Month: September 2015

How to make a Merry-go-round birthday cake

Merry-go-round birthday cake Merry-go-round birthday cake

I can’t believe little Belle is 4! I mean it was only yesterday I made these baby cookies when she was born and now she’s started school. That’s just insane.

I was asked to make Belle’s 4th birthday cake and as you can see it’s a Merry-go-round cake. I decided to make the ponies into cookies that could be pulled off. I’m glad she wasn’t five or I might not have had room for all the ponies to fit on.

How to make the ponies for the Merry-go-round birthday cake

  1. I searched high and low for a pony – or even a horse cookie cutter I could use but none of them were up to scratch, so I decided to make my own- gulp!Pony cookies Armed with a google search and a pen I found a look I liked and used it to base my sketch on. I then cut out the paper pattern (which you can download here) and used it to cut around the rolled out vanilla biscuit dough (Vanilla cookie recipe here)
    Merry-go-round ponies 1
  2. Bake the pony cookies and make more than you need- just in case a leg falls off or anything. That tends to happen to me! Make the royal icing up. – Royal icing recipe here.
  3. First pipe the outline of the body in pale pink.
  4. Fill in the pink body with runny Royal icing. Add a small amount of water to the icing till the trace line disappears in eight seconds. (just in case- a trace line is when you lift a spoon out of the icing and the icing that falls off the spoon leaves a line in the bowl of icing below. The trace line is the line of icing that falls. You need to count how long it takes for that line to disappear. Once it takes eight seconds you know that your icing is runny enough to flood the cookie but not too wet to never dry)
  5. With a darker pink icing outline the mane and tail then flood. Leave to dry for at least an hour – over night is even better.Merry-go-round ponies 2
  6. Using a brown icing outline and flood the saddle and straps. With a thick brown icing pipe the bridle across the nose and up to the mane
  7. Give the ponies horse shoes
  8. To give them pretty eyes pipe a black dot of royal icing and use a tooth pick to drag tiny amounts away from the dot – creating eye lashes and making the ponies look very pretty
  9. Leave the ponies to dry thoroughly before handling. 24 hours is optimal.

 

How to make the Merry-Go-Round cake Merry-go-round ponies 3

  1. To give the cake a base make a deep 8″ cake and a more shallow 9″ cake. Cover with sugarpaste, stack and set on the covered cake board.
  2. Add a detailed trim along the base of each cake. I use these Edge Cutters  which I picked up at a cake fair. Use royal icing to make them stick or dampen the back of each trim with water.
  3. Each pony sits on a pole which is really a pink and white straw. I use these ones from Talking Tables as they’re strong – also there’s loads left over for drinks afterwards. It’s really hard to push the paper straws through the dense Madeira cake so I cut off the bottom of a straw and stick it onto the base of the cake with royal icing. Flatten the top of this straw before you attach it to the cake so the pony can sit flat against it. I then pushed the top straw into the cake in line with the small one – just as much as I could without the cake being distorted or the straw poking through
  4. Make lots of pretty flowers using plunger cutters. Layer up difference sizes and add a pearl in the centre to finish them off. Leave to dry over night so they are easy to handle without breaking. Merry-go-round birthday cake
  5. Each pony is stuck to the cake using Royal icing. The pony cookies are quite heavy so use toothpicks to hold them in place until the royal icing hardens and the ponies are completely stuck. Two underneath where no one will see the holes should do the trick. Merry-go-round birthday cake
  6. To finish off the merry-go-round place a taller white dowel in the centre of the cake add ribbons to it. I glued the ribbons onto the central dowel before placing it in the cake to save on fiddling near the cake. Cut each piece of ribbon to length then stick to each straw around the outside. Make toppers with white sugarpaste. It’s a good idea to make the tops ahead of time so they can easily sit on the straws without breaking. Make holes in the bottom before you leave them to dry and then stick them in place with royal icing. Make pretty little bows and stick them on the outside of each straw.
  7. Don’t forget to make a topper for the central post too.
    Merry-go-round birthday cake
  8. Add the flowers all over the cake around the base and in the ponies manes.
    Merry-go-round birthday cake
  9. Lastly add the name to the base and the age – with a few more flowers for good measure.

Merry go round birthday cake

Happy Birthday Belle

EmmaMT x

Honey cake recipe for Rosh Hashanah

Honey cake recipe for Rosh HashanahHoney cake recipe for Rosh Hashannah

Every Jewish festival comes with a traditional cake. Rosh Hashanah – which is the Jewish New Year, is Honey cake. Rosh Hashanah is celebrated over two days and it’s one of the biggest festivals in the Jewish calendar. We get together and eat – a lot, gathering for big meals and lots of honey cake.

Traditionally honey cake is a really dense and heavy cake but I’ve been making lighter versions for years now. This one is made with syrup. Now I know what your thinking. If it’s made with syrup why is it called honey cake? Well, Syrup makes the cake a bit heavier than honey and that’s what my mum does and what her mum did and what her mum did. Get the picture? So I thought I’d give it a go. I didn’t want my cake to be too heavy so I made it the Genoise way. Still light but with a superior moistness! Yummarge!

Honey cake recipe for Rosh Hashannah

Print this recipe here

Honey cake recipe

  • 90g plain flour
  • 100g Self Raising flour
  • 1¼ tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • ½ tsp ground cinnamon
  • 4 eggs (separated)
  • 100g caster sugar
  • 110ml syrup
  • 110ml sunflower oil
  • 110ml tea (the stronger the better)
  1. Line an 8″ baking tin well. This cake mix is more like batter than cake so it will run out of any cracks in a loose bottom tin. It’s also quite sticky once baked so I always bake in cake liners. It also makes it easier to give the cakes as gifts.
  2. Heat your oven to 180ºC (Fan oven160ºC)
  3. Make the strong tea and set aside to cool a little.
  4. In a separate bowl measure out all the dry ingredients
  5. Measure the egg whites and sugar into a heat proof bowl and place over a bain-marie. You want to warm the mixture not heat it up. If it gets too warm you’ll have scrambled eggs – yuck! Whisk the ingredients to add air and make the mixture double in size. Remove from the heat and carry on whisking with a hand held whisk or in a stand mixer. Stand mixer is easier.
  6. Measure the oil into a jug and while whisking the egg whites slowly add the oil in a slow and steady trickle. Add the egg whites and the oil and whisk further.
  7. Add the cooled tea and whisk again.
  8. Sieve the dry ingredients over the cake mix. Avoid pouring the dry contents into the bowl in one go as the weight of it will burst loads of air bubbles and we need them to give the cake lightness. Fold the dry ingredients into the mix until completely combined then pour the ingredients into the cake tin. The mix will resemble a very wet batter. It will rise into a deep cake so fill the case to ¾ full.
  9. Bake in the centre of the oven for 45minutes or till the cake starts coming away from the sides. This cake is incredible light so if you press the top with your finger it will leave an indent even if the cake is baked.
  10. Remove from the oven and leave to cool completely on a rack before removing from the tin.

Honey cake recipe for Rosh Hashannah

This cake tastes great on the day of baking but even better the day after

Happy New Year to all my Jewish readers. Chag Sameach 

EmmaMT

 

How to make sugarpaste roses : My first ever cake demonstration

My first ever cake demonstration- for Create and Craft

Create & CraftLast Sunday I did something I’ve never done before. I stepped outside of my comfort zone and I did a cake decorating workshop at the Women’s Institute Centennial Fair in Harrogate for Create and Craft.

I’ve been  styling photo shoots for Prima’s craft pages for a few months now and they have teamed up with Create and Craft to produce a bumper Christmas craft magazine. (It’s out now) That’s how I got involved. Create and Craft asked Prima if someone from the team would like to do a demonstration. I offered up my services saying that I can do most crafts except knitting and crochet – and felting. I mentioned that I had this blog and they jumped at the cake decorating idea and showing how to make sugarpaste roses.

I’ve done workshops before but they’ve always been in my kitchen and for around six people. This was in a proper demonstration theatre with a stage and microphone (up my top!) and for the WI !!!

I made the cakes in advance then put them in cake boxes. I then put those boxes inside bigger boxes with bubble wrap all around them. Placed them in massive bags and stuck a massive travellers rucksack on my back – full of cake decorating equipment and had one cake bag in each hand and off I went to Kings Cross Station. You should have seen me. I was a very wide load- avoiding every knock and budge from other travellers which isn’t easy when you have to travel in a car, train, tube and then a three hour high speed train and a taxi at the other end to get to the hotel! I made it in one piece and didn’t dare unwrap the cakes till I got to the fair the next day. The cakes were all intact. I don’t know how!

I went on at 1.15pm. I don’t know how I did as it was all a blurr. I think I spoke too fast and I definitely rabbitted on and on while I made the repetitive petals for the roses but I had a pretty good audience and everyone seemed to be smiling at me at the end. The WI ladies I spoke to throughtout the day were so lovely. It was a really great atmosphere and I did spend a whole load of money!

The Create and Craft team were all really lovely and made me feel right at home from the very beginning- thanks you guys.

The demonstration was on how to make three types of roses. Here’s what I demonstrated.

Enjoy!

Rose buds
Create and Craft cake decorating workshop

These are some of the easiest roses you can make for a cake. They work well with sugarpaste but if you use florist’s paste they will be much easier to handle and will firm up much quicker. As with most decorations these roses work best in odd numbers. I think groups of three’s look best but five, seven and at a push even nine can look great grouped in a corner of a cake. As they are so small there is plenty of scope for designing a pattern with these tiny roses – be that an initial, a number for an age or a heart as I have done here. In the past I’ve also used these rolled roses to fill in gaps on wedding cakes when the cake is filled with bigger garden roses. Simplicity rules – especially with cake design.  Don’t you think?

To make rolled roses.

If you want all your roses to be the same size you can roll out your sugarpaste and use a small circle cutter to cut out the number of roses you need. When you roll these discs of sugarpaste into balls and then into roses they will all be the same size. I don’t mind them being slightly different. The choice is yours.

Create and Craft cake decorating workshop

  • Take your ball of sugarpaste and roll the ball into a sausage then flatten it.
  • Roll your flattened sausage from the smallest end. Don’t squeeze it too tight and if it doesn’t naturally stick at the end add a dab of edible glue. Try and make the last end narrower so it finishes nice and neatly.
  • Set aside to dry and repeat with the rest of the sugarpaste balls.
  • If your roses all look too different in height you can cut off some of the bottom once they are dry to even them up a bit.
  • To stick the roses onto the cake use a little royal icing. Hold the rose against the cake if adhering to the side for a few seconds. If too much royal icing squidges out at the sides clean it up straight away with a dry paint brush.Create and Craft cake decorating workshop
  • To make the leaves: colour some royal icing green and place it in a piping bag. Snip off a small ‘V’ at the bottom and start to pipe a tiny amount of green icing near the base of a rose and lift away and stop pressing the piping bag to create a triangular leaf shape. Add as many leaves as you think necessary. Leave to dry
  • If you are worried about adding the roses freehand you can score the sugarpaste in your design and then follow the line. You can also make a paper template as you can see I did with the heart,  which you can pin in place and remove at the last minute. It also helps you to know how many roses you’ll need.

Create and Craft cake decorating workshop

Brooch roses

Create and Craft cake decorating workshop

I’ve been making these brooches for cakes and cookies for ages. They’re a great way to add a touch of shimmer to a celebration. You can get pearls in all sorts of colours now so keeping to a colour theme for a party or wedding couldn’t be easier.  I used Wilton’s dark grey, pearl, pink pearl and silver but the world is literally your oyster!
Create and Craft cake decorating workshop

To make the booches

  • Roll out your florists paste (or sugarpaste) to around the thickness of a £1 coin. Brush a little edible glue over a small area. Add one colour pearl to the centre then add an alternative colour balls all around the centre. Press down lightly with your finger so the pearl balls sink in a little.
  • Use a circle cutter to cut out the shape. I made really small ones so I used the end of a piping nozzle to cut out my small brooches. I didn’t have small enough circle cutters as I wanted there to be little or no florists paste showing outside of the pearls. Set these aside to firm up – overnight is best.

Create and Craft cake decorating workshop

To make the roses

  • Roll out your florist’s paste so it’s reasonably thin then cut out large rose shapes. You can pretty much use any flower shape with this design as you are going to layer up so the more the merrier
  • Place the cut out rose shapes into an artist’s palette (reserved just for decorating)
  • Cut out more roses in smaller shapes and different colours. Use a dab of edible glue to stick each rose to the one underneath it. Keep adding till you have enough roses. Create and Craft cake decorating workshop
  • Use edible glue to stick the brooches into the centre. Leave to dry overnight before removing. It’s a good idea to lightly dust the pallette before adding the roses so they don’t get stuck. Also if you have time, remove the roses from the pallette and upturn them onto a piece of florists foam so the underneath can dry fully before you stick them on the cake.
  • To stick the brooch roses onto the cake use a little royal icing and hold them in place for a few seconds if adhering them to the sides of the cake.
  • Position your ribbon on the cake before you stick the roses on as you can overlap the ribbon with the roses (still sticking in place with royal icing).

Create and Craft cake decorating workshop Create and Craft cake decorating workshop

I love making these rosettes ever since I got my hands on these Wilton cutters from Create and Craft. They have two sides – circles and crinkly circles. The crinkles are really small and make pretty designs so these rosettes look super cute.

If truth be told I wanted to make these for the roses for my workshop at the Create and Craft theatre but Tim (my husband) took one look at them and said “I thought you were making roses?” to which I replied “They’re modern roses!” He gave me one of those looks that says “Really Emma?” and so I set about making the brooch roses instead. But never being one to waste an idea I stuck the rosettes on the back of the cake so I could still share the design. Which do you prefer?

To make Rosettes

  • Roll out two or three colours of sugarpaste. I chose three pinks which were close in colour. Try and keep them to similar thicknesses.
  • Cut out an outer crinkly circle then keep cutting smaller ones.
  • Once you have lots of different sizes in different colours mix and match them so they are all flat and neat.
  • Cut out a centre circle and place a brooch the same size as the hole made from pearl balls in the space.
  • Cut out a crinkly circle which is just bigger than the mixed design. Brush it lightly with edible glue. Carefully lift the design with the brooch onto the larger circle and press lightly with the ball of your hand to adhere the two pieces together. Leave to dry.
  • If you want the design to stick to a round cake only leave the design to dry for 20 minutes before adhering it in place on the cake with royal icing. That way you can gently encourage the rosette to bend with the curve of the cake.

Create and Craft cake decorating workshop Create and Craft cake decorating workshop

 

Garden rose cupcakes

These are one of the most requested roses when it comes to wedding cakes and they are also the most time consuming. If you are planning to make them for a wedding cake start them straight away. As soon as you get the request. Not only do they take an age to make but they will be so much easier to handle once they are completely dry. Even once they are dry they are really frail so always handle them with care.

I love to put these on cupcakes. They make them look really glamourous. Almost too good to eat!

Create and Craft cake decorating workshop

 

How to make Garden roses

The trick with these roses is to make them a little crinkly. Real roses are never completely smooth so a curve or two will only make them look more real like.

  • Always use Florist’s paste when making these roses. You can roll it out really thin without it tearing – which sugarpaste will definitely do. Florist’s paste will dry out really quickly so always keep any paste not being used wrapped up and in a sealed sandwich bag.
  • Edible glue is used throughout this rose to stick petals on.
  • Make small buds from florists paste and leave to harden for a few hours.
  • Roll out the florists paste so that it’s paper thin and you can almost see the design of your roll out mat through it.Create and Craft cake decorating workshop
  • Cut out one large petal. Stick it to the rose bud so that it covers the entire thing and overlaps at the top. Keep the petal to a point and tuck inone edge of the petal. Leave to dry.
  • Roll out some florists paste and cut out three small petals. Take each petal in turn and any not being used should be stored in a plastic sleeve (the kind you use for paper) so that they don’t dry out.Create and Craft cake decorating workshop
  • Place the petal on the firm foam and use a cell pin (rolling pin with a curved end) to thin it out more. Work in a circluar action thinning out the centre and then concentrating on the edges so they are the thinnest part of the petal. They will start to frill when they are thin enough.Create and Craft cake decorating workshop
  • These first three petals are going to be positioned tight against the bud. Start by adding the first petal. The centre of the petal should line up against the join line of the very first petal on the bud. Stick the petal on firmly and gently pull back the very top of the petal so you can just see the bud. Repeat with the next two petals – again positioning the centre of each on the join of the last petal added.
  • The next layer has five medium petals. Cut out these thin petals and thin them out with the cell pin on the foam as previously done.

  • Create and Craft cake decorating workshop To give the petal shape pinch the bottom of each petal.
  • Take the very top edge of the petal and fold it over a cocktail stick. Slide the cocktail stick out so the fold in the petal stays in place. Be very careful not to break it off. Repeat on both sides near the top. Place the petal to one side to dry for twenty minutes. You can dry petals quicker on a piece of foam.
  • Continue to thin and fold the other petals.Create and Craft cake decorating workshop
  • Once all the petals have been made and are dryer they will hold their shape. Stick them onto the rose bud. Apply glue in a ‘v’ shape at the bottom of the each petal and stick down the right hand side of the first petal. Before you stick the left hand side down position the next petal- overlapping the last. Each petal overlaps the next. The folds you created with the cocktail stick force the petals into place and make the overall rose bigger. Leave to dry over night. The rose will be difficult to handle at this stage if it’s not left to dry. Create and Craft cake decorating workshop
  •  Once dry cut out seven large petals and thin them in the same way. Then pinch at the bottom and fold over the edges with a cocktail stick as with the last layer.
  • Add these rose petals in the same way – overlapping as you go. This is the last layer so let them open the rose up.
  • Once each petal has been stuck on the final layer leave the rose upturned on a piece of foam to dry thoroughly overnight.
  • To stick the finished garden rose on a cupcake turn it over and with a very sharp knife remove the stem at the bottom of the bloom. Keep in mind if you want to travel with these cupcakes they will need to fit in the box with the lid closed so they need to be quite shallow.
  • Pipe a buttercream swirl on each cupcake then position the rose on top. Leave to set for 30 minutes before travelling with them.

Create and Craft cake decorating workshop Create and Craft cake decorating workshop

 

Wow! That was a long post! I hope you enjoyed it as much as I enjoyed the demonstration. All that’s left to say is thank you to Create and Craft and Prima Magazine for such an exciting opportunity.

EmmaMT x

Summer holiday baking:Jammie Dodgers and Iced ring biscuits with The Great Little Trading Company.

Jammie Dodgers and Iced ring biscuits

Ice rings and Jammie Dodgers

When it comes to baking during the summer holidays I have to say I’m well up for it- sometimes more than my kids are. So, when I was approached by The Great Little Trading Company to do a guest post for their blog I instantly jumped at the chance. Then I realised that I have a pre-teen who likes to stay in her room and watch Netflix or play Minecraft all day long and after having a baking mad mum is kind of a bit over it and a nine year old who has been baking all on her own all summer long – making up her own recipes- some delicious. Some not so much! So, plan B. Borrow someone else’s kid!

Ice rings and Jammie Dodgers

The plan

I was asked to come up with a new recipe to bake with kids in order to keep them entertained during the school holidays. I decided that iced rings were a great idea. Kids love to cut out biscuits and to play around with ‘wet icing’ and I thought I could teach the older ones how to do a more difficult technique. Great for all ages I thought.

What actually happened?

Well, once I had borrowed my friend’s gorgeous four year old daughter Dahlia we got down to it. The GLTC named aprons were put on (they came in cute cotton bags which Dahlia’s dog Rusty was put to bed in- as it made the perfect sleeping bag), hands were washed and we were ready to go.

Ice rings and Jammie DodgersI made the dough ahead to save time and let them cut out the ring biscuits. The thing is, I have a ton of cookie cutters- a whole drawer full in fact, which Darcey decided to open up and share with Dahlia. Cutting out circles and rings is no fun when there are cats and fairies, butterflies, hands and bunnies to be had.  Plan abandoned… kind of.

Ice rings and Jammie Dodgers

I made some ring and circle biscuits and so did Beau. Dahlia and Darcey made everything else they could get their hands on. Beau decided that she wanted to make Jammie Dodgers which was great as this recipe works equally well for dodgers as it does for iced rings.

summer baking 1Too blue

I made up the Royal icing ready for the kids to add their own colours to. I have these new Wilton colours from Lakeland which are brilliant. They come with a colour chart and you add a certain amount of drops of colour to get the specific colour you’re after. A drop is all you need. Each girl was given a bowl of white royal icing to colour and before I could turn around and grab a mini spatula Darcey had squirted a ton of the turquoise into her bowl. “Nooooo!!” was my instant reaction and I was right.Ice rings and Jammie Dodgers recipe For the rest of the day there were blue hands, VERY blue tongues and blue t-shirts. Even once the biscuits were iced and left to harden a day later the blue was still staining tongues when you ate them!Jammie Dodgers and Iced ring biscuits1

I used sandwich bags tied with rubber bands as piping bags. They’re easy to hold and control and cheap as chips. Just snip off the corner and away they went. And they really did love the icing. One squirt for the biscuit. One for the mouth. Dahlia told me that she had to stop the icing dribbling out at the end! She had so much sugar that day I think she could have flown home! (Sorry Fou!)

I decided to still make the pattern on the iced fingers and both Beau and Darcey had a good go at itIced rings biscuits

Click here to print this recipe 

Jammie Dodgers and Iced ring biscuits

Biscuits ingredients

  • 50g caster sugar
  • 100g unsalted butter at room temperature
  • 1 medium egg
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 200g plain flour
  • 20g cornflour

Royal icing to decorate

  • 500g icing sugar
  • 1 egg white (from a medium egg)
  • food colours

To make the biscuits

  1. Place all the ingredients into a bowl and mix until just combined. I use a stand mixer till it’s all incorporated and then use my hands to really work the butter into the flour. Be careful not to over work the dough as this will give you tough biscuits that spread during baking.
  2. Wrap the dough in cling film and chill for at least 30 minutes.
  3. Preheat your oven to 180ºC (Fan oven160ºC) and line baking trays with silicon paper.
  4. Roll out the dough onto a floured surface so it’s around the thickness of a £1 coin. Let the kids have a go and cut out shapes to their hearts content.
  5. Place the biscuits on a baking tray and bake for 10-12 minutes until the edges start to brown.
  6. Leave to cool on a rack for 10-20 minutes while you make the royal icing.

To make the royal icing

  1. Sieve the icing sugar into the bowl of a stand mixer (you can use a hand held mixer too but it makes a bit of a dust cloud in your kitchen!) Add the egg white and mix by hand until completely blended.
  2. Place the bowl in the mixer and mix for 4-5 minutes. If the icing looks too dry add a little water at a time so it is softer and more fluid.
  3. Place the royal icing in a few bowls then add a drop or two of food colouring to each and mix.
  4. Place the icing into piping bags (or sandwich bags tied with elastic bands) and snip off the tip.
  5. Let the kids have some icing fun. Leave the decorated biscuits to harden for an hour or more before eating or storing.

To make the pattern on the iced rings

Cover the biscuit in white icing. Immediately afterwards pipe horizontal lines across. Using a toothpick drag the lines in one direction at regular intervals. Then repeat in the other direction in between the first lines. Hey presto! Cool iced rings.

Jammie Dodgers and Iced ring biscuits2To make the Jammie Dodgers

Take one circle biscuit and one ring which are the same size. In a heat proof bowl add a tablespoon of jam. We used strawberry but anything goes. Heat the jam in the microwave for 30 seconds. You want it to be warm and runny but not bubbling. Use a silicon pastry brush to brush jam across the circle biscuit then place the ring on top. Leave to cool. Hey presto Jammie dodgers.

Ice rings and Jammie Dodgers

I think a great time was had by all – especially once the biscuits were made and devoured! Ice rings and Jammie DodgersHope you had fun this summer holiday. What have you been baking with the kids? I’d love to know.

EmmaMT

Disclaimer: No child was harmed in the eating of too much royal icing in this post! Thanks to The Great Little Trading Company for asking me to write a guest post over on their blog – which you can see here. Thanks also to Theoda for letting Dahlia come and play ‘how much icing can I eat before dinner!” Love you guys. x

Ice rings and Jammie Dodgers recipe

 

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...
%d bloggers like this: