Monday, 27 April 2015

Autumn Leaves Tutorial

A couple of years ago I made another autumn themed cake.  It had a lot of leaves on it. A lot
They hid the myriad cracks, craters, bubbles and other blemishes that were a feature of my early fondant cakes. 
I've learnt a few things since then. Thankfully! So I can decorate with a more minimalist autumn look these days....

Autumn Leaves Tutorial

You'll need:

Sugar paste in autumn colours*
Small fondant roller 
Leaf cutters
Bone tool
Dresden tool / veining tool
Petal pad
Egg box for drying (the shallower "lid" part works particularly well)
Dusting colours - 
Flat tipped brush 

*(I'm using a mix of fondant and CMC (tylose) paste here, but you can use pure CMC paste/ gum paste. To get russet, colour the paste with red and brown gel). 

Roll out paste, and cut out leaves

Thin and curl leaf edges
with bone tool 

                                                      Add veins.

Dry leaves with edges curled up

 Once dry, dust with dusting colours 

 Add little brown dusting to enhance the veins

All done.

Autumn Themed Wedding Cake

Happy decorating! 


Sunday, 19 April 2015

Sea Themed Cake Pops

I almost forgot about these - snapped on my phone amidst the chaos of birthday prep a month ago. But a busy March, transitioned into a busier April and I'm needing to play a little catch-up.
So, this is a gone-fishing kind of filler while I work on some meatier posts.

Sea Themed Cake Pops

You'll need:

  • cake balls ready for dipping (See how I make cake pops here.) 
  • cake pop sticks
  • melted white chocolate, coloured aqua/ sea green
  • finely crushed cookie crumbs
  • small edible fish (of course most fish are edible... but you know what I mean!)  
  • piping consistency royal icing

After you've secured the cake ball onto the stick with chocolate, dip it  into the aqua-coloured chocolate; tap it gently on the side of the bowl to allow the excess chocolate to drip off.

Before the chocolate sets completely (but has stopped dripping), dip the base of the cake pop into finely crushed cookie crumbs. 

If you get the timing right, and the chocolate hasn't set yet, the fish will stick to the cake pop. Otherwise use a little chocolate to glue it in place. 

Once the chocolate has set completely, pipe on small dots of royal icing to imitate bubbles (you can use melted white chocolate, but my chocolate piping skills are not so hot, so I'll stick with what I know!)  It's an important step - the bubbles really bring it to life (breathing air does that, I guess...!)

Nestle the finished cake pops in a bed of cookie crumbs to serve (for the realistic ocean floor look!).

Happy creating!

Wednesday, 8 April 2015

Must-Make Chocolate Tart

Would you feel I'm rushing you if I said it's time to move on from Easter and use up all those left over chocolate eggs?
Ok, maybe you don't have any left  (I have a friend who makes a point of eating all of hers on Easter Sunday - just to make sure they don't tempt her again on Monday. Makes sense...!); well, then use normal baking chocolate. Because trust me  - this is a  must make chocolate tart! And it's so easy. It's my new go-to desert.
 I first made it using only 70% dark chocolate. But I've modified the recipe, and lightened it up a bit. It's better.  Not too bitter, not too sweet. Rich and chocolatey.  It's what Easter eggs want to be when they grow up ;o)

Must-Make Chocolate  Tarts
Recipe adapted from Nigella 

Preheat the oven to 160'C
Grease 2 x 20cm tart pans


300g cookie crumbs
100g butter
160g dark chocolate

Melt the butter and chocolate together in a double boiler, or slowly in the microwave.
Mix well with the cookie crumbs and press firmly into the base of your tart pans.

Bake for 10 minutes at 160'C


250g dark chocolate - I used half  Callebaut 70% dark callets, and half normal baking chocolate (dark)
185g butter
4 large eggs
4 large egg yolks
75g caster sugar

Melt the chocolate and butter together in a double boiler. Cool slightly

Beat the eggs, yolks and sugar together until doubled in volume.

Pour the chocolate mixture into the egg mixture. Beat well.

Pour into the prepared tart pans.

Bake  for 10-12 minutes.

Cool completely.

Dust with icing sugar before serving.