Sunday, 20 December 2009

The wedding cake and other bakes!

I haven't blogged for what feels like ages, so i thought i'd just post everything i've been up to in one go! It's been busy, i moved house and absolutely love living outside of London in the countryside, i went to America on holiday, i made a wedding cake and a got a new job all in the space of 4 months! Phew! Well, i promised pictures of the cake and here it is, their wedding day was just so beautiful; making this cake was one of the hardest challenges i've ever done! It was 4 tiers, one fruit, one sponge, one chocolate and one chocolate fudge! All iced in ivory sugarpaste and dotted with purple butterflies and finished with ribbon!
From afar!
All boxed up and ready to go...
All 4 tiers iced and finished...
The bottom tier...
The second largest tier; vanilla sponge cake with buttercream and jam, being covered in buttercream ready for the sugarpaste...
The bottom tier just marizpaned...
Some carrot cakes I made - they look pretty but the recipe I followed wasn't that great...
A delicious banana cake; it tasted like heaven and healthy too...
Energy bars with cranberries and seeds for work...
Some cupcakes I made for a charity fundraiser...
My lovely friend's birthday cake-stars...

Wednesday, 5 August 2009

Chocolate cupcakes to match

I made these cupcakes to match the birthday cake that I made for my sister. I adore the little red cupcake papers - they look so effective against the chocolate colours and I know they would be brilliant for Christmas and winter cupcakes!
I hand grated all the chcolate shavings using a cheese grater, it was messy but lots of fun! The cakes are chocolate with chocolate buttercream and then chocolate shavings quickly sprinkled on!
My camera has been broken for some time now but i'm pleased to report that I have just purchased a new one so worry not, I can keep baking and taking photos! I took part in the London Triathlon at the weekend - i entered as a team with work and did the running part dressed as a toilet! It was so much fun! That's it now though for my sporting achievements for this year! I've done the Crisis 6k, Race for Life 5k and LT 5k - what with all this running, I deserve a cake or two! I'm looking forward to spending long Sunday afternoons baking in the kitchen again rather than out running or worrying about my lack of training! Give me baking cakes anyday! x

Saturday, 25 July 2009

roll up, roll up, read all about it...

I have some great news! The first is that my lovely friends are getting married in October and I am making their wedding cake - I am so excited about this and have just been to the Squires shop in Farnham to buy some new cake tins and things, what an honour! They are having a fruit cake as the bottom tier, followed by vanilla sponge, followed by two chocolate cakes, 4 tiers in all!

Secondly, is that (hopefully) in about 6 weeks time my husband and I are moving out of London (woop woop!) further north into the countryside to a town called St. Albans, i can't wait to be packing the boxes but even more exciting is that we are going to be living near a college that does a 20 week sugar flower course for beginners, it's a little pricey but i'll scrimp and save and sign up soon. What exciting times! It was nearly a year ago that I did a 10 week cake class and i had such a great time!

Sunday, 19 July 2009

Chocolate Birthday Cake

This is my sister's birthday cake. It's a 6inch chocolate cake with chocolate buttercream and then I bought some lovely dark and white chocolate bars and grated them to create chocolate shreads with I covered the cake in. I think it's looks really effective but to add a touch of love I swirled white melted choolate into heart shapes and stuck them on the top.

It's a small cake but it was the perfect size for my family to have a slice each with two slices for my sis to enjoy the next day!
I entered Race for Life today. It was in Hyde park and even though I've done quite a few charity runs I found this one particulary hard and it was only 5k but boy was it a long way! I was tired after 1k! I've spent all afternoon sat on the sofa drinking tea trying to recover from the pain! I can't work out why I was so exhausted! So I thought I'd post my chocolate cake to cheer myself up, cake always puts a smile on my face! Enjoy! x

Thursday, 2 July 2009

Mum's 60th Birthday Cake

I made this cake for my mum's 60th Birthday. I wasn't sure of a complete design when I started it but I decided on yellow butterflies and roses. It was a fruit cake (10 inch) covered in marizpan and then roll out icing. I made the roses out of sugarpaste and the butterflies out of flower paste.

I'm not sure how I managed to carry this cake all the way from London to Preston on the underground, train and then car but somehow I managed to get it their in one piece with all the butterflies attached.

My mum loved it and i'm so pleased she did! She really deserved a special birthday and we had a lovely 'country living' style outdoor garden party! Happy Birthday mum!

Sunday, 7 June 2009

Luscious Lemon Drizzle Cake

This is perfect sunshine food! Luscious lemon drizzle cake, it's easy to make, doesn't take long to cook and your friends will be swept away by the freshness and lovely deep sweet lemon flavour.

All you need is:
100g/4oz butter
175g/6oz self - raising flour
1 tsp baking powder
175g/6oz golden caster sugar
2 large eggs
6 tbsp milk
finely grated rind of 1 large lemon

For the icing:
juice of one large lemon (3 tbsp)
100g/4oz golden caster sugar

Preheat the oven to 180c and butter and line the base of a shallow oblong tin and line the bottom with baking paper.

Take a large bowl and mix all the ingrediants together for 2 - 3 minutes until the mixture drops easily off the back of a spoon. Pour it into the tin and smooth the surface with the back of a spoon and bake for 30 - 40 minutes until golden and a beautiful smell fills your kitchen. While its cooking, make the icing by beating together the lemon juice and sugar. Once the cake comes out of the oven, pour it over while its sill hot and let it soak into the cake. Leave to cool.

Cut into squares and serve with iced home made lemonade! Summer bliss!

Sunday, 24 May 2009

Lemon Cupcakes

I've been trying to perfect the perfect swirl on a cupcake for ages now and I'm finally happy with my end result! I've been practising with all kinds of tubes big and small! This is going to be my signature swirl (when I one day am able to sell them!).
I've been making loads of cupcakes recently and selling them at work as part of my fundraising so it's been really easy to practice! I made orange cupcakes last week and lemon cupcakes the week before and they were both delicious!
Lemon is the perfect flavour for summer and I can't get enough of it. I love lemon drizzle cake, home made lemonade, lemon sweets, lemon yogurt, slices of lemon in my drinks - the fresh tangy taste is just delicious and I love the strong yellow colour as they brighten up my dark kitchen!
I think this is a good amount of buttercream on a cake, it looks real pretty without being a mountain, some of the cakes I see in London have more buttercream than cake and I think it's important to have a good balance of them both without it being too sickly! I'll be back next week with the lemon drizzle cake recipe!

Sunday, 10 May 2009

Butterfly cake

This is the second cake I made to celebrate the welcome of Spring. I wanted to create a very girly cake that would be perfect for picnics in the countryside! I used very pale pink sugar paste to cover it and then cut out butterflies in different colours and gave them a brush of shimmer to add some sparkle. I 'm learning lots about covering cakes at the moment!
Here's a close up of the butterflies - I love the way you can the wings lift up to give the effect that it's about to fly away!
I tried a pretty pink ribbon around to finish it off!

Once we'd cut into it, it dodn't last long at all! It was great fun to make and I really enjoyed my afternoon of creativity!

Saturday, 18 April 2009

Easter Cake

I baked this Easter/Spring cake for my two friends in London. I didn't want to make a traditional themed cake so I went for a fresh spring countryside look and decorated it in daisies that I made out of flower paste using daisy cutters. I then cut out little blossom flowers and stuck them on too. The cake is a maderia cake with my dad's homemade redcurrant jam spread in the middle.
I'm entering it into the Easter Cake Bake competition over on Julia's 'A slice of Cherry Pie' website. Julia holds it every year and there was some amazing cakes last year.
Here is a close up of the flowers - they are my first sugar flowers so I'm really pleased they turned out so well. I think it's perfect for an Easter party to welcome Spring and Summer!

Sunday, 12 April 2009

Chocolate Easter Nests

Happy Easter everyone! I hope you are all enjoying your Easter Sunday and time off work. This is the first batch of chocolate nests I made, i've currently making a second batch right now! I used milk chocolate and shredded wheat but you can also use corn flakes. They are so simple and bring back all the childhood memories of making these as a kid.

Saturday, 4 April 2009

More Spring cupcakes

I bought these cute iced ducks from Lakeland and they are so sweet for Easter/Spring cupcakes!

Sunday, 22 March 2009

Cupcakes for spring

I am so excited about the arrival of Spring and I love the weather at the moment, it's such a lovely time of year. These are some pictures of the cupcakes I have made in the last few weeks to celebrate the arrival of lighter nights, warmer weather and all things spring like!

I went to the Country Living Spring fair and had a great time, there was some lovely exhibits and people's creativity was just gorgeous. There are so many things I want to buy!

Thursday, 5 March 2009

Honey and oat breakfast muffins

I made some breakfast muffins that are great to munch on for breakfast. They are made from honey, raisins and oats and are just the perfect way to start your day and to eat on the way if you don't have time for breakfast. Just grab and go!