Today I have made a start on a Valentine cake for my son and his girlfriend. She has a bit of a ‘thing’ for butter icing so I think she is going to love this ‘Box of Chocs’ cake. The box itself is all cake. It is based on a heart shaped madeira sponge cake with raspberry jam and butter cream filling covered with red sugarpaste/fondant icing and decorated with a string of tiny white sugarpaste blossom flowers and a white sugarpaste lace insert. There is room ‘inside’ the ‘box’ for 8 chocolate sweets…
…The secret is that the chocolates – which I will make tomorrow – are not your standard, everyday chocolates but are chocolate covered ‘cake balls’….chocolate sponge cake crumbs bound together with buttercream icing and enrobed with milk chocolate.
The inspiration for this cake has come from Bakerella who has a wonderfully inspirational website/blog and has a tutorial for this cake on her site. If you have a bit of a sweet tooth, grab yourself a cup of coffee and have a visual feast there that will make you drool!!
As a first attempt I am fairly happy with this but I have a few things I would alter if I did another one. And tomorrow will be another ‘first’ as I attempt to make my chocolate covered cake balls to go into the sweetie cups.
And, hopefully, a tasty photo to head tomorrow’s Thing-a-Day post from me!
Well I am sorry that I have not posted for a while but I have not been idle…just short of the time to write about it all. I think my best bet for now is to post it on here in one big splurge! All I can see on the horizon for now is just more cakes!!! …not that I’m complaining! …just a bit surprised by the power of ‘word of mouth’ recommendations! Sadly it means that my jewellery making, designing and experimenting has gone out of the window for a while but …that’s the way the cookie crumbles!
So here is evidence of my ongoing sugar flower production line for a wedding cake in June…nearly finished now! I still have the rose leaves to wire together and the actual bouquet arrangements to do but I can see the end in sight now! 30 roses of various size, 60 white filler flowers, over 100 ivy leaves and 60 or so rose leaves!! Quite a marathon…
But then I had to interrupt things to make a ‘Minnie Mouse’ inspired cake and cupcakes for a little girl called Amelia…who was 4. Her Mum sent me a photo of a cake she wanted but as I don’t copy things I had to put my own interpretation onto it. Her Mum seemed to be quite happy with the result though. I had not done cupcakes for anyone before so there was a bit of frenzied experimentation and research for the best cupcake and topping recipes ever! Eventually I was happy with what I created…but individual members of my immediate family put on about 2 stone in weight as a consequence of my quest!! So, here is the cake and a few of the cupcakes…
Then my granddaughter was 7 last week and wanted Peppa Pig as a ‘Fairy Princess’ for her party table centrepiece! Sometimes the easiest things present a challenge! Obviously her delicate little toesies would be unable to carry her enormous weight so she had to be sitting down…but even so, when you have a head which is almost the same size as your body you are bound to encounter problems with gravity!! This was one top heavy cake! … as my daughter discovered when she decided to cut into it without beheadding the ‘cute little piggy’ in front of a group of soft hearted young ladies! Taking a couple of ‘rashers’ from the hind quaters poor little piggy decided to do a nosedive instead!! But here she is as delivered to the birthday girl…
There are still cakes on order up until the middle of June… But I will try to keep up with a few more posts on here before then!
In the space of 24 hours I have received requests for a cake for Mother’s Day and an order for a wedding cake…both of which will require some sugarpaste flowers. As it is spring time – well, almost! – I am looking at doing a little arrangement in ‘spring coloured’ flowers for the Mother’s Day cake. In my mind that conjures up the colours of snow drops, crocuses and daffodils. As for the wedding cake, I am awaiting confirmation of colours but I will need certain ‘filler’ type flowers for the arrangements. So today – and probably for the next couple of days – I will be making some flowers for Thing-a-Day.
Whenever I make sugarpaste flowers I always make some extra to requirements because they are rather fragile and accidents do happen – so I like to have some spare to replace any damaged ones. This means that I have a random collection of odd colours and shapes of flowers in storage – and as they pretty much last for ever if kept in dry conditions I can look at examples of most colour combination to help me plan arrangements.
The photo on the left is a selection of colour samples and varieties of ‘spring like’ flowers that I am thinking of making up in the next few days. But today I am making a batch of my ‘just-a-minute’ filler flowers which are pretty much just that! They are the easiest of flowers to make and take less than a minute for me to make each one, and being white and fairly small, they fit into any arrangement, filling up little gaps and adding a little lift to the colours of the rest of the arrangement. Practically all of my floral arrangements contain some of these and, as it can sometimes be a few months between orders for floral decorations, it is a nice way to get me back into the swing of flower making!
On the right of the photo I have shown a step by step guide to making these flowers.
1. Pinch off a small piece of flower paste and roll into a ball.
2. Roll slightly off centre to create a teardrop shape.
3 Using an appropriate tool, push the point into the fat end of the teardrop and rotate it make a little cup shape.
4. Using a fine pair of scissors cut 5 incisions into the edge of the cup shape.
5. Pinch each ‘petal’ between index finger and thumb an rub gently as though spreading the edge of the petal across the edge of your index finger. This lengthens and thins out the petals.
6. Insert a piece of florists wire into the throat of the flower and push it through until the end of the wire nestles just beneath the petals. Gently roll the base of the flower between index finger and thumb to ensure there is good contact between the flower and the wire.
Then leave them to dry! When they are dry and securely stuck to the wire I usually cover the wire in florists tape which I take up over the back of the flower to make a rudimentary calyx, and I will dust a little fresh green petal dust into the heart of the flower. Then it is ready!!
Hmmmm….which ones should I make tomorrow??