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A work in progress…

So tonight is the night of the big murder mystery evening and this time yesterday, I was a little panicked. I didn’t fancy spending my entire birthday evening caking on Thursday and as a result, fell a bit behind with the all important cake – designed, of course, with over 2000 people over Facebook Live!

Cut to last night and I knuckled down ready to get cracking.

One mega positive about this cake is that it has given me an opportunity to play with all the new and exciting products that have joined the Renshaw family recently.

The crown has been crafted from Renshaw Flower & Modelling Paste (a long time favourite) and painted with Rolkem Super Gold, mixed with a little vodka for airbrushing.

For the dagger, I switched to Renshaw’s Belgian Chocolate Modelling Paste, before colouring it with Rolkem Super Silver and a little black Spectrum Flow for shading.

I opted to cover the cake itself with my new favourite sugar paste, Renshaw Extra, in white before airbrushing to achieve the very deep green – almost black – colour that my Facebook Livers had requested.

Still to do is the drip effect on the top tier, the drapes and the ‘blood’ spatter – so we’re not out of the woods just yet mind, but I have enough time – I think!

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Happy Birthday to Me!

Yes, it’s that dreaded day once again. Not because I fear getting older, you understand – I think I’ve been prematurely middle-aged since my mid-twenties – it’s more like there is nothing drearier than an end of January birthday. Everybody is skint, they’re all on post-Christmas diets and it’s all just a bit blah.Unfortunately, I’m one of those irritating people for whom birthdays are a really big deal. Yours, mine and even strangers’. I love that we all have a special day that’s all about us – I think that’s why I love making birthday cakes for people so much. It’s wonderful to be able to add a bit of sparkle to someone’s special day.This year, after a few too many years of blah-ness, I decided that today was going to be a good day – mind over matter and all that. And do you know what? It really has been. I got to spend the day with 28 over-excited six and seven year olds who I think were even more excited about my birthday than I was, I have been spoiled rotten by my family and colleagues with beautiful, thoughtful tokens (many of which were handmade and gorgeous) AND I got to treat them all to a lovely cake.

Speaking of which, if you haven’t yet discovered the wonder of Jane’s Patisserie, you must look her up! Jane is an absolutely lovely friend of mine who spends her free time dreaming up wonderful recipes and sharing them all for free over on her blog. She’s far better at it than I am (I have no shame in admitting that) and I always know that I can find something delicious over there.Today’s ‘work birthday cake’ was her newest creation: a stunning lemon and blueberry cake, with a light lemon buttercream, blueberry jam and fresh blueberries to garnish. I have to say, the balance of flavours was just perfect and it was a real hit at school.I also started the day by sharing a recipe of my own – Mr Baker’s Foolproof Ganache. I won’t repeat myself here harping on about how much I love ganache, but do check it out in my recipes section. Hopefully it will help out those who are plagued by the ganache demons.I’ve spent the rest of the evening cracking on with the cake that we designed over on Facebook Live on Monday. No rest for the wicked, eh? It’s coming along well, so hopefully I shall be able to share my right royal Murder Mystery cake with you all this weekend.

Oh and in other news, the other half treated me to a lovely new camera lens for my birthday too, so hopefully I shall be stepping up my photography game now.

Finally, just a quick thank you for all the lovely messages and birthday wishes today. I really do appreciate each and every one and will endeavour to reply to them all over the next few days.

Much love! x

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Happy Birthday, Mrs Baker

When deciding what to create for my mummy’s birthday, I started with the flavour. Mummy loves Carrot Cake, so that bit at least was easy. I was a little bit nervous though – my normal carrot cake recipe is really wet and moist, so when using carrot cake inside a decorated cake, some changes had to be made.

Fortunately, my carrot and orange cupcake recipe is easily adaptable to make a full cake. Simply make a double batch of the mix and separate into two 8” greased and lined tins. Bake at 150°C for about an hour. Once baked and cooled, dam and fill with the orange buttercream, sprinkling the chopped nuts between each layer. To ensure a perfect finish, I covered the cake with a white chocolate ganache made with 300ml of whipping cream and 900g of white chocolate.

It was on this cake that I finally got to have a play with Renshaw’s new Extra sugarpaste. I have to say, I’m impressed so far. It didn’t take much kneading to get it ready to use and, as a result, air bubbles were minimal. It rolled out beautifully and is elastic enough to cover a tall cake (this one was 7” tall) with no tearing or elephant skin. So very user friendly!

I wasn’t sure how to decorate this cake and announced so in a number of my cake groups. I had a busy week, so wasn’t sure how much time I would be able to dedicate to it. I was very grateful when the lovely Emma Stewart pinged me a design ready to go. A simplified version of one of her wedding cakes, it pairs a hand-painted finish with a gold-painted drip – both of which I have never done before! Luckily Emma was on hand to talk me through both (she even shot me a video to demonstrate the painting technique!) and I’m sure you’ll agree that the finished cake is beautiful. A simple floral spray was the perfect finishing touch.

Mummy was thrilled with her beautiful cake and the verdict was that my other carrot cake is just as delicious as the one my family is more familiar with.

If you would like to learn how to master the perfect drip for your cakes, I’m thrilled to say that Emma will producing a very special New Years tutorial for Mr Baker’s Blog later this month, including how to create and paint her stunning gold drip.

Have a fantastic week everyone! x