Sunday 23 December 2018

3D Tree with Snowman and SnowDog

My last cake of 2018. A three dimensional festive decorated tree with resin cast Snowman and his Snowdog. The cake is a delicate vanilla sponge, baked in a silicone mould (which I am not a fan of), but I have used it once and that's all it's having lol.

It's a six-piece cake, the base, which you cannot see, has been covered in chocolate fondant, whilst the four tree parts were pipped, using a petal tip, in vanilla buttercream. The final piece is the star, this part of the mould was filled with chocolate, allowed to set and then covered in gold, edible glitter.

The star is wedged into the plastic, hollow dowel, that runs down the centre of the tree / cake.

It suffered a few mishaps along the way, but I think I brought it back from the brink.

Thursday 20 December 2018

Nuts, Berries and Holly - Festive Cake

This rich fruit festive eight-inch cake is adorned with pine cones, pistachios, holly and berries, acorns, fruit berries, walnuts and ... Oh, I think that's it actually.  Not one nutcracker will be required to eat these decorations though, they've been handcrafted from fondant! Every single one!

The moulds/molds can be purchased from Katy Sue Designs, I used:
These silicone moulds/molds are excellent quality and I would thoroughly recommend them.

Even before adding some petal dust, the walnuts looked pretty realistic!

Having made each item, in half, then stuck them together with edible glue. An awesome look for all the nuts, berries and pinecones.

My daughter, sister and myself, spent some hours making these between us and once almost dry, they were glued and allowed to dry completely before adding to the top of the cake.

Sprinkled with a little edible luster dust, allowed to dry and it's ready to be delivered to my family for their Christmas table this year.

Bird and Cat Paw Prints - Festive Cake

This little six-inch rich fruit cake has been made for my own house this year.  Which means, decorating is open to anyone! So my daughter took up the challenge.

I did the 'brickwork' ... as you can see, I am absolutely no brickie! But it was fun. I cut out each brick-shaped piece of fondant, exactly the same as the Little Drummer Boy cake yesterday. To make them more brick-like, I cut the pieces in half again.

On top of the white marzipan is a layer of marbled grey fondant, this will simulate the cement between the bricks. On top of that, the bricks have been 'laid', but only on the sides.  

For the top, a thick layer of fondant, which had been cut much larger than the top and then cut, unevenly, so that it would look like a layer of snow on the top of my 'wall'.

My daughter made the holly leaves with a plunger cutter and affixed, in her chosen shape, to the top of the cake. She then added red candy balls to represent the holly berries.

For reasons, which are beyond my way of thinking, but put a smile on my face, she added little bird prints (enlarge to see them at the back of the top of the cake), closely followed by some golden kitty paw prints.

I just hope the bird got away!

This will adorn my Yule tale this year and I love it!

Little Drummer Boy - Festive Cake

For 2018, I wanted to try some 'traditional' festive cakes. This rich fruit festive cake is my homage to the festive song "The Little Drummer Boy".  The eight-inch cake was covered first, using white marzipan, and then decorated with hand cut individual squares. 

Once cut, these squares were attached, one by one to the sides. The order of decoration went like this:
  1. I added the fondant to the top first, allowed it to dry a little then ...
  2. Turned it upside down
  3. Having measured the side, I cut a 2cm strip of red fondant and added it to the bottom (the top).
  4. Once dried a little, I added the blue and white squares and triangles I had cut.
  5. Then added the final piece of red and turned it the right way up

Of course, there is an obvious beginning and end with these squares, so they've been hidden around the back (you can see this in the video below)

Once dried, it was time to decorate the top. I painted it, with edible pearl paint, then generously sprinkled on silver luster dust. Painting it was a bit of a problem as, at first, I couldn't get the effect I wanted. My daughter helped by spinning my turntable whilst I added the paint, and the effect was amazing and exactly what I wanted!

Next was the gold trim. I used my largest disk from my extruder to add the rope to the bottom then onto the top edge. I then painted this with edible gold paint. I then added some gold stars with alternate blue diamond / squares, sprinkled it with some edible gold luster dust and voila! 

I hope they like it.

I made it for someone special to me, not because she's one of my greatest supporters, but because she helped me gain my self-confidence and pointed out the importance of raising my self-esteem when I didn't realise I'd lost it!

Her 2017 festive cake is here

Sunday 16 December 2018

Asha's Festive Cupcake Masterclass

Today, I have had the pleasure of a fantastic student, Asha. She made these amazing cupcakes and all I did was show her once then stand back, just in case I was needed, which I wasn't.  

As a Crafty Welsh Grandma, I adore sharing my knowledge, skills and experiences. No more so than in one-to-one 'masterclasses'

Asha had her own ideas of how she wanted her cupcakes to look and, no sooner had she arrived at my kitchen straight from work she donned the festive apron I had ready for her, and off we went.

Asha chose to make half a dozen (plus extra for practice later) in classic vanilla with an equally delicate buttercream and a further half dozen (again, with some extra for practice later) in chocolate.

It is my preference to use ice-cream scoops to portion out the batter in each cupcake case, so, as my student for the day, Asha was instructed and took to this method with ease.

As mentioned earlier, Asha made a few more cupcakes for practice, and it was the decorating she used them for.  I showed her two types of topping, the classic cupcake peak and a simple, flatter, almost rose type topping.

Once more, the only interaction I had was showing once then standing back until I was needed, again, I wasn't needed.

Handcrafted holly leaves were used on the one flavour cupcakes and handcrafted golden stars were used on the other.  

Asha decorated the vanilla cupcakes with the holly, some red candy balls for berries, a little green glitter then topped off with a dash of silver luster dust. Perfection. 

For the chocolate cupcakes, which Asha topped in vanilla buttercream, she swirled melted chocolate around them, then multi-coloured candy covered chocolate beans (small Smarties) were used to resemble Christmas light on the chocolate 'wires'. Topped off with the gold star, which Asha earned loads of today, then sprinkled with some gold luster dust. Perfection, the second time around!

Now, there comes a time, with some of my masterclasses, there are doubters. To help dispel the doubt, check out the hands working hard here, then compare them to mine.

Here are my hands, the crafty hands belonging to this Crafty Welsh Grandma, complete with my permanent artwork / tattoos, quite different don't you think?

Well done Asha, you worked hard today and deserve all the credit. After all, this was all your work and not mine!

More Festive Cupcakes

As promised, a quick showcase of the standard sized cupcakes that accompanied the Mini Festive Cupcakes blog entry, for my Grandson's Christmas party this weekend.

For more details about those cupcakes, plus some links to a few awesome tutorials and a showcase of festive cupcake toppers see here.

Mini Festive Cupcakes

These little sweeties were made for my Grandson's Christmas party, but they did not go quite as planned.  I knew I wanted to make bite-sized yummies, plus a few "normal" sized ones, but I just didn't foresee the problems I had in my Kitchen that day.

I used a full batch of my faithful batter mix, to be topped off with vanilla buttercream later, and added a small amount to each case. No problems so far? Nope. But my smallest measuring scoop was, well, far too big. So I ended discarding the first batch I baked after this happened ...

"Not a problem," says I, to myself, "I'll just use the rest of the batter mix, make big ones then worry about the little ones later."

But no, that was not meant to be. I filled eight, full-sized cases, as I picked up the tray to take it to the oven, I dropped it. With the unsalvagable cupcakes exploded all over my kitchen floor, I just stood there, tears welling up in my eyes and thinking all is lost.

Time to start again. This time, without any problems. I'll publish a quick blog entry to show off the standard size cupcakes in a moment.

As you can see, I didn't DIY the toppers this year, unlike the previous year, but they looked equally as good.

Friday 14 December 2018

Basic Vanilla Biscuits

Creating these simple vanilla biscuits can be a fun family activity. When my children were growing up, they used to say that I "never bought food, just ingredients", the same was true of biscuits too

I've used an 8cm snowman cutter here as these are for my Grandson's Christmas party, but you can use any shaped cutter you wish. I also managed to add a few gingerbread people shapes as the dough got smaller.

This mix will make over 40 biscuits using the snowman shape. I purchased the cutters from Sainsbury's earlier this month and this cutter is the smallest of the three.

You will need:

  • 175g of softened, unsalted butter
  • 200g caster sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 400g plain flour (plus extra for rolling)
  • 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract *
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • Rolling pin
  • Baking parchment
  • Baking tray
  • Wire cooling rack
How to:
  1. Cream together the butter and the sugar until pale and fluffy 
  2. Beat in the eggs and vanilla extract*
  3. In a separate bowl, combine the flour, salt, and baking powder
  4. Combine the mixture from both bowl and mix together. If the mix is too sticky, add a little more flour.
  5. Separate the mix into two, sprinkle a little flour onto the two portions and place in cling film or plastic bag, then into the refrigerator for about an hour.
  6. Turn the oven onto Gas #4 then have a little chill-time yourself.
  7. Cover your baking tray with parchment paper, or grease the tray
  8. Remove dough from refrigerator, dust your work surface with a little flour and dust the top of your dough.
  9. Roll out to 5mm thickness and cut.
  10. Place, a little distance apart from the next biscuit onto your baking tray.
  11. Bake in the centre of the oven for 8 - 12 minutes. By this time, they should just start to go golden brown on the edges. If they haven't, leave them in the oven and check regularly until they do.
  12. Once cooked, turn out onto a cooling rack.
  13. Once cooled, you can decorate them as desired or leave as they are.

* You can change the flavour to suit your needs, here are some suggestions:
  • Use lemon extract with some zest
  • Add some edible lavender to the mix

Friday 5 October 2018

Share the Love Birthday Cake

Never have I ever made such an important birthday cake at such short notice! This cake needed to represent the five-year-old recipient's loves and, whilst I was unable to complete them all, I managed most.

Here was my list of loves for this little dude:
  • Chocolate
  • Favourite colours are green and blue
  • Skateboarding
  • Ninja Swords
  • Dirtbikes
  • American YouTube Vlogger, Stephen Sharer and "Share The Love" 
I was unable to source a moto-x dirtbike topper for this cake, but I hope the little BMX bike will be a happy substitute. So, let's have a look at how this seriously last minute cake turned out ...

Chocolate ...  Check

This is my second chocolate cake this week, and mmmmm it looks, tastes and smells are good as the first one. Once more, my chocolate sponge recipe did not fail me and neither did the delicious chocolate buttercream.

Fave Colours ...  Check

Blue fondant with blue toppers, with a little bit of green colour on the skateboard.

Skateboarding ...  Check

Awesome skateboard cake topper

Ninja swords ...  Fail

OK, so I failed on this one, but I've pretty much got the rest sorted I think.

Dirt Bikes ...  Check, well, sort of

Finding a dirtbike cake topper was hard at such short notice, but I think this little BMX should be a pretty cool substitute. And, with it being a wonderful blue one, I think I just might be forgiven - I hope

'Share the Love' ...  Check and double check!

The young man's Dad sent me the 'Share The Love' logo but, as it was such poor quality and would have pixelated on printing, I got my 'digital enhancer' working on it to prevent this happening. The printed icing sheet topper was then cut to shape and affixed to the top of the cake.

Once that dried, following the scourge of all cakers, humidity, I made a few cupcakes for good measure. Chocolate chip cupcakes with vanilla and chocolate frosting. Yum!

Thursday 4 October 2018

Chelsea FC Birthday Cake

You know, considering I'm a rugby lass from a rugby family, I seem to make an awful lot of football cakes. Here's one more to add to my growing list. It might look like a plain cake but, just wait until you get inside!

In addition to the chocolatey sponge and the lashings of chocolatey buttercream, between each layer of yummy sponge and between the delicious buttercream lay a hidden layer of ... 

Oreo Thins!

If it wasn't for the fact that I hate Oreo biscuits, I'd say it looks like the ones on the edges have been nibbled on, but breaking bits off was the only way I could fit them all on the top of the cake. Trying to cut them just broke them in ways that wasted the whole biscuit.

The sides of the cake have been decorated in fondant shapes as a 'homage' to a football. You can find these cutters in most good cake decorating stores as well as eBay and Amazon. These pieces were individually cut and attached then each piece was decorated with a quilting tool to mimic the stitching. You can see this detail better on the finished piece as well as on the red and blue footballs (links below).

A thin line of extruded black fondant was then used to cover the raw edges of these pieces. That was 'stitched' too.

I also handmade a number of small half footballs and allowed to dry before using a food-colour pen to decorate. Some of these were then used to decorate the board along with the salutation.

The topper is a quality, printed icing sheet that was pre-purchased and affixed to the top with the smallest amount of water and edible glue - the crowning glory!

Once dried, the whole cake received a dusting of magic i.e. edible silver lustre dust and voila! Complete!

As I understand it, the recipient has never had a birthday cake so, let's hope this one makes up for it.

Whilst you're here, check out my previous footy cakes:

Sunday 23 September 2018

Power Rangers Birthday Cake

This two-tier Mighty Morphin Power Ranger cake has been made for a fab five-year-old.  It morphed out of my classic vanilla cake mix, vanilla simple syrup, smashing vanilla buttercream into an amazing sponge then covered in Power Ranger red fondant.

I would usually have made toppers for a cake such as this, but, alas, it was short notice and it does take some time for toppers to dry out completely. 

The edible, printed icing sheet was ordered from one of my regular suppliers on eBay. All I had to do for these was cut them out and affix to cake.

I think they've worked rather brilliantly. I've added lights to this cake which will not be delivered as part of the birthday boy's packages, but I just fancied using lights for this picture. 

I just hope he loves it, you know what five-year-old critics are like hehehe.

Small Unicorn Cake

This is the second Unicorn Cake I have made this month! Although we are all aware that cakes of these mystical creatures are a 'thing', some may feel that they are a little difficult to create. I want to show you that, even if you do not feel confident enough to create a Unicorn cake, there is no need to be.

My previous Unicorn Cake, seen here, was a fondant-free buttercream bonanza with a golden 3D horn topper. This one is utterly simple and it's the topper that makes this special.

 Click here for the supplier website

The Unicorn Cake Decorating Mould from Katy Sue Designs is the perfect choice for creating a wonder out of simplicity. It is a sturdy mould and exceptionally good quality. The brilliant plus-point of the Katy Sue Designs website is, they have video tutorials for pretty much every mould that they manufacture and sell! I urge you to check it out!

It was made using Renshaw's white modeling paste, removed from the mould, then allowed to dry overnight before 'painting'.  To paint this I used edible white pearl paint and edible petal dust for the mane, the flowers and leaves, then edible gold for the horn and some highlights. Once done, it was sprinkled over with edible lustre dust.

This is a simple, vanilla sponge using three six-inch cake tins and a three egg mix for each tin. It was topped in simple vanilla syrup, then sandwiched together, crumbcoated and final coated using vanilla buttercream

Once suitably chilled, the cake was covered in marbled fondant using 3 x 250g packs of Renshaws ready to roll icing, two in Baby Pink and one in Fushia Pink pack.

The excess fondant was mixed together to make one colour and used for the rope at the bottom, where the cake met the coloured eight-inch board.

I picked out and added only a few tiny hearts and stars out of the cake sprinkles I had, painted the rope at the bottom with the edible pearl paint.

And, well, that's it really. A superb and very simple, elegant Unicorn Cake!

Thursday 6 September 2018

Unicorn Cake

This is my first ever try at a Unicorn cake. I'm happy with it but can see where I could improve.

It consists an 8" and topped with a 6" vanilla cake sandwiched together with vanilla buttercream and a covering to match.

In each layer is hidden a sprinkling of Dr Oetker Glamour and Sparkle Mix

The bottom layer was totally covered in Dr Ortker Unicorn Confetti

I had some left over which I will use to sprinkle over the top of the bottom layer and some around the sides of the top. But not before I get the top onto the bottom. Which I did struggle with because this is a fondant-free cake and the sides, no matter how much chilling or freezing you do, it will still be sticky. Doesn't help that I still have humidity issues here.

Here, in the UK, A/C is not standard, so I have the extractor fan on constant and dehumidifiers everywhere. But I did it, with a little help.

Not forgetting the bubble tea straws to hold up the top layer.

The horn and ears were made a few days before, I didn't manage to take pictures of this process, but I imagine there are plenty of YouTube videos out there on how to make them.  The best way to make the ears was with large and small heart-shaped cutters, they worked brilliantly

Once the ears and horn was in place, I used three different colours of buttercream to cover the top and sides, down to the base, leaving the front free for some closed eyes,

I hope the little six-year-old will be happy with it, I think she will be.

I know I haven't posted a blog for a while, I took the summer off to 'recover' after the wedding cake, the charity cupcake day and another cake. All these crammed in together, or so it felt. I'm also going to be taking it easy until Chrismas, but I shall still find things to bake and blog about I'm sure lol
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...