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Wedding cake practice

In July I am making my brothers wedding cake and wanted to learn some new skills to make it pretty. Whilst browsing Instagram I came across a beautifully decorated cake using buttercream flowers – actually a promo for a teach yourself kit that Wilton sells. The first challenge I had was locating somewhere in the UK that actually sold it (massive thanks to the UK Wilton Customer Services team who helped me locate one!) once that was done, last weekend was a practice run.

Slightly over the top colours (some testing with my ColourRight colours) but generally, not a bad first go!

Recipes

´╗┐Ombre icing

Today is the birthday of one of my colleagues. Without going into too much detail, she’s had a pretty rubbish 12 months so I wanted to help her celebrate in style.

Inspired by The Great British Bake Off, I wanted to up the stakes when it came to both the baking/cake and the icing.

Cake wise, I opted for a traditional Victoria sponge base – with some whole raspberries throughout for a bit of variety, but icing wise, I was inspired by the ombre fashion.

Ingredients
Cake
9 medium sized eggs
16oz butter
16oz caster sugar
16oz self raising flour
200g raspberries
1tsp baking powder
Icing
240g unsalted butter
750g icing sugar
1tsp vanilla essence
75g full fat milk

Method Cake

1. Cream butter and sugar together until light, fluffy and pale
2. Add eggs one by one (adding a little of the flour if needed to prevent curdling
3. Add flour
4. Add vanilla essence
5. Beat until light and fluffy
6. Split between 3 prepared (greased/floured/lined) cake tins (c25cm diameter)
7. Bake in a preheated over (c. 180) for 25-35 mins – until golden and a skewer comes out clean
8. Allow to cool

IMG_2907

Icing
1. Soften butter
2. Gradually add icing sugar and milk
3. Once incorporated, beat on high speed for around 5 mins, until light and mousse like

I also did three tiers (not something I do very often, and made more difficult by the fact I only have sets of 2 tins!!).

Cake turned out well – and i’ll try the ombre again as it looked pretty!IMG_2917 IMG_2918

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90th birthday celebrations

In July 2014 my grandmother turned 90 and hosted a garden party to celebrate the occasion… My contribution to the festivities was a birthday cake.

I decided to make shaped cakes (something I’ve not done before) but opted for the slightly easier option of shaped cake tins rather than cutting to shape.

I bought a 9 and a 0 – rather underestimating the size of the tins and ended up with these monsters…

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The first challenge was working out the mixture volume which I did by guess work (way too much the first time) and then deciding on how I’d flavour them.

Rather than a Madeira recipe I opted for a standard sponge recipe (equal quantities of egg, flour, butter and sugar) and made one vanilla and one lemon.

Each tin had 10 eggs and the corresponding ingredients – mixed in 2 batches as my mixer couldn’t manage it all! And then decorated with sugar paste flowers.

It was well received by the birthday girl and all the guests (plus all the residents of her apartment block 2 days later!) ­čÖé

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Practice makes perfect!

Never one to need a real excuse to make a cake, I was provided with the perfect opportunity this weekend as it was my boyfriends birthday.

Also since moving house I’ve struggled with getting the temperature and time combination right for the new oven – I think I’ve now got it nailed – longer than it should be at a lower temperature!!

As I’m getting slightly apprehensive about the wedding cake i’m making in june, i’m taking every opportunity to practice the perfect application of roll on icing! And this birthday was no exception! Standard Victoria sponge recipe with badly cut out birthday lettering (fortunately that won’t be required for the real thing!!)

Picture of the final result below!!

 

Victoria sponge
Ingredients
Cake mixture
5 med eggs
10oz butter
10oz caster sugar
10oz self raising flour

Buttercream
250g icing sugar
125g butter
Vanilla extract

Method
Turn on oven to c180
Grease and line 2 cake tins

Cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy
Add eggs one at a time, folding in.
Fold in flour gradually

Split mixture evenly into the 2 tins leaving a slight dip in the middle of each.

Bake for c.20-30 mins (dependent on your oven!)

To make buttercream
Soften butter then add icing sugar, beat until thoroughly combined.
Add vanilla extract and mix thoroughly.

When golden brown remove from oven. When slightly cooled remove from ribs onto cooling rack.
When completely cold, even off tops of cakes with cake wire or large knife.

Spread raspberry/strawberry (whichever red jam you fancy) on one of the flattened sides and buttercream on the other.

Sandwich together! And enjoy!