Monday, 28 July 2014

Fancy a Slice?

Sometimes I get these ideas that rattle around in my head, and I hope for the opportunity to try them. Believe it or not, I don't sit around making cake pops, truffle cakes and big cakes in case someone needs them (otherwise if they didn't, I'd have to eat them, and I'd weigh about 300 lbs right now). When I don't get the chance to make them for an order I subject guests or hosts to try my experiments... poor things.

My most recent guinea pigs are my Aunt and Uncle whom I'm visiting this week. It's a yearly pilgrimage to work (or potter, really) on my old canoe. An inheritance of sorts, but it's definitely a labour of love, and I especially enjoy spending the time with my family.

A very small way I show my appreciation for both having me stay in their house for a week and becoming part of their furniture, but also for babysitting my dilapidated canoe the rest of the time I'm not there, is to bring up some sweet treats. This year, they're testing out my latest crazy idea...

Ever since I made the myriad cakes to test out recipes, I've often thought of what I could do with the fruit cakes (vanilla cakes with fruit filling, not the yummy Christmas cake). The idea somewhat dawned on me when I was looking at the tin of cherry pie filling to make Myra's birthday cake. I thought, wouldn't it be fun to have mini-pies with cake filling that had the fruit flavours, and to make them look pie-like too. For the first go, I made blueberry pie truffles, but the sky's the limit and already I've thought of other flavours that would be fun.

Let's see how these ones go down!

 I loved the indigo colour, so different from what I'm used to!

 A bit of Graham cracker crumbs around the truffle for texture.

 Typical lattice-work that tops most pies... mine needs a bit of practice, but not bad for the first go.  
 Nom.

Sunday, 27 July 2014

A Cake Dedicated to Ethan

Sometimes simple is best, and if an elegant cake with few words on the top and minimal decorations will do the job, then go for it! The occasion should shine, and especially when it is a religious ceremony you don't want a topsy turvy, brightly coloured cake. You want something solid, just like your occasion.

Hopefully this cake will be just a little enrichment for Ethan's dedication ceremony!




POST PRODUCTION NOTE
Those who know me personally will know that I have the tiniest amount of OCD. To the point where I will wake up first thing in the morning, scrape off icing that I don't deem to be "perfect" and re-do it... several times. This cake was no different, and I wanted to get the spacing more even. I thought the ridiculousness was worth sharing ;P

Feel free to continually scroll between the two cakes and spot the difference. Some may say "I don't see a difference", and to be fair most would say this, except I know that what ever goes out there with my name on it has to be as perfect as possible. (Plus I don't want to end up on cakewrecks.com!! Here's an example of what I mean :D)

Saturday, 19 July 2014

Two Teas for Two

Yet again, Mum threw her famous English Tea Party at her house as part of the Church's talent auction. This year, Mum spread the Tea over two teas, both as equally lavish as the other.

Plates laden with goodies at the ready. Sandwiches, loaves, cookies and cupcakes...

A gorgeous tiered display of cakes and cookies, with the classic Victoria Sponge in the background.


Our table awaits our guests!

Our guests have arrived!

We served Pimm's No. 1 as a starter for our guests. A little taste of England and Wimbledon especially, complete with strawberry, mint, lemon, and cucumber.

Mum and I tried something new this year. We got out a bit of retro fabulousness, and relived my Mother's memories of when her Mother would prepare for her Bridge evenings. 

A savoury cake!

From bottom to top: coronation chicken filling, egg salad, smoked salmon and salmon and avocado. All lovely enrobed in cream cheese. 

A yummy cup of tea in Mum's beautiful tea service.

Such a delicious looking table!!

My little contribution to all this gorgeous food was my teapots. All edible, and this year flavoured. These ones have my Earl Gray flavoured-cake.

and these are made using my green tea-flavoured cake. 

Both were inspired by two of my Mother's tea pots. A bit of gilding for our lilies! 

Thursday, 3 July 2014

Happy Birthday Myra!

After all the excitement of June has sufficiently died down we move on to the next occasion. This year, Patrick's Mother celebrated a special birthday which absolutely deserved a special dinner with all her favourites. Steak, roast peppers, brochettes, and pina colada, all finished off with my variation of a Black Forest Gateau, in all its retro-glory.

Instead of the traditional Devil's food cake, I used my crowd pleasing Guinness Chocolate cake. I love its richness, so I knew it would work wonderfully well with the whipped cream and the cherry pie-filling. Plus, a few 70% dark chocolate shavings on the top never go a miss!




Happy Birthday Myra!

Sunday, 22 June 2014

I Love Blue...

A week after Patrick's cousin's wedding and we got the chance to celebrate a belated Father's day for Patrick's Dad. With the family all around for dinner at our place, I could hardly miss the opportunity to make a cake to go with the meal! Instead of a typical tiered cake or cupcakes, I decided to test out a new pan and make these cake doughnuts using the red velvet recipe I'd been spending so much time with the week before, but this time I decided to make it blue.

Although in the end it turned out more teal than blue, I was still happy with the end result, and the family tucked in happily. Incidentally, The name for these cakes; "I Love Blue" was Patrick's idea... such a poet.





Saturday, 14 June 2014

Daniel & Francesca's Happy Day

This is the only wedding that I have gone to where the gift has been a no-brainer! A few months ago Patrick's cousin asked if I would make her wedding cake, and not just a cake for a small intimate gathering, but cake enough to feed 165 people. I know, I make hundreds of cake pops over the Christmas season, and I make and bring a couple hundred cake pops to the craft fairs I do, but this was a different sugar coated beast. 

The bride had sent me a few pictures of what she had in mind as far as tiered cakes went. Very simple and elegant, and not too over the top. Luckily what they had in mind was a cake that they could cut for photos and then eat themselves, as well as some cakes to be cut up for the guests but not put on display so they could be simply sheet cakes, which after a bit of thought was more manageable than I thought.

I exchanged a few emails with the Bride and we came up with a design and I planned out the number of cakes I would need then the amount of icing. All was prepared, all was planned out, all I needed to do was work my butt off and get his cake looking perfect...

Admittedly there were a few moments where I was tempted throw cake and fondant across the kitchen (Patrick can attest), as well as a few late nights, but it was all worth it. I knew I wanted to make a beautiful cake for Francesca and Daniel, and to try to make their day just a little bit sweeter; I hope it did just that.

Building the sugar paste flowers.

All the sugar paste flowers were in full bloom!

All these sugar paste petals were individually cut and placed on all the tiers. 

Bottom tier done!

Believe it or not, these two tiers aren't real!


This is the top tier for the Bride and Groom, and it is real cake.

Seeing how all the tiers look together.

Testing how and where the sugar paste flowers and petals will go on the cake.

All these petals are edible.... the Bride's sister tested a couple!

My fridge has never been so empty or so full all at the same time! These are the sheet cakes for the guests (so I guess that means me too!)

 The car all packed up... so much cake!

Wipe the sweat off my brow, the cake is here and it looks great! (Now for me to get ready for the reception!)

 Me with my beautiful cake. The relief isn't as clear on my face as it was in my heart...

 In the evening, at the reception, along side the Bride's bouquet and the cake cutters!

 Cutting of the cake (the Bride cried happy tears where she saw it- best reaction ever!)

 And to top it all, they thought it tasted great too!

...real cake! Red velvet.

And for the guest's dessert: a slice of my cake, plus a chocolate covered strawberry and an ice cream filled cannoli. 

*
At the end of the night, I was relieved that the cake had arrived above all, but that they thought it was truly tasty. I was so proud to have been a even a small part of their special day- 
I love you guys!!

Friday, 13 June 2014

Auction Pops

You may remember a couple years ago I made pops as part of a talent auction held at my church. Various people within the congregation offered their services in many different forms, whether it be grass cutting, babysitting, car washing, book repairing, tea parties, or in my case a group of cake pops for the occasion of your choice.

Before the auction started, a young lady in our congregation approached me and while jumping up and down, she expressed her keen interest in winning the bid for my cake pops because she had a friend's birthday party coming up. At the start of the bidding, there was much interest in my cake pops but the lot finally went to the young lady with a birthday party- much to my delight!

After the auction had ended, the winning young lady came up to me and proceeded to tall me all the things her friend liked such as Harry Potter, unicorns, flutes, and some of her favourite colours: pink, purple, blue and green. After a pause and with blinking eyes, "Chocolate or vanilla?" I asked. Somehow I had to try and channel this energy into these pops in order to make her friend's birthday party one to remember!


Luckily most of the sprinkles and coloured sugars I have can be put all together to match anyone's tastes. These pops were a translation of the birthday girl's favourite colours: purple, blue, green, and pink.



*****

When the young lady was running off all the things her friend loved, the one that really stood out for me was the mention of the unicorn.... I have been wanting the chance to make unicorns for the longest time. I've done donkeys and Christmas, zebras for the last talent auction, but never a unicorn. I know for sure my oldest sister would love these!