Tips & Tricks

Cake Toppers: Top o’ the world?

Cake toppers can be an elegant addition to most cakes, adding style and flair to your event centrepiece (the cake of course).

Not all cakes have what it takes to support a topper, and you do need to choose wisely. Here are the top tips to consider when you decide you want a topper for your next event cake.

At Sieve, we enjoy the simple things when it comes to design; understated trends that don’t go out of fashion but also never get lost in the corner. That’s where cake toppers can really add another level of sophistication. The skill is in picking the right material, finish, colour, font, shapes and even wording. There is a gigantic range of options available to you, it’s all in the choices.

We’re lucky to have met some great cake-topper suppliers that have access to amazingly varied and beautiful materials, from timber veneers all the way to perspex with glitter finishes. These suppliers are always happy to work with us or their clients direct to achieve the exact look that’s desired.

Consider these top 4 things when organising your cake topper:

Overall Theme
Consider your event theme and match your cake topper to compliment the overall look. This is the easiest way to achieve sophisticated elegance  – it’s the little things that all add up to make a splash.

Compliment, Don’t Clash
Your topper should be the crowning glory on your centrepiece cake, not an eye-sore. Make sure that it matches and is complimentary with your cake design. At Sieve, we love to make sure that a topper matches the cake we’re creating, maintaining and enhancing its overall aesthetic appeal.

Timing
Custom cake toppers can take only a day or so to actually make, but it’s the lead time that you’ll want to be prepared for. The back and forth of the design stage can take a lot longer than you think, especially if you’re not exactly sure of what you want. For this reason, we recommend you get your cake topper organised as soon as possible and then straight into the hands of your cake maker, hopefully us here at Sieve!

Installing
Let your cake maker insert the cake topper. A cake can be a delicate, though robust structure. Support within the cake is placed in exactly the right spots to ensure you don’t have a #collapstrophe on your hands on the big event day. Let the professionals deal with it, make sure they have the cake topper in their possession well before delivery.

As you’ve now gathered, we really do love a good cake topper, it’s almost sickening. What about other cake toppings, though?

Many clients have requested fun additions to the tops of their cakes like candy, chocolate, plaques and even photographs (edible, of course!). Various toppings can add an element of playfulness and pizazz to a cake, and can still be matched with a cake topper perfectly. We advise that you proceed with caution though, and depending on the scale and size of the additions, a cake topper might not be suitable.

As always, we’re here to help – if you have any cake questions or dessert design dilemmas, please reach out via Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or that other thing, email. We monitor them all and will get back to you as soon as we can.

Stay sweet, readers! #sievesweet

Head to http://www.sievebakery.com.au to check out the latest range of Fancy Cakes!

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Engagement cake: This delicious vanilla cake is layered with raspberry buttercream icing and topped with a custom made topper; we think it looks spectacular! #sievesweet
Recipe

Recipe: Marble Vanilla & Chocolate Shortbread Biscuits

We’re bringing to you one of our greatest recipes. Our super delicious Marble Vanilla & Chocolate Shortbread Biscuits. These delicious treats are simple to make and so worth the effort (of course, you can always get us to make them for you!).

Sweet vanilla contrasts splendidly with the deep, rich cocoa. Not only does this look stunning, it tastes sublime and makes for a perfect afternoon tea accompaniment. So let’s get to it.

Ingredients:

  • 250g softened unsalted butter
  • 100g sieved icing sugar
  • 18g (3 tsp) vanilla extract
  • 350g sieved plain flour
  • 25g sieved cocoa (good quality dark cocoa is essential)
  • 1/4 tsp salt

Method:

  1. Start by weighing out your dry ingredients, ensuring to sieve the flour, icing sugar and cocoa.
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  2. Add your softened butter to the bowl of your stand mixer and beat this on high until it is smooth and lump free. Scrape down the bowl occasionally to help it along.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
  3. Add the icing sugar, and mix on low until just combined. Increase the speed to high and beat for at least 5 minutes, or until the butter has become pale white in colour. Scrape down the bowl as needed.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
  4. Add the vanilla extract and beat well until combined.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
  5. Add the flour and salt, and beat until the dough forms.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
  6. Remove half (approx. 350g) of the dough, and wrap it in cling film.
  7. To the remaining half of the dough, add the sieved cocoa and mix until just combined. You may need to finish this by hand, using a spoon or spatula.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
  8. Wrap the chocolate dough in cling film and place both parcels in the fridge for at least 40 minutes.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
  9. After 40 minutes, pre-heat your oven to 160 degrees fan-forced (180 degrees non fan-forced).OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
  10. Begin by weighing small pieces of each dough, in approximately 15g segments.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
  11. Once all of your dough segments have been weighed, squeeze one chocolate and one vanilla segment together and using your hands, roll the dough into a ball.
  12. Place each marbled ball of dough onto a tray lined with baking paper, leaving space between them.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
  13. Once all of the balls of dough have been lined up, flatten them slightly with your palm or the back of a spoon.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
  14. Bake the biscuits for approximately 12-16 minutes. You don’t want them to become too golden or dark.
  15. The biscuits will be soft when you remove the tray from the oven. Allow them to cool on the tray for several minutes, and then carefully transfer them to a wire rack to cool completely.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
  16. Serve and enjoy!OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

This recipe yields approximately 22 biscuits. 

We hope you enjoyed this recipe, and we would love to hear from you if you give it a go! Feel free to share your comments below, or to contact us via email or social media if you have any questions at all. Happy baking.

Tips & Tricks

Does Size Matter?

We know it’s an old adage, but it does have relevancy when it comes to the world of desserts!

We’ve been looking forward to covering this topic, and it’s something we often speak about here at Sieve HQ. How much is too much? Certainly, there are those (ahem, Michael) that don’t think you can have enough dessert, and hey it’s our business, so the more the merrier, right?

Well, not really. There is something to be said for a little restraint. It’s certainly kinder on your hip pocket, and it doesn’t hurt the waistline either. We are firm believers in enjoying a treat everyday, especially one that is handmade from scratch with the best ingredients (shameless plug) – it’s good for the soul, people. It is important though, to make sure that you cater for the right number of people.

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Whether a cocktail party or a sit down dinner, your guests will likely have indulged in some delicious food and beverage, and be looking forward to a sweet finale. Most of our clients will arrange both an event cake and a side of various dessert items to make sure that everyone can find something they will enjoy, but where do you stop? Where do you draw the line?

Firstly, you need to choose whether your event cake is to be served as dessert or as a coffee accompaniment. We are big fans of coffee serves. These are smaller fingers of cake that are sliced and shared amongst the crowd at your event. The smaller size means everyone gets to try your delicious cake without overdoing the indulgence factor. You get to save some of your hard-earned by going for a smaller cake that will still sufficiently satiate your guests! Winners all round.

Secondly, and right off the back of your now coffee-sized cake cutting, the smaller serving of cake allows your guests to indulge in some other appropriately sized delicious morsels like dessert cups; Panna Cotta with coulis; individual cheesecakes; or even tarts. By going smaller but offering a bigger variety, you can add some fun to the sweet end of your event, and satisfy the wide range of palates that your guests will no doubt have. It’s always important to consider that there are those people out there in the world (brace yourself) that “don’t do dessert”… I know, we were shocked to hear this too but they are out there. This means that in most cases, you will still have some leftover sweets for those that want seconds, or just to enjoy yourself the next day as you recover from hosting your event.

Our suggestion is that our clients err on the side of less is more. A sweetly delicate finale to your event!

Passionfruit Tart

Here are our top 4 take aways from this week’s posting:

Coffee servings for your cakes

It’s the best way, really. Have your reception hall cut your cake into coffee serves and let your guests enjoy a delicious finale to your event without feeling over-indulgent.

Variety is the spice of life

By serving smaller sized items, you can provide your guests with a larger range of sweet treats to soothe any sweet tooth.

Some people “don’t do dessert” #jawdrop

These people really do exist! I guarantee there are some of them lingering around your event as well. In all seriousness, dessert just doesn’t do it for everyone and you’ll never need to cater for the full number of guests.

Less really can be more

We believe this point really does speak for itself. We’re not suggestion anyone under-caters, but we do think there is an opportunity to stop over-catering from happening.
As always, we’re here to help – if you have any cake questions or dessert design dilemmas, please reach out in the comments or via Facebook, Instagram or email. We monitor them all and will get back to you as soon as we can. Don’t forget to check out our growing range of sweet desserts that are delivered straight to your door in Sydney at http://www.sievebakery.com.au

Stay sweet, readers! If there’s a topic you’d like us to cover in a future posting, please let us know.

Next week: Recipe time! Something delicious that is my personal favourite.