Archive | December, 2011

Last Christmas Cake for this year

27 Dec

I hope everyone’s Christmas and holiday celebrations have been fab.  I am now enjoying the lull between Christmas and New Year to relax and rehome all the new things we seem to have acquired as a family.  

This is the last Christmas cake I made this year.  It is an 8″ rich fruitcake covered in marzipan and sugarpaste.  I went for a festive wrapping paper ‘feel’ to the sides of the cake by painting on a repeat holly design with little red sugarpaste balls for the berries.  

The top of the cake features a Christmas tree with five parcels in front of it, the gift tags showing the names of the children of the family.  The Christmas tree has a stack of chocolate coins at its core (stuck together with royal icing) forming a pyramid (kind of) to attach the green sugarpaste ‘branches’ to.  I like the way the gold foil is peeping out from the branches and glinting.  Finally the tree was adorned with a glittery star at its top and the whole tree was painted with non-toxic glitter.  I made this paint by adding the non-toxic glitter to edible glue.  This allowed me to be specific with the glue rather than it showering everywhere.  The effect was more sparkley than comes across in my very amateur photography!  (In fact I think the whole cake was more striking than is reflected by the pictures, with the sharp contrast of the red and green.)

The tree/parcel arrangement is actually sat on a sugarpaste covered cake drum on top of the cake.  The idea was that if the family wanted to keep the top of the cake for a few days as a sort-of Christmas decoration, they could remove it from the top of the cake in one piece, so that the cake could be sliced separately.  I haven’t done this before so I will ask for some feedback from the family as to whether it was worth it or not.

I’ve got a couple of birthday cakes to put up but with all the things going on at the moment they might have to wait until next week, so in the meantime, I shall wish you a Happy New Year! x 

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More Christmas Cakes….

23 Dec

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I have been busy working on a few Christmas cakes over the past few weeks.  With a couple of birthday cakes chucked in too, and all the jobs I gave myself Christmas the deadline for (not met!), I have got a bit behind with piccies.

All three cakes are fruit cakes, covered in marzipan and sugarpaste.  The top two are 6″, the bottom is 5″.  The top snowman one was for a Chester City Football Club fan (with a surprise for the recipient in the snowman’s body).  The middle one is topped with sugar snowflakes on wires and presented on a glittery cake board.  The bottom one is plain iced, ready to be decorated by my sister and nephew.  Which one is your favourite?  I’ve got one more to put up but I will wait a couple of days for that to make sure the recipients have all seen it.

Happy Christmas Eve Eve.

 

 

 

Captain Barnacles Birthday Cake

12 Dec

Things have been a bit manic here lately and I’m behind on putting cakes up.  I’m not sure why but it seemed a good idea decluttering and re-organising the house in the run up to Christmas!  Anyway, here’s a birthday cake I did a couple of weeks ago for Ethan’s birthday.  For those not familiar with children’s television, it is Captain Barnacles, the leader of the Octonauts crew on CBeebies.     

The cake was shaped from an 11″ vanilla madeira and covered in white sugarpaste for the polar bear’s fur.  The ears, collar, and hat are made from pastillage and covered in sugarpaste, and supported by wooden food-safe skewers to create an effect somewhere between 2D and 3D.  The skewers may be a little bit of a cheat but as long as they are counted in and counted out all should be ok!  It is only wires directly into cakes that I seem to have a total bee in my bonnet about.

Happy Birthday Ethan – sound the Octo-Alert!

 

Secret Santa South Lancashire Clandestine Cake Club December 2011

7 Dec

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Well, it’s taken me best part of a week to get round to sharing the latest Clandestine Cake Club meet up with you…sorry!  It is such a busy time of year that it feels like ages ago now so hopefully my memory does not let me down.

We met up at The Railway, a self-proclaimed ‘gastro-pub’ in Euxton, a village near Chorley.  They were very welcoming and it was really quite cosy and warm.  I have eaten there before and it was excellent and it was equally good as a venue for CCC.  

The cakes were fab…not one but two snowmen, a blackforest gateaux, a Baileys’ tipsy cake,  a lemon cream, meringue and white chocolate cake, Gevuld Speculaas, a Tia Maria (from memory) roulade, and an orange cake.  There was certainly some Christmas spirit around as I think alcohol featured in four of the cakes. 

Not only did we eat cake but Sue had also devised a quiz (and brought along prizes) to test our baking related knowledge.  In keeping with the theme of the evening we swapped Secret Santa presents as well and I came home with a baking book to add to my collection.  Result.

Now the search starts to find the venue for our next meeting with is likely to be at the end of January/beginning February, around the time that we give up on the post-Christmas diet and exercise regime.

Thanks again to the Railway for having us and to Sue for all her hard work over and above finding the venue. 

This is the cake I took along to Cake Club by the way.  It is a happy snowman made from a 5″ ball of madeira cake (with my ‘usual’ raspberry jam and vanilla buttercream) and topped with a sugarpaste coated Terrys chocolate orange for his head.

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