Baking for Therapy

A change from blue……

Hi,

So I finally got to make a baby cake in pink! This one was for my friend’s daughter’s baby shower last weekend.

Although it’s a different design, the elephant theme continued, but ‘she’ at least had a pretty pink bow.

I got to try out a new recipe too. Chocolate and cherry cake. I used fresh sweet cherries and adjusted my chocolate cake recipe to allow for the extra moisture. I also made a cherry jam using this recipe. It was yummy, but wasn’t the best for a layer cake, (it was a bit crumbly!) but I made it work by slathering it liberally with ganache. Once that had set I had a nice base for the sugarpaste.

Two tier baby shower cake
Elephant cake topper

After that I marbled grey and white for the bottom tier and made pink ruffles for the top tier. One cute baby elephant later….et viola 😀

I used ‘The Sugarpaste’ recommended by Rachel’s Enchanting Cakes after I couldn’t get my usual Renshaw’s Extra. It’s a similar quality and covered the cake really well, despite it being a really hot day! I got ‘The Sugarpaste’ from The Cake Decorating Company, and I get the ‘Renshaw Extra White’ from Sugar and Crumbs, which is where I now buy all my supplies (except when they were temporarily out of stock!) I’ve noticed that they are also stocking a new brand of sugarpaste ‘Select Ireland’ which looks like it works in a similar way, so I’ll definitely be giving that a try when I need to restock 😀

While I’m mentioning it, I’d like to chuck my twopennorth in and highly recommend Sugar and Crumbs as a stockist of all things cake.

It’s not just that they have a fantastic range of products, it’s the personal touch they bring to their customer service which is second to none. They also have a really friendly Facebook Group where bakers of all abilities can share their cakes, and pick up hints and tips, and they regularly do ‘Facebook lives’ with guest tutors doing tutorials in real time, and it’s all free! Why not give them a try?

Well, that’s it from me

Stay safe and healthy,

Debbie ❤️

Disclaimer: I have not been asked to promote Sugar and Crumbs. All opinions are my own, and based on personal experience with the company 😀

Baking for Therapy, Cake decorating, Cakes, Bakes, and Me, Health

Too hot to bake?

Hi!

Here in the UK, we’re a bit unfamiliar with the concept of ‘Summer’. Oh, we know it’s a season that follows spring and precedes autumn, but more often than not the lines between are somewhat ‘blurry’. But not at the moment. At the moment it’s 32 Celsius 🌞 and because we’re not used to it, we’re not very well prepared. Trains have been cancelled because the overhead lines are overheating for goodness sake 🥵

For me, it’s both a bonus and a burden. Because I have nerve damage from my spinal cord injury, my skin is hypersensitive. This means that any extremes in temperature cause pain. So although I love the sunshine, I don’t cope well unless I can cool down.

Hence my hubby buying an inflatable paddling pool and blowing it up in the back garden this afternoon bless him. It’s funny but if I can keep my feet cool it helps the rest of me feel cool too!

Anyway, I haven’t felt like being in a warm kitchen this week, so no baking! Fortunately I haven’t had anyone to bake for, so I could allow myself a break 😀

This Sunday though, I am making a cake for a baby shower, which I will be starting tomorrow (thankfully, it is forecast to be a bit cooler 🙏 ) and I have a portable electric fan I can take into the kitchen just in case too…..I just had an image pop into my head involving a fan, flour and icing sugar 😂 …..better be careful where I situate it!

So, seeing as I haven’t any cake to show you for a few days, I’ve spent some of my spare time putting together a couple of ‘movies’ to showcase some of my past cakey creations.

Hope you like them 😍 I’ll be back in a few days with a ‘real’ cake 🍰

Until then,

Stay safe and healthy (especially in the sun!)

Debbie ❤️

Baking for Therapy

Girl fanning on Molly Robbins!

If you’ve ever watched Extreme Cake Makers on channel 4, you’ll know exactly who Molly Robbins is, but for the less cake obsessed of you I’ll explain.

The series showcases lots of very talented cake makers, creating stunning and challenging cakes. One of these is Molly. She has a background in special effects and worked in the film industry before getting the baking bug. If you’ve ever seen her cakes, there’s no doubt that she’s brought the skills she learned in her previous career.

Molly specialises in carved cakes which are a wonder to behold! Just take a look at her Facebook page to see what I mean https://m.facebook.com/mollyscreativecakes/community/?ref=page_internal&mt_nav=0

Last Saturday I had the chance to meet her in person when me, my Mum and my daughter in law Abigail went along to a Sugar and Crumbs Social morning. Molly was there as a guest host and demonstrated her new product ‘The Creature Creator’

There are two very well made, sturdy silicone moulds that enable you to bake a basic shape, then use it to create any cake you want without carving a thing! It means less wasted cake, needs no internal support, and saves hours of painstakingly shaving off bits of cake trying to get the perfect base. It’s a definite game changer for hobbyists and professionals alike. As a bonus, it’s dishwasher safe too 😀

There are two moulds. One is for a laying down figure, and one a sitting up figure. Amazingly, Molly demonstrated how to decorate them both in under an hour! All whilst chatting to her audience, and the whole thing being filmed and going out on Facebook live!

Molly in action and my fangirl pic!

It was my first time at one of the Sugar and Crumbs Social Mornings, but it certainly won’t be my last. We had such a fun time 😀 On arrival, we were all given a free raffle ticket and the opportunity to buy more. The prizes included both cakes that Molly had just decorated, more beautiful cakes that had been made by Carol, the founder of Sugar and Crumbs, and her team (including a very on trend fault line cake)

The most beautiful raffle prizes ever!

There was also a raffle for ten bags of the innovative S&C flavoured icing sugars, which my daughter in law was lucky enough to win, and generously shared with me and Mum. It was all very informal, and the S&C team were so friendly and welcoming that it would be rude not to go back to be honest 😂

After the demo, we were treated to cake (of course) and a cuppa, got time to chat, and then let loose in the S&C warehouse to do some shopping! I bought a mould (I already had one 😍) and some other bits and pieces (they have a fantastic range of products!) and when we were leaving, we all got a free bag of chocolate honeycomb flavoured icing sugar. Then because I’d spent over £20, I got another free bag! Rose and Mint flavour which sounds very interesting. Sugar and Crumbs is an online shop and this offer is still on by the way 😉

When I got home, I couldn’t wait to try out one of my moulds, and we just happened to be having a family get together on Sunday, which was excuse enough for me (like I need an excuse 😂)

I decided to use the laying down style, and make a unicorn 🦄 You get a recipe and full instructions for a couple of designs in the box. Neither of these was a unicorn however, but Molly was selling the instruction booklet for it at the demo, so we bought one. Unfortunately it was in Abi’s handbag, but undeterred, I remembered that Molly had demonstrated it on a previous S&C Facebook live. So with the help of my very good friend Youtube, I was all set!

In the instructions, Molly recommended greasing and flouring the mould. I’d definitely stick to that. I used cake release, and had a bit of bother getting it out, but a bit of gentle persuasion, and it thankfully came out without any damage. I baked it on Saturday afternoon, crumb coated and covered with a white sugarpaste base (I used Renshaw Premium) then did all the fun stuff, adding all the details, on Sunday morning.

Lemon Madeira baked in the laying down mould, with lemon buttercream, white sugarpaste, coloured sugarpaste, gold edible lustre

I used Molly’s lemon madeira recipe, and S&C lemon drizzle icing sugar in the buttercream. On a side note, I also got 12 cupcakes out of the remaining batter! I must admit, I’m quite pleased with my first attempt 😀 Can’t wait to try the sitting up one next!

I’ll keep you posted when I try it, but until next time

Stay safe and healthy

Debbie ❤️

Products used:

Renshaw White Premium Coverpaste

Renshaw black ready to roll icing

Faye Cahill signature gold edible lustre

Wilton primary gel colours set (mixed with the white to make the pastels)

Baking for Therapy, Cake decorating, Cakes, Bakes, and Me, Celebration

The long awaited pictorial!

You may remember that back when I made the ‘Zelda Cake’, I promised to document it photographically and produce a pictorial. Here’s a reminder of the finished cake……

And I shall now attempt to get all the pictures in the right order! Here goes…

I made 2 cakes separately as I only have one 9″ Cake pan! So you’ll need to double the ingredients if you want a taller cake 🍰

In a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat the butter for 3-5 minutes until smooth and pale in colour. Add the sifted icing sugar in 3 or 4 additions, scraping the bowl down frequently. Add the vanilla and beat for a further 5 minutes on low to medium setting.I found a template for the emblem on google images and used it to cut it out of yellow fondant, rolled to about 3mm. I also found pictures of various items associated with Zelda, and just copied them the best that I could. I made the sword, stone, chest and winged ball thingy (it has a name but I’ve forgotten it 🙁) by adding some tylose powder to coloured fondant. This makes it dry harder and quicker. I added guide holes with cocktail sticks where needed while it was still soft. Once the main pieces of the sword and chest were dry, I added the extra decorations to them with normal fondant. I rolled out green fondant to cover the 12″ drum, and top of the cake, and used a marbled grey round the sides. I rolled this a bit thicker, about 5mm, so that I could use a PME cobblestone impression mat to create the ‘wall’ effect. I used Renshaw’s premium Coverpaste coloured with Wilton gel colours throughout.

A large ‘Z’ on the front, and a few more additions, and the requested ‘Dungeon Master’ reference, and the cake was finished!

I also made a little video. Now go easy on me, I’m not the most technology minded person in the world!

I hope you liked this tutorial, if you did, let me know and I’ll do some more 😀 I mean, I can only get better at it, right?

Until next time

Stay safe and healthy

Debbie ❤️

See below for more in-depth tips on preparing and covering a cake 😀

How to Crumb coat a cake

How to cover a cake with sugarpaste (fondant)

Baking for Therapy, Breast Cancer Care, Fundraising

Breast Cancer Care fundraiser

Hi, Well, only I could choose the hottest day of the year to hold an afternoon tea/bake sale! Oh for the gift of clairvoyance! 🌞 🌞 🌞

So there I am, with most of my cakes containing buttercream or ganache, desperately trying to keep them cool (I ended up putting them in the garage) red faced and swapping out tea cups for tumblers of soft drinks! I don’t cope well with heat at the best of times, but thankfully all went well. We opened all the windows and the door in the conservatory, dug out the fan, and spilled out into the garden.

I was so busy that I totally forgot to take pictures of the cakes before we started, so you’ll just have to imagine what they looked like before they were cut into 😋

Mint chocolate cake, strawberry cake

Mint chocolate cake

Strawberry cake

Fruit scones, Red Velvet cake, (remains of) Lemon sponge

Raspberry and Prosecco cupcakes, chocolate cupcakes

Cookies and Cream Cake

All in all, we raised £150! I am so pleased to support this charity. My grandma had breast cancer, and recently someone very close to me had a bit of a ‘scare’, a lump which was thankfully benign, and has now been removed. It just highlights how much has improved in the intervening years. Early detection and treatment is so much better now, and our support of charities like Breast Cancer Care plays an important part of that.

My heartfelt thanks to everyone who donated on the day.

If you’re unsure how to check your breasts, please follow the link below for more information

https://www.breastcancercare.org.uk/information-support/have-i-got-breast-cancer/checking-your-breasts

Until next time

Stay safe and healthy

Debbie ❤️