Monthly Archives: February 2013

Apricot Swirl Cupcakes

I had some leftover buttercream from the birthday cake last week, so I decided to whip up a few cupcakes to put it on. I hurt my back badly a week ago and this is about the extent of cake decorating it can take right now.

Apricot Swirl Cupcakes

I picked this recipe out of my Women’s Weekly Classic Cupcakes recipe book. The recipe is for Strawberry Swirl Butter Cakes but we only had apricot jam in the fridge. I liked it because it was throw everything in the bowl then beat and it’s a small batch recipe too. I managed to tell myself I didn’t need to eat 30 cupcakes and stuck to it.

If you want to get your bake on, here’s the recipe.

Strawberry Swirl Butter Cakes (or apricot or any flavour jam you have)

  • 90g butter, softened
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup (110g) caster sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup (150g) self raising flour, sifted
  • 2 tablespoons milk
  • 2 tablespoons jam
  1. Preheat oven to 180°C/350°F. Line a 12-hole cupcake pan with paper cases. (I used a muffin pan and got 8.)
  2. Beat butter, extract, sugar, eggs, flour and milk in a small bowl with electric mixer on low speed until ingredients are combined. Increase speed to medium; beat until mixture has changed to a lighter colour.
  3. Divide mixture into paper cases; smooth tops. Divide jam over cake tops; using a skewer, swirl jam into cakes.
  4. Bake about 20 minutes (30 minutes if you choose to make muffins like I did.) Stand cakes in pan 5 minutes before turning, top-side up, onto wire rack to cool.

You can top with your favourite icing or leave them plain. They had this delicious, almost toffee likeness on top after baking.

Until next time, have fun.

Epic Pokemon – Magmar

I have been cross-stitching since my early high school years, when a friend of mine showed me what she had been working on. My mum had done long-stitch, my grandmother embroidery so perhaps it was fated that I too would find myself doing some sort of needlework.

My friend taught me the basics of cross-stitch, finding the middle of your cloth, starting and ending threads and how to form your little crosses. Because that is all cross-stitch is; little crosses in different colours on a piece of cloth. I only ever do counted cross- stitch because I hate the inexactness of printed cross-stitch.

So I started out doing bookmarks and other small things until in Year 9 at high school my Design and Technology (fancy name for sewing and stuff) did a term on cross-stitch. Score! I chose this big owl sitting on a tree branch for my project, when my teacher told me maybe it was a bit ambitious. It was, to tell you the truth, with only two months to do it, as a teenager, but you just don’t tell me what I can’t do! I’ll just do it and show you I did, uh huh!

So I did, even if I was up to 2am the night before it was due finishing off all the back-stitching. I’m still proud of my owl and he’s hanging in our bedroom. But I think he was the real start of my love of cross-stitch. 

While I was looking for employment last year, I started cross-stitching again. I am notorious for starting things and then not finishing them. However, I was bored so I picked up a piece I hadn’t finished and started work on it again. Then an acquaintance on Twitter (thanks Jess!) showed a small Pokemon cross-stitch she had been working on. It suddenly sounded like a fantastic idea. Christmas was coming up in a month and Jason just adores the Pokemon games. You can’t count the number of hours he has put into it. So I googled “Pokemon Cross-Stitch” and discovered the Epic Pokemon Pattern. Jason chose the generation 1 pattern as it is his favourite.

Now, it never got finished for Christmas because it is just ENORMOUS! The pattern prints out on 30 A4 pages and my aida cloth is approximately 50cm x 70cm. So here is the work in progress and the latest finished pokemon – Magmar.

Pokemon

Epic Pokemon

I’ll be updating with each finished pokemon.

Until next time, have fun.

Update

You may have noticed a few changes around my blog; the biggest being that Cookies and Consoles was retired and Sweet Siabee was born. Cookies and Consoles seemed too restrictive for what I wanted to do and I think in part that was why I failed at posting regularly. Also pure laziness but we won’t hold that against me right?

I tend to be someone who flits from activity to activity. I get stuck into something hardcore for a short while then move on to something else, and eventually come back around. The endless circle of me.

I have noticed there are several things I like to do and all are about creating. I like to bake, I like to sew and I like to cross-stitch. I sometimes joke that I was born in the wrong era and I would have been a fabulous 1950’s housewife. Except that I hate to clean and usually wear pants rather than dresses.

So….SweetSiabee.com was created. You’ll see different categories at the top of what I plan to share with you. That may even grow, since Jason sulks that I haven’t used the scrapbook he got me for our first wedding anniversary (Paper). Can I say I’m scared because I could get addicted to scrapbooking?

The website’s look has also had an update. I’m fond of simplicity and cleanliness and I think this new look reflects that. Despite the fact it took me hours, I even made myself a cute little header. I’m no graphic designer as you can tell.

Lastly, we have finally invested in buying a new camera. No more horrible phone pictures! Except for this one. Look at this baby! It’s a chunky beast but didn’t cost a million dollars and suited both of our needs and wants. Will you bear with me while I learn how to use it? The manual only has 371 pages.

Camera

Lastly, welcome and I hope you stick around and follow my journey. Until next time, have fun!

Aryan’s Birthday


A gorgeous little boy named Aryan turned one last weekend and I was asked to make a cake for him.

Aryan Cake

Unfortunately it didn’t turn out quite as I hoped, my blue buttercream developed in the fridge after I put it there when it got too soft. His mum wanted a pale blue cake with white piping. Oops. Shows I’m still learning doesn’t it?

The little red cars were made because Aryan loves to play with them! I made his name out of royal icing transfers and I like that they stayed puffy like when they dried.

I still don’t like working with buttercream that much. Maybe it’s just my house and its stupid humidity and it’s hard to get it to the right consistency to work with, it was either too soft or then it got a bit too hard in the fridge and it got some air bubbles in it. I had so much trouble getting it smooth on such an enormous cake (it was a 16 inch board) that I went with a messy but regular pattern. I used my small spatula to drag the pattern across the buttercream on the top and sides.

Aryan Cake Closeup

I hope Aryan liked his cake!

Rainbow Wedding

I had the pleasure of creating a whole bunch of cupcakes and a small cutting cake for a girl I worked with for her wedding day.  I think it is a bit of a leap to trust an amateur with your wedding day cakes, so I thank Naomi and her now-husband Ben for trusting in me!

Rainbow Cupcakes

Naomi isn’t one to go along with traditional wedding ideas. She had a knee length dress and a bouquet of giant rainbow lollipops. The bridesmaids had blue dresses with bright yellow high heels. So there was one thing she was adamant about, it was “I want rainbow cupcakes, as bright as possible.”

Six dozen cupcakes, and a small 7 inch cutting cake were created for her wedding. I did a number of trial cupcakes in different designs and these were the ones that made the final cut. And as a bonus, I was completely stoked with how they turned out! Naomi loved too many of the trials, so we decided to make each colour a different design. We kept the flowers whimsical and cute; no roses for this girl.Green Cupcakes Yellow Cupcakes Blue Cupcakes Purple Cupcakes Pink Cupcakes Orange Cupcakes

Flavour wise I made chocolate, vanilla and lemon poppy-seed, two dozen of each, with white chocolate ganache and covered in sugarpaste. The cutting cake was chocolate too and the request of the groom which I covered in ganache and sugarpaste also, with colourful wavy strips around the outside to tie it into the cupcakes.

Rainbow Cake

I really am happy with how these all look. It’s frankly a miracle it even happened. Our Australian weather has just been terrible in the last three weeks. We have had storms and heatwaves and such high humidity it reduced me almost to tears on several occasions. I ended up having to do redo dozens of sugarpaste flowers three times because they wouldn’t harden. Can you imagine how it feels to discover your second set of flowers have turned into a puddle of marshmellow type mush three days before you need them?

A MASSIVE THANK-YOU to my best friend Angela who lent me her dehumidifer and basically saved my life. It let my sugarpaste dry perfectly and hence, the cakes were delivered just as they were meant to.

Wedding Cake Table

If you thought the creating sounded like hard work, the delivery and set-up were just as horrific. My lovely husband Jason helped me get the cakes to the venue, on public transport when there was track-work. So it was two trains and a bus, then a short walk. And then when we got there, all the wedding guests were already inside! So I had to set-up in the corner in the middle of a reception, which started much earlier than planned because the wedding details had to be changed because of all the rain. That was just a LITTLE stressful, not to mention the photographer snapping me putting out the cupcakes. Agh. Plus her cupcake tower fell though the day before so she only had these rickety little ones that had too many holes for the cupcakes (even after I left my spare dozen for breakages).

In all, it was a tough two days and extra morning baking, ganaching, covering in sugarpaste and piping details. I seriously wished for a minion by the end of it. But seeing how it all turned out and getting to show them now, it really makes it worth it.