Sunday, 11 September 2016
Monday, 22 August 2016
Made for a little guys 2nd birthday! I was sent a photo of this pretty sweet design from the customer so I can't take credit for that. For this I baked two vanilla sponges but I'd have liked it to have had a little more height so I'm going to experiment with more layers in the future. Unfortunately with this one I had a huge air bubble around the back of the cake :( They're pretty unavoidable but I thought they only really occurred whilst you're rolling out the icing. To fix them you just need to poke a pin through the fondant and gently ease out the air with your fingers, but unfortunately you need to watch out for them once the icing is on the cake too or else they'll turn into tumors! That's what happened to mine, although I tried to disguise it with flames as best as I could. I'll know for next time! The cupcakes were a mix of chocolate sponge with vanilla buttercream icing and vanilla sponge with chocolate icing.
Very happy to say that I managed to get the fondant completely smooth and without any ruffles for this one! Finally! The birthday girl wanted something quite classic and spiritual so I didn't want to bombard it with too much colour or distracting decoration. I love making roses like this with coloured fondant, although I'm just starting to experiment with more delicate structures and flower modelling paste so I wish I could have added a bit more variation. Will just have to make her another cake next year!
Friday, 15 July 2016
As soon as my friend casually mentioned that it was her birthday coming up, she was still yet to receive anything baked from me, and her favourite princess was Belle, I was all over baking this Beauty (see what I did there). Very happy that I was indulging in my obsession with all things Disney it didn't take me long to stock up on a whole lot of yellow fondant. I had to accept that from the waist up she was going to have to be made with ready made icing, but luckily I managed to create a skirt huge enough to fit a hefty amount of cake underneath! I used a hemisphere cake tin to create the dome of her dress, stacked on top of two vanilla sponges to give her some height. This created a really smooth base that I didn't have to alter much once it was all assembled with buttercream in between. I then covered her with a generous layer of yellow buttercream and began rolling out quite a thin sheet of yellow fondant. To minimize a lot of bulkly overlapping I cut moon shapes as opposed to circles with varying sized cookie cutters and then positioned the bottom curve just over the concave of the one below it so it fit snugly. It kind of achieves the style of her dress?! Though I think it could be done better...I'm just not sure how! To add a bit of variance I added a touch of orange food colouring and cocoa powder to a section of fondant, creating a slightly darker shade for a lower tier of her skirt. In all honesty the little pink roses were to cover up slight gaps where the buttercream had shown through! But I think they look really pretty anyway :) I also painted a little gold lustre dust onto the broach in the middle of the dress' neckline and her necklace, and finished her off with a sprinkle of pearl edible glitter, because she's a princess...duh. I'm really proud of the way the top of the figure turned out, though to be fair the design of the dress - the drapey off-the-shoulder material bits - were perfect for covering up any messy seams between her arms and shoulders etc. Here's hoping that there are other princesses that wear this style of dress. I liked the design of this one because aside from the top of the figure, I didn't have to use too much fondant on the actual cake. When covering a cake with a continuous sheet I find it difficult to go lower than a 5mm thickness without it tearing, which is a shame because a lot of people aren't keen on the taste of too much fondant. So being able to cover her with much thinner individual sections hopefully meant that she tasted extra yummy :)
Thursday, 23 June 2016
This one was a request for a little guy's birthday so I can't take credit for the design as I think it was found on google somewhere! To be honest I wasn't sure whether structurally it was going to work until I placed the giant sphere that is Mike Wagowski on top of the Sully cake and it didn't collapse. I know it looks like a giant ball of icing but I promise there's cake in there! For the Mike cake I baked two vanilla sponges in a half sphere tin and sandwiched them together with buttercream icing to make a sphere. I then covered it in more buttercream before laying over the ready made icing as best as I could. This took a couple of tries! I really think covering cakes smoothly with any kind of fondant, (especially round cakes!) is one of the trickiest parts of cake decorating. I am in total awe of those who can do it flawlessly! Anyway, the very bottom was a little messy but that's fine as that part is always going to be hidden. All of his extra decoration, including his arms and legs, are simply ready made icing that I was able to fix in place quite easily with a little royal icing. I find this is the best kind of icing to use if you want to adhere anything heavy to a fairly dry surface as it hardens with air over time and so holds everything in place well. The Sully cake is two stacked Madeira sponges. I wasn't sure if the 'fluffy coat' layer was going to be thick enough to complement the sponge well so I gave him an initial smooth coat of blue buttercream icing before going in with the piping bag. For this I use a simple round tip nozzle and piped squiggly lines until he was fully covered, leaving blank circular areas to fill in with the purple later. I think the effect would have been more impressive if I'd used a much smaller tip so I would recommend that if you have the extra time to spare. It is a little time consuming but not really difficult as you don't have to be too neat, he is a monster after all!
Monday, 20 June 2016
How adorable are these cases! They're silicone so you can re-use them. I ordered them here http://www.lakeland.co.uk/16187/6-Slicone-Flowerpot-Cake-&-Muffin-Moulds My favourite thing about these cakes is the edible 'soil' created by bashing up the outer shells of oreo cookies! It's virtually indistinguishable from actual soil and really rewarding to make as what else are you supposed to do with the oreo filling other than eat it!? I formed a sort of mound of chocolate buttercream with a palette knife and then rolled it in the bowl of cookie crumbs until it was fully coated. Make sure you do this as soon as you've iced them so that the icing is still adhesive. You may have to use your fingers to lightly press a little more on to any patchy areas. All of the extra decoration was made using ready made icing. I used a cocktail stick to elevate the little bumblebee and also made some gardening-esque signs to label the different vegetables and inserted these into the cakes with cocktail sticks too. This is a nice way to work in a 'Happy Mother's Day' or any other message you like if you don't want to interfere with the actual cakes. The watering can tragically lost its spout pre-photo shoot so unfortunately that one ruins the overall effect, sorry! x
These were made as a gift for my Auntie and Uncle's Ruby Wedding Anniversary so I had fun searching various cake-y websites for some fancy decoration pieces. I used a red food colouring paste for the buttercream, as gels and liquids don't produce anywhere near as vibrant a colour. For a lot of the toppers I used a crimped cookie cutter pressed into ready made icing and then went in with a toothpick to create a sort of make-shift impressed design. On the white ones I painted a light coat of silver lustre dust over the top. Most of the glitter fell into the grooves so the rest of the toppers just had a slight pearly shade which was lovely. Lustre dust comes as a powder and needs a drop of any clear spirit (don't worry you can't taste the alcohol!) added to it to make a liquid that you can then embellish your icing with. I also used this to paint over the little J & B's that were very fiddly to make! I really need to experiment with a stronger icing than ready made for molding smaller objects. I ordered these adorable edible rubies from a website called craftcompany.co.uk. Yes they make such a thing as edible rubies! They advise you use tweezers to position them so you don't leave finger prints on them. It was a little tricky to ply them out of the packaging without damaging them but definitely worth it :) The tons of little red roses were made from ready made icing as usual. The technique is actually really easy and quick once you get the hang of it. Although I cheated a little bit with the love hearts and used a cutter. I think that's about it! The pretty edgings were from the same website that I've mentioned and simply wrap around your normal cupcake case to make them look all fancy.
Saturday, 18 June 2016
OH LORD. This cake was a bit of a project to say the least. There were a lot of components involved but the end result made it so worth it! The cake consisted of three stacked Madeira sponges so it ended up being huge as you can see! I thought this would be the safest recipe to use as the higher quantity of flour results in a dense texture that holds all of the decoration well! My housemate had the task of making the 'blue meth' that makes the whole cake I think! For this she used a simple glass candy recipe, combining sugar, water, syrup and blue food colouring, and left it to set in a baking tray so that it formed a slab. Then she smashed it to pieces just like they do on the show! We bought these suspicious looking bags to display it in as well as sprinkling some on the top of the cake. All of the extra decoration was made using ready made icing. I'm really happy with the way Walt and Jessie turned out as I haven't made many human characters from icing before, so that's given me confidence to experiment further! For the rocks and the blue substance in the cylinders I used two different shades of icing and kneeded them together so that they were just under combined. This gave them a marbled effect that makes them look the part I think :) I used a black edible food pen (my secret weapon) to draw tiny dollar signs on to the totally accurate (ahem) notes flying about the scene, and for the sand around the bottom I just used granulated brown sugar. Oh and finally I roped in my housemate again to pipe the 'Happy Birthday' sign on top with pre-bought writing icing as I'm rubbish with trying to write neatly with this! As I say this was a marathon of a baking process. I think we were awake until 6am the night before the guys birthday. As this is still my favourite cake though it was very worth it :)
This was a joint effort with my housemate for a friends birthday! I used a standard cake tin for the base and a half sphere tin for the top of the bun. Both were a simple vanilla sponge, iced with buttercream icing and covered with coloured ready made icing. The beef patty was actually an incredible cake sized brownie made by my housemate. The lettuce, tomato and cheese that you can see poking out were also made from ready made icing and were super simple to do despite looking the part. Then again McDonalds cheese looks so plastic-y I suppose it's easy to replicate! My housemate made the 'chips' from simple ready made icing. These looked so realistic! So much so that we couldn't tell the icing chips from the real chips that littered the table in the morning thanks to someone's drunken trip to McDonald's after the night out. It made for a fun game though! We also had the genius idea of swapping the BBQ sauce for chocolate sauce at the last minute. When we told the birthday girl to try the sauce with the icing chips she looked at us like we were crazy before being pleasantly surprised. In the future I would love to try and make my own chocolate sauce and strawberry sauce in place of the ketchup. It's a nice little extra touch that really adds to the re-creation :) Finally, we added a shot of mango sourz to the cup in place of the Fanta. This cake also gives you a great excuse to take a trip to Maccies before hand and gather empty packaging to present your creation. Entirely for the equipment purposes of course.