Archives for category: Cake

It’s been a few weeks now since the Hampton Court Flower Show was on but I’ve been waiting to share this post until I made this cake. I had the best day at Hampton Court with my flower-loving friend Alexia, and while the weather wasn’t amazing, the displays sure were. We wandered through the show gardens, browsed the stalls and enjoyed a demonstration from top florist Simon Lycett. I went away feeling super inspired by all the incredible plants and flowers. Their textures and colours were fascinating but mostly I ended up looking at everything and wishing it was made out of sugar. Typical. While in the rose tent one particular flower grabbed my attention for its gorgeous colours. I regrettably, in my excitement, didn’t take down the specific name of this English rose but going off the photos I took, chose to roughly recreate it for the top of this cake to be served at an afternoon tea. Luckily I recently purchased this unbelievable book where I followed its step by step guide on how to create an English rose. I made a few alterations from the original flower, choosing to make it in a more ombre orange to pinky purple colour to go with the cake better. In addition to Peggy’s instructions I included an extra layers of petals so the rose was larger and I bent back the petals on the outer layers. I love how it turned out, especially the colours and how fluid the petals look, and I’m excited to use other flowers I saw in future cakes.  You can see more pictures from our visit here…

Oh yessss it’s that time of year again! I’ve swiftly moved on from pretending to care about the football to wholeheartedly getting excited about Wimbledon. It starts today and I’m so looking forward to enjoying the tennis, drinking Pimms and eating strawberries and cream. Last year to celebrate I made these, but this year I wanted to go for something a little bigger. I picked up a couple of these tins and was inspired to make some slightly larger than life tennis ball cakes filled with fresh strawberry buttercream. I used a basic vanilla cake recipe to make 8 cake halves for 4 tennis balls. Once baked, I left them to chill in the fridge overnight so they would be easier to cut. To make the halves fit together better I trimmed the flat tops and edges so they would be spherical. I made sure to cut a tiny bit off the top of one of the halves so they would each stand up without rolling over. Then using a spoon I scooped out a bit of the inside to make room for the filling. For the frosting filling I beat some fresh strawberries into some vanilla buttercream and then folded in some larger pieces. I heaped the filling so when I put the other half on top the whole centre would be full of frosting. I covered the whole ball in a thin layer of vanilla buttercream so that the fondant could be stuck to it. After chilling it in the fridge for 20 minutes I covered the ball in yellow fondant and smoothed it using these which I’ve just discovered! They have totally changed my life. To decorate I made the stripes using white flower paste and placed it on a 5 inch cake board covered in royal icing ‘grass’. To finish I used a purple ribbon so it would look like the signature green and purple of Wimbledon. While it doesn’t compare to last year’s Wimbledon final, cutting into it and seeing the strawberry pink centre was still pretty damn exciting.

When I was asked to make a Persian New Year cake I wasn’t really sure what to do as I had never seen or heard of one before. There isn’t a traditional dessert as such so my task was to create a cake to celebrate by combining traditional Middle Eastern flavours. I chose to make a pistachio cake layered with honey buttercream and raspberry and pomegranate jam. I tripled the recipe I used for this cake as I knew it would be delicious and be able to hold the treats on top. I coated the whole cake in the honey buttercream and covered the sides with crushed pistachios. For the top of the cake I created a mountain of homemade baklava which my Grandmother helped me with. I then sprinkled on some pomegranate and pistachios to finish. I love all the colours and textures of this cake and it definitely brings together some of my favourite elements of Middle Eastern sweets. I had some extra batter and buttercream so I made a few cupcakes to go along with the cake. I adore the mini versions with the individual baklava. I hope everyone has a wonderful time celebrating Persian New Year! 

Let me be honest and tell you that I got a bit drunk while making this cake. I guess I was asking for it when I tasted my first (I think) gin and tonic at 9:30am on a Wednesday morning. I don’t really ever drink gin and tonics, it’s not really stored in my brain as something to choose as a drink or even like that much. However, I know lots of people love it, including my Grandy, so it was the perfect flavour choice for her birthday cake. There is a serious amount of gin in this cake which is good because what’s a birthday without some alcohol. Let’s just say I tasted a lot of the glaze, a lot of the icing, ate all the offcuts of cake and then had to sit down for a bit. I used this recipe for the cake and the glaze but made up the frosting. The cake was really light and the sweet gin glaze made sure it was full of flavour. I kept the decoration simple and made some limes out of fondant which I covered in glitter. I think my favourite part of the cake was the candles, they were the perfect colour and came in cute patterns. Happy Birthday Grandy!

I think I’m going to be approaching that age now where my friends are going to start asking for wedding cakes. To prepare for this I decided to do a two day wedding cake course at the Peggy Porschen Academy to make something like this. I’ve done a course there before which was brilliant, but this course went in to more detail and covered stacking, doweling and all the steps to producing a professional wedding cake. I loved that this time around we were able to bake everything and make the buttercreams ourselves. It was really helpful to be taught at every stage of the process. I struggled a bit with all the new techniques and tools and keeping up with the pace of the class, but our teacher Marianne was amazing. She kept us on track, allowed for some one on one teaching and answered all our questions. It was hard fitting it all in to two days, so the design was simplified and we only made two tiers. This was ok as the practice is the same; as long as we had the basics down, we could just apply them to more tiers in the future. During the course I attempted lots of new things, such as covering a cake board, making rose buds and creating a stripey band around the cake (which seemed impossible to cut straight,ugh). I learnt so much in such a short time and it showed me that I need to be more precise by paying attention to the little details and calculating everything properly, especially when tackling wedding cakes. The biggest thing I took away from the course was having so much more confidence in my abilities and being more sure of my approach to cakes in general.