Baking for Therapy, Cake decorating, Celebration, Fun, Health, Recipes, Theatre

Who do you think you are kidding Mr Hitler?

Ok, so I know that some of you won’t recognise the title, which was the theme tune for an old British sit com ‘Dad’s Army’

The premise of the show was based on a group of volunteers for what was known as ‘The Home Guard’ during the 2nd World War.

Here’s what google says about it:

“In World War II, with a German invasion looming, the defence of Walmington-on-Sea rests in the hands of the local bank manager and a motley collection of volunteers in the Home Guard unit. Despite being woefully ill-equipped, the rag-tag crew is ready to take on invading troops from across the Channel.”

Here’s a clip from the original show and a picture of the original cast

The original cast of Dad’s Army

I remember watching it in the 1970’s and it was a firm family favourite, despite the subject matter. Perhaps because it was so long after the war had ended, but I’m sure it was still a bit of a risk by the creators of the show. There has recently been a remake of some lost episodes, and there is a stage play.

The cast of the remake of the lost episodes

Anyway, that was a very long way of telling you how I ended up making a cake!

One of my friends recently played the main character ‘Captain Mainwaring’ in the play, and asked me to make a small cake for the Director to celebrate their final performance. For once, YouTube failed me! Not a Dad’s Army cake tutorial in sight 😕 A quick look on google images was much better for inspiration though. There were lots of suggestions for large cakes, but looking through the images (non cake related) I saw exactly what I needed 💡

This still is from the remake

I took the helmet as my inspiration, and set to work 😊 I started by baking a vanilla cake (see recipe page) in a 6” hemisphere pan. Once it was baked and cooled, I gave it a crumbcoat of vanilla buttercream. After chilling it in the fridge for half an hour, I rolled out some sugarpaste that I had coloured with Wilton gel colour ‘Leaf green’ and a bit of black to dull down the green a bit, and covered the cake. The Wilton colours were part of this set. I used some shelf liner (thoroughly washed and dried!) to create a mesh like texture on the sugarpaste. The remaining sugarpaste I added tylose powder to, then rolled out a strip to form the brim of the helmet and textured that too! Tylose powder turns sugarpaste into gumpaste which dries harder, which was perfect for the brim. I also used it to make the foliage, and left it to dry over a foam flower former so that they would dry with a little shape instead of flat.

The Dad’s Army script is full of what have become iconic phrases, so the finishing touch was adding the little flags, with some of the most recognisable ones written on. And this was the final result guys!

Top view
My friend Darren in his role as Capt Mainwaring

My friend also asked for 36 cupcakes for the cast. I don’t have a picture of them, but I mixed up some buttercream in camouflage colours, and put stripes of each colour in the piping bag. I then used the Wilton 1M tip to create a swirl on top. As this request was a bit short notice, I found some edible cupcake toppers on eBay, that my friend added to them after he collected everything. He also gave me a donation to my Macmillan total whilst he was here. Thank you so much Darren Brierley 😍

The feedback from Darren was that the last night of the play went brilliantly and everyone enjoyed the cakes 😀

Well my lovelies, that’s all from me for now

Until next time

Stay safe and healthy

Debbie ❤️

Sugar and Crumbs Cake Supplies.

PME half ball pan 6”

The Sugarpaste

Queen of Hearts piping bags

Cake decorating, Cakes, Bakes, and Me, Celebration, Pantomime, Recipes, Theatre

Panto over for another year…boo!

Hello lovelies,

Our last performance was actually 19th January, and I had allowed about 4 days to recover. Lots of rest, nothing in my diary etc, but unfortunately the ‘lurgy’ which had affected most of the cast, caught up with me too 🙁 So it’s only now that I’m feeling something approximating normal..well normal for me anyway! (See OPLL if you’re not familiar with my situation)

So, let’s catch up. This year’s pantomime was ‘Snow White and the Mini Ones’, offering some of our younger members the chance to shine 😀 and boy did they shine! Outstanding performances from our seven ‘Mini Ones’, but also from all our junior chorus. We had some new members this year too, both children and adults, and they fit right into our Panto family as if they’d been there for years.

Our principals were all fantastic, giving amazing performances, and congratulations to our Snow White who was played perfectly by Rebecca Munday in her first leading lady role.

But there’s also a very large team of people behind the scenes, without whom we wouldn’t be able to put on a show at all. There’s the Director, set construction, costumes to be made, lighting and sound technicians, Props management, stage manager and backstage crew, chaperones for the children, photography/videography, front of house, publicity, people to brew up at rehearsals (very important!) ticket secretary (very very important, we do need an audience 😂) someone to collate raffle prizes etc etc. And the most amazing thing about all these lovely people? They are all volunteers, and some of them do more than one of the above ‘jobs’

We got a fantastic review in the local paper, and had to turn people away for some performances.

If you’d like to take a look at some of our antics we have a Facebook page 😀

After our final performance, we always have a little party for the children, where they love to dance to numbers from the current Panto, and see if they can remember the choreography from some of our past shows too! They’re given ‘goody bags’ to take home, and I usually try to make a themed cake.

This year was no exception, and was a lot of fun to create. Remember the title of the Panto? If you hadn’t already guessed, The cake may give you a clue as to what our ‘Mini Ones’ were based on 😉

Isn’t she purty? 😂😂😂

For more pictures, please feel free to pay a visit to the Facebook page, but that’s all from me for now.

Until next time

Stay safe and healthy

Debbie ❤️

Snow White and the Mini Ones Cake:

Grease and line 3 x 6″ round cake pans and 1 x 6″ hemisphere cake pan

Ingredients:

375g Stork

375g Caster Sugar

6 large eggs

400g Self Raising Flour

1 tsp Dr Oetker baking powder

10mls Vanilla Extract

60ml Buttermilk

Method:

In the bowl of a stand mixer with paddle attachment, cream together the Stork and Caster sugar until light, fluffy, and light in colour.

Add the eggs one at a time, then half the flour. Scrape the bottom and sides of the bowl. Add buttermilk and vanilla, mix again, then add the rest of the flour. Continue mixing until the flour is almost fully incorporated. Finish mixing by hand making sure the batter is well blended.

Divide the batter between the cake pans

Bake at 160 Celsius for 30 – 40 minutes (all ovens vary!)

Leave in the pans for 5 minutes then turn out onto racks until fully cooled

Buttercream:

500g unsalted Butter at room temperature

1kg sifted icing sugar

10mls vanilla extract

Up to 60mls milk

Method:

Beat butter until creamy and light in colour

Add vanilla

Gradually add icing sugar adding milk to desired consistency

Putting it together:

Level cakes. Attach the first round layer to a cake board with a little buttercream

Continue stacking round layers with buttercream in between, then add the hemisphere on top. Place in the fridge for 30 minutes. Remove about a 1/3 rd of the remaining buttercream and thin it down a little. Use this to crumb coat the whole cake, then put back in the fridge for 20 minutes. Colour the rest of the buttercream yellow, and apply a thick layer over the cake. Use a hot bench scraper to smooth it out (a small offset spatula will help the curved top)

Make the goggles out of thick layer of fondant using circle cutters. Cut a small bridging piece. Dust with silver lustre dust and set aside to firm up slightly. Cut 2 white circles of fondant to fit inside the goggles, then 2 smaller brown circles and 2 even smaller black ones. Place them on top of each other to make eyes. Roll 2 tiny white balls of fondant to use as catchlights. Make lips out of 2 sausage shapes of red fondant narrower at each end. Make a Cupid’s bow in the middle of the top lip by gently pressing down with a fondant tool or toothpick, and curl each end up slightly to make our princess smile 👄

Colour white fondant yellow by gradually adding gel colour until its slightly lighter than the buttercream. Roll out thinly and attach to the bottom half of the cake. Cut out several ‘frilly’ layers and add to the bottom to create a skirt effect. Reserve a frill for later.

Add more yellow gel colour to remaining fondant until it resembles the buttercream. Make two arms by rolling sausage shapes of equal size. Gently flatten out one end of each arm, then make an incision to create a ‘mitten’, rubbing gently to eliminate sharp edges. At the other end of the arm make a diagonal cut to make it sit flatter against the body.

Add the eyes, goggles and lips to the ‘face’ with a little buttercream. Roll out a strip of blue fondant and attach to the top of the skirt. Attach the arms using buttercream and toothpicks. Using the blue fondant, form puffy sleeves over the tops of the arms. Add some thin red strips as shown in the picture. Roll more red fondant into a long thin sausage to make the ‘neckline’. Roll a small thin strip of red to resemble a simple rose and attach to the middle of the neckline. Use the reserved yellow frill to cover the seam at the waist.

Make thick sausages of black fondant and attach to the head in layers, arranging them so that they look like Snow White’s hair, making lines and curling round as necessary.

Make a chubby bow in red fondant and add to the head on one side. I painted the lips and bow with gel colour to deepen the colour.

Finally, sprinkle with a little edible glitter (optional, but why not, she’s a princess after all!)

Product links:

I use Renshaw’s brand fondant. I buy white in bulk, and darker colours like red, black and purple in smaller quantities as needed. This is because it’s difficult to achieve the deeper colours without adding lots of gel colour, which could affect the consistency.

I use mainly Wilton brand gel colours

I used Sugarflair lustre dust in silver sparkle on this cake. Both Sugarflair and Rainbow dust have a good range of edible colours and lustres.

NB: All opinions expressed are my own and none of the links are affiliated

Cakes, Bakes, and Me, Pantomime, Theatre, Uncategorized

About my other passion

I’ve already mentioned my involvement with two local groups. Greenbrook Panto Society and Greenbrook Theatre Group. Recently we applied for funding via Skipton Building Society’s Grassroots Giving scheme. Well, we both made it to the regional shortlist!

We’re now relying on a public vote, so I’d be very grateful if you could take the time to do this for us. It’s really easy, just follow the links below

https://www.skiptongrg.co.uk/apply-for-funding/2016-shortlisted-groups/north-west/greenbrook-pantomime-society/

https://www.skiptongrg.co.uk/apply-for-funding/2016-shortlisted-groups/north-west/greenbrook-theatre-group/

Thank you so much 💞