Thursday, 31 October 2013

My First Handbag cake

It's my friends birthday tomorrow and we are all going out for a meal. I wanted to make her a cake to have brought out at the end of the meal and I knew straight away what cake I wanted to do, a  bright pink handbag cake!

I had no idea if it was going to work as I have never made one before, but I was quite surprised at how easy it came together. Ok so it's not perfect, but for a first attempt I thought it was quite good.

If I could change anything it would be the handles, they just wouldn't do what I wanted them to do, but they are glued on now so it's too late to change them.

I started with two rectangle cakes. I cut about 4 inches along the length of one and about 6 inches along the length of the other, then I stacked them all in order of size with the widest on the bottom.
Each layer was butter creamed in between and then I carved the edges of the cake slightly until I had what looked like a pyramid. I then crumb coated the whole cake.

I covered the two end pieces first. I rolled out the bright pink sugar paste and then rolled over it with my print mat and fitted it to the smallest sides of the cake, but instead of smoothing it flat I pinched it in the middle and let it hang before cutting it to size to give it more of a material look.

I then covered the two larger sides of the cake, I also used my print mat on these, but these sides were smoothed on to the cake. I was going to cover the two sides in one piece of sugar paste and go right over the top and down the other side, but I found it almost impossible to roll the sugar paste that big and still be able to move it onto the cake, so I decided to do each side separately and then just cover the top panel with an extra strip, this seemed to work fine but you do need to be careful that the sugar paste doesn't slide off.

At this point, I realised I hadn't made the decorations, like the clasp, which needed to be left to dry and be sprayed silver and left to dry again before they could be added to the cake, so this is what I did next.
The clasp was cut from grey sugar paste (I find grey works best when colouring silver) glued together, left to dry and then sprayed silver. Then I made the handles, I wanted them to dry out before putting them on the cake so they didn't flop down and pull the cake apart!
I rolled sugar paste over a strong florist wire, bent into shape and left to dry (I did two of these).

The next part was to make the front flap of the bag, it only took me three attempts!!
It was a lot more difficult than I thought it would be! But I got there in the end, I basically just measured the size I wanted for the panel, divided its width into equal portions and hand cut the shapes, they looked a bit like cartoon key holes, these were the gaps the handles would come through.

Once the front flap was stuck in place, I glued the handles on and pushed the wires slightly into the cake. I then made the belt to go around the flap by rolling out a long thin strip of sugar paste, the clasp was glued to the belt.

To finish the cake off, I rolled some sugar paste into 'worms' and used this as piping on the two smaller sides of the cake, then I added stitching detail to the whole thing.

Decorating The board was actually trickier than doing the cake. I can't decorate the board first and then the cake because I make too much mess! And I can't decorate the board and transfer the decorated cake onto it because I would drop the cake! So I always have to decorate my boards around the cake.
I wanted a wooden floor look, and I was going to lay the sugar paste over the visible parts of the board and make lines in it to make it look like the joins of the floor boards, but this wasn't working for me, so I had to cut and lay each piece individually! It took a long time but I think it was worth it. I then hand painted the floor boards with a mix of orange and black food colouring. 

The flower is also edible, it is something I had made a few days before making the bag cake, and it wasn't meant for the bag cake, but I think it finishes it off nicely :)

Friday, 25 October 2013

Vampire Diaries

So, I was asked if I could make a Vampire Diaries cake for someones birthday. I have never watched or read it myself, so the first thing I did was get on Google to see what I could find.

I was told to make the cake however I wanted as long as it was Vampire Diaries themed, so I decided to go with a closed book cake and do the front cover of Shadow Souls as this seemed to be the easiest.

I made the key out of fondant and sprayed it with edible silver spray the day before I made the cake.

I baked a deep sheet cake, and cut it to size, put white fondant around 3 edges for the pages then covered the rest of the cake in black fondant.

I then hand painted the writing with royal icing and a paint brush. I was going to do all of the writing that is on the book cover, but once I put the key on I thought it would over crowd it, so I decided to just do the Vampire Diaries writing.

I molded the shape of the blood from red fondant and stuck that and the key on to the cake with edible food glue.

You can't really see it on the photo, but I lined the white fondant to look like pages using a blunt plastic knife and I also tinted the pages using a bit of orange and black food colouring mixed with water, just to make them look a bit more real.

I covered the board in red fondant, and then molded and apple and candle from fondant, these are from other book covers. 

I finished it off by spraying the whole thing in edible glaze spray to give it a shiny book cover look.

I was really worried about doing this cake, but it actually all went really smoothly, there's a few little things I'm not 100% happy with, but mostly I am really pleased with how it turned out.

The Cake

The book cover I was copying

Tuesday, 22 October 2013

Something new.....

There's not been much in the way of celebrations since making the train cake for my dad for Fathers day, so I've not had chance to practice my cake decorating skills, so instead I have been having ago at a few other things.

I made these cupcakes for someone to take to work last week 

I have never done cupcakes before, so the decoration is not great, but I enjoyed making them and everyone enjoyed eating them.

I have also been making a lot of these miniature carrot and walnut loaf cakes. They are soooo cute!

They have been very popular!

Although I have enjoyed making these, and trying something I have never done before, I am really missing having a celebration cake to decorate, so I am really excited about Thursday as I have been asked to make a Vampire Diaries cake!
 I can't wait, but am also nervous as I always am when I am asked to do something I have never done before.
Hope it goes well!

I am sending this to Alphabakes for this months letter C (Cupcakes and Carrot cake)

Saturday, 19 October 2013

Fathers Day Train, Cake number three

Fathers Day Train Cake

So, after making a 3D tatty Ted cake 
 and the Hello Kitty cake,
 I had definitely got the baking bug. I was loving coming up with ideas and seeing what I was capable of making.

Fathers day was coming up and what better gift for my dad than a home made cake! And I knew exactly what the cake was going to be! 
My dad loves trains, so straight away I knew it just had to be a train cake, and I had really enjoyed the challenge of making a 3D cake before, so that part was easy, but I didn't want it to look like it was for a child's birthday, it had to look like a grown up cake, so I started to google pictures of Hornby trains, and went out to buy my ingredients.

I was disappointed with quite a few things on this cake :( Most of the errors were down to rushing, I had spent plenty of time planning the cake, but didn't really leave my self much time to make it. Oh well, it's the thought that counts, and my dad loved it!

I baked three loaf tin cakes and a Swiss roll cake.
I placed one of the loaf tin cakes upside down, left a gap and placed the other loaf tin cake the right way up for the truck and the other loaf tin cake was chopped up to make the cabin, the Swiss roll was placed on the upside down loaf tin to make the front of the train.
I butter creamed it all together and covered the whole thing in butter cream, then started icing, and this is where all the problems started!
My icing was either too sticky or too dry, I just couldn't get it to go right and cracks started to appear! The wheels were absolutely terrible, but at this point I had no circle cutters, so I had to roll balls and then squash them, and because the icing was drying out they all cracked around the edges. 

But anyway, it all got iced in the end, and I don't think it turned out too bad, especially considering I am still very new to this, this only being my third ever cake!
Shame I couldn't decorate the board. I was going to but I ran out of time, and icing.

I finished the cake off with edible steam and edible coal!

I am looking forward to my next cake challenge :)

Hello Kitty, Cake number two

My second go at cake decorating, my first go at icing a cake

So, after my Tatty Ted 
 cake turned out quite well considering it was the first cake I had ever made, I decided that I quite liked this cake making hobby and I needed a new challenge.

It was a friends daughters birthday coming up and I offered to make a cake for her. I had no idea what I was going to make but as I had never had a go at icing a cake before I decided that I wanted to give it a go.
Since making my 3D Tatty Ted cake I had done quite a bit of research into cake decorating and read plenty of horror stories about how difficult it is to ice a cake but I was looking forward to the challenge.

Me and my friend decided on a Hello Kitty cake for her daughters birthday, so off I went to buy the ingredients. This time I decided to go with a firmer sponge cake and I baked two rectangle cakes. Like with the Tatty Ted cake I was going with what I could find in the cupboard as these cake tins do not come cheap and I just used a rectangle roasting tray, I only had one, so I had to wait for one cake to bake before starting on the next, which was a little frustrating because I just wanted to get on with the decoration, but anyway, it worked.

So, once my cakes had cooled, this time I stuck them in the freezer for a few hours because frozen cakes are easier to carve.
Once frozen, I stuck the two rectangles together with butter cream and carved out the shape of Hello Kitty. It was quite handy that the corners of the tray made the perfect shape for the ears!
I then covered the whole cake in butter cream. So far every thing was going smoothly, but now for the tricky part, icing the cake, I was kind of excited and nervous all at the same time!

I rolled out the white icing and lifted it on to the cake, smoothed it all down and trimmed the edges, and then stood there wondering what all the fuss is about when it comes to icing cakes, that was easy..... but then I noticed it..... right at the front there was a hole where the icing had cracked! Maybe not so easy after all, that will teach me to become over confident!

I patched it up the best I could, and you can't really notice it that much, but still, I was disappointed as the rest of the cake was so smooth.

I then made the pink bow from rolled icing and realized I should of made this first so it could set, but I just stuck it to the cake and put rolled up paper inside to keep the bow open.
I finished the cake with eyes, nose and whiskers all made out of icing, and there it was, my second ever cake, my first ever iced cake and my first ever hello kitty cake.

I was very pleased with how it turned out, it was better than I expected it to be, and my friends daughter loved it!

Tatty Ted, My first ever cake!

Tatty Ted, My First Attempt At Making A Cake

A few months ago, for some strange reason, I woke up and decided I was going to make a cake. I have no idea why I felt the need to do this, as it is not something I have ever really given much thought to, but there it was, this strong urge to create something out of food!
I had no idea exactly what kind of cake I was going to make, so I had a little think while I was drinking my coffee. 
Now, any normal person that has never made a cake in their life might have decided to go with a Victoria sponge or a chocolate cake, but me? No! By the time I had got to the bottom of my coffee cup I had set my mind on making a Tatty Ted cake, why? I have no idea! And not just any old Tatty Ted cake, but a 3D Tatty Ted cake!
So, off I went to the shops to buy all the ingredients, at this point I had no idea how I was going to make the cake so I was just kind of making it up in my head as I went along the baking isle in the supermarket, and then rushed home, excited to start my creation.

I decided to make a normal basic sponge mix for the bear, which worked OK, but once the cake was finished I realized I should of used something firmer for the body.
I baked four round cakes and a loaf cake.

Once the cakes were cool:
I stacked the round cakes on top of each other and spread butter cream in between each layer, I then started carving away at the top two layers to make them smaller and rounder (more head shaped) I also carved a small amount from the bottom two layers.
Looking back, I should of used better sized tins, but I was working with what I could find in the cupboard as I had already spent a fortune on ingredients.
I then stuck a lolly stick through the head and body to stop the head from falling off!

I took all the pieces of cake that I had carved off and put them in a bowl and mashed them up with butter cream until they were all sticking together, then with my hands, I molded arms and legs, I stuck these to the cake with some butter cream and held them in place with cocktail sticks.

Once I had the shape I wanted, I coloured the remaining butter cream with black food colouring until it turned grey and covered the whole cake in it. I then piped on the remaining butter cream using a nozzle that is usually used for grass on cupcakes. (It took forever, my arms were killing!)
I molded the ears and the nose from roll out icing and pinned them in place, then piped round them and added a few other details using roll out icing, like patches and stitching.

And finally, hours after starting, my cake was finished!

Looking at it now, there are so many things I would change if I made another one, and I am not happy with how out of proportion he is at the bottom, but at the time, considering it was the first cake I ever made, I was so pleased with my Tatty Ted cake.