Thursday, 27 October 2011

Gingerbread men wearing Y-fronts.

Darling boy, Little brother and I went to a friend's house for tea recently and what would be better suited than a team of cheeky gingerbread men and ladies to take along with us.  I haven't ever iced like this before, it's tricky but good fun.

Friday, 14 October 2011

Dark chocolate cake truffles

When is a Cakepop not a Cakepop?  When it doesn't have a stick... 

Darling boy, little brother and I went for a lovely visit to the marvellous mum and dad.  Whilst there we had a family dinner to which I bought along some 'dark chocolate cake truffles'...I knew that something chocolately would always go down well after a big dinner.  So, simply make your cake pops are usual, but eschew the stick and pretend they are a grown up treat instead.  Oh, and if you do a double coating of dark chocolate, it's all the better.

Wednesday, 12 October 2011

A minnie mouse birthday cake for a grown up girly

After making the caterpillar cake recently, one of the mums at the party got in touch and asked me to make a cake for her little sisters 21st birthday.  The brief was 'anything chocolate, Spice Girls, or Disney-she loves Disney'.

Off I went and brainstormed.  I couldn't find anything in my imagination that could represent the Spice Girls via the medium of buttercream.  The Disney idea had more possibilities.  As it was a 21st, I wanted to keep it playful, but a bit sophisticated.... or as sophisticated as you can get with giant chocolate ears.

It's always slightly nerve-wracking presenting a cake (will they like the design? will they ike the flavours?  will it get there in one piece?....actually, I'm normally fairly confident about the design and taste- its the logistics of transporting that gives me the willies), but I delivered the cake this morning and it was happily received...phew.  I've never really made anything like this before, but I'm learning all the time.

The ears are giant cake pops made in the form of flat discs moulded onto 2 bamboo skewers, then coated in dark chocolate and then a layer of buttercream and golden chestnut glitter.

Monday, 10 October 2011

A pink and girly cake, for the new girly in our family (that's extended family folks, don't get excited)

As well as the new chicks which arrived recently, a much more exciting and important family member has been welcomed to the clan.  Handsome husband's uncle and his wife have adopted a 3 year old little girl after years and years of longing for children.  It's such wonderful news and it was a real treat to finally meet her.  They live in Germany which means a recent visit over was our first opportunity to meet the loveliness that is Darling boy and Little brother's new cousin.

In honour of our new cousin's first visit to Devon, I baked her a 'Welcome to the Family' cake.  Since I have two boys, I got pretty excited about the chance to 'go girly'.  I was feeling in a novelty mood, so shaped the cake in the silhouette of our new cousin's initial (making good use of my new bundt tin too)  The glittery pink buttercream icing went down a storm, as did the sweeties all over it and the chocolate sponge inside.

Tuesday, 4 October 2011

Garden cake, or school cake, but not as you knew it

I've joined the PTA (Parent Teachers Association) for Darling boys fabulous preschool.  The wonderful Head teacher Mrs P and other members of the PTA kept asking me to join and I kept making vague excuses about being really busy.  I did however say to a fellow mum that if I was asked once more the I would probably crack.  Guess what?, she squealed.  I was asked again and relented.  Actually, it's good being on the PTA, someone has to, parties and fundraising do not organise themselves.   I see it as my bit of community spirit, supporting the school.  Plus being a full time mum, I may as well get involved; after all, if you are going to get wet, you may as well go swimming.

Anyway,  it is the school's 30th birthday and at the most recent PTA meeting, Mrs P said she wanted to find someone to make a big birthday cake so she could get the press in to do a feature on the school and it's anniversary.  If only they knew someone who made cakes? (I was sat next to her) The hints were sufficient and I was more than willing to oblige.  It's the least I can do, it's a great school and Darling boy loves it there.

I wasn't given a brief aside from 'chocolate, all children love chocolate', so was able to do whatever I fancied.

I decided on a '30' shaped cake, as I knew it would photograph well (and also good for numeracy, innit)  I was stuck for a decorating theme, until I remembered these darling ready made decorations I had.  I have never bought ready mades before, but the bumblebees and ladybirds are super cute and very unisex.  The school is very outdoorsy too and I hoped the garden theme would chime well.  My new Wilton nozzle came in handy too (number 233 if you are interested).  This was it's first outing and it was a labour of love.  It's a big cake and my hand is still aching.  It took about 5 hours to decorate, from shaping to glittering.

I must admit I am pretty proud of this one.  The school loved it too.  Hooray.

Saturday, 1 October 2011

The chicks have landed

So cute!, the chicks have hatched.  For reasons I missed as I was away on a girls weekend (!) we have 3 chicks from the original 6 eggs that mother hen started with.  They are as cute as you could imagine.  Fluffy, wobbly on their little legs and chirpy chirping all the time.  Cute.