Sunday, 17 September 2017

Spongebob and Fireman Sam Joint Cake

Oh my gosh, I'm so proud of this one! I made the Spongebob and Patrick myself too!  Once again, I found myself being asked to make a cake for a young man aged four and a young lady, aged five.  

Not your regular request for a young lady in my experience, but she wanted Spongebob! The young chappy wanted Fireman Sam, but I was so time-poor, I had to commissioned one from a cake shop / supplier. It arrived in good time too, thankfully.

As with all my previous joint cakes, see my first one here, it all starts with ensuring the cake is measured correctly, marked out and covered to the half-way line is the required fondant colour.

It also means, like before, I get to take more images, usually ...

However, not exactly in this case. The Fireman Sam has a 'design' flaw! I's way too head-heavy! If you take a look at the second image just above (the one with Fireman Sam half on the left), you will note how far he is starting to lean to the back, or toward Spongebob. 

I was unable to take an additional 'above' image for the Fireman Sam half as the topper was leaning so far back that it began ripping the fondant off of the cake! I had to take his head off to make him stand upright.  

An additional piece has since been added in an effort to ensure he does not fall over. I made a tree stump and secured it with two cake-pop sticks as well as about five cocktail sticks.

After fixing it to the cake and allowing the edible glue to harden, I secured Fireman Sam's bottom half to the stump.  I made the stump out of a thick shape of paste and covered it in a thin layer or chocolate flavoured fondant, added a little branch, highlighted the wood grain with gold edible paint and simply hoped for the best!

This cake was transported with Fireman Sam headless and have it fixed back on when I got to the venue. Unfortunately, a leaf broke during transit, but I took some edible glue and fixed it back on when I got there. No one knew, until the little one picked it off lol.

For the additional decoration, I handmade each shell, from multi-coloured standard fondant myself to add where the cake meets the board and where once side meets the other. For the Fireman Sam side, I used an extruder to make a red 'fire hose' to line where this portion of the cake met the board and where it joined to the other half.

This 10" vanilla sponge cake required:
  • Four times the mix of my sponge recipe, two for each layer
  • Three basic buttercream mixes
  • Two kilograms of Renshaw fondant, one in yellow and one in green.
  • Miscellaneous fondants for the shells and additional decorations.
  • Red and white Renshaw modelling paste for the numbers and names.
  • Plus a little dash of magic, which goes by the name of lustre dust

Saturday, 16 September 2017

Lightening McQueen and Princess Joint Cake

Joint cakes are never a problem for me, as you can see from a previous one I made.  The 'difficulty' comes when there are two, very distinct personalities and two polar opposite cakes that need making and then I have to try and get them on one image for my blog - yes, that is the hardest part. 

Oh! And I also got the chance to use my new letter cutters, which aren't even listed in my Alphabet and Numbers Showcase page yet.

I was asked for a cake for a young man, who will be aged five and a young lady aged four. The five-year-old was to have Lightning McQueen and the young lady was to have a princess. And I think I've done ok here.

The simple, yet delicious, vanilla sponge was measured and divided into two halves and then two colour fondants were added. Whilst making a cake this way may only end up with one cake to bake, but the decorating side remains as two cakes.

The Lightening McQueen half had a stack of tyres at the back holding up a chequed flag hand painted number five, so the back of this had to be hidden as it would spoil the Princess half with all the black. So the Princess half had a green tree / bush covered in pink flowers with butterflies to hide this.

Whilst everything, regarding decorating, is double the work, double the thinking process, double the time, the final piece is as double as effective leading to double the reward. 

It also means, double the photographs for your viewing pleasure :)

But I'm sure  you'll agree, they're all quite worth it.

The Lightening McQueen and Mater figures are official Cars the Movie merchandise whilst the Princess cake topper is an official Barbie, almost edible, purchase. I say 'almost edible' because the supplier advised that it is not be eaten as it would 'break your teeth'.

This 10" vanilla sponge cake required:
  • Four times the mix of my sponge recipe, two for each layer
  • Three basic buttercream mixes
  • Two kilograms of Renshaw fondant, one in baby pink and one in green.
  • Miscellaneous fondants for the additional decorations I made.
  • Red and white Renshaw modelling paste for the numbers and names.
  • And, of course, a little dash of magic, which goes by the name of lustre dust

I'm currently working on another joint cake due for this weekend too, so watch out for that one.

Wednesday, 13 September 2017

Dairy Free Chocolate Cupcakes

I was asked to make two batches of six vegan friendly / dairy free chocolate cupcakes.  Six to have cupcake frosting and a further six were to be iced like, what we call at home, 'fairy cakes'.  

These are suitable for vegans and, even though they are chocolate flavoured, totally dairy free!

I used my basic batter mix but exchanged dairy produce for an vegan egg alternative and sunflower margarine. 

These vegan cupcakes differed to my first ever batch, these ones are my second ever attempt, I managed to make these rise far better than the last batch, as per feedback from the previous taste test  and the cooked product was far more lighter. I'm still working on the volume of the eggs, I still didn't manage to add sufficient liquid to replace what would have been the volume of a dairy egg.

I think I'm on the way to cracking the egg thing though!

The Patriotic Pirate Cupcakes

If ever there was a true red, white and blue patriotic pirate, then these cupcakes are for him, or her.

I coloured a double batch of basic buttercream with red and blue, whilst leaving the last third plain, for the white. 

My faithful sponge mix was used to make these vanilla cupcakes.

Each part of the scull and crossbones we made separately and fixed onto a black disk using edible glue, then placed on top. 

Perfect and simple, yet rather cute.

Saturday, 2 September 2017

Handbag & Shoes

It's been decades since I put my hand to work on a 3D cake. This handbag cake with chocolate shoes was, and will probably be for a while, my best achievement for some time.  

Sure, there may be a few, all-be-it minor, errors, but it was done instructionless! I knew what I wanted and the plan was all in my head.

Inside, the sponge, yes my classic recipe, was coloured purple and flavoured with vanilla. It was de-caramelised and the two layers were cut into four pieces. 

One sponge was cut in half and the other sponge was cut into two pieces with one bigger than the other.  The largest piece for the bottom, two same size pieces for layers two and three and the smallest layer for the top.

These were then sandwiched together with basic vanilla buttercream and then the whole cake was trimmed so the side profile resembled the side profile of a handbag.  

Due to it's unstable nature, two supporting dowels were inserted. These are left in. There is also a supporting piece of florist wire in the handle in order to maintain the handle shape.

A few little extras were added:

The edging was made from a darker purple fondant put through an extruder and highlighted with gold edible paint.

A fake zipper is 'suggested' on the top with tabs either side. Some ivory piping on the bag flap (I'm not actually sure that that's called) all edge with 'stitching' using a quilting tool.

The whole bag, before the piping was applied, had a quilting pattern over all the sides using a ruler and the quilting tool.

All that's left for me to say is --- Happy 40th Birthday Christine! You're one lucky lady! Commissioned by Sean and executed to the best of my ability xxx

Image reproduced with permission from photographer
Christine L.
Please do not copy or download this image

Wednesday, 30 August 2017

Chocolate Utopia

If you love chocolate, as the recipient of this one says they do, then this Chocolate Utopia blog entry is for you!  It's quite a simple cake to make and does not require everything to be perfectly smooth.  

It starts with a double chocolate chip sponge, sandwiched together with Mars Bar ganache. Because I needed the ganache thicker than this one was when it had cooled, I added some icing sugar to thicken it up. 

Once this had set, the sponge was first crumb coated with Mars Bar frosting, then chilled. Once chilled, it was given it's top coat.  I found the recipe not quite chocolatey / Mars-ey enough, so I added a few drops of caramel flavouring to take away the sweetness of the icing sugar, which I found was a little overpowering.

Now, because this cake was not going to have any fondant to cover it, it didn't matter that the top coat of buttercream / frosting wasn't perfectly smooth. 

The reason why perfection is not key here is, the sides are to be covered with KitKat fingers and then topped with neatly placed Maltesers and sprinkled with dark chocolate shavings.

For my American cousins:
  • Mars bar is still known as a Mars bar
  • A KitKat is still a KitKat but ...
  • Maltesers are 'Whoppers'

Friday, 25 August 2017

CWG's 100th Edible Entry

I wanted to make a cake to celebrate my 100th edible entry on the Crafty Welsh Grandma Baking Blog.  These entries, of which this is the 100th, only include cakes, bakes, cupcakes, puddings or edible cake toppers, it does not include non-edibles, reviews, general posts or DIY tools etc.

I decided to make it a lemon cake using this recipe, but you can use my plain sponge mix and a good quality lemon extract.

I added the Ready Zest, as per this recipe, into the batter mix and then, instead of adding vanilla or plain Simple Syrup ...

Ready Zest

I added the Dr Oertker Lemon Flavour Drizzle. 

Flavour Drizzles

You can, however, make your Simple Syrup and add lemon extract. Use a good quality extract like Nielsen Massey.

Nielson Massey Lemon Extract

Due to suffering the effects of between 80 and 90% humidity, using fondant without a dehumidifier was out of the question, so I used my basic buttercream. To this I added a good quality yellow food colour gel / paste and some lemon extract and then piped it all over.

I wanted this cake to be informal and very relaxed, no fancy decorations (except the gold 100 of course) and definitely not hard work - and I think I did OK.

I wasn't sure if I should 'celebrate' my centenary bake blog entry, but I thought "Everyone else has cake, why not I?"

Over the years I have baked 100s of cakes, but this is my first ever baking blog, which makes this bake another mile-stone! 

I started back when cupcakes were fairy cakes and fondant was something you made yourself, when my children were babies, now, I am a grandmother and baking for my next generation. I'm just waiting for someone to pass my skills onto, but no one wants to learn, they just wanna eat the hard work lol. Having said that ...

I want to say a BIG thank you to my family, my friends and my extended family who have supported me over the years, and we're talking quite a few years. Some have tested my patience whilst others have tested my skills! But without you, I wouldn't be baking. Thank you!
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