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

Oink Oink! Farmyard Cake Alert!

Hey there,

A few weeks ago I managed to have 2 cakes due on the same day. Not a big deal for all you professional cakers out there, but for me it required careful planning, so that I didn’t overdo it and tire myself out too much!

I’ve already posted about the ‘Pirate’ themed cake, so this is the other ‘Farmyard’ themed cake for my friend Elaine’s grandson Oliver.

Oliver’s Farmyard themed cake

The cake itself is my go to Vanilla Sponge, with jam and buttercream. A tractor was a must, so I shaped it out of Rice Krispie treats, covered it in ganache, then sugarpaste in various colours. The cake was coated in buttercream then covered with green sugarpaste, and the fencing was made by blending Renshaw’s chocolate flavour brown sugarpaste with Renshaw’s White Belgian chocolate modelling paste (see below for details) The ‘mud’ is a pool of ganache, and all the animals were made from modelling paste with sugarpaste details.

I had lots of fun making both cakes, even though I slept most of the day after! But for me, the pleasure I get is worth the consequences, in fact I allow for it, and I’m lucky enough to have a supportive husband, who understands that. He is so thoughtful and predicting my need to rest afterwards, will often line up a film or two for me to watch while I’m having my ‘pyjama days’ πŸ₯°

In other news, my cataract operation went well, and my distance vision is now pretty much perfect. I just need a new prescription for my reading glasses now πŸ˜‚

Last Sunday, we had a belated Father’s Day Meal (eldest was visiting youngest in Bucharest on the actual day!) So James, my son, and my daughter in law Abi, made us a gorgeous roast lamb dinner, inviting us, her parents, and grandparents too. They really did us proud. I contributed a cake, (see below) and a cheesecake (sorry no pic) and Abi also made a beautiful pavlova filled with whipped cream and lovely summer berries….we really were spoilt!

Lemon sponge with mascarpone cream cheese and lemon curd frosting, strawberries and raspberries

On Monday, I had Rebecca and Danny round for a cake tasting and planning session. They’re getting married in January and I’m so excited that they have asked me to make their cake 🍰 I know Rebecca from Panto, as her parents are our good friends Edward and Bev. Edward writes, directs and takes part in our productions (who says men can’t multitask?) and Bev is his right hand woman! Rebecca has been in every Panto I can remember and she and Danny really are a lovely couple ❀️

Oh! And the other day I found out that my daughter Katie and her boyfriend Josh have planned a flying visit next weekend! They’re flying into Liverpool (where they lived before going to Bucharest) on Friday night, seeing friends in Liverpool on Saturday, coming to us on Sunday, then flying back on Monday…phew, sounds exhausting to me, but they’re young and fit! Anyway, I can’t wait to see them, and have a family gathering planned already πŸ˜€

Before that though, there’s this weekend, which is my Breast Cancer Care fundraiser. All my invites have been sent out, and I’m hoping for a good turn out for a good cause.

My mum is helping me out with some of the baking, and on the day (Saturday) and it will be another ‘pyjama day’ for me on Sunday πŸ’€ 😴 πŸ’€ Hmmmm, wonder what films hubby will have lined up for me this time? After that, it will be ‘operation spare bedroom’ ready for our Bucharest visitors. It’s become a bit of a dumping ground recently, so it’s a good excuse for a bit of tidying up!

Well, I’d better go and get my bake on again!

Until next time

Stay safe and healthy

Debbie ❀️

Products used in the Farmyard cake included:

Renshaw White Premium Coverpaste

Renshaw Lincoln green sugarpaste

Renshaw White Belgian Chocolate modelling paste

Renshaw chocolate flavour sugarpaste

Wilton green gel food colour

Wilton pink gel food colour

Wilton lemon yellow gel food colour

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

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

Birthday season has begun!

In our family, the most birthdays are between February and May. It starts with my sister in law at the end of February, then three more in March (including mine), two in April and one at the beginning of May.

My daughter in laws birthday was a couple of weeks ago, and as she and my son were going away for the weekend, my son asked me for a small cake to take with them. She was having a friends party the week after with a muppets theme, and one of her friends was making her a Cookie Monster cake, so I went with a simple Elmo πŸ˜€

The cake was red velvet to match the outer colour scheme. Buttercream filling and crumb coat, and Renshaw’s red fondant covering. The other details were very simple to make, and I added some fur lines with a Dresden tool.

My birthday falls on Mother’s Day (UK) this year, so a family get together on the Saturday is scheduled, leaving the Sunday as a nice quiet day for me to recover after the festivities πŸ₯³ πŸ’€πŸ’€πŸ’€

In other news, last weekend was the Panto society’s awards evening. But that’s a separate post coming very soon πŸ˜€

Until then,

Stay safe and healthy

Debbie ❀️

Cakes, Bakes, and Me, Celebration, Family

Amazing weekend with family… giveaways from a fave YouTube channel!

Hi everyone

My daughter and her partner were over from Romania for a few days recently. We hadn’t seen them since they left on August 1st last year (brilliant as it is, I don’t count FaceTime, you can’t have a hug on FaceTime!)

Anyway, a family get together was definitely in order. We had a lovely afternoon with good food, games and quizzes, and the following day we had a proper chance to catch up. There’s a rather embarrassing but funny story regarding the food actually. I had decided to do pulled pork, hot chicken and plenty of bread rolls for the main part of the buffet, with a vegetable chilli, and then some bite size premade snacks, salads dips etc. Well it didn’t go quite as planned shall we say! I was up bright and early to make the rub for the pork and get it in the slow cooker. It was only when I went to serve it that I noticed I’d had the slow cooker on the keep warm setting πŸ™πŸ€­

Luckily, we had plenty of food to go round, and as a bonus, I’d inadvertently prepared the following days meal! I use a recipe from ‘Chowhound‘, and I highly recommend it. Even the non pork lovers in the family love it!

So, that was Sunday and Monday, and Tuesday was set aside for me to rest up. It was while I was watching the weekly ‘How to Cake It’ tutorial that Yolanda Gampp announced a big giveaway. The channel is almost at 4 million subscribers, and when they hit it, the giveaway will be triggered. You can get your entries in early though, by following the link below. They’re giving away some brilliant prizes, so why not take a look? While you’re there, hit the subscribe button, who knows, it might be you who is the 4 millionth subscriber!

Good luck!

See you next time

Stay safe and healthy

Debbie ❀️