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

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 πŸ˜€

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 πŸ˜€ 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 πŸ˜‚

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 Β£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 πŸ˜‰

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 πŸ˜‚)

I decided to use the laying down style, and make a unicorn πŸ¦„ 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 πŸ˜€ 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 πŸ™) 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 πŸ˜€ 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 πŸ˜€

How to Crumb coat a cake

How to cover a cake with sugarpaste (fondant)

Birthday, Cake decorating, Cakes, Bakes, and Me, Celebration, Family, Fun, Love

Happy Birthday to me!

My mummy made me a birthday cake!

Yummy chocolate orange sponge, fresh cream filled, and ganache frosting with edible flowers

Blowing out my candles

I have to admit, I was slightly confused as to who was making me a cake this year. Hubby had asked if he needed to buy one, and as my daughter in law made it last year, I asked my son if Abi was doing the honours again….to which he replied ‘Dad doesn’t need to buy one’. With hindsight, he didn’t actually say Abi was making it…..but that was the assumption I made πŸ˜‰

My birthday also fell on Mother’s Day (UK), so I had also made a simple buttercream watercolour effect cake…

Top view

Vanilla sponge with raspberry buttercream and watercolour effect decorations

So when my Mum turned up at my house to help me prepare the buffet, and brought 2 layers of chocolate orange cake with her ‘to finish off’, I was thinking ‘Oh no, we’re going to have 3 cakes!’ And said so…to Mum! I nearly suggested that she freeze it for a future birthday as we have lots at this time of the year, but instead I decided to ditch my plans to make a strawberry cheesecake instead. More than enough dessert with 3 cakes on the table right? Well…..almost. Unbeknownst to me, Mum and Abi had sorted out who was making the cake earlier in the week πŸ€«πŸ˜‚πŸ€«

What made it even funnier was that I had to teach Mum how to make ganache so that she could cover the cake, and before that, when she was using my hand mixer to whip the cream, she accidentally pressed the ‘boost’ button instead of the one that ejects the beaters, and we ended up with cream all over the walls! All this whilst not knowing that she was actually working on my birthday cake!

I have to say though, the finished result was absolutely yummy. And it was the first time she’d ever covered a cake! Or made ganache (albeit with *cough* ‘expert’ instructions πŸ˜‚)

We had decided to celebrate on the Saturday (my birthday was actually Sunday) and we had a lovely evening, just a few family members, a FaceTime call with my daughter in Romania, a couple of games…..lovely πŸŽ‰πŸ’•πŸŽ‰

The following day was spent resting up in my jim jams, having a longer conversation with Katie and Josh via FaceTime, and sharing the leftovers from the buffet with James and Abi…..oh! and opening my pressies of course πŸ˜€β€οΈ

I’m also trying not to focus on the fact that I’m now nearer 60 than 50! It’s just a number after all πŸ˜‚

Until next time

Stay safe and healthy

Debbie ❀️

Products used in the ‘watercolour’ cake

Wilton gel colours

Silver Spoon Icing Sugar

Cakes, Bakes, and Me

Who’s a Sparkly Cake Princess?

My daughter in law, that’s who!

Like me, she loves to bake cakes, and has been known to wear a tiara and all manner of sparkly garments! (And she does all three in style I might add)

Last weekend was her birthday aka ‘Abi’s Happy Cake Day’

As it fell on Sunday, she decided to have an open house from 11am to celebrate…..with cake on the menu all day! Remarkably, there was still some left at the end, despite everyone bringing away ‘party bags’ (or in my case a Quality Street tub 🍰❀)

My contribution was the cake above which I’ve called ‘The Abigail Cake’. I couldn’t decide how to decorate it, so I just thought ‘what does Abi love?’ Well I know she likes colourful things, pink in particular, she likes star shaped items, shiny and sparkly in any form, and of course, she is a Princess!

So I tried to incorporate all of them in the cake ❀

I also know she likes Unicorns and almost made a Unicorn cake, and there was a definite Unicorn theme going on gifts wise, so it wouldn’t have been out of place if I had! Maybe next year…….πŸ˜‹

Here’s the beautiful birthday girl herself with my son James, and I had to include a full length one just so you can see the dress, oh, and a couple of the goodies on the table πŸŽ‚πŸ₯

That’s it for now

Until next time

Stay safe and healthy

Debbie ❀

About the cake:

Red Velvet (Both tiers) I used this recipe from ‘How to Cake It’

Covered in 50:50 buttercream/white chocolate ganache

Tiara made from white chocolate with silver and pink dragees.

Bottom tier has white chocolate star decorations and purple and pink sprinkles from Tesco.

Top tier has the stars and multicoloured sprinkles, also from Tesco

Whole cake was spritzed with Cake Decor edible silver spray

Other products used:

Dr Oetker concentrated colour gel in pink and purple

Silver Spoon Icing Sugar