Baking for Therapy, Birthday, Cake decorating, Cake decorating products, Cakes, Bakes, and Me, Celebration, chocolate, Classes, Friends, Frozen, Fun, Fundraising, Health, Learning, Novelty Cakes, Recipes, Sugar and Crumbs, Therapy

Baby it’s cold outside ❄️

It’s mid October and decidedly chilly today. There’s a biting wind making it feel even colder. Winter is definitely in the air!

Which reminded me of a cake I made recently for a lovely little girl, who is the granddaughter of one of my son’s work colleagues.

Last year I was asked to make her a unicorn birthday cake

But this year, she’s into ‘Frozen’, probably prompted by the release of the film sequel earlier this year ❄️

The request was for chocolate cake, and although I was sent some photo suggestions, I was given free rein to interpret them in my own way, which is good because it’s not good form to copy another cake decorators design!

I had a little rummage on Pinterest etc, and ended up going with a fairly simple design ❄️

I used a double batch of my chocolate cake recipe to make 4 layers of sponge and filled and crumb coated with chocolate buttercream.

I used milk chocolate ganache to coat the cake and give it a firm base for the sugarpaste.

Making cake batter and buttercream is fairly easy for me because the Kitchenaid mixer does it for me, but I’ve always made ganache with blocks of chocolate, which I break into small chunks.

Unfortunately, I’ve noticed that because of the pain in my hands, it’s getting really difficult. It hurts to break it up, but also sets off tremors a few hours later! So I’ve decided to swap to Callets which are like little wafers or buttons. They’re more expensive, but if it means avoiding pain it’s a no brainer! It’s Belgian chocolate too, and is absolutely yummy!

I did an online course with ‘Oli The Choc’ a chocolatier based in Manchester recently. He filmed in the Sugar and Crumbs kitchen for the day, and recommended Callebaut brand Belgian chocolate, so that’s what I’ll be using from now on!

Anyway, I digress! Back to the cake!

Once the ganache had firmed up, I covered the whole cake with Select Ireland platinum strawberry flavoured sugarpaste. I coloured it with Coloursplash blue until it was a light ‘Frozen’ colour leaving some white for the decorations.

If the yummy flavour of this sugarpaste doesn’t tempt you, the elasticity in this product makes light work of covering tall cakes! I’m a serious convert!

However, as with the chocolate, the kneading in of the gel colour really hurts my hands, so I’ve also decided to swap to precoloured sugarpaste in future, at least for large batches!

Luckily, Renshaw have a very extensive range of ready made coloured sugarpaste 🌈

I used Renshaw flower and modelling paste for the stars on the wires, and the shards on top of the cake, just so they would be firmer. The wires are Culpitt white covered 18g

I made simple little balls to go around the base of the cake, which gave it a nice neat finish, and pressed silver crispy balls into the snow drift effect on top.

Lots of snowflakes covered the board and the rest of the cake. I used PME plunger cutters for this. The lettering and number are from Cake Star. I also used an 8” and a 12” Drum board for this project.

Then I applied my favourite Finishing Sparkle from Sugarflair to give the whole thing that frosty glittery finish ❄️ I loved the final look of this cake 🥰 Let me know what you think in the comments, I’d love to hear from you 😀

I can’t finish this post without mentioning that this month has highlighted the importance of Breast Cancer screening, and World Mental Health Day.

Baking for Therapy includes looking after my mental well being, as well as the Chronic pain caused by my OPLL, and I support Breast Cancer Now by fundraising in memory of my late Grandma Molly.

If you would like to donate to this charity, I have a Just Giving page, or you can go directly to their website if you prefer. Amongst many others, I haven’t been able to use my baking skills to host a bake sale this year because of social distancing rules, so any donation would be doubly welcome 🙏

Until next time

Stay safe and healthy

Debbie ❤️

Disclaimer: Sugar and Crumbs is my preferred supplier of all things Cake. I am not sponsored by them and do not receive payment for recommending their products.

Cakes, Bakes, and Me

Who’s a Sparkly Cake Princess?

My daughter in law, that’s who!

Like me, she loves to bake cakes, and has been known to wear a tiara and all manner of sparkly garments! (And she does all three in style I might add)

Last weekend was her birthday aka ‘Abi’s Happy Cake Day’

As it fell on Sunday, she decided to have an open house from 11am to celebrate…..with cake on the menu all day! Remarkably, there was still some left at the end, despite everyone bringing away ‘party bags’ (or in my case a Quality Street tub 🍰❤)

My contribution was the cake above which I’ve called ‘The Abigail Cake’. I couldn’t decide how to decorate it, so I just thought ‘what does Abi love?’ Well I know she likes colourful things, pink in particular, she likes star shaped items, shiny and sparkly in any form, and of course, she is a Princess!

So I tried to incorporate all of them in the cake ❤

I also know she likes Unicorns and almost made a Unicorn cake, and there was a definite Unicorn theme going on gifts wise, so it wouldn’t have been out of place if I had! Maybe next year…….😋

Here’s the beautiful birthday girl herself with my son James, and I had to include a full length one just so you can see the dress, oh, and a couple of the goodies on the table 🎂🍥

That’s it for now

Until next time

Stay safe and healthy

Debbie ❤

About the cake:

Red Velvet (Both tiers) I used this recipe from ‘How to Cake It’

Covered in 50:50 buttercream/white chocolate ganache

Tiara made from white chocolate with silver and pink dragees.

Bottom tier has white chocolate star decorations and purple and pink sprinkles from Tesco.

Top tier has the stars and multicoloured sprinkles, also from Tesco

Whole cake was spritzed with Cake Decor edible silver spray

Other products used:

Dr Oetker concentrated colour gel in pink and purple

Silver Spoon Icing Sugar