Thursday, August 19, 2010

Playing with pretty



Last night I was feeling playful. I'm in the midst of creating Golden Snitch cupcakes for my niece's party this weekend and I wanted to take a break from wings and gold paint.

I showed you my first fondant roses recently and pledged to turn them into something pretty - and so here it is.

Very simple, but very pretty!

I also got myself a new cake decorating toy - an embossing plate.



In truth, its actually an embossing plate for making impressions on cards, but its also perfect for creating pretty cupcake size designs on fondant.

To see some really pretty cupcakes, take a look at Small Things Iced - a gorgeous bespoke cake maker and decorator in the UK.

One of these days I'll catalogue some of my favourite sites and blogs.....another project AFTER the Golden Snitches!

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Sweet, petite, afternoon tea treats

Mini lemon delicious cupcakes
I've been musing for a while about what market I might focus on for my 'future' cupcake business. And I seem to keep coming back to afternoon tea treats.

There seems to be a renaissance going on for girly get togethers over beautiful china, sparkling wine and pretty cakes. And why not? Many top hotels are advertising weekend High Teas, but they don't come cheap.

One of my close girlfriends recently received her grandmothers gorgeous china and was inspired to host her own high teas at home. They're now a much sought after invitation event.

She loves to make savoury treats but prefers to leave cakes to someone else. Hmmmm....that sounds like an opportunity!

This weekend she was hosting a birthday party for the same grandmother whose china she now cherishes and wanted it to be extra special. So she asked me to make two of my favourite cupcakes, in miniature.

Salty Chocolate Ganache cakes
The Lemon Delicious cakes are baked with lemon curd and topped with lemon buttercream and a little sugar flower.

The Salty Chocolate Ganache cakes are a mud-style chocolate cake with rich chocolate ganache and sea salt flake sprinkles.

So, dear readers, what sweet treats would you choose for your own afternoon tea party?

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Everything's coming up roses



Since embarking on my cake decorating journey I've been desperate to learn sugar flowers.

I've struggled to find a class nearby and I thought I had to buy lots of complicated cutters and tools - that was until I discovered David Cakes on YouTube.

This fabulous cake shop based in the UK has put together some really informative videos on how to make fondant flowers without cutters. And you know what - its pretty easy. If you can roll a small blob of fondant into a ball and flatten it out between your fingers, then you can create a gorgeous rose.

The roses above were my first efforts. And without blowing my own horn, I think they're pretty great!

They need to dry, and of course I should have used gum paste to ensure they dry out properly, but I don't care. I now know I can do them. Sure they don't have green calyxes on their bases, but on a cupcake - who needs one? Some hand piped leaves will do the trick quite nicely.

Stay tuned for a dressed up cupcake featuring the roses.
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Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Cherry blossom finale



My couture cherry blossom cupcakes made their grand entrance on Saturday night to rapturous applause and lots of 'oohhhhh' and 'aahhhhhhs'.

The birthday girl was happy.

I was even approached by one guest about possibly doing her wedding cupcakes in January - a wonderful compliment!

The proof is always in the tasting and this time I achieved what I had set out to do - a very grown up Jaffa cake - Grand Marnier and Chocolate that was both flavoursome and moreish.

It was fantastic to receive such postive feedback on my work. It also confirmed for me that no matter how pretty the cake looks, its the taste that will always have the bigger impact.

Another original Di-licious recipe to add to the master file!