Monday, 20 December 2010

Christmas Cake - Done!

Well, after weeks of careful 'feeding' and loving tender care, my Christmas brick, sorry cake, was ready to ice. I'll be honest, there was no making my own marzipan or royal icing from scratch, I settled for the shop bought variety, and to be honest, what reason is there not to? That stuff's great and much less hassle. 
So, to a back drop of cheesy Saturday night television, off I went about icing my mahoosive Christmas cake! It was actually more fun than I remember icing usually is. As a rule, I intensely dislike icing big cakes as I'm rubbish at it, but this time all went smoothly (quite literally) and lo, here is my effort:

Rich Fruit Christmas cake iced with marzipan and royal icing (in ivory not white for a more authentic feel!)
I used the left over strips of icing to make some stars and a Christmas tree decorations.
p.s really love marzipan these days, I used to hate it as a kid but I've changed my mind now, mmmmm! And another thing, this cake wouldn't have turned nearly so well if it hadn't been for the marzipan underneath, it's great for creating flat surfaces to ice on. Afterall, my fruity cake was a little bumpy and the marzipan concealed this brilliantly. 

Coops x :) Merry Christmas! xxxx

Monday, 6 December 2010

Finlay's 1st Birthday Cupcakes

I made these for a friend at work for her little one's 1st birthday:

Chocolate cupcakes with chocolate and blue icing and wintry sprinkles.

I was going to create some snowflakes out of Royal icing and egg white powder, but after many attempts I just wasn't happy with the outcome. I couldn't get them dainty enough without them breaking! Boo :( I guess I really am only capable of using shop bought sprinkles at the moment.

Thursday, 2 December 2010

My London cake escapades.

Had a lovely time in London, we stayed really central (Hyde Park) and managed to pack about as much in as you possibly could in 3 and a half days. We did all the touristy things - London Eye, Westminster, Big Ben, Harrods, Oxford Street, Portrait Gallery, Theatre - that kinda thing. Boy was it cold though?! I've never been as cold in all of my life (fact.), I thought it was 'up-north' where all the minus temperatures came from?! At one point my boyfriend David had to stop and take his socks off and give them to me to wear outside Buckingham Palace. My feet had turned blue! Saying all this, we did just about evade the snow though so we should count ourselves lucky for that!
Anyway, safe to say that as opposed to feeling thoroughly rested and filled with interesting knowledge and a new found enthusiasm for our capital city, I am instead exhausted and thouroughly broke. Too many expensive hot beverages and cakes were needed to see us through the bitter weather I think.
As promised though, a couple of the highlights of my little trip:

The Hummingbird Bakery (Wardour Street)

This was everything I expected it to be :) Rows and rows of pretty cakes and full of bright cheeryness the minute you walk through the door! Just the antidote to a miserably cold day. The only thing that was a shame was the seating capacity inside, we were lucky and found somewhere but I can imagine having been very disappointed if we hadn't!
I think I spent about £14 on 2 cupcakes, 1 carrot cake and 2 coffees in here.

So, here are a few pics:


I mean, come on! How good do these cakes look! And nearly everyone is listed in their cookbook, I love that I can have a go at baking these myself!

Some more delights... (brownies and vanilla cupcakes)

Red Velvet Cupcakes - beautiful!!

Carrot Cake (my boyf's choice), I tried some and it was unbelievable! The frosting is just so well done, no matter how hard I try I could never get it as good as this. I need to get practicing because I want more cake like this one! The only complaint from my partner was that 'There too much "chomp", I feel sick "chomp"' ...

My Red Velvet Cupcake, again, just lovely. The frosting was indeed as the saying goes 'The icing on the cake'. The colour is just for effect but it definitely adds something to the eating, ,such a special looking little cupcake :)
Me snaffling said delight.

I'd like this in my kitchen.

The Primrose Bakery

Sadly this was a short lived affair, we turned up 5 minutes before they were closing (which to be honest was something like 07:25pm!) so we didnt really get to take much in. There was also a rabble of 'boystrous' children clambering everywhere when we got in there too so we dashed in, grabbed our goodies and went with haste! Again, it was small in here and not much room, but it still looked so inviting in there. We got 4 little cupcakes :)

I couldn't believe they had so many left at the end of the day, what became of these delicious beauties I wonder? I love how these are simply decorated (as things can get a bit OTT with cake decorating these days), but it does leave me feeling that I've paid an awful lot of money for something I could defnitely make myself just as well. Their mini cupcakes tasted just like anything I'd knock up for taking to work.

We got some of the little cupcakes to the right there.

Again, nice and so sweet (in both senses) but worth £5...?