Archive | June, 2011

Mermaid Cake

25 Jun


This is a birthday cake that I made this week, for a special little girl who loves mermaids.  The rock is a vanilla madeira cake shaped and layered with vanilla buttercream and raspberry jam.  The mermaid relaxing on top is made in modelling paste.  I really loved doing this cake and was very pleased with the colour scheme and the ‘ocean’ effect, achieved by ‘frilling’ the sugarpaste.  It is quite time consuming but worth it.  I also feel that my modelling skills are improving too though I was a bit worried at one stage that the mermaid might be becoming a bit more Katie Price than I would have liked!

Happy Birthday Jessica.


Cupcake Gift Box

18 Jun

Vanilla, Lemon Meringue, Raspberry Meringue, Mint Choc, Coconut and Lime….some lovely, fresh Summery flavours, it’s just a shame we haven’t got the weather to match!  

This box was a great opportunity to have a go at italian meringue which I haven’t tried making before – any excuse to look at my James Martin Desserts book.  The recipe worked and it was great fun to make with the slight danger of working with molten sugar.  Just don’t do what I did and knock your hand mixer on when it’s on it’s side and covered with sticky egg white.  Unless you want to redecorate your kitchen with meringue of course.   

I took Ruth ‘The Pink Whisk”s idea of sprinkling the meringue with glitter, which she did on the Great British Wedding Cake programme.  I used a pastel pink for the raspberry meringue and a pastel blue (ok, I didn’t have yellow!) for the lemon meringue.  The sparkle works brilliantly with the bright white meringue.  Now I’ve just got to work out what to do with the tub-full of it I’ve still got in the fridge whilst I resist just grabbing a spoon….


Pink and Sparkly Heart Cake

13 Jun

I have gone very pink and sparkly over the past week doing this cake for the birthday girl, whose party was yesterday.  It is an 8″ heart chocolate fudge cake covered in chocolate buttercream and sugarpaste and on a very sparkly heart cake drum.  I got the idea of making the board all sparkly from Mich Turner’s Cake Masterclass and it is a great way of adding serious sparkle to a cake.  You may or may not know that sparkle is described as ‘non-toxic’ and recommended for decoration use only (ie not eating).  I read somewhere it is ground up plastic which has put me off using lots of it on things that are going to be eaten – going mad with it on the board is one solution.  The cake is ‘beaded’ with white sugarpaste spheres made to look pearly with lustre powder, an effect I really like.  This cake design would be suitable for quite an age range – I think it would be equally loved by a teenager for example.  

The cake recipe itself is a new one to me which I originally found on the Lindy Smith website.  Of course, I always have a trial run (or two) of new-to-me recipes before releasing them on friends and customers, and I found this to be absolutely delicious and very easy to make.  I was a bit concerned it might be too rich for some children’s tastes but thought I might be underestimating their palates and it seemed to be going down well with the children tucking in at the party.  The recipe can also be found in the Planet Cake book so maybe it is a traditional Australian recipe.  The Planet Cake recipes always recommend storing the cakes in the fridge, but I have come to the conclusion it is may be more to do with the climate there than necessity here, unfortunately!  It is definitely a recipe I will be using again – very yummy.  

Happy Birthday Selina – I hope you enjoyed your cake.



Shark Cake Take Two…

7 Jun

This is my latest cake which was made for Matthew who turned four at the weekend – Happy Birthday Matthew.  It is based on the shark cake from Lindy Smith’s Party Cakes book, and carved from a 12″ by 4″ madeira cake, which I layered with raspberry jam and vanilla buttercream.  I think it is the first time I have closely followed instructions in a cake book, and it went really well – it certainly cut down the effort of working out how to do it at least!  I really like the marbled effect on the board.  I’d love to do a whole cake covered in that with some contrasting flowers on it.  

Matthew’s family have the accolade of being my best customers; this is the fourth cake I have made for them over the past year.  Indeed, it was this time last year that I made Matthew’s third birthday cake (funny that!).  I think it is quite unusual for a child in particular to ask for the same cake theme twice, but Matthew is definitely consistent in his affections and he still likes sharks!  My previous effort can be found at  Last year’s shark cake was the second full-hearted attempt at cake decorating I’d made really and I do think I have improved over the past year, even if I do say so myself – I probably wouldn’t have attempted Lindy Smith’s cake twelve months ago.  Now…I wonder whether Matthew will still like sharks in twelve months time….