Thursday 30 October 2014

Been away for too long!

Since my last post I have had another little girl! My two princesses have kept me busy but now I can finally get on with some much needed baking! 

My very yummy Neapolitan cake, vanilla, strawberry and chocolate sponge with matching buttercream all decorated in buttercream rose swirls :) simple yet effective! 

Monday 24 June 2013

Food for Peppa Pig....

Back for another day of yummy cakey fun! I mentioned in my last post that I would show you how I made the picnic food for my Peppa Pig cakes. It's all very easy to do and looks great on any picnic cakes that you may be thinking of making.

 My lovely peppa cake i made last week included a little picnic, which are all very easy to make yourself. You need to use modelling paste ( see last post on making peppa figures) as it's easy to mould and sets quite hard.
First I made the plates, I rolled the modelling paste quite thin and used a round cutter to cut out the plate size, and then a smaller round cutter to dent it slightly so it looks more like a plate and less like a circle!

Then I made the jam (or ham!) sandwiches, for this you use white and dark pink modelling paste. I rolled them out and used a square cutter to cut two white squares and one pink one, then stick together as though its a jam sandwich. Once stuck together cut into 4 small triangles and place two on each plate (depends on the size of your square cutter).
Then I made the cake below. I used white, brown and red modelling paste. I rolled the brown paste slightly thicker than usual so it would look more like a sponge cake and used the round cutter to cut two circles. Then I rolled the red and white paste out slightly thinner and used to same round cutter to cut one circle out of each. I then stacked them in the following order, brown, red, brown and then white on top and glued them all together (using edible glue). I rolled 5 little balls of red modelling paste and stuck them on top and there you have it a mini picnic for peppa pig!

My next post will be about the lovely cupcakes I made this weekend! Happy baking people xxx

Monday 17 June 2013

Another weekend baking with Peppa Pig...

So another weekend of baking which has kept me busy and my life now seems to evolve around little one and baking! I mentioned in my last couple of posts that I was making another Peppa Pig cake (very popular!) and that I would put a small tutorial of how I made the peppa figures, so here it is!  

So first I made some modelling paste by mixing sugar paste (also known as fondant) and florist paste in equal amounts. This makes the paste stronger and you can stretch it more as seen below.

Normal Sugar Paste
Modelling Paste (mix of Sugar and Florist Paste)

Florist Paste ( I like to buy this in White and colour it myself as I use it for many different models)
I then coloured some of it pink for peppas face using claret colouring below and broke some off for the arms and legs before molding the head. I also coloured the body red and molded this into a slight cone shape using my hands and flattening the top to put the head on. 

Peppa's head is quite hard to get right, I tapered it to make the nose longer but her head is quite flat so you need to make a dip under the nose so it looks like this:

I then made holes for the nose and eyes using the end of a small brush, you can of course you the end of a cocktail stick too. Then I put this to one side to dry a bit and rolled out the arms and legs from the small bit of pink modelling paste we put aside earlier.
I then cut the arms and flattened one end of each arm using a knife before cutting into three small fingers.

With the feet I did the same but with no flattening, I made some little shoes by rolling two bits of red modelling paste into small balls, flattening them slightly to a more oval shape and making a small dent using the end of the brush. I then stuck two pink rolled out legs into these dents using edible glue.

Then I stuck them all together using edible glue and stuck little balls of white florist paste as eyes into the holes I made earlier. I made the ears out of little balls of pink modelling paste and shaped and flattened them slightly and stuck them on top of her head slightly back from the eyes.
I then used the end of a cocktail stick dipped in dark food colouring and dabbed it in the middle of the white eye for the pupil. Then I mixed some red food colouring in a small bit of water and painted the smile and cheeks. Here is one from the earlier cake as I didn't get a photo of finished Peppa but she is on the finished cake :) 
I also made George using a blue body and some picnic food and ducks...
And here is the finished cake!
In my next post I will show you how to make some picnic food that you can see on this cake... until then happy baking!

Monday 10 June 2013

New Cake Lace Amazingness!

Hi Cakey friends!

As you know in my last post I made a peppa pig number 1 cake, for this Saturday I am making a peppa pig picnic cake for a little girls 2nd birthday so I have started putting the figures together and will show you step by step how I created them later this week. But now I wanted to talk about a new cake decorating product on the market that I have purchased (and sadly got a bit excited about!) called Cake Lace. It is created by the fabulous cake designer Claire Bowman and is available to buy at 

I purchased the Chantilly Lace Large Mat, the spreading knife and the mixture, not cheap but was so very worth it! It is similar to the sugarveil but is a lot quicker as you put this in the oven for 15 minutes and it's ready to use, ideal for when you need it in a hurry or just need to make lots of lace.

The mix comes in two parts, a powder and a liquid.
First you put 50ml of water into the cake mixer and add 4tbsp of the powder mix. Then mix it on high speed for a couple minutes, then add 1 teaspoon of the liquid mix and mix it all on high speed for 5 minutes until all smooth.

Once mixed you then spread it onto the mat, it smells very sweet and is very sticky so don't worry about it spilling over. I was also worried as I didn't have any baking trays big enough to keep this mat flat in the oven but as it turned out it doesn't matter how it sits in the oven as the whole mat and lace is flexible so will come out perfect regardless!

Then you keep spreading the mix with the knife until it looks like this:

Then put it in the preheated oven at 50-70 Celsius, which isn't even half a gas mark so very low, for 15 minutes and hey presto! Place it upside down on greaseproof paper and carefully peel the lace out of the mat.

I lustered mine with a lustre spray, although do be careful when doing this as if it gets too wet it will start to melt a bit, but it's very flexible and easy to stick to the cake using a bit of water.

Here is the lace stuck onto the cake, I think it looks amazing and looks very effective. I got so many compliments on this cake which was actually very simple to create!

I love this new product and will definitely be using it again and again, if you are making a smaller cake or just want the border at the bottom then it is very easy to cut as I did on the top tier. But is just as effective on one tier as two.
Next post will be the making of the peppa pig picnic, I will finish the figures in the next couple of days and put them up for all to see and hopefully help some whose kids are just as crazy about Peppa as mine!

Tuesday 4 June 2013

My baking weekend with Peppa Pig

 Hello Cakey lovers!

Sorry it has been a while, I will get round to putting up some cupcake decorating techniques on here in the next few days. I have had a very busy baking weekend, a number one peppa pig cake for a gorgeous little girls birthday and a first holy communion cake for an equally gorgeous young lady. I used the opportunity to try out my new toy, Cake Lace and it is an amazing (slightly expensive) piece of equipment.

First off, my peppa pig baking, I rarely use moulded tins to create cakes, I prefer to carve and lets be honest if I had to buy every single shape I have made I would be even more skint than I am now! I have made many number one cakes, especially as Miya is now 2 and all her friends have gone through that age, that has meant lots of cakes for me to make!

I baked a big square cake and then cut it once cooled into various shapes to create the number one. This is a three layer cake as you should never put jam and buttercream in the same layer (if you do the layers won't stick and it will be hard to get an even cake) and I like to have a bit of sweet jam in cakes :)

I then covered the entire cake in buttercream and left it to chill for a little while before icing it. Previous to this I covered the cake board in green fondant and let it harden overnight so that it looks more like grass.

I then covered the cake in pink fondant and added my little peppa pig figures I had made during the week. I am making another peppa pig cake in a week so I will show you how I made the figures this week and all the picnic food and blanket.

I find it easier to make the figures and food etc to go on the cake in the evenings so that all I have to do when the cake is iced is stick them on with some edible glue. I then added some flowers I made earlier and some buttercream grass using my grass nozzle mentioned in a previous post. Then iced the message on.

The finished cake! I loved making this peppa cake and am doing another one in a weeks time for a little girl's 2nd birthday and can't wait to get started!
Until then happy baking!

Monday 20 May 2013

It had to start somewhere... part 2...

Hi Cake lovers!

Following on from my last post, you will know that I started my passion for cake decorating with cup cakes. This was where I learnt many different techniques that are easily transferable to decorate larger cakes. Obviously as cupcakes are smaller you will actually find that you perfect the techniques quite quickly as it is all about practice, and the great thing about buttercream decoration is that if it goes wrong just scrap it off and try again!

The most simple but yet effective cupcake decoration is the rose swirl, completely done using buttercream and can easily be decorating using a theme such as butterflies or hearts made from sugar flower paste.

Simple rose swirl with a sugar butterfly, wings dipped in glitter.
The rose swirl is very easy to do once you get the hang of it. I use the Wilton 1M star tip nozzle below.
You can use any star tip but I find this is the perfect size for the swirl.
Starting at the centre of the cupcake, pipe in a circular motion toward the outside. You will see that where you finish will not be perfect hence the sugar decorations. You can stick anything on there and is ideal for a themed wedding/party.

The rose swirl used on a wedding cake topper I made, illustrates how the techniques can be used on larger cakes and are very effective.

Not a great photo, but this is a mini cup cake with the rose swirl and sugar flower I made, I love this colour combination!
I will put up some step by step photos in a post later this week and also show you how to make the sugar butterflies and flowers etc that you can use to stick onto your cupcakes. These are great to make and keep as you can keep them in a container for weeks, so I tend to make many in one go and then I have them to hand whenever I need them.  
Until my next post, happy decorating!


Tuesday 14 May 2013

It all had to start somewhere...part 1...

Hi my cakery friends!

So I thought I would give you a little background into my love of baking. My mum was lucky enough to be a stay at home mum until I was 12 years old and used a lot of her spare time baking and dress making. She has always been very creative, I don't know if it's because she is Japanese (they do tend to be more creative!) or if it's her character or a bit of both. She went to the same dress making college as Issy Miyake (famous japanese designer, probably better known for their perfume though!) and although she has tried to get me to understand the art of dress making I failed miserably. But luckily she also loved baking, and I grew up in a home always filled with the smells of yummy home baking.

I then turned into a dreaded teenager and wasn't very bothered with baking, I would make a cake here and there but never really loved it like I do now. I went to Uni, came back and worked full time in London. My life pretty much consisted of work and play and not much inbetween. Then I had my gorgeous little girl, Miya, she was born in 2011 and all of a sudden I had a whole year at home with nothing to do! Babies sleep, and mine slept a lot so I decided one bored day to do some baking and then that was it, I was hooked!

Piped buttercream rose with sugar butterfly dipped in edible glitter

I started with a friends birthday cake and then quickly went on to cupcakes. I loved decorating individual cupcakes and trying different techniques like the grass on this cake.

My first cupcake decorated using a multi hole icing nozzle / wilton grass nozzle below. So effective and so easy!
This is such a useful nozzle, not only for cupcakes but also for the bigger cakes with an outside theme. It helps to make the grass appear more realistic even if you just add a few tufts of it here and there. It is best used with buttercream and obviously for grass, green buttercream! You can also use this nozzle for hair if you are making a bear cake or even on people if the figure is large enough.
There are so many easy techniques that you can use that can make cupcakes look amazing and I will run through more in this blog as it's where I started my passion for decorating cakes :)
Until the next instalment...enjoy!