Wedding cake prep


Well I’m having a fabulous rainy Wednesday prepping the wedding cakes I made yesterday. I have used 63 eggs and am too scared to calculate how much the total amount of cake weighs. I have foraged for ingredients, baked, shaped, buttercreamed and marzipaned the cakes over the last 48 hours. So far so good.

Making a cake this big is surprisingly physical, I shall be incredibly beefy by the time I am finished.

Now for icing, assembling and decoration…. but maybe a nap first.

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Carrot cake

  
My mum’s favourite cake is carrot cake. This is the best recipe ever!

  • 350g self raising flour
  • 350g light brown sugar
  • 350ml sunflower oil
  • 6 carrots
  • 6 eggs
  • Several handfuls of sultanas
  • Good dash of orange juice
  • 2 tsp nutmeg
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp ginger

Cheese frosting:

  • 1 tub of cream cheese
  • Orange zest
  • 50g icing sugar

Soak the grated carrots and sultanas in orange juice whilst greasing your tin and finding all the things you need. Mix all the ingredients together and then add the soaked carrots and sultanas. Bake in a 8 inch square tin for about an hour on gas mark 4. Leave to cool and make the cheese frosting. Sift the icing sugar into the cream cheese and apply generously on top of the cake. I also decorated it with lemon zest and a big ‘Mum’ out of sultanas. Happy Mother’s Day!

  

Wedding flower arrangements 


It’s almost wedding cake time! I’ve been practising flower arrangements on a polystyrene dummy. It’s very comforting to know I have made enough roses over the last two weeks. Also, rather conveniently I have tested two wedding cake flower sets at once as I have two cakes to do.


Advice to anyone making flowers out of modelling paste for a wedding cake…. start EARLY! They are fiddly and time consuming. They also need steaming to bring out their colour as they’re covered in icing sugar and look pale. Once dry they are very brittle and it’s heart breaking when you drop them and they break into a thousand bits! It’s all good though, just don’t sit on them. Wow, I should get paid for this advice… ūüėú

Pete’s gluten-free lemon cake

  

  • 175g gluten free self raising flour (Tesco blend)
  • 175g caster sugar
  • 175g butter
  • Zest of 3 lemons
  • 75ml milk 
  • 3 eggs
  • Drizzle syrup- juice of 3 lemons and 2 tbsp sugar 

After my last gluten-free baking boob, an old school friend of mine sent me a recipe online. Good old Pete. I whisked up all of these ingredients together and baked for 40 minutes at fan 160 in a loaf tin. 

  
Have to say this recipe was much much better than the potato based lemon cake. You wouldn’t know this cake was gluten free! The texture is cakey and lovely. I am happy. Thanks Pete!

Cherry cake

  
Yummy scrummy cherry cake for work colleagues tomorrow….

  • 8oz self raising flour
  • 8oz caster sugar
  • 8oz butter (room temperature)
  • 2tsp baking powder
  • 4 eggs
  • 25g ground almonds
  • 200 g chopped cherries washed and dried 

Mix all the ingredients together and fold in the cherries. I dried the cherries with a clean tea towel and coated them in a little flour before folding them into the mixture. This prevents them all sinking to the bottom whilst the cake bakes. I loaded up a greased 6 inch round cake tin to get a nice high cake to ice. I baked it for about an hour at 160 degrees (fan). If it starts to colour rather quickly pop a little foil on top to keep it a nice brown colour. Avoid charcoal hues, I have found it be most disaggreable. Not sure why I’ve turned into Mr Darcy there but these things happen.

After turning out the cake I mixed up some icing sugar and a bit of water to make a thick, runny icing (150g, 1-2 tbsp of water) and poured all over until just running over the sides. Few cherries here and there and wowsa. NOM! 

Probably won’t look like that by the time I get to work on the train tomorrow …

Gluten-free lemon drizzle

  
I’m on the hunt for a scrummy gluten free lemon cake recipe at the moment. I followed a BBC good food recipe that substituted wheat flour for mashed potato and ground almonds. The mixture was quite sloppy compared to normal cake mixture and smelt a bit like dinner. The cake achieved a good rise from all the eggs in it which I was quite impressed with. After drizzling it with lemon syrup and cutting into it, it became quite apparent that I had actually made something of a lemon Spanish omelette…. This cake kind of represented the day I’ve had really as I found out that my boiler had broken and a CHILLED shower is not the best way to kick start the day. This recipe made me miss wheat dearly. My quest for gluten free cake continues …. I won’t be making this one again but I’m sure there will be someone free of gluten out there who really does enjoy lemon omelettes.

http://www.bbcgoodfood.com/recipes/5870/glutenfree-lemon-drizzle-cake

Fruity business


I made a 12 inch fruit cake today. I was amazed by how much was in it. 16 eggs, several kilograms of fruit and sugar. Trying to find a bowl big enough to fit all of these ingredients was my biggest challenge today. I ended up using a    sort of bucket like pan used for steaming veg normally.

My dad wandered into the kitchen whilst I was stirring manically and said I looked like something out of Macbeth. Thanks… I guess. Hmmmm. This cake is for a bottom layer of a 4 tier wedding cake I’m making so I’ve made a few weeks before the wedding so that it matures properly. It’s all baked and wrapped up nicely in a corner of the kitchen now. What a good way to spend a Sunday. I’m looking forward to icing it!

Pig Cake!

I’ve just got back from a fabulous beach¬†holiday¬†and am slowly adjusting to real life again. I¬†relaxed so much that I managed to achieve an ameobe-like state by day 3 and could barely remember my name by day 5. I have to say that Spanish desserts aren’t my favourite¬†and¬†are usually¬†square in shape with a luminous, gelatinous¬†substances on top. Hmmmm. ¬†I have apologised to all of my baking tins for abandoning them briefly and have finally reacquainted myself with my oven. My incredibly unreliable oven. Anyway, I was having a look at some of my past bakes and found my pig cake. This was a birthday cake full of buttercream and strawberry jam made for my boyfriend’s dad. He was pretty chuffed with it as he a weakness for piglets and jam.

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When I look back at some of my cakes I think how far I’ve come. If you check out the cake I made for my own dad he got a rather interesting dinosaur cake. One might call it a transvestasaurus… as it has certain qualities that I managed to gloriously capture. What have I learnt so far? Well icing lessons are a must, good quality regal icing is key and also STAY AWAY GEL ICING for detail because it just runs everywhere. Also, animals should not look like cars with ugly shapes for legs propped up next to them. Working the icing to warm it up properly¬†before you use it is really important¬†to avoid cracks!

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Guitar cake

I have had the best few days making a guitar cake for a family friend. It all began by making two 8 inch square cakes, one vanilla and the other chocolate. I carved them into a Fender Stratocaster and smothered it in buttercream.

Cake boards generally don’t come in guitar shape so I had to make one out of cardboard and cover it in foil.¬†There are 18 eggs, 6 packets of butter and A LOT of sugar in this cake. I must admit that some of the carved off bits ended up in my belly. Got to check it tastes right…

The icing took two days to do, a base layer of blue was used for the body and dark brown for the fret board. I worked from a photo I was given to get the detail correct. The hardest (most stressful) part was piping the strings on straight and aligning them to the bridge at the base. It was great fun adding the details – knobs, wires, plectrum and birthday message – to get it looking good!

This is by far the hardest cake I’ve ever made and it was the most satisfying thing I’ve done all year. Although, it is only the 16th January so hopefully that means more good things are on their way!


Happy birthday Uncle Ian and a big thank you to Auntie Jane for asking me to make it. ūüėä

Wedding cake practise 

I have been practising one of the tiers for a wedding cake I’ve been asked to make. I’ve been trying different chocolate cake recipes and have finally found one that is structurally stable enough to hold two other tiers, easy to carve and tastes fabulous. The recipe I went for uses plain flour only with no raising agents and LOTS of eggs. The cake has a brownie-like texture and took a long time to cook on a low heat.


The cake has to be 4 inches thick to match the other three tiers. On the day, the cake will have white regal icing on top but today I smothered it with a rich chocolate buttercream. I added several layers of buttercream by popping the cake in the fridge to solidify each buttercream layer to get an even finish. I grated some white chocolate on top and served it to my family for testing.

My sister is lurking in the background of the next picture. This is definitely the tallest cake I’ve ever made.


I have to say the cake went down well and everyone liked it. Mission completed. Next challenge construction ….


All the sugar flower preparations are underway as well….