Sunday, 29 May 2016

Fox Cake Topper

Have I told you before how much I love autumn (love love love!)? Maybe just about every year at this time?!
Blue skies and golden brown leaves. A time of  reprieve from the Durban humidity. And life seems to slow down a pace; which is welcome after the busy-ness of the first third of the year.
It's the perfect season.
The only problem with autumn is that it's not long enough. That, and a sad lack of hedgehogs...

Settlers colonised us with mynah birds and bug weed, but no hedgehogs. What were they thinking? (They've got a lot to account for!)

So, we'll just have to make our own.
And a few foxes.

And who-whoo would say no to and owl or two?

They're all made from a 50:50 mix of fondant and modelling chocolate ; and I've added some CMC / tylose paste to the mix to speed up the drying time (about a quarter of the total mass).

Happy (autumn) decorating!


Wednesday, 11 May 2016

Rainbow Unicorn Birthday Cake

A couple of months ago I started work on a cake that I was making just for the pleasure of making a cake! What?! 
 Then reality whacked me on the head (with a hammer fist), so I wrapped up the un-finished cake  (in double layers of cling wrap) and packed it away in the freezer. 
I can't even remember what my original plan for it was :o\

But finally, its moment to be released from cryo-existence came: My niece's 14th birthday party - slap, bang in the middle of a very busy work week and Mothers Day cookie classes. How very handy to have a half-decorated cake already in residence. What great foresight, on my part ;o) 
A quick unicorn topper, and a bit of airbrushing later and the birthday cake was done. 

See how I cover a double barrel cake here.
See Crumb Avenue's adorable unicorn tutorial here.  Mine is the teenage version ;o)

Because you're never too old for a rainbow unicorn cake...! 

Happy decorating!


Sunday, 8 May 2016

Mothers Day Tea and Cake Cookies

Happy Mothers Day! Or just happy Sunday, if you're not a mom! ;o)
I'm not big into celebrating these "holidays", but my family doesn't need to know that... So I capitalised on a bit of guilt (we're good at that, us moms!) by suggesting that in lieu of a gift, I wanted the house cleaned and tidied this Sunday - up to my standards, not theirs.
A friend suggested that this request would mean I'd be woken up by the sound of clanking dishes and vacuuming. I'd be quite happy with that if it meant someone else had noticed that there were dishes to be washed!!

Let's talk about colours. The theme for this Mothers Day cookie class was Tea & Cake. I wanted pretty, but not too bright or fresh. It's not summer here, after all. So, to get this look, I used the standard Cake Flora/ Americolor gel colours (see below), and added a touch of black  (and I mean just a touch!).  The result is still a very pretty colour scheme, just muted - let's call it antiqued, rather than washed-out. (Appropriate for Mothers Day?!!)

  Both pinks are deep pink; the green is mint green with a bit of turquoise, and the purple is a mix of regal and electric purple

Add a touch of black. If you overdo it, just add a little more of the original colour. 

Our "antiqued" colours. Pretty, huh? 


Yes, that's it - I'm just antiqued

Happy decorating!  


Sunday, 1 May 2016

Butterfly Wedding Cake

So, this was the wedding cake that I didn't know I was making.
Don't you just hate that when it happens?!
Well, I had agreed to make it... 4 years ago...

Long story.
A friend of my sister's. Different wedding, same bride. The first one wasn't meant to be (and thankfully she found that out before the big day). This guy's a keeper.

But, truthfully, I haven't been much involved with the in's and out's of it; and hadn't considered that my offer from 4 years ago (when I had way more baking & caking time on my hands) was still standing.

So, when was "reminded" about the cake 10 days before the wedding, it came as a b-i-i-i-t of a surprise...! Thankfully it was a simple mandate: a small cake, and a few dozen cupcakes with a butterfly theme. And in a colour scheme I love.

Here's how I made this large butterfly for the cake: 

Cut out with a cookie cutter; embossed details with a  Dresden tool. 

Dried in a fold of cardboard. Shaded with brown 

Dusted with luster

Done and dusted ;o) 


And the crackled effect on the sides of the cake is courtesy of this video tutorial by Cakes by Angela Morrison
I had to press on the gum paste (CMC paste) layer very firmly to get the cracks to appear; but that could be because I got my drying time wrong.
It's a lovely effect, isn't it?

Happy decorating!