Monday, 27 April 2009

Saturday, 18 April 2009

High School Musical moment...

This week I had a High School Musical week. I haven't seen the films myself (another 'I'm so old' moment) and looking at other HSM cakes on the internet it's a bit of a challenge to create a cohesive design. The final creation was slightly different to the agreed design but this was for one of my regular clients, Debs, and she's happy for me to tweak the look to make it just right. The cake was for her daughter's fifth birthday - Freya, I hope you enjoyed your HSM party!

Thursday, 9 April 2009

Oooo, red.......

As a cake designer I enjoy reading articles and blogs about cake recipes and new techniques and have often come across the recipe for Red Velvet Cake on sites from the US. This cake doesn't seem to have made it to these shores yet but I have always been intrigued by it and, having a quiet afternoon, decided that I was going to make one! I used a recipe from a blog I enjoy called PinchOfSalt and thought I would share it with you:

Red Velvet Cake

250g sifted cake flour *
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
15g cocoa powder (unsweetened)
2 oz. red food colouring (seems to be approx. 2 little bottles of the stuff!)
113g unsalted butter, at room temperature
300g granuated sugar
2 large eggs, at room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
240ml buttermilk, at room temperature
1 teaspoon white vinegar
1 teaspoon baking soda

* The cake flour definition I found states ‘has a 6-8% protein content and is made from soft wheat flour. It is chlorinated to further break down the strength of the gluten and is smooth and velvety in texture and is good for making cakes’. I don’t know if we can get cake flour in the UK but apparently you can make your own – 100g cake flour is equivalent to 84g plain flour plus 15g cornflour. Sift the flour once before measuring, then sift again with the other dry ingredients.

1. Preheat oven to 350oF, 175oC. Butter one deep 9-inch round cake.
2. Sift together the cake flour, baking powder, and salt into a medium bowl; set aside. In a small bowl, mix food colouring and cocoa powder to form a thin paste without lumps; set aside.
3. In a large bowl, beat butter and sugar together until light and fluffy. Beat in the eggs, one at a time, then beat in vanilla and the red cocoa paste, scraping down the bowl with a spatula as you go. Add one third of the flour mixture to the butter mixture, beat well, then beat in half of the buttermilk. Beat in another third of flour mixture, then second half of buttermilk. End with the last third of the flour mixture, beat until well combined, making sure to scrape down the bowl with a spatula.
4. In a small bowl, mix vinegar and baking soda (it IS supposed to fizz!) Add it to the cake mixture and stir well to combine then, without delay, scrape into tin and place in the preheated oven. Bake for 40-45 minutes. Check early, the cake is cooked when a toothpick inserted in the centre comes out clean.
5. Cool the cakes in the tin on a wire rack for 10 minutes. Allow cakes to cool completely before frosting.

Layer with buttercream, cover with icing, then eat!
This was my first slice of red velvet cake and it won't be my last (and yes, I did nearly lick the plate clean!)

Monday, 6 April 2009

Happy Birthday Leo!

It was our nephew's first birthday last Friday so Dave and I travelled down to Taunton to visit him (and his mum and dad of course!) He hadn't had chocolate before so his parents requested a chocolate cake (my chocolate mud cake is becoming quite a speciality of mine) and I decided upon a two tier jungle themed cake. The bottom tier was covered in green icing to represent the lush green hills of Africa, the top tier was covered in blue icing and decorated with clouds to represent the sky and the yellow number one represented the sun!
The first thing Leo did when the cake was brought out was pick up a monkey and bite his head off!!
This photo of the decapitated monkey makes me smile!

Friday, 3 April 2009

The Flowerpot(s) said...they did speak didn't they? (flob-a-lob-a-lub)

The flowerpot cake from start to finish!

Do you think the third picture looks at bit like an alien??!
I painted the 'terracotta' pot using brown dusting powder mixed with cacao butter. The result looked so realistic that the recipient didn't know how she was going to cut through the pot!
The mini cupcake tin I have was perfect for drying the flowers, giving them body and life.