Friday, 20 August 2010

Cake Note 11: "Don't worry about the world coming to an end today. It is already tomorrow in Australia."

On which note, I have had an extra treat this week and have been chatting to my beautiful granddaughter on the web cam - amazing pieces of kit, I wouldn't know what to do without it! Anyway, it's definantly tomorrow in Australia - 08.50 to be precise!

I've been busy with this week's cake order - the 80 year old lady who loves a bit of  Bling! The instructions were ' pretty, and Bling'......I used the Tiffany colours as a base theme, and made flower paste roses and leaves, interspersed with diamantes. And the Swarovski '80'  - I quite like this cake, it's elegant and sparkly without being over the top. Hope you agree.

I've changed the way I do sponge cakes - normally, once baked, you would cover them with a thin coat of butter cream (after layering and filling the cake) - this is called a 'crumb coat' and does exactly what it says on the tin..prevents crumbs from the cake getting mixed up into the sugar paste you coat the cake with.

Well, I get myself into a right old tacking with this buttercream malarkey, and really struggle to get a nice, smooth looking sugar paste top coat. In comes Planet Cake - a fabulous book by a company in Australia, and they use chocolate ganache to crumb coat their lumps bumps or bulges (is that me or the cake :O!) Makes the cake a bit more expensive but the finish is so much more professional...a big THANK YOU to Planet Cake for sharing this amazing tip. They use dark chocolate, but  I use white as it's a nicer finish for lighter coloured sugar pastes.

So, time marches on, it'll be Christmas before you know will I be here or will I be in Australia?? That's in the lap of the Gods...and an invite from my son and his wife:)

Hope you like the cake, any comments good or bad welcome....It's true isn't really are talking to yourself on here! Well at least no-one can answer me back

Take care and goodnight x
Completed cake Tiffany Blue sugarpaste and white ribbon with pearl lustre roses and leaves

Sunday, 15 August 2010

Cake Note 10: "Nobody can go back and start a new beginning, but anyone can start today and make a new ending ~ Maria Robinson"

I like this quote - it reminds me of all the times I have opened my big mouth and put my foot in it -and all the lovely people I have lost and never told them in time what a difference they made to my do it now! Don't let a day go by without you make it clear to someone!

I've got a work in progress on the go, a cake needed for Friday, so I have the leaves made, wired and taped and sprayed with pearl lustre dust - the theme is Tiffany colours, blue and white, for the 80 year old lady who likes bling...and tell me, who doesn't like Tiffany? The diamantes which are going into the centre of the roses are not, unfortunately Tiffany diamonds!

I made the coconut and lime cake (recipe courtesy of Mich Turner 'Couture Wedding Cakes') - Couldn't get the creamed coconut so improvised with dessicated coconut! It looked a bit of a train wreck but the tasters (hanging about like spooks) gave it the thumbs up - 'can I have another slice please'...well that's a tick in my book! I would have liked to post a picture of the cake but, this is all that was left!

And the other photo of course is my wonderful mixer :) LOVE it.

One more day off then back to the factory - G'night

Thursday, 12 August 2010

Cake Note 9 "Cats can work out mathematically the exact place to sit that will cause most inconvenience. ~Pam Brown"

and being the 'housekeeper of three cats, nobody knows this fact better than me - a nice warm pile of ironing, your lovely new bed throw or your favourite spot to watch telly - they get there before you and turn into heavy lumps when you try to shift them!

I'm very excited beautiful Kenwood Major Titanium mixer has arrived:) I have a fabulous friend who always takes my parcels in for me and her kind husband carries them over to my glad he carried this one, it weighs a ton. It took me all of 5 minutes to get it outta its box and on the work top. I can't wait to have a go with it - my first practice run is going to be a new flavour sponge cake - Lime and Coconut, sounds amazing and if it turns out OK (the white chocolate one was a bit dodgy) I'll let you know. Just another flavour to add to my ever increasing repertoire:) I already have the panel of tasters waiting in the wings for a thumbs up or a thumbs down!

I need to have practice at mini cakes - I might have an order pending, so need to have practice run. I should have a new cake to post by the end of next week, but until now, the one posted is what got me interested in learning how to decorate cakes in the first place. It's my middle sister's 60th birthday cake from last year, the gerbera is made from flower paste and to be honest, I was well pleased with it! And what's more important, so was she:)

Night all

Sunday, 8 August 2010

Cake Note 8: "A good laugh and a long sleep are the best cures in the doctor's book. ~Irish Proverb"

...and have I laughed today! As my dear old Auntie used to say "it's just one of those things". Nothing specific has made me laugh but I seem to have been chuckling at one thing or another all day - and Becki - you finished me off with the tale of your husband's speeding tickets!

I haven't much to laugh at, as I got a ticket too and have to go on a course to learn how not to speed:( at least I'll not get any points:)

I've jumped in at the deep end today and bought myself a new mixer - a great big Kenwood Titanium! It means I can mix great big fruit cakes without having to do it in two halves - can't wait for it to arrive:)

I've had a nice day making fruit cakes, and of course I always end up with a bit too much mixture so have a cute little 'taster' to try when it cools. I am a Coeliac (can't have gluten) and the fruit cakes are gluten free:) lucky me. My Madeira sponges are made with 'proper' flour though so I can't taste them, have to rely on others!

So, until my new orders are iced, I am posting a cake I made for my daughter's boss for her birthday - the design instructions were 'Black and Bling'! - it was my first ever tiered cake too - a fruit cake bottom layer and a chocolate top layer - 8 and 6 inch respectively.

Ok, off to bed to dream about my Titanium giant:) mixer I mean!

Friday, 6 August 2010

Cake Note 7: "Change is not reform, any more than noise is music. "

Or to put it another way, the only people who really like change are wet babies:) Shame there aren't any smileys on here! Does anyone know where they are?

Friday is such a lovely day, I thinks it's my favourite day of the week - except perhaps Sunday, when I know I don't have to get up on Monday!!

I have the most beautiful wall paper on my feature wall now, all the depressing hard work and change that decorating the house brings, seems to be all worth it now - I can go off and choose new cushions and new curtains. Maybe my opening line should be "a fool and his money..."!

I'm gearing up for my next 2 cakes, one for an 80 year old lady who likes BLING! and one for a 90 something lady who is a bit more traditional, so Bling is what my 80 year old will get and trad for the other.

I'm thinking for cake number 1, ivory fondant with this lovely lattice cut lilac ribbon, silvered lilac roses with diamantes in the centre, all overdusted to glimmer - maybe silver leaves trailing out? I have already bought a lovely Swarovski diamante number 80 which will be positioned in the floral spray.

Cake number 2 is already sorted, my customer (special friend) has asked for one like the dark pink Stargazer lily on one of my other posts - this one will be a fruit cake - already baked and waiting for its marzipan!

I've got a bit of a challenge between these two cakes, I'm making a 10 inch square chocolate cake for a 16 year old who loves rabbits! Got an idea of a top hat on the cake, with hearts and stars on wires bursting out of the hat, and copies of her 2 favourite rabbits standing at the side of the hat waving...sort of, hands in the air kind of thing! ...well, time will tell! In between that lot I have a bedroom and a kitchen to be painted - but luckily not by me, by my newly found FANTASTIC decorator - worth their weight in gold when you find one.

The picture is a floral spray I made as part of my City & Guilds sugarcraft course - really loved making it - have a lovely weekend bloggers! I'm off to look for diamantes and ribbons tomorrow!

Wednesday, 4 August 2010

Cake Note 6: "I perhaps owe having become a painter to flowers. ~Claude Monet"

Not surprising that I prefer flower making to any other decorating on cakes - these are two examples I made at a sugar flower workshop, the one an Asia lily, the other the lovely Clematis with honeysuckle. Not that I am suggesting I'm in Monet's league:) I wish!

Both made from Sugar florist paste, wired and dusted with edible food dusts...although technically edible, these flowers would in fact break your teeth!

It's only Wednesday and I am ready for the weekend. I had a wonderful, but very busy weekend last weekend with my two sisters, we're all getting on a bit, but when we're together it seems like we are kids again!

I'm cakeless this weekend but have three coming up in the next four weeks so should get the chance to show off my handiwork again:) I do hope you enjoy looking as much as I enjoyed making them.

Goodnight folks, sleep tight, hope the bugs don't bite:)

Monday, 2 August 2010

Cake Note 5: "One day your life will flash before your eyes. Make sure its worth watching."

Not much enthusiasm for blogging this evening, must be because it's work tomorrow. Love the quote above - nothing it truer I don't think. This is definitely not a rehearsal!

Today's cake is my rendition of one of my favourite designers - Peggy Porschen. Her version is a single tier wedding cake, all white dusted with white lustre dust. I have adapted it for a cake for a 'Mum' birthday - I've looked at this cake for ages and really wanted to make it - it's one of my favourites. Yes I probably say that about all my cakes but this one I think is so versatile! For the technically minded, it's an 8 inch fruit cake, marzipanned and sugarpasted, then decorated with royal icing swirls to which are attached petals and leaves made of modelling paste . The pearls in the centres and around the base of the cake were all handrolled - YES handrolled! That's because I have a bed maker but the pearls were a right mess, so I set to and did it the old fashioned way! everything on this cake is edible - except for the board:) Thanks Becki for the opportunity to indulge myself :)