Wednesday, 30 March 2011
I also made a batch of cupcakes for my lovely friend's hen do........she's a proper girly girl so they were covered in pink butter icing/frosting and mini marshmallows/dolly mixtures and 100's and 1000's sprinkles.
I've been really busy so not had chance to bake much but my sister's birthday and another friend's birthday is coming up so I have a sneaky feeling there'll be more to come!
Monday, 7 March 2011
I've also been on a bit of a bake-a-thon. One of my friends had a birthday - obviously, hence the need for cake. However for her birthday "party" she booked us all on a surf lesson.....bearing in mind its MARCH, we live not far from Newcastle and therefore the lesson would be IN THE NORTH SEA. I dont know if any of you have been in the North Sea in our part of the world.....but its something only us Geordies/Makems do, very similar to going out on the town without a coat...in December, and even then we tend to only do it in the height of summer, fully clothed and only upto our knees, waist if youre extremely young or very foolish or both. Plus it usually involves a soggy ride home on the metro if you go in that far. So we went, and I was terrified, I dont swim very well, I can swim but I dont unless I absolutely have to, I also am no good in the cold so was dreading it. Plus it involved getting my not so lean body into a wetsuit. That was not as much of a catastrophe as I thought because to be honest......none of us looked "Good" in a wetsuit, not even the pro instructors, they just looked more used to it. Although it was a fight to get into them with numb wet fingers, and just as much of a lession in exhaustion getting out of them, I really enjoyed myself. Although I am suffering now, I have "t-rex" arms. Not as in the band, but as in they are about as much use as t-rex arms to the actual dinosaur. They absolutely ache, if it weren't for the lack of swelling/bruising i'd swear they were broken. I have to be helped into any clothes that involve sleeves and wince if I have to reach behind me or raise my arms to more than about mid-chest height. But it was a lot of fun.
Ok so I made the sponge cake in an oven tin....it was the only shallow and square pan I could find of a decent size that wasn't extortionately priced. It worked fine for the Hello Kitty Cake. Then I slathered it with buttercream once it had cooled (and while the top sandwich was baking in the oven). I like to use Stork for baking, I mix it with icing sugar and a little bit of cornflour and some milk to make buttercream. The jam was Aldi's own brand and was one of those 50% extra fruit so it was basically chunky strawberry mush instead of the usual jelly with one odd strawberry thrown in you usually get.
By this time the second cake had baked and cooled so I got started on my "Wave". I melted some chocolate over a pan of boiling water (because it always over-cooks and goes bitty when I do it in the microwave) and stirred in some oil to keep it a bit more liquid. Then poured in some rice crispies and mixed. I then got a can of pop out of the fridge and covered it in cling-film. I also covered the inside of a loaf tin with cling-film and squirted both the loaf tin and the wrapped up drinks can with some of that squirty oil. I then put the can in the loaf tin and fashioned the chocolate crispies mix over the top of the can and into the bottom of the loaf tin (only on one side, not fully covering the can). I put this in the fridge to cool. I then coated the top of the cake with the leftover buttercream and rolled out some of that fondant icing. I put a small square of yellow in the corner (or you could crush up biscuits) to make the sand and the rest in blue. I then modelled the cat and the sax out of the other colours I had and left them on the bench to air-harden a bit. I dusted them with cornflour on the bottom to stop them sticking to the board I placed them on to dry. Then I mixed up some blue food colouring with royal icing sugar and a drop of milk (gives a paler blue than water when mixed with food colouring).
The next cake was just a two layer sponge sandwiched with jam that I whipped up on Sunday while the oven was still hot after the yorkshire puddings for dinner. As I had used most of my icing stash on the cat cake, I had to just use jam in the centre (not enough buttercream) and I iced the top with buttercream (coloured with green food colouring watered down with milk to a more pastel colour) although it did end up more illuminous than I'd hoped. I used the last of the fondant icing to make a big shamrock for good luck. My sis was starting a new job on the Monday. Sprinkled with some orange & yellow stars and iced with another of those squeezy icing tubes...chocolate on this one. It didn't look too fab, but it tasted lovely...she kindly shared out wedges when we all went over the parent's for our traditional Sunday afternoon catch up. Yum Yum!