Well, I did it. More buttercream flowers; this time for my Mom's 70th birthday cake.
All of the flowers and leaves were piped from Swiss Meringue Buttercream (SMB). Both the cake and buttercream were flavoured with lemon, and the sponge was brushed with a lemon syrup for some extra zing and to balance the richness of the buttercream.
The cake was ok although I probably wouldn't say it was the best I've ever made and I'd probably use a different recipe next time as it didn't scale well to make such a big cake. That said, I was pretty pleased with the overall appearance. Definitely more practice needed to master SMB though, as I didn't find it that easy to make or work with this time - especially in a warm kitchen! I've also concluded that I need to buy myself some more piping nozzles and couplers to make things easier and a little less messy! 😄
This was my first attempt at piped roses and Swiss Meringue Buttercream (SMB). Safe to say I will never go back to standard buttercream as the extra effort for the SMB is well worth it! Quite pleased with the result but now have the bug to try out other types of buttercream flowers, so watch this space!
Christmas just wouldn't be Christmas without some festive cupcakes...
or of course, a few reindeer!
It's taken a while but finally mastered the antlers this year. No more drooping! Hoorah!
My first attempt at tuile biscuits. Best sprinkled with cinnamon sugar. Lots of patience needed for these unless you are only making a few! Be warned a little mixture goes a very long way and you WILL burn your fingers!
This was a real challenge as after several practice runs, it became very clear that there's a very good reason that cakes contain both eggs and wheat! This 'free from' version contained gluten and wheat free flour and orgran egg replacer.
These piggy pops were made using Silver Spoon Strawberry Buttons and were really hard work because the 'chocolate' topping didn't cover the cake pops very well (too thick) and then took several hours to set - in fact, after 3 hours, there was still no sign of them setting. :o( The topping is also very sweet, and truthfully, quite sickly. I didn't want to use the candy melts they use in the US, as these seem very unnatural but they would have probably given much better coverage - not sure about the taste though, as I've never tried them. Also, the cake pops I made were whole round mini cakes (not shaped from cake crumb and buttercream). I think this added to the difficulty of covering them as they weren't perfectly smooth.
The bumble bee was covered using the Silver Spoon Orange Buttons. Again, coverage was difficult but the orange buttons were somewhat easier to use than the strawberry ones, as they weren't as thick once melted. The bee was made from the same batch of cake pop bases I used for the pigs, so I'd work on creating a smoother base cake to do these again. Overall effect is quite good though. The stripes were put on using black icing. I wasn't eating these, so would look for a tastier alternative if I was making them for consumption!
I'd had enough by the time I was making the fish (as you can probably tell)! I'd waited 90 minutes for the Orange Button fins and tail to set, so I could decorate the fish and tidy the kitchen but got fed up of waiting in the end and codged it all together, just long enough to take the photo. It's very rough but you get the idea. You certianly need a lot of patience to make these and there's a lot of hanging around, waiting for the covering to set. If you're patient enough though, I think you could get some great results. I was way too impatient and was trying to decorate them while they were still wet (well, it had been hours!). For now, this was just an experimental run. Watch this space for future efforts as I'll certainly be trying to improve on these!
These cupcakes were made for a friend's 40th bithday. The colour theme was silver and black but as neither are particularly appetising colours and I didn't fancy giving everyone a black tongue, I opted for a simple Victoria Sandwich recipe with a white cream topping, adding the colour with the cake cases and decorations. I made 60 in total. I struggled a bit to decide on a 'manly theme', as I didn't want to make anything too girly (flowers, butterlies etc.). In the end, I opted for coloured sprinkles, '40' plaques and handmade (flower paste) champagne bottles. Unfortunately, I only had a gel-based black food colour to paint the bottles with and by the end of the evening, they'd started to run. :o(
Lesson learned: powder colours next time.
This cupcake bouquet was made for my Mom's 65th birthday. The pale roses are lemon and the pink ones are raspberry. It took a bit of work to assemble and transport the cakes without damaging them but I was actually very pleased with the end result!
This mini afternoon tea was made to celebrate Mother's day. Chocolate orange roses, mini chocolate cupcakes, chocolate hazelnut bites and tiddly Victoria sandwiches
I love Viennese whirls but have never made them before. The good news is, they're a lot easier than you might think, so I will definitely be making these again soon! Plan to attempt a chocolate dipped version next time! Yum yum!
These cakes were made for afternoon tea in Manchester
- a fab start to Helen's hen party!
Mini Carrot & Walnut Cakes
Rustic Bakewell Tart
Celebration Lemon Cupcakes
Black Forest Cupcakes