Tuesday, 29 November 2011

Under the sea themed cupcakes

I absolutely love how these cupcakes turned out.  Under the sea is a really good theme to work with, so many possibilities, and they're colourful and fun too.  These were for a children's party at a swimming club so the theme worked very well.

All the little creatures are hand made with sugarpaste and sit on top of some swirly buttercream with white sprinkles, it's hard to pick a favourite, I really like the octopus but then when I look at my Nemo-esque orange fish there, he looks so cute, how could he not be a favourite?

Topsy Turvey Celebration Cake

This is the first Topsy Turvey cake we've attempted and I'm so glad that it turned out so well.  The bottom tier is vanilla and the top tier is chocolate, both tiers have piped swirl detailing on them, these have been piped with royal icing and then painted silver.  A sugarpaste ribbon and bow have been added round the cake and painted with gold luster dust.  I find that when it comes to adding silver and gold details, it is best to use luster powders and mix them with rejuvenator spirit to create a paint, you can buy liquid silver and gold food colouring but I find that they dry out very quickly.

The trouble with these types of cakes is that they are naturally top heavy, what with having a wonky top and the base of each tier being slightly smaller than the top, you need to make sure you have a good structure and support system. 

The numbers and twirly decorations are all made from sugarpaste with a wire structure for extra stability.  These were made well in advance so they had plenty of time to dry out and harden, that way when it comes to painting them and putting them on the cake, you're less likely to squash them out of shape.

I was rather worried about delivering this cake in case any of the decorations fell off and broke but I'm glad to say that it got there in one piece and the birthday girls were delighted with their cake.

Monday, 21 November 2011

Ford Escort Rally Car Cake

This is the second Ford car we've been asked to make, this time it was an older model, a Ford Escort Mark 1 Rally car.  It's always best to spend as much time as possible carving the car shape and getting the main shape right, once that is done you can cover it with sugarpaste and concentrate on adding in all the little details. 

I always work quickly to mark out details like doors and windows before the sugarpaste hardens and then you have plenty of time to add on the other bits like lights, mirrors and wipers. 

Monday, 31 October 2011

Cakes from the weekend

This Sleeping Beauty cake is all cake, she's been carved out of sponge and covered bit by bit with sugarpaste.  Each colour has been applied in separate pieces as I didn't want to have multi layers of icing, it takes a bit longer to cover a cake in this way, but it means you still only get one layer of sugarpaste, which makes eating the cake more pleasant.  Unless of course you like lots of thick icing. 

Here's a cake we did for a Colchester United fan, the badge has been made with sugarpaste and the eagle has been piped on with royal icing.  This cake turned out to be quite a whopper, without the icing on, it was already 5 inches deep, well it did need to feed  up to 30 people.

We also had an order for our popular triple chocolate cake with a box of strawberry cupcakes, and judging by the lovely comment we received, it went down very well indeed.

Monday, 24 October 2011

Art Deco cake & 90th birthday cake

The inspiration for this cake came from a mug, I don't know who the original artist is as there were no details, but I've recreated it on a cake.  This cake was commissioned by my mum for my aunt who happens to love  art deco and was thrilled with this cake. 

The whole cake was iced in black sugarpaste, then I rolled out a white piece of sugarpaste to the same size as the cake to paint the picture on.  Once painted I then cut round the painting and transferred it onto the cake.

I finished it off with some piped icing beads around the base of the cake in the same colour as her dress.

Here's a nintieth birthday cake we did at the weekend.  The nine is vanilla sponge with jam and buttercream and the zero is chocolate sponge with chocolate buttercream.  It's decorated with purple flowers made out of sugarpaste and has piped beads round the base of the numbers and satin ribbon. 

We were asked to add something to stick some candles on the board, so in keeping with the design of the cake, made more flowers with extra sugarpaste underneath so they could stick the candles into those.  Good job they didn't want to put 90 candles on the cake, we would've needed a sllightly bigger board!

Thursday, 20 October 2011

Jungle Theme Number One Cake

As far as numbered cakes go, a number 1 is easier to ice than most other numbers, mainly because it hasn't got a hole in the middle or too many angles to worry about.  This one has some cute animals on it too, a couple of cheeky monkeys, a lion and an elephant.  They are all made out of sugarpaste and kept quite simple in design.  The cake is finished off with some tree branches and leaves piped on with royal icing, and of course, the birthday message.

Monday, 10 October 2011

Disney's Cars Tow Mater Cake

This is Tow Mater from Disney's Cars in cake form complete with rusty paint work.  Everything on this cake is edible apart from the angled piece of crane which is a wooden dowel covered in icing.  We used strawberry laces for the cable and fixed them into place with royal icing. 

After sculpting the cake and covering it with white sugarpaste I then had to hand paint all the details on, I learned my lesson from the dinosaur cake and made sure I had an assortment of paint brushes so I could cover larger areas quickly, and I'm so glad I did.  I thought hand painting would give the best result as he's rather rusty and mottled which is easier to create with painting.

And to finish it all off the board has been covered with royal icing to make it look like he's on the road to Radiator Springs.

Ipswich Town Football Cake

This celebration cake features the logo for Ipswich Town Football Club.  I've used red and blue sugarpaste for the shapes on the logo and piped the white details on using royal icing.  It's finished off with some blue piping and striped blue ribbon. 

Using a sharp craft knife is a great way of getting clean lines when cutting out shapes from sugarpaste, it doesn't pull on the sugarpaste as much as a kitchen knife, which means it keeps it's shape better.  Also using a pizza cutter wheel is good for long strips of sugarpaste as the motion cuts down rather than drags ensuring a nice clean cut without pulling the sugarpaste out of shape.

Monday, 3 October 2011

Latest Cakes

Girly Fashion Cake
This pretty cake was for a young girl who loves fashion and we were asked to make a cake that was pink, purple and girly.  I think it ticks all the boxes.

Present Cake with Honeycomb Smash cupcakes
A present cake with icing ribbon decoration and an icing gift tag to display the birthday message.  It's surrounded with Honeycomb Smash cupcakes.
Blue & White Stripe Birthday Cake
This was a whopping 12 inch square cake and boy was it heavy!  We were just asked to do a cake in blue and white so I came up with this striped look to keep the decoration simple and suitable for a man.

Latest Cupcake Orders

Anniversary Cupcakes
This giant cupcake is surrounded by an assortment of standard cupcakes for an anniversary celebration.  The giant cupcake has been decorated with heart sprinkles and fondant roses for a touch of romance.

21st Birthday Cupcakes
A selection of vanilla cupcakes in peach, pink and lilac and decorated with fondant flowers and icing numbers. 
18th Birthday Cupcakes
Another giant cupcake with fondant numbers and sugar sprinkles and with five bespoke cupcakes each with a different theme. 

Saturday, 10 September 2011

Triple Chocolate Cake

Another triple chocolate cake, this time with some simple decoration, a border of crispy chocolate sprinkles and some white chocolate piping, scrummy!

Red Velvet Cupcake

A new cupcake flavour has arrived to join the gang - Red Velvet. 

It's another one of our American inspired range, I say inspired because we've come up with our own recipes for this range.  After doing some research and becoming familiar with the main ingredients and flavours to add, we've adapted those flavours into our own cake recipe.  It is thought that this cake got it's red colouring from a chemical reaction that took place between the cocoa and buttermilk that was used, today red food colouring is generally used to create the red colour.

Red Velvet is a light chocolate cake which is red in colour with a cream cheese frosting and we've completed our cupcakes with some red sugar sprinkles.

Thursday, 8 September 2011

West Ham Football Shirt Cake

Not being a football fan I definitely had to research the latest West Ham football shirt for this cake.  Jay told me that the important elements to this cake were the hammers on the emblem and getting the colours right.  I think I managed to get the colours pretty spot on, it took a bit of time to get the sugar paste to the right shade, which meant quite a bit of kneading, so my arms got a bit of a work out. 

I used grape violet, red and navy to get the maroon colour and a combo of ice blue and navy for the blue.  I added the colourings a little at a time in case it came out too strong, it's always best to add colour gradually as you can always add more, but you can't get rid of it once you've added it, to lighten it you'd need to mix in more white sugar paste which would be a waste.

The emblem was piped on using royal icing with the tiniest hole I could create in my parchment piping bag, seeing as I had to make sure I got those important hammers in! 

Wednesday, 7 September 2011

Baby Shower Cake

Having a baby shower and not knowing what sex the baby is going to be meant making a baby shower cake that needed to be suitable for a boy or a girl.  So I thought I'd stick with pastel shades and use the neutral colours, yellow, green and lilac, as well as pink and blue. 

We were asked to incorporate baby themed items, naturally, and kept things simple with the design.  I thought it'd be nice to add some colour to the sides of the cake and piped coloured stripes all around the sides, making sure they were as straight as possible, it takes a steady hand and an even amount of pressure to create an even thickness. 

The cake flavour is chocolate orange, which means the whole cake was crumb coated with chocolate orange buttercream, which can be a bit worrying when it comes to covering the cake with white sugar paste.  It's best to make sure the board is clean of any buttercream and make sure the sugar paste is rolled out a little thicker to avoid any tearing, after all, you don't want a brown smudge appearing anywhere on your finished cake.

Tuesday, 6 September 2011

Eggbert Cake

For those who can remember, this is Eggbert from Button Moon, he was friends with Tina Tea-Spoon and he happens to be a favourite of my sister, she loved Button Moon as a kid.  My mum thought it would be a good idea to surprise her with this cake for her birthday and she loved it.

It's amazing to think that as kids we were perfectly happy to sit and watch a show where all the characters were made out of old bottles and cans and things you find round the house, whilst it wasn't a high budget programme, it was still lots of fun back in the day.

Tina Tea-Spoon, Mr Spoon and Eggbert

Monday, 5 September 2011

Betty Boop Cake

I had to do some more carving with this cake, Betty is all cake underneath the sugar paste, but we left her on a slab of cake to get more serving portions from it.  We had to cover the cake in two different coloured pieces of sugar paste too which was a new technique for us. 

Firstly we covered Betty in a pale flesh colour and cut around her so only the Betty part of the cake was covered.  Then we covered the rest of the cake with red fondant, which had to temporarily cover Betty, so plenty of icing sugar was dusted over the places we didn't want the sugar paste to stick.  Once the sugar paste had been smoothed into place we could cut around Betty and remove the red sugar paste that was covering her.  Thankfully it didn't stick or leave any red marks on 'nude' Betty.  All that was left to do was paint on the features of Betty and give her some clothes to wear, and some piped hearts and a birthday message, and a black and white polka dot ribbon around the base of the cake which fitted in nicely with the style of the cake.

Thursday, 25 August 2011

Tinkerbell Christening Cake

Inside this cake is a lovely lemon sponge with lemon curd and lemon buttercream, it's covered in baby pink sugar paste with lemon coloured accents.  Tinkerbell was cut out by hand and then painted to add all the features and her wings have been piped on with royal icing to add a delicate touch.  It's been finished off with some icing flowers and satin pink ribbon. 

Sport Themed Birthday Cake

This celebration cake had to feature some sporting equipment and a fire engine.  All the models are made from gum paste, as it sets firmer than sugar paste, and means that handling them is much easier as you don't tend to squish anything out of shape.  I made them a couple of days in advance so they had plenty of time to harden, then all I had to do was attach them to the cake and add some decoration.

Tuesday, 23 August 2011

Dinosaur Cake

It was time to put my painting skills to the test with this realistic dinosaur cake that we were asked to do.  I also had to do a bit of sculpting to get the shape I wanted and to carve out the main features.  Once that was done we covered it in white sugarpaste icing and began to create the look of skin by using tools to create lines and circles to add some texture. 

Next was the paint job, this is where an airbrush would come in handy, so I could cover a large area in a short amount of time, but I don't have one so had to make do with a tiny paintbrush.  I really must invest in some more paintbrushes, in an assortment of sizes, I have tons of paintbrushes but seeing as they've been previously used with proper paint, they can't be used for use with food.  But never mind that, on with the painting.  I use sugarflair gel food colouring to paint with and use it just like watercolour paints, you can use water to thin the gel or even vodka or rejuvenator spirit, alcohol will dry quicker than water and will stop the icing from becoming too sticky, using alcohol or rejuvenator spirit is also good to mix with lustre dust to create a paint.

It was a nice change to do a cake that required a bit more artistic skill, it's been a while since I've done a spot of painting, just hope they didn't mind disecting the dinosaur when it came to eating it!!

Friday, 19 August 2011

Rock Guitar Cake (with a few sweets!)

Inside this cake is an extremely yummy chocolate cake, we couldn't resist a try of it when we had some off cuts, you know, for quality control purposes of course!  We were asked to do a rock guitar cake with lots of sweets on it and that's exactly what they got.  The whole of the sides of this cake are covered with jelly babies, malteasers, smarties, liquorice allsorts, randoms and tooty frooties.  There may be a few rather energetic kids on the loose after eating through this cake!!

Thursday, 18 August 2011

Cupcake Tower

These cupcakes were for an engagement party, 100 cakes in pink, black and white. 

I decided to use black cases rather than make black buttercream as there seems to be something a bit wrong about black buttercream, plus to get a true black colour you need to use a lot of food colouring, so anyone who eats it would end up with a black tongue, not to mention the E number content - not good for children!  So natural and pink buttercream was used with various pink, black and white sprinkles and icing flowers. 

Wednesday, 17 August 2011

Upsy Daisy Birthday Cake

Upsy Daisy Birthday Cake
Here's a cake we did last week featuring Upsy Daisy from In The Night Garden.  Not being too familiar with the latest kids programmes we had to do a bit of research, and the world of In The Night Garden is a bit of a strange one, still I guess it's a hit with the kids.

Thursday, 28 July 2011

Minnie Mouse Birthday Cake

Minnie Mouse Cake
We've done two Mickey Mouse cakes before but this time we got to do a Minnie Mouse cake.  Whilst making this cake I was starting to stress that it kept looking like Mickey but as soon as the eye lashes went on, it instantly looked more girl like, and once the bow was in place it completed the look.  The ears are all cake too so it's like getting three cakes in one.

Wednesday, 27 July 2011

Say It With Cupcakes

Cupcake collection
Here's a collection of cupcakes we've done recently.  At the top we have some cupcakes for a kids birthday party, a nice mixure of colours and sweets, a mixed box of 6 cupcakes for a thank you present, complete with our thank you card with a personal message.  And at the bottom is an assortment of cakes which were a thank you teacher present, with enough cakes for the whole class to enjoy.

Fit For a Princess

This princess castle cake made a little girl very happy and I'm rather pleased with it myself, seeing as it was my first attempt at doing a castle cake. 

The stone pattern has been done by hand, and yes that means every single line and corner has been embossed in separately, I must be mad.  It wasn't as bad as it sounds, I strangely like doing jobs like this, I get a system going and can work through it quite quickly.  I start off with the horizontal lines using a wheel tool, do the vertical lines with a blade tool marking out the bricks, then round off all the corners using a dresden tool, I do all the top left corners first, then the top right...you see where I'm going with this.  There is a reason for this method, and it's not OCD if that's what you're thinking!  By doing all the same corners at once you don't need to keep turning the tool which means you can whizz through it quickly, especially if you have the cake on a turntable.

The turrets on this cake aren't actually edible, as they are cardboard tubes covered in fondant, with ice cream cones covered in fondant for the tops.  We used this method so that we got the best finish as we didn't want the turrets being all wonkey or topple over.  The addition of fondant round the cardboard makes them surprisingly sturdy and they're 'glued' into place using royal icing.

The cake has been sprayed with pearlised lustre spray to give it a shimmery sparkly look and there're tiny flowers and vines piped all around the bottom tier of the cake.  And there you have it, a cake fit for a princess. 

Tuesday, 26 July 2011

How do you eat yours?

Creme Egg Cake
Here's a fun cake we did at the weekend; a Cadbury Creme Egg.  It's a shame you can't get them this time of year as it would have been good to take a picture of it next to our massive version, it's a bit like Pimp That Snack

Sadly this one isn't creme egg flavoured, it's sponge cake with buttercream and jam, covered in sugarpaste icing and hand painted with food colouring, which took about 2 hours.  I even embossed the pattern that appears on the chocolate egg; you can just about see it if you look closely enough.

Tuesday, 28 June 2011

Cakes, a break, then more cakes

We've just had a lovely break away in Northern Ireland, catching up with friends and getting out and about, and eating lots of food!  We had a great time but we had a massive cake to make just before we left, this speed boat which is 30" long!  The picture doesn't really give you a sense of the scale but take my word for it, it's big, and very heavy.

Speed Boat Cake
The whole thing is cake, including the seat at the rear of the boat, I made that using some of the off cuts of sponge.  The only thing that isn't edible is the railing as it has a wire frame inside.  It was for a company in Brightlingsea called Morgan Marine and they were celebrating 40 years in business, they were having a big party so needed a big cake, and that's what they got.

Triple chocolate cake with strawberries
We also had this triple chocolate cake to deliver on the same day along with 6 cupcakes.  Needless to say we were pretty tired by the end of the day, all that was left to do was pack for our holiday and get some sleep, unfortunately we had to be leaving by 3.30am in order to drive up to Scotland to catch our ferry, so didn't get much sleep at all. 

Whilst it was nice to have a break from baking, we knew it wasn't going to be long before we started up again as we had an order for 40 cupcakes to be delivered the next day we got back.  So on went the oven as soon as we got in at 10.30pm on Saturday.  Nothing like getting right to it. 

The cupcakes were a mixture of some of our flavoured cupcakes and we were asked to decorate one with some wire strands with the number 40 on, as it was for a 40th birthday celebration. 

It was my Dad's birthday on Saturday and he'd asked us to make some cake bites so he could take them into work, so we got busy making those, as well as his belated birthday cake.

Dave the Minion Cake
Yes this is the cake he wanted, Dave the Minion from Despicable Me, which he thought was great.  And we even got to have some of this cake, and it was delicious, Jay certainly bakes a good cake.   
So we're already back in the swing of cake making after our break, feels like we were never away!

Monday, 6 June 2011

A Trio Of Cakes

Mobility Van Birthday Cake
So here's the cake I mentioned from my last post, a van cake with models of a mobility scooter, riser armchair and an adjustabed.  Why the mobility theme?  Because the receiver of this cake works for Willowbrook who sell all these items, and that's the van he drives. 

All the models are made from edible materials but are not edible due to them having wire supports inside them.  This was to ensure they kept their shape and to add extra strength to them, especially the armchair as it needed to be in the riser position, which is tipped forward.  I covered this board with royal icing as I wanted to add some texture, plus it sets hard so would act as a good glue for the models, I didn't want them toppling over in transit.  And inside that van cake is a four layered chocolate cake with chocolate buttercream, well most of it is four layers!

Pink Flower Birthday Cake
We also had an order for a couple of big 12" cakes, one with vanilla sponge and icing and a triple chocolate cake.  Here's the sponge cake we did, it's decorated simply with some organza ribbon and some icing flowers. 

These flowers were made using a rose calyx cutter in three different sizes.  I used some pink sugarpaste icing rolled fairly thin, cut out various sizes and placed them onto a folded up clean tea towel.  The tea towel is to help form the shape of the flower when using shaping tools, it's an alternative to a flower pad in case you don't have one.  To add some detail I scored a line down the middle of each petal and made a central dip in the middle of the flower using a ball tool, doing this helps to turn the petals up so they don't rest flat.  I left them to air dry for a while then painted the centre of each petal with a darker pink colour and the outside area with a shimmery white colour.  I used red food colouring mixed with some white lustre dust and rejuvenator spirit to make a paint.  The white paint is just white lustre dust and rejuvenator spirit.  The lustre dust helps to give the flowers a subtle shimmery effect.

Stars Triple Chocolate Cake
And here's the other 12" cake we did, our popular triple chocolate cake, this time decorated with chocoalte stars.  I've used Milky Way Magic Stars around the bottom and top edge of the cake as a border, and simply sprinkled tiny chocolate stars on top of the cake, the message is piped in white chocolate and I also added a white chocolate border to the very bottom of the cake, mainly to break up all that chocolatey brown colour.

Tuesday, 31 May 2011

Another Busy Week

Cupcakes, Computer Cake, Giant Triple Chocolate Cupcake & a Triple Chocolate Cake
I've been so busy I've not had a chance to blog about the cakes we did last week.  We had a bit of a mixture, lots of cupcakes as well as a novelty cake and a triple chocolate cake. 

The novelty cake was a 3D computer cake, there's a lot of cake inside that computer monitor and it was so heavy.  Thankfully Jay had the task of carrying it into the venue (which meant a short walk down a busy high street and up some stairs at the venue) I was the driver so got the easy part of the delivery.  The keyboard and mouse are mainly for decoration but completely edible, if you like rice krispie treats covered in fondant icing that is.  You can't really see in the picture but the keyboard has the exact amount of keys on it and all the letters, numbers and symbols, all painted on with my teeny weeny paint brush.  The screen has been printed onto rice paper using edible inks, I thought this would make it look more realistic, plus it would have taken an incredibly long time to paint all that detail!

I've been making more cake bites too, this time I made some to give as a gift.  The cake bites have been loved by everyone who's tried them so I think we'll start selling them soon.

Boxed Cake Bites
The white chocolate covered cake bites are lemon flavoured and the chocolate ones have crushed Cadbury Crunchie pieces in.  We have plans to do some other flavours too, a bit like with our cupcakes, we'll have a good choice to choose from.

We've got a couple more orders to do this week which will keep us busy.  I've already made a start on some models for one cake, and I can say I've never had to make anything quite like it before, more details on that once it's been delivered.  Making bespoke cakes is always interesting, because people want cakes that are personal to them, they're always different.

Saturday, 21 May 2011

Little Miss Sunshine Birthday Cake

Little Miss Sunshine Cake
Here's a sweet little cake we've just done for a little girls birthday party.  I love these sort of cakes, they're quite simple really but look so good. 

I wanted to decorate the board to fit in with the style of the Mr Men and Little Miss books, after a little research I came up with this rolling hills and blue sky background.  The drawing style is very bold with simple shapes and blocks of colour, and nice and easy to do too.  The board is covered in fondant icing and painted with food colouring.  See, nice and simple.

S'mores Cupcake

Here's the next American inspired cupcake based on s'mores.  For those not in the know, a s'more is a traditional campfire treat which consists of toasted marshmallow and chocolate which is sandwiched between two graham crackers.

S'mores Cupcake
Our cupcake version is a vanilla sponge with a chocolate filling and topped off with mallowy marshmallow frosting and crumbled biscuit pieces.  It's gooey, light and delicious, you'll definitely want s'more!

Sunday, 8 May 2011

Ford Puma Car Cake

Ford Puma Cake
This is the third vehicle cake we've made and the first time we've made a car and I'm so pleased with how it turned out.  We thought this may have been a bit of a challenge but ironically it was one of the easiest cakes we've made, there were no dramas and everything went smoothly.  And the difference......planning and doing things in stages.

As we don't use shaped cake pans this car needed to be sculpted out of a stack of sponges, it's three layers of sponge with jam and buttercream filling between each layer.  As I was sculpting away I thought it may be best to sculpt most of the features, such as the windows, lights and indents to the body of the car, and I was right.  When it came to covering the cake with the icing it was simply a matter of smoothing out all the details and all that was left to do was mark out some extra detailing and adding lights and other small details.

Various stages of cake making and final views
The wheels took quite a long time to make as the alloys were piped with royal icing.  Once the icing was set they needed to be painted with edible silver paint with a ridiculously tiny paint brush! 

Alloy wheel
I just hope Steve is happy with his cake.
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