Saturday 23 December 2017

Snow Globe Festive Cake

This little creation started life as the idea for the Christmas "lights" and that was all I knew. I thought maybe a Christmas tree, but then no. I sat for weeks thinking of what else would handle these lights. Whilst searching for inspiration, I saw a snow globe ornament ... With lights on! From then on, and since September, I knew my sister would be having a snow globe cake with fondant lights!

I knew it had to be a sponge, so the globe could not be made from glass! It was difficult to find the perfect globe from lightweight plastic. But, as you can see, I found one. After it had been washed and cleaned, then a thin layer of edible glue was used to cover the inside of the bowl, then edible Christmas sprinkles used for the snow.

Initially, I was going to make a snow scene myself, from fondant, but when I saw this little robin, sitting of fur tree branches with pine cones etc, I had to have it. I didn't even bother checking if it would fit in the globe! Fortunately, with some fancy wriggling, I made it fit.

The sponge recipe is from my list of classics and baked in three size tins, a 4.5", a 6" and an 8". These we then sandwiched together with my basic buttercream and chilled. Once chilled, the sponges were carved and crumbcoated. Once frosted and chilled again, the pale teal fondant was applied on the top and the sides. I ended up removing the teal from the top in the end.

I rolled the white fondant, used the bottom ofna cake tin for size, then cut the long snow shapes then applied to the top of the cake and glued down the sides.

Using an extruder, I added the fondant "electrical wire" around the cake and made each light bulb, individually and fixed them to the "wire" and cake.

Once the dome was glued to the top of the cake I added some fondant to the top of the dome tomhide the fact that it was flat, due to being upside down.

A little edible pearl paint, some festive sparkle (ediible glitter) and topped the whole creation off with a double layered bow.

Transport was a little bit of an issue which I didn't account for. At a whopping 15" tall, no cake box I had was going to accomodate that! But I managed. I think my sister was happy with it.

This is the last of my festive creations this year. It's time for a little rest for me and maybe a chance to decorate my own cake.

Festive Cupcakes

These delightful, fondant topped, Christmas cupcakes are enough to delight any festive tea-time table.

I made two different batches, one set with frosting and a vegan batch which were frosting free.

The frosting ones and the unfrosted ones look equally amazing.

Check out my recipe book for all the information you need.

Thursday 21 December 2017

Father Christmas Sculpted Christmas Cake

This absolutely amazing ten inch Rich Fruit Cake had no cake topper prepared until after it had been decorated! I knew what I wanted to do, but work on the topper after the cake was covered in ivory fondant it was going to be!

Do you remember those PJ Masks 2D Character Faces I made earlier this year? Well, that's a variation of the exact same process. But instead of modelling the pieces flat, they were shaped, loosely, before adding to the cake then textured and finely shaped whilst in the cake.

The white "fur" was textured using a ball tool and painted in edible pearl paint whilst the hair was textured using a Dresden tool and "gliterized" with edible glitter. The eyes were shaped and some fine detail was added with an edible pen.

The rope effect edge was used, my favourite new silicone mould at the moment, an ivory "Merry Christmas" printed ribbon and a Christmassy holly and berries decoration was used to top this beauty off.  My friend, who received this one this year, was gifted this Cake in 2016

I am so pleased with this design and can honestly say, this is my cake of the moment.  I hope this inspires you too.

Santa in Chimney Pot Christmas Cake

Initially, this cake was to have been only a six inch cake, so the Santa emerging from a chimney pot was made specifically for that sized Rich Fruit Cake.

However, as people do, once my friend saw the topper, she thought it best she changed her mind and made it a ten inch cake instead. I wasn't sure how this was going to work. But it has.

After the white marzipan had hardened, I covered the sides in a light grey, hand coloured fondant then, layed some bricks! Each brick shape was hand cut and fixed to the sides, one by one. Just like a proper brick wall. I've come to realise ... I'm not a brickie (brick layer). "Perps and pojnting" are not my forte either. But somehow, it turned out terrific.

Once more, the snow on the top effect was used. 

I now had to work out how to make this ten inch cake pretend it was a six inch one, and be a chimney pot too! It was as simple a cutting a disk in pale grey and ensuring it was in the centre. Victorian chimney pots are usually ornate, so I added fondant, in a rope design, around the pot hole. I added a few snowballs and voilà! It worked amazingly!

Gingerbread People Christmas Cake

This eight inch Rich Fruit Cake, I found out before I started making it, was destined to be shared by two of my friends homes. So I had to try and mirror one side to the other. That way, they could both have the same cake!

This is why there are two little gingerbread people on the top. They are, however, made using chocolate fondant and not ginger flavoured.

I mixed some pale blue for the sides and decorated it in the same style as the previous cake, the festive mouse Christmas cake.

Wednesday 20 December 2017

Mouse and Tree Christmas Cake

This little sweetie was made for my good friends. It's an eight in Rich Fruit Cake covered in white marzipan and then white fondant.

The little mouse was made earlier in the month and the tree was a last minute addition.

Even though it was a festive holiday gift, they were tucking into it before I'd even got home. Their 2016 festive cake can be found here.

The sides were covered in green, not the top though, then I rolled out the white top, placed the bottom of the baking pan, I'd used to bake it in, on top of the rolled out sheet, then cut the wave shape bigger than the pan bottom. I them placed this on the top, smoothed it on as usual at the top, then hand smoothed the wàves down the sides and softened the cut edges when "glueing" them to the sides.

The rope detail was shaped using a silicone mould. I added a fondant snowflakes to the larger spaces on the green and then glued on little candy pearls to simulate smaller flakes of snow.

I enjoyed the overall effect so much, I decided to replicate it once more for the next cake I decorated.

Little Christmas Cake with Bow

This tiny, little four inch cake, was made for my neighbour, as a gift.   

I used a reduced size mix from my Rich Fruit Cake recipe from last year, then crafted a little fondant bow for decoration.

As with all my festive cakes this year, they're all covered in white marzipan first, before the fondant. The little cake I gifted this gent in 2016, can be found here

Ruby Wedding Anniversary Cake

Butterflies and ruby red roses were the order of the day for this one.  A delicately flavoured sponge with white fondant, surrounded by ring of pearlised butterflies, along with some randomly placed ones to compliment the fabulous cake topper. 

The rose garland was made for me by my amazing posy make, the same one that helped me with the wedding and engagement cakes earlier this year.

Even I make mistakes! It seems I made a massive spelling error and possibly spoiled the day. So I'm going to stop here until I've gotten over being upset

Sunday 10 December 2017

Festive Mouse Cake Topper

'Twas the night before Christmas when all through the house,
Not a creature was stirring, not even a ...

Due to some camera and phone issues, I'm not able to bring you a pictorial step by step how to for this project.

However, as with my previous projects, they are all basically the same except, for this one, I made the head and body out of one piece of fondant.  If you check out the Festive Fondant Index and have a look at the Gingerbread People, this will give you a good idea.

You will need:
  • White fondant
  • Red fondant
  • A tiny bit each of black
  • Some pink fondant
  • A little green fondant
  • Edible glue / water
How to:
  1. Roll out your ball of white fondant, ensure it is fatter at the bottom.
  2. Lay your work on its side or horizontally 
  3. About 2/3 of the way up, using your finger, gently roll the ball with your finger only, pressing in to make an indent for a neck.
  4. If you find this two difficult, check out the Gingerbread People blog entry and make the body and head in teo pieces.
  5. Stand upright and insert a piece of spaghetti (if the topper is going to be eaten, or a cocktail stick if it's going to be kept for decoration.
  6. Shape the front of the top 1/3 of your work to a delicate point, for the mouse's nose.
  7. For the eyes - Make indents it the face for both eyes and a nose.
  8. Roll two balls of black fondant and drop these into the two indents you've made for the eyes. 
  9. Add a highlight using a tiny ball of fondant.
  10. for the nose -Use the same process for the nose as you did for the eyes
  11. Make two indents into the bottom of the nose for the nostrils
  12. Now add a line from the underneath of the nose down to where you want the mouth to be. 
  13. Make a mouth shape using a scallop tool.
  14. For the arms - Roll two thin sausage shapes and fix to the body near the neck and bring them down to the fron of the body
  15. For the feet - Take two small balls of pink fondant, roll them into tubes and flatten.
  16. Add some 'toes' using a blade tool
  17. Fix these under the body
  18. For the tail - Take the same pink and roll a ;ong, thin sausage shape.
  19. Fix under the back of the body and then shape into a curly tail.
  20. For the hat - Roll a cone shape of red fondant
  21. Make a dent in the bottom
  22. Shape so that the brim is bigger than the mouse's head and ensure it is in proportion.
  23. For pictures, check out the Gingerbread Person blog entry 
  24. For the brim - Roll a long, thin length of white, flatten, add some indents to simulate fur.
  25. Glue to the brim
  26. For the ball - Add a 'fluffy; ball to the point
  27. Fix hat to head
  28. For the ears - Roll two balls of white fondant and flatten
  29. Add two smaller pink balls to the centre of these and flatten.
  30. Using a ball tool, make two indents into the hat where you want the ears to be
  31. Pinch the bottom of the ears and fit the pinched portion into the holes.
  32. Add a sprig of holly to the hat with some red berries
  33. For the scarf - Roll out a length of red fondant, cut to the width you need 
  34. Check against your work for the length and trim
  35. Fix around neck
  36. Sprinkle with some festive magic - edible glitter
  37. Allow to dry

Friday 8 December 2017

XBox Birthday Cake

Not being an XBox user, I had a lot of advice and feedback from those that are.  I borrowed a controller to copy and downloaded the "X" logo, printed it, then used it as a template. The process I used for this was exactly the same process as the DIY Character Faces for the PJ Masks cake.

The young chappie that will be receiving this cake, loves my cupcake recipe, which just so happens to be my simple, basic vanilla sponge mix, it's so versatile!  The sponge was then crumb coated and covered in my vanilla basic buttercream mix before adding the fondant.

The fondant controller decoration was made, by me, by comparing a real one for reference. I was not able to get it exact because this is less than half the size. After all, this is only a six-inch cake.

Prior to adding all the embellishments like the name, the 'Happy Birthday' sign and the controller, I added geometric shapes, one by one, around the cake in white, black and the same shade of grey I had made for the cake itself.

Once this was complete, it was doused with some birthday cheer - silver glitter - and boxed up ready to go to the lucky birthday box.

There are a few different shapes of these cutters available by PME, these ones are the diamond cutters. Whilst I purchased mine from my local cake supply shop, the whole range can be seen and purchased here on Amazon.

I have every intention of collecting them all, but for now, I just have the diamonds and squares. The squares will be used for a Minecraft cake for my grandson next May I hope - unless Minecraft falls out of favour!

Wednesday 29 November 2017

Star Lily 60th Birthday Cake

This simple, but elegant cake, was commission by my friend's son for her 60th birthday. The only thing I'm not happy about is the fact that the gold topper doesn't shine, in all it's glory, in the images I have taken.

For this cake I went to my old faithful recipe, because the recipient loves my sponge cake. She usually enjoys the cake scraps when I'm making other projets, so I even had to hide the fact that I was baking.

For the 8" cake, I used a total of three mixes of my faithful vanilla sponge recipe. The layers were then sandwiched together, crumbcoated and then covered in my basic vanilla buttercream.

Whilst simplicity was key here, I added a cushion design with gold candy balls along the side.  The board was trimmed with a gold diamante strip and the ivory ribbon for the cake has gold edging. This ribbon was to compliment the ivory fondant.
The star lilys were purchased from my local supplier and the gold "Happy 60th Birthday Mum" was commissioned from another supplier, who can be found on eBay.

I think this lucky mum will be pleased with her son's commission and, well, I know she's going to enjoy the delicious, moist cake.

It seems my photography let me down with this image. It was difficult for me to capture with mirror gold topper in all its glory. Try as I might, all I could manage was to capture the lustre dust and make it look like I'd o.d'd with it.

I think I'm going to have to research a makeshift cake studio for photography 

Tuesday 28 November 2017

Father Christmas Cake Topper

This rather handsome fellow is to adorn an upcoming festive cake and, if my calculations are correct, should just about fit from one edge to the other! At an amazing 12.5cm tall and about 1lb in weight, he is, by far, the biggest cutie I have ever made I think. At that weight, he can only adorn a super rich fruit cake.

I used:
  • Renshaw's fondant in
    • Red
    • White
    • Skin tone
    • Black
    • Various small amounts of other colours for 'gifts'
  • Renshaw's modeling paste in
    • Black
    • Green
  • Marshmallows
  • Rice Krispies
  • A plastic dowel
  • Candy red berries
  • Edible gold paint
  • Edible pearl shimmer paint
  • Edible gold luster dust
  • Edible glue / water

He started off as a ball of red fondant rolled into a cone. Into this I inserted a stick of dried spaghetti (as a dowel and because he might be eaten).  Little did I realise that this was not going to be enough to stabilise him as he grew. I would later use a plastic dowel.

My next task was the arms, I rolled a long sausage shape and cut it in half. Then I measured them against the body, trimmed them and removed them. I will later come to realise that they will need further trimming as they were too long.

I removed them and rolled a strip of black modelling paste about 1cm thick, and fixed this on for his belt. I will later pain on the gold buckle.

I fixed the arm on with the belt in place

Next, I rolled a suitably sized, skin tone, ball for the head and fixed it onto the spaghetti dowel.

He needed to dry and harden a little, before I added more.

I marked the face with some dots in preparation for his eyes and nose, but I didn't make these right away.

I decided that he needed his fur trim before I did his face as well as his gloves and the trim on those.

I rolled out a small sausage and flattened it with my hand, you don't want these looking too perfect, after all, it's meant to be fur. I made indents all along the facing side and down the edges, measured it around the neck, cut it to size and fixed it on, with the join at the front. Next for a strip up the front. As you can see, I made this too short, but I'm not going to worry because his beard will cover that later.  I made sure it was thinner at the bottom so it didn't look bulky above the belt.

For his hands / gloves I rolled two balls of white, then rolled them slightly sausage shape and flattened them a little. Tap the one side, that will fix to his arms, a little flatter where you know it's going to meet the rest of the arm. It was about here I realised that his arms were too long with the hands and needed shortening. So I did this.

I made a thumb by using my cutting tool and gently moulded each one, to take the sharp sides away, then inserted a piece of dried spaghetti into the ends of his arms, added some glue and gently pushed his hands on.  For the fur trim, follow the same process as above and glue this on where the gloved meet the sleeve ends.

Next I inserted my ball tool into where I had placed the marks for his eyes and nose. For his nose, I rolled a small ball, then shaped it into a capsule shape, in proportion (I had to trim this a few time before I fixed it on as it looked far too comical) and fix on the face.

For his eyes, I rolled two small balls of black fondant, added a dab of glue into the eye holes and inserted them. I then pushed them in to flatten them a little as they looked silly just sticking out.

Follow the same process, as they eyes, for his three buttons down the front of his jacket.

Now for that beard.  I needed to bulk up the area under his chin first, so I made a strip, exactly the same as I did for the fur trim, and fixed it down the side of his face, under his chin and up the other side. Whilst it was in place, I used my ball tool to add extra indents to fake fluffy beardy hair.

Now, I just rolled lots of tiny balls and stuck them onto his face to make the basic beard shape ensuring that there are no gaps showing the under side. Once this was complete, I used a small ball tool to impress little dents all around his beard.

Not shown here is, a tiny little love heart I cut and placed under his nose, this will hopefully show through as his mouth. For the moustache, I rolled a small sausage shape and tapered it off to small points on both sides.  I used a blade tool to press in the middle to give the impression of two sides of a moustache and bring it up and over the little love heart. I used the blade tool to place lines horizontally across the moustache to give the impression of hair.

I also noticed I had forgotten to highlight the eyes. So I tolled two of the tiniest little balls of white, glued them on at the top of the eyes off to one side, then flattened them to secure them on.

For the hat, I went back to the red fondant and rolled a ball. This was then shaped into a long cone and, using the same method as the gingerbread people hats tried it for size. I had to trim quite a bit off at first as it was far too big.

A added another piece of dried spaghetti down through the head to stabilise the hat when it's on.

Tilting his little hat over to one side before I put in on, then glued it and allowed it some time to dry.  It was about now that I noticed his beard needed a few extra balls to finish it off around the sides, so I did that.

It was about now I realised that this spaghetti dowel just couldn't 'cut the mustard' and was failing, I inserted a plastic dowel down the middle, from his hat to his waist. I then had to cover the hole I'd made, so added some holly decorations to his hat, and whilst I was there, painted all the white fur parts with a pearl paint, but not the beard and hair. Then allowed him to dry.

Time to give this half a dude the sack!

He's already super heavy, so I have to keep it light! I've never actually worked with a marshmallow and crisped rice mix, so there's a first time for everything I guess.

I had no idea and no recipe, but I guessed it should be as easy as rice krispie and chocolate things.

I microwaved half a dozen marshmallows, gave it a mix then ...

... mixed in the crisped rice until it looked good. It seemed to have worked. I needed the sack covered in fondant and to look lumpy and scruffy. 

Having squashed and shaped the krispie ball, I allowed it to harden.  Then I rolled out a base, then rolled out a thin piece for the top (inside the sack) and then rolled out a thick strip. I covered the sides of the sack and made sure it was taller than the krispie ball as I wanted an open top sack. Using a piece of washed and cleaned fruit bag netting, I made impressions around the sack to make it look, well, like a bumpy old sack!

My daughter had helped me make some fondant presents with ribbons and bows, these were added to the sack and around the fugue, these will be glued on at a later date.

For now, this figure is living in an air tight drying box until needed.  Check back for the cake that this will adorn this festive season.
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