Archive | June, 2010

Tim’s 40th birthday cake

28 Jun

My husband turned 40 last week so this year I had to make him a special cake. Last year I had really bad morning sickness so he didn’t get much of one. This cake is 4 of his favourite computer manuals with an older style laptop on the top. For those who like authenticity I did a full querty keyboard, and the little ninja’s in the front are two little characters on the front of one of the manuals. I have finally achieved a proper black icing, starting with chocolate icing and adding lots and lots of black. I found that I needed to use copha to stop it sticking rather than cornflour, it was still sticking with cornflour but the copha made it a lot easier to handle with the added benefit of not having white on the black. I also let the books harden for a couple of days before stacking them. The lid of the laptop is stryofoam covered with modelling chocolate and then covered in black fondant. It’s the first time I’ve used modelling chocolate, I made it from scratch too, and love using it. Because it’s winter the modelling chocolate was quite hard before I kneaded it so I put it in the microwave, on defrost for 30 seconds. I don’t know if you’re supposed to do it but that worked and then I was able to start kneading it. I really liked the texture and can’t wait to use it again, although on my next cake I will need a LOT more, but that’s another cake for another time. To get the lid of the laptop to stay upright I used wooden dowels, sharpened at both ends, one end went into the styrofoam and the other into the cake.

What did I learn?

I CAN make black! Yay!

I love doing the little figures.

I NEED a cake leveler. I don’t know if you can notice but there was a slight slant that I noticed.

My piping is getter better and the royal icing was a better consistency for the size nozzle I used.

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Busy week

12 Jun

I had two cakes to make this week and a sick family, but I managed to get them done. One with only 3 days notice. The frangipani cake I made for Tim’s aunty and the 3 tiered cake I made for a departed friend who’s favourite colour was purple and loved collecting cows. I nearly gave up cake decorating altogether when I stacked the cake and the tiers were uneven. I had measured before I cut to make sure that the layers were even but it still didn’t turn out right. I was extremely tired after having a cold and having several small children with colds, including my 4 month old baby and I’d only been given 3 days notice so thankfully I already had the cones for the roses done. I like to keep some pre-made and I’m glad I do. The design of the cake I copied from Peggy Porschen and the cows I googled and found a picture but it didn’t say who’s it was.

What did I learn?

I really need a cake leveler.

I need some new round cake tins as the mud cake batter was too thin for my spring form cake tins and leaked. I wasted so much cake batter because of this problem.

Once the decorations were on you couldn’t really notice any flaws.

Mud Cake Frustration

10 Jun

I’ve had a horrible time this week, making chocolate mud cake. I’ve been asked to make a cake for a friends funeral and so I used my round springform pans with mud cake for the first time. The cake mix leaked out of the bottom, all over the bottom of the oven. I ended up putting an oven tray under the cake tin and it seemed to slow down the leak. I really need some new ┬ácake tins, I haven’t had this problem with butter cake mix, I think that the chocolate mud cake mix is runnier when it starts to heat up. The cake is coming together really will. I can’t wait to post some photos.