home made cakes for special days and elevenses

Saturday, 24 March 2012

Some Mini Treats

Sometimes just a little of something sweet and yummy is enough. I have been making a few cake pops and mini cupcakes this week and thought I should post some pictures. I love mini cupcakes as you can just pop one in (or maybe two) for a sugary treat, and not feel as though you've overindulged. The same is true for cake pops, which are a bit more of a faff to make, but very popular in our house. The kids are always hanging around looking for 'duds', and usually they get lucky. These ones are lemon, with little pieces of crystallised lemon on top, which really made the difference.








Friday, 16 March 2012

Tea Time Treats - Parmesan and Walnut Scones and Rock Buns

This month's Tea Time Treats Challenge is hosted by Karen at Lavender and Lovage, and is all about scones and buns. My plan had been to make some blue cheese and walnut scones, using the Exmoor Blue I picked up at our local cheese shop, the Cheddar Deli. Every Saturday morning they sell a different trio of cheeses for £5, and have a stall set up outside the shop to tempt the shoppers as they walk past. I sometimes get drawn to the stall whilst taking a break from my daughter's dancing classes. I am especially likely to part with my fiver if the Cornish Yarg is included, as it reminds me of home (lots of my schoolfriends had Saturday jobs picking the stinging nettles used to wrap the cheese, though I'm sure my job in the local chip shop was much more glamorous!). In the end the Exmoor Blue didn't hang around long enough to be turned into scones, so I used parmesan instead. Maybe I will have another go if I get lured to the cheese stall tomorrow.




I baked a few other bits and pieces today and used my very pretty Cath Kidston cake stand to turn them into an afternoon tea display. Unfortunately it was only me and the cat at home, so it soon got dismantled again, though people have since been dipping in and very little remains. On the middle tier there are strawberry cheesecake cupcakes, and on top we have chocolate macarons filled with Delia's chocolate fudge icing.





I also made a batch of rock cakes, which could be another entry for Karen's virtual tea party. These were made using the recipe from my trusty Be-Ro cookbook (Grandma swears by it, though never in a foul mouthed manner of course!). My daughter loved them, and wants to have a go at making them herself before too long. I'm quite sure they weren't as good as the ones Grandma makes, but very tasty nonetheless. 




Pop over to Lavender and Lovage to see the other Tea Time Treats on offer when Karen does her round up. Next month's challenge will be hosted by Kate from What Kate Baked.




Sunday, 11 March 2012

D.I.S.C.O.

This glitterball disco cake was for two lucky girls celebrating their ninth birthday with a disco party. What fun! My six year old is now planning on having one herself.


Saturday, 10 March 2012

Cartier Watch Cake and Some Monster Fun

I was asked to make a Cartier watch cake for a lady who has recently moved from Ealing to Geneva. She popped back last weekend to celebrate her 40th birthday with friends and family, and wanted the cake in lieu of the real thing. This was a bit of a fiddly one, particularly the Roman numerals, however it seemed to turn out OK in the end. Anything that was in my dining room last Friday night is now covered in gold sparkles after I got busy with the lustre spray, but luckily my husband doesn't seem to have noticed that his work shoes twinkle when he walks.




The other cake from last weekend was great fun to make, as I got to make lots of sugarpaste monsters. I would love to do another version of this, maybe trying out some other colours or some new monster characters.


Tuesday, 6 March 2012

Two Pretty Birthday Cakes

It's been a crazy weekend of baking and general family goings on. I had four cakes to bake this weekend and no husband to help with running the kids around. He was off skiing for the first time in twenty years, on a trip with his three brothers that I was convinced would result in at least one broken bone between them. Being the show off daredevil that he is, he did mange to mash his face up a bit, but thankfully nothing got broken. Unfortunately he is now confined to bed with a stomach bug, so despite his return is still no help to me whatsoever! (I'm oozing with sympathy really, he does look pretty awful).

The first three cakes were due for completion on Saturday morning, so Friday night was a very late finish for me. Thankfully I had a friend and a bottle of prosecco to keep me company. First up was a two tier monster cake for a third birthday, followed by an attempt at a Cartier watch face. Pictures of these to follow later

Next up was a lovely, simple black and white cake for a twelth birthday. I don't get many cake orders for this sort of age group, so this was lovely to do. The birthday girl had orginially seen one she liked in Waitrose, but had left it too late to order. I'm pleased to say that in the end she much preferred my version. I'm not sure if anyone ate the black roses or not, but I supsect there will be a few black teeth and lips around if they did!





The last cake of the weekend was for one of my daughter's friends. She wanted a crown on top of something pink and yellow. I was a little nervous about the tiara I made as I had a horrible feeling it would not stand up on its own, or I would break it when removing its drying support. Thankfully, the one small break was easily repaired and it stood up well. I gather the birthday girl was happy, and that's the most important thing! 





More pictures to follow later. I'm off to bake some macarons.