Easter bunny cake

Happy Easter everyone! I decided to make a hill top and cover it in frollocking bunnies. My favourite bunny is the grey one with the surprised expression. I don’t really like the white one lurking behind the grey bunny… looks a bit shifty to me. I actually made a lemon & lime drizzle cake which is a little controversial for Easter Sunday, but I have made an awful lot of chocolate cakes recently.

Look at their little bunny tails! I had a lovely rainy Saturday making these bunnies. My sister owns a couple of Lionhead bunnies so the white and brown bunny is an impression of her less evil bunny (she has one which isn’t so friendly – we don’t really know why).

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These bunnies may look innocent but they have actually stolen lots of mini eggs from some chicks (no-one knows what condition they were left in) and were then hidden (rather badly) inside the tree trunk. So this cake is a little bit more Watership Down than one might think upon initial inspection.

Reese’s Pieces cake

Reeses Pieces

I was asked to make a Reese’s Pieces birthday cake for a dear friend. I made a chocolate cake and filled it with a layer of peanut buttercream inside and out. I topped it off with lots of dark chocolate ganache and cut up Reese’s Pieces.  Sometimes it’s nice to play with chocolate and buttercream instead of icing for a change. Peanut buttercream is quite possibly one of the best substances on the planet. You have to use smooth peanut butter as I think crunchy peanut butter would be much less magical. No-one wants non-magical peanut buttercream. It’s a good thing I bought extra Reese’s Pieces as my nephew of 18 months was found eating the toppings whilst I was out of the kitchen!

This recipe is definitely worth checking out.

http://www.goodtoknow.co.uk/recipes/542441/reeses-pieces-chocolate-peanut-butter-cake

Pearl wedding anniversary cake

I made a pearl wedding anniversary cake with a pair of flumpies on! The bottom tier is a lemon & poppy seed drizzle cake and the top tier is a vanilla sponge smothered in lots of chocolate ganache. I love making chocolate ganache, it’s an excellent medium to spatula onto a cake. The best part is licking out the bowl though, and later finding it all over your face after having had several long conversations with different people throughout the day. Hmmm… anyway,  I always use dark chocolate with 70% cocoa solids for a good strong flavour. I let the cake cool before icing it to give a solid surface to work on so that the cake looks nice and smoooooooth.

I gave this cake to my boyfriend’s parents to enjoy as a surprise. This cake was also put together to celebrate a new engagement in the family, thus I popped a horse shoe on it as well! Maybe I should start putting horse shoes on all of my cakes… after all, everybody needs a little bit of good luck.

flumpy

 

 

One big jazzy

It’s my brother’s birthday today and to celebrate I made a GIGANTIC jazzy. I baked a chocolate fudge cake and covered it in chocolate butter cream and coated it in hundreds and thousands. It dawned on me that perhaps taking the cake into the garden would be a better idea than chucking hundreds and thousands of hundreds and thousands all about the kitchen. It is safe to say that the cake (and the garden) have been decorated.

DSCN6256This cake was baked using one of Juliet Sear’s recipe from her book ‘The Cake Decorating Bible’. Juliet is amazing, I have learnt so much from her book and thoroughly recommend buying it or at least googling her for inspiration. My sister told me last week that Adele is one of her spirit animals and I must admit that I think Juliet is one of mine.

http://www.fancynancy.info/index.php/fancy-nancy-book/

 

 

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. 😊

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….

Chocolate torte

Makes sense to me to bring in the New Year with something very chocolately… I followed Jamie Oliver’s wisdom on this occasion.  
This recipe is dead simple. Roll out your shortcrust pastry and blind bake in the oven until golden.

Pour in the chocolate mixture and allow to set at room temperature for a few hours (so that the chocolate keeps it’s shine).

The finished product is pretty scrummy looking! Finish off with salt flakes or grated white chocolate.

Bring on 2016!

http://www.jamieoliver.com/recipes/chocolate-recipes/rich-chocolate-tart-with-salt-flakes/#Wq0mJpM41R77AJgU.97

Naughty brownies

I’ve made many a brownie in my time. They are excellent comfort food and a sure way to win anyone’s heart. Now you can add whatever you want to them once you’ve found the perfect brownie base. My favourite is the Hummingbird Bakery recipe. This requires good quality dark chocolate and relatively few ingredients (yay for our wallets!). 

  
The best things I’ve added to my brownie mix in the past have been hazelnuts and different assortments of chopped up chocolate. I like to serve this with ice cream (coffee is a good shout) after dinner. I also like to wrap up a few brownies for packed lunches. Can’t beat a sneaky brownie during your lunch break.

If you ever need a good cry, I recommend this recipe and Bridget Jones’s Diary (the first film). Sorted. 

http://www.redonline.co.uk/food/recipes/hummingbird-bakery-s-traditional-brownie