Thursday, 13 October 2016
I remember my sister playing with My Little Ponies more than 20 years ago, and they are still going strong. I was a bit worried about making these from sugarpaste, but I'm really pleased with how they turned out. Introducing Twilight Sparkle and Rarity:
Sunday, 2 October 2016
With only a few weeks to go until Halloween I have come up with a couple of simple, deliciously spooky bakes that should put a smile on any little monster's face.
Makes: approx 10 large cookies
50g light brown sugar
50g dark brown muscovado sugar
2 tbs golden syrup
1 tbsp treacle
2 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
300g plain flour
Royal icing to decorate
1. Sieve the ginger, bicarbonate of soda and flour into a large bowl.
2. Melt the butter, sugars, syrup and treacle in a saucepan, then stir into the dry ingredients.
3. When the mixture has come together, roll out between two sheets of baking parchment, to about 5mm thick. Place on a baking tray and leave in the fridge to chill for approximately 20 minutes.
4. Preheat oven to 180°C/160°C fan. Use a large gingerbread man cutter to cut approximately ten cookies. Place the cookies on a lined baking tray and bake for 12 minutes, or until the edges are just starting to darken.
5. Once the cookies have cooled, pipe royal icing bones and faces on the cookies, and allow to set.
Chocolate Ghost Cupcakes
Makes: 10 large cupcakes
For the cupcakes:
115g unsalted butter, softened
115g caster sugar
½ tsp vanilla extract
100g self raising flour
20g cocoa powder
2 large eggs, beaten
For the buttercream:
85g butter, softened
35g cocoa powder
250g icing sugar
white sugarpaste/fondant icing
10 x lollipops
1. For the cupcakes: Preheat oven to 180C/160 fan/gas 4. Line a muffin tin with 10 paper muffin cases.
2. Cream together the softened butter and caster sugar, along with the vanilla extract, until pale and fluffy.
3. Sift in the flour and cocoa powder. Add the two beaten eggs and mix well, taking care to stop once all of the dry ingredients are incorporated.
4. Divide the mixture evenly between the cupcake cases, and bake for 22-25 minutes.
5. For the buttercream: Rub the softened butter into the sieved icing sugar and cocoa powder using the back of a wooden spoon. Add the milk. Once the icing sugar has been incorporated, whisk with an electric mixer until light and fluffy.
6. To decorate: Pipe the chocolate buttercream on top of each cupcake and insert a lollipop into the middle.
7.Cut 10 x 10cm dia circles of sugarpaste and place on top of each lollipop, using your fingers to shape into a ghost. Pipe eyes onto the ghosts using black royal icing or a little of the chocolate buttercream.
Tuesday, 9 August 2016
Pom Pom the panda is a gorgeous character created by the very talented Sophy Henn. She writes and illustrates beautiful books for pre-school children, published by Puffin Books. Last week the latest Pom Pom book was published, and I made a cake for Sophy and Penguin to celebrate.
Wednesday, 3 August 2016
This weekend I made a very special birthday cake for a little boy celebrating his first birthday. His mum had designed some beautiful party invites in rich, Bollywood style colours, and wanted these to be used on the cake as well. She also asked if I could model some of her son's favourite toys, and sit them in a little hamper, to look like his toy basket at home. One toy in particular, Cassie the Cat, was very important to him, as it had been given to him when he was very poorly. Therefore, Cassie got to sit in the middle, in charge of all the other toys.
I also made some iced cookies to match the cake, using the same lovely colours, and some piped royal icing patterns, painted gold.
Tuesday, 2 August 2016
A couple of weeks ago we were bathed in glorious sunshine here in West London, though it seems hard to believe now. It was on a lovely Saturday afternoon that I went to the Duke of Kent pub to set up a big naked cake for a wedding party.
As the reception was in the garden we had to be a bit careful about keeping the cake out of the heat of the sun, so it was set up quite late in the day, when the reception was in full swing. This meant that all the wedding guests were watching me work, and several were taking pictures. This was the first time I had worked under such scrutiny, but everyone was very complimentary and so I didn't feel the pressure too much, especially with such a lovely atmosphere. There were a few little girls in their very best dresses, all dying to know when they would be allowed to eat the cake, but being very patient. I gather there wasn't much cake left at the end, so I think everyone got stuck in.
Sunday, 31 January 2016
It's almost February already! It's been a while since my last blog post, and I have lots of news and cake pictures to share. It's been a very busy time in the kitchen, with plenty of corporate orders for Christmas keeping me busy throughout December, as well as my regular work for the two lovely cafes I supply in Hammersmith. January has been a busy time for birthday cakes, and I have been working with a new partner at their beautiful party venue in Ealing. More news on this to follow in my next post!
For now, here are some of my cakes from the last few weeks: