Monday, September 27, 2010

The 2010 Perth Royal Show

Rainbow EyeshadowIt's my favourite time of year again, when the Royal Show comes to Perth! Yesterday I spent a whole day at the show. My parents and Mina hung around until just after lunch, and then we met up with some friends and stayed until the fireworks at night. Matt and I arrived at 10am and stayed until 8.30pm and I still didn't get to do everything I wanted!

I pretty much had to force my parents and Mina to come, and I was sure they'd have a good time. They complained the whole time they were there, but each of them had one thing that they really enjoyed so hopefully that made it worthwhile! Having said that I don't think I'll manage to convince them to come again next year...

Fairy Floss!

First up we went to the Food and Cooking pavilion to see some cake displays. Despite Mina's insistence that everything she baked was a million times better, I found it amazing what some people manage to make out of icing. It's both inspiring and very very humbling.

Next we went to see Jack and Molly the Wonder Dog at the Entertainment pavilion. We somehow found seats next to a very excitable lady who managed to singlehandedly be louder than all of the kids combined, and was violently bouncing around in her chair the whole time. This was much to Mina's horror who scored the seat right next to her, and poor Mina spent the whole time giving me worried looks and clutching her purse tightly. However the show was really cute with the highlight being when Molly shut herself in a little suitcase, exasperated at Jack's impossible requests for her to jump through a 3m high hoola hoop.

The Poultry and Pigeon PavilionThe Dog and Poultry pavilions were next which is where I think my parents and Mina had the most fun. The dogs were awesome as always, and my dad looked like a little kid giggling at all the dogs being prepped for show with their clips and bows and all. The Poultry and Pigeon pavilion went down a treat as I knew it would, being chicken owners ourselves. Mina had heaps of fun, and her favourite birds were the pigeons with the tails that looked like umbrellas.

After this Mina and my parents got a bit showed-out and decided to give up. I'm actually surprised they lasted that long, but was a bit disappointed they didn't get to see more things. We then met up with some friends and had some sushi lunch (I brought some sushi to try even out all the sugar with some healthy stuff) and hit the pavilions again.

Bride and Groom DucksAt 3pm was the highlight of my show day; an event called "Dancing Ducks". We'd seen this before a couple of years ago and I couldn't wait to see it again. I can't properly describe the show, but it certainly did not involve any ducks dancing. To sum it all up, a crazy old farm guy has made a duck fashion parade with ducks wearing different dresses (including a bride and groom duck), and he's decided to toss in a strange pig race, a weird sing along, and an even stranger game of pig musical chairs (that also has a dog for some reason). There's also a bit where a strange ghost thing inexplicably pops out of the runway and he gets all the kids to yell at it. Anyway... it is strange. The strangest bit was during the pig musical chairs thing where he lost control of the broom he was using to push the pigs away with and fell head over heels as a pig trampled him to get the food from his bucket... so, so strange.

Next we saw Clive Lotah and his Sway Pole, which was an acrobatic show where Clive, a 75 year old in a red spandex suit climbs a 9m pole and does a bunch of crazy tricks at the top. He (literally) seemed on top of the world and I couldn't clap loudly enough especially since Clive was sitting in a wheel chair before and after his amazing performance.

Clive Lotah on the Sway Pole

We filled in our time until the fireworks with more patting of cute animals, buying of candies, and a couple of rides. I went on the Gravitron (a spaceship like ride where you stand up and get stuck to the walls as it spins around really fast, definitely my favourite ride of all time) with Kristy, and the Mega Drop (a 45m, 5.5g force fall) with Andrew. To top off a perfect day we went out for a relaxing dinner at a nearby Indian restaurant. I love the Royal Show so much!

Monday, September 6, 2010

The Incident Celebrations

The Incident Cupcakes!Last Saturday we had a few people over to celebrate Matt's final week of (salaried) work and all the success of his awesome game, The Incident. To mark the occasion, we decided to make some The Incident themed cupcakes, and I tried my hand at a rainbow cake that I iced with The Incident icon.

Balloon Cupcakes
We had a great idea about making cupcakes themed with all the "balloons" you can get in the game. There's health, health boost, shield, up/down and curse balloons which we captured with coloured icing and ready rolled for the icon. Matt is really good at ready rolled icing! The curse balloon with the skull was my favourite, and he did an awesome job with it!

The Incident Cupcake Tree!

Psychedelic Icon Cake
I'm pretty sure this is the best thing I've ever baked in my life, and I probably should just stop now at the height of my baking potential. I was inspired by a layered rainbow cake that someone brought in for their birthday at work, but decided to go for the full mixed rainbow cake after googling some amazing pictures of other people's creations.

Colourful Cake MixI decided to stick with 6 colours and repeat the sequence twice (yes, to make a double rainbow). I bought a square cake tin for the occasion (since the app icons are square) and filled it with a double batch of vanilla sponge cake mix. To the lighter colours (red, orange and yellow) I added some strawberry essence, but it turned out really subtle so you couldn't taste the difference between the colours of the rainbow.

It may surprise you that there's no manual mixing involved to create the rainbow pattern (it surprised me!). The effect is achieved by scooping concentric circles of coloured mixture on top of one and other. The mixture will spread out under the weight of each new colour application, and the result is the perfect amount of psycadelicness!

I documented each spoonful of mixture I added (I'll skip every second addition here for brevity). Because I wanted to go through the spectrum twice, I used about half the amount of each colour each time.

Colours 1 and 2

Colour 4

Colour 6

Colour 8

Colour 10

Colour 12

It Teases MeWhen the cake came out of the oven the surface was a lovely brown, but there were little cracks where you could see the magic shining through! It was huge tease that I couldn't find out what was inside! I couldn't wait, so I managed to convince myself that I needed to cut the top off the cake so that it could be properly iced as a perfect icon prism. It was... SO EXCITING to see this:

Flattening the Prism

Spot LightNext I mixed up 6 shades of purple and a bright yellow in vanilla butter icing. I iced the cake as best as I could, and used cashous for the stars. I think that the colours came out really nice, and I managed to get the sky a really nice deep purple. I used cocoa powder as well food colouring for that part.

FrankI decided to use ready rolled icing to capture Frank in all of his pixely detail, and managed to do a pretty good job with the colours! I didn't think I could get the colour dark enough for his hair, pants or shoes, but it came out quite accurate.

The Incident Cake

Cutting the Cake
When we brought out the cake I was SO excited to find out what was inside. I had no idea what to expect even given the sneak preview of cutting the top off. Matt did the honours, and it was more beautiful than I could have ever imagined.

I love you, rainbow The Incident icon cake. You are the best thing I've ever made.

Rainbow Cake