Archive | August, 2010

Cocktail theme cake.

29 Aug

I made this cake for a young lady who was celebrating her 21st birthday. I was asked to make a cake by her sister. Her sister told me that the birthday girls favourite colour was green and could she also have a cocktail glass on top of the cake. This is the design I came up with.

The cocktails were made from gelatin as I didn’t have any piping gel, here is what I did.

First get together a collection of cocktail glasses. I chose to use plastic rather than glass as I figured they would be lighter and also safer should one of them take a tumble.

Then you need some gelatine. Packets of gelatine like the one shown below are usually readily available in most supermarkets.

Follow the instructions provided to make up the gelatine.

Now for the fun bit, playing with colours. To do this I poured smaller amounts of the made up liquid gelatine into separate smaller bowls.I then added some food colouring by dipping the tip of a cocktail stick into the paste colour and adding tiny amounts at a time. I continued repeating this until I was happy with the colour and shade I had achieved. For my colour I used Sugarflair paste colours.

These are available from most cake decorating shops and can also be purchased online.

Next fill the cocktail glasses with the coloured gelatine. I did this in stages and added one colour to each glass.

Once the first layer has set, add another layer of coloured gelatine on top of the set first layer.

For the ice cubes I used uncoloured gelatin that I poured into an ice-cube tray. Once this had set I removed the gelatine cubes one at a time and cut them down to size. Smaller cubes for the small glasses and larger ones for the biggest glass.

Foxes glacier mints also make fantastic looking shaped ice cubes but I don’t seem to have much luck with them as they seem to slightly melt. This is how I thought of making the gelatine ice cubes, it is always worth having a plan b.

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Look what I found in Morrisons.

14 Aug

Well I couldn’t believe my luck last week when I visited my local Morrisons supermarket. I headed straight to the baking aisle just like I always do. I like to check out if there are any new products available or anything that I haven’t already got. So as you can imagine I really couldn’t believe my eyes when I noticed Morrisons new range of fashionable cupcake accessories.

First I noticed the new cupcake cases.

There are 2 different designs for the cupcake cases, spotty and animal print. Both designs have 100 cupcake cases and are a steal at £0.99 per pack.

Then the cupcake boxes.

Pop up easy assemble cupcake boxes with an insert to hold your fabulous cupcake creations in place, perfect for gifts. These are a pack of 2 boxes and each box holds 6 cupcakes. I didn’t think these were too badly priced at £2.25 per pack but to be honest I just fell in love with the cute cupcake design.

Lastly and in my opinion I do believe I saved the best until last……fabulous cupcake wrappers.

These gorgeous cupcake wraps are available in 2 different stylish designs, star and swirl and in 3 different colours, cream, pink and brown. Each pack contains 6 cupcake wraps and are priced at £1.99 per pack.

So well done Morrisons for keeping up with the well-loved trend of cupcakes and lets hope other supermarkets follow suit.

Cake Balls.

13 Aug

Cake balls are a great way to use up any leftover cake you may have. They are simple to make and can be altered to include a wide array of flavours and combinations.   For my cake balls I kept it simple and used milk chocolate but you can use white chocolate and tint it in any colour you like. Maybe they are for a party and you want to co-ordinate them with the party colours or you can also theme them by adding anything from small icing flowers  to edible butterflies. When it comes to the decorating the only limit is your imagination. Cake balls are always a big hit with children and adults alike. Most importantly they taste fantastic.

Here are step by step instructions on how to make Cake balls.

First of all you need to crumble your left over cake into a bowl, these should be quite small and resemble breadcrumbs.  Here I used some chocolate Guinness cake that I had left over from making my Husbands work cake.

Then you need to decide what you are going to use tobind  it together. This is usually buttercream/ frosting and can be flavoured however you like. On this occasion I used some Guinness chocolate buttercream that I had left over. I had to zap it in the microwave for a few seconds as it has melted chocolate in it and this had set quite hard whilst it had been in the refrigerator.Add your buttercream /frosting to the cake crumbs and stir in well.

Once mixed  you now need to get a small amount of the mixture and roll into a small ball. Here I have placed mine onto a sheet of greaseproof /parchment paper. Continue rolling the ball shapes until all of the mixture has been used up. I then pop these into the refrigerator to chill for at least 1 hour.

Next you need to melt some chocolate in a bowl. Once the chocolate is melted, it is now time to coat your cake balls. To do this simply place a cake ball into the chocolate and using a spoon cover the ball in chocolate. Next scoop the cake ball out of the chocolate with the spoon and let the excess chocolate run off. Place the cake ball back onto some greaseproof paper and leave to set. If you decide that you want to add any coatings to the chocolate covered cake balls, I find it best to do this now whilst the chocolate is still tacky. Once you have completed coating them leave them to one side for the chocolate to harden up, that is if you are strong-willed and can resist the temptation to eat them then and there.

The cake ball is a fantastically delicious bite sized treat with its almost truffle like center and its thin hard chocolate coating. Perfect for any occasion or just for pure indulgence.

Here are the cake balls I made. They are topped with hundreds and thousands, white chocolate stars, milk and white chocolate curls and pink glimmer. Like I said before though the possibilities really are endless.

My husbands 13 year cake.

11 Aug

Today is the day that my Husband has worked for 13 years for his company. Someone at his workplace said “oh you should ask your wife to make a cake”. Well I never need asking twice to make a cake. The cake requested was my yummy chocolate Guinness cake, as this always goes down a treat with my husband and his work colleagues. Due to the fact that I find it virtually impossible to make an undecorated cake and love making everything and anything out of icing….of course I had to decorate it. This is the design I came up with.

My husband loved the tiny icing tiles and the pallets with the stacks of tiles on them.

This is a closer look at the icing figure of my husband working on a laptop.

A walk around Langsett.

8 Aug

Today for the first time ever I went to Langsett and what a fantastically beautiful place to visit. I would definitely recommend Langsett to everyone. This is a place to visit that can be enjoyed by everyone. It is just a perfect retreat especially if you are looking for a few hours away with nothing but peace, tranquillity and only the odd passer-by.

Surrounded by woodland with only the sound of the birds singing their songs and maybe the odd woodpecker to keep you company.

There is a long stream that you can follow and various other water focal points to see.

There are quite a few bridges to cross. Here is an example of just one of the smaller bridges that we discovered.

Below is one of the larger main bridges. For the more adventurous there were some randomly placed stones for you to walk on to cross the stream. Given my clumsy nature though, I stuck to the bridges.

There were plenty of natures beauty to see on our walk around from wild flowers to wild mushrooms and even the odd sheep.

Once you have followed the trail up slightly to higher ground you can really appreciate some breathtaking views. I know we certainly did.

We also came across a couple of man-made sights aswell, as seen in the picture below. The picture to the right shows directions on a public footpath sign post.

The walk around Langsett is thoroughly enjoyable, there are a few steep and stoney parts so I would advise anyone who is going to make sure that you wear some sensible shoes or walking shoes if you have any. I wore a pair of trainers and these were fine for me. We took the gentler trail on this occasion but if you are looking for more of a challenge there was also a more difficult trail to take. The more difficult trail had much steeper hills to walk up of and then it crosses along some moorland. Maybe next time I will give that trail a go as there will definitely be a next time. A thoroughly enjoyable place to visit for all of the family and don’t forget your camera.

For more information on Langsett and other areas of interest please take a look at the Peak district website.

Jack Daniels bottle cake.

7 Aug

This cake is for someone celebrating their 30th birthday. I was told they loved Jack Daniels and poker, so if it was possible could I make the cake look like a bottle. This was quite a difficult cake to cover with sugarpaste because it was tall and tall cakes can be quite testing at times. The main thing is that I did get there in the end…..eventually and the person who ordered the cake was really really please with it, which always makes everything so totally worth it.

The playing cards and poker chips are all edible and are made out of sugarpaste/icing.

This was made to look like a glass with Jack Daniels and ice in it. The glass is plastic and non-edible but the contents inside are.

National Cupcake week.

3 Aug

Well today is the Final day of  judging for the national cupcake week competition and will be taking place in London, where the 7 finalists will be picked.

National Cupcake Week is organised by British Baker magazine to celebrate the nation’s fanaticism with this glorious sweet bakery product. The aim of the week,to be held from September 13-19 2010, is to celebrate the many wonderful recipes and exotic flavours available from bakeries, shops, supermarkets and cafes across the UK and to drive customers into their local bakeries and cafes to buy and sample them.
It gives these retail outlets and cafes the opportunity to market themselves and flag up these fashionable food items.

Very very exciting, I can’t wait to see who wins this year.

Last year the winner was a Black Forest Cupcake baked by Kevin Sibley of Mama’s Cupcakes in Herts for more information and recipes please visit

National_Cupcake_Week

Update 13th August.

The result is in!

and this years winner, cupcake champion of Britain 2010 is……….

drum roll please…………..

David Bennett of the Sunshine Bakery in Chapel Allerton, Leeds.

Bennett set up the business only six months ago, having worked in Michelin-starred restaurants for 17 years, five of which were under Marco Pierre White. He switched from chef to baker and has quickly found success with his winning Banana & Mango recipe, tweaked from a Passionfruit & Mango recipe that sells in his shop for £1.50. He beat over 60 professional cupcake bakers to the title.

For a more information and the list of the other finalists please visit

Bakeryinfo.co.uk

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