Thursday, 29 March 2012

Pirates Ahead......Treasure Chest

Its definitely a small old world we live in.  A friend of a friend recommended me to someone she knew who was looking for a birthday cake for her son, she in turn knew another one of my friends as their children go to the same school!  Anyway, a Treasure Chest was ordered for Matthews 5th Birthday and this is the result.

I have to say I was particularly pleased with how good this cake turned out.  It was really fun to do and easier than I had imagined.  I did panic and think I was going to run out of brown icing and bulk bought loads of the stuff and now I have loads of it left as it didn't use up as much as I had thought!!  I tell you its hard work dieting and making a cake out of chocolate flavoured fondant!!  The smell......mmmm, chocolate!!

This is a BIG cake, I did it on a 13" board and its heavy....very heavy!  The cake itself is 3 sponges covered in brown chocolate flavoured fondant which I patterned with a wood grain effect using an embossing mat.  I made scrolls out of white fondant mixed lightly with a pale brown to give a swirly effect and highlighted with gold lustre dust.  These were left to dry out so I could 'draw' on them with an edible ink pen.

The chest was filled with gold coins and sweet necklaces and the jewels dotted around the board are midget jems!

Lets hope Matthew & his pirate friends enjoy it!

Dr Who

Its been a busy past two weeks!  I've done two novelty birthday cakes one being a 21st birthday cake in the form of a tardis from Dr Who.  I thought it would be a relatively simple cake to was square....didn't think it would take me long.......4 and a half HOURS later it was finished!!!  Good job I had baked the sponges the day before to give myself a bit of time!

This cake for some reason took a lot of blue icing, I used nearly 6 packs of it in covering the cake and whilst it looks quite plain, all the door panels and window panes were individually done.  I have in my possession quite a few embossing mats and had one which is a brick wall, this came in very handy for the background.  The grey was a little darker than I wanted (my own fault, I added too much black to the white icing!)

Friday, 23 March 2012

Glittery Butterflies

Chief Taster put an order in for cupcakes with butterflies (not sure if she asked for glitter but she got it!) on top.  These colours in the photo's are a lot brighter than they are in real life, the icing is actually quite a delicate pink and the green butterflies are a lovely teal green shade.  Please forgive the photographs, I was trying to be  'artistic'  (just messing around really!).

I have used a different butterfly cutter to the one I usually use, this one is slightly bigger and doesn't have the wings embossed as with my usual plunger cutter, you could always roll over an embosser mat if you wanted to do patterns on them (never really thought of that when I was doing them last night....duh!) and I added 'bodies' to them which I think looked quite effective.

The cutter came free with that new cake decorating magazine that is out at the moment, I think I may subscribe to the magazine if only for the free gifts they give out with it, some of them are quite good!  I use the term 'magazine' loosely as its only about 10 pages long!!

I wonder if Chief Taster will try and pass them off as her own?????!!!!.................

Monday, 19 March 2012

Mother's Day Treat

My mum was treated to lunch at our house on Sunday for Mother's Day.....roast chicken, mash, roasties, veg, gravy....the whole works.  Whilst the main course was all cooked strictly sticking to Slimming World methods I'm afraid the dessert was a whole different matter!  Rachel Allen and her fabulous No Pastry Pear & Almond Tart (which is always a firm favourite in our house) finished off the meal nicely.

After a few dodgy starts to whisking up egg whites (hand mixer went a little berserk which resulted in egg whites all over the kitchen worktop....twice!!) this recipe is simplicity itself and is literally in the oven within 10 mins and is great if you are not a fan of making pastry.....hence the title of the desert!!

The recipe appears in Rachel Allen's Favourite Food at Home cookbook


175g (6oz) icing sugar

50g (2oz) plain flour

100g (4oz) ground almonds

Finely grated zest of 1 lemon

5 egg whites

175g (6oz) butter, melted

2 ripe pears, peeled, cored and quartered, then cut into long slices about 5mm (1/4 in) thick

25g (1oz) flaked almonds

Icing sugar, to serve


Preheat the oven to 200°C , Gas Mark 6. Lightly grease the sides of a 23cm (9in) tart tin with a removable bottom and place a disc of greaseproof paper on the base. If you prefer, you can serve this tart on the tart tin base, in which case do not use a disc of paper.

2. Sieve the icing sugar and flour into a bowl and stir in the ground almonds and lemon zest. Whisk the egg whites for 30 seconds, until just frothy, and add to the dry ingrediants with the warm melted butter. Mix until smooth.

3. Pour the mixture into the prepared tin. Arrange the pieces of pear on top and sprinkle with flaked almonds.

4. Bake in the oven for 15 minutes, then turn down the oven to 180°C , Gas Mark 4 and cook for a further 10 minutes or until risen and pale golden. The filling should fill firm to the touch in the centre.

5. Allow to sit in the tin for a few minutes before turning out onto a wire rack. Dust with icing sugar to serve. This is delicious with softly whipped cream.

Friday, 16 March 2012

Thomas' Nintendo DS

Last year Thomas had a baby dinosaur for his birthday cake....this year he wanted a Nintendo DS!  At first I was a bit doubtful about doing such a cake as I thought I might struggle with it, but after some much appreciated advice from a fellow blogger, Christy  (who has marvellous blog, please go and check it out, she blogs about baking and all manner of interesting crafty things), I decided to give it a go.

All the children at Thomas's party were very impressed, more so the boys than the girls!  But I was impressed even if I do say so myself & more importantly, Thomas loved it!

Thanks again to Christy!

Lemon Swirl Birthday Cake

My Aunty Joyce celebrated her birthday at the beginning of the month and so a lemon cake was made.  It was a total lemon-fest cake!  Lemon sponge filled with lemon curd topped off with lemon buttercream frosting!  In hindsight it could maybe have done with cream as the filling rather than the rich sweet buttercream but as I wasn't sure how much of the cake would be eaten I went for the buttercream option as it keeps for longer.  As it was I should have used cream as nearly all of it went at once!

Chief Taster's Other Half's Birthday Cupcakes

My Chief Taster's Other Half's birthday was at the end of February and because sometimes he doesn't get chance to eat the baked goods that are passed over to their house, I decided to make him his own birthday cupcakes!

These were lemon cupcakes with a lemon buttercream frosting piped on.  I had recently bought some lime green glitter and I was desperate to use it so this went on top along with little blue sugar balls.