Oct 09

Summer Shows

This summer I decided to enter some of the local shows “domestic” classes. At Yealmpton I came away with several prize cards including second prize for my novelty cake “DIY Disaster”.

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At Liskeard Show, as well as a good selection of prize cards, I also won the silver cup for sugarcraft with my cake topper “The Farmer Wants a Wife”.

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Aug 02

Can’t quite believe it!

I received an e-mail yesterday from the Cornish Brides website telling me that I have got through to the last 36 finalists in their 2013 Bridal Awards! I really can’t believe it – this is the first time I have ever been nominated for an award, and to just make the final selection is amazing. I was chuffed to see a bit of a Facebook campaign to get votes for me as well – thank you everyone!

If you would like to vote, the voting form is here: http://www.cornishbrides.co.uk/#/bridal-awards/4567309230

 

 


Jun 15

A busy spring

Well we’ve moved house and so finally I have a fab kitchen, my own pantry room for storing all my cake-related items, and a dining room large enough that I could start offering classes!

We started off moving all my cake items, and I broke the kitchen in gently by making four cakes in the first weekend! Cake one was a rich fruit cake decorated for a Diamond Wedding Anniversary, the couple requested a simple cake so I kept to a restrained palate of white and pale yellow, with garlands of small blossoms around the sides with diamonds on each corner, and the inscription in white. I finished it off with a quick spray of pearlescent colour so it sparkled.

The second cake was a “Chocolate Heaven” birthday cake – I love making these as there’s usually some chocolates left over, and as I always use really yummy chocs from either Thorntons or Hotel Chocolat, the cook’s privileges are eagerly anticipated! I think the rich chocolate coloured ribbon adds a really luxurious touch, and the cake smelled divine!

Third up was a Christening cake for a brother & sister. I like using book-style cakes when it’s for more than one recipient, and this time I created one pale pink page, and one pale blue, with edible photos of the children, and the date on a pale yellow bookmark.

The last cake for the weekend was probably the most challenging, despite being the smallest. I was asked for a small sponge for a gentleman’s 90th birthday, featuring a Great Western Railway steam engine. I decided that painting the train onto the cake would be the most effective method, as carving a train would make a much larger cake than was wanted. I sourced a lovely GWR poster on the internet and then sketched an outline of this onto the cake, then painted in the design using cocoa butter and dust colours. As I am not a great artist it took a little while but I was very pleased with the overall effect and the client was thrilled – earning me a hug as well as payment. It’s that sort of reaction that makes everything worthwhile.

There’s another busy week coming up – three wedding cakes including one for my brother (no pressure there then). I’ve also made all the invitations, orders of service, place names and table plan for the wedding – photos will be on here shortly I promise. Now just fingers crossed that it’s not horrendous weather on the big day.

 


Sep 16

Football Cake

I love it when I get a call asking for inspiration for a cake. In this case it was for a little boy’s birthday, he’s a Manchester Utd fan (good chap!), but Mum didn’t know what sort of cake to have for his party.

I suggested a football cake with cupcakes each featuring a Man Utd team shirt. “Fabulous”, said Mum, “you’ve just solved the theme for the party too!”

The only problem was that the cake was needed the day after I would get back from holiday so I needed to be organised. I made the chocolate fudge cakes in advance using pudding basins, then put them in the freezer, and the cupcakes likewise. So when I got back from the holiday I just needed to ice them all.

The football wasn’t perfectly round, but is is a cake after all, and sometimes it’s just impossible to get cake to do what you want it do to. A little bit of research for the Man Utd squad numbers, and voila – one completed cake and one very happy mum!


Sep 15

Masterclass with Mich Turner

Wow, just back from a long weekend in London, where I treated myself to an intensive masterclass in hand painting with Mich Turner of Little Venice Cake Company. What a fabulous experience. From transferring a template to an iced cake to using cocoa butter and food colour dusts to create a paint rather like oil paints everything was clearly explained and demonstrated by Mich herself. My love birds and bumblebees actually looked quite artistic rather than abstract as my paintings have done before! Have a look at my Facebook page for the photos.

I came back with an enormous goody bag – as well as the cake I decorated I had a chocolate cake, icing, marzipan, an apron and the new lustres from the LVCC range. An excellent afternoon, and as it was our wedding anniversary the following day, I persuaded my husband to make a long weekend of it, we visited Buckingham Palace on our anniversary so I could see the Royal Wedding display. After seeing the photos of the cake I was prepared to be under-whelmed but it is so much more stunning in real life – the sugarcraft flowers were beautiful.


Sep 15

Designer cupcakes

I have some wonderful regular customers who will text or call me with an order, and a very loose brief. I had one recently for a dozen cupcakes, “She likes designer handbags”.

I created six miniature designer bags out of icing and then the accompanying logo for the other six cupcakes. A lot of research before making the cake, thank goodness for the internet!

 

 


Aug 02

Wedding Topper

It worked! After much hard work, and rather a lot of Fimo in the bin, I resorted to using a model horse and then making the bride, groom and dog from Fimo. I discovered that making a successful topper requires several skills including dressmaking – I made the groom’s morning suit from individual pieces to give a more tailored look. The cala lillies and gerberas were all scaled down too. The bride and groom were delighted.

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The cake itself was three tiers and featured handmade cala lillies in hot orange and hot pink. I used polystyrene separators between each tier, to give space for the flowers. Version one proved to be rather top-heavy so back to the drawing board and I used larger separators. Even so, the resultant 5 tiers had to be balanced perfectly as the reception was in a marquee, and in my experience, tables and floors in marquees are never 100% solid!

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Jun 21

Wedding toppers

So, I decided that I really should have a go at making my own wedding toppers in Fimo. Unfortunately I started off on a design that required a horse as well as a bride and groom! After several false starts, some swearing, and rather a lot of Fimo in the bin, I had a brainwave. Why not buy a model horse, make a mould then use that to create a Fimo version?! However, I’ve already made a good start on the bride and groom so am limited to the size of horse otherwise the bride will look like she’s either riding a Shetland or a Shire! If it works I will put the photos on here, if not it will be relegated to history.

My daughter requested a cake for one of her friends who turns 16 this week. She also requested I use her design. All I can say is that she has obviously no experience of what is possible in icing, or she thinks her mother is a genius (definitely the former – she is a teenager). First of all there was the request for a specific cake flavour – chocolate orange please. Then the icing had to the same colour red as the background to a Panic at the Disco (who? what?) album cover. Then the ipod had to be the same colour as her friend’s. I had a screenshot of the album on the ipod which I duly transferred to icing, plus a photo of said friend meeting one of the band. Earphones were made in icing. The last request was that I write the greeting using the same font as Panic, called Extra Ornamental – you can imagine it wasn’t straightforward! Thank goodness for food colouring pens & a lot of patience. The things we parents do for our children!