Sunday, 24 June 2012

Show Jumping Cake

This week my eldest niece, Ciara, celebrated her 7th birthday.   She had decided last February what theme she would like for her cake and this had remained a solid request throughout the months that followed.   However, 2 weeks ago my mother phoned to let me know that there may be a change.   The previous day Ciara had asked her Granny if I had started her cake, because she now wanted a horse cake.

After asking some further questions I learned that a show jumping theme was what Ciara now wanted.   Perhaps it could have Ciara on a pony jumping?   I must admit that I panicked somewhat when I heard this, as there is a reason why most horse themed cakes have the horse lying down!  

Keen not to disappoint I put my thinking cap on.   After a lot of thinking and a couple of attempts, I found a way to make it work.   I was delighted with the final cake and even more thrilled with how much Ciara loved it.   My little nephew, Alan, was also excited to see himself and little Aoife featuring on the cake too.

Show Jumping Cake, 23rd June 2012


Show Jumping Cake, 23rd June 2012

Saturday, 16 June 2012

101 Dalmatians meet Bambi Cake

Confused?   Well, let me explain.  

In June last year my eldest niece, Ciara, turned 6.   This was the first birthday cake that I was to make for her and as a doting aunt I was eager to please.  
A few weeks before her birthday I asked Ciara what she would like for her cake.   Having considered her entire Disney book collection she had whittled the choice down to two, 101 Dalmatians and Bambi.

Completely torn between the two she asked everyone (Mammy, Daddy, her brother Alan, Granny and me) ‘what do you think?’   Trying to help, I pointed out that the Dalmatians would be a black and white cake, while a Bambi theme could have trees, flowers, butterflies and all the colour of a forest scene.   Still unable to choose, the eager to please aunt in me took over and I suggested a Bambi theme with a small Dalmatian puppy hiding in the bushes.   Rookie mistake!!   Her little face lit up, and then she said ‘yes, we can have Bambi, Thumper, Pongo, Perdita, Lucky…..’  The list continued as I grew paler. 

Suddenly I had walked myself into something I wasn't sure I could pull off.   I have to admit at one point I thought that Bambi would be my downfall (when he was looking more like a mouse than a deer).   It really can be difficult when trying to model a very distinctive character.   Thankfully it all came together and I was thrilled with my little Bambi.  
Ciara and all her party guests loved the cake and I was a very pleased Aunt.

Lesson learned, only one theme for next week’s 7th Birthday cake.

101 Dalmations meet Bambi Cake, 20th June 2011

101 Dalmatains meet Bambi Cake, 20th June 2011

Friday, 15 June 2012

Bingo Birthday Cake

A few months ago a friend of a friend asked if I would make a cake for his mum, Madge, whose birthday was last week.   

Madge’s only 3 grandchildren would be visiting from England so a novelty cake was the look that was requested.   I reckoned that this cake was to be designed to evoke ‘thoughtful son’ and ‘cool uncle’ comments, in equal measure.

Madge is a keen Bingo player, so this was the requested cake theme.   As the grandchildren range in age from 7 to 2, I decided 'more was more' when it came to the cake design. 

The evening of the Birthday I got a lovely message to say that the cake went down a treat.

Bingo Birthday Cake, 5th June 2012
Bingo Birthday Cake, 5th June 2012

Bingo Birthday Cake, 5th June 2012

Monday, 11 June 2012

Chocolate Smartie Cake

Yesterday a good friend and work colleague celebrated her birthday.   As is tradition in our office, today’s morning tea break required cake to mark the occasion.
I decided to make a chocolate sponge sandwiched with chocolate butter cream and covered in rich chocolate ganache.   Smarties were added to give it a lovely pretty look.
Despite its richness and the many Mondy morning eat well intentions amongst my colleagues the cake was  completely demolished.   The reaction every baker wants.
Chocolate Smartie Cake, 11th June 2012

Saturday, 9 June 2012

A Day at the Races Cake

Angela, a lovely lady for whom I had previously made her daughters’ birthday cakes, recently contacted me regarding her husband Ray’s impending 50th Birthday.   They were having a party and wanted a novelty cake for the celebrations.
The brief consisted of a cake which reflects some, or all, of Ray’s passions and one large enough to accommodate the 80 guests.   Angela told me of Ray’s love of horse racing, a red Kawasaki motorbike and, obviously, his two beautiful girls.
Having thought about the brief for a few days I contacted Angela and suggested that we go with a ‘Day at the Races’ theme, which would also incorporate the girls.   She was happy for me to take the design whatever way I felt would work best.
I asked some knowledgeable friends and family to give me some racing paraphernalia from which I might get ideas.  This was most helpful and gave me the final idea to finish the cake design.   
Having completed the cake I was very happy with how it turned out and was very confident that it hit the mark for the occasion.   I must admit, however, that a little doubt did set in for a fleeting moment the night before delivery.   When talking to Angela she mentioned that the girls were very excited and had been asking about the cake but she couldn’t tell them anything about it as she had no idea of how it would look either.   She said that she was equally as excited and couldn’t wait to see it, but knew that I wouldn’t disappoint.   There’s nothing like the pressure of expectation!!  
Well there was no need for doubt - Angela and family loved the cake.   What more can I ask for, an exciting cake project, a dream client to work for and, most importantly, a client delighted with the cake.

A Day at the Races Cake, 2nd June 2012

A Day at the Races Cake, 2nd June 2012

A Day at the Races Cake, 2nd June 2012

Monday, 4 June 2012

Basketball Cake II

Having seen the Basketball Cake made earlier this year, a friend of a friend asked if I could make a similar cake for her husband’s 40th Birthday.  

In addition to basketball, Edric is an active member of the local scouts.  So to reflect this I modelled the scout neckerchief and draped it on the board.   To personalise the cake further, I attempted to recreate the Birthday Boy’s own company logo in sugarpaste and placed it around the edges of the court as advertising hoarding. 

The cake was a big success so I was very happy.

Basketball Cake II, 26th May 2012