Wednesday, 27 July 2011

Emily's Octonauts Birthday Cake


My friend David was pleased enough with the Mr Tumble cake that he entrusted me with the task of making his daughter's birthday cake. She is a real fan of a cartoon called 'Octonauts'. My eldest son is also a keen fan of the show, so I was very familiar with the characters and instantly knew what the look of the cake should be like.                                                         


 I had a lot of fun making this one. The submarine (called 'Gup-A' as I am reliably informed by my son) is made out of 'rice krispie treats' and I managed to get a smooth surface for the fondant layer by giving it an undercoat of royal icing. The white and purple coral is made by piping royal icing onto dried grape stalks - this gives a really natural 'organic' look.

My son has now decided that he wants an Octonauts cake for his birthday next month,only he 'requires' both the Gup-A and Gup-B on his....along with many other enhancements! I think I'd better start modelling now...

Thanks to David for the wonderful photos!

Thursday, 14 July 2011

Something Different

Although my blog is intended to share my cake making experiences, today I am departing from that to talk about something which is very important to me. Earlier this year I lost my mum to lung cancer, after a long and courageous battle. Her final couple of weeks were spent in the wonderful care of her local hospice. I cannot praise them highly enough for the way they looked after her with such empathy and kindness. She often told us how wonderful the staff were and that nothing was too much trouble for them. I know that it made a real difference to her that she received such a high level of care given with such kindness. They gave her the gift of the best quality of life available in her final weeks of such a debilitating illness, and then they gave us the gift of support through the very difficult hours during and after her passing.

Unfortunately, it is a sad fact that hospices in this country rely heavily upon donations in order to be able to continue their marvellous work. Two thirds of the funding for the hospice that mum stayed in comes from donations - others are not even as lucky as that. So, in memory of my mum, and as an acknowledgement of the fantastic care she received, I have decided to take part in a fundraising event for Pilgrim's Hospice. They need around £9,000,000 a year in order to provide their service to the community!

The event is a Moonlight Walk - it is a night time, 7 kilometre 'stroll' exclusively for ladies and an opportunity to pay tribute to someone special with friends, family and like-minded people. I have never done anything like this before and am a little nervous (particularly because the route is likely to be very hilly!), but I have the support of a good friend to accompany me and the determination to pay tribute to my desperately missed mum.

It would be wonderful if you could sponsor me to do the walk and support the hospice in the process (see link below for details). Your contributions really will make such a significant difference to people's lives!

Thank you​m/team/IPGirls


Monday, 11 July 2011

Nanny's Birthday Rose Cake

Over the weekend we celebrated my Grandmother's 86th birthday. I thought I would try something a little different and decorate a cake with piped buttercream rather than fondant, and this is the result:

I think a couple of these stacked up would make a lovely, simple wedding cake.


Thursday, 7 July 2011

Mad Hatter 'Un-birthday' Cake

My friend's mum is organising a charity event this weekend with the theme of the Mad Hatter's Tea-party. She asked me if I could come up with an 'un-birthday' cake for the event. I had wanted to try a topsy-turvy cake for a while as they look such fun, but the problem was that they didn't need as much cake as would be required to make the cake work. So I experimented a bit and managed to make the top two tiers from cake dummies and 'rice krispie treats'. I found covering the dummies quite difficult as the rice krispies don't make for the smoothest of surfaces, but I am pleased with the Cheshire Cat...he turned out just as I'd planned in my head.

These wonky cakes seem to be becoming quite popular as wedding cakes, although perhaps not with the Mad-Hatter theme!


Saturday, 2 July 2011

Alexander & George's Bicycle Birthday Cake

My son's friends are having a cycling birthday party tomorrow at a local country park and their mums asked me to make them a bicycle cake. I have to admit that at first I was at a loss as to how to do something that might appeal to five-year-olds. I had a trawl around the net and thanks to 'Inspire.Create.Bake' I was able to come up with something fun that I hope they will like. I am pleased with the tread on the tyres - it worked out better than I had hoped. It was quite a challenge to cover the frame of the bike with fondant, the most difficult part being the handle bars.