Happy birthday to my sister-in-law Cleo!!! I made a Victoria sponge and jazzed it up with chocolate fingers and mini eggs. Top tip: go to Pound Land for the eggs and fingers and make a lot more buttercream than you think you need.
My latest challenge was designing a tea party cake. I made a light vanilla sponge and smothered it in rich vanilla buttercream. I put a base layer of icing on the cake before ‘throwing’ the tablecloth on so that the table had a smooth surface. I cut out a big circle of icing (~10 inches diameter for a 8 inch cake) and draped it over carefully, the folds naturally appeared which was rather lucky. I let the icing dry for hours before gluing on the iced tea set so I didn’t make fingerprints and imperfections. I never realised how important cocktail sticks were until I started icing cakes, they are just so handy to poke tiny objects into position. I also learnt that piping mistakes onto dried icing at 2 in the morning is okay because it just wipes off! The tea set was constructed with lightly coloured Regal icing and bits of wire. I stuck everything down with Royal icing which is essentially cake cement and is now my answer to every cake problem.
A big thank you to Jane for challenging me to such a cute cake idea. What will the next cake challenge be? Dum dum dummmmmmmmmmm….
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.
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!
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!
I have busying away all weekend making a birthday cake. I can assure you that every surface is sticky and I had to repeat the washing up because I managed to cover everything in butter so thoroughly that it wouldn’t come off!
Here is a bit of an action sequence…
This is my icing station with the cake all buttered up with a lemon buttercream.