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 😏 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 πŸŽ…

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 πŸ˜₯

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 ❀

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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 😏)

My friend was happy with it though, and that’s all that matters 😊 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 ❀

Cakes, Bakes, and Me

‘Who’s’ Birthday?

Oh go on then, I’ll tell you 😊

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 😊

Happy birthday James!

And the rest of you?

Well, you just stay safe and healthy

Debbie ❀

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 😊 Even worse, I didn’t get to sample any of them as I ended up at the emergency dentist (again πŸ˜‘)

On to the birthday cakes, the first one was for a 50th, and the brief was monochrome cocktail party style 🍹🍸

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 🏑 I’m looking forward to visiting….. hopefully stopping off in Devon to see my brother Mark and his fiancΓ©e Denise too! I’m the only sibling still ‘Up North’ πŸ˜‹!!!!

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 😊 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 πŸ˜‹

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 😞

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 ❀ 🌹 πŸ’“ This cake is being donated to a local charity, who can hopefully find a little girl who will love it 😘

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

Debbie ❀

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 😣 and I refused to take pictures of it. The cake itself was fine….. Chocolate Orange since you ask 😜….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! 😊

A quick redo later, and I had this…

Much better 😁 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 ❀

Till next time

Stay safe and healthy

Debbie ❀

Cakes, Bakes, and Me

Special order 😊

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 😊 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 😊

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

Here’s a pic of the finished article anyway

A very Happy Golden Wedding Anniversary Sandra and Nigel ❀

Back soon, but in the meantime,

Stay safe and healthy

Debbie ❀

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 ❀ 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 πŸ˜‹, 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 😊 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 😊

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 ❀

So…..on to cake! (The blog is called Buns ‘n’ Roses after all 😊) 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 😍 Β 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 ❀

Here’s a pic of the engagement cake ❀πŸ₯❀

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Here’s to a sweet life together, Congratulations to you both 😍

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

Stay safe and healthy

Debbie ❀

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 😊 The good news is that the total currently stands at Β£271, which I’m absolutely delighted with 😍

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 😴

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 Β 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 πŸ˜‹

Till then

Stay safe and healthy

Debbie ❀

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 😊

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 😊

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! πŸŽ‚ 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 😁

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 ❀