Monday, 16 September 2013

Long time no see

So hello.

Now whilst i'm under no illusion that anyone has missed me or is struggling to get through the week without a blog post about cake, i have, for SURE, one trillion percent missed it.  So the news is that i don't have my fancy Canon camera anymore *boo* so whenever I've tried to photograph the cakes I've made over the last few months i felt massively dissatisfied with the results and just never put them in a post.  But then i thought, a not quite perfect photo is better than no photo and i like writing about cake too much to give it up.

I've got a fair few cakes lined up between now and Christmas and now seems like the perfect opportunity to get back into the swing of things.  That being said, i thought it might be lovely to briefly include a few photos of the cakes i knocked up recently in this post, just to fill you in :).

Nerds cake in aid of my good friends birthday/leaving do/congratulations for graduating university and not losing your mind party.

My favourite cake I've ever made, mostly because my six year old client was t h r i l l e d. I loved how she could keep the tiara and the tutu even after the sugar coma wore off. 

I actually couldn't quite believe this turned out both edible and aesthetically pleasing.  My boyfriend asked for a tank cake to celebrate his 21st Birthday (totally normal) and i literally based the design on a clip art picture of a tank with a 'that looks about right' attitude.  The stupid flag took me as long to make as the entire rest of the cake.

I hope someone out there is still reading,

Until next time

Louise xxx

Monday, 29 April 2013

So apparently Spring has Sprung ☀

In short, the last few weeks have been rather crappy.  If I'm not revising I'm working and if I'm not working or revising I'm doing assigments or wondering what in the world possessed me to choose a degree which included a statistics exam. With that said, theres been no time to make cakes, le sigh.  HOWEVER, I woke up on Sunday morning determined to put aside all the rubbish that was stressing me out, just for one afternoon, and do a spot of baking.  Sunday is my favourite day of the week, and that combined with the loooverly 'spring-ish' weather, just put me in a stupendously good mood. It's been ages since I've make a cake just for me, so I pretty much just chucked stuff in a bowl with minimal accurate measuring and hoped for the best*. 

I was aiming to make the kind of cake you would eat at a garden tea party in the sunshine, maybe whilst wearing a fancy hat.  I used the sponge cake recipe from my orange cake (because it was literally the softest cake in the universe, like eating clouds), but substituted the ground almonds for extra self raising flour.  I also added a sizeable blob of Sugarflair 'pink' food colouring gel and baked for around 20 minutes.  The buttercream (which apparently "tastes like ice cream") is a mixture of unsalted butter, icing sugar, vanilla extract and milk.  I was aiming for a bright white coloured buttercream, which is apparently almost impossible, since the yellow of the butter always gives that off-white tinge.  Anyway, I found this, you only need to add a small amount and the results are pretty impressive, if you're into making things white-er. erm.

1) Purdy 2) My dressing table 3) THE SUN IS OUT QUICK GET YOUR FLIP FLOPS ON BEFORE IT SNOWS AGAIN 4) The first sponge cake layer with a generous dollop of buttercream 5)one for me one for the cake 6) It's hard to cope with the pink and red clash 7) This is always the point where my cakes look their worst and i have to go sit in the bath to calm myself down 8) can't think of a caption 9) bacon.


 I took myself and my fancy lady cake to Katie's house and Katie, Martina and I painted our nails, braided each others hair, drank knock off Disaronno and watched the entire internet.  I guess it's all aboard the productivity train (cringe) now until the end of May, but it was lovely to have a day off from life and be in my own little world. 

p.s Less that 1 month until summer ☀.

*OBVIOUSLY i dont do this when i'm being paid, jeeez.

Louise xxx

Monday, 25 March 2013

Chocolatey Fudgey Goodness

Quite frankly, it would be rude to visit your gran on her Birthday without a ginormous chocolate fudge cake in tow, wouldnt it? When I was thinking of ideas all I could picture was Borris Bogtrotters cake in Matilda and I'm not going to lie I was salivating.  Whenever I've tried to make chocolate cake in the past it's always turned out either too bitter, too dry or not even taste like chocolate at all.  So in a time of crisis who else would you turn to other than good 'ol Nigella. You can find the recipe I used here, and provided you are dead on with your measuring (no guesstimating) then I guarantee you won't be disappointed.  My Gran was absolutely thrilled, although she's a bit cross with me for ruining her diet and shes on -12,000 weight watchers points for this week. YOLO.

The only alteration i made to the original recipe was the (secret ingredient, if you will) was 2 tablespoons of salted caramel sauce (from M&S) added to the chocolate buttercream.  That stuff is so darned delicious that you might find yourself plonked in front of the telly, jar in one hand and a spoon in the other, *cough*.  I bought the little fudge chunks on a whim the other day, just cause i really like fudge to be honest, but they turned out to be the perfect finishing touch.  I had a stab at being a little bit fancy too and swirled some of the salted caramel sauce on top too, get me. 


cake shenanigans aside, it was utterly lovely to see my Grandma and Grandad this weekend in their little caravan next to the sea (it's actually hanging off the edge of a cliff).  Since i had such a swell time i thought it add a few extra pictures too, i hope you don't mind :)

1)ladies and gents; my gran 2) a bit of light-hearted gambling 3)proper Grandma's house food 4)Nothing like a game of Monopoly to destroy a family 5)I love me a ham sandwich 6)speaks for it's self really :)
Cheers for reading boys and girls! Have a cracking week,

Thursday, 7 March 2013

A fancy-pants orange cake

Considering how much i like to cover things in glitter and make edible jungle animals, you can understand how difficult i found it to step away from the brightly coloured buttercream and make a fancy orange cake fit for a lady.  The lady in question was my good pal Sophies Mum, and she wanted a simple orange cake with minimalist decoration.  Now, I am the first to admit that im not that great at the baking part of the whole cake making shabang and (heavily) rely on my tried and tested recipes to make sure things don't go tits up (to put it mildly). So making a cake like this was undoubtably going to be a challenge as it meant it had to taste amazing, since theres no covering it up with an extra blob of icing or strategically placed ribbon.  Challenge accepted.

1) an aerial view as it were 2) oopsie 3) caramelising my oranges like a boss 4) pretty gold leaf 5) the finished product 6) im getting good at this close up lark.

The recipe i used is BBC Good Food jobie and should you want to give it a go you can find it here.  To ensure maximum orange flavour i slice the cake into two halves and slapped some orange curd in between.  For the top i went a bit wild with my very tight budget and bought some gold leaf as a simple and classy finishing touch, and i think the gold colour compliments the orange perfectly. I like the based of the cake where it meets the board to look clean cut and neat so i added a little orange ribbon, just to tidy it up a bit. 

I absolutely adore how it turned out and it just goes to show that simple doesnt mean boring.

Once again thank you for reading and have a lovely day,


Thursday, 28 February 2013

This is a cake with an elephant on top, need i say more?


So this week i made my first ever cake that wasnt for friends, family, or someone who felt sorry for me so let me make them a cake for money- HELL YES.  However, it also feels like quite a bit more pressure since theres 100% no room for error, i want to impress, and the only way to do that is to pump out some badass and as near to utterly perfect as humanly possible cakes.  Thankfully again the brief was quite fun and there was plently of opportunity to experiment and make something fabulous.  The cake was for a ladies birthday, and i was told she 'likes purple, elephants and is a bit of a hippie'- to quote. (im sorry if you're reading this but your friend called you a hippie). 

I won't even attempt to explain the thought process behind this 'masterpiece', one minute i was making a sophisticated birthday cake fit for a lady and the next i had glitter on my face and an edible elephant the size of a tennis ball sat on my kitchen counter.  So enough said, here it is...

1) The finished project 2) since i dont have any business cards an actual card will do :) 3) A tower of sponge cake 4) a lil close up 5) this took me 2 hours 6) and then i doused it in glitter.

The whole cake is made up of four layers with buttercream (in a smashing shade of purple) in between followed by a crumb coating of said buttercream and a layer of white ready roll icing.  I had such a hard time getting the icing to be purple, the colour i wanted was a bright violet but no matter how much sodding food colouring i put in i got lilac- oh well, c'est la vie.  I think it looks cool how the layers of icing are overlapping, makes it slightly more interesting, and i'm even more impressed that this was totes by accident.  afterwards i brushed some glitter here and there, added some silver sparkly ribbon and voila! 

I am reasonably pleased with it, except i do think it looks quite like a 'Welcome to the world baby *insertnamehere*' cake- but i'm trying not to think about it, i think it's the lilac.

Thank you ever so much for taking the time out to read my little post- it means the world :)

Louise xx

Saturday, 23 February 2013

Lovely Tom's 21st

Before I start, my name's Louise and I make (am obsessed with) cakes, and it turns out i'm not too shabby at it.  I thought it might be fun to document the cakes i make to inspire anyone else who loves to bake, and if you dont care to bake then just look at the pictures :)

So this week I was handed  the task of creating a 21st birthday cake for my good friend Tom with little guidance other than 'it MUST incorporate fireworks'.  With a brief like that (and the promise of generous payment) it's almost impossibe to refuse.  I'd never made a cake for a fella before and decided to stick with blue/turquoise (boys like blue right?) and gold, since that meant I got to play with edible glitter again- hurrah. I think the end result looks kind of like my imagination exploded onto a cake and as usual I didn't stick to my original plan, but I think it turned out pretty okay.

1)them ingredients 2) exactly why you ought to wear a pinny 3) turquoise and gold buttercream 4) crumb coating the cakey-cake and i finally mastered a paper piping bag 5) a second and smoother layer of buttercream 6) i sprayed on gold glitter spray and then brushed on gold glitter powder to give a lovely gradient effect 7) the finished product in terrible lighting 8) a lil' close up 9) you asked for fireworks and I delivered.

Big up to Paul and Mary (Hollywood and Berry respectively, obvs) for their sponge recipe which has become my safety blanket for basic sponge cake and is lifted straight from the 'Great British Bake Off' book.  The cake is made up of three layers, with strawberry jam and buttercream in between the layers.  The buttercream itself is just a combination of icing sugar, milk/cream and butter and you should probz consult Mr Hollywood about that recipe too.  The gel food colouring i used is the best! it's from lakeland and is a mixture of a 'sky blue' and 'moss green'.  I only had to use a little and the colour is crazy vibrant. The gold glitter spray i used from a co-op i believe, the edible gold glitter cost me an arm and a leg (£2.50) for a teeny tiny vile from Fenwick.

PS: A thousand appologies to my wonderful flatmate Toby for putting up with the trail of destruction my baking leaves behind, and i hope the photo's are okay- i'm still playing with my new camera :)

Louise x