Tag: icing

The RG’s engagement cake

My brother is leaving me today :0(

He’s emigrating to Australia with his wife and two daughters and we are all going to miss them tons and tons and tons.

Whilst finishing off a little surprise photo album I was making them last night as a Bon Voyage gift, I came across the photos from their engagement party. It was back in 2007 which seems like a lifetime ago now!  Darcey had only just turned one, my sister was pregnant with Asher and I didn’t have a cake blog so I was at least a stone lighter! I had completely forgotten that I had made them an engagement cake.

The RG’s

My brother’s name is Robert and his wife is Roni and they both had the same initials when they met and Roni was still an RG when they got married. They call each other ‘RG’ so that was where the idea behind the cake came from.

The cake

I remember being really pleased with this cake. It must have been one of the first ones I ever did as I didn’t really start making cakes till Beau’s fourth birthday shortly after the engagement party.  I printed out large ‘R & G’ letters in paper to use as a pattern and layered up icing in pink and blue then placed the pattern on top before cutting out each letter with a sharp kitchen knife. I finished with a pink set for Roni and a Blue set for Robert. I think if I made this cake now I would have cut away the area where the letters overlap so that they sit more flat on the top of the cake. I would also know that if you get icing wet it will always look shiny unless you use a dry paintbrush and brush over some icing sugar till all the shininess disappears! I would also cover the cake board (or upturned tray in this instance!) with a strong colour icing.

Oh well, it’s good to see that I’ve improoved a little since 2007 and have learnt so much!

EmmaMT

P.S. RG’s & S & L we miss you so much already and love you lots. XXXX °<>° XXXX

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How much sugar paste do I need ?

Covering a cake with sugarpaste

When it comes to decorating a cake you need to know how much ingredients you’re going to need. One of the most important ingredients to consider is the sugarpaste. Buy too much and you can always store it for next time, but buy too little and you’re stuck!

I’ve devised the following charts over the years to help me get the right quantities. So, now you can work out how much sugarpaste you  need to cover a cake and a cake board too.

Most of my cakes are about 3″ tall. I roll out my sugar paste to around 5mm thick. That way it has enough give to fit over the edge of a cake without tearing. It can also be smoothed easily. If you are covering a shaped cake add at least 1.25g of sugarpaste to these quantities.

How much sugarpaste to cover a cake

Size in Inches

Quantity  for a Round Cake

Quantity for a Square Cake

6″

600g

750g

7″

850g

875g

8″

975g

1kg

9″

1.1kg

1.25kg

10″

1.45kg

1.5kg

11″

1.75kg

1.75kg

12″

2kg

2.2kg

14”

2.7kg

3kg


Cake boards

I cover cake boards with icing at least a week before I need to add a cake to the board. That way it has time to set really hard and won’t get finger prints when I handle it. But I’ve also recently discovered that you can pop a cake board in a warm oven to speed up the process if you’re on a tight deadline. An hour in an oven at around 50-100 C is all it needs. Leave it to cool completely before you touch the top.

How much sugarpaste to cover a cakeboard

Size in Inches

Quantity  for a Round board

Quantity for a Square board

6″

150g

150g

7″

250g

350g

8″

450g

450g

9″

600g

600g

10″

700g

700g

11″

725g

725g

12″

825g

825g

14”

850g

1kg

I hope this has been helpful. Until next time!

enjoy!

How to make a football shirt cake

How to make a Football shirt cake

To date, I have been asked to make three football shirt cakes and I think it will always be a popular design. Each one has been for a different team and each one has been a new challenge.

So far I have always used a Madera cake (recipe here) for this shape and I bake the cake in a rectangular tin. If you don’t have one tin large enough you can always use two square tins, but this makes it quite tricky when you need to lift the cake onto the board.

The first time I made this design (the Manchester United one) I shaped it so there was a big gap between the sleeve and the body and as I was so inexperienced the icing tore under the arm leaving gaps on both sides. I also didn’t roll the icing out thick enough – It took me a long time to master this trick. Icing should always be around 5mm thick before you even think about lifting it up over a cake. That way there will be plenty of give and it will stretch without tearing much more easily. After three failed attempts I had to patch the holes with more icing which didn’t look great! That’s when I came up with the idea to have a scarf over the cake to disguise any holes, but it has now become a feature. Don’t you love it when a great idea comes out of a huge disaster?




 

Since that first cake I have always made sure that the arms of the shirt are positioned close to the body so there are no awkward crevices to fill and no torn icing!.

Before I start a football shirt cake I always check out the colours and the logos on the shirt. If they really can’t be easily reproduced with icing I have them printed onto sugar paper with edible ink. Most cake decorating shops will do this for you for a small charge but you can email on line companies too, but that takes a lot longer! The print outs come on a sheet of edible paper and you have to cut out the badge carefully with scissors and then dampen the back. As it’s sugar paper it will become very sticky so it’s easy to position.

You will need:

A covered cake board

A Madeira Cake

Football shirt template cut from paper (see here)

Jam

Buttercream

Palet knife

Bread knife

sugarpaste / roll out icing

Icing smoothers

Letter/ number cutters

A damp sponge

To make the cake

Make a template by cutting a piece of paper to the same size as your cake tin. Shape the shoulders and neck then cut out the sides to reveal the sleeves. Make sure you don’t make the shape too intricate. Keep it simple.

Cut the cake in half  through the middle and add the butter-cream and jam with a spatula. I always use seedless raspberry jam(heated up for a minute in the microwave to make it runny). Sandwich the two sides together and make sure that the cake is nice and flat.

Place the template on the cake and cut away the excess with a bread knife. I always put the first layer of icing on the cake before I put it on the cakeboard, that way I make less marks on the board. Do this by smearing a small layer of buttercream over the entire cake. Roll out the shirt coloured icing so that it will cover the length and sides as well as the width and sides of the cake with a little to spare. Lift the icing carefully – supporting it from underneath. When you lift up icing it stretches- a lot!- so the more you support it the better it will look on the cake.

Once you have positioned the icing over the cake use a smoother to smooth all the areas. Use the cusp of your hands to do any corners and edges. Cut away the excess icing and neaten with a flat smoother.

Secure the cake on the cake board with a little royal icing. Keep in mind where you want the scarf or writing to go so there is plenty of space.

Next add the sleeves. I rolled out the black icing, laid it gently over the cake then marked where it needed to be cut and shaped it on a cutting board. That way I wouldn’t mark the white icing or cut into the cake by accident. I used a damp sponge to make the icing stick in place.

Add any sleeve details and badges or logos to the front of the shirt. You don’t have to copy the real shirt exactly. The colour of a shirt is a big giveaway so making it personal with the age as the number on the shirt and the name on the front always seems to go down well.

Cut a narrow strip and create a neck on the shirt.

I cut out the numbers and names from thin icing sugar or floral paste with cutters and let them dry for 1o minutes so that they are easier to handle and don’t loose their shape. If the icing gets stuck inside the cutters rub a little icing sugar inside. If there is a really difficult number/letter I usually cut it twice in one go. That way I can press them both out at the same time with a dry paint brush and only the top shape is damaged and dented, leaving the one on the bottom in perfect shape! 

Position the name and age/team number on the front with either a damp sponge or with edible glue

To make the scarf I make the stripes and roll them flat so they stick together. For the tassels cut a small square of icing the same width as the scarf. Use a sharp knife to cut lines in the square from a few mm from the top. Lift up as you cut each strand as this makes the tassels look like they have been ruffled. Position each tassle underneath the end of the scarf.

Use a small amount of royal icing to secure the scarf to the cake.

And there you have it. A football shirt cake.

Enjoy!

Anyone for tennis…..cake that is?

Last summer we were invited to our brother in-law John’s 50th birthday party. John and Jane live in Cambridge so we don’t get to see them as often as we would like to, so it was great to be able to be part of the celebrations

Tennis Racket cake

I offered to make John’s birthday cake as our gift to him and asked Jane what I should create. John is a tennis coach and is mad on the game, so to make a tennis racket was a no brainer! Jane sent me a shot of his raquet and then the fun began.

The cake had to be a little bit thicker than a regular racket (obviously) so there would be enough cake in the design to eat. I started by making  a paper template of the racket so I could see how I could make the whole design from one rectangular cake.  I cut the basic shape and then removed the parts that dipped in like where the strings are and at the top of the handle then I added all the layers of sugar paste. Icing the strings at the end was the scary part as if I slipped up it would affect all the straight lines I had already done. I just had to go for it.

The ball is also made of more cake but layered up. I literally had to cover the ball shape with sugar paste and then roll it in my hand to make it as smooth and round as possible. I then added the lines on the ball.

John was overwhelmed by the cake which made it a brilliant present to give and a fab surprise!

It’s Melissa and Luke’s birthdays!

Baking birthday cakes is the most fun!

Melissa is my lovely sister in law (you honestly will never meet a more generous person in your life – (and she’s a nurse too!) and it’s her birthday. It just so happens to be her fiancé, Luke’s birthday just a few days earlier and as it was his 30th Melissa asked me to make a cake for him. How could I refuse?  Milly asked me to make him a star themed cake (as he’s a star) which was really cute. But I couldn’t make a cake for Luke and not for Melissa, so I did a mini one for her too!

Luke’s cake

For starters, Luke is a West Ham football supporter, so the colours of the cake are the team’s colours.

I think it works really well. Milly originally asked me to make a chocolate cake but after a random comment about his favourite cake the week before his birthday, she quickly asked me to change it so under all that icing is a really moist Carrot cake and the frosting is cream cheese frosting which is just perfect! Jane Curran the Food Editor on Woman & Home always said that the only way to get cream cheese frosting just right is to use full fat Philadelphia. Use anything else and it will be too runny! So that’s what I did! I couldn’t leave the off cuts alone. Don’t you just love it when you have to level a domed cake once it’s been baked and can eat it all up?

Melissa’s cake

For Milly, I knew it had to be a chocolate cake. I wanted to do something different so I made my favourite devils chocolate cake, but filled it with a raspberry butter cream. The flavouring came from a raspberry flavoured icing sugar from Squires.co.uk. It worked well with the chocolate cake, but I think it could have done with being a little bit pinker, but as the flavouring was all natural there was no point in adding food colourings, and it tasted great!

The design was simple. It was a cake in the shape of a err well cake!, complete with candles made from icing. I wish I had made the candles a few days earlier as they were a bit difficult to make and handle on the same day. The icing loosely covered the top of the cake to look like a dripping butter cream then the wording was added. The candles were then inserted and that was that.

Both Melissa and Luke loved their cakes. And I loved making them!

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