Thursday, 14 February 2019

The Easter Egg and the Aardvark

I have made several cakes now for the company BMC in London. This is the latest one.

The cakes is based on a software platform called Aardvark which has various releases that run with the letters of the alphabet (sounds like I might know what I'm talking about but I don't really).

The first cake was an Aardvark wearing an orange Bobble Hat (see future posts)

The second was Custard Cream.

The third was a Double Decker bus with an aardvark in an orange bobble hat driving it.

Then there was this one! An Easter Egg with an aardvark popping out the top wearing an orange bobble hat!

The company supplied me with an Easter egg images that they had been using for their release documentation which was a chocolate egg in gold foil. The chocolate egg was made from chocolate fondant icing and sprayed with glaze to give it a shiny look. The gold was painted in Faye Cahill gold. Every time I walked into my cake room it smelt divine and I actually kept thinking it was a real egg when I caught sight of it out the corner of my eye!

I made the Aardvark out of modelling paste along with the bobble hat and inserted in on a long skewer into the cake. I filled the inside of the shell with chocolate pieces to make it look like the broken bits of chocolate had fallen in side the egg as the Aardvark popped out.

The cake was being transported to London by train so the cake had to be very stable so the internal structures were very important with a number of dowels and boards at various points vertically and horizontally to ensure the cake did not move during its journey. I also had to provide a little diagram so that the client knew where the supports were and could cut it easily

Who knows what the next release will be? Something beginning with F no doubt!

Tuesday, 12 February 2019

Chocolate and Macaron making with Mark Tilling at Cake Innovations, Gravesend

Back in October I was lucky enough to spend two days learning from the fabulous Mark Tilling at Cake Innovations, Gravesend. On both days the classes were very small which worked out well for us!

The first day we made Italian style macarons. I've tried macarons before but never had much success, this method the Italian method is supposed to be easier. I have to say Mark made them look very easy and I haven't made them again since. I always mean to, but finding the time is hard, but I will.

We made two types of macarons, raspberry macarons (pink) and chocolate ones. We learnt skills such as splatter techniques, stamping with wax/brass stamps as well as making the macarons themselves. We were able to make loads of them so had plenty to box up and take home at the end of the day, and of course eat as they were amazing to taste. Definitely got to make them again so I can offer them as wedding favours!

The second day was Gourmet Chocolates Bar. Now I don't particularly want to make chocolates but I am looking to improve my chocolate making skills which are fairly limited. Any I do have, have been learnt from Mark last time he was at Cake Innovations. So the skills used in making the chocolates were what I was interested in.

To make these chocolate we used splattering, masking and marbling in chocolate as well as how to make various fillings including caramel, ganache and flavoured praline. We also learnt how to temper chocolate as well as have lots of discussions about chocolate related things and some unrelated plus a few laughs!

All in all a great couple of days and I am hoping Mark is going to come back to show us more of his fabulous chocolate skills!

Photos by Cake Innovations Ltd and myself and yes that is me in some of the pictures.

Sunday, 10 February 2019

Sophie and Matt's Autumnal Rustic Wedding Cake - October 2018, The Gardens - Yalding

I met Sophie and Matt at The Wedding Experience at Detling early last year. They were getting at The Gardens, Yalding in October and planning an autumn wedding.

When we met up to discuss their cake design, they had fallen in love with a log slice cake but couldn't decide on whether to go for a silver birch log or a brown wood log. After discussion I suggested why not go for both logs on the cake, no reason why not! Certainly at The Gardens, there would be both types of trees and would there for blend in amazingly with the environment.

In addition they were very keen to have a cascade of flowers matching their wedding flowers as well as decorations of autumnal leaves, toadstools, acorns and other autumnal foliage.

All the flowers, and decorations were made by sugar paste, including the gorgeous little toadstools and mushrooms which I have to say I am rather in love with, and the flowers were made using the information supplied by their florist to ensure they matched the wedding theme totally.

On the bottom tier we added a carved out love heart with their initials just to personalise the cake further.

The silver birch cake was made free hand, but the log slice at the bottom was made using the FPC Sugarcraft Log Texture mat. The top of each log was decorated with circles to replicate the cut log effect.

The bride and groom also supplied a special cake for a guest with extreme allergies that I was able to add some of the decorations to  it to  make it match the actual wedding cake.

The log cake stand was supplied by the venue.

Friday, 8 February 2019

Ruby Wedding Cake

Emily was a bride of mine from a couple of years ago, and she recently ordered this beautiful two tier anniversary cake for her parents 40th Ruby Wedding Anniversary.

The brief was a white cake with ruby red decoration with a personalised topper of her mum and dad on the top, but other than that a free reign! As the topper was so detailed I decided to keep the cake simple but elegant, with white icing with red pico dots and red ribbon with a small diamante buckle.

For the topper, Emily sent me many many pictures of her mum and dad and their dog who she also wanted included on the topper, and some details of how the models should be dressed as per one of the photos. The lovely thing about the topper is that its a great keepsake as its fixed on a board on top of the cake which can be lifted off for easy keeping and will keep indefinitely as long as its kept dry.

By all accounts Emily and her parents were thrilled with the cake and especially the topper!

Wednesday, 6 February 2019

Elegant Sparkle Wedding Cake

I love the simplicity of this beautiful cake. Its actually a 3 tier cake iced to look like a 2 tier with the bottom tier being double height or double barrel.

I indented the cake to give it the ruched effect and then added an edible broach made using a Karen Davies Moulds and added various sparkles and gem shapes using dragee balls and sugar paste shapes to make a star!

This cake would be great for a small intimate wedding where you aren't having too many guests, or for a birthday or other celebration. This cake was 2 x 8 inch round on the bottom and 6 inch round on the top. I personally don't think it would work in bigger tiers but you could add additional tiers and make the double barrel cake as the middle tier! Just an idea!!!

Monday, 4 February 2019

Birthday Cake for a lover of Brockmans Gin

I've recently discovered gin but I must admit I'd never heard of Brockmans! The cake was ordered by a friend of the birthday girl, Penny on behalf of her husband.

The instructions were a cake shaped like a bottle of Brockmans Gin. Now I could have tried to be very clever and made a stand up bottle, but having never made one and the fact that it had to be transported to the venue by Penny's friend I decided not to go down the added stress route and instead make a laying down bottle!

As well as the bottle I thought it would be nice to add a model of the birthday girl (I have never met her so got a description from her friends) sitting on the Gin bottle, but after much thought it would be nice to make the figure a keep sake by making it entirely independent of the actual and placing the figure in a cocktail glass just for fun!

Google was fab for this cake as I could easily find out the bottle details and find the labels to use with the edible printer. Edible prints are a great labour saver and always very impressive to clients.

I purchased the cocktail glass from my local charity shop, who really wanted to sell me 4 glasses but I managed to get away with only buying the one for 50p (bargain). The body of the model was made and inserted in to some sugar paste in the glass and then the glass filled with pearl dragee balls. The skirt was added afterwards to stop the dragee balls falling out.

The cake was a hit even with the friend who collected the cake and had to transport the model in the glass by car very carefully. Even though it was safely packed away in a box its always stressful transporting things like this.

Saturday, 2 February 2019

Buttercream Wedding Cake

This beautiful buttercream wedding cake is coated in white rustic style buttercream icing and finished with sugar flowers which include dahlia, seed heads, poppies, oak leaves, and berries. The cake is finished with a burnt orange ribbon making it perfect for an autumnal wedding!

It was be easy to add flowers on the top or to the bottom left corner to personalise it further. Always loads of possibilities to make it unique to you.