Thursday, 12 May 2016


It has been ages since I have even logged on to the web. 77 days to be exact. Ouch! That hurt me. A lot. It really has been a long time. Following a trip abroad, child illness and Easter holidays I am finally able to tell you all about my bakes. I haven't stopped baking, not in the slightest. I have however, found it pretty much impossible to sit down, unwind and write about it. To celebrate me working on the blog again I thought I will tell you a little bit more about this beautiful cake.
A couple of weeks ago my daughter turned 5. 5!!!!  I can't believe my beautiful  baby girl is growing up. She is turning into a lovely young lady and as such she has very specific demands when it came to her party. She started talking about her birthday party many months ago. She wanted some of her friends to come home and have a tea party. Her birthday was on a Wednesday, so 5 girls from her class came home after school. Miss Annabel wanted them to decorate their own cupcakes. She wanted them to do colouring, play in the garden, have pizza for tea and most importantly - she wanted a cake, covered in roses in shades of pink. You see, Annabel does not know the term ombre yet, but she was very particular about wanting various pinks on the cake. After all of these demands were agreed upon I had to actually make the cupcakes and the cake. To make an ombre cake you need height. I am fortunate to have friends who bake so I was able to borrow a 7'' and a 6'' tins. I made a chocolate cake with chocolate butter cream. I must say THANK YOU to my friend Sarah from Sarah Bakes Cakes (please check her out, she is amazing!) for all her tips and advice. She showed me how to make an ombre cake - I wouldn't have been able to do it without her help. The buttercream for the roses were in various shades of .... purple! Of course, miss Annabel changed her mind about the colour the night before her big day. I used PME violet food gel colour but found it very difficult to work with. I had to use vast quantities of it to achieve the colours I wanted and even then they were not right. I much prefer working with Wilton food gel colours or Sugarflair which is unfortunately very expensive.
I was pleased with the texture and moistness of the chocolate cake, this is probably the best recipe I have ever tried. But don't take my word for it, give it a go and let me know what you think.
I made loads of buttercream, about 800gr in total. It sounds like a lot and it is. But you need every last drop of it. Because the cake was a chocolate one I had to make sure it was crumb coated in white buttercream. Apart from hiding the colour of the cake it helps the buttercream roses to stick to the sides. Here is the result:

It was gorgeous. I was impressed with myself and very pleased. It took me a while to do it but the look on my daughter's face was priceless. She was so happy! I couldn't bring myself to cut it so it was up to my husband to 'destroy' my work of art.
According to hubby it was 'the most delicious and good looking cake' I have ever made. It was a very rich cake and lasted us a few days. I never thought I would be able to pull it off but pushing through anxiety and fear of it not working out I created something amazing and made Annabel's birthday a magical one.
Decorate your own cupcakes went down a treat - the girls were hungry after school and a lemon cupcake with buttercream, loads of marshmallows, sugar animals and some fruit seemed to be exactly what they needed.
Various pizzas, cucumber and carrot sticks, plum baby tomatoes and vast quantities of grapes made a great dinner. The day was beautiful and perfect for jumping on the trampoline, having a go on the swings and running around the garden. All in all, it was a great day, a fab one even. I thoroughly enjoyed it and so did Annabel.
As part of the gifts she gave her friends for helping her have a magical day were my homemade cookies. I attempted to decorate them and here is the result:

I had never decorate cookies before and it clearly shows. But Annabel and the girls enjoyed my first try of making and working with royal icing.

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