Surprise 60th birthday cupcakes

Chocolate 60th birthday cupcakes Vanilla 60th birthday cupcakes 60th birthday cupcakes 60th birthday cupcakesA lovely lady called me up and asked about having some birthday cupcakes made as a surprise for her friend who happens to live in my village (small world, as they say).

She’d seen my coffee and walnut cake covered in buttercream roses, so it was decided that these 60th birthday cupcakes would use rose piping and be chocolate and vanilla. Indulgent and pretty was the brief 🙂

The cupcakes were decorated with edible pearls and fondant discs with ’60’ on top.

So here they are… presented in a 12 hole card cupcake box, fastened with a ribbon. Happy 60th birthday Jan!

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Sally & Adam’s Wedding cakes (including a Groom’s cake)

What a complete honour to be asked to make my friends Sally & Adam’s wedding cakes! Not only that, but I was a guest at the big day too – and what a wonderful day it was 🙂

Their wedding cake was 3 tiers of belgian chocolate Sachertorte cake, covered in vanilla butter cream roses. With the wedding theme being ‘secret garden’ I also added belgian chocolate ivy leaves around the bottom. There are many Sachertorte recipes out there, but I used the Mary Berry recipe (from the Great British Bake Off) which was practised a few times before the real thing!

After a bit of deliberation, we decided on 3 flavours of cupcake; vanilla, strawberry and Malteaser. For the strawberry cupcakes I popped a spoonful of strawberry jam (from France) into the centre of each baked cake and piped strawberry butter cream over the top.

The Groom (Adam) has been working hard restoring a beautiful early 70’s bay VW Campervan which was the couple’s wedding car, it is stunning! So what better groom’s cake than a celebration of this gorgeous camper. The cake was a light fruit cake, covered in Anton Berg marzipan (which is super difficult to roll out by the way!). I did my best to model their cute little pooch ‘Lily’ to sit beside the van.

Rose flavour cupcakes

On finding Rose Water extract for a decent price in Lakeland, I couldn’t wait to try it out. Adding just a teaspoon of rose water to my cupcake batter delicately flavoured the sponge – some said it was similar to turkish delight.

I decided to frost with a touch of pink (just a small amount of red liquid food colouring), lightly rose-flavoured buttercream. I used the Wilton 1M piping nozzle to get the rose shape (working from the inside, outwards) and decorated with a few small edible pearls and handmade green fondant leaves. I would recommend leaving the fondant leaves off of the butter cream if transporting or storing overnight as they tend to get a bit sticky and floppy once in contact with the butter cream 🙂

Another decorating idea is to use crystalised rose petals – whip up egg white until frothy, gently paint a little on the front and back of a clean, dry rose petal and evenly sprinkle with sugar. Leave to dry overnight or until crispy.

Coffee and walnut birthday cake (covered in roses)

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.

http://www.awtonline.co.uk/recipe.php?recipeid=369

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.