Ad & Iona's Wedding Cake


It's flattering to be asked to make a wedding cake but I usually decline as my baking skills can be a little hit or miss. I made an exception for our friends Ad & Iona because they are lovely and I was confident they wouldn't disown me if it all went horribly wrong and I turned up with a Battenberg.  

Surprisingly I was pretty relaxed on this one (at least that's how I remember it). There were no dramas, no meltdowns and it came together perfectly. Maybe it helped booking a week off work and planning every little detail - or maybe I just got lucky!


I tried my best to give Ad & Iona the wedding cake experience. We talked about ideas, had a cake tasting and I even managed a sketch despite the fact I can't draw. 

So the bottom tier was always going to be a vanilla sponge. The other flavours we tried were coffee, chocolate with a dark chocolate ganache and carrot cake with a cream cheese frosting. My first ever carrot cake!

My smallest tin is a 6 inch round, so I baked a fairly rustic 6 inch cake for each knowing they have plenty of friends and family to share them with. 


With the flavours picked Iona got busy pinning cakes and highlighting what she liked most about each one. I took all those favourite bits and came up with a design (complete with spelling mistakes)...
and here's how it turned out...
In Ad's words "exactly like the drawing" - I'm not sure if that's a compliment?!


Chuffed with my sharp edges! Ironically, I was most worried about stencilling the middle tier and this turned out to be the quickest and easiest job. On the other hand the silver leaf should have taken 5 minutes but required a lot of patience. It was
McGreevy Cake's tutorial that led me in to a false sense of security. She made it look so easy but no matter what I did the leaf just didn't want to stick. I wouldn't say I mastered it in the end, I just persevered and tiny tiny bits at a time, I eventually got the effect I wanted/settled for. Good thing I was going for a vintage patchy look.

The beautiful cake topper almost didn't make it. It literally turned up as Ad was leaving on the day of the wedding. I'm so glad it did because it completes the cake, although I'm certain the reserve made by Iona's mum would have looked just as lovely.


The bottom tier took several years to complete - at least that's what it felt like it. Those petal ruffles seemed to go on forever but I love how they turned out. Originally I had baked three layers for the bottom tier so I was glad I'd only opted to use two of them by the time I got to those ruffles!


Unfortunately my second ever carrot cake wasn't quite as good as my first. For some reason it didn't rise as much as it did for the taster so I had to bake another and make the top tier 4 layers to get the height I wanted. I also replaced the cream cheese frosting with an orange flavoured buttercream. The more I thought about it, the more I didn't want to risk the cream cheese knowing it would be out of the fridge all day in June weather.

Thanks to Kara Couture Cakes for her wonderful sugar rose tutorial. My petal veiner is a bit rubbish but I was really pleased with how they turned out. The centres were beautifully delicate and spiralled but my fat fingers squashed them as I attached them to the cake. They might have been easier to handle if they were wired but I wanted to avoid poking posy picks in to the cake.



There are no progress pictures for this one because I decided to capture it all in a time lapse video - I thought Ad and Iona might like to see their cake in the making. Despite being an IT bod I had no idea how to go about this. Lucky for me the Go Pro has a time lapse setting and Movie Maker is easy peasy. 
So here it is, 5 days in 12 minutes!

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Chris is 30!



As Chris was about to turn 30 I was super super busy in my new job (still finding my feet and all) and starting to worry I wouldn't have time to make him a cake. Then out of the blue he said he didn't want one... 

WHAT :O?! 

He said he didn't want me getting stressed and tired because I'd spent hours on a cake, and he'd rather we just spent the day together... awww 😍 ... but who doesn't have cake on their birthday, especially the big 3 0! So I came to a compromise...

My original plan was to have a cake with all of Chris' hobbies around it, but as he is a man of many talents (astronomy, astrophotography, guitar, running, snowboarding, basketball, pro lego builder - just to name a few) this would have taken an age!

So instead I focused on one hobby. I picked astronomy because I thought it'd be fairly straight forward to paint some star constellations on to a black cake. Then I remembered Chris sitting in the garden for hours on a chilly winter night taking pictures of a nebula. Searching for more pictures, I stumbled across this tutorial: http://www.sprinklebakes.com/2016/04/black-velvet-nebula-cake.html.


So mine didn't turn out quite as good but it was really fun to make, armed with a little sea sponge splodging food colour here and there, flicking the paint brush to make lots of little stars, and it took no time at all! I think the trick with this is to step back often and know when to stop. I got a little carried away and it probably looked better several splodges earlier. At least Chris recognised what it was.


Taste wise, this is my favourite cake to date. Almond sponge with amaretto chocolate flavoured buttercream. These are the same flavours I used for Chris' basketball cake but on that occasion the cake was a tad dry. This time it was perfect, even if I do say so myself :)

The sparklers did not live up to their warning label but added a little bit of fun....

                        


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BB8 in 24 hours!

The time leading up to my nephews birthday was manic. The organisation I worked for was closing down, I had two job interviews to prep for (both wanting a 10 minute presentation) and a trip to Chicago looming. Nevertheless, Louis had stressed on more then one occasion his desire for a BB8 birthday cake and I didn't want to disappoint, even if it was a couple of weeks late. In the end I only had one day available to make this and I delivered... eventually.



For any perfectionist one day is not nearly enough! I had zero time to be my usual indecisive self, faff about or fixate on all those tiny little details. I could look at this cake and focus on BB8's missing aerials or question if his head is out of proportion, but on this occasion I'm going to let it go. I made this cake in less then 24 hours and I couldn't have done anymore in that time.


BB8s body was baked in a ball tin and his head in a small pyrex bowl. I used the CakeFrame I bought for my standing minion cake to help keep him steady. The CakeFrame goes through the centre of his body and protrudes out the top, then his head sits on a 4 inch board and is slotted on. The head is so small I don't think he really needs an internal structure but it's an hours drive to my Brother's and I wanted that stability... I can cope with an aerial-less BB8 but not a headless one! I'm pleased to say he didn't budge on route and we all got to enjoy the journey with no fears of him rolling away.


BB8 made his appearance after a tasty Sunday Roast and he was well received... brownie points for Aunty Chel :)

Inside he is a yummy chocolate cake filled with chocolate buttercream icing. I removed his head to slice up his body and Louis wasted no time tucking in! :D



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