Christmas Cake

After a visit to the Cake show at the NEC in November we came back full of ideas for this year’s  cake. We had been  lucky to catch a very good demonstration on how to model figures by a lady from Cake Craft and Decoration magazine which my daughter used as a starting point. I made two fruit cakes, a 6 and an 8 inch using Darina Allen’s gluten free whiskey cake which never lets me down and feed it copiously right up to decorating with various whiskeys including an interesting one flavoured with maple syrup that had travelled all the way from Canada . Then it was over to Fiona.
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We picked up lots of Renshaw marzipan and icing at a very good price so we had lots to play with and my advice would be never stint on the on the quality or quality of the icing.

IMG_4580Interestingly my daughter doesn’t like Christmas cake so most of it made its way to the WEA office and kept us all going through the first dark and rainy days of January.
IMG_4581A few extra figures made by Fiona including Ice Hockey playing snowmen and a couple of very cute penguins. Not sure it they’re based on any of the Nottingham Panthers players!

Wedding Afternoon Tea

A few weeks ago  my daughter and I helped with the wedding preparation for two of  our friend wedding. It was a steep learning curve and one of the main things we learnt was not to attempt a chocolate wedding cake in 30 degree temperatures. The theme was afternoon tea and we spent a very hot week trying out ideas and freezing ahead what we could.

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The  cake for the bottom tier was make using  Martha Stewart ultimate chocolate cake recipe and the top tier was our tried and tested wheat free  victoria sandwich cake. Because of the heat we kept the decoration to a minimum and purchased the chocolate cigarillos, which were brilliant and well worth the expense. First we covered the cake with dark chocolate ganache and then added the cigarillos. we got lots of very good feedback on the taste. The top tier was covered with white chocolate buttercream with lemon curd used to sandwich the layers together.

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We made a selection of small cakes including plain and cheese scones, chocolate brownies, macaroons, lavender biscuits, almond clusters, lemon drizzle cake and ice cream cone cakes which were very attractive and fun,  The cake stands were made using old LPs.

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Good food Ice cream cone cakes recipe. Beware though the calorie is 756.

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The  hall was decorated using 1001 origami cranes, bunting and pompoms. A thousand paper cranes are traditionally given as a wedding gift by the father, who is wishing a thousand years of happiness and prosperity upon the couple. These cranes were made by the bride and her sisters and it was very effective.

Cakes

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 Over the last few weeks Fiona and I have made two cakes. The first was a Christmas cake based on an idea in Delicious magazine using fine piping and gold roses. We were pleased with the result and it tasted good too. I made a wheat free fruit cake and my own marzipan which was worlds away from the bought stuff.

The second cake for to celebrate a 90th Birthday, but not for your average 90-year-old. This was for a man who practices yoga with the WEA and swims twice a week. He’s an inspiration to us all. Fiona had  a go at a fondant figure  for the first time and it looked amazing like the 90-year-old in question, but judge for yourself. Interested in joining a yoga class in Leicester click here

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