Sunday 22 December 2019

Wonderful Winter Scene

This cake is a 'tuition' cake and made by my Padawan (apprentice). It was a last minute decision cake, but still needed the time and care like the other ones.

To help him gain confidence, my Padawan was given instruction on his first task, the christmas tree below and then I let him run with it. This is what he came up with. All this will little intervention from me.

Whilst that was drying, the cake was baked and, if I'm honest, I'm completely envious as to how this turned out! Far better than my first ever rich fruit cake!

For the decorating, my Padawan set to decorating this beauty with a green side and snow-draped effect fondant for the top. Nothing like being thrown in at the deep end for this learning experience.

Once the topping was complete, the rope decoration was created for the bottom edge as he didn't want or need to use ribbon on this one.

Next came the addition of snowflakes and then ...

Painstakingly adding little silver candy balls in the blank areas, glued in one-by-one. No doubt, I will be sweeping these up from the floor for days to come! They get everywhere when you drop them and you can never get them all at once.

Due to time constraints, the decorations for the top were purchased ready made, except the tree of course, then added. Additional handcrafted snowballs were made and added to soften the edges of the premade decorations on the top of the cake.

I think my days are numbered here! But "Crafty Welsh Grandad" is not going to be a 'thing' for many, many moons yet. Any why? Well, this wonderful trainee is my son.

The process, with all its trials and tribulations, was a fantastic experience, for me at least. I hope it was for him too.

Wednesday 18 December 2019

Christmas Tree

Using about 1/3 of the mixture for the recipe for a rich fruit cake, this little four inch cake was made for my neighbour.

He's been getting a little cake from me for the last few years now, I hope he likes this one.

Sweet Snowman

This is my own cake for my festive table! He is a little six inch cake made with about 3/4 of the recipe for my rich fruit cake

As with my previous two cakes today, the DIY Character Faces process was used, only very loosely in this one.  I didn't have use for the whole of the process, just the general idea.

Two, flattened balls for the body and head, cut a little away so the head can fit into the body shape, cut his scarf and wrap it around.

The hat was created by using thinly rolled green fondant, laid on the head and trimmed, the same too for the fur of the bobble hat.

Stunning Santa

The 'trouble', dare I say, with these sculpted cakes is you have to do them on the day. There's no preparing in advance for these little beauties. This can be a daunting thought, especially if you have no back up. You have to be prepared 'mentally' and have confidence in your abilities.

The rich fruit cake was the second (of three) of my eight inch rich fruit cakes this year. The face was created using the same process previously published on the DIY Character Faces.

Happy Gnome

This eight inch rich fruit cake was decorated using the same process as the PJ Masks character faces. I love these little gnomes that you can't quite see.

The beard was hand painted in an edible pearl paint, topped with some festive glitter and awaiting his collection, I hope they like him.

Polar Bear on Ice

Using about 1/3 of the mixture for the recipe for a rich fruit cake, this little four inch cake was made for someone without the passion for fondant as some.

I used a basic buttercream to cover this one in peaks to represent snow or ice, and, to ensure it 'keeps' it will be kept chilled until needed.

I think the little polar bear looks so cute just sitting there on his icing-berg.

Thursday 12 December 2019

Santa Hat Cupcakes

These simple little cupcakes can be made to look very festive with the addition of some creative frosting!

Using my basic cake mix, you can add some festive flavours if you wish, the same too for the basic buttercream frosting.

Once baked and cooled, pipe some red frosting swirls. Pipe them so the are just short of touching the sides of the cupcake case.

Leave them to form a 'crispy' coat, then soften the peak on the top and pipe some white frosting. 

Next, using a smaller piping nozzle, pipe a white ring around where there's the gap between the cupcake case and the red frosting.

Add some decorations, and you're done!


Friday 10 May 2019

Battered 'Nuka-Cola' Bottle Top Cake

This year, as is always the case, my Grandson changes his likes from video game to video game or this like to that like and so on. This year, it's Fallout!

In the past we've seen cakes for him that have been:

The cake, a delicious, rich red velvet cake with cream cheese frosting is hidden under this beaten up look bottle top cake.

I cut half rings out using a circle cutter before crumb coating, frosting and covering in thick, red fondant.

My daughter printed out the Nuka-Cola logo and set about hand cutting the letters before she hand cut the logo from modeling fondant.

It had that very flat, "too new", look. We allowed the red fondant to dry and the water, used as the 'glue' to stick the logo on. 

Once dry, she set about using brown, antique gold and silver petal dust to give it that rusty, beaten up look.

I'm giving my daughter far more freedom with my cakes these days, she finds it fun and I enjoy watching her work. Not only that, my eyes are getting old (well, that's my excuse lol).

I hope he enjoys it, but then, what kid doesn't like chocolate cake?

Drumstick & Refreshers Cupcakes

Cupcakes can become a little 'samey' after a while, which is why you haven't heard from me for while, my work has been mainly cupcakes.

These ones, however, are a little different.

As you know, I make all my cakes, frosting etc from scratch, with very few exceptions, and this is one of them.

At my local supermarket, I found Drumstick Duo frosting ...

As well as Refreshers frosting ...

And, unashamedly, I faked the frosting on top of these classic vanilla flavoured cupcakes for my Grandson's birthday party tomorrow.

If there is anything new you're fancying for your cupcakes, then you have to try this stuff. It's yummy. You may need to add a spoonful of water to get it to some sort of piping consistency first.

Saturday 16 March 2019

Outdoors Themed Cupcakes

These wonderful batch of birthday cupcakes were made with a brilliant idea for a theme. I'm going to be honest and tell you, this was not my idea, it was the gifter's idea as the lucky recipient works outdoors.

There's not much I can say about these apart from, the chocolate sponge mix was prepared, in a masterclass, with a student and the toppers were handmade on the day.

The toppers include (from top centre and clockwise):
  • A map
  • A tent with a campfire out front
  • A kayak/canoe 
  • A personalised paddle
  • Absolutely a 'Keep Out' sign
  • And a pair of green walking boots

I hope they'll be enjoyed!

Saturday 2 March 2019

Birthday Carrot Cake

The day will come when I shall run out of ideas for carrot themed carrot cake lol. But it's not this year!  

My son loves my carrot cake and, when the chance comes for him to have a birthday cake, he 'needs' it to be ... carrot cake! 

His previous carrot 'manifestations' have included this brilliant little Kawaii Carrot Cake and this rather interesting Carrot Cake Plant Pot. He's also received a 24 Carrot Gold Cake. All made from my utterly simple Carrot Cake recipe.

I made three six-inch cakes and two four-inch cakes from two mixes of the recipe but added about 25% more to each mix. 

Once I have de-humped them, I turned them on their sides and trimmed down one side so they were no longer round cakes. I'd say I trimmed off about 25%, but this never goes to waste in my house. 

Once firmly chilled, as this is quite a moist cake if done correctly, I sandwiched each layer together using my basic buttercream recipe. The reason I have not used the conventional carrot cake frosting is that I find it does not travel well. As this one needs to travel a few hundred miles this weekend, I wanted stability.

After another chill in the refrigerator, I carved it to a basic carrot shape. It's ok if it's not perfect, after all, wonky veg need love too! Gave it a crumb coat, chilled again, then final coated it and, yes, you guessed it, chilled again, then covered it in orange coloured fondant.

Sitting at the side of the carrot cake is a sweet little snoozing bunny, who has just eaten a load of carrots and is still covered in the carrots he has not eaten. 

Regrettably, I did not take step-by-step images of this bunny in progress, but if you check out this teddy bear tutorial I did some time back and add big ears and massive bunny feet, I don't think you'll go far wrong.

The conventional carrot leaves will not travel well, so I used a simple leaf cutter and added some details for these ones.

As you can see, I've also added the lines that carrots have and, to emphasise some of them I dry brushed them with a mix of dark green, antique gold and white petal dust. I could have used other colours, but these were all I had at the time, it worked well I thought.

You will also note some errors and dents, some intentional and some are genuine errors. I used a new brand of fondant which, in all honesty, I shall never use again. It was terrible to work with so I'm going to stick with good old faithful Renshaws!

Add the name, up in 'lights' with some pearled candy balls, spray with a little pearl lustre and some silver lustre dust and voila! done. 

This little wonder will be traveling in its box with tissue paper stuffed under the bunny's ears, just to make sure they get there still attached.

Saturday 23 February 2019

All That Glitters Is Not Gold ...

... Quite correct, as this is allllll chocolate!  

This wonderful little six-layer, six-inch chocolate cake has been made from my classic chocolate sponge cake recipe

Each layer has been lavishly sandwiched together with my delicious chocolate ganache and then absolutely covered in even more indulgent chocolate ganache! Just how much more chocolate can you get?

Oh! Of course, Maltesers! I used those on the join between the cake and the board. And why not lol.

This person's previous cakes have included:
As you can see, there's a bit of a chocolate theme going on for this lucky recipient. However, this year he asked for 'chocolate, but not so much chocolate.'

Previously he's received eight-inch cakes and the only way I could possibly have done 'chocolate, but not so much chocolate' was to make a smaller cake. He loved it anyway, he received it today, even though his birthday is not until tomorrow.

He, quite happily, took it home and shared it with his housemates, but kept some back for himself, and stated that they all thoroughly enjoyed it.

Wednesday 2 January 2019

40th Birthday Cupcakes

These delicious Red Velvet cupcakes have been made for some lucky person's 40th Birthday this month.  My 'remit' was: Red Velvet sponge, purple (topper and cases), not 'girly' and 40th Birthday. I think I did ok. 

Each of the toppers has been handcrafted specifically for these cupcakes.  Made from fondant, they are gold, pearl, and lilac, all sitting on a bed of delicate vanilla buttercream. The buttercream has been flavoured with vanilla bean paste, so you might see tiny flecks of the vanilla bean in the buttercream.

Gold disks, made from white fondant with CMC powder, sprayed in gold luster spray and topped with a light dusting of glittery gold luster dust. These form the base layer of half the toppers.

Lilac stars were made, using the same process as above but these have been sprayed with pearl lustre spray.  The lilac was made with fondant, CMC and purple food colour gel. These form the second layer of half the toppers and the base layer of the other half.

On top of each of the stars are fondant number 40s. These have been sprayed with a pearl spray and a very light dusting of silver luster dust.

Once these were dried, they were assembled and placed on top of the cupcakes.

Half with the gold disks.


And the other half with just the stars.

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