Well peeps, 2 blog posts in one week, I’m spoiling you ;) After the epic length of my previous ramblings I’ve decided to let your brains rest with a nice picture post. It is lengthy as it’s a catch up of all my endeavours for the last few months but I want to bring myself up to date. I have a few interesting jobs coming up that I’d like to blog within at least one month of the actual cake being made, I know, don’t quote me on that. Apologies for the lack of picture quality, my netbook is still broken and I’m having difficulty uploading pics from my camera. These were all taken with the iphone, not so great for blog posting.
The pics after the cut are in actual timeline order but I wanted to start with this bad boy. The wife adores all things Japanese so I wanted to combine a few elements into one cake for her birthday. Unfortunately it was while I was making 2 other cakes so I was pushed for time. I made the mini Buddha from rice crispie treats, fondant and gold lustre dust, the cake is a simple double layer vanilla sponge with raspberry & vanilla filling and the cherry blossoms were handpainted with sugarflair paste colours. She loved it!
These 3 vanilla, 3 chocolate cupcakes with Galaxy Choc or Caramac Buttercream were for an order via Twitter. One of my recent twitter friends decided buying locally made Xmas gifts for his family was a great way to help local businesses & treat his family to unique gifts. I was delighted when he asked me to make a selection of treats for his parents. These cupcakes highlight a few of their passions, football, Bowie & Radley bags.
These cookies were to represent their mutual love of Spain where they holiday each year.
These cake truffles were Devils Choc Food Cake inside with a variety of chocolate toppings including Galaxy & Caramac. I love how these look all lined up so pretty in their box. They taste mighty fine too…well a baker has to taste test doesn’t she?!
This is the whole collection together. I was pleased to hear they were enjoyed and the thoughtful purchaser even managed to get a taste of the treats when his parents kindly shared them with him.
So I avoided baking all over the Xmas period so come January I was ready to take up a new challenge. Luckily we have several birthdays amongst friends and family in January so I had 3 cakes to make in one week. This first cake was for my uncle’s 50th. He is a huge fan of meerkats, so that was the main requirement for this cake. It’s a triple layer vanilla sponge with vanilla & raspberry filling. The meerkats are all fondant, the 50 is rice crispie treats and the sand is crushed digestive biscuits. I was happy to hear that this cake went down a storm with my uncle and he took to wearing the little meerkats in his shirt pockets while he enjoyed the rest of his birthday party (there may have been alcohol consumed, just saying!)
This dreamy chocolate cake was for my twin uncles who share a birthday with my meerkat loving uncle. It may look rather unassuming but it’s the inside of this that makes it drool worthy. It’s a 4 layer chocolate orange layer cake with Terry’s chocolate orange buttercream and a triple layer Galaxy ganache covering. I suspect I went overboard with the orange but it was a relatively small cake so I knew people would only be having a small slice. The calorie count on this is off the Richter scale, decadant is the word here.
Another shot of the Japanese cake. I wish I had been able to get more definition into the face of the Buddha but I was happy with how it turned out considering the timeframe. The pink of the cherry blossoms doesn’t come across so well in the bad iphone photos, it was much prettier in real life.
A colleague in work was having a fundraiser in work and I offered to make a few treats. These fifteens always sell well so I knew I had to include them. Despite the mess I make while rolling the log in coconut I always forget just how simple these treats are to make.
I also made these Malteser buns for the first time. I wanted to use up some of that mountain of chocolate we got for Xmas and these used a whole box of Maltesers. They were also quite simple to put together but they had to be cut small as they were extremely rich with all that chocolate.
This weekend I decided to try my hand at a few other confections to add to the repertoire. I made a woeful first attempt at honeycomb using a recipe I found online but it burnt to a crisp. I tried Murphys recipe from their Ice Cream Recipe book and it worked! I may have let it cook a little bit too long so I know I need to hold back a bit the next time but at least I know what I need to do in the future to stop it turning into a charred mess!
This was only my second time making fudge so I wanted to use a tried and tested recipe. I used the wonderful NotQuiteNigella as she is one of my favourite bloggers and has a great selection of recipes. I didn’t mix it vigorously enough at the end so there is a slightly grainy texture but I think I can eradicate that the next time.
And finally we have Dulce de Leche Creme Caramel from one of the first baking bloggers I ever followed, Baking Bites. As soon as I saw this I was intrigued and rather than add it to my reaaaallllly long list of “save it & make it one day recipes” I decided to make it straight away. Nicole was right, it may seem daunting but it’s actually quite a simple set of steps to create a creme caramel. I was amazed that they turned out so like her pictures. As a baking geek I was also extremely happy to use my heart shaped Ramekins for the first time. Fellow bakers will share my joy at using new equipment with the added bonus of food that turns out a different shape than the usual square or circle…maybe that’s just me?