18 February, 2011

Valentine's Day

I'm a bit late on my Valentine's post, sorry folks! But here's the cake I made for my other (not better, mwahaha) half since I'm a little skint these days (blame the holiday in NYC I just booked...!)... I received a sweet little silicone heart-shaped cake mould for christmas and I've been dying to put it to good use, so I googled for inspiration for a V-Day cake. Heart cakes aren't uncommon, but boy is there little imagination used! I saw one designed like this one, where the cake acts as an imitation chocolate box, and then added in a few Milk Tray choccies on top :) All of his family and friends were so amazed by it, to quote his mother "You clever girl, this cake is so beautiful. It'll be hard to beat...I've tasted this perfect perfect cake and it really is soooo perfect!" :P I think I need to set up a testimonials part of my blog haha!
What I'd like to mention about this cake task was the use of silicone moulds... HOW effective are they?!!? If you've never used one, buy one. There's no need for greasing and papering the cake mould, as you literally just turn it out of the mould. They're amazing, can't wait to make another one!
My Valentine's Day: The bottle with the candle in is the bottle of champagne my parent's drank at their wedding. Who say's romance is dead?

In reference to Valentine's Day, I'd like to have my own little rant. I think this year I've come across more "Ugghh I don't do V.D, it's so commercialised..." than soppy stuff and I felt really disheartened by it all. Personally, I love V.D. Jim and I have never gone completely all out for it, this year we stayed in with a rack of lamb and Sherlock Holmes, but it was still lovely to spend that day together celebrating how much we're in love. Yes, you can do that any day of the year, I know that. It's not like the words "I love you" are off-limits for the rest of the year. But I love the flowers everywhere, the candles, the cutesy presents and of course the chocolates. I'm not saying I'm materialistic, I just think it's a sweet day and everyone's all smiley. I saw a guy walk out of a jewellery store a few days before, and he had the biggest grin on his face and a tiny bag in his hand... I bet he was proposing and made someone a very happy and lucky lady. Anyway, I like the day. Some people haven't even been together long enough to celebrate an anniversary or whatever, so V.D is also a way for those people to have a special day, too. Before I met Jim, my best friend and I used to send each other Valentine's cards, just as a little reminder that we were there for each other. Rant over.

Happy Baking x

11 February, 2011

Peppa Pig Cake

Happy 4th Birthday Charli!
A friend at Uni asked me to do my FIRST COMMISION! for her daughter's birthday, and she was so excited by the results of this Peppa Pig cake that she's asked me to do her other daughter's birthday cake in March. I'm such a busy bee at the moment! I'm about to start a Valentine's cake tomorrow and then another next week... Ahhh!!

Anyways, so this is the progress of how I went from sponge to pig. Sorry guys, I really did try to do a video tutorial like I mentioned before, but trying to hold a rolling pin and a £600 camera at the same time as shooting a mini-vid is very hard. Ah well, when I'm rich I'll just have to hire someone to film me :P
I actually traced Peppa straight from the pc screen onto some tracing paper and then used that as a guide for the three parts of the cake, then split those parts in two horizontally to add jam and buttercream. Those three parts were then coated in a crumb coat of buttercream and popped into the fridge for 1/2 an hour. I used white rolled icing to do the first coat of icing, which set overnight. Then I used three shades of icing to create her skin, tiara and dress. Everything else was handmade and stuck on with Sugarcell. (You can't see it very well but I did use white lustre dust on the stars, too.)

I have a massive wishlist of cookery items that I really need to get more professional at these cakes, and one of them I really could have done with for this cake. A Sugarcraft gun would have produced a perfect log shape for creating her darker pink outline on her face, and also the outline of the fairy wings. Unfortunately it's just impossible to create logs that long and symmertrical without them falling to pieces. I hope Jim's got the hint and has bought me one for V. Day :D

More to come soon, Happy Baking! x
P.s What do you guy's think of my make-shift business cards? I'd like to get some properly made up when I have the money and a solid idea - maybe replace the damask picture with my own sketch of a cake/cupcake? (Yes, I'm saying cupcake again. I suppose I'm not going to be very popular if I still refer to the them as buns. Which they are...)

02 February, 2011

Happy ??th Kate!

This is most definitely one for the majority of my followers. Thanks to Abby, I get a load of traffic from fashion and beauty bloggers. Hope you like this one, I'm not going to go into immense detail from now on about my big cake projects - unless I come across a really amazing recipe. The story behind this cake is that it was made for my other half's auntie. She recently hit a big milestone birthday, but she has no idea that anyone other than her own sister knows her true age... So I treated her to a nice cake, and she love love LOVES designers - this cake is very fitting for her :)
However, this particular cake was fairly hard to complete - and included a hysterical breakdown in my kitchen that my mother had to calm down because I broke my new icing syringe on the first use... Drama drama drama. I used some new techniques too, so I'll tell you about them:

- This was the first time I had covered a cake board in sugarpaste icing. Really easy to do, just roll out enough icing to cover your cake board, brush over a titchy bit of water onto the board and transfer your icing onto the board. Cut off any excess from the edge of the board and leave to set OVERNIGHT. Very important you let it set, as the next day when you assemble your cake you won't leave any fingerprint impressions in the icing.
- This was the first time I used edible glitter. The cake shop lady told me you can roll it into the sugarpaste, but I didn't find this very effective, unless you use a massive amount of glitter, which is just a waste. I used Sugarcell for the first time, too. This is effectively a cake glue, which sets like wallpapering paste and you can paint onto cake surfaces and icing - this is how I got the glitter to stick to the icing and how I got the zip and Chanel logo to stick, too.
- This was the first time I got to use my new ribbon cutter tool. At £11 it wasn't cheap for a tiny contraption with different wheels to create even ribbons. There was a serated edge wheel that I used for the stitching effect of the quilted purse. Effective!
This cake isn't perfect, I know. I know it tilts, and you can see the individual layers of sponge through the icing. I think I just got pissed off with it really and just 'made do' in the end. Once I attatched the logo onto the cake, glitter got EVERYWHERE. So it was a case of sprinkling glitter all over the entire piece to make it fit in. Hmm. I think I should have used dowels in the sponge too, since it has no support in it.

I may include some videos soon. I have another Uni assignment this term to do with interactive media. Hmm, food for thought, anyways...

Happy Baking x