The jubilee is nearly upon us and it’s time to say
to ‘Big Hungry Gnomes’ for winning the Lakeland Giveaway.
(I’ve emailed you!!)
The Jubilee street party
I started “celebrating” the Jubilee last year back in a freezing cold and wet December when I did a photo shoot for Talking Tables. I made a gazillion cupcakes for the shoot as they have so many gorgeous ranges and tons and tons of really cool cakestands – you know the one’s that are made of the ultra strong cardboard that slot together.
I had to set up a street party scene outside with mis-matched chairs and their fab goodies like the bunting, tablecloth, crowns, cake thrones, flags and these Jubilee cake pop tops complete with Buck house, guards, Queenie and Prince Philip and of course the corgis. I completely love them! Aren’t they cute?
It was at this point that I re-fell in love with Victoria Sponge cakes. I made this one from my Mary Berry Baking Bible and it’s fantastic as it not only tastes amazing but it’s bigger than most recipes. A door step wedge of cake is what I like!
Here I am with the photographer’s assistant Henry on another of the shots. I can’t tell you how challenging it is to shoot summer in the middle of winter! This range is really summery and it was dark and gloomy all day and pitch black by 4pm! Tomorrow I am starting a week long shoot with Talking Tables again, only this time we will be shooting Christmas ranges- so roaring fires on the hottest day of the year!
The main Street Party shot took a while to get set up. All of a sudden our lovely photographer Oliver Gordon got me to get everything in place really quickly as he said it was about to rain. ” No, it’ll be all right” I said. I always say this and guess what? 30 seconds after he took the final shot it tipped it down! We had to race to get everything inside really quickly. Rain drops on a dusted Victoria Sponge cake does not make for a nice shot!
Looking at the end result you would never know that it rained so soon afterwards. It looks like a lovely bright summers day doesn’t it. Let’s hope it’s this summery for the big day next week!
Need some advice, sorry to disturb you with this….
My princess is turning 3 next month and I am determined to make her a castle cake (sadly no budget for having it done – £105!).
Made a trial with a castle shaped tin, not happy with the result. Looked quite horrible once iced!
Googled the subject and found a reasonably simple squary version on YouTube (bearing in mind I love cooking but cake decoration isn’t by far my greatest skill…). Not as pretty as the one with cylindrical towers but achievable, I’ll try this during the long Jubilee weekend, although what I’d really like is one with towers!
A friend suggested a normal square cake with towers made of readymade Swiss rolls and ice cream cones. Sounds easy, but not too sure.
You make very difficult decorations look much easier. Would you be able to share some tips with me please!
(Sorry about the long message)
Thanks for your comment. I know exactly where you’re coming from. I made my daughter Darcey a castle cake for her third birthday(three years ago now!!) It was the first cake I had made for her and it didn’t turn out quite as neat as I had planned (and the cake was really flat!) but the turrets I made weren’t that hard to do! You can see my cake on the ‘More cakes’ page on the blog. I think using a square or round cake for a base and adding turrets is the easiest option.
How I made the turrets
I rolled out pink sugarpaste and cut it into rectangles. I then covered toilet roll tubes with clingfilm and rolled the sugar paste around the tube. I made one edge of the sugarpaste damp and stuck it to the other edge and closed the back. I cut out a few squares with a cutter (but you could use a sharp knife) for windows and left them for a week to dry out. Next time I would make them two weeks earlier so they were really hard and easier to handle. Once nice and firm remove the cardboard tube.
To make the roof of each turret I cut out a circle from a piece of cardboard (cereal boxes are perfect) I then cut a chunk out of the circle (just less than a quarter) pulled the two edges together and stuck them down with cellotape to create the right shape. I then cut out a circle from sugarpaste and gently formed the roof over the cardboard. Again leave it as long as possible to dry. Once completely dry I added scallops on the roof to look like tiles in food colouring using a very thin paintbrush. Once dry remove the cardboard.
To assemble I used royal icing inside the turrets and also to keep the turrets on the cake.
Darcey loved this cake and I am sure your daughter …sorry, Princess, will love yours too. Just add in plenty of pink and plenty of flowers and you’re onto a winner!
I’d love to see how you get on. Please pop a photo on the Cakes, Bakes and Cookies, Facebook page after the party.
Thanks for the excellent tips and overall for coming back to me!
(bought the cake decorating book you recommended by the way, very useful!)
During the jubilee break I tried the swiss roll idea and covered the cake with sugar paste (something I haven’t done before!). Some lessons learned:
– Swiss rolls are too thick and looked inelegant and out of proportion. You have to unroll part to give them the right size. For the real cake I bought some 1.5” pipe and will use it to form the turret, covered with sugar paste – will have to stay inside I’m afraid as will do it today and the party is on Saturday!
– Covering the cake with sugar paste is not as straightforward as I thought, a bit more of practice is definitely required to have a nice result. For “the” real cake I am going to stick to royal icing, which I am more used to. It might be old fashioned but at least the cake is going to look better!
– Roof for the turrets I used ice cream cones, they look reasonable well and plan to use them again on the real cake.
– Sugar cubes at the edge give the look of a real castle edge. I liked that and will use it on the real cake.
– Flowers, little edible pearls here and there, a Peppa Pig princess and a flag from a little castle my children have will give it the final touches.
Will gladly upload a picture of the final result on your FB page. Next week, once I am less stressed. Between the castle cake and the stormy weather forecast for the weekend I am a bit freaked!
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