In My Kitchen, April 2014

In my kitchen this month, it seems it’s all about big.

In my kitchen there’s now no excuse for running late.  I bought this big clock which is not yet on the wall of my kitchen because I’m waiting for Carl to do a ‘boy’s job’ and drill a hole into the cement-rendered brick wall so I can hang it.  With a diameter of more than 60cms (2ft) it’s going to need a big wall.

No excuses for running late now

No excuses for running late now

In my kitchen I have a big bag of cooking chocolate but just look at it.  Can you see it’s been opened?  I didn’t open it.  I bought this big quantity for a very specific purpose and before I even got on to that specific purpose, someone started comfort-snacking.  ‘Lay off the cooking chocolate, Carl’.

It's been opened!

It’s been opened!

In my kitchen I have a big cake board.  It is unbelievable that after Celia gave me one thousand and one cakes boards in a broad variety of sizes and shapes, that there wasn’t one in the size I needed.  I actually had to ‘cross the bridge’ to find this cake board which is 75cms (30 inches) on its longest side.  It’s the board I will use to make Archie’s cake.

A cake board nearly as big as my table

A cake board nearly as big as my table

In my kitchen I have a lot of fondant; 2kgs of white, 3kgs of midnight black, (one escaped the photo shoot), 1kg of navy blue and 1kg of orange.  I’ll be rolling all of this out then cutting it into shapes then it will appear on the big board.

White, midnight black, navy blue and orange

White, midnight black, navy blue and orange

In my kitchen I also have a fondant smoother.  Apparently these are a ‘must-have’ when making a sculptured cake.  I’m looking forward to it being a big help to me.

Fondant Smoother

Fondant Smoother

In my kitchen I have a few other things for my cake decorating drawer.  When I went ‘over the bridge’ to buy the cake board I also bought some red powder for tinting fondant.  The powders always work better than the liquid dyes, especially when you have to turn something red (red’s a very difficult colour to make as is black).  I also bought some writing pens.  The icing in these is solid but if you put the pen in a glass of warm water, the icing will soften and then you can write with them.  You can never have too much edible glue so I have another bottle of that as well.

'Tools of the trade' for cake decorating

‘Tools of the trade’ for cake decorating

Not quite in my kitchen but just around the corner in the hallway I have a big amount of booze.  We don’t like to be thirsty.  But actually, it’s heading to the venue for the big 21st which is fast approaching.

Wine o'clock

Wine o’clock

In my kitchen I have this:

A sculpture of an Australian landmark

A sculpture of an Australian landmark

Can you guess what it is?  I’ll give you a clue – it’s an Australian landmark.  Think, think, think.  Do you give in?  Okay, I’ll tell you.  It’s a sculpture of Uluru.  In Alfie’s class they had to bring in recycling materials and make an Australian landmark.  If this is the best he could do, I’m very pleased he didn’t aim higher and try something more challenging like the Harbour Bridge or the Opera House.  This bit of sculpture just might be making a quick but quiet trip to the nearest bin.  Even Alfie told me to ‘bin it’.

So that’s the big news of what’s going on in the Hotly Spiced kitchen this month.  If you’d like to do an ‘In My Kitchen’ post, be sure to link up with Celia at Fig Jam and Lime Cordial.

Now that the bag's been opened, I may as well eat some myself.

Now that the bag’s been opened, I may as well eat some myself.

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  1. Looks like a big cake coming up soon for the party.

  2. Looks like you’ve got a lot of cake making in your future. I can hardly wait to see Archie’s b’day cake.

  3. Charlie, I love the clock! It’s awesome. And funny that you mention about someone snacking on the chocolate, cos that is exactly what I did about five minutes ago! I don’t usually do it, LOL!

  4. I love the clock! I need to get myself one just because it is so pretty 🙂

  5. Danielle says:

    Looks like someone dipped into the wine too! Lovely clock and that is hilarious about Alfie’s ‘Uluru’. Can’t wait to see the big cake!

  6. G’day! Can’t WAIT to see the birthday cake Charlie!
    Thanks for this month’s kitchen view! Wish I could share a chockie with you!
    Cheers! Joanne

  7. I can’t wait to see Archie’s cake now – sounds like a huge party is in the making – you might well need that clock to keep you on track 🙂 I can’t live without a clock in the kitchen and I can sure I could join you in snacking on the chocolate – carl is obviously a bad example 🙂 Good luck with the party and the cake

  8. I always forget to do one if these posts when I actually have something interesting going on on my kitchen! I love that clock, we have something similar in our kitchen and its fallen off the wall a few times (which makes me wonder if the job should have been a pink one and not blue). I can hardly wait to see what kind if cske you’re making for Archie’s bash, it’s an awefully big board!

  9. Beautiful clock.

    The task of creating such a large cake for Archie’s 21st appears daunting to me. But then I possess no cake decorating talent.

    That’s a lot of wine.

    Gotta love Alfie and his “Go ahead and bin it, Mom” attitude.

  10. Sweet Posy Deams says:

    Well, you know we are all on pins and needles waiting to see Archie’s cake. What a big event!

  11. MMMmmm, now I need a big ol’ bag a chocolate like that in MY kitchen!! 😉 I can’t wait to see the cake for Archie!! So excited! 🙂 Wouldn’t mind some of that booze, either! 😉 xo

  12. I really need a big bag of chocolate! Carl’s got the right idea 🙂 So, you’re organising the 21st AND making the cake? You are one amazing lady, Charlie.

  13. Love the clock. And can’t wait to see and read all about the big 21! That’s going to be one gigantic cake.

  14. I can’t wait to see the cake Charlie! I must confess, I eat my cooking chocolate as a treat sometimes.

  15. Love peeking inside your kitchen, Charlie.

    Can I have a piece of the Lindt Chocolate!? xx

    PS. can you make a video of you making the cake!??

    • Hi Kim – come on over and let’s share the chocolate together! I wish I could make a video of me making the cake (I’d have to delete the expletives of course!) But unfortunately, my horrid kitchen is completely the wrong configuration. I need one with an island bench so the cameraman can be on one side and me on the other. The way the kitchen is at the moment, the cameraman would be shooting my back and there’d be nothing to see. I’m hoping my dream kitchen is just around the corner! xx

  16. Somehow I fear there may be a significant dent in both the chocolate and the wine by the time the cake is finished- or are they only my coping skills? 🙂
    I greatly admire Alfie’s Uluru, littlej’s school project this weekend is a creative response to ‘To kill a Mockingbird’ exploring the motif of supernatural events. She’s making a spooky gingerbread house depicting how the children viewed the house and loss of childhood innocence. Whatever happened to sticking information on a sheet of cardboard with pretty pictures?
    Love your kitchen Charlie, good luck with your party! Xox

  17. Looking forward to the big cake event Charlie. There’s a cake decorating place in Willoughby why’d you cross the Bridge?. Love your giant clock.. Nothing even that clock would stop me being late.

  18. Lots of BIG things in store!!!! Fun.

  19. Wow that is going to be a huge cake Charlie! I can’t wait to see it! 😀

  20. That’s a BIG bag of cookies!!!! Everything in your kitchen this week screams “a baker works here!”. 🙂 Looks like you have some baking fun in your future.

  21. Cant wait to hear more about the big event – Have a lovely weekend 🙂

  22. Charlie ~ may I suggest you talk about [or talk again if I have missed it!] of you being part of ‘Best Australian Blogs 2014’ . . . now, I may well have missed the announcement, but it was only when I went to vote for another blog did I find and vote for you!! Perchance some of us have to be reminded 🙂 !

    • Thanks so much for your vote, Eha. That’s so kind and supportive of you. I haven’t yet made mention of it; I’ve just put the badge on my page. I think there are around 1,200 blogs nominated so I’m not sure I’ll get very far but it is very nice to be nominated. And your support of this nomination and your lovely comments on my posts are greatly appreciated. Have a lovely weekend.

      • Well, Charlie, people can be forgetful and plain just not notice . . . please do make mention of your page more than just posting the badge!! Methinks every one of your readers would take the couple of minutes needed to vote!! As long as they knew!!!! And how many would have a bigger readership 🙂 !

  23. Hi Charlie, you’ve stolen my heart with that gorgeous clock … it’s beautiful! Make sure you let us know how to vote for your site!

  24. How exciting to prepare for an event like this. That’s a massive cake board and all that fondant – holy cow. It will take you a week to roll all that out.

    I have a smoother thingo but I can’t find it. Maybe I left it at the cake class I took 2 years ago. 🙂

  25. I think Archie’s cake may be about to take ‘big’ to a whole new level! I can’t wait to see it. I also like your new clock – really lovely.

  26. Hahaha… What a cute and a little random post… Love it! I definitely need me one of them big ass clocks too

  27. Too amusing – BIG laugh. Love the clock in particular.

  28. Charlie you always make me laugh and that is a very good thing. You are very busy busy mom with all the 21st preps and cake making. Better you than me but I would be more than happy to help you open up some of those bottles of wine.

  29. All good. Love those boxes of wine. But the best was the sculpture of Ayer’s rock (is that right?) An adorable keeper.

  30. Um, cake time? I so relate…I have so many cake props in my kitchen. And of course, they aren’t nearly as organized as they should be!

  31. Charlie, funny you should mention chocolate… and cake. The first two commentors on my IMK post were clamoring for the recipe for your Hazelnut Chocolate Cake — which I enjoyed for my birthday last month thank you very much, and to which I linked posthaste! (Expect some traffic!) Thought I had all the bases covered before I hit publish… aarrggh. Also, as a formerly ‘tardy’ person, I totally appreciated your giant clock.

  32. Haha that clock is so lovely, I would be late just continuing to look at it 😀

    Choc Chip Uru

  33. Charlie, will this party never come! 🙂 I thought Archie’s birthday was in January! I can’t wait to see that cake – you’re right, even I don’t have a cakeboard that size! 🙂

  34. Looks like all of the right ingredients have been collected for a spectacular cake! Can’t wait to see it! 🙂 Your cake board is huge.

  35. An open bag of chocolate–hard to imagine it any other way! Of course, you don’t want all to disappear. Love that big clock, just perfect for the kitchen wall. 🙂

  36. How exciting.. I can’t wait to see the cake you make with all of that fondant! It’s such an important birthday you’ll be celebrating!! I can’t believe it’s already “In My Kitchen”.. it seems like I just did one yesterday! My kitchen is a disaster.. so I’m not sure I’ll be doing one this time round:D

  37. I loved peeking into your kitchen,…I am excited to see what for a special cake you Will make this time,…..

  38. I can’t wait to see Archie’s cake, Charlie. I wish it were possible to see a step-by-step progression. Not because I could ever duplicate such a large cake, but because I’m fascinated by your ability to do something on this scale. Your kitchen has been hijacked by future festivities. I’d be heavily into the chocolates by now. 🙂

  39. Knowing all the wonderful cakes that you have made, I’m really looking forward to see what you create for Archie’s big day. From the size of the cake board, it should be spectacular. 🙂

  40. Love your clock. I have a big one in my kitchen too but not quite as big or beautiful as yours. Can’t wait to see Archie’s birthday cake.
    Have a super week ahead Charlie.
    🙂 Mandy xo

  41. I have fun every month reading this post!

  42. Ha, ha, I used to treasure all of Tom’s crafts…but by the time Nick brought his “creations” home from school, they were in the trash almost as soon as he left the room. He didn’t mind, either. Bill may need to get me a big clock, too, as he thinks I’m always making him late 😉

  43. Look at all the supplies you’ve gotten for the party. That is going to be one mammoth cake, Charlie. That cake board alone is incredible. However will you transport it? Speaking of big, that clock … two meters? I bet it will look great when it’s hung. This was a fun post. I can’t wait for further progress reports.

  44. You always have so much going on, I’m not surprised you need a big clock just to keep up with all of your activities! You’ve got a lot of good stuff in your kitchen this month — all the baking supplies look most interesting. Thanks for the peek.

  45. Charlie – we really do seem to live parallel lives. We have a 21st coming up in a couple of months that we are just beginning to discuss and plan. I’ll be keen to know how yours goes. I also have a big bag of cooking chocolate in the pantry that is being mysteriously depleted.
    And I’m in the market for a new kitchen clock. Our old one died and I’ve been hunting for something that looks “just right” – yours looks perfect!

  46. Oh wow, even in Europe I never saw such huge bags of cooking chocolate (and Lindt too!) as that. Did you get it from a special supplier? That would be handy as hell to try and find one of those because decent cooking chocolate is one of those things I seem to ALWAYS be going out to buy. I suppose baking suppliers carry them, right? They don’t seem like standard supermarket fare!

    • Hi Charles. I bought it from a kitchen supply shop called ‘The Essential Ingredient’. Yes, it’s hard to find large bags of chocolate and you do have to go to specialty shops – definitely not a supermarket line! This was a 2.5kg bag and I needed 1.2kgs for the ganache I was making. Unfortunately, I had the heat up too high and became distracted so it burnt. I had to throw it all out. I was nearly crying! Then, I used what was left in the bag to make another ganache and this time I watched it like a hawk!

  47. I love your clock!! And can’t wait to see that cake. What a mammoth task! Happy fondant smoothing 🙂

  48. I just love your clock – I have have a big wall in my kitchen that I have been wanting to hang a big clock on for ages!

  49. Love the clock and the chocolates but the Australian landscape is a bit obscure. LOL.

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