Tuesday 26 April 2011

Will and Cake

How will you be celebrating on Friday?  
I shall be consuming my own body weight in cake!

Photographs copyright Nathan Pask 2011

If however you don't have the time or inclination to bake for yourself Ms Cakehead has come up with the perfect answer.  She is opening a pop-up royal wedding cake shop for one day only at Maiden in Islington.

Here are some of the goodies I have sent for the day.

Hand painted portraits of the happy couple.

Red, white and blue iced gems
Wave it...eat it!  Hand painted shabby chic Union Jack cookies!

If you are around scoot over for a basket full of sweetness!

Monday 25 April 2011

My Easter Eggs

Well I did find a few minutes (quite literally) to decorate some eggs for my family.

Mr Lemon Drizzle had a Totoro one.

Littlest kidlet had an owl (of course) and big kidlet had an egg based on her own toy rabbit.

They were very pleased with them and haven't eaten them yet, although a minute ago as I walked past their chocolate mountain, I noticed a very small bite out of one of the bunny's ears. He is not long for this world I fear!
Thanks again to Jen's Cakery and Fantasticakes for the idea.

Sunday 24 April 2011

Happy Easter

A very Happy Easter to you all!

Christ has risen!

Today instead of chocolatey goodness I thought I would share some photographs of my garden.  It has been a glorious Spring this year, and my garden is looking so pretty.

My chive flowers from the fabulous Reilly and Moss are about to burst open!

The shell was a Christmas present made by my Dad.

Have a lovely Easter day.

Friday 22 April 2011

More Easter Inspiration

Egg and photograph by Fantasticakes

I love this idea for decorating Easter eggs, it's one of those "now why didn't I think of that?"   Such a simple, yet genius idea. Just take an Easter Egg add some fondant and voilĂ !

   I think the 'Gruffalo' one is my favourite, all three eggs and photographs above are by Jen's Cakery

Another gorgeous egg from Fantasticakes.

 If I find time hopefully I can make my own version for my Easter table.

Monday 18 April 2011

Easter Inspiration

I thought you may like some Eastery goodness, and what better than chicks, ducks and eggs?
  Photograph by Juleeln from Flickr here

 The two photos above are by Mallory , also on Flickr

 Photograph by A J French Flickr site here

Photograph by Dragan on Flickr


Friday 15 April 2011

Book Club Cake of the Month...March

This month we were reading 'The Breaking of Eggs' by Jim Powell.
It is about Fascism and Communism in 20th Century Europe, a part of history that I know a little about, but was interested to learn more. So I did enjoy that part of the story.  I also liked the fact that the characters in the novel while complex were still  sympathetic and likeable.  Don't you find that in much of modern literature many of the characters are truly repellent, mentioning no names... (The Slap!)?.
However, while we all found the book enjoyable, for some reason the story didn't stay with us, it had no real impact.  We marked it an average of 7.5, with those who had just finished it giving an 8 and those of us who had read it a few weeks before scoring 7.
We found that our discussion of the book wasn't the the most vociferous we have had, as we all pretty much agreed on everything, but, of course, we didn't sit in silence as the wine was flowing.

So now the cake!  Well there is no mention of any cake in the novel at all, can you believe it?  What are these writers thinking off?  The title refers to the saying 'you can't make an omelet without breaking eggs'.  So I googled omelet cake and they were all savoury, which may have been nice but you can't beat something sweet..
Then I remembered one year when I was a child and my Mum made me a special Easter treat.
So last Thursday I arrived at my friends house with a basket full of eggs.
They were very intrigued, and, when the eggs were turned upside down....they were full of ganache.  My fellow book clubers also wondered how I just happened to have a nest lying about...well, who hasn't?

You can blow the eggs but I just chopped off the end with a knife so there were no tell-tale holes on top. I also washed the shells in soapy water and then sterilised the insides with boiling water.
I make my ganache by using equal weight of chocolate (no more than 51% cocoa or it separates) to cream, ie.100g chocolate, 100ml cream.  Boil the cream and then add the broken up chocolate, stir and then beat until the chocolate has melted and the ganache is glossy. Pour or spoon the ganache into the eggs and place in the fridge to harden.
These would make cute Easter gifts, especially if you can find a handy nest to display them in.

Wednesday 6 April 2011

How to paint a Spring cake

I often get asked how I paint my cakes.  So I thought, for this post, rather than just a picture of a finished cake I would show you a little of the process. That makes it sound rather grand when actually all it involves is me sitting and painting. (But incase you are curious I've included the finished cakes too.)

 I recently had two separate orders for Spring cakes.  You can see the original here.

I used The Country Diary of an Edwardian Lady as my reference, you can see it just next to the cake.  I paint freehand. For this flower I just placed a light colour where I thought the flowers should be.  With plants it is easy to make a stem a bit longer or to add a leaf if it doesn't look quite right.

I use paste colours and sometimes powder colours, and I use boiled water, although you can use vodka.
I sometimes paint a rough out line of the object, this is helpful for birds as you want them to look correct.

I paint the lighter colours first adding three or four darker tones on top.  When you paint on fondant as opposed to paper it is harder to make tones by adding washes, you need to add darker colours to get the same effect.  You can see here that I wash away any guide lines that are excessive.

I hope in the future to write some blog posts with tutorials for you to try at home, but I would love to see pictures of any painted cakes you have already done.  Leave a link in the comments below.


Tuesday 5 April 2011

We love Spring Fayre

This Thursday I shall be joining the More Than A Mamas for our spring fayre.

All the details can be found here, if you follow my blog please come and say hello!

I have been making some ditsy biscuits for the fayre.

On another note, thank you to Judith for a Leibster Blog award.

Also it's time for the MADS so head over to here  and nominate your favourite blogs.

This has been a very short post I'm afraid, but I am swamped with work and I have so many lovely things to share with you, sighs!