Tuesday 30 August 2016

Fondant Leek - How to

Ok, so I know it's August / September-ish, and I also know that St David's Day isn't until March, but I made them now and felt it best to get the post up early - before I forgot about it.

These are made much in the same way as we made the felt ones at school or for our kids. So if you can remember that, you're half way there, if not, read on ...

You will need:
  • Modelling fondant - white and green
  • Green food colour paste if colouring your own fondant 
  • A flexible spatula
  • Small, sharp knife
  • Rolling pin
  • Edible glue or water
  • Leaf cutter (optional)
  • Cake pop stick (optional)
  • Ball tool (not shown)

Step 1:
Take just less than half of your fondant and colour it in green.

Step 2:

Roll out your green fondant and, using your cutter, cut five leaves

If you don't have a leaf cutter, don't worry, they can be easily cut by hand without one.

Step 3:

Using your ball tool, flatten off the bottom edges of all five leaves.

Step 4:

Lay each leaf flat and overlapping the leaf next to it. Start with the centre leaf, then the second at third leaf lay either side to the first, the leaves four and five on the ends.

At this point, you can chose to trim the bottom edges of the leaves straight. Personally, I like to leave mine as they are as it gives the uneven, more "natural" look of the finished leek.

Remember the centre, #1, leaf!

Step 5:

Next, roll out your white fondant to the same thickness as the green, cut it into a rectangle wider than the five leaves (use your spatula as this will give you a smart, straight edge). 

Once you've don't that, use your knife to cut a frayed edge about 1/3 if the way up.

Step 6:

Dab a little edible glue or water on the bottom of the green leaves then lay the white fondant over the bottom, about 1/3 of the way.

Use your rolling pin to gently press the edge, where the green and white meet behind, to secure them togeher

Use your knife to trim the excess white off.

If you make an error, don't worry because we're going to "hide" it in the next step.

Step 7:
Now for the fiddley bit

Take the edge and start, slowly, to roll relatively tightly. Make sure you don't damage any leaves or the "roots" and "stem".

If you find it difficult to roll " freehand", enter the cake pop stick. Once rolled, gently remove the stiçk.

Step 8:
Remember leaf #1?
Ok, find this leaf because this leaf will be at the centre at the back

Spread the leaves #2 and #3 out a little then,
Bring over leaves #4 and #5 so they now "hang" over the front of the white stem with the roots on the bottom.

Gently put a "kink" in these two leaves (see picture) and allow to dry

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Monday 29 August 2016

DIY Flower Forming Cups

The image above is of a flower forming cup / mould that you can buy.
A valuable bit of kit when making, shaping and drying sugar paste / gum paste / fondant flowers.

They have a hole in the bottom for a wire, if used.

Having said that, they're seriously expensive! I've even seen just one for £5.00!!!

So why not make your own?

All you need is an economy, plain plastic paint palette.

Make sure you buy trays with a dome-shaped cup, the flat ones are no use. I used to use a cake pop cooling tray.

You can buy one like this, from a hobby shop, for as little as 50p

And one like this for not much more!

All you need to do is, using a small drill bit or other alternative, make a hole in the bottom of each cup. Use drill on slowest setting and drill from the inside out. I had someone to poke holes in mine with a small screwdriver. But I'm not about to suggest you do the same! Use a little sandpaper to scuff off the bits from the underside.

And that's it!

How simple is that?

If you need to insert a wire, then stand your tray on a cooling rack so the wire can hang below.

Ta Dah !!!

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Saturday 27 August 2016

Welsh Leek - Modelling fondant

A few days ago, I made a half decent daffodil, a day or so later, I did a "how to, step-by-step" thing and made some more.

Today, after failing to find a fondant mould or even a "how to” anywhere, I decided to have a go at a leek. A bit of early practice for St David's Day, which isn't until March 1st, but it was fun.

I have completed the " how to" post, click here

Thursday 25 August 2016

Sonic the Hedgehog - Emily - August 2016


This is the second Sonic cake in have had the pleasure of making. Yep, I think I'm warming to this blue chappie lol. Here's my first one

Again, you find me contradicting myself when it comes to my rule of "only family and friends" ... But my sister asked me, so that's kinda family.

A scrumptious 10" X 4 layers of chocolate sponge, sandwiched together with rich chocolate butter cream. (Recipe here). Apparently, young Emily loves chocolate so I did my best (",)

There was a bit of an issue in the kitchen, it was way too warm and the icing started slipping on the crumb coat, but I saved it!

I made countless red, white and blue stars from modelling fondant and even coloured the blue myself, I'm getting good this.  My sister had to help me glue them on, my eyes were going and I'd been on my feet for almost 14 hours making it. I guess I'm slow, but I did have the usual chores to do, oh, and the odd cup of coffee here and there.

In addition to the miriad of stars, I also made Emily's name in two different styles because I wasn't sure which one would look the best. I used the numbers and the top style of name as the one that would adorn the cake.

The picture on top of Sonic himself, was printed on an icing sheet. There was a bit of a scare as I couldn't get it off the backing. Unlike previous printed icing sheets, it was very, very thin and I had to "freeze" it off the backing!  No great drama in the grand scheme of things.

Just in case you were wondering about the pattern of the stars, there isn't meant to be one, except "random". As for any gaps you may see, most have a white star in them which doesn't show up well on the photograph.

All that's left to say about this Sonic is ...

Happy 12th birthday Emily

And thanks sis for helping ... I couldn't see for stars. I'm still seeing stars and probably will long after this cake has been enjoyed 

Wednesday 24 August 2016

Step by step fondant daffodil

So, last week I tried my first ever fondant daffodil, it worked out OK for a first try, but I didn't take step by step images. I don't have daffodil cutters, so I had to improvise because I didn't want to buy one just for one cake.  I needed more flowers anyway, so here are the instructions...

Bits you need:
  • Your rolling pin
  • Tools
  • Star cutters
  • Modelling fondant
  • Yellow and red (or orange) food colour (gels or pastes, I used both) or
  • Yellow and red (or orange) modelling fondant 
  • Edible glue
  • Icing sugar to stop fondant sticking to your board
I also used, not in the picture above, 
  • A cake tester skewer or cocktail stick
  • A dome shaped "cup" eg egg cup. I used a cake pop tray

Step 1:
Colour your fondant yellow then pinch about 1/3 of it and add a tiny quantity of red to make orange.

Step 2:

Roll out the yellow, using the desired size star cutter, cut out stars. You need two per flower.

Step 3:
Using your cake tester or cocktail stick, make an indent from the point of the star to the centre. Do not cut or split the point.

My picture didn't show it very well, so I've added this image to help.

Step 4:
Next, put a dab of glue, or water, in the centre of the star that will be on the bottom. Then place the second star on top in such a way that you now have ten "petals".

Step 5:

Using your ball tool, press lightly in the centre. Don't push tool all the way through.

Step 6:

Roll a small amount of the orange fondant into a ball then pinch one end, so it looks like a cone.

Step 7:

Press your star tool into the thicker end and roll it between your fingers to widen the hole you've made.

This will also give you a pattern inside like the trumpet of a daffodil.
Sorry about the red food colour still on my fingers ;-)

If you're finding the cones hard to make, see the update at the end of this post.

Step 8:
Add a dab of glue or water to the centre of your petals

Then take your small ball tool, press gently into the middle of the trumpet.

Pick it up attached to the ball tool and press it into the centre of your stars / petals. 
If you can't pick the "trumpet" up with the ball tool, use your fingers. Place it in the centre of your petals then push gently, in the centre, with your small ball tool

Step 9:

If you can, try to pick the flower up using the ball tool and place it into your egg cup shaped holder, if not, just slide it in carefully
The holder will allow the flower to dry with the leaves curled up, like the real thing.

I made a few, only one very small, it was too fiddley so that's all I did that size

Step 10:
Allow to dry and stick to your cake / top off your cupcake


If you're find those little centre cones just too fiddly, try these:
  1. You need small flower plunger cutters
  2. Cut them out
  3. Shape using a ball tool by curling the pettals upward
  4. Attach to your star shaped leaves in the same way as above. 

I hope you found this post useful. Please feel free to leave comments or questions below or let me know how yours turned out.

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Update: November 2017
It is unfortunate that this post and / or the post on my Instructables has been stolen, copied and passed off as someone else's on another website.
Whilst I appreciate and am flattered when readers share my work, all I ask if that you share the link. This way, I am credited accordingly without any bad feelings.

Sunday 21 August 2016

Quantity of fondant needed for your sized cake

I've added a page which shows guidelines on the weight of fondant you need to cover your cake.

Tuesday 16 August 2016

My first effort at making a fondant daffodil - without a proper cutter

My very first effort at a fondant daffodil. Sure, it needs perfecting, but not a bad job for the first go I think.

Yes, I know you can spend money on a cutter just for making daffodils, but what do you do if you haven't got one?

Well, I used a star shapped cutter instead. It's very simple.  I'm not going to buy a cutter just for a daffodil, especially as this one turned out OK on the first go.

Improvisation is key :-)

Saturday 13 August 2016

My recipe for butterless buttercream

I've been asked to my recipe for buttercream using Trex. 
I'm also leaving it on my blog in the Recipes tab 
Or click the book below

Glamorous Grandma - 72nd Birthday - August 2016

Now, I know I said "I don't make cakes for anyone else, only friends and family." But when a gentleman asks you, so nicely, to make him a cake for his lovely wife's birthday ... How on earth do you say "No"?

As you can see, I didn't.

This cake has the same colour sponge as the Liverpool cake earlier this month, which is what was asked for, as well as the white butter cream (only it's not butter, it's Trex).  I've put my recipie for Trex butterless butter icing on my blog, click here for it.

Not much went wrong really, except a slight disaster with the fondant. I rolled it way too thinly, but I had spare so started again.

I purchased the red and white roses from the cakey-bakey shop and made the other decorations myself.

The small flowers, mixed with live hearts (what was asked for) cascade down the right hand side as you look at the cake. It looks a tad strange and very bare on the left hand side, but if I put anymore decorations on there, it will be overkill.

Once the decorations, ribbon and diamante-style decorations were all in place, plus around the cake embossing, a generous spray of edible "luster" was applied. Oh that stuff smells scrummy.

And here is where I leave this entry, an impromptu cake for a smashing lady, requested by her lovely husband

Sunday 7 August 2016

Liverpool FC - August 2016

Well, the only things I had any idea about Liverpool FC was ...
It's a footy club
It's red and white
I was asked to make a Liverpool birthday cake for a young lady
Aaaaand that's about it :-)

I initially wanted a football shape but was unable to get the tin(s), so I bought football shaped pieces cutters.  Which, on the day of decorating I realised they'd only work on a spherical cake, not a flat one. No matter,  I'd adapt.

As you can see the decorations consisted of a large printed icing sheet and footy 'pennies', but it also includes the red cake board, red ribbon and a white ribbon printed with red footbàlls. Oh I hope that's not overkill on the football theme.

The outside was decorated in white because the delighfull vanilla sponge is bright red. I hope someone sends me a pic of the inside so I can add it here.

There's never a dull moment with my cake baking experiences, but nothing went wrong with the sponge on this one, I guess I was awake this time :-D

I had to adapt the football shape icing because I didn't have a spherical cake to decorate, but I think this one has turned out rather well.

There you go Cerys, I hope you have a great Liverpool birthday xxx

Yummy red sponge inside (",)

Thursday 4 August 2016

Patchwork Owl - August 2016

Well, I'm guessing if you've already made a cake for your niece, nephew and brother-in-law this year, then you'd best step up to the plate and make your sister one!

I'd had my own plans for my sister's cake but when your niece asks specifically for an owl for her mum, then an owl it will be.

I'd made a sort of 3-D own many years ago, which my sister had seen, so I wanted something so different, she wouldn't expect it. So, a patchwork quilted type cake it is!

Each cake I make is not without its, erm ... trials, and this one was no different. But this was my own fault. I have absolutely no idea where my head was when I was baking the sponge, but it wasn't on the task in hand lol.  It looked great coming out of the oven, then the inside just fell out! School-girl error! So I started  again.

I baked two 6" chocolate sponges, sliced them in half and sandwiched them back together with chocolate buttercream. Oh wow, the aroma was divine! I'm loving this cake already, but I can't have any.

Previous experiences have taught me not to put my faith in supermarket fondant for covering large areas, so cakey-bakey shop for supplies it was. I purchased the white fondant and food colour tube pastes as the colour fondant I wanted is not available. 

The base colour is pistachio green, mixed by me :-)
I also used a variety of cutters and shapes to make the pieces for create the patchwork owl. Each feather was individually cut and imprinted with a quilted pattern and various flowered patterns. I will post an image of all the shapes I used below.

The tummy of the owl originally had square quilted, individual pieces, but it didn't look good. So it was agreed that they would come off and be replaced by the individual imprinted circular pieces to resemble feathers.

After each feather was stuck on, because I didn't want to cover the green 14" board, I use a flower cutter to cut tiny shapes and stick them on the bottom to resemble a string a lace daisies. I stuck a single row where the cake meets the board and to outline the edge of the owl to define the whole shape on the edges. I think they worked out rather well.

A pic of the yummy chocolate sponge inside

I added a few flowers and leaves to the board so it didn't look so bare. 
As with all my cakes, I'm happy with the outcome. I just hope it tastes as good as it smells and looks.

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