Archive | May, 2010

Books Cake

29 May

Last weekend my friend, Naomi, had a combined book launch/ birthday party. I made this cake for her. The bottom three books are some of her favourite books and the top one is a replica of the book she has recently had published. If you like vampires and Goth and Fantasy/Horror  you might like to check out I also made a single stemmed black rose. The cake was a big hit.

What did I learn?

I need to let the cakes dry overnight before stacking to prevent the sagging.


A Box of Roses

29 May

I recently made this cake for my mother in-laws birthday. My cakes are getting cleaner in appearance, or at least I hope so. The roses took me a week to make, at a couple of hours a night, as my small baby doesn’t like me to put her down. This cake is a caramel mud cake with white chocolate ganache. My sister in-law gave me the black icing as she had some spare from a previous cake she had made. She’s made some great cakes and is just setting up her blog if you would like to check it out.

What did I learn?

To make extra flowers. One of the wires fell out of a flower and I thought it would look alright but it didn’t so I had to push the wire back in. It stayed for as long as I needed it too, but it wouldn’t have been a problem if I had’ve taken the time to make a few extra roses.

My recipe for Caramel Mud Cake was yummy but not as dense as a normal mud cake. The recipe is almost the same as a white chocolate mud cake except for brown sugar instead of castor sugar so if I make the white chocolate mud cake and substitute the sugar it should turn out more dense. I’ll let you know next time I make one.

Mother’s Day 2010

29 May

I’ve mentioned previously that I would like to start a tradition of making handbag cakes for Mother’s Day. This year I made two, one for my mother in-law and one for her sister who is a great friend and almost like another mother to me, as my family is all the way over in Western Australia. My 11 year old daughter has informed me that I need to make my cakes into a business so she can take over the family business and she made me a handbag cake too (with a lot of help from me). She did a fantastic job. These cakes are all banana cake with buttercream icing. I made them into mini cakes and I’m glad I did as my banana cake is so soft that the RTR icing is really too heavy for it.

What did I learn?

Banana cake is too soft for even small carved cakes (or at least mine is).

I loved having my daughter help, although it felt like I had actually made 3 cakes.

I’d also like to direct you to Cupcake Envy, where I got the inspiration for the mini cakes (or Cakelets as Cupcake Envy say)

Fabric and Frills

29 May

I got the inspiration for this cake here

I made this in March. It’s a little messy as I had a 5 week old baby at that stage, but still is very effective. I tried a new recipe I found for Swiss Meringue Buttercream icing. It tastes really nice but is too slippery for a really high cake and so the RTR icing just kept sliding off. So in the end I took the top two cakes off and ice the cake in two sections. I’m glad I had been given some ivory fondant as the cake was meant to be white but I wasted so much trying to ice that cake whole I ended up running  out and used the ivory for the frills.

What did I learn?

I need to take ALL the toothpicks out. Even though I warned my Parents in-law that I might have left some in they forgot to pass that on and I thing someone found one.

I also hadn’t added supports so it ended up tilting a little. (That’s what happens when you rush…and don’t have enough sleep, you cut corners)

Don’t used swiss meringue buttercream under the RTR icing on really tall cakes.

Don’t forget to add support to the cake structure.

Get plenty of sleep.

I wouldn’t mind trying this cake again, under different circumstances though.

Another Early Cake

29 May

I’ve been going through my photos and found a photo of this cake. I made it last April for my mother in law. It’s just a vanilla cake (before I started making mud cakes) but it’s surrounded by chocolate. It was also the first time I had made chocolate ganache and I totally screwed it up. I hadn’t realised that you needed to let the chocolate ganache to set so I had made it at the last-minute and in my hurry to get it to set I started adding icing sugar, only that made it split. I kept adding more icing sugar to try to get it to thicken up but that didn’t work. The rounded top was buttercream icing. Next time I need to make a rounded top I will use crushed cake mixed with ganache, or another idea I’ve seen is half a styrofoam ball.

What did I learn?

That you need to make the ganache the day before and let it set.

Not to chop off the top of the cake if it’s rounded or if you do save it to mix with ganache to create the dome.

RTR icing doesn’t like sticking to chocolate so the bow is a little messier than I wanted.

My Rose

9 May

Left over cake never lasts long in this house.

Another Halo Cake

8 May

I love making carved cakes and my son didn’t just ask for a Halo head, he wanted the shoulders too, so I made a bust. I had so much fun making this cake and I’ve been practicing making mud cakes so the cake was moist and chocolatey with chocolate ganache. I even remembered to take photos of the process of making this carved cake.

I then ran out of time and forgot to take more photos. But I will tell you. I made the whole thing white and then coloured it. I used chalks to make the blue parts. I felt that the coverage was not what I wanted so I added chalk dust to vodka and painted the shoulder plates. This still didn’t give the coverage I was looking for…. oh for an air brush…. For the black I added chalk dust to vodka and painted it. All in all I was very pleased with the result.

What did I learn?

I REALLY want and air brush.

I REALLY want an air brush.

and I REALLY want an air brush.