Sunday, 28 December 2008

Christmas Cake

Well, I finally managed to finish my Christmas cake and used some of the penguins from my tutorial to decorate it. It took a few goes arranging them, as at first I had them grouped round the snowman. According to my family it looked like something out of the wickerman! So, I had to make 3 of them into carolers to give a less sinister effect.

The cake itself had a very strong flavour, probably because I've been feeding it and it had quite a lot of fruit, so I may tone this down next year. Marzipan and fondant icing finished it off, with a little of the 'magic sparkles' for snow. I bought these ages ago and haven't been able to find a use for them so far.
I haven't been able to bring myself to eat the penguins yet, though I did allow it to be cut. The first year I made it I'd put so much time and effort in I wouldn't let anyone touch it for a week.

So for all who celebrate it Merry Christmas!

Sunday, 21 December 2008

Sugarpaste penguin tutorial

The last time I made my penguins they seemed to go down well. Quite a lot of people searched for how to make them, so I thought I'd do a little tutorial for all those who wanted to know.

They're quite take time, but aren't particularly difficult and good for decorating this time of year. What's nice is that (unintentionally) they all end up with different little personalities.

Step 1: Roll a thumb sized piece of white sugarpaste into a ball, then shape into a fat teardrop shape.

Step 2: Use a 45mm rose petal cutter on black sugarpaste and wrap it round the body like a coat.

Step 3: Roll tiny amounts of yellow sugarpaste into balls, flatten, then use a modelling tool (or cocktail stick) to make them into webbed feet. With a 30mm rose petal cutter cut out a base, and attach to the body as shown keeping some of the feet on the base.

Step 4: With a 15mm rose petal cutter make two wings and attach to the body.

Step 5: Roll a pea sized bit of black sugarpaste into a head.

Step 6: With the pointed end of a modelling tool, make an indentation in the head. Roll a tiny piece of yellow sugarpaste into a ball, then make two pointed ends. Push one end into the head.

Step 7: Flatten two balls of white suagrpaste for the eyes, then add pupils with sugarpaste, gel or edible marker.

N.B. In a FMM 5-rose petal set the largest one is for the body, the middle one for the base, and the smallest one for the wings.
You can add other decorations, such as scarves, hats etc... I 'stuck' the bits together by moistening them and holding for a few seconds. Once completed I left them to dry. You could leave each seperate component to dry, then use edible glue, but it makes it harder to make changes.
If you give them a go, let me know I love to see how they turn out.

Monday, 15 December 2008

Christmas Cake

Oh dear, I haven't blogged in ages! From past history this usually means a flurry of posts and this is no change, so look out this week for some festive treats.

I've made my Christmas fruit cake (below). As usual it came out a bit bumpy on the top. Maybe I got carried away putting the fruit in. I made it enough in advance to feed it this year, but have never done this before, so hopefully I won't end up with a Cointreau soaked top on a dry bottom.

It was back to my old reliable Mary Berry's Ultimate Cake Book. I do have other ones, honest, but this one is brilliant for standard recipes. What I particularly like about this one is that in the book there's about 8 different sizes and associated ingredient lists, so it can be as big/small as you like.

I only made a little one myself this year, 6in as not everyone in my house likes it, and sometimes it can get a bit sickening. I love it though, yum yum ( I hope :) )

Next, well when I get to the shop, is a layer of marzipan, and then I'll have to actually decide on the decoration. I keep changing my mind.

I just noticed the bottle of Shloer hiding in the backround of the photo. It wouldn't be Christmas without it. I used to love have 'red or white' as a kid at the table. Why don't we buy it all year round?