Peony Sugar Flower

 

Before I start, all rights reserved for the above picture of these amaaaazing peony sugar flowers were made by the amazing team over at The Cake Journal! I just had to make sure to post up some perfect example of semi open peonies. Click here to check out their other work.

Right, so I’m no expert on sugar flowers that’s something I know for sure! But I do love to use products which make life so much easier to make them.

I have used 2 peony cutters by two completely different brands:
1. Petal Craft Peony Cutter
2. Sunflower Sugar Art
I found that the Petal Craft Peony Cutter was more to my liking as it had the veining set already with it which meant I didn’t have to search high and low for the perfect veiner. I know I can do it using other veiners etc. But I like to use the ‘recommended’ product to get the best effect possible lol!

I purchased mine from a lady who was selling these on facebook as I needed it immediately the following day and she was the only person I could buy from who didn’t insist I spend XXX to get free delivery or next day delivery.

This can be purchased from around £24.99. I would recommend purchasing from Windsor Cake Craft as they are very reliable and you get free delivery for orders over £20!

Here is the peony I made with this cutter and veiner set.

 

Not perfect of course but I have to admit, for a first attempt it went pretty well. I made this whole peony within 2 hours. Would have been faster but as I was being extra cautious to make shape it how I want, it took longer. I decided to do a more open style peony as you can see.

I kept wondering why all peony tutorials called for at least 4 cutters when this set only had 3. That’s when I decided I just NEEDED to get another set haha! So off I went to purchase the lovely Sunflower Sugar Art Peony Cutter set (pictured below) which set me back £19.00 from The Cake Decorating Company.

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This set did not come with any veiners so I ended up not using a veiner as I wanted to see how much of a difference it makes.

I used it on this wedding cake which was set up at The City Pavillion in Romford for a lavish ceremony for my beautiful bride Uma.

Handmade Peony Topper
Handmade Peony Topper

I dusted the centre with antique gold lustre dust and kept the peony rather closed as opposed to the first one I made using the Petal Craft Cutters.

Not a perfect sugar artist but am looking to have some more practice in my spare time as well as trying out some other peony cutters like the Claire Bowman ones which I have heard so much about! A steal at only £9.98 from The Cake Decorating Company!

All in all, my favourite is the Petal Craft Peony Cutters as I just found it more to my taste in how I wanted to make my peonies… large, elegant, and flamboyant! I know I can achieve this look with other cutters too but I just found it so much easier with this brand.

Have you tried these peony cutters? If you have which ones are your favourite and why? Or have you got any others you could recommend?

 

The First of Many Cakes…

Having been gone from my blog for goodness knows how long, I thought I would start uploading my recent works which I have been doing over the last few months!

I had the privilege in making a wedding cake for two lovely friends who I met through university whilst doing my Primary PGCE. Both extremely hard-working and dedicated individuals to their professions and I genuinely couldn’t be happier to see a more deserving couple!

They had decided on a rustic theme together with a touch of mint and had asked me to make them a cake which was covered in buttercream.

Having been shown a design that they liked I decided to give it a go using two colours, mint and cream.

Buttercream vintage Cake

As you can see, the buttercream has been worked with to create the rustic lines across the tiers. This was done using a small palette knife and simply swiping it across the tiers whilst the buttercream was still somewhat soft as I didn’t want to do it afterwards once the buttercream had hardened purely because the buttercream would crumble off and leave an untidy finish to the cake!

Have you ever made a cake similar to this? How did you find making it?

Been away far too long…

A little something that I have been doing in the past few months!
A little something that I have been doing in the past few months!

My goodness, I have been telling myself to get back on track, sit down with a cuppa…even though I REALLY do NOT like hot drinks! Yup, that’s right, I hate em’! I wish I could fit in with all you ‘hot drink drinkers’ but I’ve always struggled to drink warm things unless I am absolutely freezing! With that in mind, I do actually have a great tutorial for you on how to make a delicious home-made hot chocolate! Hypocrite I hear you say? No, no, no! Home-made is always different, I’m sure we’ve established that hence why I bake lol!!
My youngest sister loves it so that is sufficient enough for me to conclude that it is delicious heh heh!

Anywhooooo, I did mention that I like to waffle don’t I? Well if you didn’t know, you know now!
I’ve been meaning to sit down to show you all my recent works and to tell you what I have been doing for the past say… ohhhh… 2-3 months? Wow it really has been a long time!
Well, to give you a quick brief, I’ve had the mountain task of looking after my (now) 7 month old bubba, whilst house-sitting for my wonderful mother in law for a full month whilst she, hubby, and my little sister in law went away for Hajj!!!
When they came back I had an amazing rustic wedding cake to make with a mint green theme, as well as making sure to fall extremely poorly throughout the whole half-term leaving me more or less bed-ridden for the whole holiday! Once God blessed me with good health again, I was able to make roughly 100 cupcakes for a charity event held at Holiday Inn to raise money for Great Ormond Street Hospital!
Guess what… I forgot to take pictures of the cupcakes *slaps forehead* arghhh!!! I managed to take some of the chocolate cuppies, but not of the rest!

Anyways, once that was over with, I had great pleasure in baking some duffins for my hubby… he didn’t like them!! I’m not sure I did either to be honest, but that day I was fasting so anything tasted like heaven to me lol!! Pictures to come don’t worry!

I’m contemplating whether to reveal my vanilla sponge recipe as I do have a lot of people constantly asking me to give the recipe… plus, I have changed it since I first started out too!
Would you like to know my recipe? If so, make sure to leave a comment below!

Just a sec….. before I go, I will be giving you my Hazelnut Banoffee Pie recipe soon as well as a glimpse into my first attempt at making lace using Sugarveil and Claire Bowen. Which one do you think I liked? I won’t give anything away just yet! Just keep your eyes peeled to find out on my blog!

But for now, I need to dash as bubba has woken up!

Nel xxx

Paisley Cake Tutorial – FINALLY!

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Phewwwww! After spending a little time editing these pictures, I have finally sat down to get this tutorial ready for you.

I will keep it short and simple as I am sure you don’t want to be sitting here reading me waffle on and on like I normally do!

1. The Wilton Paisley Cake Tins, as you can guess, do not have their own specific cake boards made for them. This just meant that I had to go out and purchase thick cardboard to cut around the shape of the tins and then cover with either aluminium foil or silver board cover.

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Cover the cardboard in aluminium foil or silver cake board covering.. (
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Using an edible ink pen, draw around your cake tin onto the cardboard and then cut out.

2. Once cake has been baked, let it cool for about 10 minutes before attempting to turn it out. Then when the cake has cooled down, start to level it. You can do this free-hand, by using a leveller, with an agbay, or by using the cake tin. To use the cake tin method, you can view my amateur (lol!!) video tutorial here. (This was a very old video, so I will be making a new one very soon!)

Very slowly, cut through the cake using a serrated knife.
Very slowly, cut through the cake using a serrated knife.
As you can see, there's very little that has needed to be cut off.
As you can see, there’s very little that has needed to be cut off.
I like to use a spirit level to check every angle of the cake to make sure that it is as level as possible.
I like to use a spirit level to check every angle of the cake to make sure that it is as level as possible.
Voila, spirit level in the middle :-)
Voila, spirit level in the middle 🙂

3. Now you need to start assembling your layers on top each other by filling them with your desired filling.

Using your buttercream or frosting (I used frosting here), make a dam to keep the filling from spilling out,
Using your buttercream or frosting (I used frosting here), make a dam to keep the filling from spilling out.
Many cake decorators like to pipe on their dam, but it doesn work well for me as I just found that the jam used to push the dam off! So I now scrape it on using my spatula.
Many cake decorators like to pipe on their dam, but it doesn’t work well for me as I just found that the jam used to push the dam off! So I now scrape it on using my spatula.
Fill your dam with jam or whichever filling you desire.
Fill your dam with jam or whichever filling you desire.

4. When you place your last layer on top, make sure to lay it on with the bottom of the cake so that it is facing the top. This is because it is the most flattest and will help you to get a lovely smooth finish when doing your crumb-coating and when laying over the fondant.

5. Start to do your first layer of crumb-coat using buttercream/frosting.

After levelling, making a dam, and filling all your layers. Do your crumbcoating.
After levelling, making a dam, and filling all your layers. Do your crumbcoating.

6. Smooth it over using a stainless steel scraper, spatula, and hot water (video tutorial to show this very soon!).
And just wanted to tell you guys… WOW. Just plain WOW!! This product alone has made a huge improvement to how my cakes are decorated you seriously need to get one now!! Honestly, I don’t know how I have coped so long without this product in my life! I will be putting it onto ‘My Essential Cake Items’ page. In the meantime, you can purchase it from here.

7. Place it in the fridge until the frosting has become somewhat hard. So when you touch the cake lightly, the frosting does not come onto your hands.
Do another layer on crumb-coat just to make sure it is completely level on the top and around the sides. Leave it in the fridge once again to harden over. (But not too long!)

8. Your cake is now ready to be covered.
Measure the dimensions of your cake and make sure that you roll out your fondant wide enough on every angle so that it is covered! I had to roll mine out twice as the first time I didn’t even think about measuring it!

Cover with fondant and carefully smooth the sides down.
Cover with fondant and carefully smooth the sides down.
You can tell I did this tier at night can't you lol?!!
You can tell I did this tier at night can’t you lol?!!
Using a sharp knife, cut the excess fondant off.
Using a sharp knife, cut the excess fondant off.
Using some smoothers, make sure that the sides and the tops are nice and smooth with no odd bumps. If you get air bubbles, just carefully pop them with a sterilised pin.
Using some smoothers, make sure that the sides and the tops are nice and smooth with no odd bumps. If you get air bubbles, just carefully pop them with a sterilised pin.

9. After they were covered and smoothed over. I let them rest for a couple of hours to let the fondant harden as I knew I would be doing a lot of piping work and didn’t want to take the risk of leaning onto it and leaving marks! Arghh! Just thinking about the possibility of that happening makes my stomach churn!

10. Make your royal icing for the piping. Now, really you are supposed to use egg whites when making royal icing to pipe. But I have made it in the past without it and got the consistency correct to work with. Plus I am a little funny about using raw eqq whites. I did once buy some imitation powdered egg whites but just didn’t like the results that I got from it!
As I was saying! I made the royal icing with icing sugar, water, and Sugarflair “Autumn Leaf” colour paste. I can’t give you the exact recipe I’m afraid as it’s a secret recipe! Joke! As if! Pffffft!
On a serious note, I just kept adding water and icing sugar until I thought I had the right stretch! Next time I will definitely keep note of how much I am adding so we can all benefit from it hey?! :-p

11. Draw on your desired henna pattern directly onto the cake tiers. You don’t have to do this part if you feel you are confident on piping freehand! My cousin who is a make-up artist can do freehand as well as one of my husbands’ cousin. You must see their work it is just stunning! I have no idea how they can do it so fast! My hubby’s cousin does half an arm within a matter of minutes, it’s just crazy talent!
I used Sugar Art Pen in “liquorice” to draw on my designs. I didn’t use one design, I actually gathered inspiration from a selection of designs that I found on Google Images!

Take your time drawing the design! Seriously! Don't take the risk rushing, it's not worth it!
Take your time drawing the design! Seriously! Don’t take the risk rushing, it’s not worth it!
I'm sure you can tell which design I used from here?
I’m sure you can tell which design I used from here?
I used this one more on my green tier.
I used this one more on my green tier.
one of the final images.
The final image.

And of course, I MUST give credit to where it is due!

My customer gave me a design to work with and it didn’t have any watermark on it so I just couldn’t figure out who the original cake maker was. But last night whilst I was on Instagram, one of my favourite cake makers based up north in Liverpool called Sprinklez Liverpool… (Check her work out right now! Do. It. Now. It is a must! You cannot leave this page until you have seen her work. Your jaw will drop just like mine does every time some new material is uploaded. It’s not just her amazing cake artistry, but her photography is mind-blowing!) As I was saying, she shared a page called Say it with Cakes. I was admiring her beautiful work when I saw the paisley henna cake picture that my customer gave to me! Woohooo! Success!
So here it is, the original cake that inspired my own paisley cake!

Say it with Cakes Mehendhi Paisley Cake. https://www.facebook.com/SayitwithCakes
Say it with Cakes Mehendhi Paisley Cake.
https://www.facebook.com/SayitwithCakes

12. Okay, Pipe the royal icing on very slowly and once it has hardened, go over it using Rainbow Dust’s Click & Twist Pen in ‘Metallic Light Gold’.

13. Place some buttercream on your covered cake board where you have decided to place your cake tiers.

Buttercream smeared into position for the first cake tier.
Buttercream smeared into position for the first cake tier.

13. Place the ribbon on around the cake using either piping gel, water, or edible glue. And then use some double sided sticky tape which you can buy from most stationary shops for cheap. I bought mine instore from Hobbycraft for 50p for 50 metres!

place double sided tape on first.
Place double sided tape on first.
Now place the ribbon on.
Now place the ribbon on.

14. Add on any finishing touches that you would like to add such as lettering, any extra flowers around the board etc… and VOILA! Finished!!

Now sit back, and admire your work. Or if you’re anything like me, keep looking for flaws to attempt to fix/hide/cover!

Birds-eye view of the finished cake.
Birds-eye view of the finished cake.
From an angle
From an angle.
Angle from the mustard yellow tier.
Angle from the mustard yellow tier.
Close up on the work done on the mustard yellow tier.
Close up on the work done on the mustard yellow tier.
Close up on the green tier.
Close up on the green tier.

I hope you’ve enjoyed this tutorial as much as I did making it for you. I know there are probably many more things that I have missed out on which you would like to know about so please do ask! This is my first tutorial so go easy on me 😉

Nel xXx

Paisley Henna Design Cake Tutorial…

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Ok, so, its 01:12 GMT and I am absolutely shattered after making one huge momma of a cake! Alright, alright, so it wasn’t really THAT big! It was the cake board which was big. 20 inches by 14 inches to be exact. But who cares about the cake board when you’re making a new cake design for the first time hey? I forgot to take a picture before placing the buttercream on it to place the green cake on lol!

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I had a mighty task of baking 2 cakes for a henna party for today. The only element which made it a difficult task was that I needed to decorate it in henna decor. Sheeesh! I used to love adorning my hands with the dark brown sludgy mud for it to then leave a beautiful dark orange to brown stain which would last for up to a week if the hands were looked after well. But that was over 10 years ago! Since then I have had very little time to myself let alone sit for a few hours to be decorating my hands… you know with finishing my degree, deciding that it wasn’t the career I really wanted so changed career plans, getting married, having kids, finishing my PGCE, and then teaching myself to decorate cakes in between… I’m pretty sure trying to fit in henna art would’ve pushed me over the edge as I just didn’t enjoy it like I used to.

ANYWAYS – I seriously need to remind myself not to waffle too much as I might just end up telling my whole life story haha! As I was saying… I sat down with my brand new Paisley Wilton Cake Pans, Cake Stuff Couture Icing, and a bunch of nerves to set me off!

I thought I would document the whole process so you could see how I made this cake and maybe try and attempt it yourself so I can see your wonderful creations too!

Here is the finished product. Once I have finished cutting and cropping and all the other bits and bobs that need doing to all the pictures I will upload the steps asap!

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Anyways, gotta go catch some sleep before bubba wakes up!

Much Cakey Love
Nel xXx