Monday, 26 January 2009

More cakey goodness

Well... I was having another trawl through my photos looking for a specific couple of cakes that I am particularly proud of. Unfortunately they are proving elusive, so I'll have to save them for another time, but I did come across a few other photos of cakes and general chocolatey goodness, which will have to do in the meantime!
So first things first - a couple of shots of a birthday cake I made for a friend who is a keen diver. Don't panic - the 'sand' is brown sugar so there were no unexpected crunchy bits when it was cut and eaten. The royal icing I used for the waves was a little bit too soft, and the "Stormy Breakers" look kind of flopped but I was pretty pleased with the marbled water and rocks.

As well as making the snowman cake I posted about below, this year in the run up to Christmas I made a whole bunch of sweets which I then turned into handmade selection boxes for friends and family. I'm still not really tuned in to this business of taking photos as I go, and of the finished item before I inevitably give it to someone as a pressie, but I did get action shots during the making of 2 of the types:

Firstly I made apricot and marzipan 'hedgehogs' - so nicknamed because of their shape. I used a holly leaf cutter to stamp out the marzipan, which I topped with finely chopped dried apricots and dipped into milk and dark chocolate. I really wanted to give them little white chocolate eyes, but a combination of lack of time, and fear that my friends would think I had finally lost it made me restrain myself. Maybe next time tho...

Next I blended up madeira cake with dried cranberries and mixed it with butter icing in order to form a pliable doughy consistency. I rolled the mix into little balls, dipped them in really dark chocolate and sprinkled them with finely shredded cranberry strips.

Sadly unphotographed, there were also little flowers stamped out of fruitcake and dipped again in dark chocolate, and toffee marshmallow crispies, coated in white chocolate and sprinkled with pink sugar crystals. These got such a good reaction that I'll definitely be making them again, and if I'm lucky will remember to snap some pics along the way!

Friday, 16 January 2009

DIY Weddingness - Part I

A couple of months ago, I got married, and it was a fantastic, DIY-style day. When we started planning the event, my husband and I discovered that there were a LOT of people we wanted to share the day with, but wanted to keep the whole thing very personal, and so ended up roping in all sorted of friends and family (who are a mightily talented bunch it would appear) to take on board various aspects of the celebration. And of course we did a whole lot ourselves. The end result was a fantastic wedding that was perhaps a bit unconventional but a whole lot of fun. Given the huge amounts of time and effort put into both making and caking in honour of the big day, I thought it was only proper to share some of it here...

I made some hair vines and flower pins for the bridesmaids from various bits and pieces from the haberdashery and starionery shop
. And if I do say so myself I think they looked pretty classy once the girls had their hair put up...

My other half is very allergic to all kinds of flowers, so we decided to minimise the flowers at the wedding - a challenge in itself as they often form the mainstay of the decorations.

Undeterred tho, we set to folding paper, tearing up old magazines, with even my Dad getting press-ganged into the table centrepiece production line. We took a bunch of my old engineering journals and chopped them into small squares, which were then rolled into cones and stuck into florist's oasis.

Instead of real flowers, myself and my bridesmaids had a huge fake carnation each (which I have to confess came from Poundland!) which I gave a makeover to using beads and feathers. I know they're never going to be mistaken for the real thing, but in their own way they've definitely got some charm.

More weddingy makes & cakes to follow in DIY Weddingness - Part II!

Monday, 12 January 2009

Got to start somewhere...

... and after much internal debating, I thought I'd kick off with some photos of cakes I've made over the past few years! Baking, Cake-ing and Making occupy a fair amount of my spare time and this blog is as much a record for myself of some of my projects as anything else - if anyone out there finds it interesting along the way, then that's an added bonus!

I made this cake for my then flatmate's graduation a few years ago. Chocolate I would have thought, although I have to confess I can't quite remember!

This was for a Christmas dinner hosted by a friend. Each of the parcels was a mini cake, "wrapped" in icing.

This little chap was for another few friends' graduations. Unfortunately the writing got a wee bit squashed up, and the feathers took AGES so I didn't have time to decorate the board, but I still think he's pretty cute :0)

And lastly but definitely not leastly, this year's melting snowman Christmas cake with some construction shots for good measure.

And the finished article - it felt a bit wrong cutting him up on Christmas day!

Well I think that's definitely enough for the first post, if only because my formatting frustration is going to mean if I try to upload any more pics, the chances of the laptop being thrown across the room in a strop are increasing by the minute! Sure I'll get the hang of it eventually.


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