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

Children in need

Hi everyone,

This Sunday is our first afternoon rehearsal for ‘Cinderella’. It’s at this point that the chorus and the principles all start working together. As it also happens to be ‘Children in Need’ this Friday, we will be taking the opportunity to raise a few pennies too.

Last year I made a rather unconvincing ‘Pudsey’ cake ๐Ÿ˜ so this time, instead of rushing in without planning properly, I’ve made myself a template from a Pudsey colouring book page.

He’s baked, carved and chilling out in the freezer until nearer Sunday, when I’ll decorate him (also using the template) I chose a simple picture, so fingers crossed!

Looking even further ahead to Christmas, I have a wish list of items I would really like. Top of the list is the Cake Frame Starter kit by Dawn Butler. I’ve been eyeing this up for some time now, and I’ve shared my wish list with my family, but just in case……… Santa, if you’re reading this, I’ve been very good, so if you could just follow this link, I’d be very grateful ๐ŸŽ…

https://rover.ebay.com/rover/1/710-53481-19255-0/1?icep_id=114&ipn=icep&toolid=20004&campid=5338216095&mpre=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.ebay.co.uk%2Fitm%2FCake-Frame-Starter-Kit-By-Dawn-Butler%2F182185332972%3Fepid%3D1366075208%26hash%3Ditem2a6b1790ec%3Ag%3AQf8AAOSwo4pYCebE

Seriously though, this item looks so easy to use, and I do think it will be well used. I’ve always shied away from making cakes that need serious internal structure, as when I’ve watched tutorials it seems like you need hot glue guns, plastic plumbing parts, nuts and bolts and even power tools! And then you have to make it food safe too! None of which I am able to put together with my painful hands ๐Ÿ˜ฅ

If you are in a similar situation, or just want to make life easier for yourself, take a look!

Updates on Pudsey will be coming up later in the week

Until then

Stay safe and healthy

Debbie โค

Cakes, Bakes, and Me

Making a small cake is harder than I thought!

Hi everyone,

I was recently asked to make a birthday cake to serve just 2 people. It was for a friend’s hubby who is an Everton FC fan, and she wanted the design to reflect that.

Now, my smallest cake tin is 5″ round, the one I usually use for small Christmas cakes like the ones below…

So, I made 2, layered with buttercream, crumb coated, fondant and then found a picture of the Everton crest online. Then the fun began! Trying to recreate it in such a small space? Well I didn’t find it easy, and wasn’t entirely happy with the result. My hand painting smudged, which was annoying (must remember to let it dry properly next time ๐Ÿ˜)

My friend was happy with it though, and that’s all that matters ๐Ÿ˜Š And everytime I try something, there’s another lesson learned right?

Anyway, this was the result:

In the end, because it was quite tall, it was probably a 4 serving cake, bonus!

Until next time

Stay safe and healthy

Debbie โค

Cakes, Bakes, and Me

‘Who’s’ Birthday?

Oh go on then, I’ll tell you ๐Ÿ˜Š

Last Saturday a very special birthday was celebrated Dr Who style. The gentleman in question was reaching the grand old age of 30 (I feel so old!)

James Seymour is actually a friend of my children, James and Katie, who has also become a friend to me through them, and a shared love of all things amdram. In fact I’ve played his mother a couple of times in the past! Anyway, he’s an all round brilliant young man (who really should be snapped up toot sweet…hint hint girls) so when he said he was having a Dr Who themed party, I thought ooh, a second chance to make a TARDIS cake!

This monster was 7″ square and 9 layers of chocolate cake, with 2 smaller cake pop dough layers on top. I stuck a dowel down the centre and filled and covered it in ganache for further stability. To get the blue colour, I made modelling chocolate using magic colour food colouring, then coloured some fondant blue and mixed the two together (25% modelling chocolate/75% fondant) This makes a sturdier medium for panelling a cake. It still wasn’t blue enough though, so I mixed some blue and black gel food colour together with some vodka to make a paint, and went over the whole thing with a brush! I cheated with the decals, they were paper stuck on to fondant. I premade the cakes over the last few weeks and froze them, but once I took them out of the freezer, it took me about four days because I had to keep stopping for rests. (I reckon a fully fit person could definitely do it in a day or two)

And here’s the result ๐Ÿ˜Š

Happy birthday James!

And the rest of you?

Well, you just stay safe and healthy

Debbie โค

Cakes, Bakes, and Me

Two very different cakes! (And a few more)

Hello readers

Since my last post, I’ve been busy making Christmas cakes, cakes for a friend’s Macmillan Coffee morning, and two very different cakes to celebrate birthdays.

For Macmillan, I made a chocolate orange cake, an autumnal colours drip cake, and tried some ice cream cone cupcakes for the first time (not altogether successfully!)

Unfortunately, I managed to knock the gold colour cake and then had to ‘patch it up’, and the ‘sauce’ on the cupcake cones was too runny, but hey, you live and learn right? At least I’ll know for next time ๐Ÿ˜Š Even worse, I didn’t get to sample any of them as I ended up at the emergency dentist (again ๐Ÿ˜‘)

On to the birthday cakes, the first one was for a 50th, and the brief was monochrome cocktail party style ๐Ÿน๐Ÿธ

What do you think? I made a cocktail umbrella, a black peony, and some silver stars and hearts. The lettering was as requested.

The second one was for two little girls who wanted a specific emoji cake, but ‘girly’, so I added eyelashes, blush and red stars and hearts. Very different, but just as much fun!

After that, things went downhill this weekend, as some antibiotics I’d been prescribed didn’t agree with either my other meds or apparently, my condition! So, off to urgent care again….this time to see the out of hours GP. Heigh ho….such is life.

This week I’m off to the dentist to have that troublesome tooth removed, then cake pops for a friend’s birthday, and a rather large ‘Tardis’ cake for a Dr Who themed 30th, so watch out for those in a few days. Fingers crossed I don’t have any more medical/dental issues please!

Of course, it’s also Halloween celebrations this weekend, so if I have time (and energy) I might attempt a Frankenstein cake! I can always give it to my daughter who will be here for the aforementioned ‘Dr Who’ party……well I can’t eat it, I’m on a diet!

Before I go, I just want to wish my sister Jane and her partner Graeme all the happiness in the world in their new home in beautiful Cornwall ๐Ÿก I’m looking forward to visiting….. hopefully stopping off in Devon to see my brother Mark and his fiancรฉe Denise too! I’m the only sibling still ‘Up North’ ๐Ÿ˜‹!!!!

That’s all for now my lovelies

Until next time

Stay safe and healthy

Debbie

Cakes, Bakes, and Me

Cake, cake and more cake!

Busy 10 days, well for me it has been ๐Ÿ˜Š Thank goodness for kitchen gadgets, and my new accessible workspace of course!

So today is my father in law’s birthday, but we had a family get together last weekend, so his cake was presented to him then (we’ve been out for lunch today) He doesn’t play now, but in the past was a keen crown green bowler, so I made him a bowling ball cake! The ‘K’ is for Ken ๐Ÿ˜‹

Last Friday, my hubby was invited back into work to say a proper goodbye since he’s taken early retirement to be my carer, and to make the most of our lives since they’ve changed so much since 2012. Anyhoo, I made a simple buttercream sponge to take in, but I’ve been seeing lots of mermaid type cakes on Social media…… I spend far too much time on YouTube and Pinterest…….so I had a play with colours. I splotched blue, green and plain buttercream on the outside and blended them together in a watercolour effect, then coloured some white chocolate green for the drippy top and sides. I can just see it with a mermaid tail sticking out of the top! What do you think? I sprinkled some holographic edible glitter too, but it doesn’t show up so well in the photo ๐Ÿ˜ž

Last but not least, I reprised my Beauty and the Beast Cake…..with a few tweaks. I added a kind of draped bodice with a rose at the centre, a pearl style border (balls of fondant!) More swags on the ‘skirt’, Rose on the top, and voila!

I love adding the details, it just makes the cake come to life…..and it’s so pretty โค ๐ŸŒน ๐Ÿ’“ This cake is being donated to a local charity, who can hopefully find a little girl who will love it ๐Ÿ˜˜

Well, that’s it for now, until next time..stay safe and healthy

Debbie โค

Cakes, Bakes, and Me

Teapot Cake Saga!

Hello!

Last week it was my Mum’s birthday. Now she loves….and I mean really loves a good cup of tea, so I thought how hard would it be to make a cake ‘teapot’? As it turns out, pretty flipping hard! Now I will admit that on the day in question, I was juggling several different balls at the same time, and seriously underestimated how much time I actually had. I’d planned an afternoon tea (while the men were on the match) and a buffet in the evening, surprise guests in the form of grandchildren from the other end of the country…..and well…things got chaotic. Nicely chaotic, but chaotic nonetheless, and as you know, I can only do things in short bursts due to my condition, so frequent rests had to be taken throughout the day. Luckily, I had help from my nieces, Cesca and Georgia, my daughter Katie, my Mum herself, and daughter in law Abigail. But…. the ‘teapot’ I stuck a candle in, well to say I wasn’t happy with it is an understatement ๐Ÿ˜ฃ and I refused to take pictures of it. The cake itself was fine….. Chocolate Orange since you ask ๐Ÿ˜œ….but I’d crumb coated it in buttercream before covering in fondant. My kitchen got very hot (as did I) and things started to slide (mainly the fondant), the spout had a very suspect droop despite cocktail sticks stuck in everywhere, well you get the picture. So the next day I removed both fondant and buttercream, and crumb coated with ganache instead before recovering with fondant. All good so far…..except for that ruddy spout! See the cocktail stick?

Frustrated, I did what I should have done in the first place. Ask for advice. I turned to a Facebook group I’m a member of ‘Baking Buddies’, posted the above pic and said ‘help’! And they did! ๐Ÿ˜Š

A quick redo later, and I had this…

Much better ๐Ÿ˜ There’s a quote I’ve heard before that is something like ‘Mistakes are just opportunities to learn’ I don’t know who said it, but it’s so true. Big thank yous to the Baking Buddies who responded to my post. I love groups like this, bakers of all different expertise in one community, who are supportive of each other. I highly recommend joining one regardless of where you are on your cake journey. There’s always something new to learn, and someone willing to pass on their help โค

Till next time

Stay safe and healthy

Debbie โค

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 pic 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˜

Fotor_150330058474513

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!

2017-08-23-10-55-47-451

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