Wednesday, 27 February 2013

A Couple of Sporting Cakes

Anyone for Cricket/Golf/Rugby?

Here are a few images of a couple of sports themed cakes I did recently. One was a Rugby/Golf mash-up for a 30th birthday, and the other a cricket cake for a 10 year old little lady!

 

Being completely non-sporty myself, I was surprised at how much I enjoyed doing these cakes. I think I liked knowing what kind of environment I needed to create with them both: mostly green but with their own little charms!


Both these cakes also featured little bunnies. I realise these cuties would be dealt with if they turned up on either of these pitches in real life but I just needed something to lift the space a bit. I am now seriously contemplating whether I can get a bunny on every cake I do!


Vicky xx

Monday, 25 February 2013

Channing Tatum Cake

If I were forced to pick a face to put on a cake (and I say 'forced' because this would never be my first choice of cake,) number 1 on my list would not be Channing Tatum, in fact he probably wouldn’t even be on there at all. Instead I would opt for this guy….

My eternal favourite - Dallas Green
Or him…

Direwolf included for extra cuteness
Or him… 

An unexpected delight

Or… Well, I digress, but you get the picture – give me a tattoo-covered rocker or a fur clad, bow-and-arrow-shooting warrior any day, over clean cut, no-necked Channing Tatum. But this wasn’t my cake, and Channing Tatum was the choice for Shona, who wanted the cake for her friend Charlotte’s 18th birthday.

I had a strange sense of panic when I was asked to do this cake, mostly because I wasn’t sure if I was expected to either: a) draw his face myself, or b) do some kind of Channing Tatum modeling out of fondant. Neither of those things would have resulted in a pretty cake.

So I went online and found a Channing Tatum edible icing topper, OK’d this with Shona, and set about ordering it.


The topper was from www.caketopperdesigns.co.uk, arrived in perfect condition and looked fab once it was on the cake.

The instructions for these things always put the fear in you as they talk about how careful you need to be and that it needs to be the right temperature to be able to peel easily from its backing. I removed it by inserting a knife between the topper and the backing. Granted, this was not the most sensible thing to do but I found it safer than trying to bend and over handle the paper and topper. It settled on the cake well, and, as I placed it on before the icing had dried, I didn't need anything to help adhere it.


The lines you can see on the image in the below picture dissolved as the topper took to the cake.


The cake was well received and prompted much discussion about whether or not she could possibly cut into his face to eat him. I seriously hope they did; I’m not sure how comfortable I am with my cakes being part of some Channing Tatum shrine…

Vicky xx

Friday, 22 February 2013

Posting Pops, or: How to give yourself sleepless nights

I mentioned in a previous post that, after putting some cake pops up on my Facebook page, I was asked if I could do some cake pops and if I delivered. I don’t deliver; even when I do cakes for people close to home they always come and collect them. I would, but people just chose to collect.

So being asked if I would post to Cheshire was a bit of a challenge (and a shock!)

Before I replied, I had a look on the internet, and, sure enough, I managed to find this tutorial from Cake Pop Princess, which gave step-by-step instructions on how to package the pops and have them arrive in one piece. Knowing other had successfully  posted made me feel slightly more confident about doing it.

My Mum, however, was not so convinced – she was a bit unsure of whether it would work. (Are we gathering yet that my Mum = font of all knowledge [but not always listened too! :p]) I, however, was reassured by the fact that the lady asking for the pops was a friend’s mum, and because of that I was able to tell her that I hadn’t done it before, wasn’t quite sure what I was doing, and was slightly worried about the whole thing. Oh I do know how to sell myself, don’t I? :p She understood all of this and was really lovely in saying that we should go for it and see the whole thing as an experiment. So kind of her! :)

She asked me to do ‘spring’ cake pops and so picked yellow and pink for my candy melt bases. I had to use the Renshaw melts because there weren’t any pink Wilton ones in stock but they ended up looking quite purple. This was still pretty but not as advertised!


I used white royal icing to pipe little swirly bits on some, made fondant flowers for others, and generally just tried to make them look sweet. I made the cakes pop as late as possible to keep them fresh but made sure I left time for the decoration to dry over night to make sure everything was firmly attached!


When I was sure they were dry, each cake pop was given its own little bag tied with ribbon to keep it all together, and just generally make them look like a gift. 


Next it was on to the packaging! Eeep! I found a box (well done me) and lined it with tissue so it would look pretty once I’d finished. The polystyrene stand went in first and then the cake pops were layered up snugly next to it. Each cake pop was wrapped individually in bubble wrap before it went in the box. 


I put a layer of thick bubble wrap on the bottom and interlocked 6 pops onto this making sure nothing was sticking into anything. Tissue was stuffed in between any gaps so they couldn’t go anywhere. More bubble wrap was put on top of those and then the second layer of pops went on. This was topped with the another layer of thick bubble wrap and finished by folding over the tissue paper.




The final touches were the card I was asked to put in wishing the recipient a ‘happy birthday’, and a little instruction page on what to do with the cake pops!



The whole thing was finally wrapped in brown paper and I wrote a begging note on the side for the post person to be kind to it!


We had a little discussion about how we would post them and tried first to get a few prices for couriers but this seemed to be looking like it would cost more than the price of the cake pops, so we decided against it. We instead braved special delivery with the post office and hoped my packaging would hold up.

And…. It did! Hurrah! I am told the cake pops arrived in ‘perfect’ condition, which was so relieving. Waiting to hear about whether they even arrived was slightly nerve wracking, mostly because I was filled with thoughts that the box was going to arrive crushed to bits and should have been couriered! This is a way I might try in the future, if not just to see how much it would cost.

I am excited that it worked and do look forward to sending more parcels out. Because everyone likes getting post, especially when it’s cake! :D

Vicky xx

Monday, 18 February 2013

Camera Cake


Just a quick post and some photos of a cake I did this weekend for a friend of my cousin's, Alex. She'd recently bought a new camera and is having a great time playing with it so my cousin decided to surprise her with a cake in its likeness.

I think my favourite part of this cake was carving the shape. I was a little scared to start hacking away but once I went for it, it came together nicely.


My least favourite part was covering with icing...So I asked my Mum to do it! It was such an awkward shape, I knew I'd stick my fingers through the icing! My Mum has more experience with these things so I relied on her!


It was nice to see this cake come together once I started putting buttons and markings on it. I bought a white paint to help me with some of the details, but, as you can see from the below picture, it was quite chalky and wasn't as bright as I would have liked. I may need more practice with it.



But in the end, Alex loved the cake and had a happy birthday, which is more important than chalky paint!

Vicky xx

Sunday, 17 February 2013

Valentine's Day Round-Up

Ooops! Again! 

We've had quite a busy week this week with 2 birthday cakes, an order of cake pops and Valentine's orders, so my head has been filled with little other than cake! I blame this for me being a bit scatterbrain and not remembering to take pictures of the stuff I've been doing! Silly!

For Valentine's Day we made 2 orders of cupcakes and a whole bunch of cupcake sundaes and I forgot to take pictures! My Mum saved the day and took some of the sundaes, but I was gutted that I gave out the cupcake deliveries before remembering to take a few snaps - I was so pleased with them too! :'(

This was the picture I was given to base them on:

The original cupcakes came from www.glorioustreats.com
To be honest, the cupcakes looked pretty much just as the picture, apart from I used a different nozzle so my swirls were different. Still gutted I don't have a picture to add to my portfolio though - I may have to recreate them! They were actually very simple but looked so effective. Some of the hearts were made from royal icing, which I did the night before so they could be left to harden overnight, and some from fondant icing.

Our other Valentine orders were cupcakes sundaes, which are basically a fairy cake sat on a plastic champagne flute filled with sweeties!


We did a trial run of these a few weeks ago and people got excited about them. I can't claim to have thought of them (the internet is a great source of inspiration) but they are such a nice idea for any occasion.





The cupcakes were chocolate with a rich chocolate buttercream, apart from 2 that were vanilla with strawberry jam and strawberry buttercream. We tried these originally as strawberry & champagne cupcakes but the champagne icing wasn't great - I think mostly because you couldn't really tell what it was, which made it taste a bit odd. Needs more work.


Our champagne flutes were filled with a variety of things, including: love hearts, liquorice pencils, fizzy liquorice (my fave!), chocolates, minstrels, and smarties.




They were then finished off with a bit of wrap and some ribbon. Such a cute present to a loved one...or yourself :)


Since Valentine's Day has ended I've found so many lovely things I would have liked to have made, like cute owl cookies, or super sweet love birds mini cakes. But I guess I don't really need the excuse of Valentine's Day to make something lovely. And maybe I'll even remember to take a picture!

Vicky xx

Sunday, 10 February 2013

Pretty Coloured Cake Pops



Oh, I have been such a naughty blogger: I have yet to implement any of the features and things I had envisioned starting this month! Slapped wrists for me. I did, however, take lots of pictures for a technique feature I want to start. To cut a long (boring) story short, I have decided to put it off for a while until I can get myself organised.

In the meantime, I have been busy making things. 

 
 
Cake pops! I feel like I am getting a lot more comfortable with cake pops, and practicing definitely helps. It’s all about making sure the cake pops are the right size and aren’t too big, and that candy melts are deep enough in your bowl for easy coverage.

I made these a little while ago. I wanted them to be seen as Valentine ones but, like my whoopie pies, that didn’t turn out. 


But I was still pleased with the final ones – I really like the turquoise with the fuchsia pink. So bright but still sweet and pretty.


And it turns out that someone else liked them too because I got asked to do an order for a birthday…in Cheshire. I don’t live in Cheshire. And I definitely can’t personally deliver there. So next week I will be facing my first delivery challenge and posting cake pops! Eeeek! I will keep you posted about that!

But for now, let’s stay calm and look at another pretty picture…


Vicky x