouquet, why not carry a simple elegant clutch bag to complement your dress, carry a set of rosary beads or try a feather bouquet with sparkly cyrstals.



Drinks -  we don’t want to violate etiquette rules but a popular variation is to provide beer, wine and a toasting drink, this way you provide variety but also keep the cost down.


Wedding cake – I am a firm believer that a wedding cake is an important centerpiece of any wedding, however, I have noticed a trend that people are now opting not to have a wedding cake but to have cupcakes or cookies as desserts, this way your guest still get to have some kind of cake and dessert without being overloaded with sweet things.  A great way to save money.


Wedding favors – give something back to the community or a favourite charity, rather than provide your guests with fancy little gifts for attending your wedding, suggest to them that you will make a donation to a nominated charity instead, this will certainly cost you less than buying favors.


Chair decorations – keep it plain and simple, I am almost sure that your guests probably won’t notice that the chairs are not decorated, after all it is the happy couple that they are coming to look at not the chairs.



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When my daughter was about 6 months old, the local shire where I was living were offering a number of free short courses.  A friend of mine asked me if I would attend a cake decorating course with her and I agreed that I would, if she would do the computer course that I wanted to do.  My mum was a cake decorator in her younger days, she is very artistic and creative but it was something that never interested me, I was a bit more like my dad in the fact that we loved technology and the latest gadgets.


Anyway my friend and I attended both courses and I turned cake decorating into a hobby.  Not long after I had finished the cake decorating course little did I know that the new neighbour was a cake decorator and she had her own business.  We used to decorate cakes for one another, she was extremely talented at making novelty cakes and I used to prefer the classic stylish wedding cake.  I never took the cake decorating seriously enough to turn it into a business as my children were very small.  My husband and children were my life and I was happy being a full time mum and wife while my hubby went to work, so I felt so blessed to be able to stay at home with my children.


I never in a million years ever expected that I would end up running my own cake decorating business, until a few years ago, I decided that I wanted to work for myself.  I started out making gift baskets, which didn’t seem to go very far, there was too much competition in my area for this.  So I decided to have a go at making and decorating cakes again, something that I hadn’t done for a number of years except for my own children, so needless to say I was not very confident, but never the less I decided to create a facebook page and that is where Southwest Special Occasions was born.


I am now running my own little business and I love it, I guess a little part of my mum did shine through after all, I am not sure that I will ever be as creative and arty as she is, but I certainly enjoy having a go.

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What Others Say

Michelle Bainbridge
2015-02-15, 12:30
Hi Kate Thankyou so much! Our cake was so beautiful. You absolutely nailed it. Was perfect. Feedback from my guests was delicious, amazing and sooooo ...
Leonie Beckett
2014-05-26, 23:56
Superb cakes! I love the latest cake with the amazing ruffles. Simply beautiful
Lezanne Ceronio
2014-12-17, 12:36
Thanks for my beautiful cake. Kate was one of very few wedding cake specialists to be willing to work within my budget. Needless to day her cakes tast...

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