Friday, May 6, 2011

Have your cake, and eat it too.

What a week eh?  Tornados in the North Shore.  Osasma bin Laden captured, shot and thrown to sea.  It's been a little less dramatic in my kitchen this week.  Although after a full on cooking session you could be forgiven for assuming the place had been victim to a tornado or a terrorist attack!  Sorry Kelly!

Saturday morning sees me out and about catching up with Vicki Davison, a fellow contestant on Masterchef.  Vicki was one of the top 25 contestants who was culled in the battle of the BBQ during episode 2 of the series.

We are meeting for breakfast at Hardware Cafe in Titirangi.  A place which gets very good reviews for it's coffee. In fact judging by the queue half of West Auckland is coming here for it's early morning caffiene fix.  The coffee is good.  I quickly devour one Mochacino and request another.  Risky for 9am on a Saturday.  Better go easy on the car ride h h h home.

Vicki is of course keen to hear the inside word on life in the Masterchef house.  Being in the end stages of the show it is now quite easy to talk about our experience as you don't find yourself constantly having to second guess your words as you worry if you are giving hints towards the outcome of each episode.

Since her participation in the show Vicki has been a busy lady.  A mother of two young daughters life is already busy enough, but not content with that she has managed to start up her own Cake making business as well.

Aptly named Victory cakes it seems that her participation in the Masterchef series was just the impetus required to give Vicki the confidence to start up a business out of an activity which before the show was merely a hobby.

During downtime on the show Vicki had shown a few of the contestants and the staff some of the cakes she had created for her children's birthday parties.  These weren't any ordinary creations though.  Fantastically creative and wonderfully decorated they were as good as anything you'd see for sale.  After so many positive comments from those in the know it seemed sensible to make something of it.

If you are needing a cake for any type of celebration and are looking for something a bit more special than a Pak'N'Save chocolate cake then you can get in touch with Vicki here.  Below are a couple of examples of her work:

A Royal cake for the recent nuptials
Teddy Bear Cake!

A classic look for a Wedding Cake

I, alas, have never been much of a baker.  The idea of a man spending half his time in the kitchen is effeminate enough.  Baking pretty cakes with fancy icing just seemed a step too far.  However in the name of charity it seems I am obliged to don a pinny and get covered in some flour.  My wife's local playgroup are having a baking competition to raise money for the Japan Earthquake and I have been charged with providing some Masterchef quality baking.  No pressure.  I'll let you know how I get on.  Perhaps I might have to call on Vicki to rescue me!

I've got a couple of really nice recipes coming up in the next week for you.  In honor of Mother's across the country I'm going to divulge my recipe for Lasagna.  The first dish my Mum ever taught me, and the dish that I have tweaked the most in my 22 years of cooking.

I'm also going to attempt the wonderful Spanish version of French Toast, Torrijas, which I haven't been able to stop thinking about since trying at Serafin Tapas Bar the other week.

Have a good weekend all, and be kind to your Mum's tomorrow.  They deserve it.


  1. Hey,blokes bake too! I almost always have cookies or cake for the boys...

    Shout if you want my secret chocolate fusge cookie recipe ;)

  2. Wow, Vicki those cakes are amazing! Didn't know you did wedding cakes too! they look fantastic, as good as any you would buy from a specialist