Monday 31 December 2012

Just Add Snow

Browsing Pinterest, I came across the most adorable gift idea - a snowman kit by Make it Do. I had been looking for an idea for a home made gift I could take along for all the children who went on our Skiing holiday over Christmas, and this was perfect!

The carrot noses and bits of coal I made out of air-drying clay, then painted; the hats were just cheap Santa hats from Tesco and the scarves I cut from a fleece throw. The most complicated bit was the little drawstring bags! Although I may make felt top hats next time, if I can find black felt that is.

For a few days we didn't think we the kids were going to get a chance to use their kits, as we had had beautiful sunny weather, and the snow on the ground just wasn't suitable for snowman building. But we needn't have feared, snow finally fell and building commenced.

Sunday 30 December 2012


Best Holiday Ever!!

We finally went on our very first skiing trip, in Austria.

Friday 14 December 2012

Noah's Ark

This cake took a long time to make, and is completely edible except for 2 dowels in the giraffes necks. The hull of the ship was cut from a 12" square cake, so it measures about 17" long from point to point. I once again learned a new technique to make this cake - making fondant look like wood. If there is any interest, I may do a tutorial on this, so please leave a comment if you would like one. I know I say this with every cake, but I think this is my favourite to date.

Happy birthday Noah, I hope you enjoyed your cake!

Sunday 2 December 2012

Harry Potter Cake

I had an awful lot of fun with this cake! I don't get to do figurines as often as I'd like, and I always try and learn a new technique every time I do. This is the first time I have used Rice Krispy treats as the base of my figurine, since Harry Potter stands about 20cm tall, I felt it was necessary in order to make the character lighter and more sturdy. It was actually quite easy to do, and saved on a lot of fondant! I also tried out a new method of creating hair, and am very pleased with the results. The cake is a 12" dark chocolate sponge with vanilla buttercream icing.

Thursday 22 November 2012

Don't Forget to Pray

For Christmas this year, we (the ward YW leaders) made "Don't Forget to Pray" cushions for our Young Women.

Update: I am pleased to say that they loved them :)

Monday 29 October 2012

Fraisier Cake {Tutorial}

I have been watching one of my favourite shows on TV, The Great British Bake Off . A couple of weeks ago they made Fraisier cakes (recipe), a cake my husband loves. He gets it occasionally (because it is pricey) from PAUL in London, so last weekend I decided to treat him and make a Fraisier cake myself.

First I started off with the Genoise sponge, which is a new technique to me, but it came out beautifully! It doesn't rise much, but has a lovely fine, light texture.

While that was baking, I made the crème pâtissière (sans the kirsch), spooned it into a piping bag and put it into the fridge to cool.

Next came the lemon sauce. While this tasted yummy, we felt that it overpowered all the other flavours in the cake. I made the cake again this weekend, but this time I used an apricot glaze instead, and we all agreed that we preferred that.

I prepared my marzipan, washed and cut all the strawberries, but the cake and crème pâtissière were not quite cool enough to start assembling. So I decided to go extra fancy and made some chocolate decorations. I carefully tempered my chocolate, then piped a few designs.

By now everything has cooled as was ready, so assembly began. I split the sponge in half, then placed the bottom half into the plastic collar lining the inside my cake ring (cut side upwards), and brushed on half the lemon sauce (or apricot glaze). The cake needs to be pressed gently up against the sides of the collar, making sure it touches the collar all the way around.

Next I carefully placed halved strawberries all the way around the edge of the cake, 'sticking' the cut side of the strawberry on to the plastic collar. Then filled in between them with crème pâtissière and piped a layer of crème pâtissière on to the sponge.

The rest of the strawberries are layered on top of that, then the rest of the crème pâtissière is piped on top, sealing all the strawberries in. It is important to ensure that all the gaps between the strawberries, around the edge of the cake, are completely filled in with crème pâtissière, or it may all fall apart when you take the plastic collar off.

On top of that goes the top half of the sponge (with cut side upwards), brushed with lemon sauce (or apricot glaze) and again gently pressed up to the sides of the collar. Finally the marzipan disc is added to the top and the whole thing goes into the fridge to set. I tinted my marzipan green because that's how they do it at PAUL and I think it looks very pretty contrasting with the red of the strawberries.

It looked so pretty when the cake ring finally came off once it was set!

And the collar is peeled away.

I wasn't sure how long to leave it to set for, I left my first one for about an hour (we were very eager to try it), but I think the crème pâtissière could have done with a bit longer as it was a bit soft when I took the collar off and made little 'peaks' which looked a bit untidy to me. The second cake was left in the fridge all afternoon, and had a much better finish when the collar came off.

It can be decoraed with a dusting of icing sugar, strawberries, chocolate decorations, spun sugar, whatever you prefer. Serve chilled and add your decorations last minute.

Friday 28 September 2012

Hello Kitty Cake

The perfect cake for an 8 year old girl!

This is an 11" dark chocolate cake with vanilla buttercream icing and covered in fondant. I formed Hello Kitty around a base of rice crispy treats, the first time I have used this technique. I don't know why I waited so long, it worked brilliantly!