Friday, 2 November 2012

Gruff the Gruffalo

Well you met Gruff a few weeks ago and he was finished last week in time for Tom's birthday.  I feel I have to point out, Tom is 25!!! (he loves the Gruffalo.....ahhh!)

Clandestine Cake Club

I finally got my email last Friday telling me the venue of the Clandestine Cake Club (its all very secret!), so I started baking for that cake on Saturday.  The theme was Trick O' Treat so I decided to do a spiced pumpkin & walnut  (or butternut squash in this case) cake with an orange cream cheese frosting.

I've made this cake before and its gone down well (the recipe is on the Good Food website) so I felt quite confident about making it.  I added extra spices to the original recipe and I decided to add walnuts to it to give a bit of variation.  If you like carrot cake, you will love this one it has a very similar texture and taste to it.

I spooked it up a bit with the addition of a glitter bat and some fondant pumpkins and scatted some bats and ghosts around the cake.

The CCC was great.  It was lovely to meet so many other bakers who are so enthusiastic about cake.  There was no air of competition with anyone's cake and everyone took a genuine interest in what other people had baked.  I took along Mrs S as a guest and we had a fabulous afternoon drinking tea & coffee and eating LOTS of thing was, everything was divided up at the end and you took home what was left, how fab is that?!!  Mrs S was very impressed, so much so that she might even dust off a pinny and bake next time as well when we meet up again in December

 Spiced Pumpkin & Walnut Cake with Orange Cream Cheese Frosting

 Graveyard cake complete with lit up pumpkins!

 Soggy Moggy ginger cake

 Selection of the cakes made - there were 10 or 11 all in all

Complimentary Jasmine and Very Berry teas courtesy of the venue

All in all it was a great way to spend a couple of hours on a rainy Sunday afternoon.  Can't wait for the next one!!


Phew, last week was a whirlwind of activities, mainly all happening at the weekend.  Some serious baking took place in my house last week and my trusty Kenwood K-Mix was worth every (expensive) penny!  Without it I doubt I would have managed all that I did / baked.

Baking preparations for me started earlier on in the week where I hand made over 190 petunia fondant sugarpaste flowers, individually dusted each one with lustre dust and placed a little edible pearls in the centre of each flower.....time consuming to say the least!  Each flower then had to set up  ready for them to be placed on top of the cupcake.

The theme was autumnal colours so I chose 3 colours for the flowers....brown (chocolate flavoured sugarpaste), peach and cream (white chocolate flavoured sugarpaste) all dusted with golds and bronzes

A few days beforehand I had iced the top tier cake and decorated with the same flowers so that was setting nicely.  The bride's mum had made a delicious smelling fruit cake (well doused with alcohol she assured me!) but I was just asked to decorate it to tie in with the cupcakes.  I have to say, I don't like working with marzipan.....terrible stuff to handle; very sticky so I was glad when that job was done!

Next up was making the cupcakes; lemon with a lemon buttercream and chocolate orange with chocolate orange buttercream.  The wedding was on the Saturday so I booked the Friday off work, collected the cake stand first thing in the morning, had a cup of tea and was baking by 10am!................Nine and a half hours later, I finally finished!!  I have a stone floor in my kitchen and standing on it for literally 9 1/2 hours did my feet no good at all!  To say I was shattered was a little bit of an understatement!!

With all the cupcakes baked, it was then on to icing and decorating them..........

 This was all the ingredients for the cakes!

 Lemon cupcakes all lined up

chocolate orange cupcakes cooling

I made extra in case of any mishaps with the cases etc so then it was on with the icing.

All the cakes were sprayed with a pearl lustre spay which gave a really nice sheen to the cakes.  At £8 a can it was expensive stuff (I went through 2 cans) but I thought it made the cakes look really nice.

Then next morning it was off to the venue to set up.  It took a fair few boxes to transport everything..

Apart from the manager of the venue being a bit difficult with where I could set the cakes up, everything went smoothly (I would have liked to have taken some better pictures of the cakes when all set up but that wasn't possible so what follows are a bit blurry I'm afraid).

Most important of all though was the Bride & Groom liked them and they both had an amazing day and night (watching the mother of the bride showing her dancing moves gangnam style will stay with me forever!!!!)

We had a brilliant time at the evening reception and the buffet was Fish & Chips with Mushy Peas!! (the fish wasn't that 'mini' either!) great idea!!