‘I do!’ cupcakes

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How cute are these wedding ‘I do’ muffins? I was having a good play on pinterest and this was one of many ideas I want to try out. These muffins were eaten so quickly, I didn’t get to try one! So I’m going to take that as a confirmation of their deliciousness.

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To achieve the buttercream swirl, you need a good piping bag with a wide set star shaped nozzle inside. I sometimes find myself rushing when I pipe, but I remind myself that the buttercream only comes out as fast as you squeeze it, so I take my time to get it right! The roses are made from fondant icing, I made five flat circles out of pink icing and then curled them round each other whilst they were pliable to make a rose – no glue required! I made a lot of mess making the little brown ‘I do’ signs, there were tiny paper triangles all over the place. I think everything looks better on a doily. 🙂

Giraffe & monkey wedding cake 

Another wedding cake request came my way this Spring. The bride and groom requested a giraffe and monkey because that’s how they see themselves. There was also a poem at the wedding which explained it better than I did just then.


This three tier cake was vanilla and jam flavoured with a layer of Regal icing. I added texture to the wedding cake with lots of Royal icing. It was really easy to do and it travelled very well. The wedding was in Devon and the cake survived a 5.5 hour drive sat on a big grip mat!

Many congratulations to Mr & Mrs Thompson on their big day!!!!

Key lime pie

For serious Great British Bake Off fans, some of you may remember Paul Hollywood declaring Ryan’s key lime pie as the best pie he’s ever had (GBBO 2012). I followed the recipe from the book ‘The Great British Bake Off – How to turn everyday bakes into SHOWSTOPPERS’ by Linda Collister. There is also a recipe online (see below) on the BBC Food website which is supposedly the same thing but isn’t…. quantities are very different and recommended toppings too.

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This pie was really fun to make, it’s a sweet ginger pastry which is made in the usual method i.e. rubbing the butter into the gingery, sugary flour and mixing with egg yolk and cold water. Voila, biscuit pastry! This pastry was particularly nice after being baked (don’t forget this one needs blind baking for non soggy bottom related dramas) and compliments the lime filling very well. The lime filling is condensed milk, lime juice and zest mixed with whipped double cream. You fill the pie up and pop it in the fridge to set. Then it’s Italian meringue time….. now if I could go back in time I would have bought a sugar thermometer to make this process easier. Italian meringue is made by creating a sugar syrup (sugar + water in a pan and heated to 110 °C) and mixing this into whipped egg whites. Now guessing where 110°C lies is pretty tricky, I did it by testing whether the syrup was at ‘thread’ stage by dropping it into a glass of cold water and seeing how it solidified. It was phaffy and I forgot that sugar is hot and stuck my finger in it. DON’T DO THAT!!!! 😦 I really do recommend a thermometer, but if you are curious I’ve put a link below which tells you all about the stages of sugar during cooking. The recipe also recommended a blow torch to give the meringue that golden hue which is oh so attractive. I do not have blow torch. It’s quite a dangerous recipe really, if it’s not the boiling sugar that gets you, it could be your very hot baking beads OR your blow torch… I opted for the grill for only a few seconds and it worked and I was very relieved.

This pie was worth the crazy methodology. It is the best key lime pie I’ve ever tasted. It’s got lots of stem ginger under the lime filling and the ginger biscuit pastry is just fabulous. Go forth and try it!!!!

http://www.amazon.co.uk/The-Great-British-Bake-Off/dp/1849904634

http://www.bbc.co.uk/food/recipes/key_lime_pie_53484

http://www.joyofbaking.com/StagesOfCookedSugar.html

 

Golf cake

I was given the delightful challenge of doing a lady golf cake this week for a 60th birthday celebration. The remit was : golf lady, pony tail, visor and funny. So here is the result! The only way I have ever got a golf ball in the right place is either kicking it when no one is looking or blowing it in the hole (although that would be crazy golf not serious golf….)

Nothing quite like a gratuitous ass shot….. I plopped her golf club by her side and painted it silver so it looked snazzy. Matching trousers, bobble and visor at the ready. No jeans. God no. I couldn’t have her kicked off her own cake for not wearing the appropriate ensemble.

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Happy 60th birthday Jane!!!! May you have a fabulous day.

 

 

House cake

My sister-in-law-to-be turned 30 this weekend and to celebrate I made a cake with a GIGANTIC version of her ‘godzillaing’ around her new house. I popped her MX5 on the drive, a BBQ in the garden and added an apple tree where I think they should plant one. Nothing quite like a friendly, iced suggestion 🙂

IMG_4340Happy 30th Birthday to Cleo! May you stomp around your proportionally sized house with grace and poise.

Laboratory Cake

I was asked to make a retirement cake for a work colleague who is gracefully retiring after a long career as a research scientist. This particular individual was pretty damn good at what he did and had a passion for Ornithology (thus the birds!). I thought it was fitting to put Bob in a crisp white lab coat with a light microscope and Gilson pipette. No one can do science without touching those particular items at some point…

and this one

Thinking about it, Bob should really be wearing blue nitrile gloves and safety spectaculars. Pretty poor laboratory practice really. Not to mention letting wild animals into the lab space….

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Enjoy your retirement Bob! May you never touch a clinical waste bin again.

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

Spring wedding cake

Spring has officially sprung! What could be more fabulous than a spring themed wedding cake? I have to say, for my second wedding cake I’m very proud of myself! Working from the top to the bottom, the tiers contained almond cake, lemon cake, chocolate cake and fruit cake. This cake can feed up to 134 people or 120 without the top tier. The flowers and butterflies were prepared by myself and the help of my sister in January out of modelling paste. I coloured the sweet peas to the colour of the bridesmaids dresses and kept the whole cake very dainty. Everything was cemented in place with Royal icing including the topper which was ordered from Weedots & Just Toppers based in Essex (link below). Such lovely bunting! All of the piping detail on the cake was also done with Royal icing with different sized piping nozzles. I lost a bit of sleep over delivering the cake to the venue as I thought the butterflies might flutter away during transit. Luckily, only one butterfly was sacrificed during the journey and was promptly replaced by a spare one I had made!

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Many congratulations to Mr & Mrs Percy on their wedding and a big thank you to Pam Percy for asking me to make it!

https://www.etsy.com/shop/weedots

 

 

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.

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