Friday, 11 September 2009
Sunday, 19 July 2009
Saturday, 20 June 2009
Sunday, 7 June 2009
Using a standard victoria sponge recipe, I made 2 sheet cakes in a traybake tin. I cut each of these in two horizontally to make 4 thin layers, which I stacked in a haphazard way, using jam to 'stick' them together. The soft layers draped over one another.
Next I covered the top in black sugarpaste to be the background to the cover page of the top comic.
To create the plaque for the top, I printed out a picture of Iron Man from the Marvel website. Cutting round it created a stencil for rolled out red sugarpaste. Removing the yellow sections from the stencil, cutting them out of the plaque and creating insets from rolled out yellow sugar paste then meant I could add it to the top of the cake. The sugarpaste was also used to cover the flat sections representing covers in the pile below. I had intended to put more details on these, but ran out of time. I used white to represent the pages, running a knife down the side to show pages. This was really fiddly and I didn't realise how much time it would take until half way through. (It was only when I was finished that I noticed I'd forgotten to add coloured spines, and had used white all the way round but by that point didn't care!)
The final task was colouring in the plaque with my edible black marker pen. I copied this from the printout. This actually wasn't as tricky as it looked, and waiting for the icing to dry a bit and harden made a big difference, otherwise it created grooves in the surface.
I was really pleased with it in the end, though if I had to make it again I'd make a plain square cake without the misaligned layers and put more detail in. I have to say though. it was a bit awkward to cut but tasted good!
The final cake looked like this:
Wednesday, 27 May 2009
What is basically two layers of shortbread jammed together with a bit of icing is more than the sum of its parts. Yum yum. The picture unfortunately isn't mine, I shamefully didn't have any glace cherries.
The recipe is slightly adapted from a few sites and makes a great moist but not sticky dough. It makes around 6 complete biscuits or 12 rounds.
6oz plain flour
4oz butter or margarine
2oz caster sugar
Icing to decorate
1) Rub the butter into the flour until it resembles breadcrumbs
use a food processor like I did.
2) Stir in sugar
3) Work into a dough and roll out. Use a fluted cutter around 2in/3in wide and place onto a greased baking tray.
4) Bake for around 10 minutes at 180 C
When cool, jam together with the 'bottom' of the biscuits together. I didn't put the amount of jam because that would involved getting everything sticky measuring it and because if I did you'd all think I have a problem! Add icing and a glace cheery and enjoy!
Sunday, 19 April 2009
Wednesday, 15 April 2009
Wednesday, 8 April 2009
Away from the small mammels side of things, there are a few religious Easter ideas too:
I've made an Easter Simnel Cake twice before and it's worth the effort. Can't find the pictures though. You really have to like marzipan though, as it's a fruit cake with a layer of marzipan in the middle and some on top. The 11 'balls' on the top represent the disciples (without Judas). When grilling it don't put it too near the top as you'll get lines on the cake and it really only takes less than a minute.
Hot cross buns proved to be my undoing this week. For some reason they just wouldn't rise at all, and they're supposed to at least double in size before baking. I have an inkling that the sachet of yeast was too small, but try out these from the BBC food website to see if you can improve on my attempt:
Friday, 27 March 2009
Monday, 16 March 2009
Wednesday, 11 March 2009
Friday, 27 February 2009
We used the recipe from Equal Opportunity Kitchen, with only one variant being that it makes 3 layers as shown in the pictures and not 2 as stated in the text.
Sunday, 15 February 2009
Anyway, the recipes are from 'Ultimate Cake' by Barbara Maher. It's not a bad book. The instructions are well explained and the pictures helpful, but the pictures are at the front and the recipes at the back which I found a little odd. Also, though not very important I suppose, but the colour scheme is a bit weird, pale pink and green cakes make me feel a bit quesy, but maybe that's just me. I suppose the indictor of how good I think it is, is that i've had it a year or two and only made one other cake out of it. Unfortunately I couldn't find the recipes online.
I used dowells for the first time, but they weren't exactly level, so it was lucky madeira cakes are fairly sturdy! I need more practise I think.
I went for a pink and brown theme just because I think it looked nice, and as you can probably see it was for a 50th birthday.
Friday, 13 February 2009
One thing I always do with glace cherries is washing them and drying them with a paper towel. Without the syrup they don't sink much and make the cake less soggy.
Thursday, 1 January 2009
I was lucky enough to get a total of 127 cookie cutters! This 101 cookie cutter set was from the Cookies, Cakes and Craft shop, and when it came it was huge. I now have loads of basic shapes, Halloween, Christmas, etc... as well as ones like dinosaurs.
The 25 piece Ausstechformen set was a present from friends in Germany, and had really cute winter/Christmas ones, such as a little elf and a rocking horse. The recipe box was also a gift and I look forward to writing recipe cards from other blogs to try.
Here's my favourites, including my snowman bun wrappers, and teapot cutter (also from Cakes Cookies and Craft Shop):
I did make some biscuits to christen them, but with so much food at Christmas they ended up in the freezer for another day when we'd appreciate them more. I kept a few out, enough to say:
I found this site, gingerbread house heaven, really helpful as they provide templates and loads of advice. I based mine on the basic template, but then had to scale it down a bit, as my batch of gingerbread wasn't quite enough.
The inside of the walls was sugarpaste, to give it something to lean against, and the rest of it was put together with royal icing mix. The mix was really thick and I needed to use my hands to get it into all the gaps. I used some tins to support it overnight while it dried.
Then it was onto the fun bit: decorating!!!
I considered making it accurate, but it was more fun seeing how many sweets I could balance on it :) Chocolate buttons are great roof tiles, and I used some of the icing to make icicles. Unfortunately they just looked like the icing drips.
I bought the wee jelly figures last year, so we couldn't eat them, but I had to have Santa and a reindeer going down the chimney.
Once I made it, I had to wait a few days to enjoy it before I cut it. From being fairly sturdy assembled it came apart remarkably easily. I suspect that the thick icing was still a little wet! I used a sharp knife between the walls. I had been worried that it would have gone soggy, but the actual gingerbread was still nice. That extra spoonful of ginger really made a difference!