Sunday, 20 January 2013

18th Birthday Sparkles

It's another super late post! This cake dates back to New Years Eve, which is an important day for all of us; but it was even more special for my lovely friend Kate who was not only celebrating the beginning of 2013, but also her 18th birthday!

We had many discussions about the design and flavours for Kate's cake; in the end we took inspiration from some cupcakes I had made for my English class.
The cupcake toppers that inspired that cake

We are studying The Great Gatsby at the moment, and loving it! the cupcakes were made to be all 1920's-ish to fit in the the setting of the novel and Kate really liked the little art deco fan decorations, so I upped the scale a bit and made them in various sparkly blue hues: 
The finished product

The bottom tier was really fun to make, as it gave me the chance to try out my new airbrush! it allowed me to get a really lovely bright blue colour rather than the pastel style of pale blue that i'd have got from colouring the fondant, and I didn't have to alter the texture of the fondant to achieve the colour. As well as the main fan decoration on the front there were 4 smaller ones that you can just about see on the sides of the top tier; some swirly silver piping on the bottom tier, and just to up the glam there were a few jelly diamonds here and  there! 
Diamonds and small fans are more visible here

The bottom tier of the cake was chocolate orange cake and chocolate orange buttercream, and the top one was hazelnut cake with salted caramel buttercream- and I've been told that Kate's family were trying to think of an event for which they could order another chocolate orange cake! 
So, a belated re-happy 18th to Kate; and I hope you're all keeping nice and warm in this snowy weather! 

Hayley x

Wednesday, 9 January 2013

Superb Sugarpaste

I posted yesterday about my first wedding cake, and I just wanted to recommend the sugarpaste I used to any of you who have a similar project in the pipelines.
The sugarpaste is called sweet silk, from a lovely company in Nottingham called Sweet Success. I picked up 5kg at the Cake International show at the excel centre in London, but you can also mail order their products here:
I haven't been asked or paid to do this recommendation, but I was really impressed with how easy it was to work with, and the smooth finish it was so easy to achieve. Also, the fondant stored excellently and the texture did not alter in the weeks between buying and using the fondant. I would recommend this sugarpaste to anyone with a big project soon, it was so easy to work with! Once again, here's the finished result, just cause I wouldn't want to subject anyone to a word only blog post!
Hayley x

Tuesday, 8 January 2013

Purple Prettiness Wedding Cake

I cannot believe it’s taken me so long to blog this cake, time has certainly flown recently! Either way, many months ago, my sister Katie put my name forward to a colleague of hers who was looking for a wedding cake baker; I had a tasting and designing meeting with the lovely Vickie and Paul, and in November their special day arrived! This was the first wedding cake I have made, and the process was somewhat nerve wracking (I really didn’t want Vickie to have a mess of a cake after trusting me!) but I quickly got into the flow of baking and decorating.  
                                          Here are all the tiers when they were plain pure white
I made a very nervy trip to Bristol with four decorated tiers boxed up and surrounded by duvets, pillows, towels and all other available soft and protective materials in the boot of my Mum’s car, with both of us cursing at every bump and sharp turn we came across. Though it was rainy and nasty we made it to Katie’s flat in good time, the assembly station for the cake, and got all of the tiers safely up the many stairs to the thankfully spacious breakfast bar where they would be staying for the night. The cake’s only disaster happened at this point, the fondant mystically gained a worrying stickiness- I panicked completely but luckily, with the aid of a wondrous dehumidifier, the cakes were returned to their original dry loveliness.
                                                     being carefully stacked and secured

I stacked the cakes in two pairs, ready for transport, and we headed off to the venue, with Katie and I grasping weighty boxes as we headed off precariously through the Mendips- a nervy drive but one that went well in the end. Here’s the finished cake, and I’ll give you a rundown of the cake and decor
                                          All finished and under a very helpfully placed spotlight!
The bottom tier was 12 inches, chocolate with chocolate buttercream; the second was 10 inches, light fruit cake with cinnamon buttercream; third was an 8 inch coffee cake with coffee buttercream; and the top tier was a 6 inch lemon sponge with lemon buttercream. They were all covered with white fondant, had a lace trim, a central border of (for want of a better word) squiggly piping; and an upper border of large lilac and small purple buttons moulded in white chocolate. The cakes were dusted with pearl lustre, the third tier adorned with a wide purple ribbon and brooch. The final touches were three white and lilac fondant roses on top and white diamante beading around the bottom tier.

This cake definitely had the groom’s touch, at Paul’s request I hid ‘Spurs’ in the piping on the third tier!

I was extremely grateful to this lovely couple for trusting me with such an important cake, and happily I was assured that they and their guests enjoyed the final product!

Hayley x