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Review: The Creature Creator from Molly Robbins

Sponsored Post – Molly kindly #gifted me my Creature Creators

Three hours to create a sculpted, gluten free, semi-realistic grey cat cake? No problem, right?!

If you saw my video from Cake International on Tour last month, you will have seen me meeting up with the one-and-only Molly Robbins of Extreme Cake Makers to talk about her exciting new venture – Molly’s Creature Creator.

As a fellow fan of making sculpted animal cakes, Molly had noticed that even the idea of sculpting from cake can be fairly intimidating for many people and, once you add into the equation all of the wastage from carving cakes, it can put a lot of people off.

After a bit of head scratching, Molly and her boyfriend Dean came up with the idea for a set of heavy duty silicone moulds that allow you to bake the basic shape of either a standing or lying down animal, perfect for turning into whatever creature you fancy.

Now, having seen the early prototypes in action at the NISE show back in March, I was immediately excited to have a play with Molly’s Creature Creator and, after Molly kindly gave me both kits to play with at Cake International on Tour, I was ready to put them through their paces.

The kits both come with two original tutorials AND Molly’s own Madeira Cake recipe for you to use in the moulds, but obviously, I wasn’t going to make things that easy for myself…

Seeing as how it is Coeliac Awareness Week and I have a perpetual fear of carving gluten free cakes – they’re generally more crumbly than their gluten-containing brethren – I figured, why not try baking the (prize-winning 😎) gluten-free version of my chocolate mud cake in the Creature Creator and surprise one of my friends with her first ever sculpted birthday cake?!

Sticking with the challenging theme, I also decided to do a semi-realistic take on one of the aforementioned friend’s own cats, which is dark grey – my least favourite colour to airbrush! 🙈😂

Oh, and because Molly’s Creature Creator is supposed to make sculpted cakes simple and easy for anyone who wants to create sculpted cakes at home, I decided to set myself one further challenge with this creation: I would only have one evening to create my Earl Cat Cake – from demoulding, right through to the finish.

So basically, three hours to create a sculpted, gluten free, semi-realistic grey cat cake. No problem, right?!

Using my recipe in the Creature Creator was a relatively simple experience. Molly has created a high-quality product made from sturdy food-safe silicone that holds its shape incredibly well. After preparing the moulds with cake release spray and a little gluten-free flour, I poured my mix straight in and placed it in the oven for my recipe’s usual baking time for an 8” round cake.

On Molly’s advice, I left the cake to cool in the Creature Creator overnight, before unmoulding it the following morning – about seven hours later. In spite of preparing the Creature Creator thoroughly, I did experience some sticking, but that was probably due to the gluten-free recipe rather than the mould itself.

I then used my usual delicious milk chocolate ganache recipe (find it here) to fill, sandwich and cover my cake – remember to check that your chocolate is free of wheat-based allergens if also baking gluten free!

When it came time to decorate my Creature Creator cake, I still wasn’t going to do Molly’s mould any favours, reaching for the softest of supermarket sugarpastes to create my cat. I started by building up some of the additional features such as the outline of the back leg and the facial structure with some extra sugar paste, and then covered the entire thing in one go. Other than one tricky fold that refused to blend away (thank goodness for fur texture – it hides a multitude of sins), covering my cat was actually fairly trauma-free, and then I set about adding detail using my silicone tipped Cerart tools – which are perfect for working with softer sugarpastes.

Thanks to the design of the Creature Creator, the only internal supports needed in my cat were a couple of cocktail sticks to hold up the ears (soft sugar paste and a strict time limit remember), with all other details simply added using the same supermarket sugarpaste, coloured with grey gel food colour.

The entire piece was then airbrushed straightaway, using Fractal Colors FlowAir liquid colours in White Snow and Black and I also used the White Snow to hand paint additional some highlights, referencing the real cat’s fur pattern.

All in all, I am unbelievably thrilled with the result I was able to get with Molly’s Creature Creator in only three hours (plus baking time). As I mentioned before, I would never normally try creating a sculpted cake using a gluten free recipe, so knowing that this is now possible thanks to Molly’s creation has enabled me to do something previously unobtainable – how many products can say that?

If I am able to achieve results like this in only three hours, I can only imagine what I could do with even more time. As such, I can definitely see myself continuing to play with the Creature Creator and I’m looking forward to coming up with some new designs and possibly even incorporating it into some future tutorials.

On that note, if you have any ideas of things you would like me to try and create using it, make sure you let me know in the comments down below!

The Creature Creator is available directly from Molly’s own website (find it here) or from Sugar & Crumbs. It is priced at £29.99 per set, or you can grab both for £54.99. In the box, you will find the standing or sitting moulds (both halves), two original tutorials, Molly’s own cake recipes, which are perfect for use within the moulds, and all of Molly’s essential top tips for creating your very own sculpted cakes using the Creature Creator.

I must say huge thank you to Molly for allowing me to have a play with her brand new innovation and for finally making gluten free sculpted cakes both achievable and simple!

I hope you enjoyed finding out how I created my Earl the Cat Cake and be sure to let me know if you decide to pick up Molly’s Creature Creator. I’d love to know what you think of it and to see the fantastic cakes you create with it too, of course!

Until next time, happy caking! x

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Baking with a GBBO legend…

So have you heard about Bake With A Legend yet?

If, like me, you’ve been seeing their posts pop up in your social media timelines over the last year or so, then your interest has probably been well-and-truly piqued – just like mine was.

If, however, you are unfamiliar with the concept, allow me to explain:
Basically, a while back, some enterprising fellows realised that there were a great many fans of The Great British Bake Off out there and that they would probably enjoy spending the day learning to bake with some of their favourite bakers from the show. They were not wrong and the Bake With A Legend experience days have been a massive success, with attendees including everyone from corporate team building types right through to parties of friends and hen nights.

Now, as huge fan of baking in all of its forms AND a huge fan of The Great British Bake Off, I knew that the Bake With A Legend experience would be right up my street and so, when I heard that the team were putting together a special one off event, hosted by series seven finalist Jane Beedle, to launch a selection of new packages in partnership with Airbnb, I had to check it out.

Check out my latest video, to see what we got up to:

Being completely honest with you guys, it really was a fantastic day and I loved every single second of it.

Obviously, it was great to see Jane again – not to mention learn from her – but in addition to that, spending the day with an amazing group of like-minded baking fans of all levels of experience and defeating my once-nemesis, choux pastry all ensured that the day was a thoroughly enjoyable experience.

I would highly recommend checking out Bake With A Legend if you are a fan of GBBO and I definitely think I’ll be back for another helping of the Bake With A Legend experience!

I must say a massive thank you to Jane and the Bake With A Legend team for having me along for the day and for allowing me film the entire experience to share with you all.

Bake With A Legend hold classes in London, Brighton, Manchester and Bristol, with a whole host of your favourite GBBO alumni. If you would be interested in finding out more about classes with your favourite baker from The Great British Bake Off, then you can visit the Bake With a Legend website right here.

Who knows, I might even see you there… 😉

All Content, Blog, Review, YouTube Video

NEW VIDEO: The Gravity Defying Turtle Class at CakeArt Creations The Studio

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At the weekend, I was invited to attend a class at CakeArt Creations the Studio in Atherstone, near Birmingham.

Hosted by the inimitable Lynda Gilbey of CakeArt Creations, the class was being taught by my dear friend and Mr Baker’s Blog favourite, Rhianydd Webb of Dragons & Daffodils Cakes by Rhianydd Webb.

I’ve been lucky enough to attend a class with Rhianydd before and, as I explained at the time, having been active within the cake world for over 20 years, Rhianydd is a veritable font of knowledge when it comes to cake decoration and design.

Usually based in Pontypridd, in South Wales, Rhianydd has booked in a whole selection of her 2019 classes at CakeArt Creations the Studio, as, in addition to being a lovely, purpose-built teaching space, it’s central location – just outside Birmingham – means that it is easily accessible to cakers from all over the country. In fact, on the day of the class, I travelled up from Mr Baker’s Blog HQ, just outside Portsmouth, and was able arrive for the 9:30am start, without having to leave ridiculously early at all. I was also delighted to discover that parking at CakeArt Creations the Studio was free too – always a plus when you are taking part in a class that lasts the entire day!

The class that I was invited to attend was one of Rhianydd’s new classes for 2019: The Gravity-Defying Turtle Class. As many of you will already know, I love creating gravity-defying structured and sculpted cakes, so this one was going to be right up my street!

Arriving right on time for the start of the class, there was just time to set up my camera equipment ready to film the experience for my YouTube Channel, and to grab a welcoming cup of coffee, before we were ready to begin.

As always, Rhianydd was impeccably prepared for the class and we had been provided with everything that we would need to create our gravity-defying turtles. However, with her own sugarcraft supplies store mere moments away from the Studio and a whole wall of tools, cutters and more available for purchase within the Studio itself, I’m sure Lynda would have been able to cater for anything that we felt we were missing, should the need have arisen (obviously I had to check out the store for myself – and pick up a not-so-little souvenir to bring home with me).

Rhi had prepared all of the internal structures for us in advance, but was careful to ensure that we all understood the process of building them, so we would be able to do it again ourselves and she also showed us how to make the structure food safe – a vitally important step when creating your own gravity-defying creations.

Unfortunately, being the woefully inexperienced YouTuber that I currently am, I managed to leave my spare memory cards at home, so I wasn’t able to catch all of the footage that I wanted to, but I still think I managed to capture enough to give you a little taste of what one can expect from a class at CakeArt Creations the Studio – and of the fun you can have while learning with Rhianydd Webb of Dragons & Daffodils Cakes. You can check out my video here:

Regular readers may well recall that last time I learnt from Rhi, I faced a fair amount of mockery for how neatly I like to work, when I am creating (although I would like to point out that this is only when I am out and about – my workbench at home never looks like this!).

A picture of my super neat workstation from my last class with Rhi

Naturally, that was referenced again at the weekend AND my neat-freakness remained in force for my turtle as well, as you will have seen in the video. At least I didn’t end up with a ‘plaster of shame’ this time.

When lunchtime arrived, many of us had brought food from home, but Lynda was also able to direct some of my classmates to a variety of local shops, as well as provide the menu for a local café that not only provided a wide selection of very reasonably priced hot and cold food, but also delivered it directly to the Studio! Very convenient and something I shall remember for next time!

Joining me on the class were a whole host of cake artists and enthusiasts at various points in their caking journey, from the near-beginners right through to the seasoned pros with many years of experience under their belts, and yet, as always, Rhi was able to teach the class in a fun and engaging way, ensuring that everyone felt supported, but no one felt that they were being taught to suck eggs. This is something that she always does so so well and that, along with her top tips for various elements of sugarcraft and the subtle nods to the experts and artists that came before us, ensure that the entire day is thoroughly interesting, engaging and, most importantly, fun!

Based in Pontypridd, Rhianydd teaches a huge variety of regular classes, locally to her at the Pantygraigwen Community Centre and both nationally and now internationally at a variety of locations, including CakeArt Creations the Studio, of course. Her repertoire is inexhaustible and her current schedule includes classes on wafer paper flowers, figure modelling, sharp edges, gravity-defying sculpted cakes and even more besides.

Next up at CakeArt Creations the Studio, Rhianydd will be returning with her gravity-defying Fairy Cottage class on Sunday 12th May, while on Sunday 9th June, she will be back again to deliver her aforementioned Wafer Paper Peony Class.

To find out what other classes she is also offering, you can also visit the Classes and Demonstrations section of Rhianydd’s website.

All in all, as you saw from the video above, I had a fantastic time at CakeArt Creations the Studio with Lynda Gilbey and Rhianydd Webb. I left having been challenged, entertained and having learnt an awful lot. As I have said before, I highly recommend learning from Rhi because, in all honesty, the experience is fantastic. Regardless of their existing experience level, every single person leaves feeling empowered and able to produce an awe-inspiring creation – I couldn’t think of a better testament to the quality of the teaching and learning experience.

I must say a huge thank you to Lynda Gilbey of CakeArt Creations the Studio for inviting me along to take part in Rhi’s fabulous Gravity Defying Turtle Class and for being a wonderfully welcoming host. She had us all at ease from the start and kept us all well-stocked with beverages and snacks throughout the day. I hope that I’ll be able to come back and visit again soon!

If you would be interested in taking a class at CakeArt Creations the Studio, in Atherstone, whether with Rhianydd Webb, Lynda herself, or any of the other incredible tutors who will be teaching there in the coming months, you can visit the CakeArt Creations the Studio website right here to find out more and to book your place.

A special thank you must also go to Rhianydd Webb of Dragons & Daffodils Cakes for allowing me to sneak into her class and run amok with my camera for the day. I hope you’ve recovered from the experience Rhi and I’m already looking forward to our next playdate (more on that later!).

I hope you all enjoyed finding out a bit more about CakeArt Creations the Studio and taking a little sneak peek at what you can expect from a class there. If you have taken a class with Lynda or one of her guest tutors and would like to tell us all about it, feel free to post in the comments below, or why not get in touch through one of my regular channels?

You can reach me through my Facebook page, the dedicated Cake Chums – with Mr Baker’s Blog Facebook group, by emailing me directly or why not drop me a line at:

Mr Baker’s Blog
PO Box 752
FAREHAM
PO14 9RZ

In the meantime, thanks so much for reading/watching and I’ll see you next time.

Until then… happy caking!

x

 

Disclaimer: My space on the Gravity Defying Turtle Class with Dragons & Daffodils Cakes by Rhianydd Webb was provided for free by CakeArt Creations the Studio. However, my review and the opinions therein remain 100% my own. Mr Baker’s Blog will never knowingly provide a positive review for a product or service that I don’t wholeheartedly believe in.