Baking for Therapy, Birthday, Cake decorating, Cakes, Bakes, and Me, Celebration, Fun, Recipes

DJ Marshmello is in da house!

Hi!

Before I start, I have a confession to make. I had no clue who DJ Marshmello was until I got this cake request! Up to a few months ago when ‘Fortnite’ cake tutorials appeared on YouTube, I’d never heard of that either!

My first ‘Fortnite’ cake was inspired by a tutorial by Sweetie Darling, a lovely lady I follow on YouTube and Instagram.

My first Fortnite Cake

Sweetie Darling’s tutorial

So when I was asked to make a feature of DJ Marshmello, I turned to Google images, found one I thought I could replicate easily and set to work!

I panelled the side of the cake in white sugarpaste, leaving the top roughly frosted with green buttercream to represent a grass effect. I then rolled out another piece of white sugarpaste with a little added tylose, and left it uncovered whilst I traced the image onto baking parchment. I cut that out and rubbed a bit of Trex (shortening) on it before placing it on the sugarpaste. I went over the details with the pointy end of a Dresden tool, to give me some guidelines, and then cut round the outline with a scalpel. I then rolled out some black sugarpaste, cut out the eye and mouth shapes from my image, and used those on the black sugarpaste. The other details and the outline, I did with an edible food marker. It was then easy enough to apply the whole thing to the cake 😀

I really struggled with the loot llama. I don’t know if my tylose has gone off (can it do that?) but it didn’t seem to be hardening at all! And the colours seem a bit ‘wishy washy’ on the photo, although they did look a bit brighter in real life. All in all, I prefer the llama I made in the first version, but the birthday boy loved it, and that’s all that matters! I also made some bandages and a treasure chest to keep the llama company, and I thought the bottom of the cake looked a bit bare so I used some green sugarpaste rolled quite thinly, to make a long grass effect border.

The cake itself was chocolate fudge, filled with a fudgy frosting, and crumb coated with milk chocolate ganache. You can find the recipes on the recipe page, if you want to try them 😋

So, here’s the final result!

Top details
DJ Marshmello up close and personal!
Lettering by Sweet Stamps and Sugarflair Gold lustre mixed with rejuvenating fluid

After I’d taken these photos, I decided that I didn’t like the positioning of the Fortnite logo ( I had thought the jaunty angle was a good idea) and moved it so that it was more central. I also noticed that there was some cornflour ‘dust’ on the board…Doh! So I brushed that off too. Unfortunately, by that time it was evening so the photo has shadows. Nevertheless, here it is. The birthday boy’s Mum sent me a photo the following day when he saw it, and gave me permission to include it in my post 😀

NB: I went over the lettering again before the cake was collected too!

The birthday boy! His friend in the red t shirt looks pretty impressed too 😂

Well, that’s it from me for now

Until next time

Stay safe and healthy

Debbie ❤️

Products used in the making of this cake:

The Sugarpaste

Wilton gel colours – leaf green, violet, royal blue

Renshaw’s Belgian chocolate modelling paste

Renshaw’s coloured sugarpaste red, black

Sugarflair lustre dusts – Silver, Gold

Colour splash edible marker black

Sweet Stamps Sweet Stamps lettering, vanilla set

turntableAluminium turntable 12”diameter

Baking for Therapy, Cake decorating, Celebration, Fun, Health, Recipes, Theatre

Who do you think you are kidding Mr Hitler?

Ok, so I know that some of you won’t recognise the title, which was the theme tune for an old British sit com ‘Dad’s Army’

The premise of the show was based on a group of volunteers for what was known as ‘The Home Guard’ during the 2nd World War.

Here’s what google says about it:

“In World War II, with a German invasion looming, the defence of Walmington-on-Sea rests in the hands of the local bank manager and a motley collection of volunteers in the Home Guard unit. Despite being woefully ill-equipped, the rag-tag crew is ready to take on invading troops from across the Channel.”

Here’s a clip from the original show and a picture of the original cast

The original cast of Dad’s Army

I remember watching it in the 1970’s and it was a firm family favourite, despite the subject matter. Perhaps because it was so long after the war had ended, but I’m sure it was still a bit of a risk by the creators of the show. There has recently been a remake of some lost episodes, and there is a stage play.

The cast of the remake of the lost episodes

Anyway, that was a very long way of telling you how I ended up making a cake!

One of my friends recently played the main character ‘Captain Mainwaring’ in the play, and asked me to make a small cake for the Director to celebrate their final performance. For once, YouTube failed me! Not a Dad’s Army cake tutorial in sight 😕 A quick look on google images was much better for inspiration though. There were lots of suggestions for large cakes, but looking through the images (non cake related) I saw exactly what I needed 💡

This still is from the remake

I took the helmet as my inspiration, and set to work 😊 I started by baking a vanilla cake (see recipe page) in a 6” hemisphere pan. Once it was baked and cooled, I gave it a crumbcoat of vanilla buttercream. After chilling it in the fridge for half an hour, I rolled out some sugarpaste that I had coloured with Wilton gel colour ‘Leaf green’ and a bit of black to dull down the green a bit, and covered the cake. The Wilton colours were part of this set. I used some shelf liner (thoroughly washed and dried!) to create a mesh like texture on the sugarpaste. The remaining sugarpaste I added tylose powder to, then rolled out a strip to form the brim of the helmet and textured that too! Tylose powder turns sugarpaste into gumpaste which dries harder, which was perfect for the brim. I also used it to make the foliage, and left it to dry over a foam flower former so that they would dry with a little shape instead of flat.

The Dad’s Army script is full of what have become iconic phrases, so the finishing touch was adding the little flags, with some of the most recognisable ones written on. And this was the final result guys!

Top view
My friend Darren in his role as Capt Mainwaring

My friend also asked for 36 cupcakes for the cast. I don’t have a picture of them, but I mixed up some buttercream in camouflage colours, and put stripes of each colour in the piping bag. I then used the Wilton 1M tip to create a swirl on top. As this request was a bit short notice, I found some edible cupcake toppers on eBay, that my friend added to them after he collected everything. He also gave me a donation to my Macmillan total whilst he was here. Thank you so much Darren Brierley 😍

The feedback from Darren was that the last night of the play went brilliantly and everyone enjoyed the cakes 😀

Well my lovelies, that’s all from me for now

Until next time

Stay safe and healthy

Debbie ❤️

Sugar and Crumbs Cake Supplies.

PME half ball pan 6”

The Sugarpaste

Queen of Hearts piping bags

Baking for Therapy

Who wants to see a very girly birthday cake?

Hi everyone

I recently bought Molly Robbins Creature Creator moulds from Sugar and Crumbs after watching her demonstrate them at one of their Social Mornings.

The first thing I did when I got home, and I mean literally the same afternoon 😂 was make a unicorn with the laying down style mould. One of my sons work colleagues saw a picture of it and asked me to make one for her granddaughters 3rd birthday. The original one I made was white….

But apparently little Reys favourite colours are pastel pink and lilac, so this time I changed it up a bit 🦄 She also wanted chocolate cake (see recipe page)

After baking, I made up some milk chocolate ganache and gave the cake a couple of coats which gave me a lovely firm base for the sugarpaste. I coloured some white ‘The Sugarpaste’ with Wilton pink gel colour for the main body of the cake, and then did the same in smaller amounts with Wilton lemon yellow, purple, blue and leaf green from a set of 8 that I’ve had for a while, but it’s still available from Sugar and Crumbs. I’ve linked it at the end of the post.

I took some of the lemon yellow and added tylose to it to make the horn. Tylose makes the sugarpaste harden like gum paste. I tried making a paint with Sugarflair gold lustre dust and vodka, but it wasn’t going on very well. It kept streaking, so I left it to dry then dry dusted it instead, which worked much better 😀

I shaped the legs as per Molly’s instruction leaflet, but instead of adding the snout after covering the cake, I put it on underneath, attaching it with cocktail sticks and edible glue and leaving it to dry for a while before covering with the pastel pink.

After that, it was playtime! I tried a different ‘hairstyle’ this time around. Added some ears and the horn,

Pastel marbled sugarpaste on the cake drum, and the horn pre lustre!

and then it was time to play with my new Sweet Stamps set!

I’d marbled some of the pastel colours together to cover the cake drum, which I was really pleased with, it looked so pretty 😍 Then I impressed ‘Happy Birthday Rey’ with my Sweet stamps, and painted inside the impressions with gold. I’m so impressed (pun intended) with this set. I don’t have a steady hand due to my nerve damage, so having those beautiful guidelines was perfect. Mine is the ‘Vanilla’ set but they do quite a few different ones and they all look gorgeous ❤️

After adding a pink ribbon to the drum, I gave everything a quick spritz with PME pearl lustre spray, which finished it off with a beautiful sheen.

And here she is!

Little Rey absolutely loved it, and feedback on the cake itself was that it was delicious 😋

I’m so pleased that I got to make another Unicorn, and can’t wait to see Molly’s new ideas for the moulds at November’s Sugar and Crumbs Social Morning. Christmas themed so should be amazing 🎅🏼

Next time, something completely different!

Until then

Stay safe and healthy

Debbie ❤️

See the amazing range of products from Sugar and Crumbs here including the Wilton gel colours set

Baking for Therapy

Indigestion my arse! (Part 2)

Hi everyone, before any panic sets in, this is not about my brother who had a heart attack last month! He is still recovering, but doing well 😀

No, the latest instalment started in the same way…a telephone call…but from my son. Tuesday morning on the 10th September quite early, he called for some advice. Bear in mind that he never takes time off work, so it was very unusual. Anyway, he was suffering from stomach pain, which he had assumed was indigestion, but it wasn’t going away. After asking him what sort of pain, where it was etc, I thought it could be appendicitis, but he had no fever or nausea. He wasn’t eating though, said he didn’t have an appetite. Anyone who knows my son, knows that is a big deal! The boy likes his food!

I told him to call 111 (urgent care, not emergency) for more advice and they told him to call his GP. He was triaged over the phone by the practice nurse, who told him to call again if it hadn’t gone away or got worse in a couple of days.

So on Thursday 12th (my Mum’s birthday) he got an appointment with the GP at 9.30am. After a physical examination, appendicitis was diagnosed, and an ambulance duly took him into hospital, where the offending article was removed later that day. If you’ve read my post re my brother, you’ll notice that his heart attack took place on my daughter’s birthday! There’s a rather troubling theme emerging!

He had a laparoscopic procedure, and out of one incision was a drain with a bag attached, but where the drain emerged, he was bleeding profusely 😲 By the time we visited in the evening, he’d had three gown and bed linen changes! Two days later they restitched it and put him on coagulants. Luckily that worked, or he was due for another surgery to see if they’d nicked a blood vessel!

So, it’s been a rather fraught few weeks as you can imagine. We’ve got another family birthday coming up next week, so if anybody mentions indigestion!……..

On to more pleasant subjects, Panto rehearsals have started 😀 We’ve had the Principal read through and rehearsal, and the children have had their registration evening and rehearsal, so it’s full steam ahead for ‘Treasure Island – A Modern Panto’, written by our director Edward Munday. Very exciting!

In amongst all this, I held My Macmillan Coffee Morning at home last weekend. I was worried that I wouldn’t raise much this year as Macmillan Coffee Mornings have become so popular that a lot of my friends and acquaintances hold their own events. However, my amazing family, friends and neighbours helped me raise a fantastic £180, which I’m really pleased with 😀

My Mum made a chocolate orange cake and fruit scones to complete our offerings and we got it just right. Not too many leftovers, and they went to Panto rehearsal with me 😋

Well, that’s it from me for now, check out the links below. One is for a fantastic giveaway from ‘Mancake’ which is well worth a look!

The 2nd one is an adorable tutorial from ‘Thalia’s Cakes’ celebrating the arrival of autumn 🍂 (or ‘fall’ in other parts of the world) with a cute Pumpkin cake.

The third one is a ‘Lazy Unicorn Cake’ tutorial from ‘Rachel’s Enchanting Cakes’ using Molly Robbins Creature Creator mould. Ingenious 😀 The link above will take you to Sugar and Crumbs website, but you can also get it direct from Molly here.

See you next time

Stay safe and healthy

Debbie ❤️

https://gleam.io/cUoLB/25k-giveaway

Baking for Therapy

A Cake with ‘That Friday Feeling’!

Hi everyone,

As promised in my last post, I have recreated the chocolate honeycomb cake I made to say thank you to the Cardiac Unit at Torbay hospital, for the excellent care of my brother after his recent heart attack. Before I continue, a quick update. Mark is continuing to make slow but steady improvement. The ‘slow’ part is driving him crackers with frustration mind you! But he’s following all the rehabilitation advice and trying to be a patient patient 😀

So, on to the cake! It’s based on the Cadbury Crunchie Bar, which was famously advertised (in the UK at least) as giving you ‘that Friday Feeling’, and also by the chocolate honeycomb flavoured icing sugar from the Sugar and Crumbs range. I used it in place of some of the caster sugar in the cake batter as well as the buttercream, and oh my! It was delicious!

I started by making 3 x 6” round cakes (recipe below) Once cooled, I levelled the tops and split them all in two, making 6 layers in all

I then added a layer of buttercream, and sprinkled on some chopped ‘Crunchie’ for extra….well….crunch!

I continued stacking and layering, and by the time I’d used 5 cake layers, it was pretty tall, so I didn’t use the 6th one in the end. I gave it a light layer of buttercream on the sides and top, and stuck more pieces of Crunchie randomly all round the cake.

To finish, I used a piping bag with a Wilton 1M tip to add a border round the top, and more Crunchie bits in the middle.

I used some cake offcuts, buttercream and leftover Crunchie bits to make cake pop balls too! Waste not, want not!

And the finished product came with me on Sunday evening to the first read through of ‘Treasure Island’, my Panto Society’s January 2020 production! Reading the script for the first time is always exciting, but when I found out my character name is ‘Mad Dog Maghee’ (in pirate guise at least) I knew it was going to be a hoot!

The rest of my week is also quite exciting. Tomorrow, my niece, her fiancé and dog Ellie are coming to stay until Sunday. It’s my Mums birthday on Thursday, so we’re going for lunch, then I’ll be baking in the afternoon, and down to Panto again in the evening for the chorus registration. Friday will be spent cake decorating, then Saturday morning I have a baby cake being collected, and in the afternoon a family get together to officially celebrate Mums birthday. After that I shall sleep through the next 3 days! (You think I’m joking. I’m not, that’s how long it will take me to recover!)

However, I will have had a lovely few days with my family, and the ‘payback’ is the other side of the balance sheet. The enjoyment is worth the consequences!

More on birthday cake, baby cake and Panto next time

Until then

Stay safe and healthy

Debbie ❤️

Chocolate honeycomb cake recipe:

375g Self Raising Flour

25g Cocoa

375g Baking spread

187g Caster Sugar

6 large free range eggs

187g Sugar and Crumbs Chocolate Honeycomb Icing sugar

60g Greek Yoghurt

10ml Vanilla Extract

1 tsp salt

Method: Preheat oven to 160 Celsius

Mix the baking spread and sugars together in a stand mixer with paddle attachment until pale and creamy.

Sift the flour, cocoa and salt together in a separate bowl

Add the eggs to the creamed mixture, one at a time whilst the mixer is running, making sure each one is incorporated before adding the next. Add a tablespoon of the dry mix with eggs after the 2nd one has been added to prevent curdling. Scrape down the bottom and sides of the bowl, then add vanilla and half the remaining dry mix, just until incorporated. Add yoghurt and rest of the dry mix, then scrape down the bowl a final time.

Using a spatula, finish mixing by hand to ensure everything is well incorporated.

Divide batter between the 3 tins, which should be greased and have a circle of parchment paper in the bottom.

Optional step: Add baking strips to ensure even baking. I use PME

Bake for 45 – 50 minutes or until a skewer comes out clean. Leave in the tin for 10 minutes before turning out onto cake rack to cool completely. Level and split each cake into two layers.

Buttercream:

250g soft unsalted butter

500g Sugar and Crumbs Chocolate Honeycomb Icing Sugar

Pinch salt

2 – 4 tablespoons milk

Method:

Place butter in the bowl of a stand mixer with paddle attachment and beat until pale and creamy. Add the icing sugar in small amounts while the mixer is running. Add the salt during this stage too. Add enough milk to achieve the texture desired. Use to fill and cover the cake as described or anyway you please 😀 Add Crunchie bits if desired.

My favourite products:

Kitchenaid Artisan Mixer

Kitchenaid flex edge paddle beater

PME Straight Spatula 6”

PME Offset Spatula 8”

Wilton piping tips 1M, 2D, 2A

Queen of Hearts Disposable Piping Bags THICK Pack of 100

Metal bench Scraper 6”

Pme round cake tin 6×3” , Pme cake tin 8×3” round, Pme cake tin 10×3” round, Pme cake tin 12×3” round

PME baking belt 3” high

Cake Star Push Easy Cutters MINI ALPHABET UPPERCASE

Cake Star Push Easy Cutters MINI NUMBERS Set of 10

PME Tall Scraper Stripes