Thursday, 10 July 2014

So... What Have I Missed?


Remember me? I seem to have been on a lengthy blogging hiatus due cake deadlines and really a little bit of a writer's block when it comes to my blog.

I am definitely not sorry for the amount of time I have spent making cakes - it must mean I am doing something right and it's so lovely that people would like to trust me with their cakes!

Want to see what I've been up to?

I have not been completely buried in cakes: during my absence I have also re-realised my love of cocktails and gin, and gin cocktails. I spent a lovely evening with friends in a gin bar in Newcastle called Pleased To Meet You and it was wonderful. We need to make plans to get there again. More on the doorstep, I enjoyed a couple of cocktails in Middlesbrough, one being a coffee one that promise a sexual taste and definitely delivered!

The Boyfriend and I survived the most recent series of Game of Thrones. (The ending took a bit longer to sink in to my brain than those explosive endings of the last couple of series.) We are currently ploughing our way through Breaking Bad; it's been a hard slog but I am starting to realise it's worth it!

In other news, my Mum and I have started (and since first writing this post, lapsed) a bit of a fitness kick; late nights doing cakes means late night snacking,, and being tried the next day means desperate sugar kicks. We love our treats anyway but the late nights and stress don't help! We're trying very hard to get up at 7am (because when else would we go?) to go jogging. We started off quite positive but it has fallen by the wayside recently. Let's blame the rain. We also went to Aquafit; there wasn't an old lady in sight and man, was it hard!

So that is a little bit of what I have been up to. I have over the past couple of months realised that I have missed writing for this blog so hopefully I will make more effort to fit more posts in from now on!

What's everyone else been up to?

Tuesday, 29 April 2014

A Pretty Pastel 40th Birthday Cake

Hello again!

2 posts in a week, yes I must be in a cake baking lull!

Today I have for you a pretty little 40th birthday cake I made for Laura, who had two birthday cakes from me as she was also the recipient of the Frozen cake I made for Better. I honestly, do not know where they put all this cake...

Although I have been enjoying having the chance to create original cakes for the team at Better, it is quite nice when someone sends you an image and tells you exactly what they want. Laura wanted something like this from Designer Cakes by April but in only 2 tiers.

We left off the diamante top tier and went for the more patterned tiers to make the most of the cake we had. Bless my mother for creating a diamond template and hand cutting all those diamonds! I would have done it but they wouldn't have been anywhere near as good, or straight...

And dots or circles are always a winner in my polka dot covered book!

My favourite part of the cake has to be the bows. Bows on everything! They are made from flower paste in order for them to keep their lovely, loopy shape. I replaced the diamond from the top of the original cake with another bow to keep a bit more consistency throughout the cake.

I did have a diamante 40 to go on the top of the cake but, to be blunt, I didn't like it, so we went for a paste 40, which unfortunately had to wait until it was in place at the party before it went on. But it looked like this:

With the wonderful gift of hindsight, I can now see that the cake would have had an overall better look about it if the bottom tier had been a bit taller. It's more cake and more icing and more stress trying to get the cake covered but I think for future tiered cakes, bigger bottoms is the answer.

Cake flavour: vanilla sponge with jam and buttercream bottom tier and a chocolate top tier

What we listened to: My cat being a pain in the butt

Anything else: This cake and the cake I was making simultaneously for Laura's son restored my faith in myself after a tough few weeks (in which I had quit at least twice.)

See you next time!

Tuesday, 25 March 2014

The Mystery of the Garden Pond Cake (That's not really a mystery)

You know when it's your birthday and you get a cake? You probably expect that you'll get a slice of said cake, right? Well, not so much with this one...

This is a lesson in always cutting your birthday cake.

Chloe bought this cake for her step-dad's birthday and gave it to him a few days before his birthday because he was going to be away. He, however, didn't want to cut it and left without doing so. 

The birthday gentleman was my Mum's cousin so we were able to watch on Facebook as various family members and friends wound him up about how they had really enjoyed their piece of his birthday cake and watching him go mad that they'd cut it. I'm not sure how big they thought this cake was but I think the entire North East had a slice.

As it turns out that this was only half a joke; Chloe had been working her way through the cake while he was away and it had all gone by the time he'd got back. I don't think she was sorry.

People! Cut your cakes! What is the point in having a cake other than to enjoy eating it! if you want a piece of art then I'll make you a fake cake out of play-dough and you can keep it forever. Tuck in! I like to think I put as much effort in to making the cake taste nice as I do making it look nice.

Anyhoo the design for this cake is not my own and is one of many fabulous designs from The House of the Rising Cake, who have very kindly gave me permission to share this cake. Big thank you to them - it was great fun to do!

Cake details: good ol' vanilla sponge with jam and buttercream filling

What I listened to: Day time decorating meant Radio 1 - keeping it mainstream

Anything else: Bit disappointed with the reeds; in hindsight I think I should have tried to hide the green florists tape a bit more but I am hoping it just adds a bit of colour contrast.

Vicky x

Thursday, 13 March 2014

Things I Love Thursday: Sunshine!

Obviously, along with the rest of the nation, I am loving the sunshine and blue skies this week. There's still a chill in the air but who cares when birds are tweeting and the spring flowers are popping up all over the shop.

Image  ©Ian Britton, Flickr
I've been enjoying going out for walks/jogs this week; it just makes it so much easier to leave the house when the sun is out and you don't have to worry about whether you are going to get rained on mid-way through. 

My favourite moment of my walks this week happened on Monday when I was walking past a house where a little girl was helping her grandma in the garden, and asked her: "Grandma, what was your dream?" I didn't get to hear the answer but I love how the sun just makes everyone feel dreamy and wistful. Or she was just being nosey!

Things I Love: a clean car & a no clothes on my bedroom floor (however temporary!), ice cream, always ice cream, rediscovering old favourite music and discovering new music courtesy of the boyfriend's CD collection, movie dates and book club chats, iPhones - I am so late to the iPhone bandwagon but I am currently loving my yellow iPhone 5c, my new I Quit Sugar book and the excitement (yup, excitement!) of starting a sugar-free adventure, this Nerdy Nummies video featuring Miss Piggy & Swedish Chef - AMAZING!!
And I will leave you with possibly my favourite cat video EVER!


Happy Thursday! xx

Thursday, 27 February 2014

Things I Love Thursday: Jam Packed

I am currently midway through a busy week full of cakes that all seem to require a lot of modelling. Fish, hairdressers, brides & grooms, shoes: it's been a varied week.

There have been a few blips but I am very grateful for people getting me back on track; the boyfriend helped me stupendously yesterday afternoon after I was having a meltdown as I was convinced I had ruined the wedding and lives of the couple I am doing a wedding cake for - some encouragement to breathe and emergency kittens solved that. I am also truly grateful to my Mum for sticking with me and these darned cakes even though I was a proper horror this morning; I am sure she thought her days with living with a hormonal teenager were over...

But despite all that it has been a good week. I delivered a cake on Tuesday that I cannot wait to share! I think it may be my favourite cake I have ever done; I didn't want it to go away! Now I just need to power through with the rest of this week's challenges and look forward to some down time and maybe a few gins at some point...

Things I Love: Encouraging boyfriends and Mums with the patience of Job, rocking out to the classic rock that is Meat Loaf and singing along to Disney, coffee cake with coffee buttercream, Emergency Kittens on Twitter, this new advert for Three, Charmed, rekindling my love for searching Pintrest, Disney Villain shoes!

Saturday, 22 February 2014

Star Wars Themed 5th Birthday Cake

Every time I think about this cake I get the Indiana Jones theme in my head. I think Harrison Ford makes Star Wars, and when I think Harrison, I think Indie.

Indie > Hans

I didn't grow up on Star Wars; it's only recently my boyfriend introduced me to it (original, not those new things.) I enjoyed it but it didn't make me want to run off to outer space to save the galaxy in the same way Indiana Jones makes me want to buy a Fedora, run from boulders, destroy Nazis and save all the treasures.

But this wasn't my cake.

Dreams of treasure hunting aside, I definitely did still have a good time making this one. It's fun and not over fussy. I love the 2 tiers with just the stars on and the star impressions on the board. This means nothing is taken from the characters which are really the focus of the cake.

The bottom tier was a yummy chocolate cake and the smaller was a good ol' vanilla sponge.

What do I love most about this cake? Well, obviously that the young chap who asked for it was called...wait for it....

So amazing!

I can't take credit for the design, which belongs to Jane of Jane's Cake Tragedy, although there is nothing tragic about her cakes!

May the Force be with you! (Had to be done.)

Thursday, 20 February 2014

Things I Love Thursday: Cake!

I have had such a fantastic little week! The highlight being a lovely little event at the weekend that I am currently unable to discuss (although if you witnessed a moment of bravery and saw my post last week before I took it down you will be already in the know.) But it involves cake and it went swimmingly.

But the details aren't important, what is important is that, being my own self critic, I proved a lot of things to myself and that I am feeling a little bit proud this week (that's allowed, right?)

So I have been riding the happy waves in to the week with only a minor blip last night when I realised how much I've taken on for next week but we'll survive and it'll get done, as it always does :)

Things I love: <3 blue skies and dry days <3 Florrie cuddles <3 Sherlock (yes, I am late to that party) <3 Netflix on my Wii (yes, late to this too) <3 watching Chuck on Netflix on my Wii <3 Valentine's Day loveliness <3 green tea <3 cheese scones <3 It still being cold enough to use my hot water bottle <3 Body Shop ginger sparkle hand cream <3 Discovering my G&T is better with a slice of lime rather than lemon!

These super cute bots are by Jenn & Tony. Check out there Flickr here and they can also be found on Instagram.