Thursday, 22 April 2010

Spring has sprung

I've not blogged in nearly a month. Between the two and half weeks Easter hols with the kids, a few more baking jobs than usual and work in the garden, it's all been a bit of a blur.

I've used some of my college-taught skills in real, paid work - the best indication that it was a constructive use of my time and my fledgling business's money. I got a real kick out of modelling with marzipan at the end of last term, and it gave me the confidence to try making a garden cake for a 70th birthday.

I covered the cake with white sugarpaste over the marzipan. Next, I cut a circle out of the top of it and inserted a circle of green sugarpaste as a lawn, and cut a wiggly corner out for the vegetable patch.

I used sugarpaste to make the cauliflowers and orange carrot bases, with marzipan coloured green for the leaves and carrot tops. The terracotta pot was sugarpaste too. The picnic blanket, trowel, book and champagne bottle were all marzipan. I dipped the top of the champagne bottle in edible glue, then in very fine gold powder (edible, of course) to get the foil effect. The trowel was an absolute pig to get right. I gave it about 4 coats of silver paint, which was sticky horrible stuff and ruined one of my nice brushes. I don't think I'll try that again!

The soil was demerera sugar over a thin layer of royal icing to hold it in place. I used royal icing to pipe the foliage using two shades of green and 3 different sized leaf tubes in an effort to get a nice lush effect. The flowers were sugarpaste in yellow and peach, carried across as a detail on the picnic blanket to make it all fit together nicely. The base of the cake was edged in yellow satin ribbon.

On the whole I'm very pleased with it. I know that damned number 7 looks like a number 1 so everyone said "it's for a 10 year old?" But it's the only number 7 I had and I totally suck at piping. But in the main, it's a pretty cool cake.

I also did bags of heart cookies as party favours for a 50th anniversary. I printed the names and date of the wedding on parchment and cut it into labels. I tied up the bags and labels with pink gingham ribbon, and they did look just gorgeous. I think I'll do something similar for the next party we have. The customer was delighted.

The third job this month - apart from the cake boxes and the deli cakes, of course - was a 1st birthday party cake and 48 mini cakes. The party was in lieu of a naming or christening, and the customer wanted pretty pastels and a Number 1 on the cake.

I basically did a version of B's birthday cake, but with flowers I'd piped myself. I used an edible marker pen to add a little detail to the pink butterfly at the front of the cake and edged the base of the cake with tiny lilac fondant flowers.

The mini cakes were in the same colours - lilac, lemon yellow and pink - and some had the same flowers or butterflies on to carry the theme across. The rest had sprinkles in the appropriate colours. I do so with I'd thought to take photos of the minis in their boxes; they looked just gorgeous and really set off the large cake beautifully.

The customer was utterly delighted. She texted me after the party to say the cakes were a triumph and she'd been tempted to pretend she'd made them herself. I'm so pleased it went well.

I'm getting a bit over-ambitious with thoughts for L's birthday next week, and my first wedding cupcake order looms.

1 comment:

  1. All looking fabulous, so proud of you :) x