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

A ‘Rawrsome’ Birthday Cake?

Hi everyone,

This cake is the second of three cake requests from my friend Sue, who seems to have an unlimited supply of grandchildren with birthdays close together!

The first one was this ‘Dirt Bike’ Cake

And the second one, which was for yesterday is this Jurassic World Cake

Jurassic World Themed Cake

The cake itself is 4 layers of my go to chocolate cake, sandwiched together with fudge frosting, and crumb coated with ganache. Once that was set, I applied a second coat of ganache, and smoothed it out as best as I could, ready for applying the sugarpaste.

I started off with white sugarpaste and added some black to make it a sort of marbled grey, then took a smaller piece and made it slightly darker. I added some Tylo powder to this smaller piece so that it would be firm enough to ‘stand’ on its own. I took some Renshaw brown and mixed some white into that to make it lighter, then made the gates and the triangular-ish stones at the side. I used this diagram from a google image search as my guide.

I used a wood grain impression mat and my dresden tool to mark the gates. I also covered a 12” cake drum with green sugarpaste.

The bulk of the grey sugarpaste was then rolled out and used to cover the whole cake. I was a bit concerned about doing this, as I prefer either Renshaw Extra, The Sugarpaste or Select Ireland for covering deeper cakes. I’d almost run out, and ended up mixing what was left with some Renshaw Premium which is a little softer. It actually worked really well 😀 And wasn’t too hard on my hands for kneading!

For the logo, I took the remaining darker grey, and attached an icing image, before cutting around it. I left it draped over the tin I baked in, so it would have the right ‘curve’

I only paid £1.79 for two images, so it was well worth it to get the perfect look, which would have been difficult to achieve in sugarpaste! I’ll leave a link below for where I got it. The seller does lots of different images, not just Jurassic World!

I added the covered cake to the board, and while I was waiting for the sugarpaste elements to dry a little, the airbrush came out to play 😀

I started with the board and gave it a light spray of green, just to add some shading, then did the same with the cake but using black this time. Finally, I airbrushed the top in blue.

Going back to my now dry-ish sugarpaste gate etc, I applied them to the cake with some edible glue. As a finishing touch I used my nifty nozzles large grass tip to make a semi circle at the front of the cake. This gave me something to put the lettering on 😀

I also piped some ‘grass’ on top for something to keep the three toy dinosaurs in place. Et Voila!

I’m really pleased with how this one turned out, and as an added bonus, Sue and Mick stopped for a cuppa and a catch up when they came to collect it 😀

Until next time

Stay safe and healthy

Debbie ❤️

Products used:

Renshaw Premium Coverpaste White

The Sugarpaste White

Renshaw brown sugarpaste

Wilton leaf green from this set

Icing images

Nifty Nozzles large grass tip

Sugar and Crumbs Strawberry Milkshake icing sugar

Cake Star letters uppercase mini set

Cake Star numbers mini set

Cassie Brown Airbrush kit

Cake drum 12” round (5)

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

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

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)