Now 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 🙂
A scorching week of beautiful sunny weather really helped soften the butter for this birthday cake, celebrating Gary’s nans (Peggy) 85th birthday.
On finally finding a trustworthy recipe (the link to this recipe is below) the cake was baked in two 8 inch sandwich tins and prepared for decoration.
Firstly I made a batch of coffee buttercream for the centre of the two sponges and then continued all over the outside of the cake. Using a cake smoother, I went around the edges two smooth it off, and then chopped up more walnuts to gently pat around the sides of the cake (a messy job, but worthwhile for all those walnut fans). The excess plain coffee buttercream was then kept to one side while I prepared a second batch of coffee buttercream, this time adding a few teaspoons of red, (mixed with a little blue) food colouring to get a soft vintage pink tone.
A dollop of each colour was added to a piping bag fitted with a Wilton 1M nozzle, I then piped a number of roses onto the top of the cake. Start in the middle of the cake and pipe from the centre outwards (unlike the way you’d usually pipe onto a cupcake, where you would start from the outside and work towards the centre). Ensuring that all areas were covered with rose swirls, I popped an edible pearl into the centre of each rose and lightly sprinked with white edible glitter.
I also decorated a few chocolate cupcakes with chocolate buttercream roses to accompany the main birthday cake.