Monday, 29 November 2010

New born babbers

I was asked to make some cakes for a baby shower for a mummy-to-be who was due to have twins, but since she had them early, the shower got cancelled and they ended up being new baby cakes (sorry if the song is in your head again now)

I had lots of fun making these!  It took me a little while to think of 12 different baby-related things as i wanted to make each cupcake different and I was asked to double some things up, because of there being twins.

I used cutters for the hearts and bunny rabbit and all the rest of the decorations were done by hand.
I started of with these little shoes.  I began with a little fat sausage shape and then slowly pushed a small ball tool into it until I got the little hollow shoe shape.  I did the straps using thin sausages and made indents in them with the end of some scissors.
The pram took a few goes to get rights. I used circle cutters to create the main parts and then added little strips for the handle and down the middle.

I did the roses and balloons in the same way as the ones in the last blog.  Made these ones extra shiny.

To make these little number blocks, I made some little squares and then used a very fine paint brush with some watered down gel dye to paint on the numbers.
The bottles took ages to get right as it was really difficult to hold them gently enough for my fat fingers not to smoosh away all the detail. And as for the rattles...they caused a liiiitle bit of stress but the end result was pretty nice.  Just fiddly.


Happy 1st birthday Ava

My cousin Ava turned one recently and I was asked to make some cupcakes to celebrate.  I decided to stick with a natural colour for the buttercream and went for mainly pastel colours for the decorations.

After much deliberation, i settled on bunny rabbits, teddy bears, butterflies, hearts, presents, balloons and roses.

I piped the buttercream on in pretty swirls before adding the decorations i had made earlier on in the week.

 I made the bunny rabbits using a very cute cutter that i found in a very cute shop in Lewes.  I don't remember how much i paid for it but i remember thinking "Bargain, mate".  I added some detail by sticking on a bobbly tail, making an indent in the ear and one for the eye and then dusted them with glitter and a pearl lustre.

I decided not to go with string for the balloons, but instead selected some individual hundreds and thousands that matched the colours i had used and stuck them just below the balloon to give the impression of a little knot.

I went for some classic sugarpaste roses as well, which I have to say, I have become quite speedy at making.  When i first learnt how to do them it took me yonks to get a nice neat one, but now, give me the paste and I'm away.

These little blue teddies looked really effective and were a bit like alien bears. 

To create these, I used two different sized mini heart cutters, the larger one for the dark pink and then the smaller one for the lighter pink which i stuck on top.  Got those cutters at Cake International the other day and I can't stop using them!

I created my butterflies by using a textured rolling pin to make a patterned surface.  I then used a cutter to get some butterfly wings.  I placed the body of the butterfly which is just a thin sausage onto some baking paper, which was folded in the middle and rested on top of an opened book and then glued a wing to each side.  Because I left them in this position for a few days to dry, they kept their fluttering shape when i stuck them on top of the cakes.

Finally, the little presents.  After making little boxes out of sugarpaste, i then made indents where the ribbon was going to go.  I used some of that new Dr Oetker Designer icing which i put into my own piping bag and then piped the ribbon onto the pressies.  I used an edible ink pen to do the dots on this one.

You may have noticed a considerable improvement in the quality of my photos.  Unfortunately I can't take credit for this as it is down to my chap Tom's fancy new camera and awesome photography skills.  Thanks for them Tom.  Should you or anyone you know be getting married any time soon, you can make use of his talents for your Wedding Video

Monday, 8 November 2010

Cupcake Camp London

On 31st October, I saw more cupcakes than I could ever have imagined. Big ones, little ones, sparkly ones, gruesome ones, elegant ones, vegan ones, funny ones, gooey ones, classic ones, original ones, wheat-free, egg-free, dairy-free, low fat, mainly fat and the list goes on.

OK, so being a cake maker, I may be a litttle bit bias but this one blatantly one of the best things ever to come to London!

Cupcake Camp has been taking New York, Paris and Sydney by storm and Proud Galleries in Camden was host to the first ever London event, put on by the wonderful Daisy Coole.  Masses of people donated batches of home made cupcakes and these were sold to raise money for the North London Hospice.  There were also a number of professional cupcake companies sponsoring the even and supplying beautiful cakes!
I was particularly taken by An American Cupcake In London and was totally bowled over by their Bubblegum flavoured cupcake. Mmmmm

There was also a competition for the very best cupcakes.  I decided to give it a shot and lo and behold I won the 'Little Work of Art Category'!  I spent hours and hours working on my competition entries so I'm glad my total lack of sleep for most of the week wasn't for nothing.  As you can see, I took the title of the category literally and made a teeny little Miro painting and various of arty bits.

I was particularly flattered to have one as two of the judges were Martha Swift and Lisa Thomas of The Primrose Bakery.  Now you don't have to have read much of my blog to know that I treat their cupcake book like a bible so it was a real honour to have them pick my cupcake!

In case you are interested in the technicalities of the cake, it is vanilla (killa vanilla in fact) flavoured and topped with fondant icing.  I made the various props out of sugarpaste and flowerpaste and the easel is made out of pastillage.  I had to sand this down for AGES to get the right sized strips.  I glazed bits, like the water in the cup and the paint, to make them more realistic.

These were some more of my competition entries for the Halloween category which, unfortunately didn't win, but you can't have everything can you?

I also made these Halloweeny ones to be sold at the event.

And then I just couldn't resist chucking in a batch of Crunchie Caramel Cupcakes.  These were filled with a delicious caramel sauce and piled high with Crunchie buttercream icing.  Not to blow my own trumpet or anything, but they were gone within minutes!

Here is a selection of photos from the event.  The lighting was a bit funny so they aren't the best snaps in the world, but you'll get the idea!

cupcake bouquet!
tried to get a snap of all the leftovers from the 'best taste' categories getting chucked out! tragic!

these were delicious!
some of the cupcakes I bought


going, going...
competition entries!
more competition entries!

        I hear the event raised about £4000 for the North London Hospice. Amazing.