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Friday, December 14, 2012

Spotty Dog Cake

Hi cake friends!

In my last post I showed you a Dog's Head Cake which I had made for a friend, the head being a logo he had invented. This cake was for a different friend who adores dogs!

Now, normally I like to design my own cakes but my Mum gave me a brilliant book called 'Perfect Party Cakes Made Easy' by Carol Deacon, and when I saw the Spotty Dog in this book I knew I had to make it for my friend.

The only change that I really made was that I made it much bigger than the recipe in the book suggested.

Needless to say my friend loved it! And I enjoyed building up all the layers in the face to create this cute dog. It has taught me quite a lot and has definitely inspired me for future projects!

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Dog head cake!

Hi cake friends!

This cake was made for a friends birthday, not because they loved dogs, but because this was a logo that they had created.

I used rice krispie treats to make the the head, so that I could build up the features of the face, and covered it in chocolate icing which tasted delicious!

You may notice that the eyes were slightly wonky, but this was honestly part of the design!

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Bed Cake!

Hi cake friends!

This cake was for two friends who were holding a joint birthday party. The theme was 'pyjama party' so I decided to make a cake shaped like a bed!

I made a chocolate sponge cake and covered it in white sugrapaste. I then used chocolate rice krispie squares to build a frame at either end of the cake, and curly wurlys for the frame on either side.

More sugarpaste was used to make the pillows and the quilt! And I used red piped icing for the detail work. One friend loves horses, and the other does reiki massages so the symbol is a reiki symbol!

Lobster and Guitar cake!

Hi cake friends!

This was a birthday cake for two friends, one who loves playing his guitar and the other whose favourite animal is a lobster!

I made the guitar completely out of sugarpaste, and then used piped icing for the frets and strings.

The lobster's body was made from rice krispie treats and covered in sugarpaste. I used red liquorice for the legs, and more sugarpaste for the claws and eyes!

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Found a few cakes in Japan!

Hi Cake Friends!

So, for the last 2 weeks I have been on holiday in Japan! I had an awesome time and would highly recommend going there on holiday yourself!

Whilst I was there I didn't get to sample that many cakes, but here are a couple that I did find!

This first one was a really cute doughnut with a cat on top!  I got this in Kyoto's Shinkyogoku shopping arcade.

And these were some amazing cupcakes from a shop called Tables, which was inside my hotel in Osaka (the Cross Hotel). They were delicious and I particularly liked the cuteness of the snowman!

Which reminds me, I am planning to make a snowman cake for Christmas! Must get on with starting it! Have you got any Christmassy cakes you are going to make?

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Hello Kitty Cupcakes - ハローキティのカップケーキ

UPDATE! I have now started my own cake making company! Please visit my facebook page and give it a like! :-)

My Mum has a friend who has two daughters who both love Hello Kitty. So she asked me to make some Hello Kitty Cupcakes!

The cupcakes themselves were just a plain vanilla sponge. Then I added a layer of white sugarpaste (fondant or rolled icing, whatever you prefer to call it!) as the base. I used a small petal cutter to make the ears, and used a flower cutter for the flower. The nose was a small piece of yellow sugarpaste. Then the eyes and whiskers were black piped icing!

I also made a set of matching cupcakes just with buttercream and pink sprinkles, but I forgot to take a picture of them! Silly me!!!!! (The buttercream was white because I used Trex which is a dairy free alternative to butter. It is white, not yellow, which means your buttercream comes out a lovely white colour! I found I did need to flavour it a bit more though….)

Cupcake Adventures!

Hi Cake Friends!

I realised the other day that I have not posted on here for sooooo long, so I apologise for that! I have not been making many cakes recently as I have been very busy with work and other boring things! :-(

But that is not to say that I have not been up to anything cake related! I have been experimenting with cup cakes, as it was my Mum's birthday and I promised her I would make some cupcakes for her party.

And here they are!

Cherry Bakewell Cupcakes
These I made by using this recipe from the BBC Good Food website. I scooped out part of the cupcake and filled the gap with the morello cherry jam (which I found in Sainsburys) and then pushed the cake back in. Then covered with icing and added a cherry on top! They were delicious, and a big hit with the children at the party!

Chocolate Peanut Butter cupcakes
These I made from a recipe which is in the book Red Velvet Chocolate Heartache by Harry Eastwood. This book is full of recipes that use vegetables as a main ingredient in the cakes to help cut down on the calories content. It may sound weird but these cakes were really nice! I can’t wait to experiment with some of the other recipes in the book.

Chocolate Cupcake with Salted Caramel Buttercream
For these I made a basic chocolate cupcake recipe, and then made my own salted caramel buttercream. I had some dulce de leche (which I actually bought in Rome when I was there back in April, which makes me sound really posh but I’m not at all! I just saw it randomly in a supermarket, and I had heard about it from watching Cupcake Wars on Food Network, so I grabbed it!), which I used as the flavouring. Then I added salt until it tasted really good! I love salty and sweet things together!

Red Velvet Cupcakes
I got a recipe online for these which had a traditional cream cheese frosting. They were nice, but I think I need a better recipe as I have eaten Red Velvet cake in America and mine was not as good! More experimentation is needed!

The other ones you can see in the yellow and orange containers were made by my little cousins and were black forest gateau cupcakes, which were delicious! 

Friday, March 16, 2012

St Patrick's Day Cupcakes! - with step by step instructions

When I said in my last post that I had been creative last night I was not joking, as I also made some St Patrick's Day Cupcakes!

I saw a version of these online and decided that I wanted to try and make my own! I decided that my actual cupcake should be brown in colour, so I searched for a tasty looking cupcake recipe and found this one on the BBC Good Food website.

I knew I didn't need their topping as I was going to do my own. So here are the ingredients that I used and that you will need!

  • 200g butter
  • 200g plain chocolate (under 70% cocoa solids is fine)
  • 200g light, soft brown sugar
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 250g self raising flour
  • Vanilla Buttercream 
  • Green food colouring
  • Candy rainbow belts
  • Marshmallows 
For the Vanilla Buttercream you can make your own (I promise to make some myself soon and show you how, as I learnt how to do this on my course!) but I had some Betty Crocker buttercream so I just used that. Also, I use gel food coloring which I buy from here as it's much better than the liquid stuff and lasts a million times longer.

As per the instructions in the recipe, I set my oven to gas 3 (160C/140C fan) and then lined a 12 hole muffin tin with cases. In the comments under the recipe lots of people had said that the mixture I was about to make would easily fill more than 12 cases, so I also put 2 cases in 2 ramekin's.

Then I melted the butter, chocolate, sugar and 100ml of hot water together in a saucepan, stirring occasionally.

You are supposed to let the mixture cool down a bit before you add the beaten eggs, but I rushed it and my eggs started to cook in my mixture! Ooops! But it turned out fine. You should, however, wait for the mixture to cool slightly, then add the eggs and the vanilla.

Next, I put the flour into a large mixing bowl and stirred in the chocolate mixture until it was smooth.

Then I spooned the mixture into the cases. On advice from the comments from the BBC Good Food website I used a ladle to get the mixture into the cases so that I did not make a huge mess! As you can see I easily filled all 14 of my cases.

You now need to leave them alone for 5 mins before you put them in the oven. Which is exactly what I did. The recipe says to bake for 20-22 mins on a low shelf, however I found I had to bake mine for nearly 30 mins. Once baked I left them to cook on a wire rack.

Next, I made my buttercream green using the food colouring!

Then I iced each of my cupcakes. (Sorry, the pic is a bit dark!) I did this using a palette knife, but I'm sure the back of a spoon would work just as well!

Now I cut up my candy rainbow belts so that I had a nice sized strip for each cake.

And I cut up the marshmallows. I ended up cutting a 'large' marshamallow in half, and then I split those halves into quarters, so that I would have 4 pieces for the bottom of each rainbow. I had to put some icing sugar down on my board as it was getting very sticky to cut them!

Then I stuck the rainbow into the icing, and then put the marshmallow round the bottom of each rainbow stem.

And then I was finished!

I just hope everyone enjoys them now! Hehe! :-)

Totoro Rice Krispie cakes! - with step by step instructions

Hello Cake Friends!

I got really creative last night and made some of these amazingly cute rice krispie Totoro cakes! I'm not sure that you can technically call them cakes, as there is not cake in them, but they are sweet and amazing none the less!

Below is how I made them!

I actually saw some of these on a different website, and had to have a go at making my own as they looked so cute! As you may know I have already made a Totoro cake for a friend (which was the first cake I ever made!) and love all things Totoro! So these had to be tried!

On the Rice Krispie website they list the ingredients you need to make rice krispie squares, so I followed this and added a few more for the Totoro decoration! 

So here is what you will need:

  • 45g butter or margarine
  • 300g marshmallows
  • 180g rice krispies
  • 200g dark chocolate
  • white chocolate drops
I actually used sainsburys own rice pops as they are a bit cheaper! And I used their pink and white sugar free marshmallows to try and help with the calorie count!

You start by melting the butter in a large saucepan

I weighed out the rice pops and marshmallows

Once the butter is melted you need to add the marshmallows and keep stirring until they have melted

Next add the rice pops in and keep stirring. The rice pops will be tough to stir in at first, but keep going with a low heat to help the rice pops blend into the marshmallow

Now you need to take a bit of mixture and make little Totoro shapes with your hands. BE CAREFUL! The mixture is hot and really sticky so it's hard to handle. The best thing to do is cover your hands in cold water before making each one. This stops the mixture sticking to your hands and helps with the heat.

Now you need to melt the dark chocolate. I did this by boiling some water in a pan and putting a glass dish over the pan, and melting the chocolate in that. (Sorry the picture is not great!)

Now you need to dip your Totoro's into the chocolate, only I found this really difficult (I nearly lost a Totoro into the sticky chocolate!) so I actually used a small spoon and dribbled chocolate where I wanted and smoothed it around using the back of the spoon.

Now you need to add two white chocolate drops onto each for the eyes! You need the drops (not buttons) so that you can push the pointed end into the chocolate

Now you need to add pupils! I used the end of a cake pop stick, dipped it in chocolate and then 'painted' a pupil on each eye, although you could use a cocktail stick or something else small!

And here are the finished Totoro's!

These were fun to make! When I first made the Totoro shapes I was worried they were not going to look that great, but as soon as I had finished the eyes I was really happy with them! They just look so cute! Hehe!

Have fun making your own! :-)

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Mother's Day Cake

Hello Cake Friends!

I had a go at making a cake for Mother's Day last year and thought I should finally add a blog post for it as it's nearly Mother's Day again!

I wanted to have a go at making sugarpaste flowers as they look so pretty, but I had no idea where to start. (As you will have seen from my cake making lesson I have more of an idea now, and promise to do a step-by-step post soon!)

So I bought a 32 Piece Flower Making Set from this website:

I also bought some floral wire, flower stamens and some flower paste from the same website. The floral wire you need to make the stems of the flowers, the stamens make the centre of some flowers. Flower paste dries a lot harder than normal sugarpaste and so is much better for making flowers.

Here is the cake!

I can tell you that although it doesn't look like there are loads of flowers, this took me hours!!! I definitely need more practice to get quicker and better at making them, but I was really quite happy with the results! 

And so was my husbands Mother that the cake was given to! :-)

Monday, March 12, 2012

Charlie Chaplin Cake!

My husbands sister adores Charlie Chaplin! She knows all about him and can watch like 2 seconds of one of his movies and tell you which one it is, the year it was made and all sorts of other facts! So for her birthday I had to do her a Charlie Chaplin cake.

I decided straight away that I would make it look classic in just black and white, and as she was having a party I knew it needed to be big. So I started with a 12" square cake (which I filled with buttercream) and covered it with white sugarpaste.

Then I printed off a picture of Charlie, and stuck it onto cardboard. I rolled out some black sugarpaste and then, using my template, cut out the pieces. 

Then I put them onto the top of the cake, and finished off the other details (hair, face and cane!) with black icing. I was pretty happy with the results, and so was my husbands sister! In fact, she didn't want to eat it! Lol!

Sunday, March 11, 2012

First ever cake course - the results!

As I said the other day, my friend and I booked a cake decorating course which we went to on Saturday. It was my first ever course so I was pretty excited, even though it meant waking up pretty early on a Saturday as the course started at 9am!

It was at The Cake Embassy in Battersea, and I really enjoyed myself! Although I have made quite a few cakes myself, I learnt some great techniques and picked up some useful tips which I know will help me in the future. I will definitely be sharing these with you as I make and decorate more cakes!

So here are some pics! We cut the cake to put buttercream inside, and then dyed our buttercream and used some to cover the outside. This is something I had never done properly before as I usually then cover my cake with sugarpaste (rolled fondant) rather then having a buttercream covering. We then swapped colours with someone else to practice writing, and then made some sugarpaste roses.

I know, it's not the prettiest cake in the world!! But as I say I picked up some useful skills, and I wasn't really trying to make a cake to impress. 

Oh, it tasted amazing by the way! :-)

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Unicorn Cake! - with step by step instructions

UPDATE! I have now started my own cake making company! Please visit my facebook page and give it a like! :-)

This cake I made for a friend's birthday, and I remembered to take good step by step pictures to show you how it was made.

I printed a picture of a Unicorn head so that I would have a template to work with.

I baked 2, 12 x 6 inch madeira cakes.

Then I cut these in half so that I could add a layer of chocolate buttercream.

I cut out my Unicorn head and stuck it onto card (a cereal box), then laid both cakes next to each other and put the Unicorn template on top.

I cut around the template.

Then I transferred the pieces to a cake board. As you can see I had a bit of a 'gap' in between the cakes (where the edges had bevelled) so I filled this with cut offs of cake and helped stick it in with buttercream.

Next I gave the Unicorn a cheek bone out of rice krispie treats, and carved and eye hole and nose hole.

Then i covered the whole thing in vanilla buttercream.

Next I rolled out a big sheet of white fondant and covered the whole cake. I made sure that I pressed into where the eye and nose holes were, and moulded the fondant around the cheekbone.

Twisting two long strips of fondant together I made the horn.

This I painted gold using edible gold paint. 

Next I rolled out strips of coloured fondant to make a rainbow mane. I added these to the top of the head, leaving a gap around the ear, and to the neck.

Then I added edible sparkles in the same colours as the fondant.

Finally I put a small ball of fondant into the eye socket, and gave the eye, nose and mouth some detail using black gel colouring which I painted on with a brush. Then I cleaned up the cake board with a bit of water and kitchen roll.

This is the final result!