C A K E.
I love you like a fat kid loves cake.
Let them eat cake.
Let’s face it, a nice creamy chocolate cake does a lot for a lot of people; it does for me.
You are the icing on my cake…
These are my all time favourite CAKE quotes, because seriously, who doesn’t love cake?!?
Last night, I attended Yelp’s Elite Event, titled ‘The Icing On The Cake’ held at Cake & Co on Ponsonby Road. Owner, Jackie King, showed us how to decorate cupcakes with frosting, edible flowers and sprinkles and Catherine of Balanced Energy showed us how to make tea using tea leaves. I was super excited as:
- I love making and eating cakes;
- I love tea, but have never made it properly myself; and
- I have always wanted to learn how to decorate cupcakes and brew the perfect cup of tea!
Cake & Co operate out of a super cute and well decorated cafe/shop on Ponsonby Road, where they make a variety of cakes and sweet treats, and cater to dietary needs (gluten free, refined sugar free, dairy free and egg free). You can buy their cakes at their cafe, plus a range of packaged goodies or you can pre-order one of their cakes and they can deliver in the Auckland area.
We learnt some of Jackie’s great tips for cupcake decorating:
– you can buy plastic piping bags from Gilmours (just chop one of the corner ends and put the nozzle through)
– make sure you have a firm grip around the bag when piping
– to get a beautiful effect with icing, use a soft gel paste (i.e. red) to paint the sides of the piping bag, then add the frosting inside. Shake the frosting all the way down to the nozzle. When you pipe it, it has a wavy effect of pink and white frosting – so lovely! (see below)
Then it was our turn! It was super fun and hands on, which I loved. We were able to decorate our cup cakes with edible flowers (very pretty) and colourful sprinkles. And of course, take many photos!!!
Catherine from Balanced Energy also showed us how to brew the perfect cup of tea, along with a tea tasting. Catherine told us a little bit about her background, in that she is a chef by trade, but has always had an interest in herbal medicines. She has now been a health practitioner for 20 years and runs a healing and natural health practice on Waiheke Island. She also has a stall at the La Cigale French Market on Saturdays and Sundays in Auckland, where you can purchase her certified organic teas and skincare products.
Below is Catherine’s recipe for the perfect cup of tea:
1. place one heaped teaspoon of white tea leaves (or any other kind) into a pot
2. pour cold water onto the tea, which means to “wake up the tea leaves” and leave for 9 minutes
3. after the time is up, strain off the cold water (which has softened the leaves). Catherine said this is when “the leaves are ready to release their goodies!”
4. then pour hot water into the pot (about halfway, for one cup)
5. don’t leave it to sit as it is a waste and it tastes bitter (only leave it to sit for around 30 seconds)
6. pour the tea through the strainer into teacups, and enjoy!
* you can also use the same tea leaves up to 8 times!
We then had a tea tasting with Catherine’s lovely range of teas. On arrival, she made us a cocktail using her ‘Rosehip & Hibiscus’ tisane, along with vodka, lime and edible flowers for decoration. It was a delicious drink and very pretty! We tried a few of her teas, namely the ‘Balm & Roses Tisane’ which was sweet and fragrant. A great tip we received from Catherine is that you can brew a strong pot of this tea and then pour it into the bath! You can also put it on your skin. The next tea we tried was ‘Be Calm Tisane’ consisting of lavender, chamomile and spearmint, which is good for stress and calming the mind. It also helps with digestion. Last but not least, we sampled the ‘Rosehip & Hibiscus Tisane’ which we previously had in our cocktails, but were able to try it on its own. It was my favourite of them all – sweet and perfect for iced teas come summertime!
Cake & Co’s space looked lovely, thanks to Rosie of Rose Tinted Flowers who styled the flowers for the event. The flower wall in particular was beautiful (as below) and we were each photographed in front of it! Rosie is based in Grey Lynn and sells her flowers online. Check out her website here.
A big thank you to Yelp Auckland for another fabulous event, full of fun and learning new things. Happy caking!!!
If you are interested in learning more about Yelp and meeting some fellow Yelpers, we have a newbie event on next Tuesday 13 August (where we are all meeting up and then going to Late Night Art/Late Night Dining in the CBD). Let me know below if you would like to come! x
Cake & Co
2/175 Ponsonby Road, Ponsonby
Cafe is open Tues to Sat, 9am to 4pm, Sundays, 11am to 4pm, Closed Mondays
Recommended: any of their cakes and a herbal tea from Naturally Balanced. You can also purchase homemade granola, meringues and other sweet treats, all nicely packaged