Tag: cake decorating

Cake inspiration from Sweetapolita: Chocolate Torte Madeira Sprinkle Birthday Cake

 Chocolate Torte Madeira Sprinkle Birthday CakeSprinkle Birthday cake

Where do you get your cake inspiration from? I follow quite a lot of blogs but I only stay subscribed if they keep on delivering great inspiration month after month. If they don’t post for a few weeks I don’t really mind as when they do it’s always amazing new content and that’s how I feel about Sweetapolita. She has a very distinctive style and I always want to have a go at recreating her cakes. Her style was the inspiration for this cake. 

BeauBeau is TWELVE!!!! 

Where does the time go. I’ve been writing this blog for over four years and each year my daughter’s birthday cake posts seem to come round quicker and quicker. For the first time in ages I actually can believe Beau is twelve. She is so much more happy and mature than she was last year. She’s settled into senior school really well and has a lovely group of new friends who we met for the first time on Sunday. One of them even offered to help carry over the drinks for all the gang while we were at bowling! I mean literally said “Would you like me to help you carry the drinks over“!!! How happy am I that Beau has found such polite and friendly group of girls to hang out with? VERY.Sprinkle Birthday cake

So, when it came to her birthday cake she asked for something simple, chocolatey and pretty. Gone are the days of sculpting cakes into fancy designs. In fact I can’t actually remember the last time I was asked to do that. I knew exactly which of Sweetapolita’s cake designs I was going to make. Lots of soft chocolate ganache buttercream and lots and lots of pretty sprinkles! 

Now, I would say that this cake is quick and easy to make and I am sure it is, but not when you are desperate to finish season 4 of Prison Break on Netflix and can’t stop watching it and stay up till 3am to do so! Without Netflix it would have been sooo much quicker! 

Chocolate Torte Madeira Cake 

[yumprint-recipe id=’4′]Beau and her Sprinkle Birthday cake

Happy Birthday Beau Beau Bob. We love you so much. 

Emma (a.k.a. Mamma.xxx)

Chocolate Ganache Recipe

Chocolate Ganache Recipe
Chocolate Ganache

If you follow me on Instagram then you would have already seen this picture of the chocolate ganache I made for a birthday cake a few weeks ago. I totally love ganache. I mean what’s not to love – it’s chocolate and cream!

I thought I’d share my recipe with you as it’s really handy to have – especially at this time of year when you’re thinking about making chocolate truffles asChristmas gifts. Usually I use double cream but I had some dairy free soya cream alternative left over so I used that and it was absolutely delish. Soya milk and cream are so much more creamy tasting that regular ones. I think I’ll be using them every time in the future- what’s more it’s great to have a dairy free ganache in your repertoire- don’t you think?

Print off the Chocolate Ganache Recipe here

Chocolate Ganache Recipe

Ingredients (this recipe is enough to sandwich and cover an 8″ cake

• 200ml double cream
• 250g dark chocolate- broken into small pieces

To make the ganache

  1. Place the cream in a bain- marie over a low heat making sure that the bowl doesn’t touch the water below.
  2. Heat the cream till very hot but not boiling – it will burn very quickly and you don’t need it that hot.
  3. Remove the bowl from the heat and add the chocolate pieces.
  4. Stir until all the chocolate and cream is melted and combined.
  5. Set aside to cool then pipe or spread over your cake with a palette knife.

Tips with Ganache

  • You can add half as much chocolate again to your mix (ie another 125g) to make your ganache a thicker consistency. Much more chocolate than that and it will be very firm and won’t be easy to spread on a cake.
  • For a dairy free ganache use dark chocolate (Bourneville is buttermilk free – most others aren’t) and a soya dairy free cream. Even if it is single cream the ganache will still taste fab – just add a few more squares of chocolate to thicken it up.
  • Milk and white chocolate both work well with this recipe too.
  • This recipe is great for making truffles. Simply add a tablespoon of flavour – alcohol always works well, once the cream and chocolate are combined. Set aside to cool then roll into balls. Cover in cocoa powder, icing sugar or anything your heart desire.

    EmmaMT x

How to make sugarpaste roses : My first ever cake demonstration

My first ever cake demonstration- for Create and Craft

Create & CraftLast Sunday I did something I’ve never done before. I stepped outside of my comfort zone and I did a cake decorating workshop at the Women’s Institute Centennial Fair in Harrogate for Create and Craft.

I’ve been  styling photo shoots for Prima’s craft pages for a few months now and they have teamed up with Create and Craft to produce a bumper Christmas craft magazine. (It’s out now) That’s how I got involved. Create and Craft asked Prima if someone from the team would like to do a demonstration. I offered up my services saying that I can do most crafts except knitting and crochet – and felting. I mentioned that I had this blog and they jumped at the cake decorating idea and showing how to make sugarpaste roses.

I’ve done workshops before but they’ve always been in my kitchen and for around six people. This was in a proper demonstration theatre with a stage and microphone (up my top!) and for the WI !!!

I made the cakes in advance then put them in cake boxes. I then put those boxes inside bigger boxes with bubble wrap all around them. Placed them in massive bags and stuck a massive travellers rucksack on my back – full of cake decorating equipment and had one cake bag in each hand and off I went to Kings Cross Station. You should have seen me. I was a very wide load- avoiding every knock and budge from other travellers which isn’t easy when you have to travel in a car, train, tube and then a three hour high speed train and a taxi at the other end to get to the hotel! I made it in one piece and didn’t dare unwrap the cakes till I got to the fair the next day. The cakes were all intact. I don’t know how!

I went on at 1.15pm. I don’t know how I did as it was all a blurr. I think I spoke too fast and I definitely rabbitted on and on while I made the repetitive petals for the roses but I had a pretty good audience and everyone seemed to be smiling at me at the end. The WI ladies I spoke to throughtout the day were so lovely. It was a really great atmosphere and I did spend a whole load of money!

The Create and Craft team were all really lovely and made me feel right at home from the very beginning- thanks you guys.

The demonstration was on how to make three types of roses. Here’s what I demonstrated.

Enjoy!

Rose buds
Create and Craft cake decorating workshop

These are some of the easiest roses you can make for a cake. They work well with sugarpaste but if you use florist’s paste they will be much easier to handle and will firm up much quicker. As with most decorations these roses work best in odd numbers. I think groups of three’s look best but five, seven and at a push even nine can look great grouped in a corner of a cake. As they are so small there is plenty of scope for designing a pattern with these tiny roses – be that an initial, a number for an age or a heart as I have done here. In the past I’ve also used these rolled roses to fill in gaps on wedding cakes when the cake is filled with bigger garden roses. Simplicity rules – especially with cake design.  Don’t you think?

To make rolled roses.

If you want all your roses to be the same size you can roll out your sugarpaste and use a small circle cutter to cut out the number of roses you need. When you roll these discs of sugarpaste into balls and then into roses they will all be the same size. I don’t mind them being slightly different. The choice is yours.

Create and Craft cake decorating workshop

  • Take your ball of sugarpaste and roll the ball into a sausage then flatten it.
  • Roll your flattened sausage from the smallest end. Don’t squeeze it too tight and if it doesn’t naturally stick at the end add a dab of edible glue. Try and make the last end narrower so it finishes nice and neatly.
  • Set aside to dry and repeat with the rest of the sugarpaste balls.
  • If your roses all look too different in height you can cut off some of the bottom once they are dry to even them up a bit.
  • To stick the roses onto the cake use a little royal icing. Hold the rose against the cake if adhering to the side for a few seconds. If too much royal icing squidges out at the sides clean it up straight away with a dry paint brush.Create and Craft cake decorating workshop
  • To make the leaves: colour some royal icing green and place it in a piping bag. Snip off a small ‘V’ at the bottom and start to pipe a tiny amount of green icing near the base of a rose and lift away and stop pressing the piping bag to create a triangular leaf shape. Add as many leaves as you think necessary. Leave to dry
  • If you are worried about adding the roses freehand you can score the sugarpaste in your design and then follow the line. You can also make a paper template as you can see I did with the heart,  which you can pin in place and remove at the last minute. It also helps you to know how many roses you’ll need.

Create and Craft cake decorating workshop

Brooch roses

Create and Craft cake decorating workshop

I’ve been making these brooches for cakes and cookies for ages. They’re a great way to add a touch of shimmer to a celebration. You can get pearls in all sorts of colours now so keeping to a colour theme for a party or wedding couldn’t be easier.  I used Wilton’s dark grey, pearl, pink pearl and silver but the world is literally your oyster!
Create and Craft cake decorating workshop

To make the booches

  • Roll out your florists paste (or sugarpaste) to around the thickness of a £1 coin. Brush a little edible glue over a small area. Add one colour pearl to the centre then add an alternative colour balls all around the centre. Press down lightly with your finger so the pearl balls sink in a little.
  • Use a circle cutter to cut out the shape. I made really small ones so I used the end of a piping nozzle to cut out my small brooches. I didn’t have small enough circle cutters as I wanted there to be little or no florists paste showing outside of the pearls. Set these aside to firm up – overnight is best.

Create and Craft cake decorating workshop

To make the roses

  • Roll out your florist’s paste so it’s reasonably thin then cut out large rose shapes. You can pretty much use any flower shape with this design as you are going to layer up so the more the merrier
  • Place the cut out rose shapes into an artist’s palette (reserved just for decorating)
  • Cut out more roses in smaller shapes and different colours. Use a dab of edible glue to stick each rose to the one underneath it. Keep adding till you have enough roses. Create and Craft cake decorating workshop
  • Use edible glue to stick the brooches into the centre. Leave to dry overnight before removing. It’s a good idea to lightly dust the pallette before adding the roses so they don’t get stuck. Also if you have time, remove the roses from the pallette and upturn them onto a piece of florists foam so the underneath can dry fully before you stick them on the cake.
  • To stick the brooch roses onto the cake use a little royal icing and hold them in place for a few seconds if adhering them to the sides of the cake.
  • Position your ribbon on the cake before you stick the roses on as you can overlap the ribbon with the roses (still sticking in place with royal icing).

Create and Craft cake decorating workshop Create and Craft cake decorating workshop

I love making these rosettes ever since I got my hands on these Wilton cutters from Create and Craft. They have two sides – circles and crinkly circles. The crinkles are really small and make pretty designs so these rosettes look super cute.

If truth be told I wanted to make these for the roses for my workshop at the Create and Craft theatre but Tim (my husband) took one look at them and said “I thought you were making roses?” to which I replied “They’re modern roses!” He gave me one of those looks that says “Really Emma?” and so I set about making the brooch roses instead. But never being one to waste an idea I stuck the rosettes on the back of the cake so I could still share the design. Which do you prefer?

To make Rosettes

  • Roll out two or three colours of sugarpaste. I chose three pinks which were close in colour. Try and keep them to similar thicknesses.
  • Cut out an outer crinkly circle then keep cutting smaller ones.
  • Once you have lots of different sizes in different colours mix and match them so they are all flat and neat.
  • Cut out a centre circle and place a brooch the same size as the hole made from pearl balls in the space.
  • Cut out a crinkly circle which is just bigger than the mixed design. Brush it lightly with edible glue. Carefully lift the design with the brooch onto the larger circle and press lightly with the ball of your hand to adhere the two pieces together. Leave to dry.
  • If you want the design to stick to a round cake only leave the design to dry for 20 minutes before adhering it in place on the cake with royal icing. That way you can gently encourage the rosette to bend with the curve of the cake.

Create and Craft cake decorating workshop Create and Craft cake decorating workshop

 

Garden rose cupcakes

These are one of the most requested roses when it comes to wedding cakes and they are also the most time consuming. If you are planning to make them for a wedding cake start them straight away. As soon as you get the request. Not only do they take an age to make but they will be so much easier to handle once they are completely dry. Even once they are dry they are really frail so always handle them with care.

I love to put these on cupcakes. They make them look really glamourous. Almost too good to eat!

Create and Craft cake decorating workshop

 

How to make Garden roses

The trick with these roses is to make them a little crinkly. Real roses are never completely smooth so a curve or two will only make them look more real like.

  • Always use Florist’s paste when making these roses. You can roll it out really thin without it tearing – which sugarpaste will definitely do. Florist’s paste will dry out really quickly so always keep any paste not being used wrapped up and in a sealed sandwich bag.
  • Edible glue is used throughout this rose to stick petals on.
  • Make small buds from florists paste and leave to harden for a few hours.
  • Roll out the florists paste so that it’s paper thin and you can almost see the design of your roll out mat through it.Create and Craft cake decorating workshop
  • Cut out one large petal. Stick it to the rose bud so that it covers the entire thing and overlaps at the top. Keep the petal to a point and tuck inone edge of the petal. Leave to dry.
  • Roll out some florists paste and cut out three small petals. Take each petal in turn and any not being used should be stored in a plastic sleeve (the kind you use for paper) so that they don’t dry out.Create and Craft cake decorating workshop
  • Place the petal on the firm foam and use a cell pin (rolling pin with a curved end) to thin it out more. Work in a circluar action thinning out the centre and then concentrating on the edges so they are the thinnest part of the petal. They will start to frill when they are thin enough.Create and Craft cake decorating workshop
  • These first three petals are going to be positioned tight against the bud. Start by adding the first petal. The centre of the petal should line up against the join line of the very first petal on the bud. Stick the petal on firmly and gently pull back the very top of the petal so you can just see the bud. Repeat with the next two petals – again positioning the centre of each on the join of the last petal added.
  • The next layer has five medium petals. Cut out these thin petals and thin them out with the cell pin on the foam as previously done.

  • Create and Craft cake decorating workshop To give the petal shape pinch the bottom of each petal.
  • Take the very top edge of the petal and fold it over a cocktail stick. Slide the cocktail stick out so the fold in the petal stays in place. Be very careful not to break it off. Repeat on both sides near the top. Place the petal to one side to dry for twenty minutes. You can dry petals quicker on a piece of foam.
  • Continue to thin and fold the other petals.Create and Craft cake decorating workshop
  • Once all the petals have been made and are dryer they will hold their shape. Stick them onto the rose bud. Apply glue in a ‘v’ shape at the bottom of the each petal and stick down the right hand side of the first petal. Before you stick the left hand side down position the next petal- overlapping the last. Each petal overlaps the next. The folds you created with the cocktail stick force the petals into place and make the overall rose bigger. Leave to dry over night. The rose will be difficult to handle at this stage if it’s not left to dry. Create and Craft cake decorating workshop
  •  Once dry cut out seven large petals and thin them in the same way. Then pinch at the bottom and fold over the edges with a cocktail stick as with the last layer.
  • Add these rose petals in the same way – overlapping as you go. This is the last layer so let them open the rose up.
  • Once each petal has been stuck on the final layer leave the rose upturned on a piece of foam to dry thoroughly overnight.
  • To stick the finished garden rose on a cupcake turn it over and with a very sharp knife remove the stem at the bottom of the bloom. Keep in mind if you want to travel with these cupcakes they will need to fit in the box with the lid closed so they need to be quite shallow.
  • Pipe a buttercream swirl on each cupcake then position the rose on top. Leave to set for 30 minutes before travelling with them.

Create and Craft cake decorating workshop Create and Craft cake decorating workshop

 

Wow! That was a long post! I hope you enjoyed it as much as I enjoyed the demonstration. All that’s left to say is thank you to Create and Craft and Prima Magazine for such an exciting opportunity.

EmmaMT x

Lindy Smith’s Mini Cakes Academy : Book review and giveaway

Lindy Smith’s Mini Cakes Academy

Lindy Smith Mini cakes Academy

I love doing book reviews – well, actually I love reading new cakey books and getting inspired and being desperate to share what I’ve found with you guys, but when it comes to the actual writing of these posts I always find myself waffling on and on and making them way too long. And that was the case with Lindy Smith’s Mini Cakes Academy, by David and Charles. There was just so much to share.

Lindy Smith Mini cakes Academy I’ve Interviewed and reviewed a Lindy Smith book in the past and there’s one thing you should know about her. She works REALLY hard and is really creative. She has a new book coming out in what feels like every five minutes and they are all so different and totally inspirational. How does she do it?

 Lindy Smith’s Mini Cakes Academy

The latest book is just the same. Jam packed with clever hints and tips on how to get different effects, some of them basic for the beginner and some of them more challenging but all inspirational. Sometimes you just need to be shown a new tool or colour combination to give you a whole new idea for a cake. One piece of inspiration and the book’s a winner – don’t you think?

What I love about this book are the simple ideas executed to perfection. Whether it’s the stunning colour combinations of the Rosette cake or the cute washboard sides on the beach hut cakes. The way some simple plunger cutters have been used to make an elegant Christmas tree cake look fabulous or the clever use of a flower and some piping to make the cutest diddy wedding cake. Also, there’s buttons. I love a sugarpaste button on a cake!

Lindy Smith Mini cakes Academy Why I think Lindy’s books are so great is that no matter what level you’re at there are plenty of photos to describe the techniques so you can understand the way to make every element of decorating. Some books only have one step shot and explain the rest with words and you just can’t get a handle on what they’re on about. Here Lindy explains everything in clear detail and shows you too. You can’t go wrong.Lindy Smith Mini cakes Academy

What else is in the book?

As well as seeing where the inspiration for each cake comes from there are templates and recipes (for the main size cake tins when making small cakes) and the sticky toffee cake sounds really deelish. There’s even a vegan chocolate cake in there. There are recipes to make your own sugarpaste, pastillage, flowerpaste and of course buttercreams and ganaches.

If you aren’t sure where to start when covering a fiddly mini cake there are steps to show you how with buttercream, marzipan and sugarpaste.Lindy Smith Mini cakes Academy

Whether you want to paint your cake design, create beautiful flowers, go for modern or vintage there’s something for everyone. With 30 fabulous designs you’ll be spoilt for choice.

And what’s more you can win a copy right here on CakesBakesAndCookies.com. I bet you want to don’t you?

The Mini Cakes Academy Giveaway

The lovely Lindy herself emailed me offering this book giveaway to you lovely people. How honoured and excited am I by that! All you have to do is leave a comment below answering the question AND enter via the rafflecopter site (just click below to be taken straight through to the competition) A winner will be randomly selected on 12th August.

” What cake decorating question would you ask Lindy” leave a comment below and enter the rafflecopter widget.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Good luck!

EmmaMT 

Disclaimer: The book in this post was sent to me by Lindy Smith and David and Charles publishers  (Thanks you guys- it’s fantastic).  All thoughts and opinions and entirely my own.

CakesBakesAndCookies.com Giveaway Terms & Conditions

This giveaway will close at 12:00am on 12th August 2015. Leaving a blog post comment is a mandatory entry option. This prize is offered by Lindy Smith. I am hosting it on behalf of Lindy Smith. Please note, I am not responsible for posting the prize out or providing it. Lindy Smith or her representative will send out the prize, the winner must provide their name, address once contacted. The winner will be selected at random from all correct entries received by the Rafflecopter widget. The winner will be notified within 3 days of the closing date. The prize is one copy of the ‘Lindy Smith’s Mini Cakes Academy’ book, no cash alternatives are available. This giveaway is open only to residents in mainland UK (excluding Northern Ireland and Scottish Highlands and Islands) and entrants must be over 18.

Win tickets to Squires Kitchen Cake Decorating and Sugarcraft Exhibition 2015,

Squires Kitchen Cake Decorating and Sugarcraft Exhibition 2015,

It’s competition time here at CakesBakesAndCookies.com and the prize is a pair of tickets to one of my favorite cake decorating shows of the year.

Squires Kitchen Cake Decorating and Sugarcraft Exhibition 2015

The Squires show was actually the first ever cake decorating show I went to and I’ve been coming back year after year. Some shows are all about the stands selling tons of gadgets and goodies – which I know we all love, but this show is more about the bakers and decorators than just the shoppers. You come away with a ton of new tips and techniques as well as new tools. The stands have so many experts showing you how to use tappits/ make model heads and flowers / use porcelain paste- that you actually feel like you’ve been to one big cake decorating workshop! There are plenty of free tutorials with the Squires experts. Last year I took mum with me and we watched Mark Tiling do his thing with chocolate. Very inspiring.

For mum and I the highlight of the show is always seeing the amazing creations in the cake competitions. Hundreds of wedding cakes, cupcakes and painted cakes and more all made by bakers like you and me are on display and they’re just breathtaking. Some people are so talented. You can see some of the designs from the post I wrote about the show last year.

Squires Kitchen Cake Decorating and Sugarcraft Exhibition 2015, competiton

Tickets are £12.95 per person and visitors can enjoy up to 36 theatre demonstrations, 105 hours rolling demonstrations, hundreds of display pieces and much more over the weekend.

For more information on the show and to buy tickets, visit www.squires-exhibition.com or call 084561 71 810 or +44 (0)1252 260 260.

Ticket prices:Adult £12.95, Bring a friend tickets: 2 adults £22, Bring a friend tickets: 3 adults £30

Please note that this is a ticket-only event.

How to enter

Squires Kitchen have offered Cakesbakesandcookies.com one pair of free one day tickets to Squires Kitchen Cake Decorating and Sugarcraft Exhibition 2015! The show will be held at the Farnham Maltings in Surrey from 13th–15th March. Please note that the prize doesn’t include transport and is for UK entrants only. You will be able to select which one day is most suitable for you.

To win simply share this post on Facebook, Twitter or Pinterest and leave a comment below with your sharing link. A random number generator will be used to select one of the comments as the winner. The closing date for this competition is midnight Saturday 14th February 2015. Winners will be notified by email.

So good luck bakers What are you waiting for? Get sharing!

EmmaMT

Disclaimer: Thanks to Squires Kitchen for providing this prize. I have not been paid for this post but I have been given tickets to the show- yippeee! See you there!

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p.s. Just in case you weren’t sure… to share your link in the comments simply copy the web address on whichever social media site you choose and paste it in the comments below. I (and only I) will be able to see your email address and will be able to contact you.

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The Squires cake show 2014

2I’m always surprised when people ask me if I ever run out of ideas on what to write about here on CakesBakesAndCookies.com. I mean I think of my little cake blog as a bit of a cake decorators/baker’s/cook book enthusiast’s magazine type blog. I write about what interests me (as I think you’re all like me) and what I’ve been up to, so how could I ever run out of ideas? I’m always crazy busy andthere’s always so much to see, do and bake!

Every now and again I’ll start writing a blog post and I get distracted before it get’s published – usually it’s because there’s a cake to decorate or a Bake off to watch or a new decorating book out. I’ve got a list of cakes I’ve decorated on a post-it note here on my Mac just waiting to be written about. When I check my ‘drafts’ folder at the mo there are 19 posts.  Some I wrote back at the very beginning (very cringe worthy) and some not so long ago. Which is where todays post comes in.

Back at the beginning of the year Mum and I went to the Squires Cake show. How on earth did this one slip through the net? Anyway, have you ever been? It’s really good. Of all the cake shows it’s one of the most intimate and friendly. I always come away inspired not only by the many cakes on display and by the entrants to the cake competition but also by the products available to buy – there’s always something new to discover.

There are always great free workshops – we saw Mark Tilling doing a chocolate demonstration. He was really great- funny, friendly and has a wealth of clever tips from tempering chocolate properly to making chocolate nests in under a minute! I so want to get onto one of his courses.

There are also loads of suppliers demonstrating how their products work on their stands. For me this is where you pick up the most valuable lessons. How to use this and how to apply that. They’re always happy to answer any questions.

In the main hall they have the Squires products and loads of the cakes that are in the new Squires book along with many of the decorators who appear in the book and teach at the Squires school.

In all we spent a little and learnt a lot. Inspiration all around. So here’s some of the fantastic cakes on show.

Enjoy!

13 4 5 6 8I’m already looking forward to next year!

 

EmmaMT

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