Tuesday, May 15, 2012

The penguin

I’m not a talented baker.  I’m not even really a very good baker.  I am however, an obsessive baker.  Once I start, I just can’t stop.  I have to get things right even if it means that I have to make the same chocolate cake over and over again until I get it to a texture and taste that I want.  However this isn’t about chocolate cakes (that will come later).  This is about Peso the penguin.

Peso peso peso.  Why did I make Peso?  Well my 4 year old was sharing a birthday party with one of her little friends.  As I was making a load of Hello Kitty cupcakes for my 4 year old (her favourite character) I felt it was only fair that I made cupcakes for the other little girl as well.  And she chose Peso!
Briefly, this is how I made them. (Ps. excuse the dodgy photos.  I was working late at night under dim kitchen lights).
First things first.  
Sugarpaste.  To buy or not to buy?  I didn’t buy.  I made.  Extra work, but bought ready-made  sugar paste, in my opinion, has a weird smell and aftertaste.  So I had to make my own.  From scratch.
After a long hard search through the internet, I found this recipe.  It’s a bit of work but so worth it!  I ended up with a nice big lump of off-white sugarpaste – roughly 2 kgs of it!  That’s a lot of sugar.
Next thing. 
Black sugarpaste
I tried to colour the off-white sugarpaste black but ended up with a big grey mess and sticky grey hands.  So I made chocolate sugarpaste – also from the same recipe.  I then mixed half of the chocolate sugarpaste with black ready-made sugarpaste that I bought.  This ended up a nice dark nearly black colour with a decent flavour.

Then the easy bit, I rolled the black sugarpaste, cut round circles using a cookie cutter and stretched the circles slightly so they became ovals.

Here’s the hard part.  I then found a Peso face on the internet, printed it and then traced it onto greaseproof paper and cut it out.  I manually cut out 16 (yes, sixteen!) faces…and 32 eyes…and 16 noses…and 16 hats…and rolled 32 eyeballs.
Once all of this was done, I put it all together with some sugar water. 

And voila, there you have it.  16 freaky little Peso faces staring at you.  Just pop them on a few cupcakes and you're ready for a party.


  1. After reading that, you are officially my hero and deserve a mother of the year award!

    Thanks for the detailed step by step!

    I would have either brought something from the store, or prepared them for life's disappointments and not given them anything ;-)

    1. Not mother of the year. Obsessive party cake maker of the year! Once I got started, I just couldn't stop!

  2. I can't believe you made your own fondant! And I totally agree about how weird the store-bought version tastes. I'll have to try that recipe if I ever make my own. You did such a fabulous job though! Sooo cute!

    I made Hello Kitty cake pops for my niece's birthday last year and it was sooo much work. The cake balls kept falling off the sticks. And then the white chocolate layer was a pain to dip since the cake balls wanted to melt when warm chocolate hit it. I slept less than 2 hours that night.

    1. It wasn't as hard as I thought to make the actual fondant. The recipe is great. I substituted the corn syrup with golden syrup as we don't get corn syrup here easily.

      hehe - cake balls are hard! I've tried them too and lost lots of hours of my life. Hello Kitty cake pops! How did you make the ears?

    2. I used Bakerella's instructions and used two white chocolate chips. They worked really well. That was the easy part.

      I thought of them again this year when I used two almonds as ears to make a mini Totoro to go with the big Totoro for my niece's birthday.

    3. ooo - I've seen Bakerella's Hello Kitty cake pops - they're so cute! Good idea using the almonds as ears. I just checked out your Totoro cake on Facebook - it's amazing!

  3. Well, your hard work sure paid off, your Peso looks really cute!

    1. Not so much 'hard work' as 'blood sweat and tears'! Thanks!

  4. This looks amazing! I for one never touched a fondant before. I was tempted to try the marshmallow fondant which is super easy, but am still too afraid of the amount of sugar consumable. This looks amazing, again, my friend!

    1. Marshmallow fondant is super yummy. My biggest problem is I eat so much of it when I make it. Thx!


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