Archive | April, 2011

Raspberry Trifle Cupcakes

30 Apr

I made a couple of batches of these cupcakes for Royal Wedding Day orders.  Something quite simple and understated, though I have absolutely loved all the red, white and blue themed cakes!  The cupcake is inspired by the Hummingbird Bakery recipe from the latest ‘Cake Days‘ book, but with some modifications….firstly, I used my own vanilla cupcake recipe…the cakes were also drizzled in Marsala sugar syrup and filled with a crushed fresh raspberry and (good quality) raspberry jam mix.  I ended up changing the custard recipe too – I did try the Hummingbird recipe but I wasn’t taken with the inclusion of plain flour and I think my cooker was trying to tell me something when I managed to ‘catch’ the first batch.  Second batch was flourless and I was much happier with it.  The custard is enriched with whipped double cream but you could also pipe some plain whipped cream on top to give a greater illusion of the traditional trifle.  I resisted the urge to sprinkle with hundreds and thousands and followed Hummingbird’s suggestion of a fresh raspberry, though I plumped for three rather than one.  Luscious and delicious.

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Drum Birthday Cake

19 Apr

This is a painted cake I did a few weeks ago for a friend’s son’s first birthday.  Unfortunately the house was struck down by chickenpox and the party didn’t happen as planned, so I have kept this cake under wraps until now in case it was re-ordered.  I didn’t want to ruin the surprise for little Joshua!  The cake is not finished with the usual  iced board, name and ribbon because it didn’t get as far as the party, but I thought I would still show you my first attempt at a painted cake.  It is great fun painting sugarpaste as you can generate so much vibrant colour so easily, creating a totally different effect from simply colouring the sugarpaste itself.  I’d love to do some more painting and there are some fantastic examples on the web really illustrating how ‘sugarcraft’ is an artform.

The cake is an 8″ round madeira and inspired by Joshua’s favourite toy.  I love cakes for little children in traditional pastel colours but I think bright, eye catching colours interest children more.  Little children love contrast.  Here is a picture of the drum that inspired the cake.  I kept the design simpler but it has the same jungle-y theme and I’d like to think the birthday boy would have recognised it as a drum!

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Happy Belated Birthday Joshua!

 

Drum Birthday Cake – Video

19 Apr

Springtime Teapot Cake – the Video

16 Apr

Springtime Teapot Cake

16 Apr

I was recently asked to make a cake as a raffle prize for the Lancashire Federation of Women’s Institutes Ladies in Harmony Choir Concert at Longridge High School and this is what I made.  As a big lover of tea AND cake, I have long wanted to have a go at making a teapot cake.  This seemed the ideal opportunity because it didn’t need to be a big cake and it is probably a bit different from what most people have seen before, assuming not everyone spends hours trawling the internet and books looking at cakes like I do.  I went with the Springtime theme of daffodils for the 3D decoration.  It soon turned into a labour of love as I think I went on (and on) on Twitter and Facebook about it, but I am really happy with the end result.  It is quite different from the more bold designs/cakes I have done recently and great to work with some gentler colours for a change.  

The cake inside is a 5″ sphere vanilla madeira with the usual raspberry jam and vanilla buttercream in five layers and covered in sugarpaste.  It was fab to give my ball tin an airing!  The spout and handle are modelled out of flower paste which sets very hard and has a very fine texture to it which I found to be suited to the task at hand.  The cake is presented on a 10″ drum iced in a pale peach colour to compliment the yellow daffodils and ribbon.

Right then, who fancies a brew?

 

Kwazii Cat Birthday Cake

10 Apr

This is the cake that I made for a special birthday boy celebrating his fourth birthday yesterday.  It is Lieutenant Kwazii Cat from the popular CBeebies programme Octonauts. 

I really loved making this cake as Octonauts is one of Little Tester’s favourite programmes, so I know it very well.  The stories combine educational values with adventure and friendship.  It also provides verbal challenges such as saying humu­humu­nuku­nuku­āpuaʻa, which for those who don’t know, is a type of fish.  (No, I haven’t mastered that yet.)  Kwazii is the daredevil character with a pirate past who likes to say ‘Yeow!’.  He is Captain Barnacles’ right hand man or, should I say, cat, and the birthday boy’s favourite character from the show.  Apparently, Ben’s face lit up when he saw the cake which was absolutely lovely to hear.  It is so great to get feedback.

The cake is shaped from an 11″ round vanilla madeira layered with luscious vanilla buttercream and raspberry jam.  The ears and hat are supported with shaped pastillage which is a type of very strong sugarpaste, creating an overall 3D effect to the cake.  The photo-trickery suggests that the edge of the hat overhangs the edge of the cakeboard, but it doesn’t.  This cake serves thirty to thirty five people and is finished with some co-ordinating blue and orange ribbon edging the board. 

Happy Birthday to Ben and Yeow!

 

Happy Mothers’ Day Cupcakes

3 Apr

Hello and Happy Mothers’ Day!  I had a busy morning baking and decorating cupcakes for some lovely mummies!  It was great working with little cakes and lashings of frosting as it’s been mostly celebration cakes lately for me.  I made chocolate cupcakes and tiramisu cupcakes – can you tell which is which?  

I did a bit of research to come up with my own tiramisu cupcake.  It is inspired by Lorraine Pascale’s Mini Tiramisu, Love Bakery’s Tiramisu Cupcake and Delia’s coffee and walnut cake as well.  I do like a bit of Delia!  It is topped with Hummingbird Bakery’s cream cheese frosting and the cake is laced with marsala wine and freshly made expresso coffee.  I was very taken indeed with the results of the tiramisu cupcake – deliciously moist with a distinctive but mellow alcoholic coffee flavour.  You really get the layers of flavour with the 70% cocoa chocolate shavings on top.  By request one box was personalised for the recipient but I still haven’t got to the bottom of why she calls her mum Lammy!   

Happy Mothers’ Day to all mothers x