Monday, 22 August 2016

Fireman Sam Cake!

Made for a little guys 2nd birthday! I was sent a photo of this pretty sweet design from the customer so I can't take credit for that. For this I baked two vanilla sponges but I'd have liked it to have had a little more height so I'm going to experiment with more layers in the future. Unfortunately with this one I had a huge air bubble around the back of the cake :( They're pretty unavoidable but I thought they only really occurred whilst you're rolling out the icing. To fix them you just need to poke a pin through the fondant and gently ease out the air with your fingers, but unfortunately you need to watch out for them once the icing is on the cake too or else they'll turn into tumors! That's what happened to mine, although I tried to disguise it with flames as best as I could. I'll know for next time! The cupcakes were a mix of chocolate sponge with vanilla buttercream icing and vanilla sponge with chocolate icing.

Kingfisher Cake!

Very happy to say that I managed to get the fondant completely smooth and without any ruffles for this one! Finally! The birthday girl wanted something quite classic and spiritual so I didn't want to bombard it with too much colour or distracting decoration. I love making roses like this with coloured fondant, although I'm just starting to experiment with more delicate structures and flower modelling paste so I wish I could have added a bit more variation. Will just have to make her another cake next year!

Friday, 15 July 2016

Belle Cake!

As soon as my friend casually mentioned that it was her birthday coming up, she was still yet to receive anything baked from me, and her favourite princess was Belle, I was all over baking this Beauty (see what I did there). Very happy that I was indulging in my obsession with all things Disney it didn't take me long to stock up on a whole lot of yellow fondant. I had to accept that from the waist up she was going to have to be made with ready made icing, but luckily I managed to create a skirt huge enough to fit a hefty amount of cake underneath! I used a hemisphere cake tin to create the dome of her dress, stacked on top of two vanilla sponges to give her some height. This created a really smooth base that I didn't have to alter much once it was all assembled with buttercream in between. I then covered her with a generous layer of yellow buttercream and began rolling out quite a thin sheet of yellow fondant. To minimize a lot of bulkly overlapping I cut moon shapes as opposed to circles with varying sized cookie cutters and then positioned the bottom curve just over the concave of the one below it so it fit snugly. It kind of achieves the style of her dress?! Though I think it could be done better...I'm just not sure how! To add a bit of variance I added a touch of orange food colouring and cocoa powder to a section of fondant, creating a slightly darker shade for a lower tier of her skirt. In all honesty the little pink roses were to cover up slight gaps where the buttercream had shown through! But I think they look really pretty anyway :) I also painted a little gold lustre dust onto the broach in the middle of the dress' neckline and her necklace, and finished her off with a sprinkle of pearl edible glitter, because she's a princess...duh. I'm really proud of the way the top of the figure turned out, though to be fair the design of the dress - the drapey off-the-shoulder material bits - were perfect for covering up any messy seams between her arms and shoulders etc. Here's hoping that there are other princesses that wear this style of dress. I liked the design of this one because aside from the top of the figure, I didn't have to use too much fondant on the actual cake. When covering a cake with a continuous sheet I find it difficult to go lower than a 5mm thickness without it tearing, which is a shame because a lot of people aren't keen on the taste of too much fondant. So being able to cover her with much thinner individual sections hopefully meant that she tasted extra yummy :) 

Thursday, 23 June 2016

Monster's University Cake!

This one was a request for a little guy's birthday so I can't take credit for the design as I think it was found on google somewhere! To be honest I wasn't sure whether structurally it was going to work until I placed the giant sphere that is Mike Wagowski on top of the Sully cake and it didn't collapse. I know it looks like a giant ball of icing but I promise there's cake in there! For the Mike cake I baked two vanilla sponges in a half sphere tin and sandwiched them together with buttercream icing to make a sphere. I then covered it in more buttercream before laying over the ready made icing as best as I could. This took a couple of tries! I really think covering cakes smoothly with any kind of fondant, (especially round cakes!) is one of the trickiest parts of cake decorating. I am in total awe of those who can do it flawlessly! Anyway, the very bottom was a little messy but that's fine as that part is always going to be hidden. All of his extra decoration, including his arms and legs, are simply ready made icing that I was able to fix in place quite easily with a little royal icing. I find this is the best kind of icing to use if you want to adhere anything heavy to a fairly dry surface as it hardens with air over time and so holds everything in place well. The Sully cake is two stacked Madeira sponges. I wasn't sure if the 'fluffy coat' layer was going to be thick enough to complement the sponge well so I gave him an initial smooth coat of blue buttercream icing before going in with the piping bag. For this I use a simple round tip nozzle and piped squiggly lines until he was fully covered, leaving blank circular areas to fill in with the purple later. I think the effect would have been more impressive if I'd used a much smaller tip so I would recommend that if you have the extra time to spare. It is a little time consuming but not really difficult as you don't have to be too neat, he is a monster after all!

Monday, 20 June 2016

Mother's Day Cupcakes!

How adorable are these cases! They're silicone so you can re-use them. I ordered them here My favourite thing about these cakes is the edible 'soil' created by bashing up the outer shells of oreo cookies! It's virtually indistinguishable from actual soil and really rewarding to make as what else are you supposed to do with the oreo filling other than eat it!? I formed a sort of mound of chocolate buttercream with a palette knife and then rolled it in the bowl of cookie crumbs until it was fully coated. Make sure you do this as soon as you've iced them so that the icing is still adhesive. You may have to use your fingers to lightly press a little more on to any patchy areas. All of the extra decoration was made using ready made icing. I used a cocktail stick to elevate the little bumblebee and also made some gardening-esque signs to label the different vegetables and inserted these into the cakes with cocktail sticks too. This is a nice way to work in a 'Happy Mother's Day' or any other message you like if you don't want to interfere with the actual cakes. The watering can tragically lost its spout pre-photo shoot so unfortunately that one ruins the overall effect, sorry! x