Christmas cupcakes and truffles

Chocolate truffles Christmas cupcake boxes Christmas cupcake in cake box Baileys coffee and orange spice cupcakes Baileys coffee cupcake Christmas Baileys coffee and orange spice cupcakesNow the festivities are done, I’ve found some time to post the baking efforts over Christmas! For the first time I made chocolate truffles – using Nigel Slater’s recipe which is super-simple! I made white chocolate, vanilla and coconut truffles and rich chocolate orange truffles dusted in cocoa powder. Truffles make an ideal gift as they last up to 3 weeks so you can make them in advance for Christmas parties too.

I also made a few Christmas cupcake gifts for family and couldn’t resist using these adorable Christmas cupcake boxes bought from e-Bay! I made mixed spice and orange cupcakes and also Baileys coffee cupcakes. Coffee sponge with Baileys buttercream cupcakes were decorated using my new snowflake cutters, I dusted fondant snowflakes with edible glitter.

The orange and spice cupcakes (orange and spice sponge topped with orange buttercream) I used holly cutters and rolled some red fondant berries and dusted the berries in red edible glitter.

Simple but effective 🙂

Retro computer birthday cake

Retro computer cake Retro computer cake with keyboard and post-it notes Retro birthday computer cake keyboardLooking at a computer everyday isn’t half as exciting as making a cake resembling one!

This retro computer and keyboard cake was a commissioned surprise 30th birthday cake for a friend at work. It’s made up of 3 x 30cm sheets of malted/Malteaser sponge, sandwiched together with malt and vanilla buttercream.

Once cut to shape I covered the screen, keyboard and mouse with Regalice Ivory fondant. I pre-made the keys (copying from a real-life PC keyboard) a couple of days before to allow them to firm up – this makes the fondant easier to write on with edible pen.

The edible start-up computer screen was printed by a local company called Redbrick Printing Solutions onto icing which was then (extremely) delicately transferred to the cake screen.

I then attached the keys to the keyboard (securing with a little blob of buttercream) and asked my caking assistant to write the birthday message and draw the keyboard icons while I made the black fondant USB cable connecting keyboard to computer screen.

You can’t have a computer desk without post-it notes! Perfect for an extra birthday message 🙂 cut out, curled around baking paper and left overnight to firm up.

The perfect birthday cake for techies and computer whizz kids!

Movember cupcakes charity auction – bidding extended!

It’s 1st December – the month of Christmas, and I’m feeling extra generous resulting in the bidding period for the Movember cupcake charity auction being extended until 6pm (UK time) today.

Please pop in your bid on my Facebook page www.facebook.com/getcakedin all proceeds are going to Prostate Cancer UK!

Thanks for reading 🙂

Rose water meringues

A special treat for work colleagues last Monday, I tried my hand at piped meringues sandwiched with buttercream.

This recipe came from a book called Commonsense Baking.

For a batch of 20 meringue sandwiches:

4 medium free range eggs (slightly older eggs are best for meringue)
230g caster sugar
1tsp Rose water
A tiny bit of red food colouring (I used Sugarflair Christmas Red)

You’ll need:
Large bowl
Electric whisk
Piping bag
Plain, round nozzle
Baking paper
A few flat baking trays/sheets

Pre-heat your oven to 120 degrees and cut your baking paper to fit your baking trays.

Whisk your eggs in a large bowl with a hand-held electric whisk until it starts to hold shape. Sprinkle in the caster sugar (a little at a time, whisking between additions).

Add the rose water and food colouring – the colour almost disappears once baked so it depends how subtle you want the colour to be.

Using a knife, pop 4 small blobs of meringue mixture onto each baking tray and put the baking paper on top (to stick to the blobs of meringue), this stops the paper moving around the tray. Fill your piping bag (with nozzle attached) and pipe approx. 40 3cm rounds onto your baking paper, making each one approx 2cm high. Quickly release the nozzle as you pull away to get a pretty peak at the top.

Bake in the oven for 1 hour. After the hour is up, turn off the oven and leave the door ajar to cool the meringues. Meanwhile whip up the buttercream:

75g butter
150g icing sugar
1tbsp milk

Beat for around 5 minutes until it become a pale shade, and resembles whipped cream.

Again, prepare a piping bag with your chosen nozzle (I used the Wilton 1M, but any star nozzle will do). Pipe your buttercream from outside to inside of your meringue (do one at a time) sandwiching another meringue to to the other end.

Sprinkle with edible glitter for a bit of sparkle!

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Alfa Romeo GTV birthday cake

Following on from my best friend Lisa’s Alfa Romeo Spider birthday cake earlier in the year, I simply had to do her boyfriend’s Alfa Romeo GTV car as a cake for his 30th!

A little more experienced with car cakes this time around I made the fondant details such as wipers, lights, spoiler, reg plates and alloys (sprayed with PME silver spray) a couple of days in advance to firm up. Rob’s Alfa is an unusual colour – pearlescent light blue, therefore I used Sugarflair Ice Blue colour for the fondant (the tiniest amount) and sprayed the ‘bodywork’ with PME Pearl spray to try and match the real-life effect.

The sponge is chocolate malt made with malt extract, Horlicks, Malteasers and belgian chocolate. Once constructed and sandwiched with vanilla/malt buttercream, I covered the whole cake in belgian chocolate fondant, then the ice blue fondant prepared earlier. Windows were cut out of the fondant (to reveal the chocolate fondant beneath) and tyre rounds for the alloys to fit into.

I painted the Alfa badges using food colouring, a steady hand and a very small paint brush! The grass is buttercream, coloured green and piped using a multi-hole nozzle – perfect for grass and hair.

Birthday boy was pleased with his Alfa Romeo GTV 3.0 V6 24v (I know this detail as I had to pipe it on the back) and a fab time was had by all HAPPY BIRTHDAY ROB!

Alice in Wonderland inspired tea party wedding cupcakes

My dear work colleague Emma tied the knot with her (now) husband Dave on Friday. She was very brave in taking on the task to make cupcakes for her evening guests herself, as well as actually getting herself ready to be a bride, but asked me to make some cupcakes for her daytime wedding guests.

Their wedding theme was tea party and the couple themselves had done a fantastic job of making a lot of things themselves, so between us we decided that Alice in Wonderland inspired tea party cupcakes would be the perfect compliment to their wedding meal. I made 3 cupcake flavours:

  • Vanilla (made with goats milk and goats butter) for the bride’s mother
  • Vanilla (made with cows milk and cows butter)
  • Rose Water (also made with cows milk and cows butter)

Once the cupcakes were out of the oven and completely cool, I piped a small amount of buttercream onto each cake and topped with a circle of fondant to make a dome. The cupcake decorations were made a couple of days in advance to allow them to harden, making them easier to assemble on the cakes. Everything was made by hand and I used PME flower cutters for the small flowers on each cake (purple signifying Rose Water flavour and blue signifying Vanilla flavour).

The decorations were put onto the cupcakes using royal icing and I also used royal icing to attached the edible pearls and pipe the little white dots onto the mushrooms.

Congratulations to Emma and Dave, glad the cakes went down a storm 🙂

Tyler’s football birthday cake

You can’t have a football party without a football cake! So for my friend’s little boy’s 3rd (hat trick) birthday, a football cake was created and served on a very, very hot September Sunday afternoon.

I baked two vanilla sponges in a pyrex bowl and added one on top of the other (making almost a ball). This was then covered in white fondant. Having to improvise a little with the football’s black pentagons, I printed out a few templates to cut around and (using a picture to guide me) placed each pentagon on carefully, making sure the black fondant didn’t smudge the crisp white fondant of the football! I then marked out the hexagons (all very technical) to finish off the football.

For the grass I used a #233 Wilton grass and hair nozzle to pipe green buttercream (coloured with Wilton’s Leaf Green gel) over the whole board and slightly overlapping the football to blend it and hide the base.

This was the first outing for my Wilton lettering cutters (which saved me many hours of hand cutting). These were placed on small fondant fringed scarfs, being closely guarded by two ladybirds (hand-sculpted by my Mum!).

Enjoyed by all party-go-ers (but reduced to crumbs within ten minutes)!