Thursday, 24 December 2015

Santa Cupcake Toppers

I think I've finally been hit by the festive spirit! Christmas cheer is here!  Ho Ho Ho!
It's been particularly tardy in arriving this year. Maybe because I had to do my shopping so late. (My usual plan is to get it all done before the school holidays start, which just wasn't possible in these busy last few months.) And when you go to the mall this close to Christmas, forget being hit by festive spirit, you get assaulted by it... (There's not a lot of peace and goodwill in the parking lots as people fight for that last empty space!)
But here we are, with just a few hours to go - and I feel like I can finally relax into the occasion.

So here's my gift to you: an easy Santa cupcake topper tutorial....

Santa Cupcake Toppers:

What you'll need:   
  • Sugarpaste in red, white, flesh and black (this is a fondant/ modelling chocolate blend) 
  • Round and scalloped cutters
  • Small roller
  • Edible glue and brush
  • Dresden tool, bone tool
  • Small palette knife
  • Edible powder colour pink and brush
  • Cornflour for dusting your work surface
Cut out a circle of flesh-coloured paste using the plain round cutter (use the smaller of the two). This is the face. 

Cut out a circle of white paste using the larger scalloped cutter . 
Cut away a segment of white paste using the smaller plain cutter. 
This is the beard. 

 Use two small balls of white paste to create the moustache 

Roll them into tear drop shapes

Make a nose, eyes and eyebrows 

Cut out a circle of red paste for the hat

Cut off the excess

Add a strip of white paste

Add the tassel of the hat

and a pom pom...

Use the edible glue to put all the pieces together

Make an impression for the eyes, add creases

Assemble the rest of the face and add some pink "blush" to Santa's nose. 


Ho Ho Ho!

Merry Christmas!


Thursday, 17 December 2015

Purple and White Wedding Cake

Did I mention that in the midst of Christmas classes (620 cookies, 200 cupcakes); work (lots and lots of work); school functions, and end-of-year events, I also had a wedding cake to make?
No big deal really - just a three tier cake and cakes for the mother-of-the-bride and mother-of-the-groom (as is done for Zulu weddings) that I had one afternoon to rustle up!
 Princess, who works for me, had asked me to make her wedding cake - and I couldn't very well refuse! She's such a sweetheart, and does so much for us - always with a big smile.
 But I literally dashed home from the hospital on the only day that I had a gap to make it and worked for 9 hours to get it done. Haibo! 

Thankfully it was all vanilla sponge. Her colours were purple and white.
The bottom tier was covered in buttercream rosettes, and the top two with fondant and edible lace.

If you've battled with lace before, try this homemade recipe...  It's not as liquid as the pre-mixes, but works really well in all weather conditions - which is important right now in this misty cloud we're living in!

The great thing about edible lace is that you can make it in advance, and store until needed. I hadn't made it in advance (of course not - why make life easier for myself?!)  
But if you use the recipe above, you can have lace ready in a matter of minutes.

All in a day's work  ;o)

Happy decorating!


Sunday, 13 December 2015

Christmas Cupcakes 2015

These were the Christmas cupcakes that nearly weren't. 
Very nearly weren't. 
I've been burning the candle at both ends recently (who hasn't?!), but had things under control. I was wrapping up the cookie classes; my Christmas demo cupcakes were already done, all I had to do was bake for the cupcake classes and prepare the pastes and icing. In between work and, you know - life. 

And then ... disaster! I'd been storing the cupcakes in the oven, away from humidity and harm. Which is a good idea, a long as the oven doesn't  accidentally get turned on. Aargh! 
Well, I didn't really like those cupcakes anyway (*Sob*)!  

So, I had to find another few hours to make new demo's. Who needs sleep, anyway?
And did I mention that Durban's weather has been 38'C with 80% humidity lately?! 
If you've never had to make sugar creations in those kind of conditions... Count. Yourself.  Lucky!

So, these were all round two. Photo's taken before the Friday class. They didn't look that way by Saturday. The gingerbread man especially couldn't handle the heat. He fell to pieces.
That's the story of the gingerbread man. Southern hemisphere style.

Anyway, we did it: Christmas cupcakes classes all wrapped up.
Thank you, Saturday ladies for shifting to a later time slot !! (I had to squeeze in two theatre cases before the class... burning that candle, and all...!)

Poinsettia tutorial here:

Gingerbread man tutorial here:

Happy decorating!


Saturday, 5 December 2015

Christmas Cookies 2015

620 odd cookies and about 6kg of royal icing later, and we've wrapped up Christmas cookie classes for 2015. Phew!
And then I did some extra ones for my children to take to school for break-up day this week.
I'm officially all Christmas-cookied-out!

At least I'm not nauseated by the colours, yet  - although I did get some grumbling about the lack of red.... ahem, Tara and Tarryn! ;o) 
But after 4 years of Christmas cookie classes, I have to keep it fresh for my own selfish sake! 

This was my 1st take on the colours for this year's demo cookies...

But it just wasn't working for me. Too much like last year's colours (and we don't do last season here - bwah!) 
And decorating winter shapes in the height of southern hemisphere summer was also sitting uncomfortably with me. It was easily solved by making them pink and lime green, though! 

And, FYI - that candy pink actually is red! "Red Red" gel, to be exact. So there! 

Happy decorating!