The Wedding Industry Awards

I was nominated for this award by one of my Brides, after I had made her Wedding Cake in August this year. I am delighted to say that I became one of only three Regional Finalists for the North-West Region. You can see my official Regional Finalist Certificate & read some of the comments my Brides made about my service and their cakes by clicking on the links below – as you can see, your cake will be in very good hands!!

You can see all my cakes at http://www.cakesindividuallyiced.co.uk or my FB page, http://www.facebook.com/cakesindividuallyiced

Regional Finalist Certificate TWIA Voter Comments

Posted in Baking, Cheshire, Concept Cakes, Cupcakes, Decorated Cakes, Food, Mega Cake, People, Sandbach, Wedding | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Bentley Motors Mega-Cake

Bentley Motors Anniversary Mega-Cake

 

In March I was commissioned to create a replica of their site in cake, for Bentley Motors in Crewe, as it was the 75th anniversary of their opening the Crewe factory.

Normally I make 3D cake sculptures, but they wanted a 3ft x 5ft cake. Previously the largest cake I had made was 14” square – but I am always up for a challenge!!

I decided to make 15 12” square cakes which I would then ice as one large cake. It didn’t dawn on me at the time what a mammoth task I had taken on – that only really struck home when I went to buy the ingredients –

16.8kg Plain Flour

94 teaspoon of Baking Powder

13.2kg Soft Margarine

13.2kg Caster Sugar

75 tablespoons of Lemon Juice

45 tablespoons of Milk

AND 225 EGGS!!!!

The buttercream then took –

1.2kg Butter

3.4kg Icing Sugar

15 teaspoon of Vanilla Essence

45 teaspoons of Milk

And 1.1kg Raspberry Jam!

It also took almost 20kg of icing for the decorations and the cake covering.

Overall the cake weighed almost 60kg……………….

The only room in the house with a door wide enough to get the cake out is the lounge, so when I was ready to decorate I had to set up a large workstation in there, so I could roll out the icing and decorate the cake.

I also had to make my own cake board, as you can’t generally buy cake boards of this size! I bought a sheet of mdf which I then covered fully with cake board foil.

4 - Makeshift Preproom  5 - 3ft x 5ft Cake Board

Luckily Bentley Motors loaned me the scale model they had of the site so I was able to plan how to decorate it, and make the trees & buildings a little in advance. I made over 200 little trees from sugarpaste to line the site, and used a mix of sugarpaste & modelling paste for the buildings. These proved awkward as the roofs had to be cut at various angles, so it was a case of timing it right so the paste was neither too soft nor too hard to cut.

2 - 221 Trees  3 - Buildings

 

I was also able to make a scaled template so that I could create the correct shape for the site.

9 - Outer Template  10 - Inner Template

 

The cake was being collected on the Thursday, so on the Sunday before I began by levelling the cake tops, then filling each cake with jam & buttercream, and joining each one with buttercream.

6 - The Cakes  7 - Levelled & Filled

I left the cake top without buttercream so I could draw the shape of the site on the cake top, using an edible icing pen. This meant I could then buttercream the site area first so I could ice that, and cut out the correct shape using the template.

11 - Drawing Inner Template  12 - Buttercreamed Inner Shape

Once I had iced the site area it was the turn of the sides and the remained of the cake top, in pale green.

13 - Iced

I found the best way to ice such a large mega-cake was to do the sides and top separately. Because the paste would tear if I tried to pick up 5ft long pieces, I found the best way was to very lightly dust the top of the rolled out paste with icing sugar, and the roll it around my rolling pin. This let me then pick up the paste and position it where I needed it, then carefully roll it out over the cake – it worked really well.

Once iced, it was time to decorate. Using the template I positioned the little icing trees, then placed the buildings on the cake before attaching them, to make sure they were in the correct place. When I was happy I attached them with edible glue.

14 - Trees   15 - Buildings & Trees

I then cut out an edible image of the Bentley logo, and started to measure what size the lettering needed to be, as it was important that it was correctly spaced.

16 - Logo & Message    17 - Finished Cake

This time finishing the cake was only half the story – it then had to be transported to the Bentley Motors factory in Crewe.

Thankfully Bentley were happy to collect the cake – they had visited a couple of times to check out the size, and how they were actually going to get the cake out of the house – after all, you cannot tip a cake on its side to get it out of a door!

On the Thursday 4 men armed with two very long, thick batons arrived – of all days it was raining so the cake was covered in fine plastic. They carried it “stretcher-style” out of the lounge, through the garden and round to the front of the house into the van.

18 - Preparing to Move...   19 - Lift-off!

20 - Out of The House  21 - Through the Garden!

22 - Down the Side   23 - Into the Van

26 - Safely in the Van

Thanks to them the cake arrived at Bentley Motors without a scratch!

27 - Bentley Motors Cake

The official cutting took place at 10.30am, and the cake did not last much after that, but the feedback was that it was definitely worth all the hard work!

28 - Cake Cutting

I learnt a great deal making this mega-cake so know exactly what to do for the next one, which hopefully won’t be too long.

You can see my other cake sculptures on my website, www.cakesindividuallyiced.co.uk or my FB page, http://www.facebook.com/cakesindividuallyiced

 

 

 

 

 

Posted in Baking, Bentley Motors, Car, Cheshire, Concept Cakes, Decorated Cakes, Food, Mega Cake, People, Sandbach | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

How to make a sofa cake

I was asked to make an anniversary cake with a difference, something that really reflected them as a family and would be totally personal to them. We decided upon recreating their sofa, with the family and all their dogs just enjoying a relaxing time together.

I was provided with photos of the dogs and the family, plus a couple of their sofa. I started with the dogs to allow them to dry while I was making the sofa. I would build the people in-situ on the sofa.

Animal models are quite easy when you break them down into their simple components, which are really just a mixture of oval, round & sausage shapes. These are a couple of the dogs ready to assemble.

DSCF1584    DSCF1586

I started to make son separately as he would be stretched out on the sofa (he was a teenager after all!). His jeans were basically one long sausage of blue paste, a mixture of sugarpaste & modelling paste, which allows you to reshape as necessary, but it still stays soft enough to eat. I creased the jeans at the knees and positioned the legs with one knee slightly bent. The shoes were two elongated ovals flattened at the bases, and inserted into the bottom of the legs.

DSCF1648

The jumper was a larger oval, flattened and hollowed slightly at one end to fit over the jeans. The arms were two yellow sausages, and the collar was a flattened ball with a “v” cut out for the neck. This was then left them to dry so it would retain its shape.

DSCF1649

To make the sofa I drew a template on paper, positioning it on a cake board.

DSCF1650

I had made a 10” Madeira, which I first split & filled before sculpting – it is much easier doing it this way rather than trying to split & fill the individual pieces later. To ensure you replace the top in the same place, mark one side with buttercream before splitting it – you can then see where you need to place the top.

By making the template I was able to place it onto the cake to see how best to cut out the sofa shape to reduce waste.

DSCF1651   DSCF1652

DSCF1654

After cutting out the seats I used the rest of the cake to make the back rests, then I butter-creamed the whole sofa. To get a smooth finish to the buttercream I use a slightly damp brush all over the cake. I then left it in the fridge for 15 minutes for the buttercream to firm up before icing.

DSCF1655   DSCF1656

I applied the sugarpaste in sections to mirror how the sofa was made. To create the stitched effect in the sofa I used a small wheel tool, which gives a realistic finish to the sofa.

DSCF1657    DSCF1658

I then began making the rest of the figures using the same methods as for the son – sausages for the legs, ovals for the shoes / feet, then flattened ovals and thin sausages for the bodies & arms.

DSCF1660    DSCF1661

DSCF1664    DSCF1666

For the heads use ovals, with tiny balls shaped into teardrops for noses, flattened teardrop shapes for ears, and make the mouths by using a knife to make a small cut, then turn up the corners to make a smile.

DSCF1663    DSCF1667

Make two small indents for the eyes, the cut white circles out using the ends of a size 4 piping nozzle; use a size two to cut out the coloured iris, then make the pupils using a black icing pen. For the hair I use strips of sugarpaste which I attach strip by strip – this lets me create the desired style in more detail.

DSCF1668   DSCF1669

To finish I positioned the dogs around the sofa, gave the adults a cup of tea, and the family scene was finished!

Sofa Cake

The family loved it, and you really couldn’t get a more personal cake!

You can see this and all my other cake sculptures on my website – http://www.cakesindividuallyiced.co.uk or my FB page – http://www.facebook.com/cakesindividuallyiced

Posted in Baking, Cheshire, Concept Cakes, Cute, Decorated Cakes, Food, People, Sandbach | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

How to make a Chocolate Cake Aston Martin

This cake was for an 18th birthday, and had to be rich chocolate cake, so I used a recipe for chocolate fudge cake as this is much denser so better for carving. They also wanted a model draped on the bonnet, so I first had to make the model to allow it drying time. In order to ensure the model sat on the bonnet, I made a template from polystyrene, by shaping it to a picture I had printed from the intranet, to give me the correct slope of the bonnet.

1-image       2-mould

3-mould    4-mould

This way I was able to sit the model on the bonnet whilst waiting for it to harden.

5-model

As the model was not standing I was able to make it without any inner supports, so it could be eaten if required. I made a very short dress by using kitchen paper to create a template, because it is soft enough to fold around the model to check the fit. Once happy it was ok I cut the outfit from black sugarpaste. I coloured some more sugarpaste yellow for her hair, leaving it long so it draped over her shoulders, to hide the joins where her arms fitted! After painting her features, I left her to dry.

6-model    7-model

I then moved onto making the cake – I generally make my cakes around 5 days before they are needed – this gives me time to do whatever I need to do, but also ensures they are still lovely and fresh for the customer.

I split the fudge cake & filled it with ganache – this is much easier than shaping the cake then splitting it – it also means the cut-offs are filled, much to my husband’s delight!

8-cake

I slightly enlarged the template I had & cut it out from thin card, copying it so I had two to use for the back & front of the cake. Using masking tape I secured the two templates to the cake so I could sculpt it.

9-cake    10-cake

I then cut out the windows & wheels from the template so I could use them later, and crumb-coated the whole cake with more ganache, smoothing it a little with a damp pastry brush – this makes sure the sugarpaste goes on smoothly.

11-template    12-template

13-template   14-crumb-coat

I coloured some sugarpaste red and coated the cake, smoothing it by hand to create the curves of the Aston. It is also important to put any lines into the cake now before the paste dries, or it will crease.

15-ice

I used grey sugarpaste for the windows, cutting out the openings in the sugarpaste using the templates, then using them again to cut the windows from the grey sugarpaste. I edged the windows with black sugarpaste. Using the same technique I made the headlights, using white sugarpaste which I then painted with edible silver paint.

16-paint   17-paint

18-side

To get a metallic-effect finish I mixed confectioners glaze with red edible dusting powder. This glazes the car but also gives a lovely deep red finish to the icing.

I then added the Aston Martin signs on the bonnet & boot, the rear lights & number plates.

18-back   18-front

 

All that remained was to position the model on the bonnet, complete with shoes!!

19-end

To see this and all my other cakes visit my website at http://www.cakesindividuallyiced.co.uk, or my FaceBook page, http://www.facebook.com/cakesindividuallyiced.co.uk

Posted in Aston, Baking, Car, Cheshire, Chocolate, Concept Cakes, Decorated Cakes, Food, People, Sandbach | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

How to Make a No. 1 Cake

Making a Number One Cake

Rather than having to hire baking tins, I try where-ever possible to find ways to either make my own from catering grade foil and moulds, or sculpting the shape from whole cakes. This is what I did when a customer wanted a cake for her daughter’s 1st birthday.

She wanted a cake which was pink & glittery, with loads of white and silver stars, in the shape of a large number one.

I cut out the stars first to give them time to dry so I could paint some of them silver – edible silver paint really is the only way to get silver – if you try to mix the colour in sugarpaste you will only end up with varying shades of grey!

As her daughter’s nickname was Livvy-Bea, she also wanted a large edible bumble bee on the cake…..using a heart cutter I made the wings from flower paste so I could roll them quite fine, but they would harden enough to stand on their own when inserted into the bee. I cut out a large heart shape, then used the same cutter to make a “wing-shape”. I cut out two and again left them to dry & harden.

1-Wings1 1-Wings2

Then I mixed some bright yellow sugar paste which I rolled into an egg shape, which I put a smiley face into – I filled the eyes with black sugarpaste and made a smiley mouth from white sugarpaste. I then added some black stripes, and made two antennae which I left to dry overnight then inserted above the eyes.

2-Mixing colour 2-Shaped 3-Face 5-Stripes

While the “bee” was still soft I made two deep splits in the back & inserted the hardened wings, pushing the paste gently back together to seal them in. Don’t be tempted to use too much edible glue to secure the wings as it tends to soften them, and they will break off.

6-Bee1 6-Bee2

As for making the number cake, I used an 8” square cake, so used an 8” square piece of paper, which I drew the portions of the cake so I could experiment with sizes to get the best fit from the cake, with the least waste. I then cut out the pieces and placed them on the cake board – this is a really good way of ensuring the end result will fit.

7-8inch sq 8-Placing pieces

I split the whole cake to fill it – don’t use too much filling or it will squash out with the weight of the icing and make the sides bulge. To make sure you put the top back on correctly, mark one side – I used edible pen – it will be hidden when you ice the cake but is another tip for putting it back correctly.

9-Mark sides

I trimmed the cake top slightly to level it, but I tend to turn the cake over and use the base as the top, because it is much flatter. You can then fill any gaps around the base of the cake with buttercream when it is on the cake board.

I then positioned the pieces of paper on the cake to show exactly where to cut. Cutting straight down to get a clean cut, I then positioned each piece on the cake board, using buttercream to stick them together. I then coated the whole cake with the remaining buttercream to “crumb-coat” it – this ensures no crumbs get into the sugarpaste when you ice the cake.

10-Pieces on cake 11-No 1 12-Buttercreamed

The final cake was iced in “Barbie-pink” icing with white & silver stars and loads of edible glitter, before finally positioning the bumble bee and adding the message.

13-1st Birthday Cake

You can see this and my other cakes on my website or FB page – http://www.cakesindividuallyiced.co.uk and http://www.facebook.com/cakesindividuallyiced

Posted in Baking, Cheshire, Concept Cakes, Cute, Decorated Cakes, Food, Number, Sandbach | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

How to Make a Champagne Bottle Cake

It was an aunt’s 60th birthday recently and my uncle asked me to make a bottle of champagne cake for her.

As you know if you have read previous blogs, I like to make my own moulds where I can, and this time was no different.

I make the moulds using catering high-strength aluminium foil, which I use in double-thickness to wrap around the item I am using as a template – this time it was a bottle of Moet. I then packed around the foil mould with baking beans so it did not rock in the baking tin.

1 - Foil Mould 2 - Baked Cake

I use a Madeira mix for sponge cakes when I am going to sculpt cakes, as it is a denser sponge and holds its shape well.

Once cooled it was necessary to prop up the neck of the bottle so it did not break, as it is very fragile at this stage. I then glazed it with apricot glaze – this serves two purposes; firstly to give the marzipan something to adhere to, secondly to keep the cake moist.

3 - Shaped Cake

I use marzipan beneath fondant when I am sculpting cakes as it helps them retain their shape. Before fully covering the cake fill in any dents or add extra depth with pieces of marzipan.

4 - Filling 5 - Marzipanned

I then covered the bulk of the bottle with green icing – as you can see this bears no resemblance to the black-green of a champagne bottle, but this can easily be achieved. Add some black dusting powder to confectioner’s glaze, and use this to paint the green icing – this will not only give the icing a glass-like sheen, but will also create the green-black colouring.

6 - Icing 7 - Glazing

To obtain the gold foil top I used a small mesh sieve to create the imprint in the icing, which I then painted with edible gold paint. I then wrapped a black sleeve around the base of the neck, edging it with the same gold paint. I then added the black star & wording on the bottle neck.

The finishing touch was an edible image of the champagne bottle label, and some gold stars on the cake board.

8 - Finished Cake

Kathy was so taken with the cake she refused to cut it for days – but eventually gave into temptation!!

You can see this and all my other cakes on my website, http://www.cakesindividuallyiced.co.uk, or on my FB page – http://www.facebook.com/cakesindividuallyiced

Posted in Baking, Cheshire, Concept Cakes, Decorated Cakes, Food, People, Sandbach, Wine, wine bottle | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

How to make a Foot Cake

This cake was for a Podiatrist – or the “Foot Doctor” as they were known by friends & family! To make unusual moulds, I use high-grade aluminium foil as this holds its’ shape wonderfully when moulded & filled.

For obvious hygiene reasons I thickly cling-filmed my husband’s foot, before then wrapping the foil around it, using the foil folded for double thickness.

1 - Clingfilmed Foot2 - Foil Mould3 - Filled Mould

I opened the top widely so I could spoon in the Madeira cake mix – I use Madeira for shaped cakes as it holds its shape better – making sure the mix went right down to the toes!

I used a 10″ quantity and baked the cake at 155 deg, as i have a fav oven which tends to cook quicker. After 40 minutes i checked the cake using a skewer inserted into the thickest part of the cake – if it comes out clean the cake is cooked. The cake was done after around 1 hour 15 minutes.

4 - Baked Foot  6 - Trimmed Foot

7 - Trimmed Foot

Next comes the fun bit!

As you can see, the cake comes out in a basic foot shape, but with a few lumps & bumps from the foil. These just need trimming, and the cake needs shaping to give the foot ankles. Then fill the creases & holes with marzipan.

9 - Filling Holes8 - Filling Holes

Next coat the entire cake with an apricot glaze, mixed with a little hot water – this not only keeps the cake moist but also creates a surface for the marzipan to adhere to.Because it is an odd shape, it is best to use a piece of string to gauge the length & width the marzipan (and the icing) needs to be, then roll out the marzipan & cover the cake. While still soft, put indents into the marzipan where the toes are.

10 - Marzipan    11 - Iced

Do the same with the icing, which I coloured using flesh-coloured paste food colouring. Then add the toenails.

This is obviously a male foot, so you can’t really add any nice touches – if you use a female foot for the mould you can add nail varnish and an ankle chain.

12 - Iced

Definitely a tasty way to “put your foot in your mouth”!!

13 - Finished Cake

You can see this and all my other cakes on my website, http://www.cakesindividuallyiced.co.uk, or my FB page, http://www.facebook.com/cakesindividuallyiced

Posted in Baking, Cheshire, Concept Cakes, Decorated Cakes, Food, Foot, People, Sandbach, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment