Friday, 29 April 2011

Let Them Eat Cake

You could argue that a school nursery party in honour of the royal wedding is no place for political comment, but when I was asked to supply six small cakes as my son's contribution to the above celebration, I couldn't resist being a little bit cheeky.

Six chocolate cakes are decorated in red, white and blue (though I must confess that when I see these colours outside of a Union Jack design, I don't think of the UK flag, but of the Stars and Stripes or even a rosette from the French revolution ...maybe I can reprise these cakes in July: both on the 4th and 14th?!)

The message on them is definitely poking fun at the royals, but I also like the double meaning, because -of course- I'm also wishing that everyone be allowed to eat cake.

"Qu'ils mangent de la brioche"

Wednesday, 27 April 2011

Mini Mix

Bob ordered 24 mini cakes to take into work for her 30th birthday. She couldn't decide on a theme, so I suggested a mix of designs in an assortment of icing flavours.
I'm always happy to have the chance to practice my icing techniques (and this order also gave me the chance to finally work out the pricing for a box of mini cakes!)

Happy 30th birthday Bob!

24 mini chocolate Guinness cakes with assorted toppings:

cream cheese frosting;

raspberry buttercream with hundreds and thousands;

and a red buttercream rose.
(the cakes with the roses also had a fresh raspberry baked into the middle)

Top view


Tuesday, 26 April 2011

Space Cakes!

A lovely order from Clare for Stephen's birthday: both a fun commission of 12 space-themed cakes AND the invitation to go round and help them eat them!

I made chocolate Guinness cakes (because that's all I seem to bake at the moment!) with cream cheese frosting. The toppers were made from fondant icing, and some hundreds and thousands to represent the asteroids!

(there's nothing I love more than geeking out about a subject- so not only did I do my best to recreate the look of the planets, I also wanted them in the right order. Between creating them, I spent my time online, checking the placement of the asteroid belt and the Kuiper belt. I also felt a little "not to scale" proviso was in order!)

Happy Birthday Stephen!

12 Solar system cakes: Sun, Mercury, Venus, (a rocket), Earth, Mars, asteroid belt, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Venus and some stars (or the Kuiper belt, as I like to think of them)

"Not to Scale"


Side view

Some astronaut candles

ready for blast off to Stephen's.

Sunday, 24 April 2011

Happy Easter!

I had absolutely nothing to do with making this Easter nest (kids brought them back from the grandparents'), but everything to do with eating it! Happy Easter!

Friday, 22 April 2011

Moustache Cakes A-Go-Go!

Camilla ordered 12 cakes with moustaches on for her friend's hen do!

The complicating factor was that she needed to have them delivered to her in Manchester on Wednesday evening, but would be serving them in London on Friday evening - with a detour to Norwich on the way!

I made 12 chocolate Guinness cakes with a raspberry inside each one, trying to go for maximum moistness - if they started out really moist, then they would have a chance of not being quite bone dry by Friday tea time.

We decided to top the cakes with raspberry buttercream to make sure the pink colour gave the cakes a bit of femininity too. And I matched the cake cases with the chocolate brown moustache shapes.

I guess they survived ok, because the feedback I got was:

"They tasted amazzzzing! Omg better than I could ever imagine- there were lots of happy hens definitely! (butter icing slightly melty after 8 hours on a sweaty train, but no-one noticed!) thanks so much xxxx"


I made the chocolate Guinness cakes, as they are the moistest recipe I have, and they would have to survive at least 2 days from baking to eating. I put a fresh raspberry inside each one, in the hope of making them even more moist and juicy!

The moustache toppers.
I had imagined making lots of different shapes in lots of different colours, but I thought that since the cakes had a long journey ahead of them, simplicity was key.
The dark brown colour matches the chocolate cakes and their cases, and the simple moustache shapes would (hopefully) travel well.

A rejected complicated moustache shape.

Cakes baked and iced. This is what they would look like until Camilla assembled them on Friday, so I wanted to make them as pretty as possible, even without their toppers.

A close-up of the raspberry buttercream.

Moustaches were packaged in layers.

Protected by greaseproof paper and kitchen towel layers.

And a bit of desiccant to make sure they didn't get soggy en route.

Ready for the journey.

The lovely Camilla modeling the lovely finished product.


Thursday, 14 April 2011

Cupcakes in flight!

I normally don't post photos of cakes before the recipient has received them, but this little lot are flying to Northern Ireland tomorrow (courtesy of my sister, the cakes mule), and I'm not 100% sure what condition they'll be in when they arrive.

My cousin ordered 24 cakes because he finally has the opportunity to taste them! He ordered 12 chocolate cakes with vanilla icing in Cookie Monster and Elmo designs, and 12 vanilla cakes with strawberry buttercream. I made some little strawberry characters out of fondant icing, and sprinkled them with some edible glitter too.

So, Andy, thanks for your order. I hope they arrive looking as good as they do here, and tasting even better! (And good luck transporting them, Bob!)

Vanilla cakes, strawberry buttercream, edible glitter, and a friendly strawberry smiling at you.

All boxed up and getting ready to fly (Just need the clingfilm and extra reinforcing cardboard)

Sesame Street? No, we're off to Northern Ireland!

I wouldn't dare bore anyone with another photo of my Cookie Monster cakes, but Elmo's still a work in progress, so I feel i still have something to say about these cakes.
This one is the best Elmo yet, though now I think his mouth is too big.

Fasten your seatbelts, Elmo and Cookie!

Wednesday, 13 April 2011

Ruby's 6th

Ruby is 6! Yippeee, let's celebrate with some horsey cakes; no, some chocolate Malteser cakes; no, some horsey cakes, um no, I really want under-the-sea cakes... Are those my horsey cakes, Mum? oh yes! I remember I wanted under-the-sea ones...

Once Ruby had finally decided on a theme for her cakes, I made her some chocolate Guinness cakes (only a tiny amount of alcohol, which I'm sure disappears on baking, before anyone reminds me that she's underage!), topped with sea-green vanilla buttercream and fondant icing decorations.

Happy Birthday Ruby chan!

(Not quite as neat a job with these cakes, as the last under sea ones, but they were done in quite a rush - sorry, Ruby)

Goldfish and gold bubbles

A dolphin (though Danny wanted to pretend it was a shark)


The ubiquitous 'blowing out the candles' photo.

Jelly and Ice cream.

Second lot of cakes for the second (family) party on her actual birthday.

Sunday, 3 April 2011

"You're in Bowser's world now!"

Linda ordered 12 Super Mario themed cakes for her boyfriend's birthday. She specified the characters Bowser and Donkey Kong too, so -not being a gamer- I went off and tried to find some images of those characters that I felt I could reproduce in fondant icing!

Chocolate cakes with chocolate buttercream, and fondant icing designs with edible inks.

12 assorted Super Mario characters.


Donkey Kong research images.
The picture on the right is what I think he looks like now (I'm no gamer), but the image on the left (I think it might be a cross-stitch pattern!), is much easier for me to reproduce in icing.

This was my first attempt at Donkey Kong, but I felt he was too lumpy.
I know you can't really see the pixels any more on computer game animation, but I kind of wanted to use the pixelated look...

Second, final, Donkey Kong design, complete with tie (it looks a bit like his tongue is sticking out from this angle though).

A better angle to show his red tie.

Bowser research images.
Again, I tried to combine the simple image (this one's made from Hama beads, I think!), with the more up-to-date picture of him.

The final Bowser face. I really like it that he's all pixelated and square too, so he matches Donkey Kong.

Side view.

3 little stars, for no other reason than I think it's a sweet picture.