Friday, 14 February 2014

Chocolate Peanut Butter Cake

As many of you know, and have read - I am competitive. I like to win and I like what I do to be the best, doesn't everyone? But mainly when it comes to baking, I just like being competitive with it, seeing something you like and wanting to it bigger and better.

So when I was told last week about this amazing carrot cake that was the best cake they've eaten, I'd be lying if I said it didn't sit well with me. I instantly thought "I must destroy that cake!", I just can't help it. Digging into Pintrest I found a cake I'd been waiting to make for a while and it was perfect. It's from Katiecakes and while mine doesn't look exactly the same I'm still pretty pleased with it.

It's been a while since I iced a caked with something other than fondant, this time using frosting made from peanutbutter, cream cheese and icing sugar, it took me four attempts and I still wasn't happy with the smoothness but then that's another thing - I'm a perfectionist so it was never going to be perfect anyway was it? However, the great thing about this cake is that you poor a chocolate glaze over the top that oozes down the sides beautifully masking any areas you're not 100% in love with.

The actual cake itself is peanut butter and chocoalte, as is the frosting. So in all elements you have, you got it, peanut butter. What would be better than that?! I would say to double the cake recipe, it just didn't end up tall enough for me and height is everything with this cake. I ended up with three layers of cake, layered and iced with the frosting, drenched in the glaze and topped with Reese's peanut butter cups. I'll say it now, THIS.CAKE.IS.SEXY. If you want a cake that's going to make you question yourself, this is it.  It's also probably a heart attack on a plate, but as you're only likely to have one slice I'm sure you'll be fine. 

I took some baking porn pictures, of course - it got a bit weird at some point... 

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Monday, 10 February 2014

Baby Shower - My Niece Is Nearly Here!

At the end of the month I will (hopefully) become an auntie again. I really hope it's soon as A) I can't wait to meet her! And B) I'm going to Memphis/New Orleans and Mexico in three weeks so I really don't want to miss it.

A baby on the way means of course, a baby shower, and no baby shower would be complete without a cake would it? So I couldn't resist offering to take on the task. Luckily I just happen to know to mother-to-be pretty I had a few ideas up my sleeve. I also did their wedding cake so I couldn't wait to continue the milestone baking.

They're expecting a little girl, and I may have already gotten a little carried away with buying cupcake babygrows and teeny tiny skinny jeans with hearts on.

When they got married, they did it in Lyme and it's really special to them so I wanted to represent it some way in the cake. So I thought the perfect idea would be to use beach huts on the bottom tier, for the top I also saw some quite washing line baby shower cakes with little fondant clothes hung up like bunting which was almost too cute to not do.

The cake was a two tier, Victoria sponge with raspberry jam and vanilla buttercream. I decided to keep the colours pastel with pink, mint and blues. I thought that the beach huts would be nice on the bottom on a blue background with some piped seagulls. I used Ice Blue, Sugarflair colouring for the base. I rolled out one beach hut and kept it as a template for the others. To get the wood panel effect I just used the back of a knife to make the indents. Giving them a white roof and door they were complete, simple and cute.

To give the top tier a bit more colour I added pink fondant strips and dotted holes down the side to give it a stitched fabric look. I thought these would also be good anchor points for the washing lines to hang off. Using some of the beach hut fondant, I let them dry a little and cut out cute little baby clothes positioning them along the line.

To finish each tier I tied a polka dot ribbon and added a bow to the font. Luckily the mother-to-be loved the cake and the personal touches and the whole baby shower was a triumph! There were lots of presents, everyone brought a dish and she didn't suspect a thing right until we shouted 'Surprise!' so all in all a massive success!

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Sunday, 2 February 2014

Robot Doughnut Cake.... Of Course

Another year, another year of co-worker's birthday cakes. I do so love making the quirky ones, and especially a cake that looks like some other form of food, I don't know why - I just love that.

This cake was for my friend Laura, last year I made her the zebra print cake with chocolate robots, two of her favourite things. So this year I decided that I would make a cake that looks like her other favourite thing...a doughnut!

I couldn't miss out the robots altogether though so I of course still made some, out of white chocolate and painted them up to be all sparkly with some edible metallic silver paint. Which by the way DO NOT get on your hands, they've obviously added black food colouring to it to darken it up and it looked like I'd dipped my fingers in tar.

So for the doughnut, I decided to make a pink sponge, I mean, if it's going to be a doughnut then why not pink inside right? I made two layers and using a knife I cut out the middle so it'd be a cute ring doughnut and sandwiched them with jam and dirty iced them with vanilla buttercream.

Using a little of Sugarcraft's Dark Brown colouring gel I made up some doughnut coloured fondant and using Wilton's Pink colouring gel I made the pink fondant for the frosting. Covering the doughnut and getting inside the middle was tricky but the rest was super easy.

For the frosting I basically rolled out and cut out a big wavy circle and cut out a smaller circle in the middle. The sprinkles were really easy, I just piped coloured icing into strands and dotted them all over to really make it looks like a doughnut from The Simpsons. 

I added a few of the chocolate robots, loaded up her cake, flowers and presents into the little Figaro and got on my way!

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