Thursday, 3 September 2015

Piñata Cake With Surprises Inside!

This Piñata cake is packed with surprises, brightly decorated with multi coloured sponge layers to match and filled with yummy sweets. Kids love them!

I made this one for my 29 year old big kid and she and her friends loved it! Filled with their favourite sweets it's a great surprise, in my daughters case it was Dolly Mixtures, Skittles and M&Ms, but you can use any. It's more effective if they are out of the packet so that they tumble out of the cake as the first slice is cut!

For this cake I used a basic sponge recipe as gel colours needed to be added to the mixture which would require a good bit of mixing, if you use something like a genoese recipe you will end up beating all the air out.


225g (8oz) Self Raising Flour
225g (8oz) Butter, at room temperature
225g (8oz) Caster Sugar
4 Eggs
1 tsp Baking Powder
1 tsp Vanilla Essence


Mix all the ingredients together in one bowl, divide into 2 and colour each one differently.

I used Pink, Yellow, Green, Blue, Orange and Purple. You can fill two 8" lined and greased sandwich pans out of each batch so you will need to make 3 batches in total for 6 brightly coloured layers.

Make sure you use bake stable food colour to achieve a bright baked finish, in a gel or paste so it will not alter the consistency of the cake mixture.
Bake in a preheated oven at 180°c/ Gas mark 4 for approximately 15-25 minutes.

When cooled cut out the centre of 5 of the cakes and stack using butter cream, fill with you chosen sweets and add the last layer. Thinly coat the outside with butter cream.

Using your food colours from the sponge make 6 different coloured batches of butter cream and with a frill tube pipe from the bottom of the cake to the top and then into the centre, alternating colours as you go.
We got about 30 portions from this cake and they were generous! So you could get more!

If you would prefer to watch how this Piñata cake is made and decorated there will be a video following shortly.

Hope you enjoy making this cake, it's well worth the effort for the surprised and happy faces!
Let me know how you get on and what you filled yours with?

Wednesday, 26 August 2015

Best Chocolate Brownie Ever!

I've tried a number of chocolate brownie recipes in the past but none come close to this one, it's crunchy on the top and gooey in the middle with chunks of chocolate in every mouth full, fabulous!
You gotta try this, let me know what you think, it could be your best ever brownie too!

275g/10oz plain chocolate (70% cocoa solids)
275g/10oz unsalted butter
85g/3oz milk chocolate, cut into large chunks
85g/3oz white chocolate, cut into large chunks
175g/6oz plain flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
4 large eggs, lightly beaten
1 teaspoon vanilla essence
325g/12oz caster sugar

Preheat oven to 170°C/325°F/Gas3. Line a 30x20x3.5cm tin with buttered greaseproof paper.

Put plain chocolate and butter in a bowl over boiling water until melted.
Sieve flour and baking powder into a bowl. Remove melted chocolate from heat and stir in the sugar.
Add the eggs and vanilla essence, then fold in the flour and chocolate chunks.

Pour into prepared tin and spread out evenly. Bake in the oven for about 20-25 minutes.
The top should be firm but the inside should be soft when baked.
Allow to cool in the tin before carefully removing and cutting into small squares, cos it's very rich!

Wednesday, 19 August 2015

Edible beads for cakes!

Silicone bead moulds are a very effective way to make edible beads for adding detail and enhancing the finish on your cakes.

See how easy it is with this video tutorial and give it a go!

They make a lovely border around cake bases as an alternative to ribbon or royal icing. Draping them down the sides can help achieve that very popular vintage look with different sizes and patterns available to choose from.

Using shimmering dusts can give a pearl effect or to add drama gold and silver edible paints are great.

Wednesday, 12 August 2015

It's Not Just A Spatula!

This is an every day essential, ergonomic spatulas are fab, you've got to get yourself one!

I've just treated myself a bright green one and am not disappointed.
Really easy to clean as it is all in one, no where for nasty germs to hide, just wash in warm soapy water or put in your dishwasher.
Being made of silicone, it very flexible and gets every last drop of cake mix, chocolate or butter cream out of your bowl, nothing is left.
Great in non stick and ceramic pans too, can take the heat, releases everything from the surface of the pan and doesn't scratch or stick.
I've only had mine a short while and would be lost without it, my wooden spoons are redundant!
Why don't you try one? Choose from one of the lovely bright colours and let me know what you think!

Wednesday, 5 August 2015

Sprinkles aren't just for sprinkling!

Fab & Fun Rainbow Sprinkles Cake!
This eye catching cake is oh so simple, all you need is sugar paste, sprinkles and edible glue.
After covering your cake with sugar paste, apply a thin layer of edible glue all over the surface and press the rainbow sprinkles on flat with your hands removing any excess. Placing it on a white covered cake drum emphasises the chaotic pattern of the sprinkles, as does having a plain white cake to set off the numbers. These are cut out of flower paste and left to dry before applying the glue and sprinkles in the same way.
It's advisable to keep patterns separated to avoid clashing of colour and design, complementing your creation.

Wednesday, 29 July 2015

Cake Drum, Board or Card, that is the Question!

What do you use and when? This is one of the most frequently asked questions in our showroom.

Cake drum is the thickest at 13 mm, covered in foil and comes in many shapes, including hexagonal, heart and oblong, sizes from 6" to 20" and colours such as silver, gold, black, pink, blue and purple.
These are perfect for heavy fruit cakes or as a base for a wedding or special celebration cake.
As a guide you would normally have a cake drum two inches larger than the cake, 8" cake, 10" drum, however if you are icing the drum, as you probably would with a Wedding cake it's advisable to opt for three or even four inches bigger, 10" base cake, 13"/14" cake drum this an important consideration as most cake stands at the venue or to hire are at least 14" and will help to enhance the overall appearance.

Cake boards are 3 mm thick and made from very strong board in order to take the weight of heavy cakes including those to be stacked as in the case of multi tiered Wedding cakes. Being more cost effective they are frequently used in the making of novelty and celebration cakes. Also available in different shapes, sizes and designs, they are a great way to set off your creation.

Cake cards at 2 mm thick are ideal for multi tiered stacked cakes where the boards need to be hidden from view, using the same size board as your cake they are for gateaux, sponges, and light weight cakes. Available with hygienic silver foil covering in round and square, sizes from 3" to 12".

Polycoated cards are the thinnest at 1.5 mm and have a non stick coating so will not allow the moisture from your cake to leach through. Available in 6" to 12" round and 6" to 10" square they are ideal for gateaux and light sponges. Also used for tiered cakes like the cards but not as heavy duty, so small light weight cakes only.

Gold and Silver foil is also available if you would like to reuse tired or damaged boards to reduce waste and keep your costs to a minimum.

I hope you found this information useful and that it has help you make an informed decision with regards to which one and when!

Wednesday, 22 July 2015

Baby Shower Cakes

Baby Shower Cakes are becoming increasingly popular, the term shower assumed to mean to shower the mother to be with gifts, such as , nappies, bottles, clothes, blankets and toys.
Traditionally for the first child and women only, they are hosted by a friend rather than a family member as it is considered rude to request gifts for our own families, however they are increasingly arranged by the baby's grandmother.
I remember when I had my first child twenty eight years ago, it was considered unlucky to celebrate or to have anything baby orientated in the house before it's safe arrival. The cot, pram and all the other paraphernalia were kept out of sight, usually at the baby's grand parents and would miraculously appear on the new families return from hospital with your new bundle of joy!
Now everything is prepared and celebrated up to a month before baby's arrival with some mothers choosing "it's a girl" or "It's a boy"  when the gender is known in advance, to adorn their cakes.

How times have changed!
If your organising a Baby Shower, and the gender is a surprise, why not try this easy cake below, it's covered in neutral yellow sugar paste with pastel pink , blue and green polka dots with some baby building blocks and edible ribbon, also made from thinly rolled sugar paste?

Friday, 17 July 2015

Mix And Match Side Design Cake

A set of side design cutters have been used to create this dramatic cake, with metallic gold modelling paste and Midnight black "Roll n Cover" sugar paste, set off by a black cake drum.

Gold modelling paste is a great product, after cutting into small pieces it's best warmed in the hand before working a piece at a time to make it pliable. It's then ready to roll out nice and thin on a surface greased with a small amount of petal base, this makes it easy to release and prevents it from drying out. Lightly grease the cutters before cutting out your shapes, this 8" round, 5" deep cake needed 20 pieces. After covering your cake with Midnight black sugar paste you can attach your decoration with edible sugar glue, making sure you line them up straight and put one directly above the other. Ruffle flowers are made from three different sized circle cutters after preparing the gold paste the same way, you fold the circles into ruffles and glue together before drying in some formers to hold there shape. They can be added to the cake when they are dry.

Thursday, 16 July 2015

How To Use Side Design Embossers To Decorate Your Cake

This tutorial shows you how to effortlessly use embossers to add detail and dramatic effects to the sides of your cakes.

Brickwork is great for a boys "Knight's Castle" cake or you may have a resident builder in your midst, you might want to copy a house or a building, this is an accurate, fast and effective way to achieve life like bricks that look amazing.

Quilting looks fab on vintage cakes and makes great looking covers on bed cakes, or bedding on a crib for a Christening cake.

Diamond side design is most effective with added details such as piped dots, sugar balls, blossoms, or stars added to the centre of each cross. Alternate tiers of a Wedding cake picked out with such detail is really eye catching as are Anniversary cakes with silver or gold hearts added!

Why not give it a go, you'll be amazed how simple and effective it is! Embossing is even better on "Roll n Cover" sugar paste!

Wednesday, 15 July 2015

How To Make Edible Sugar Blossoms

In this tutorial you can see how easy it is to make edible sugar blossoms using a set of cutters, a non stick rolling pin, a foam flower pad and some odd bits of sugar paste.
They look great in different colours, sizes and with contrasting centres.
It's a really easy way to add some colour and some extra detailing to enhance a pretty and feminine cake.

A foam pad is a must for a cake decorator, it's handy for drying cut out pieces as the air can circulate and speed up the process.
My blossom cutters are always in use, they are great for filler flowers in sprays and space fillers on cakes to help bring a theme together and add a splash of colour.
Delicate centres can be added with a piping bag filled with royal icing using a small plain nozzle.