Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Gingerbread House

This year I almost didn't make a gingerbread house. I had just finished making a mock up wedding cake (will explain next month) so was pretty exhausted, plus I had to make Whoopie Pies (which didn't work so I had to make cupcakes instead) and a stacked meringue dessert for Christmas day!

Gingerbread House

I made the gingerbread from a recipe I Googled (that wasn't very good) and realised after it was all baked that I didn't have enough Royal Icing! I knew I wouldn't have enough time to make more icing so I decided to just ice two sides of the gingerbread house, sneaky sneaky!

Gingerbread House

I was inspired by a few gingerbread houses I saw online and tried using similar piping techniques. It was quite hard to pipe on the side of the house but in the end I got the hang of it. I actually quite liked it in the end, even if it was only on two sides! I think I like this gingerbread house design better than last years one, mission accomplished!

Gingerbread House

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Nyan Cat Cake

You all know of the Nyan Cat right?  If not here you go:

It's a crazy and weird Internet "meme" thing that I just KNEW my sister loved.

I had been racking my brain for ages trying to think of a simple design for her cake this year. My ideas were along the lines of X-men, Star Wars, Marvel Comics...all of which are not SIMPLE cake designs.

I even enlisted the help of my good friend, Katie, then we had an epiphany, Nyan Cat! The perfect idea! Yaaaay!

Nyan Cat Cake

The funny thing was that when I went to actually decorate it, it wasn't easy at all! I mean, the design is simple but it was layer after layer, little squares cut out to certain sizes and took AGES!

I wasn't expecting that!

In the end it was worth it though, even if it didn't look like much effort went into it!

Nyan Cat Cake

My sister loved the cake (as did my niece!) so that was the most important thing!

Happy Birthday Ruth!

Monday, December 12, 2011

Vegetable Anniversary Cake

A few weeks ago a friend of mine asked if I could ice and decorate a fruit cake she had made for her parents 50th wedding anniversary. It was just a plain square cake to be covered in white fondant with gold stars and a gold 50 to go on top as well as gold stars on wires to stick in at the party. I told her of course I could, then got talking about the party, her parents and the cake which lead to a conversation about making ANOTHER cake for the anniversary.

50th Wedding Anniversary Cake
50th Anniversary Cake (the edible one)

I already had two cakes on that week to do so it wouldn't have been possible for me to make an edible cake but I did have some cake dummies lying around that I used for the Grace Cake. So we decided that I would make a three tier display cake and it would be themed around raw food. Apparently the couple LOVE raw fruit and vegetables and they are very well known for this.

Vege Cake
The Display Cake Before the Vegetable Decorations Were Added

I got to work on designing the patterns on the cake with a rough outline of what I would put on top (vegetables!) when it all came together in the end I was very happy! I had so much fun making the vegetables out of fondant, mainly because I don't like eating real vegetables! I also got to use a new cake decorating tool I bought, these letter indent press things to write names on cakes (I also used it on the Engagement Cake)

Vege Cake
Vegetable Display Cake

Vege Cake
Broccoli, Peas, Carrots and Lettuce

The baby peas were as easy to make as they look. All you do is roll five small balls of green fondant then cut out two strips of fondant and wrap them around. You can play with it to make it look however you like, then pinch the ends.

Vege Cake
Asparagus and Lettuce 

I made the asparagus by rolling out green fondant like a sausage, then sticking a bamboo skewer in the middle (so it would stay up right). I then used scissors and cut slits out of the top to give it that asparagus-y look. To make it look a bit more realistic, I put tiny little spots of light green fondant on the sides then roughly painted the stems and tops with green food colouring.

The lettuce was pretty easy to make once I got the hang of it. I rolled a small ball of green fondant then cut out about eight circles of the same size and stuck them around the ball, alternating the starting points. I ruffled the edges with my fingers to give it a lettuce-y look!

Vege Cake

The carrots were the easiest to make, all you do it roll some orange fondant like a sausage but make one end thin (I put a toothpick down the middle to make them stand easier) then just cut marks on the side with a knife and pop a bit of green fondant on top!

Vege Cake
Broccoli (my fave one to make!)

The broccoli was my favourite to make. I used two different shades of green, one for the stem and one for the top. I made little tree type figures from the light green fondant then put the dark green fondant through a sieve (you can add some shortening to your fondant to make this easier) and stuck that on top, easy as that!

Vege Cake
Bessie & Brian's 50th Anniversary Cake!

I really liked this fun design, it was so cool to make something that is supposed to be healthy out of icing! I heard that the couple LOVED their display cake (and the edible one) and they'll be keeping it to remember their special occasion. Awh, I love happy endings!

Thursday, December 8, 2011

How to Make Red Icing

A little while back, I was busy getting ready to decorate approximately 200 cupcakes for my mums church Light Party. I started thinking about how the colour red actually isn't that easy to make and it occurred to me that other people may like to know how to make red icing too, so I thought I'd share how I get the colour RED.

Red Buttercream or Royal Icing:
I always use gel colouring when making icing now, it's a lot less messy and I always get the colour I want. To get a nice vibrant red, first use pink food colouring and make up a nice strong pink coloured icing. Then add the red gel colour (I use Wilton's Red Red).

Image from here
Red Fondant:
Use the same method as above, make up a pink fondant nice and strong in colour, then add your red colouring. It's always best to make this at least the night before, mainly because the colour will keep developing after you've added it to the fondant but also because it's a lot easier to work with (it's not so soft).
Cupcakes by Hello Naomi
Red Cake Batter:
You can use normal liquid food colouring in cake batters, this shows up really well and it is a lot cheaper than buying the gels. When I make Red Velvet cake I always mix the red colouring and the cocoa together before adding the the mixture. Adding the cocoa makes it nice and deep red. When I made a rainbow cake the red layer looked too light and kind of yucky so I added a tiny bit of cocoa and it looked much better!

Image From here

Monday, December 5, 2011

Owl Birthday Cake

It was one of my best friends birthdays at the end of October. We had a great night eating great Indian food then playing board games.
I wanted to make her a yummy and original cake (she has seen a lot of my cakes) So I decided to make a 6" chocolate cake with HEAPS of chocolate frosting in between each layer. I think it looked 50/50 cake and icing when she cut into it!

Owl Cake

For the design, I got kind of overwhelmed with ideas (too many ideas is a bad thing!) So decided to Google for some design ideas. I Googled modern wedding invites and I found this awesome grey and orange design (which I can't seem to find now) I went with this design and added my own touches, like a cute owl on top with a Happy Birthday sign!

Owl Cake

I loved how simple this cake was! The only problem was with the inside, it was FAR too moist to hold up against the fondant. It was leaning on so many angles I had to prop it up with cardboard underneath. The great thing about this cake, however, was that it tasted AMAZING and so moist! That's the most important thing (I think!) so I'm happy with that outcome.

Owl Cake