I've seen so many Frozen cakes and at last I get to make my own contribution.

This was the cake of many firsts for me.

The first time I've made my own fondant...

I followed Artisan Cake Company's recipe for marshmallow fondant. The process is a little messy but it's really not difficult and it's worth trying. It tastes good and it's nice to work with. I probably have enough left over to cover two more cakes but you can half the recipe if you need less.

The first time I've made chocolate ganache and iced a cake with it....

And I'm converted! I think ganache will always be my preference over buttercream now. It's very easy to make, not as sweet as buttercream, and personally I found it easier to get a smooth finish and clean edges on my cake. If you're new to ganache, check out this three part tutorial from Inspired by Michelle. It's all you need to get going.

The first time I've airbrushed a cake...

My airbrush was a birthday gift from my Dad. I love it but I definitely need more practice. I learnt the hard way that an airbrushing booth is essential! I practised on some paper and had no idea how much everything around me was getting covered in a fine mist of blue. My oak table now has a blue tinge to the wood grain so a cardboard box became my makeshift booth. 

I'd also wear a face mask next time. I know cake professionals don't but it freaked me out having blue snot the next day. Even Mr Chris had blue snot and he only passed by briefly while I was spraying. Call me paranoid but I don't reckon that's good for your lungs. 

Anyway, I think the key to airbrushing is to build up light layers and allow them to dry in between. I was a bit heavy handed. I was going for a patchy icy feel but it ended up mostly blue. Also it was still wet the next day and Steve got blue fingers cutting it.

My first time playing with isomalt...

Another tutorial from Artisan Cake Company, this was lots of fun. It's not a free tutorial but it was a great introduction to isomalt for me. I used clear ready tempered isomalt then coloured it with a touch of teal. Silicon cupcake holders were perfect for melting and pouring. It took me a few attempts to create the castle pieces but if it goes wrong you can melt the isomalt again and again until you get it right. The only downside is the more times you melt the same piece, the cloudier it becomes so you lose a bit of that cold icey feel.

The first time I didn't make the figures...

Ok, so that's not really a good first as I was looking forward to making them. This cake was actually very well planned but I sacrificed the models to make some birthday treats for my sister - I can't have her feeling neglected! I knew Connie would be kind enough to lend me her figures and she placed them perfectly on the cake :)

The lights are called balloon lights. They're just resting on the cake behind the castle. In hindsight I should have added a bit of icing to hold them in place as Steve had to walk very slowly to ensure they didn't roll off the top.

My first Dutch chocolate butter cake....

I used a recipe from Artisan Cake Company's book. It was tasty and gooey like a chocolate brownie but it cut cleanly and held together well. The ganache might be a bit thick on the sides but I'm chuffed with those straight edges and that thin layer of fondant. Mr Chris liked the marshmallow fondant so much he actually wanted a thicker layer on the cake!

It might be a bit risky trying so many firsts on one cake but that's what families are for :) I'm happy with how it turned out and loved seeing Connie and her friends so impressed with it :)


Give the gift of biscuits

Ever short of gift ideas? How about some home made treats? People appreciate the effort and everyone likes a good biscuit - if they don't there's probably something wrong with them.

These were for my sister. I got my hands on a pretty tin, squeezed in as many biscuits as I good (ate the rest :D ), tied around a little ribbon and hey presto. 

She was disappointed I didn't make her a birthday cake so these got me back in to the good books - just about!

Inside are chocolate truffle cookies (my favs), peanut butter and jam pinwheels, and chocolate tipped fingers. I separated them with some grease proof paper but if you have a strong flavour, like my peanut butter pinwheels, make sure it goes well with the others.


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