Monday, 22 September 2014

Janice & Paul's Wedding

I was very honoured to be asked to make another wedding cake for Saturday September 20th. The theme was the seaside and so a slightly untraditional wedding cake was discussed. Or maybe that should read, I found a cool cake and was given the go ahead to make it. 

I was also asked to make the wedding favours and after a few different ideas were discussed, the decision was made to make starfish cookies. I actually think these turned out really well and when packaged up with the matching label, looked really nice on the wedding tables (I got to sneak peak them while the room was being set up). 50 biscuits and I counted the dots. That'd be 3200 iced dots. But aren't they pretty? (And I wished that wine glass had actual wine in it)

Onto the cake. I made this an 11" square cake with 10" round cake on top. Two thick layers of cake for each cake (4" deep). The bottom was Victoria sponge with raspberry jam and buttercream and the top was lemon sponge with lemon curd and buttercream.

The trickiest bit for me is always the fondant. I needed to roll out an 18x18" square of fondant for each cake. That's huge! That's almost 2.5kg of fondant on that cake. Cakes are supposed to be light as air but once you whack some fondant on they're deceptively heavy. I coloured the fondant using caramel colour food colouring gel. I love love love the colour.

The shells are made with candy melts. These are my favourite part of the cake. I bought two moulds, one for the large shells and one for the small. Using white candy melts I filled the moulds several times over then once set, painted them very lightly with sugarflair gel colours in dark brown and chestnut. I'll definitely use the moulds again. I think using moulds might be one of my favourite things 

I made them a few days in advance and kept them in a Tupperware box. 

Next job was the coral. I made some more royal icing (as used on the starfish biscuits) and piped out coral shapes onto acetate. These needed to set for 24 hours and I wish retrospectively that I'd piped them thicker as they are the most delicate thing ever! I broke half of them just lifting them off the acetate so decided that I'd attach a few round the cake but not put the ones on top until I'd got the cake to the reception. In fact I broke 5 more when I was assembling the cake at the reception. Grrrrrrrr. Luckily I'd made a lot 

Making buttercream is something I'm not good at as I normally cover the kitchen in icing sugar so it looks like a winter wonderland. I was impressed how little carnage I'd made this time. Mmmmmm look at all that buttercream. Yummy!!!!

Ok, cake assembly. The top cake was on a thin board and the base dowelled of course. 

With more royal icing, I piped round the bottom of the square cake and used more to attach shells around the base of the top cake and the pieces of coral to the sides of the cakes. 

Then I left the rest of the decoration for when I'd gotten the cake to the reception, which was a very slow drive through Sheffield so the coral didn't snap off the sides. Even one piece for the top broke in transit. Sheffield roads are the worst :(

First job at the reception was to cover the cake board. I put a very small amount of buttercream on the silver board showing to act as a glue then sprinkled on the "sand" which is made from cake cuttings whizzed up in the food processor. I then tied the ribbon round and secured and the base was done.

Now for the top. I made small indentations in the top and poked the coral in, I broke a few more in the process grrrrr. Once in, I added the large shells then sprinkled on more "sand". Done!!!!! Pheweeeeeee it made it standing.

Congratulations Mr & Mrs Wells xx

Tuesday, 9 September 2014

Bodhi's birthday cake

Happy 3rd birthday to Bodhi

Here's the Buzz Lightyear rocket cake I was asked to make for him.

It's a Victoria sponge cake with buttercream and jam filling and all hand made embellishments. I scratched my head a bit over the Buzz head but decided to just go for it and make it myself out of fondant. After I made it I decided to ask my 4 year old if he could tell who it was. When he answered Buzz Lightyear, that made me stupidly ecstatic!

I baked two large square sponges, sandwiched them together with buttercream and jam, then hand drew a rocket template which I placed on top of the square cake and cut out the centre section of the rocket. (I then sent a photo to my friends to see if they could guess what it was). Thankfully they said rocket.

Using the bits of leftover cake I cut out two wings for the rocket and attached them to the cake with buttercream before crumb coating the whole cake.

My heart rate always shoots up when I work with fondant. You only really get one shot once it's rolled and it's trickier when you're covering a non round shape. But phew, I did it. I used coloured fondant to make the rest of the rocket embellishments and then it was done!