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Silver Bear

Silver Bear designs and creates edible artworks for any occasion, specialising in novelty cakes.
Feb 18 '13

RECIPE - Al’s Bacon Straws


Makes +/- 30x straws

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So for my first recipe post, I thought I would do something that is as simple to make as it is delicious. I first tried these delicious little numbers at a friends birthday bash. It is a great snack around the braai and has infinite possibilities to be changed.

Ingredients
1x .package of ready roll pastry
500g streaky bacon
butter, melted (optional)
seeds (optional, I used poppy seeds but you can use anything, really)

Method

1. Preheat oven to 200’C and grease some baking pans (I used three pans)

2. Roll out pastry a little and cut lengthwise +/- 2cm strip.

3. Cut the strip in half so that you have 2x 2x10cm strips.

4. Stretch strip slightly and dip one edge (long side) in the melted butter and then into the poppy seeds.

5.Place a strip of streaky bacon on the pastry strip and twist.

6. Pinch the ends and place on the baking tray.

7. Repeat until all bacon strips are finished.

8. When pan is full, bake for 40min until pastry in golden.

Here are some pics, if anything seemed unclear…

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(Roll out pastry and cut a strip)

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(dip edge in butter, then into the seeds)

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(place bacon onto the pastry)

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(twist and pinch ends)

Feb 1 '13

Humble Beginnings

This is a story of how this cake thing started…

I love camping, have all my life. Coming from a “broken” home… you know, I hate that term! My home was anything but broken. It was over-flowing, to be honest, with fathers and role models from various walks of life and different opinions about how it should be lived, with different ideas of what I should be exposed to and what I should learn from it. I had a lot of exposure to life and different ways of living… so I came from a… family that lives in different houses… and spending time with my dad (biological one) was usually around a campfire. The point after this long-winded brain fart… I love camping and my family.

So when Mike and I started dating I was ecstatic to find out he does too. Our first ever camping trip we went on was a 4x4 trip to the Vale, just outside Beaufort West with one of Mike’s besties! I was all of 20 at the time and with my new romance, (who was only slightly older than me ;0) we had enough camping gear to house a small platoon. We were to meet up with members of the Land Cruiser Club, (we drive a Nissan Patrol) with strict orders to NOT get stuck. Like that would be a problem ;0) We had an absolute blast! With our new found friends, upon our return, we did our utmost to drive back to Cape Town without touching tar.

Shortly after the trip we were invited to Fritz’s 50th, how exciting! BUT we all know how difficult it is to shop for men, right? Even more so when he is well established with all the frills of being happily married with two almost fully grown boys, besides which, we did yet know our new friends well enough to know their tastes. Not to mention the toys, grown up toys… Grown up toys, of course. Cigars? Does he smoke them? Heavy? or Light? Hankies are a definite NO! A T-shirt? Size? Would he wear it? You get the picture…

So after much pondering and brain-picking, Mike suggested we make Fritz his beloved Toyota Land Cruiser 80 series (for the girls hereinafter refered to as: 4x4), out of cake! Brilliant idea! This 4x4 is so loved that it has a name, Willadeur Salladeur* and it comes with embroidered caps as well! Only bestowed upon other 4x4s drivers who are worthy of carrying the name in honor and who assisted in the Salladeur part of the experience.

How do we make a 4x4 cake? Climbing a mountain to a reward of Namibia’s finest and most refreshing, Tafel beers??? I had a vague idea of how to start… And of course Mike insisted that it was 100% edible! No wood supports or boards or anything, not even cheating by using rice crispie treat! (This set of rules remains at the heart of what Silver Bear creates today, 100% edible) I went through some of my ancient recipe books, remembered some of the stunners Ma and I made for Baby Brother and got to work. I bought chocolates to resemble rocks and boulders and smarties for headlights and stickers. At the time, I did not know you could buy fondant in packages, so I made it! Yes, you heard me, I made fondant, from scratch with my bear hands…. It was a nightmare! Ok, it was not THAT bad, but still, I was so inexperienced *sigh*

I baked a Duine Koffie* (Dune Coffee) Chocolate Cake because dune coffee is a very important part to the camping experience. It was almost brownie texture and whilst sculpting the 4x4, it disintegrated! Aaaahhh!!! Package chocolate cake came to the rescue and the car turned out ok. It was a success and it started something in me… to improve, to learn, and sculpt. Since then, I have made a few cars and I improve on each one. You can never stop learning or improving, I love it!


*Willadeur Salladeur loosely translated: I want to get through, I will get through.
*Duine Koffie is coffee without milk or sugar but sweetened with marula fruit creme liqueur.

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Jan 31 '13

About Silver Bear

The Dream…
Silver Bear is my version of Planet Claire, (just slightly different to the B52’s version ;) It is an edible paradise where the clouds are made of candy floss; the rivers run with rich chocolate ganache; and the world is as sweet as the people in it! If you are having flash backs of WIlly Wonka’s Chocolate Factory, you are not alone, so am I…


The Reality…
Silver Bear designs and creates edible artworks for any occasion, specialising in novelty cakes. Whether you are looking for a modern elegant wedding cake or a funky sculpted masterpiece for your birthday, you have come to the right place. But we don’t stop at cakes, we can create a host of goodies to satisfy your insatiable sweet-tooth.

Each cake is custom designed to your individual requirements. You can choose from a variety of flavors on our Menu that are classically simple yet rich, or you could suggest something you are keen to try. We pride ourselves in the fact that our cakes do not only look good but more importantly taste amazeballs! ;0) Our main ingredients in all our cakes are passion, fun and lots of love!

Please contact me to arrange a tasting and design session…


Who am I?
My name is Claire Gritten. I am a passionate foodie and lover of cakes!!! My love of cooking and baking (and food at large) started at home, in my mamma’s kitchen… She makes the best fudge (EVER)… and we have established that it is thanks to her “Boere Tannie” arms, which I seem to have inherited.

Growing up, I was always planning parties and get-togethers, concentrating solely on the food of course! When my BABY brother was born (not so baby anymore *sniff), nothing made me happier than helping mamma make some hysterically outrageous and typically boyish cakes with all the jelly-tots, smarties and lengths of  liquorice! I even got involved in planning the decor of my sister’s wedding in Cape Town whilst living in Pretoria (while being in Matric, I might add!) I loved every minute of it!

For many years I skirted around the food industry, fearing that if I spend too much time in the kitchen I might lose all my shoes and soon find mini-me’s running riot. I opted to pursue a photographic career after a lifetime living in the dark, I mean, dark-room! I loved it but a calling can not be ignored… I was increasingly interested in food photography, then more so food styling and now here I am!

The final drive to pursue the food industry was whilst working on the book Cellarmasters in the Kitchen for the CWG’s (Cape Winemakers Guild) 30th Anniversary. It was an unbelievebale opportunity and definitely an educational experience working with Struik Lifestyle, well-known wine writer, Wendy Torien and food and wine photographer, Mike Carelse (my now husband.)
My portfolio can be viewed at www.gritten.co.za

I have since furthered my culinary experience by studying patisserie at the Capsicum Culinary Studio, Cape Town where I trained under the ever-humble and incredibly talented Daniella Petö. I met some fantastic people and definitely opened my mind to new possibilities.


Where does the name come from?
It’s a simple story really…
My husband and I both love cooking, together and separately. To be honest, he is the one that cooks in our household. He experiments with bread and anything you can eat with bread, (he loves bread!) such as pickles and mustard to mayonnaise and a deliciously nutty humus. (I will post some of his recipes on the blog soon…)

But back to the point…
Mike’s nickname (for obvious reasons) is Silver Fox, after being singled out at the local comedy clubs, the name just stuck. And my childhood nickname (thanks to dear Aunt Sylvia) is Claire Bear the Care Bear.

Put them together and our food baby is born, Silver Bear!