Friday, 27 December 2013

Ngaia's Pigs in Mud Cake

Pigs in Mud Cake 2013
This was such a fun and cute cake to make for a friend in Dec. Fondant pigs, ganache "mud" and a rich and dark chocolate cake with kit kats.

Christmas 2013

This year we decided that most people didn't even like traditional Christmas cake so I did a rich dark chocolate cake with ganache. The sweets on top are chocolate coated almonds with a crispy shell. Yummy! These Christmas coloured sweets are available from Crazy Candies on Trade Me or their website. I managed to get the Kit-Kat's on special (thankfully)!. But then I realised they were made by Nestle (who we boycott), oops. I bought nearly a whole box as I had to do a birthday cake on Boxing Day that was similar.It was really enjoyed!
My 6 year old daughter loves sugar craft and was so delighted when I told her she had free rein over the traditional Christmas cake. She did this all herself with only needing technical advice on how to make things stick on and I also rolled out the fondant for her. She did a great job!
 I made a bunch of cards this year and was so caught up in the rush of visitors arriving that I forgot to photograph all of them. Here are two I did for hubby and daughter.
I did a paper-cut for inside my daughter's card.
I made her a birthday dress for Christmas. She has a lot of parties this time of the year, including her own. This is from the Simplicity 2377 pattern. I got the fabric from Spotlight but it was a long time ago.

Monday, 9 December 2013

Amanda's 40th Birthday Cake

Dec 2013

I made this cake yesterday for a friend who I go walking with weekly. She was very grateful, so despite the dramas I had with it, it was all worthwhile when I saw the look on her face. She likes citrus cakes, so I did the lower tier a lemon cake. HERE is the recipe for the zesty lemon yoghurt cake. I used a lemon cream cheese icing, but to be honest, as yummo as it was, it was not suitable as a crumb coating or filling as it didn't set enough and made the fondant bulge a bit around the filling layer.

The top tier was an Orange Cake which was perfectly fine but not as good as the lemon one. I did the nice orange butter icing, again, it didn't set enough as a filling for fondant.

My oven is not up to making good cakes, so I'm pleased I don't sell many of my creations. It seems to burn the outsides and leaves the inside uncooked. I must get a thermometer to test this. I made 6 cakes for this and used 4!

I wanted to share the tutorial I used for the flowers. It was super easy to do and THIS blogger gives good, clear instructions with pictures. Additionally, I used a sugar water painted over the white edible pearls, to hold them in extra well.  I used THIS blog to learn how to do the quilting on the cake. It was relatively easy with a quilting tool (you can even just use a kids playdough tool) but you do need to measure you're cake, once iced, to work out how far you will place your toothpicks around the top of the cake to mark out where to quilt down from. You have to adjust your triangle card marker too, to fit the size of your cake. For the top tier, I spaced the gaps at 1 inch, but for the lower cakes, they needed to be slightly bigger. No one noticed I didn't quite get the ratio right as I started it at the back which hid it a lot.

When placing the blue cashous, you need to make sure they looked lined up right. Otherwise it shoots your quilting out a bit. Most important for the top row of them, so they're all even. I used royal icing which sets hard in 10 minutes to keep the cashous on and the flowers too.For the top flower, I insert a toothpick in to the back, a little, to stick it in to the cake (as well as royal icing).