Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Happy birthday, Wild Thing!!

It’s my party and I’ll make cake if I want too.

And make cake I did! I’m lucky enough to share my birthday with one of my best friends, Moon. She is exactly one year older than me, and therefore one year wiser than me. She is the most supportive, inspirational person I know. She is constantly bringing out the best in people and always puts others before herself. But as wise and gracious as Moon is, she is also a kid at heart. I’ve lost count of how many times she has seen the Where The Wild Things Are movie. It's one of her favourite children's books. She even made herself a super rad Max costume for Halloween last year.

See, super rad!

So, a Max cake it was! When it comes to cake decorating, I’ve decided to go back to the basics. I made a simple butter cake with a buttercream filling and icing (note: this is probably toooooo much butter for one cake). But the idea was to get the buttercream icing as smooth and even as possible, and practice my piping techniques.

I piped the Max outline in black royal icing the week before our birthday. After the outline had dried I used a flooding technique (using thinned/watered down royal icing to ‘flood’ the outlines with colour).

I put two layers of blue buttercream icing on the cake, a thin crumb coat on the Friday afternoon and a second, thicker layer Friday evening after the crumb coat had hardened in the fridge for 3 hours (ideally you should leave the icing to harden over night).

Saturday morning I added the final touches. A green pearl border and the classic line from Where the Wild Things Are, “LET THE WILD RUMPUS START!”. I practiced the text piping a few times before piping freehand on the cake. I was then able to place Max gently on the cake (his tail did snap off, but considering I was very concerned he might actually snap into several pieces, this didn't upset me one bit. I just tucked the tail underneath!).

Happy birthday to my gorgeous Moon. May the wild rumpus continue for many, many more years to come!

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Valentines Day - Chocolate, strawberry and cupcake bouquet

Valentines day. Commercial construction or genuine celebration of love? Well, both are wrong. Valentines day, or February 14th, is simply the eve of my birthday. Mwahahaha.. (cake to come).

Ok, but seriously, I have the most amazing boyfriend in the whole world. Don’t even try and argue with me, I’m sure your boyfriend is quite lovely too. But mine is better. The best. Ever.

Unlike my amazing boyfriend, I unfortunately do not have a romantic bone in my body. My idea of romance is spending the night in some seedy pub with a beer in one hand, while my other hand is giving either the finger or devil horns to a local indie/rock band.

But this year I thought I’d attempt to bring the cheese (you know, a classically romantic gesture that is so cliche it has actually become too cheesy for words!). And what better way to bring the cheese than with a home made gift.

An interesting alternative to the classic bouquet of flowers is the now popular chocolate bouquet. You can also get fresh fruit bouquets. Some specialty businesses (mostly in the USA) offer cupcake bouquets. How about we combine all three of these...

Complete with nutella cupcakes, chocolate covered strawberries and chocolate hearts. Yummo! Super easy and cheap to make. I think it makes a great alternative to flowers, and a fantastic option for a present to give a male. Handmade with love for my baby. Xxx.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

MummyB's Butterfly Birthday Cake - Inspired by Peggy Porschen and her Romantic Cakes

A new year already. How quickly 12 months have flown by! For Christmas this year I was treated with an array of cooking books; Bourke Street Bakery, Max Brenner and Cake Wrecks, just to name a few.

But I also treated myself with a new addition to my cooking library. Peggy Porschen is an incredibly creative woman, and her cakes are absolutely divine. For some inspiration in 2010 I bought myself her book 'Romantic Cakes'.

And what perfect timing, it arrived on my doorstep at the beginning of January. Just in time for my Mother's birthday.

So here is the inspiration for MummyB’s birthday cake.

All of her cakes are just stunning and for inspiration, look no further than a Peggy Porschen designed cake. I just love the blue and brown colour scheme and Peggy provides some fantastic tips and tricks to make decorating super simple.

Admittedly my butterflies were not as professionally executed at Peggy’s (my piping bag was, and still is, MIA). But I think the colours work perfectly together and I’m sure I will be making plenty more of these butterflies.

Happy Birthday MummyB!