Monday, 25 April 2011

Birthday Cakes and an Experiment

Modelling chocolate models
We've had a couple of birthday cakes to do this weekend, firstly there's this number 3 cake with a Peppa pig theme.  I've made the pigs, little cake, dinosaur and presents out of modelling chocolate and love how they turned out. 

Peppa Pig

George Pig and Dine-saw

I decided to make the pigs true to their 2D look and kept the eyes on the same side of their head, they look a bit strange from the other side but I wanted them to look like they do when drawn, they look too different when the features are placed in their normal position. 

Peppa Pig themed number 3 cake
The hardest part about this cake was covering it in fondant icing, I'm still trying to perfect the best way of covering these types of cakes, but learning how to correct mistakes at the same time! 

We had a mixed bunch of cupcakes to go with the Peppa Pig cake too, here we have triple chocolate, honeycomb smash, lemon, whippy and victoria (vanilla sponge, raspberry jam and vanilla buttercream).

Fire engine cake
The other birthday cake we had to make was a fire engine for a little boy named Otis, I thought it would be fun to pipe the message as if it was water from the hose.  This cake was much easier to ice, a nice simple shape.

Seeing as we had off cuts of sponge and some left over buttercream from the cupcake making I thought I'd experiment with making Cake Pops, I've been meaning to do some for a while now, but I didn't have any lolly pop sticks.  So I thought I'd make cake bites instead.

All you have to do is break up the sponge into crumbs, mix in some buttercream and squish it all together, roll into balls and leave in the fridge to firm up.  As the sponge I was using was vanilla they looked like mini scotch eggs, which is what Jay thought they were, something to bear in mind if we ever need to make a cake with a pic nic theme and need to make cake versions of other food.

Cake bites disguised as scotch eggs
After chilling I melted some chocolate and begun covering the cake bites completely, drizzled some white chocolate across all of them and popped them back in the fridge to set.

Cake bites
And here they are, a plate full of cake bites, and they are rather scrummy.  The buttercream I used had smashed up Cadbury Crunchie in it so you get little bits of crunchie in these bites.  This is one experiment that turned out a little too well for my liking.....I can't stop eating these cake bites now!

Sunday, 17 April 2011

Mini Easter Cupcake Recipe

It's not long till Easter now so I thought I'd do a recipe to share, it's quick, simple and great for kids to do too.  These mini cupcakes are gone in a couple of bites but you could always make bigger ones, you'll get approximately 8 from this same recipe, just bake for an extra 5-8 minutes.

Click here for the recipe

Monday, 11 April 2011

A bit like a big box of chocs

Left to right on the top row; lemon, triple choc, strawberry. 
Bottom row; whippy, victoria, honeycomb smash
This batch was an order for the ladies over at Dent Devils, it was a nice surprise for them that they weren't expecting, they must be doing a very good job.  They have six varieties to choose from including the newly named Victoria cupcake.  We've decided to name this cupcake after the victoria sponge cake as it has all the key ingredients; vanilla sponge, jam, and buttercream, although, technically a proper victoria sponge doesn't have buttercream, but in ours it does.

Safely nestled in the insert tray

Here they are all packed up and ready to be eaten.  We covered them with a sheet of parchment paper (as the strawberry ones are rather tall and we didn't want the lid of the box to come into contact with them), and placed a little menu on top so they know what flavours there are, just like in a box of chocolates.

All boxed up and ready for delivery
I made a little card to include the message we were asked to deliver, and attached it to the ribbon we tied the box up with.  What a nice way to show your appreciation, hope the ladies are enjoying their treat.  

Tuesday, 5 April 2011

A Mixed Bunch

Mixed box of cupcakes
Another cupcake order, a mixed bunch again, this time we have a whippy, 2 strawberry, lemon, triple choc with chocolate sponge and chocolate with vanilla sponge.  Hope there's no fights over who gets what flavour, I'd be fighting for the lemon.

Monday, 4 April 2011

Busy, busy, busy

Strawberry Cupcakes
What a busy week we had last week, not that I'm complaining.  We've had orders for cupcakes, Mother's Day cakes and a wedding cake to do.  These strawberry cupcakes are proving to be quite popular and we'll soon be able to go and pick our own strawberries from the local farm, while you can get strawberries all year round, they are at their best during the summer months.  The buttercream is made with real strawberries, crushed through a sieve, to add a hint of strawberry flavour and to give it that lovely pink colour flecked with tiny pieces of strawberry.  The finishing touch is simply a whole strawberry dipped in white chocolate.

Whippy Cupcakes & Strawberry Cupcakes
 Another popular flavour we do is the Whippy, inspired by the 99 ice cream.  A vanilla sponge topped with piped swirled vanilla buttercream, a few chocolate strands and the all important Cadbury Flake.

Plain white wedding cake, with ribbon decoration
 We had a 3 tier wedding cake to do, with different flavour cakes, the bottom tier is vanilla sponge with raspberry jam and buttercream filling, the second tier is chocolate with chocolate buttercream filling and the top tier is fruit cake.  This cake was being decorated by the bride so we just had to provide the cake, we added a white satin ribbon trim which could be removed easily if not needed, but we felt it needed it to add a little something, it looked a little too plain!  I took a few photos with coloured ribbon and an artificial flower to make the photo a bit more interesting. 

Personalised assorted cupcakes, vanilla, chocolate, strawberry and lemon
These cupcakes were personalised to say thanks Amanda and we had to make a variety of flavours and designs.  We went for vanilla sponge and topped with lilac vanilla buttercreram, chocolate ganache, strawberry, and a lemon cupcake with a lemon curd filling and lemon curd buttercream.  The purple flowers and discs are made from white sugar paste and dusted with purple lustre dust and royal icing piped design and message.  What better way to say thank you than with cupcakes?

Our triple chocolate cake never fails to disappoint and we were asked to make one for Mother's Day, I decorated it simply with a few wafer daisies and some white chocolate piped decoration and message.
Mother's Day Cupcakes
These pretty cupcakes were for a Mother's Day order we had.  The lilac ones are vanilla with sugar sprinkles and a wafer flower, the yellow ones are lemon curd buttercream with a lemon curd filling and covered with pink sugar sprinkles, and the pink ones are filled with raspberry jam, topped with vanilla buttercream and covered in lots of tiny sprinkles and decorated with small sugar paste flowers.  I made a batch of these sugar paste flowers in advance so they would dry harder, that way they are easier to handle when sticking them to the cake, rather than accidently squishing them.  I mixed up a little pale yellow icing to pipe in the centre of the flowers to give them more detail.

We liked these so much we made more to give to our mums on Mother's Day too.  They went down a treat.
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