North Northamptonshire based food blogger who is obsessed with good food and proper cooking. I'm part of the Midlands Blogging team for the BBC Good Food Shows. This is where I share my own recipes and carry out recipe development and product reviews for brands, including food and wines. Please contact me using the link below.

Tuesday, 31 July 2012

Special Agent Oso cake

Junior is a very special little boy who absolutely adores Special Agent Oso so I was asked if I could make a cake for his 3rd birthday.  First job for me was to make a Google search to find out exactly who Special Agent Oso was as my two children are much older and have outgrown such characters.

Turns our Special Agent Oso is a yellow bear!  Who would have known? Lol

This is what I created for him; a fondant bear which took an AGE to texturise. I was really pleased with the reaction I got when it was collected as they were expecting a simple, flat image, not a whole 3D character!

The sponge is an 8" vanilla with a buttercream and jam filing, covered with fondant and then decorated.

Saturday, 28 July 2012

Amber's 11th birthday cake

I was asked to make a cake for a former colleague's daughter who was about to celebrate her 11th birthday. Tina and I worked together for several years but had sadly lost touch since then. Through the power of Facebook, we have thankfully been chatting and catching up again. It also turns out that both our daughters will start the same senior school in September this year so it looks likely that we won't be losing touch again.

Amber had specific requirements for her cake. It had to be white with bright coloured decoration and just HAD to have a bow! Not one to let a birthday girl down, I rose to the occasion with this two tier vanilla cake.

The top tier was a 6" round and the bottom was an 8" square. The bow was made from fondant, which was rolled very thinly and folded, supported overnight to hold its shape.

Friday, 27 July 2012

Northampton Clandestine Cake Club Meeting July 2012

What a wonderful evening last night. We held our 3rd Clandestine Cake Club meeting for the Northampton district. Our theme was (appropriately with the weather) a Summer Garden Party and that's exactly what we had!

We met at our 'secret' location which was the beautiful and characteristic home of one of our members in a beautiful Northamptonshire village. The sun was shining and her garden looked truly amazing - the perfect setting for a garden party.

There was a vast array of incredibly beautiful cakes, brought to our meeting from every corner of our county by lovely ladies (and even some gentlemen too!).

You can see the two tables, full to bursting point of these incredible cakes here:

For my cake this month, I decided to have a bit of a play with flavours that are evocative of a summer day; namely elderflower. Sadly it wasn't homemade elderflower cordial that I used, but one that I buy all year round from Belvoir Fruit Farms. I adapted a plain, ground almond sponge recipe that I use by adding elderflower cordial in place of the majority of the milk to add a subtle flavour that I hoped wouldn't bake out. Once the cake was baked and still hot from the oven, I mixed some granulated sugar with some more elderflower cordial and used it as a topping, which when dried would have soaked into the sponge leaving a wonderfully fragrant and flavoursome topping to my cake. I'm really pleased to say my recipe experiment worked perfectly too!

For decoration I cut lots and lots of tiny white flowers and stuck them to a flattened ball of fondant to simulate an elderflower head, which I surrounded by leaves, before adding two more much smaller flower heads to the cake.

A lovely evening filled with cake, friends, laughs and setting summer sun; perfect!

Saturday, 7 July 2012

Laura's Zebra Cake

Carol is an old work friend of mine going back some 20 years. Laura is her daughter who was celebrating her 16th birthday and wanted a zebra striped chocolate cake with 12 matching cupcakes.

The colours were black and white with a contrasting fuchsia pink, and we all know that a birthday girl's gotta have what a birthday girl wants ;-)

Happy to oblige, this is what I made her. I loved making the zebra cake. I'm on the lookout though for fushcia pink gel paste though now to properly colour my buttercream.

Friday, 6 July 2012

80th Birthday cake for Elaine's Mother-in-law

I was asked to make a fruit cake for a special lady's 80th birthday. The lady in question was the mother-in-law of one of my colleagues, Elaine.

We discussed what she would like and settled on two individual cakes (one for the family get together, the other for friends at home). I wanted to do the cake in the shape of the two numbers and also wanted to keep it elegantly simple, fitting a lady of such a wonderful age.

The colours settled on we're pinks & purples and off I went to create this...

The fruit cake is covered in white marzipan and then white fondant. It's decorated with tones of pink & purple flowers. I then used white royal icing to add some 'texture' in the form of piped dots.

I received some lovely compliments from colleagues when I took it in to work, and some equally lovely ones from relatives of Elaine's mother-in-law. Seemingly it tasted good too!

I also made 4 co-ordinating cupcakes to go with it for those who don't love fruit cake.

Thursday, 5 July 2012

Carrieanne's Cupcake Bouquet

Ok, this was a first time challenge. Can I make 'one of these?' was the question that accompanied the photograph. Ever up for a challenge, I said I'd give it a go!

There are 7 vanilla cupcakes in the bouquet, each housed in little cups which are stuck together to form a 'flower bouquet'. They're piped with pink/cream striped buttercream roses & embellished with a fondant flower & leaf. Wrapped in tissue paper and in cellophane just as a flower bouquet would be delivered.

Originally ordered as a present, she kept them for her own birthday the following day!

Wednesday, 4 July 2012

Layla's gymnastic cake

A special request for this cake. It had to be dairy free so that Layla could actually have a piece of her own cake.

Vitalite was used in the sponge and Lactofree spread in the buttercream icing between the cake and the fondant.

Layla's a very keen (and very good) gymnast who practices alongside Tia, which is the other gymnastic cake I made that week. So she just HAD to have a cake to celebrate her achievements in gymnastics.

Her mum told me she loved the cake and was excited to be able to eat a slice as it was specially made dairy free just for her. Every little girl deserves a birthday cake that she can have a slice of, don't you think?

Tuesday, 3 July 2012

Tia's gymnastic cake

Tia is a fantastic gymnasts and Tia's mum is a friend of an old school friend of mine, (Savannah's mum, hence the recommendation).

This was the first of two gymnastic cakes that were made in the same week but I wanted them to be very different to each other. Not just in colour, but also in general style too.

My first attempt at making fondant people. They do need some practice and further work but you can tell its a human!!!

Monday, 2 July 2012

Hannah's giant make up cupcake

Hannah is the daughter of one of my daughter's teachers. She was just about to turn 17 and has the ambition to become a make up artist; hence the theme of her cake.

The brief included purple and gold as well as being trendy. Mum was pleased with it when she collected it, and Hannah loved it too, which is the reason that I make them; to bring joy to someone on their special day.

Sunday, 1 July 2012

Ronnie's 50th

This was a double layered vanilla traybake. Commissioned by Lynn for her husband Ronnie's 50th birthday. It was also their 5th wedding anniversary around the same time so I decided to make 2 little ducks swimming on a heart shaped pond in his garden.

Being a keen gardener of both flowers and a little vegetable plot, Lynn had asked me to make his cake to that theme.

I loved the collection of this one, as he was taken out on a 'magical mystery tour' in the car and ended up at my house to receive his cake!
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