Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Orange Ombre Cake

I finally got to make an ombre cake! Yaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay!! You may remember my yucky first attempt at a buttercream purple ombre cake...not pretty at all. Well I made this cake for my good friend, Kathryn. Last year I made her a quilt cake for her 30th. This year her hubby requested a cake but left the design up to me. I found out her favourite colour was burnt orange (kind of like a sunset) so I thought an ombre cake in reddy-orange tones would be perfect!

I didn't do the inside of the cake ombre for two reasons, 1) her favourite flavour cake is chocolate and 2) it looks like a crap-load of work! I was SO happy with the outcome! I covered the entire cake in a light orange fondant firstly (the lightest shade of orange for the cake) then basically cut long strips of fondant and stuck them on to the cake one on top of the other (adding more red and yellow colouring to the fondant each time)

I made a fondant material rose bud (did that just make sense?) roughly from a tutorial I found on Pinterest. Let that sit over night then popped on top the morning it was due. Then tadaaa!

Orange Ombre Cake

Orange Ombre Cake

Orange Ombre Cake

Orange Ombre Cake

Monday, November 28, 2011

Purple Engagement Cake

Here is a cake I am VERY excited to share with you all! This cake was very special to me and hubby because it was made for Hubby's best friend! Mark and Leanne are our very close friends and they recently got engaged (YAY!) They had a fabulous engagement party and I got to make their cake!

Engagement Cake
Leanne & Mark's Engagement Cake

The theme of the party was purple and silver (can you tell) and lots of people dressed accordingly. Check out the funny photos taken on the night. They hired a photo booth which was TONNES of fun and we even took the cake in their for some photos too!

Engagement Cake
Mark & Leanne with Leanne's Engagement Ring

Engagement Cake
Engagement Cake

As a side note, for some reason the colour purple doesn't photograph so well (happened at my wedding too) so you'll just have to imagine that the cake is actually a nice shade of bright purple, not bluey purple like how it looks in the photos!

Engagement Cake
Mark and Leanne with their Cake

Engagement Cake
Mark, Leanne and I in the Photo Booth with the Cake!

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Noah's Ark Baby Shower Cake

I am so excited to share this with you. In fact, I almost couldn't stand waiting to show you it! I finally got a request to make a Noah's Ark cake! I've always wanted to try making a Noah's Ark cake, here was my big opportunity and it was actually a whole lot of FUN!

Noah's Ark Cake

Firstly I planned out my cake for about two weeks. I worked out the sizes, when to make the animals and colour the fondant. I came up with ideas of which animals I would like on the Ark then got to work on it two days before it was due.

To make the boat shape I used baked two vanilla cakes in oval tins. These turned out to be the perfect shape for the job! I covered the cakes in vanilla buttercream then tried something new, I placed a long roll of fondant around the top so the boat would have a rim around the top.

To make the middle of the Ark that looks a bit like a little house, I used LCMs (or Rice Crispy Treats) I squished six of them together then cut the top on an angle and iced it with buttercream, just like the cake.

Noah's Ark Cake
Noah's Ark Cake
Noah's Ark Cake

I covered the cake and LCM's in brown fondant then cut out thin strips of the same coloured fondant and marked in them using a knife to make it look like wood. I stuck these all on to the cake in alternating patterns then used a toothpick to make holes in the sides (to look like nails) I loved how the boat looked!

Noah's Ark Cake
Noah's Ark Cake

Now it was time to make all the animals. I Googled "Cute Elephant" and so on for each animal, that way I could get a good idea of how to make the animals look cute rather than realistic (this was for a baby shower, after all!) I made four of each kind (two for the boat and two for the cupcakes) and "glued" the animals to the boat using some Royal Icing.

Noah's Ark Cake
Noah's Ark Cake
Noah's Ark Cake
Noah's Ark Cake

The giraffes were made the day before using gumpaste. I wasn't sure if they would be strong enough if I just made them out of fondant so gumpaste was the way to go. For each of the animals I made one a girl and one a boy, the girls had eyelashes and a bow on their heads. I even made dolphins, shark fins and whales!

Noah's Ark Cake

After finishing the cake I whipped up a batch of chocolate cupcakes, iced them with a swirl of chocolate buttercream then placed two cute animals on each one.

Noah's Ark Cupcakes
Noah's Ark Cupcakes
Noah's Ark Cupcakes
Noah's Ark Cupcakes

All in all, the decorating part of the cake took me eight and a half hours to do! I actually really enjoyed it so didn't even think about the time it took.

I couldn't believe how it all turned out in the end. It was even better than I planned!

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Florence and the Machine Cake!

Here's an exciting cake I had the pleasure to make a few weeks ago. I was asked by the lovely girls at Coup de Main Magazine to create a cake to say thank you to Florence and the Machine's record company. They wanted a hair logo like they use for many other artists, which is a very basic outline of the artists hair. So this one had to be long, curly and have a big fringe (just like Florence!)

Florence & The Machine Cake
Florence & the Machine Cake

The cake was pretty simple but I really liked the outcome. The cake on the inside was marble with chocolate buttercream. I luuuuuuuuuurve Florence and the Machine, their music is A-mazing, if you haven't heard of them you should check them out NOW! My favourite song by them is Dog Days Are Over closely followed is their latest single, Shake it Out.

UPDATE: I got tickets to the Florence and the Machine show for the 28th of May 2012. I can't wait! 

Florence Welch

This is what Florence thinks she looks like!
Photos from Coup de Main

Florence & The Machine Cake
Florence Cake

Florence & The Machine Cake
Florence Hair

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Thundercats Cake

My good friend, Sandy, asked me to make a cake for my old work mate, Adam, (not my work mate that is old, a work mate at my OLD work!) he was turning 30 so she wanted to surprise him with something awesome! She did her research and found out her loves Thundercats and Tiramisu dessert.

Thundercats Cake
Thundercats Cake

...I had never heard of Thundercats (it was before my time!) and I had never made or intended to make a Tiramisu so this cake was going to be a very experimental cake! I found this great recipe on Baked and modified it a bit so that I could cover it in fondant. I will definitely post the recipe later this week!

Thundercats Cake
Cake Next to the Picture

When I looked up pictures of Thundercats I immediately thought, this is going to be a challenge. I decided, now was the time to learn how to paint on to fondant. I looked up instructions on the net and gave it a shot. It was really hard to get all the proportions right, especially on the girl. The colours were hard to get right too because I only had a few to choose from. The finished result was alright (for my first try) but I wasn't completely happy so I decided to try it in fondant.

Thundercats Cake
Fondant versus Painted Fondant

I cut out all the pieces individually to make up the picture. This took a really long time but in the end looked a whole lot better than the painted picture so I decided to use this one.

Thundercats Cake
Thundercats Picture and Logo

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Where to Buy Cake Decorating Supplies in NZ

I've had lots of people ask me lately where to buy proper cake decorating supplies from. I live in Auckland and we don't have very much in the way of craft/hobby shops here (sadly!) But as I've gotten more into cake decorating I've found a few handy shops.

Picture from Martha Stewart

This is where I did my cake decorating and cake pop courses, they sell almost everything you need for cake decorating and always have the basics. It's a good idea, though, to ring beforehand if you have some specific requirements. I've been there plenty of times when they have run out of cake boards and gel colours I need (the basics)! Argh! I buy my gumpaste and gels here all the time but NEVER buy the fondant there, it is expensive to get the Bakels variety and the Wilton one tastes disgusting! (honestly, it tasted like playdough!)

The Home Store:
The last time I was in the Milford Home Store I was so impressed by the amount of cake decorating supplies available. They had large quantities of popular items that would otherwise sell out, clever thinking! They also had lots of decorating supplies I had never seen before like kits to make candy jewels. I was also impressed with the range of cupcake cases, it took me so long to choose one lot to buy!

Spotlight sells a lot of cake decorating supplies, including some things in the Wilton range as well as the Satin Ice fondant range. I find Spotlight handy for things like cake boards, cellophane bags, essences and other odds and ends.

Stevens is getting more and more into the baking side now. You'll find a good variety of cupcake cases and cookie cutters here and quite often you can get them on sale! You can find great cake and cupcake stands here at reasonable prices too.

Living and Giving:
Living and Giving generally have a small cake decorating range, mainly Wilton. But they do have some funky things like silicone tea cup cupcake cases and cool measuring spoons. There are some lovely cake stands at Living and Giving too.

This is where I buy my fondant from. I use Bakels Pettince fondant. You can also buy a chocolate fondant (this is great for making black fondant) but it's a bit more tricky to find.

Of course you can Google until your hearts content! There are quite a few Kiwi online cake decorating suppliers around who are great if you have questions too! Kiwi Cakes and Cake Stuff are the two online stores I've bought from in the past and I recommend these.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Nutella Cake

Back in September Hubby and I celebrated our birthdays, Dr Seuss style with our friends! We decided to have an afternoon tea for our family to celebrate with us too. Yay, twice the celebrations!

I made our cake (of course) but I wanted to try something a little different for me. I wanted to make a dessert-y type cake.

Nutella Cake

So often people like the designs on cakes they see and will ask me to make a fondant covered cake, in fact, no one has asked me for a dessert-y cake! That might change after they see/taste this Nutella cake!

It is Gluten free and quite simple to make. You even get to roast your own hazelnuts! How exciting! (it was my first time roasting hazelnuts, so it was exciting for me!)

Nutella CakeNutella Cake

My only problem was the ganache. Sometimes me and chocolate ganache do not see eye to eye and this was one of those times! It just DIDN'T set, it didn't even get to a piping consistency, it was just RUNNY! I was cursing at Nigella until I had my first bite...then I forgave her! It was gooey and delicious and went wonderfully with the dense cake.

Nutella Cake Recipe
Adapted from Nigella Lawson

6 Eggs, Separated
Pinch of salt
125g Unsalted Butter (room temperature)
400g Nutella (or a cheap knock-off brand!)
1 T Water
100g Ground Hazelnuts
100g Dark Chocolate (melted and cooled down)

100g Hazelnuts
125ml Cream
125g Chocolate
1T Water
  • Preheat the oven to 180 degrees C and line a 9" cake tin.
  • In a large bowl, beat the egg whites and salt until stiff consistency.
  • In a separate bowl, beat the butter and Nutella together.
  • Add water, egg yolks and ground hazelnuts and mix until combined.
  • Fold in the cooled, melted chocolate.
  • Lighten the mixture with a large spoon of egg white mixture and mix until combined.
  • Gently fold in the rest of the egg whites a third at a time.
  •  Pour mixture into cake tin and bake for approx. 40 minutes or until the cake's beginning to come away at the sides.
  • When the cake is baked through, leave to cool in the tin.
  • Toast the hazelnuts by spreading them out on a baking tray and put in the oven set to 180 degrees C, fan bake for about 5 - 10 minutes, they will start to smell good and the skins will start to separate. 
  • Remove from oven and place the hazelnuts in a tea towel then roll them around to get rid of the skins. Make sure these are completely cooled down by the time you put them on the cake! 
  • Heat the cream, water and chocolate in a small pot over a medium heat.
  • When chocolate is completely melted remove from heat and whisk for a couple of minutes then leave to cool until it reaches the right consistency to ice the cake with (mine turned out quite runny).
  • Remove the sides of the tin (if using a spring form tin) and spread chocolate ganache over the top of the cake. 
  • Place the toasted hazelnuts on top of the cake and enjoy!
Thanks to my AWESOME niece, Georga, who lent me her camera on the day to take some snaps before it got all eaten up!

Nutella Cake

I'm submitting this post in Sweet New Zealand, which is a great way for Kiwi Food Bloggers to get to know each other. If you're a keen food blogger why not join? This month is hosted by the lovely Shirleen from Sugar and Spice.