Let them eat icing: Queen’s Royal Icing

Product: Queen’s Royal Icing
Manufacturer: Queen Fine Foods
Ingredients: Sugar, Tapioca Starch, Egg White powder, Food Acid (300)
Shelf life: Two years
Packaging: Queen Fine Foods
Product Manager: Jessica Colacino
Website: www.queen.com.au

What the company says

Queen Fine Foods have put the icing on the Queen’s cake with the latest edition to their diverse range of baking products introducing, Queen’s Royal Icing.

Friends, family, Lords and Ladies will be impressed with the ease, versatility, and taste of Queen Royal Icing, the first of its kind on Australian shelves with a ‘just add water’ preparation.

Perfect for decorating cakes, biscuits and cupcakes, Queen Royal Icing dries to a smooth, firm and elegant finish.

Its professional results and versatility in the kitchen has seen Queen Royal Icing quickly become a favourite for pastry chefs and home-bakers alike.

Queen Royal Icing’s no fuss preparation means you can be ready for cake decorating and piping within minutes.

Queen Royal Icing can also be used to create intricate and lavish cakes and creations such as tiered cakes and gingerbread houses, as the icing works as an edible adhesive with the final product ready for a royal audience.

Thanks to the ease of Queen Royal Icing bakers of every level will be royally pleased as they have more time to relax and enjoy the most regal of treats, just as the Queen intended.

Treat guest like they’re part of the Royal family with these delicious baked delights:

The Queen’s Birthday Butter Cake – A delectable guilty pleasure worthy of a crown. Queen Royal Icing is at its best drizzled atop a Queen’s cake.
Sir Strawberry Kisses – Queen’s Royal Icing acts as an edible adhesive, hugging the divide strawberry flavours to a crisp bisuit.
Royal Chocolate Eclairs – A royal indulgence fit for a Queen. A bite sized explosion of chocolate with a delicate French pastry.

Queen Royal Icing is now available from supermarkets and independents nationwide, RRP $3.99

How to stop food cravings

What an excruciating week for food cravings: lemon tart, chocolate, vegemite and Red Rock chips (the Honey Soy Chicken kind) – my tastebuds have been busy this week!

…I seem to cave each time a craving comes along and I’m beginning to wonder whether it’s my poor self control that is to blame…

Why is it that we crave certain foods? And are there other ways we can satisfy our cravings without actually eating? I turned to science to find some answers…

What are food cravings?

When we crave a particular food – the feeling is hard to knock. Food cravings are different from making regular food choices and simply feeling hungry because the desire for food is more intense and very specific for cravings.

Why do we crave certain foods?

There are different reasons why we crave certain foods. Food cravings are sometimes a way of our bodies saying we’re hungry or we need certain nutrients – such as sugar or carbohydrates. Cravings can also be associated with eating disorders, guilt, depression or stress. Women are particular prone to craving certain foods (especially during that cranky time of the month and during pregnancy).

Scientific research has shown that our minds and bodies can learn to crave specific foods. For example, a study carried out by University College London found that our craving for chocolate is strengthened when we repeatedly eat chocolate when we’re hungry but not when we repeatedly eat it when full (Appetite, Vol. 32, Issue 2, April 1999, pp. 219-240).

A study by Marika Tiggemann and Eva Kemps at the School of Psychology at Flinders University showed visual imagery also triggers food cravings. Tiggemann and Kemps found that the intensity of a craving for a particular food correlated with the vividness of an image of that food (Appetite, Vol. 45, Issue 3, Dec 2005, pp. 305-313).

Food cravings can also be culture-specific. For example, Egyptians crave vegetables but Western societies are suckers for chocolate. No surprise there!

It’s no addiction

Food cravings and drug addictions are not the same, but the feelings and behaviours associated with both are very similar.

Marcia Pelchat at Monell Chemical Senses Center in Philadelphia, US, found the action of many of the neurotransmitter systems in our bodies are the same in both food cravings and in cravings for drugs of abuse.

For example, levels of brain serotonin, a chemical associated with sleep, memory and relaxation, increases when we drink alcohol. Illicit drugs such as amphetamines and cocaine also trigger higher levels of brain serotonin. In terms of food, there have been studies to show that eating carbohydrates also raises brain serotonin levels (Physiology & Behaviour, Vol. 76, Issue 3, July 2002, pp.  347-352). This might explain the ‘heavy’ feeling and afternoon slump after we get after eating a high-carbohydrate lunch!

One major body of evidence for a relationship between food and the release of endorphins associated with taking certain drugs such as is the analgesic (pain-relieving) effects we get when we eat sweets. Infants who are given sugary water to drink cry less than those infants who are given plain water (Pediatrics, Vol. 87, Issue 2, 1991, pp. 215-218).

How can we manage food cravings?

The most obvious answer is to satisfy the craving – go and eat it! According to Tiggemann and Kemps, food cravings can also be induced by thought, smell or pictures. I might just go and spend a moment staring at a lemon tart. 


Image: womenhealthzone.com

Eat Australian Beef 17th June 2011

The confronting ABC Four Corners footage of Australian cattle being grossly abused and slaughtered in Indonesia abattoirs has caused a flurry among the general public and animal activist groups. As a result, the Federal Government announced a ban on all live cattle exports to Indonesia until safeguards were put in place by all Indonesian abattoirs.

The move, unfortunately, didn’t go down too well with everyone: farmers within the cattle industry lost their jobs and meat suppliers and retail owners watched their meat sales slump

In a rather bold move, Sydneysider Julian Kennedy launched a Facebook page / event inviting his mates and their mates (and their mates) to support Australian farmers by eating Aussie beef tomorrow night.

On his ‘Eat Australian Beef 17th June 2011’ page, Kennedy writes:

“As a double whammy to cattle farmers, the ABC reported on the 6th of June a dramatic fall in beef sales all around Australia. This puts further pressure on farmers, who we all know are doing it tough after years of drought, floods, cyclones and financial crisis. Our livelihoods depend greatly on our Australian farmers, so lets do our best to get behind those who need us most right now!”

As I write this, 2549 people have declined Kennedy’s invitation, but a whopping 9101 others (and this number seems to be increasing rapidly with every sentence I write) have said yes (including me) to eating a plate of Australian beef tomorrow night.

I want to know – has Four Corners’ footage deterred you from eating Australian beef?


Image: chilcottsbutchery.com.au

Gravity activated pouring systems, whatever next? [VIDEO]

"When you tip it, beer goes straight into your mouth, when you tip it back, the beer stops flowing…"


And then there is the cold detection system…



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