Friday, 13 September 2013

I Heart Moshlings........

Snookums, Iggy, Roxy, Fifi, Chop Chop, Hanzel, Lady Meowford......... clueless??
Let me introduce you to just a few of the Moshi Monsters & Moshlings, the latest must have collectibles that every child between the ages of 3 & 8 are banging on about.
These tiny colourful plastic creatures have a strange appeal and magnetic force which just draws in the kiddiwinks at every till point in every shop, only to be lost a couple of hours later.
 
One of the Moshi's biggest fans is my daughters best friend Martha.
Martha's 7th birthday was fast approaching and the party ideas starting flowing along with the cake design, that's where I came in!
 
Martha's mum had probably been planning her eldest daughters 7th birthday since the day after her 6th (just like i did) and knowing Christine as i do, I know she would want to create the prettiest, girliest party, styled to perfection in shades of pastel pinks & creams, just as her youngest daughter Elinor's party was just a few months ago. Martha on the other hand had a very different theme idea for her birthday celebration........ something bright, something scary & something crazy........A MOSHI MONSTERS party. 
Christine had to try and combine the two very different ideas carefully so it didn't end up looking like a moshi mash up!
 
I was emailed a picture of a cake that they both liked and was told to put my own stamp on it, (something I'm always happy to oblige with) they choose some of the nicest looking moshi's (which i think was down to Christine) perched on top of a field of cake surrounded by a Pickett fence, star and fruit trees with a generous scattering of flowers & toadstools......... here's the finished result........ 
 
Photos by Christine Jordan


 Oddie (the dounut) took centre stage with his skinny purple legs dangling down the front of the cake, to the right of Oddie sat Angel (the pink unicorn & Martha's favourite) followed by Coolio (the ice cream cone) then Hansel( the cute gingerbread man & my favourite) and lastly Cutie pie (the meringue tart on wheels!!??) standing proud on the cake bored was Lovely (the little white bunny).
 
 

We arrived at the party early to help set up, as we approached the local village hall, I could hear the excitable screams of the birthday girl and her little sister bouncing madly on the pink princess castle.
 As soon as I walked in the door Christine ran towards me with a very worried look on her face holding something in her hand..... I was asked to perform emergency surgery on Oddie before the quests started arriving, as he had become a victim of a
transporting incident in which he lost his leg, I had to work fast..... after some water and a gruelling 30 seconds of repositioning Oddie was fixed and the party could begin!
 
As always Christine didn't disappoint, the room was covered in beautiful pompoms, bunting and honeycomb balls. The effort that was clearly put in to the day was overwhelming, the group was split in to pairs (with matching moshi badges) and given game after game to try and win the most points, there were moshi word searches, moshi spot the difference, moshi sticker collecting with a choice of moshi prizes for the winners, which my daughters team was lucky enough to win!
 
 



 As the sandwiches were devoured, the mini sausages were munched and the brownies were scoffed there was just enough time for the a bit more bouncing, running around and screeching before the candles were lit and the room filled with the out of tune melody of happy birthday ( that was just the adults).
I was delegated the task of cutting the cake, those that knew I had made it watch in horror as i butchered it in to squares without any feeling, and a few even asked if it upset me after spending days carefully moulding and making it, but hey, that's my job, the cake is made to be enjoyed and I'm just pleased I made Martha smile.
 


Wednesday, 11 September 2013

We're off to see the wizard.........

I know we all say it, but it really does just feel like yesterday since I was bored, fed up, uncomfortable, 5 stone heavier (weight which I still haven't managed to lose) and lying in a hospital bed 16 days over my due date........ after copious amounts of hormone gel, a very sharp hook to break my waters and 10 hours of roaring like and lion and literally cracking the gas and air breathing tube with my gnashes, we welcomed my first born into the world with open and sweaty arms!
 
Since that day (well from the age of 1 when she could talk and point) we have been inundated with numerous ludicrous requests for the most expensive toys and gifts our little schoonky pie Bella could think of. Sentences began with.... "mummy....daddy.... can i have a....." followed by " pony", "new bike", " tattoo" all of which were answered with a big fat NO!
So when discussing over dinner what she would like to do for her 6th birthday and steering her against the idea of a large party, and maniplulating her, urm I mean helping her realise that in fact she would have much more fun choosing to do an activity with just a few of her closest friends, she agreed to a plate painting party followed by a posh vintage girly picnic in the park!
 
I breathed a sigh of relief, no organising 35 screaming children, no stress & no mess. Then came the words I was dreading.... "mummy I've decided what cake i want......... a wizard of oz cake with Dorothy and Toto and the lion and the tin man and the scarecrow and the wicked witch holding a broomstick...(then she took a breath!) oh and the house and the tornado and emerald city and the yellow brick road!! oh and mummy don't forget the poppy field........."  I had no choice but to answer her with a big fat YES! hopefully it will cancel out some of the many No's that I had given her in the past.
 
I decided this cake was going to beat any other of my creations hands down, I believe if your going to do something then you have to give it everything you have and do it right.
 
This is what i came up with.......................
Photos by Christine Jordan


The original design was supposed to have a huge rainbow on the top and a large glittery emerald city covering the right side of the cake joining a field of edible poppy's on the left side, but because I made the figures bigger then intended and where they needed to be positioned, it would of hidden my idea, so instead I thought it would be nice to hand paint emerald city in the distance with the yellow brick road leading to it and use the poppy's I made as a fill in decoration around the cake.
Ive recently noticed a lot of rainbow sponges being made and thought I would give it a go to incorporate the rainbow theme from the song "somewhere over the rainbow". I kept the flavour simple using just a vanilla sponge & vanilla butter cream.
I don't think i did a bad job!
Photos by Christine Jordan
 
I had spend a few weeks leading up to the party buying lanterns, scatter cushions, lights, paper chains, bunting, balloons and even a tee pee to create a perfect summers day picnic in the park, but as we all know, you cant rely on the British weather.
On the morning of the party we woke to the rain smashing down on the windows as it did the day before, so I made the decision to hold the picnic in the park in the girls bedroom... it was a race to clear toys, clothes & most of there furniture out (and piled in to our bedroom) to try and re-create the perfect image I had in my head of a girly, vintage birthday picnic in the park.
The party was surprisingly really fun for all the girls and they amazingly kept their concentration for the entire time we were at the ceramics cafe. They all arrived at the cafe with their designs sketched on a paper plate ready to get started. I made up some rosettes for the best painting, best design etc so they all got rewarded for there hard work, as well as a winners bag filled with lovely pastel coloured goodies.
 
Photos by Christine Jordan
 
I was really pleased with how the bedroom looked and the girls were so excited when they entered the room. Drinks were served ice cold in floral cups with stripy pink straws, food was held on vintage style paper plates (spotty napkins were on hand to wipe their chocolate covered faces) that was devoured inside the tee pee perched on the pretty patterned scatter cushions, while the grown ups had finger food and cake in the room next door.
There was alot of screaming, dancing, singing and general excitement for an hour or so which was tamed by a transfer tattoo session with most of the girls leaving the party with the majority of their bodies cover with hearts, roses and flowers that would rival Cheryl Cole's new body art.
The party went on a little longer then planned but you know what, it didn't matter, to see how happy Bella was as she gave out the last wrapped wedge of rainbow cake to her guest, the extra noise and mess was well worth it!
I cant wait to hear what she would like for her 7th birthday...........?????
 


Ding Dong the bells are gona chime..........

Well..... the summer holidays have whizzed by (to my delight) and for most they were spent creating memories with their loved ones surrounded by sun sea & sand, while others spent it clock watching until the kids bedtime rolled around each night. I was lucky enough to get away from it all with my husband for a belated honeymoon for seven glorious days but that went by as soon as it arrived and it was back to the grindstone for me.
 
Summer was a busy time for Cakey Bakes, with wedding & birthday cakes filling the calender, one of which i was particularly looking forward to starting work on..... a 3 tiered flower cascade with a sunset backdrop.

Photos by Christine Jordan
The Cake Started weeks before the big day, individually cutting out and curling every flower and petal.
The hard part came a few days before the wedding when it was time to airbrush the 3 tiers separately so they flowed beautifully. As much as i enjoy airbrushing it can be difficult to create soft hues as you have to layer the colour up stage by stage. My kitchen sides, tiles and floor was covered with a wash of orange and yellow (as was my face and hands) but the cake blended perfectly.
I wouldn't normally stack a wedding cake until at the venue but because of the design of the cake I had no choice as I needed to glue on all the cascading  triple layered flowers.
Once complete, I sent a photo to the bride and groom of their cake, which I wouldn't normally do..... well...... I'm very glad that I did, as they weren't 100% happy with it.
My heart sunk a little as I always want my customers to be speechless  or at least pleased when seeing what I have created for them, but there was no time to dwell, as the wedding was the next day. After discussing their requirements I cracked on spending the next 8 hours bent over the table cutting and shaping flower after flower and dusting over a hundred petals to create more of a flowing affect of colour down the cake. I liked it both ways but as long as the couple are happy, I'm happy
The end result.............
 


I was so nervous the morning of the wedding as I needed to transport the cake 30 minutes away in the car, now that may not sound very far or very scary but believe me when you have to carry something the weight of a baby elephant on your lap while swerving around roundabouts and over speed bumps you too would be bricking it.
All the way there I had images in my head of dropping it just outside the venue or  tripping up the stairs and watching as every carefully made flower shattered in to a thousand pieces!!
My irrational fears disappeared swiftly as I lifted the cake in its rightful place....  the small round table centred in the room with a crisp white backdrop, so it could be seen from every angle of Riverdale Barn.
The venue was totally breathtaking, as a newly wed myself (a year and a bit still counts) I filled with excitement for the happy couple knowing what the day would bring.
I felt a real sense of achievement completing this cake and walked away with a very proud grin on my face, and would like to thank Hazel & Duncan for choosing me to be part of their special day :) .


Tuesday, 23 July 2013

Schools out for the summer

Where has this year gone? time is whizzing by and as of tomorrow, I will be blessed with the company of my two daughters for an entire 6 weeks!! that's right 24 hours a day 7 days a week.
 
This morning the girls wanted to thank their teachers with a small gesture for being patient with them, teaching them so many new skills and helping them become confident young ladies ready to progress to the next level. They decided to give their teacher's a red apple...... well a mini sugar paste red apple perched on top of a red & white polka dot cased chocolate orange cupcake, with a full white whip of butter cream and a little flag with the teachers name on it, all wrapped up in a small acetate box and red & white ribbon tied in to a generous bow on top.

I'm sure their school report will be amazing this year!!!

 
 



 
The run up to this time of year is filled with sports days, school picnics, open evenings, themed dress up days and so on. My eldest daughters year group have been learning about castles and history in general so what better way to close the topic, then to have a medieval banquet, with the kids dressed as Jesters, Servants, Kings & Queens ( in the 32 degree heat)!
 
Parents were asked to provide food and drink for the meal and they would be grateful if any "cake makers" would kindly supply a battle field castle cake to wow the crowds.
 
Here's where i come in, at first i thought it was a bit cheeky, but then I thought some more and realised I haven't ever made a castle cake, so this could be a good opportunity to add to my portfolio.
 
Battlefield with castle cake
I started with the towers using kitchen roll tubes, 6 to be exact, rolled in sugar paste and left to set, in hindsight maybe i shouldn't of hand painted each block but if your going to do something, you need to do it right, right?
 


 
No castle can be with out a flag ,which I made out of felt as a sugar paste one wouldn't of set in time, and the little guards were just plastic due to time. I did however hand make the metal chains on the port coulis hoop by hoop, very frustrating and fiddly but just sets it off perfectly.
 
The 2 tiers and main part of the castle was made out of a 9 & 7" round chocolate cake and covered with sugar paste and then hand shaded. The mote was glazed and the grass shaded and the battling army put into place and my work was done!
 
The children and teachers were all very complementary, there were gasps & cheers and lots of clapping, which made my hard work totally worth it. The only downside to creating this cake was that 30 seconds after the big reveal, I was then asked to cut it in to pieces to feed 60 children! gut wrenching doesn't even come close!