Cake decorating, Cakes, Bakes, and Me, Theatre

A very unique wedding cake ๐Ÿ˜

Hi from a very rainy Lancashire England!

A few weeks ago, my niece recommended me to a friend who needed a small wedding cake. I subsequently met with the lovely Carole, after sending her a mountain of Pinterest images of single tier cakes! Carole is a very bubbly character, and soon picked out a heart shaped cake…..in purple! Now, although I confess that purple is my favourite colour, I hadn’t ever visualised it on a wedding cake, unless it was a steam punk or goth type affair. Carole definitely didn’t fit in either of those categories ๐Ÿ˜ but her theme was purple, also her favourite colour, and gold. So why not? In my opinion, you should choose whatever you want on your wedding day ๐Ÿ’œ After chatting, she also asked for some pink peonies with gold edged petals, chocolate cake, which was her groom to be’s favourite, and left the rest to me! Yikes! I thoroughly enjoyed chatting with Carole. She’s the sort of person you like instantly. Bright, bubbly, like a ray of sunshine on a gloomy day. Well she brightened mine anyway ๐Ÿ˜Š I sent her off with a sample for the groom to try, and once that got the thumbs up, I started thinking about creating a unique cake for this unique lady and her chocolate cake loving man! ๐Ÿ’‘ This is the recipe I used. It’s lovely and moist without being too dense. How to Cake it is one of my favourite YouTube channels ๐Ÿ˜Š

I wanted to do something special, while sticking to the remit. Ages ago, I’d bought a silicone lace mat, which had never been used. It features hearts so it was perfect. I found a YouTube tutorial on how to make the ‘lace’ coloured it purple, and set to. It was actually very easy, I had all the ingredients already, and I was really pleased with the finished product. This is how I made it ๐Ÿ˜Š

I used this 2 ingredient chocolate frosting to fill the cake after creating three layers. It is soooo good. I had to stop myself from eating it out of the bowl. And no icing sugar! My Cupcake Addiction is another favourite ๐Ÿ˜Š

After carving the cake into it’s heart shape, I then ganached the whole thing, and popped it into the fridge. All good so far ๐Ÿ˜Š

The following day, (Thursday) it was time for covering the cake with that lovely purple fondant. That’s when the problems started ๐Ÿ˜– Stupid fondant behaving badly again! Has anyone else noticed that the darker colours are always softer? Black, red and purple specifically? Of course it was a scorcher of a day too, which didn’t help. No matter how thick or thin I rolled it, as soon as I tried to get it on the cake, it ripped…..well fell apart would be more accurate. After a minor panic, I decided to add just a little Tylose to firm it up, rolled a long strip to go round the edges, and a heart shape for the top, and panelled it instead of trying to get it all on in one go! Heat and humidity are pure evil when working with fondant! ๐Ÿ˜ˆ After that I applied the lace hearts, dusting them randomly with gold and hologram white lustres, added a purple ribbon round the top edge with diamante pins sterilised with vodka, then the gold ‘bling’ sequinned ribbon round the bottom edge. Another hairy moment transferring it to the board (there’s always that moment when you just have to let go!) And then I placed the peonies and the lettering.

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‘Roy’ having only 3 letters, one side looked a bit bare, so I placed a small wired peony on that side. The butterfly was a last minute touch just because it was pretty โค Carole had supplied her own topper which was you to me bride and groom bears. I gave the groom a purple cravat and waistcoat button, and the bride a gold ‘dress’ and small fondant posy. I left a fondant shelf edged with gold on the back of the cake for them to sit on ๐Ÿ’‘

I have to say that I’m so grateful to Carole and Roy for trusting me to make this cake for their special day. I got the chance to put into practice the techniques I’d ‘learned’ on YouTube. Making a quilted board, peonies, cake lace etc, and if it hadn’t have been such a hot day on Thursday, it would have been a 100% pleasure. Still, it’s not the first time it’s happened and I’m sure it won’t be the last! Darn unpredictable weather! If there are any ‘cakers’ out there reading this, what do you do? Are there any brands which are better when working in heat or humidity? I’d love to hear your thoughts on the matter ๐Ÿ˜ฎ

Anyway, many congratulations to Carole and Roy. I hope you had an amazing day, and a very happy future together.

Until next time

Stay safe and healthy

Debbie โค

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Cakes, Bakes, and Me

Special order ๐Ÿ˜Š

Can I tell you a story? (There’s a cake at the end of it)

A long time ago when I was sweet 16, I got my first job in a chemist shop. One of the pharmacists I worked with became first a colleague obviously, but also a friend. I worked with her on and off for a good number of years, with breaks to have my two children, right up to when she retired. During that time, she introduced me to amateur dramatics at Greenbrook Methodist Church. First I became a member of the Operatic Society, and later the Pantomime Society also. I worked out I’ve known her for 38 years! So I was delighted when she asked me to make a cake for her Golden Wedding Anniversary.

As she and her husband met whilst doing amateur dramatics, she asked for something that represented that, and we decided on a square cake ‘stage’. Here’s my chance to make edible fabric for stage curtains I thought ๐Ÿ˜Š So I went to trusty YouTube, and sure enough, there were tutorials on how to make your own. Now, if you watch the video, the lady does say it’s a messy job, but oh my goodness was that an understatement!

Also, because I wanted a solid red colour, I was dabbing edible red colour powder instead of cornflour, and it got everywhere! I tried to follow the instructions to have the liquid mix hot but not boiling, but the first batch came out really patchy and streaky, and was getting gelatinous as I was brushing it on, so I thought maybe it wasn’t hot enough? It didn’t help that my wafer paper was white and the liquid was clear, so I missed a few bits too. It was definitely fabric-y though!

Anyhoo…. to cut a long story short I made 5 sheets in all, and just used the best one! Maybe it was my technique that was at fault, (probably) but I think it probably works best on pre printed paper ๐Ÿ˜Š

The cake lace I’ve made before, so I was on solid ground with that at least ๐Ÿ˜‹

Here’s a few pics of the finished article anyway

A very Happy Golden Wedding Anniversary Sandra and Nigel โค

Back soon, but in the meantime,

Stay safe and healthy

Debbie โค

Cakes, Bakes, and Me

Health, cakes and other business!

Well my loves

As you can probably guess from my lack of postings, it’s been a bit of a busy time!

Health-wise, there’s been good news and bad. Bad in that I reluctantly made the decision to step down as Chairman of the Theatre Group, due to stress related issues. Greenbrook Methodist Church Operatic Society, as it was formerly named, was my introduction to amateur musical theatre many moons ago and I’ve been in love with all things involving performance ever since โค I still hope to stay as involved as I can, but unfortunately my days of dancing about in a stage are very much over due to my mobility issues. Concerts are another matter…. I can still sing sitting down lol ๐Ÿ˜‹, and of course there are other areas I can still be helpful hopefully.

On the other hand, I had an appointment with my neurosurgeon last week and the spinal cord stimulator team adjusted my program. I’m now on HD! What that means is that it can potentially deliver more pain relief, without the tingling sensation that currently runs through my lower body. The downside is that I need to recharge my battery everyday (situated under my skin at the top of my right leg). At the moment I charge up weekly, but if it works, it’s a small price to pay ๐Ÿ˜Š It’s been running for 5 days now and in certain positions it seems to work well…in others…not so much, so more tweaking will probably be needed, but hopefully that can be sorted soon ๐Ÿ˜Š

Pantomime rehearsals start soon, and we’ve been having workshops for potential cast members. The chorus is all cast, and Auditions for Principles took place today. After playing ‘Wei Ling’ in Aladdin last year (with the aid of a staff instead of my crutches, and well placed seating!) I hadn’t imagined that there would be anything for me in this year’s Production. There was only one female character who didn’t have to dance/move a lot, and having looked through the script to confirm this, I thought….Sod it! They can only say no! I filled out my form including that I have mobility issues, I auditioned with my stick….. and I got it! Maybe last year’s staff can be this year’s sceptre, as I will be playing Queen Penelope. I feel very lucky that the audition panel could see past my disability, and give me a chance to carry on doing something I love for a little while longer. If any of them are reading this..thank you so much โค

So…..on to cake! (The blog is called Buns ‘n’ Roses after all ๐Ÿ˜Š) I’ve been practising some new techniques, I made macarons for the first time, and they turned out well. I made a sweet treat of an engagement cake for a friend, and another friend has asked me to make her golden wedding cake ๐Ÿ˜ ย I’ve also got my mum’s birthday this month, so plenty of excuses to get the kitchen gadgets out! It’s also my wedding anniversary today, and I have a half finished cake in the fridge as we speak, although hubby is currently full of apple crumble (home made of course, from donated apples from my neighbour and my Mum) Happy anniversary sweetheart โค

Here’s a pic of the engagement cake โค๐Ÿฅโค

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Here’s to a sweet life together, Congratulations to you both ๐Ÿ˜

Well, that’s it from me, time for a cosy evening with hubby

Stay safe and healthy

Debbie โค

Cakes, Bakes, and Me

Fundraising and other adventures

Hi!

Last Sunday I held a fundraising event for Breast Cancer Care at my home. It involved a lot of baking from me, my friend Elaine, my Mum and a contribution from my daughter in law, who if you remember, had held her own fundraising ’24hour bakeathon’ the week before. And guess what? It was so busy, I forgot to take a single photo!

I do have one of a celebration cake I raffled, but that’s it. I’m gutted, there were so many yummy cakes on show ๐Ÿ˜Š The good news is that the total currently stands at ยฃ271, which I’m absolutely delighted with ๐Ÿ˜

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So, moving on to yesterday, I had a request for a ferrero rocher cake in the style of the chocolate orange cake I made recently. I was really pleased with it, had it all boxed up and ready a good four hours before the lady was picking it up, and….you’ve guessed it… I didn’t take a photo! Again! I think I’ll just have to put it down to tiredness ๐Ÿ˜ด

Anyway, she’d only just left so I messaged her and asked if she would kindly take a photo when she got home. She did, but unfortunately despite having a non slip mat underneath it, the poor cake had slipped when she was getting out of her taxi. I think photos and me are not destined to be best friends this week. Anyway, I’ve cropped it and managed to edit out the chocolate shmears ย to give you the general gist!

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Well, that’s it for now, I’m off to get my brains cleaned and will hopefully have more photos next time ๐Ÿ˜‹

Till then

Stay safe and healthy

Debbie โค

Cakes, Bakes, and Me

Better get my bake on!

Hi lovely people, I’m in a very good mood today because I managed to sleep till almost 6am! Since I usually wake at between 3 and 4am, this is quite an achievement for me ๐Ÿ˜Š

So up at 6 ish, Carrot Cake made and baked by 7am. This will be joining the red velvet cake I made yesterday in my cake freezer, ready for my Breast Cancer Care afternoon tea event on Sunday ๐Ÿ˜Š

My plan is to bake something every day, then make scones fresh on Saturday morning. My friend Elaine is co-hosting with me as it would be a bit too much on my own with my pain and mobility issues. And of course Glen and Mum will be on hand too.

I’m looking forward to seeing my friends and family coming together to raise money for this wonderful charity. In case anyone is unable to attend I have a JustGiving page too. The link for this is:

https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/debbie-hargreaves3

I’ve also made this little beauty for a young lady who is 10 today, Happy Birthday Jaye! ๐ŸŽ‚ I love an excuse to make a Unicorn cake!

And another birthday cake to make for Saturday for my friend Kerena, who will be celebrating her 40th. Phew, it’s all go! And I’ve got Panto Production meetings on Thursday and Friday evenings. Think they’ll be a good excuse for a sit down ๐Ÿ˜

Seriously though, I do pace myself. I do a bit, rest a bit, it’s the only way I can get things done nowadays. And Glen is always there to tell me if I’m doing too much, because the poor man has to deal with the after effects otherwise!

Well that’s all for now

See you on Sunday if you plan to drop by

In the meantime

Stay safe and healthy

Debbie โค

Cakes, Bakes, and Me

Baby Groot!

Hi folks,

Well, I managed to make a passable ‘Baby Groot’ cake for Katie’s birthday. I have no idea how Zoe from Zoe’s Fancy Cakes makes it look so easy! But a great big thank you to her for the inspiration in the first place ๐Ÿ˜Š

For those who have no idea what I’m talking about, Groot is a character from the film ‘Guardians of the Galaxy’. He’s basically a sort of tree like ย alien life form. You’ll have to watch it to find out how ‘Baby Groot’ came about! I haven’t seen the sequel yet, but I believe it’s amazing!

Here’s my take on BG in cake form…

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I also made another birthday cake, this time a sticky toffee pudding cake. That wasn’t a surprise for the recipient, but the topper was a bit of a joke at his expense. You see, Josh (the recipient) is a Somerset lad surrounded by us northerners……so it was only to be expected that he would end up with a tractor on top of his cake! I made it from RKT, ganache and fondant. Please don’t mock….(a) Never made RKT before (b) I spent so much time on BG, the tractor wasn’t as detailed as I wanted it to be (good job he’s family ๐Ÿ˜)

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He’s a good lad, and was delighted with it anyway, proceeding to eat the tyres almost immediately!

That’s almost it for now, except to update you on the 24 hour bakeathon that my daughter in law and friends did last Friday/Saturday. The girls did a fantastic job and the total so far is around ยฃ1700! And there’s more sponsorship money to come I believe. Well done Abigail, Rebecca and Kirsty, you’re amazing! โคโคโค All proceeds are going to Pendleside Hospice, a charity local to us which does a fantastic job of supporting seriously ill patients and their families. If there’s somewhere like that near you, why not consider raising money for them yourself?

Till next time

Stay safe and healthy

Debbie โค

Cakes, Bakes, and Me

Today’s the day….in more ways than one!

Hi you lovely lot!

Today’s the day we find out if I’ve managed to produce a passable likeness of ‘Baby Groot’ from Guardians of the Galaxy….in cake form!

But that’s not all….I’m also making another cake, but this one’s a secret for now…….here’s a little clue..

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One jug of caramel (cooling as we speak) 2 Rice Krispie treats shapes, and a mystery cake ๐Ÿ˜‹

All will be revealed later!

As if that’s not enough, today’s the day my daughter in law Abigail, and friends Rebecca and Kirsty embark on a 24 hour bakeathon to raise money for Pendleside Hospice. Yes, you heard right….24 hours!

It starts tonight at 8pm, and from 9am tomorrow, Abigail’s kitchen becomes a ‘pop up shop’ with breakfast goodies, and bakes galore all day. If you’re local, why not pop in, show the girls support, and buy some goodies in aid of this amazing charity. Pendleside offers end of Life care and support for both patients and their families, in peaceful and beautiful surroundings. They rely on fundraising to keep them going, so even if you can’t make it to the Pop up Shop, why not ‘pop over’ to the Just giving page instead! Details of the event are below, but the whole shebang will be streamed live on YouTube, so keep an eye open for that too!

https://www.facebook.com/events/575392476184309/?ti=cl

Meanwhile, it’s back to the kitchen for me……got two cakes of my own to finish ๐Ÿ˜Š

Happy birthdays Katie and Josh โคโคโคโค

Till next time

Stay safe and healthy

Debbie โค

Cakes, Bakes, and Me

More new creations from my new kitchen!

Well, I’ve got to make good use of it haven’t I?

So while Baby Groot, or rather the makings of Baby Groot, is chilling in the freezer, I thought I’d make a galaxy themed board. I covered it in black fondant, and then went rummaging through my sprinkles and shiny things. I sprayed Dr Oetker silver shimmer on some parts, then got the edible gold dust out too. I’m hoping to add some blue and purple, but it looks pretty galaxy like I think?

I also had a play with a couple of drip cakes. I’ve only done it once before and I wasn’t very happy with it so I made a lemon cake with pink coloured white chocolate drips and sprinkles, and a chocolate orange cake with milk chocolate drips and a bit of gold ‘bling’

Still need more ‘drip’ practice as you can see! Ah well, practice makes perfect hopefully ๐Ÿ˜Š

Till next time

Stay safe and healthy

Debbie โค

Cakes, Bakes, and Me

Getting ahead of myself!

Hi!

In less than two weeks, my baby girl turns 29 years old! I feel so ancient! ย ๐Ÿ˜ž Luckily, both my ‘kids’ keep me young in their choice of birthday cake (remember the white mouse in May?) I must confess, I have chosen Katie’s cake myself this year. As soon as I saw Zoe’s Fancy Cakes tutorial, it was a done deal! I’ve started early and baked, filled, carved and crumb coated, and it’s now sitting in my freezer chilling out. Can you guess what it is?

No? Think Guardians of the Galaxy…..ok you can have another picture..

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Isn’t he cute? It is, of course, none other than Baby Groot himself ๐Ÿ˜ I really hope I can do him justice. I’ve already forgotten to cut out his eyes before I crumb coated (that sentence sounds so wrong), but I shall be following the tutorial to the letter from here on! If you would like to check out Zoe’s tutorial here’s the linky thing. She has loads of other great tutorials too ๐Ÿ˜Š

Just look at those eyes, absolutely adorable ๐Ÿ˜˜

I’ll keep you updated on my progress, and any other creations I attempt along the way….. I’ve got my eyes peeled for tractor cakes too!

Until next time

Stay safe and healthy

Debbie โค

Cakes, Bakes, and Me

Welcome to my (almost finished) new kitchen

Hello ๐Ÿ˜Š

As promised, here are some pictures of my new kitchen. I’m no photographer, and they’ve only been taken on my phone, but I love love love it!

This is what I call the ‘kitchen’ end of the room. As you can see, the upstands and splashback still need adding (note makeshift cardboard ‘splashback’)

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And this is my ‘office’, where all the cake preparation and decorating will be going on! The worktop in front of the window has deliberately been put in as a separate piece, so that it can be retrofitted as a ‘rise and fall’ area in the future if needs be. At the moment, the stool I got from OH is height adjustable, which is fine for now ๐Ÿ˜Š

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And now (drum roll please) My first cake from the new kitchen. I’ve incorporated a few techniques (watched far too much YouTube tutorials in the past month!) so I did watercolour buttercream effect, then tried a Russian piping tips, which I was reasonably pleased with for a first try. The last ones are a bit flat, as it was hot yesterday and the buttercream went a bit ‘floppy’ towards the end. Then I tried the ‘brushstroke’ technique….hmmm, did I mention it was hot yesterday? I literally had to take one out of the fridge, apply it, then grab another! More practice needed obviously, but here it is. It’s a lemon sponge with raspberry buttercream ๐Ÿ˜œโค๐Ÿฐ

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For this I kept things simple and went for a basic Victoria sponge which I flavoured with a naturally concentrated lemon paste. The ratio for the buttercream was 225g butter and 500g icing sugar, with 2 tablespoons of double cream and a tsp of meringue powder for stability. I always use Lakeland brand natural raspberry flavouring. I haven’t found anything that tastes remotely as nice! The chocolate shards I made by melting white chocolate, colouring some of it pink (Wilton gel colour) then spreading it with my spatula on to baking paper, but like I said, more practice needed!

That’s all for now

Stay safe and healthy

Debbie โค

 

Cakes, Bakes, and Me

Almost there!

Hi! My new kitchen is almost finished! All it needs now is some upstands (not ordered originally as I wasn’t sure about them) a splash back and a lick of paint! I’m also looking for new blinds and have bought some fabric to make a cafรฉ rail ๐Ÿ˜Š

Here’s some pics taken at various stages. I will take some as it is now later too.

I christened it on Saturday by making some scones and a cake. The scones are gone, but I’ll be decorating the cake today. I’ve watched a LOT of YouTube tutorials while I’ve been in cake ‘desert’ so not sure what theme yet lol ๐Ÿ˜Š Watch this space! I’m back!

Until later

Stay safe and healthy

Debbie โค