It’s My Birthday!

06/17

Today is my birthday and once again I’ve made my own cake!

I’ve made my own birthday cake since I first started baking back in 2011 and I have loved every one of them! It’s always something I look forward to.

This year, I was busy making my friends wedding cake most of the week as well as prepping for my birthday holiday, by the time you read this, I will be sitting on the beach with a cocktail in hand!

As I wasn’t having a party this year, just a few friends over for some nibbles, and I was flying early (5am!) the next morning, I made a simpler cake this year, one that could be easily sliced and popped into some foil for my nearest and dearest to take away with them!

I still love it though. Five layers of coloured vanilla sponge, soft velvety buttercream and coated in aqua buttercream ‘scales’. Topped with edible handmade shells, sprinkles and a Little Mermaid keepsake topper.

Here are a few pictures while I was making it and to answer a few questions;
The cake and buttercream recipes can be found on my classic madeira cake recipe page.
The sprinkles by Scrumptious Sprinkles.
The buttercream and sponge was coloured using concentrated Sugarflair colours.
The buttercream ‘scales’ on the outside of the cake was made by piping dots and using a palette knife to create the pattern.
The board was made using a marbelling technique I talk about here.

Happy baking!

Britt xo

 

How To Make Icing Rose Petals

05/17

Edible icing rose petals are a gorgeous addition to any cake, and the great thing is they are relatively quick and easy to make.

I’ve used a pink colour for my petals on this wedding cake but you can use any you like.

 

You will need;

Roll out the flower paste very thinly onto a surface duster with cornflour.

Cut out a petal using the chosen size cutter.

Place this petal into the silicone veiner.

Press firmly and evenly down onto the petal veiner, open and remove the petal carefully onto the shaping pad.

Using a ball tool, go around the petal with half of the tool on the pad and half on the petal, use enough force to bend the petal into shape.

You need to press quite firmly to manipulate the petal but not so hard that it tears.

Once shaped, leave to dry completely (preferable overnight) on drying foam.

Once your petals are dry, use a large dusting brush to gently brush your chosen colour onto the edges of the petal, adding as much or as little as you like.

When you’re finished, your petals are ready for use! If you’re sticking to the side of a cake, like I’ve done in the wedding cake above, I advise to use royal icing. If adding to cupcakes, push into the buttercream. If you’ve allowed the petals to dry overnight, they shouldn’t go soft in the buttercream.

Once the petals are made, they will last for ages.  Pop them in a cake box or a tupperware box with the lid off covered in a single layer of kitchen roll (to keep any dust off) for safe storage. Make sure air can get to them otherwise they may go soft. They will be relatively fragile so be careful when handling.

To find out more about how to make this tiered petal wedding cake, check out my online course here. Currently half price!

Come find me on FacebookTwitter or Instagram.

Happy Baking!

Britt xo

If you want to turn your baking hobby into a career, check out my book Cakes, Bakes & Business for everything you need to know about running a successful baking business, including pricing, marketing, insurance and much more!

Classic Madeira Birthday Cake Recipe

05/17

A classic birthday cake will have a few elements to it. A soft vanilla sponge, tart seedless raspberry jam, smooth vanilla buttercream and a layer of sugarpaste (ready to roll icing).

Contrary to popular belief, most birthday cakes aren’t a ‘Victoria sponge’. A Victoria sponge is a soft light sponge, baked in two sandwich tins then put together with jam and fresh cream. Lovely for an afternoon tea, but doesn’t lend itself well to be covered in sugarpaste (ready to roll icing). For this, you are better off using a madeira recipe. It’s close textured and firm, whilst still being light and soft to eat. The inclusion of plain flour makes it stronger and better for decorating.

It’s also perfect for carving cakes too, although if you are carving, I recommend popping the cake in the freezer for about 15-20 minutes before starting work. This will reduce crumbs and make your life a lot easier! For more about freezing cakes, click here.

Below is my 7″ round (my most popular size of birthday cake ordered) vanilla madeira recipe and vanilla buttercream recipe. It also is perfect to make 12 cupcakes, for more on cupcakes click here. Make sure all of your ingredients are room temperature as this will help make a better bake! I also recommend lining your tins. I bake one deep cake and use a cake leveller to cut my cake into there sections (see lemon cake below) as opposed to using individual tins, however, this recipe can be used in sandwich tins, just lower the baking time to 35-40 minutes. I use 3″ deep PME tins that are seamless tins made from professional quality anodised aluminium.

If the cake isn’t baked fully when you cut into it, or it’s squidgy in any way, it needed longer in the oven. Ever oven is different and these timings are an approximation. If in doubt, leave it in a further 10 minutes. Due to the low temperature it won’t dry the cake out and will ensure it’s fully baked. The cake needs to spring back to the touch, be golden brown and a skewer come out clean. This will come with experience, the more you bake, the more you’ll know a fully baked cake on sight.

Should you wish to scale the recipe up or down, a number of helpful charts to work this out are easy to find with a quick google. The convertor on CakeBaker is great and they also have a handy app.  I also like this one found on The Pink Whisk or you can use the water trick I explain here.

To make the cute owl toppers in the above picture, check out my tutorial here.

For more information on how to decorate your cake and go from home bake to showstopper, check out my list of latest online cake decorating courses here.

Madeira cakes

Vanilla Madeira Cake Recipe

  • 200g self raising flour
  • 200g caster sugar
  • 200g Stork/butter
  • 50g plain flour
  • 4 medium eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  1. Cream together the Stork and caster sugar.
  2. Add in your eggs.
  3. Add in your flour.
  4. Add the vanilla.
  5. Mix for 4-6 minutes on a high speed.
  6. Pour mixture into a greaseproof paper lined, 7″ cake tin. 
  7. Bake at 140C (fan assisted) for 1 hour 30 minutes or until a skewer comes out clean, the cake is golden brown and springs back to the touch. (Check after 1 hour)
  8. Once baked, after 5 minutes on the side, turn out onto a sheet of greaseproof paper and leave upside down to cool. This ensures a nice flat top.
  9. Once cooled, wrap in clingfilm overnight to ‘settle’.
  10. Once split, filled and iced, this cake will last 7-10 days and will freeze well for 3 months.

NOTE: This recipe is for a 7″ round tin. It is not enough mixture for bigger tin sizes. For this, you will need to convert the recipe here.

For a chocolate madeira;

Follow the recipe above and replace the plain flour for cocoa powder and add 100g melted dark chocolate. For chocolate buttercream, follow the recipe below and add two tablespoons cocoa powder and 50g melted dark chocolate.

For a lemon madeira;

Follow the recipe above and add the zest and juice of one lemon. Alternatively add two teaspoons of lemon extract. For lemon buttercream, follow the recipe below and add two teaspoons of lemon extract and the zest of one lemon.

Vanilla Buttercream Recipe

  • 250g unsalted butter
  • 500g icing sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  1. Cream the butter on it’s own for a few minutes.
  2. Add icing sugar.
  3. Add vanilla.

You can watch me bake this cake in real time on my Facebook page here; PART 1. PART 2.

Give it a go and let me know how you get on, either on Facebook or Twitter or Instagram.

For more information on how to decorate your cake and go from home bake to showstopper, check out my list of latest online cake decorating courses here.

If you want to turn your baking hobby into a career, check out my book Cakes, Bakes & Business for everything you need to know about running a successful baking business, including pricing, marketing, insurance and much more!

Happy baking!

Britt xo

Lemon Madeira by She Who Bakes

Topped with Scrumptious Sprinkles Lemon Crunch & Lemon Jelly Squares! I LOVE them!! xo

Renshaw Baking’s Recipe of the Month

04/17

This month I’m pleased to announce I’m judging Renshaw Baking’s Recipe of the Month competition. Enter your Easter or Spring themed recipes and cake decorating guides by Wednesday 12th April on the Renshaw website and you could win a Spa Break for 2! I can’t wait to see your entries! Click here to enter!

For a bit of inspiration, check out my below recipe and tutorial video ‘Four Ways To Decorate An Easter Egg Cookie with Renshaw Baking​’ including my best no-spread sugar cookie recipe!

Happy baking!

Britt xo

 

 

 

None More Black

03/17

This week, I made a birthday cake for my friend’s husband. The brief was a very black cake with hints of purple, skulls and other black decorations but with a surprise inside. The surprise was a bright, 6 layer rainbow sponge with white buttercream, a complete contrast to the outside. Scroll to the bottom for a picture my friend kindly sent me when the cake was cut into!!

I absolutely love how this cake turned out! All relevant info on how I made it can be found below –

I used Sugarflair colours inside and out, to find out more about how to make a rainbow cake click here.

To find out more about how to make black buttercream click here.

To find out more about how to make white buttercream click here.

The drips and shards were made with black Candy Melts.

The skulls and other decorations were made with Renshaw black modelling paste and silicone moulds.

Hope you like it as much as I do!

Come find me on FacebookTwitter or Instagram.

Happy Baking!

Britt xo

If you want to turn your baking hobby into a career, check out my book Cakes, Bakes & Business for everything you need to know about running a successful baking business, including pricing, marketing, insurance and much more!

How To Make Black Buttercream

03/17

Whether it’s for a space themed cake, Halloween, a specific colour theme or just because, black buttercream can look stunning. However as it’s right at the end of the colour spectrum, it can be a tricky colour to achieve without using a TON of food colouring which leaves a bit of a funny taste but using enough colour so you don’t end up with grey!

This is the best way I’ve found to get black buttercream while still having it super tasty and firm enough to decorate with.

If you’re interested in how to make white buttercream, check out my blog here.

Cut your butter into cubes and pop it in your mixer bowl. Then beat it on a high speed for about 4-5 minutes. This will aerate the butter and create a neutral colour.

Next, add in your icing sugar and make your buttercream as usual. I use 250g butter to 500g icing sugar. Try not to add liquid as it will make it too soft, instead just keep mixing until you get a nice consistency. You want a firmer buttercream for piping onto cupcakes so they hold their shape and a softer buttercream for filling and covering cakes so it doesn’t rip the cake apart. If it’s too hard, put the mix in the microwave in 10 second bursts until you get the consistency needed for your bake.

Then, we’re going to turn it into a chocolate buttercream as it’s a lot easier to get from brown to black than yellow to black!

To your buttercream, add in 100g melted and cooled dark chocolate and 50g cocoa powder.

Once you have a nice chocolate buttercream, then it’s time to add the colour. With black, (as well as red and navy) I’ve only found one colour to get a true black, and that’s this stuff! Sugarflair Black Extra. Add a small amount and then keep adding until you have achieved your desired colour.

*TIP* – The colour will darken over time so I suggest adding a small amount, mixing it in, covering the bowl with cling film and popping in the fridge for 30 minutes to an hour. Once you take it out of the fridge, pop it in the microwave in 10 second bursts and mix well until it is a good consistency to spread.

You can see the awesome black cake I made using this buttercream here!

Give it a try and let me know how you get on either on FacebookTwitter or Instagram.

Happy Baking!

Britt xo

If you want to turn your baking hobby into a career, check out my book Cakes, Bakes & Business for everything you need to know about running a successful baking business, including pricing, marketing, insurance and much more!

Sharp Edges and Pole Fitness

03/17

For several years I ran a cake business from home. I made cakes for all occasions; weddings, birthdays, Christening’s, you name it. I was making quite a few cakes a week and I was always battling with the much sought after sharp edge.

As a self taught baker, I relied on internet advice, tools and tricks I had picked up along the way to make my edges as sharp as I could, but they were always slightly rounded. I was happy with this and liked the way it looked but today my world has been turned upside down! (Stranger Things reference…)

I haven’t decorated a cake in a while and don’t make commission cakes to order anymore, with my blog going more the way of tasty bakes as opposed to centred around sugarcraft it’s not something I usually do unless there’s a specific need. This week there was just that need! For those who follow me in Instagram you will know one of my other passions is pole fitness. I’ve been doing it on and off for 10 years and went back properly last year. This week marks a year that the school I learn with, Polepatations, has been in it’s current studio in Chatham. We’re having a birthday party and I wanted to make a cake for the occasion! Because, that’s what I do!

Themed black and hot pink to match the studio with an acrylic topper and zebra design, I love it, but what I love more about it are the sharp edges!!

My good friend and fellow baking blogger Jemma from Iced Jems sent me some of her Super Sharp Edge Smoothers a few weeks ago and this was my first go with them and I am SO impressed. Up until now I have been using the plastic ones with the handles but not any more! A few goes around and on top with these bad boys and my cake was as sharp as my wit and sweet style. Below is the bottom tier. Left was before smoothing and the one on the right, after.

I mean just LOOK at it! I’m in love. This is the top tier.

I’m completely converted.

Jemma has also made a tutorial video on how to use them which I watched before decorating. It really helped as they are so different to the smoothers I’ve been used to, it was good to watch someone who knew what they were doing first!

You can grab a pair for yourself for only £3.99 from Jemma’s website here.

I should point out, this isn’t an advertisement, nor has Jemma paid me to mention this, but I loved them so much I wanted to tell you all as I struggled for so long to get lovely sharp edges and I was so happy with the result of my cake I did a little dance around the kitchen! Everyone should feel as happy with their cakes as I felt about mine this afternoon.

I’m completely converted. So, enough of the smoothers! Back to the cake.

I made a two tier cake comprising of a 6″ round vanilla madeira and an 8″ round chocolate madeira, both made using my recipe here where you can find a link to a cake calculator to work out the mix for different size tins.

They were both split with a cake leveller, filled and crumb coated with bright pink (obviously) vanilla buttercream coloured with Wilton Rose concentrated colour, which is almost the same shade as the sugarpaste, which is Renshaw Fuchsia Pink. Stacked using cake cards and dowels and decorated in a zebra style bottom tier with edible stars and Polepatations name (made using Windsor Groovy Clikstix), both made from flower paste and acrylic topper (from eBay). Finished off with black 25mm and pink 15mm ribbon.

My buttercream recipe can also be found on my madeira cake recipe page here.

To learn more about how to stack and decorate a tiered cake, check out my wedding cake course here – currently 50% off!!

I loved making this one!

What have you been baking lately? Come let me know on FacebookTwitter or Instagram.

Happy Baking!

Britt xo

If you want to turn your baking hobby into a career, check out my book Cakes, Bakes & Business for everything you need to know about running a successful baking business, including pricing, marketing, insurance and much more!

Creme Egg Hunting Lodge

03/17

When I got the email inviting me down to the Creme Egg Hunting Lodge in London at the weekend, I knew there was only one person I wanted to take with me, my baking bestie and fellow Creme Egg connoisseur, baking blogger and all round amazing lady, Jemma from Iced Jems.

The Creme Egg Hunting Lodge is the ultimate hunting experience for any Creme Egg fan! Set up in the back of a purpose built trust, this lodge has travelled around the country for the past month with all proceeds generated at the lodge being donated to the Prince’s Trust Charity.

The travelling lodge gave people the opportunity to hunt Creme Eggs in a Crystal Maze style game as well as sampling some of the amazing delicacies from the cafe including Gooey Creme Egg S’mores: Gooey Cadbury Creme Egg pieces and a giant marshmallow, sandwiched between two biscuits, toasted for added gooeyness, Creme Egg Black Forest Toastie: A hot and crispy Cadbury Creme Egg Toastie, this time with a black cherry twist and Creme Egg Hunters’ Hot Choc: Mouth-watering Cadbury hot chocolate, with melted Cadbury Creme Egg added in for goo-d measure. It all sounded perfect!

The lodge was set up along the South Bank in London opposite the London Eye and looked pretty epic even from the outside! With the Creme Egg banners, outdoors garden set up and giant binoculars it was a great spectacle!

When we went into the lodge we were greeted by a super friendly member of staff who told us all about Gregg the hunter who owned the lodge and who was their main man when it came to hunting Creme Eggs! We were shown around his home which included a cosy fireplace, tons of awards, Creme Egg butterflies on display and specially made books such as Romeo & Juliegg and Goolivers Travels!

We were put into a team of 6 and were told to put our hunter skills to the test in The Ultimate Egg Hunt, deep inside the Creme Egg Hunting HQ room! We had to work together to solve the clues and crack the safe! I was told to knock on the bookshelf and out of nowhere a secret door opened and a moustached man scared the life out of me! We were given our first clue with a number on it and had to find the further four clues and corresponding numbers to get to our goodies! I’m happy to report we did so successfully and in record time so we were told!

We then got to go to the cafe and enjoy a treat! I went for the Gooey Creme Egg S’mores and Jemma had the Cadbury Creme Egg Toastie. They were delicious!

You can read more about the Creme Egg Hunting Lodge here.

We had a fantastic afternoon hunting eggs and it’s now put me in the mood to do some more baking (and eating) of them this Easter! In the meantime, check out my popular Creme Eggs Cookies which are easy to bake and easier to eat and my Creme Egg Cake.

Did you go to the lodge? Let me know on FacebookTwitter or Instagram.

Happy baking!

Britt xo

 

 

 

 

My Day At Candy Mechanics!

02/17

This week, I was invited to Candy Mechanics HQ. Found deep in the heart of Somerset House in the ‘Makerversity’ workspace, filled with exciting and creative start up businesses, was a modern day chocolate factory!

Candy Mechanics have introduced the world’s first 3D consumable product created from a smartphone – and it’s your own head made in chocolate!! When I got the invitation a few weeks ago, the idea of making my own head on a chocolate lollipop (or lolpop as they are called) both fascinated and excited me.

Founded by Sam Part and Ben Redford back in 2015, the food tech startup collaborated with confectionery developer William Leigh, former chief taster at Green & Blacks, to produce their range of chocolate products. Developing the technology with engineer Chris Tait, the team have created a completely unique process to create incredible customised candy products.

It’s worth noting that this is not 3D printing. Candy Mechanics use 3D scanning and then carve the heads using a customised CNC mill. So I went along and was very excited to check it out!

Even though it’s in Somerset House, this part of the building felt akin to a secret underground laboratory from Despicable Me! I was fascinated. The machine set up was the Candy Carve – that bit of kit under the plastic box, a laptop and a 3D scanner. By having all of this in one easy to transport area, Candy Mechanics are able to take this technology out and about so anyone can have their head made from Belgian white, milk or dark chocolate. If you’re not in front of the machine itself, you can upload a 30 second video of your head, or anyone’s head for that matter, and send it in via their website to get your mini chocolate sculptures sent by post.

I sat still for 30 seconds, which was actually really tricky for me, so the scanner could build up an accurate image of my head. It then loaded it to the laptop so I could get a peek at me in blue 3D! Then it was cropped to fit the lollipop shape and we were good to go. They popped in a milk chocolate pop into the machine and away it went! Check out the video below to see how it carved me out of chocolate! I’ve sped up the process but in real time it only took about 5 minutes.

There I am! I’m so impressed!! I thought there would be a vague resemblance but I can 100% see it’s me! I look good dusted gold. Haha! I think it’s an awesome idea, perfect for a unique present!

Priced at £20, the Lolpops come in a box of 3 with one to eat, one to keep and one to share. These currently come in a selection of white, dark or milk chocolate and are dusted with edible gold lustre.

To find out more about Candy Mechanics, their Lolpos and the other products they offer, check out their website here.

Massive thank you to everyone at Candy Mechanics for a fantastic day. I don’t want to eat chocolate me! I think I’ll keep her forever!

Britt xo

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