Sunday, 4 September 2011

Really Chocolatey Birthday Cake

Our house smelled AMAZING while this cake was sitting on the worktop. The icing is chocolate, as are the roses, fans and other decorations. The only bits that I didn't make from chocolate were the hearts.

I designed this for my sister-in-law's 30th birthday instead of a gift. I'm never quite sure what to buy for people, hopefully this was a good substitute. The top tier was Baileys chocolate, the bottom was just chocolate mud cake with white chocolate frosting.

I loved making this cake - it was finished earlier than usual too which means I'm working faster. Typically though it's been really warm here for the past few days and all the chocolate + heat Do. Not. Mix. I was cutting out petals, putting them in the fridge. Thinning petals, putting them in the fridge. Rolling the centres, putting them in the fridge. You get the picture - there was a lot of waiting for things to chill! Next time I do a chocolate cake it will (hopefully) be in December.

I should be back next week with something else. Apologies for the sporadic posting - I only post when I have something pretty to talk about.

Sunday, 14 August 2011

Vintage style wedding cake

So, after I spent HOURS meticulously painting the piped detail on this cake with gold lustre my husband says 'it's a bit gold, did you say gold to the customer?' and I was all, 'yeah, definately'. Then I started thinking, maybe I didn't say gold, oh crap what if I didn't say gold... After checking through my orders and many emails I realised I had totally invented this gold piping and I'd just said I'd lustre it, no mention of gold whatsoever. Great. It was midnight and the cake was being collected the next day. I spent until 4.30am going over the gold with white satin dust to tone it down, and although it's still looking very gold in the photos it was much more mellow than that in real life! Anyway, crisis averted and the customer was happy - the cake looked gorgeous.
The piped detail is to match the embroidery of the brides dress and the roses are sugar.
If anyone is interested I'm considering doing a photo tutorial of how I make my roses. I've got no cakes on the horizon (we're working on the kitchen) so have plenty of time.

Monday, 25 July 2011


I made these little cuppies for my daughter's cheerleading club open day. They're designed to look like ice creams - they're lovely and summery and look fab when stacked on a cupcake stand.
I made these too but don't love them anywhere near as much as the cute ones above!
And my beautiful girl came third in the cheer contest, I am such a proud Mum!

Monday, 27 June 2011

Fantasy flowers birthday cake

Did you see the Glastonbury coverage this weekend? Or even better were you there? (If you went I am eternally jealous!) Wasn't Beyonce amazing? I love, love, loved her Destiny's Child medley. If you haven't seen it go find it online and watch, she is so fabulous. What was Tricky doing up there though? That was all a bit bizarre, if anyone can enlighten me then please do!
It's my youngest girl's 4th Birthday today so I've spent the day making a 'mum cake'. It's so lovely to not have to worry about fondant and colourings. She just asked for a chocolate cake with a sweetie face & that's what she's got - it took me about 20 minutes, absolutely wonderful!!
I'm not going to be showing you that one though, I don't think it's pretty enough to be blog-worthy! Have this one instead.

It's only a quick, little one but I do love the fantasy flower cutters, they're from Patchwork & I've used them loads but this is the first time I've used them as the main feature of a cake & I'm so happy with them.

Ignore the dodgy piping on the bottom pic, I did say it was a quick cake!

I hope you had a fun weekend :)

Saturday, 25 June 2011

Suitcase cake with purple accents

When I was asked to make this cake I was a bit uncertain, I'm not really into novelty wedding cakes but the bride & groom are both travel agents and he proposed while they were watching giraffes so this was meaningful to them and I like a challenge - it's my first suitcase cake.
The little giraffe toppers are hand made and I'm so happy with them
Too cute!
Note the long eyelashes on the lady giraffe, I love her. By the time I had finished I totally wanted to keep her & give her a name!

Tuesday, 7 June 2011

How to make confetti cones

Two of my oldest and closest friends are getting married this weekend, we've all known each other since primary school and they got together five years ago. I am so excited about this wedding, almost as much as I was about my own! Me and my girls are bridesmaids and my husband will be best man, so the whole family is a part of the wedding party - how amazing is that?!

I asked if I could do something to help & so I'm in charge of confetti. I thought as I'm too busy this week to fit in any baking related blog posts I'd do a quick tutorial on these. It's a lovely way to personalise your day & the confetti shot is always my favourite!

So I bought some Emma Bridgewater gift wrap as it's so pretty & also it's matt so doesn't look like gift wrap so much. I'm also using real petals as confetti - they smell amazing.
Each sheet is cut into eight, once lengthways down the centre and then each half into quarters.
Roll into a cone, I found I got a sharper point by laying it on the table. Use double sided tape at the bottom where I am holding that corner.
Fill with petals and fold over the top to keep them secure.

Ta-dah! - I can not wait to throw some on Saturday!

Sunday, 5 June 2011

Golden Rose Cake

So, it's been a while... We've had chickenpox and been away for a large amount of the past couple of months, but the spots are gone & I'm back to the cakes.

This one was for a coeliac lady so it was all gluten free, lemon on the top and vanilla for the bottom tier.
She requested golden yellow roses - actually I think it was golden showers roses but googling that made all sorts of horrible things come up!

I hope the colour was OK for her, it's so difficult to get an exact replica in icing & there's a lot of shades of yellow!

I baked this cake the other day
With my girls, it was delicious - so dense and moist, I followed this recipe You should totally try it - it was really fab. I won't bother with the recipe for the frosting, even my six year old wouldn't eat much of it, it was so sweet! Stick to a ganache instead.

What's your favourite cake recipe? I'm always looking for new ones to try!

Monday, 4 April 2011

Afternoon tea for Mothering Sunday

We decided against doing the usual flowers and chocolates this year & instead decided to make our Mums afternoon tea. We are lucky in the respect that they both live in the next village to us and are friends so it's lovely and easy to do things together sometimes.
The menu was
Sandwiches: Cucumber & mint; coronation chicken; salt beef, horseradish mayo & rocket
Sultana scones with clotted cream & strawberry jam
Carrot cake & cream cheese frosting
Luxury fruit cake
Chocolate eclairs

Wow, when it's written it looks so bad for you! In my defense I didn't have some of everything!

I will take a better scone photo tomorrow, last time I made them they were awful but this time they turned out beautifully, the trick is to not roll them out too thinly.
Updated photo of scone:

Sultana scone recipe
500g plain flour 
4tsp baking powder 
75g caster sugar 
85g soft, room temp butter 
2 eggs, lightly beaten + extra for glazing
Carton of buttermilk (usually 184ml) 
1 large handful sultanas 
cup of tea   

1. Soak the sultanas in the slightly cooled cup of black tea for a couple of hours or so, when you come to start making your scones drain the sultanas and place on some kitchen towel.

2. Preheat the oven to 210°C/gas 7.

3. Sift the flour, baking powder and sugar together in a bowl twice.

4. Rub in the butter until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs.

5. Make a well in the centre and mix in the eggs and enough buttermilk to give a soft, fairly wet dough.

6. Mix in the (patted dry) sultanas.

7. Turn the mixture onto a floured surface. Roll out lightly to a thickness of about 2.5cm. Cut into circles with a 5cm cutter.

8. Place the rounds on a baking sheet lined with parchment. Lightly brush with beaten egg, making sure the egg wash doesn't spill over the edges.

9. Bake for about 10-15 minutes until brown and well risen.

10. Cool on a wire rack. 

Last weekend we spent the day at a local airfield, it's a fun thing to do, sit & chat & watch the planes.
 Oh and my husband did this while I stayed safely down on the ground.
I couldn't do it, I could barely watch him until I saw the parachute open, then it looked quite enjoyable, I'll take the gently floating down to earth minus the plummeting towards the ground please!
This is my daughter, it's lovely when you just catch children looking natural, it's rare in our family as whenever you pull the camera out they fake smile at you & look a bit forced. Love the classic style of this shot though.
 I hope all my UK readers had an enjoyable Mothering Sunday?

Friday, 18 March 2011

Farm Birthday Cake

This lovely cake was made for a little girl's 3rd birthday. The request was for a girly farm cake, hopefully it's feminine enough for her!
Sometimes I get asked to design a really fun cake that's so pleasurable to make & this was one of those, I keep going out to the kitchen to look at it, I'm going to have separation anxiety  once I've delivered it this evening!
The only actual request was for a black cat, the rest was entirely up to me, the cows were inspired by Kylie Lambert's fabulous models
Here come the close ups!
 I positioned the sheep at the back so he was peering round the corner, I love him!

 I edged some of the roses with glitter to add some sparkle.
 Apple trees and hills.

Monday, 14 March 2011

Peony birthday cake

It was my Grandmother's 80th Birthday at the weekend & my Granddad requested that I make her a cake, I went for a pink peony as she had pink flowers in her wedding bouquet & I wanted a big statement flower to save me the hassle of making a spray!
It was a really nice one to make & made even nicer by how much she loved it, she kept saying 'I never thought I'd ever get a cake like this' which was really sweet.
The inscription was chosen by my Granddad and reads 'Everyone Loves Bessie' which I thought was lovely.
The birthday girl
I found a brilliant peony tutorial here if anyone is interested, really simple & easy to follow

So my next project is a 3 tier farm cake, pictures to follow soon xx

Tuesday, 1 March 2011

Butterfly Birthday Cake

Here's the cake that put the butterflies made in my earlier tutorial to use, I love this cake - the simple ones are usually the best aren't they?
This was my daughter's official birthday cake, she had two this year but we won't be making a habit of it! It was so much work, we threw her a party at home for the first time, usually I happily pay up and hire a big hall or soft play place - this is definitely the easy option!! It was a lovely day though, we did cupcake decorating and name necklace making on top of the usual party games & party tea, exhausted is not a strong enough word for how I felt after all the girls had gone home! I anticipate the time when they're old enough for a sleepover, feed them a couple of pizzas, hire a few DVDs and camp out in the kitchen with a book, my kind of party!
My next project is making a sugar peony, if anyone has any tips I would really appreciate it! I don't even know where to start.....

How to make royal icing butterflies

This is a simple but effective way of decorating a cake, I just used these and nothing else on my cake & it looked lovely, you could add piped or painted flowers to make it more suited to an adult (mine was for my daughter).

1. Make royal icing in your desired colours, this recipe is fairly close to the one I used

2. Draw your templates out and place under a sheet of baking parchment or cellophane. Using a piping bag fitted with a number 2 nozzle pipe your outlines.

3. Let down your firm icing with a little water or egg white to give you icing of pouring consistency, put this in an icing bag fitted with a number 3 nozzle and flood your outlines.
4. Encourage your icing to fill the outlines to the corners by using a damp (not wet) paintbrush.
5. At this stage you can either pipe more soft icing into the still wet icing to give the effect shown on my butterfly cookies here 
Or you can wait until they're dry and pipe detail on like this
6. When your icing is completely dry (approximately 24 hours) you can gently remove the wings from your parchment/cellophane and attach them to bodies.
Fold a large piece of card like a fan and line it with baking parchment. Pipe thick lines down the creases and push your wings into each line.
Leave this to dry again, 12 or so hours before gently removing.

I will post the pictures of the finished cake soon xx