Thursday, 22 November 2012

Best cakes I have ever made

Okay so I've been rather busy recently I've had my partners step-dads birthday and also my lovely mums. My mother in law commissioned me to make John (partners step dad) a tractor cake for his 60th birthday. John is an absolute tractor enthusiast and owns several. After looking at some tractor shaped cakes (please feel free to look on google images) I was extremely disheartened most of them are good but were suited to more a 6 year olds birthday and the rest were either perfection or...well... a bit pathetic looking. I hate nothin more than failure and my anxiety meter had gone sky high. I wanted John to be impressed and happy with his grown up tractor cake, but how to achieve the outcome. A few nights of drawings and ripping up drawings and filling my living room with many many swear words I finally came up to a design I felt I could achieve whilst making it impressive- the idea was approved by MIL and the baking began!!

Recently I have discovered a FABULOUS cake supply shop in Prestwich called "Sparkling Sugarcraft Supplies" the shop has everything including cake pan rental. (ingenious!!) Whilst at Sugarcraft supplies I spotted sugarpaste in different colours and I had a spur of the moment idea and I decided I wanted to add little pumpkins on the cake as Johns birthday was in October.

The way I made my pumpkins was I added a few pinches of tylo powder* to a large chuck of the sugarpaste, divided the sugarpaste in to different sized amounts, rolled the sugarpaste into a ball, flattened it slightly, then with a cocktail stick added the grooves by rolling the cocktail stick down the sides (not dragging it). After I had added a green stalk (no tylo powder added) I left the pumpkins to set in the fridge. I made the curly vines by rolling out small amounts of green sugarpaste into thin sausage shapes, wrapping them around a cocktail stick and sliding them off and letting them set in the fridge.

With a cyrly wurly fence, few plastic cows and a fulling working toy tractor, which is now pride of place on John's mantelpiece, we were finished! You can see how the cake turned out and it was safe to say John (and myself) was very pleased with the outcome. (I also made an eggless chocolate cake for Julie to eat as she has an egg allergy and I felt bad creating a cake for her to watch us all eat.)

Now my mums cake. This was a surprise arranged by my dad and he basically gave me free reign. My mum loves simple, clean, classic flavours which is why I chose to make my whisked vanilla sponge I was going to be like a Victoria Sponge, but I wanted to make it a bit more special so I decided to brush each layer with a Disaronno sugar syrup (one of the spirits she likes that is perfect for cakes) and instead of filling it with my usual buttercream filling I made a mascarpone mix of;
  • A tub of double cream
  • A tub of mascarpone
  • 4 tbsp of caster sugar
I spread the mascarpone filling on the bottom layer and dotted it with some raspberries, I added the top layer and piped some leftover mascarpone mixture ontop with some raspberries and some chocolate hearts I have left over, dusted with icing sugar and voila!!

To go with the cake I heated up the leftover disaronno sugar syrup, threw in the left over raspberries and added a glug of lemon juice to make a compote which my dad wanted all to himself!

So I've been a busy little cake-making bee over the past month or so. Have you made any creations recently? Or have you tasted any creations that you need to share? Comment and let me know.

No Drama xx

*Tylo power (CMC) is vital for transforming sugarpaste/fondant into florist paste. This versatile powder will work at firming up your sugarpaste, just sprinkle into sugarpaste and mix. Great for modelling flowers and leaves as your sugarpaste will dry hard.
Also used to make edible glue, just add a teaspoon of tylo powder to cooled boiled water and mix.

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