Wednesday, 29 July 2015

peter rabbit trailer


Ok so I will let you into a little ninja secret......I hate cake :O
Ok well obviously I love cake...what I mean is I don't actually like to eat cake :O

Ok Ok...dont shoot me down :)
||What I actually mean is my body really doesn't like cake, gluten, bread, pasta...oh the list is endless...i swell like a pregnant goat haha! So I love cake but it dont love me so I avoid most of the time......however one thing I don't really like and wouldn't care if there was a world shortage is......Chocolate! Yup! You see I am a savoury girl at heart...give me some cheesy biscuits and I will munch my way through the lot without blinking, but the brown ta!

So you see when I was asked to make this weeks cake, which not only involved chocolate...lots of chocolate, but also involved the one chocolate that actually makes me go was quite a challenge, and if there is one thing a ninja likes its a challenge!

This is the result!

It still makes me feel a little ewww if I am honest, especially when one lady asked if it actually ooozed the yellow goo! No it didn't but it was many layers of galaxy chocolate cake filled with chocolate ganache, so I am pretty confident that the egg loving birthday girl will love this too :)

Saturday, 25 July 2015

I Love Beatrix

I have had a busy week this week falling in love with some Beatrix Potter characters all over again.
Not only did I spend a day making this little chap....

I also made him a lovely cakey home :)

I then decided that I loved him so much I would turn everything into a tutorial so you can all have a go :)

I am now in the process of doing this and he will be available very soon as a premium tutorial along with a lovely cup & saucer project I am working on.

I have decided to make it a premium tutorial because firstly it has taken me a weeks works but mostly because it will cover the following techniques:

How to model and colour Peter Rabbit from start to finish
Templates and Ingredients used.
How to make his cakey home and get perfect stripes using the paper transfer method
How to use the paper transfer method for a perfect picket fence.

Watch This Space for details :)

Saturday, 18 July 2015

Sweet Nora

Ok so we've all had one of those weeks right?
I came across this lovely little poem yesterday and, like many other cake decorators/sugar artists, thought it just about summed it up.

So with the kind permission of Amber Murphy Hughes from the lovely Sweet Nora's Bake shop I am sharing this with all of you that may be having 'one of those weeks'

Hello! Hello! Can you make this cake?
We saw it on Pinterest, looks easy to make.
I looked at the picture and what did I see?
A four tiered confection, staring at me.
All fondant & lovely, sugar flowers galore,
with scroll work & stencil from top to the floor.
"Sure I can help. When is it needed?"
"I need it tomorrow!" My customer pleaded.
With a roll of my eyes, I went all in,
"How many guests are expected?" She said, "Ten."
I gave her a price -which I thought quiet low.
She sent back a message that simply said, "Oh!"
"That's absurd! she said, "Why's it so much?
It's JUST A CAKE with fondant & such!"
She said, "My mother's friend's daughter is cake maker too."
I said, "Well give them a call! I'm not the baker for you!"

Friday, 17 July 2015

Procrastibaking with pastillage

Today has been one of those know the sort...lots you could be doing but instead of doing them you are playing with cake stuff!

Yep that was me today, so instead of finishing my practice cake, or better still, attacking the 5ft pile of ironing, I decided to have a play with some pastillage.
This bag of powder has been happily sat in my Cake room for long that I can't even remember why I needed it, but I clearly ordered too much of it as it was still there, almost full, making me feel like I just had to come up with something.

A quick google later and the answer was a teacup and saucer.

My daughter had picked me up a lovely little set from a charity shop last year because i wanted to use the pattern on a cake.....and yep you guessed it...they had also been sat there ever since!

I mixed up my powder and boiled cooled water, kneaded it well and rolled it thin. 
I had to work very fast as pastillage dries so quickly you don't get a lot of 'mistake' time.

I gently persuaded it into my cup and used a cookie cutter the same size as the top to cut a perfect rim. I then checked it hadnt stuck and set it aside to dry while i got on with the handle, base and saucer.

Now we all know the ninja has no patience, so after three hours I decided I had waited long enough and carefully released it from its mold. It still felt damp even though it was solid to the touch, so i set it upside down on a sponge form for another hour.

Tick tock, tick tock.....I could wait no longer and proceeded to get my paints out!
It clearly wasn't ready to be painted but I just didn't I went painting pagoda type shapes, willow trees and birds that vaguely resembled my little set.


I cannot tell you how happy I am that I have found a use for my sad bag of powder :)
It just needs a cakey home now!

Friday, 10 July 2015

What did I do!?

For some bizzarre unknown as yet reason this week I had a spontaneous moment and did this!

Ok so what was I thinking! Certainly not that I can win, and definitely not in the sculpted cakes category!

Having been to Cake International last year I know only too well that there is some amazing talent in the cake world ...... So why have I done it? Because it will be fun is why and we all need a bit more of that don't we.

Having now done the deed I cannot even let you know what I am intending to do as the rules are pretty strick but it will be something fun and something that makes me smile, and I hope when I finally can show you all, that it makes you smile too :)


Saturday, 4 July 2015

Fast Flowers!

Ok so anyone that knows me knows I hate making flowers. Now don't get me wrong it's not like I can't make them, its just the whole process....cutters, foam pads, cornflower, glue, wires, and......drying time! Gahhh! Thats the worst thing ever, especially when your a ninja, which in essence just means i have absolutely no patience and like to get everything done as fast as is humanly possible :)

So this week i decided that I would have a play with the packet of wafer paper that has been sat in a drawer for months on end, waiting for a use. I can now say a) I am glad it was there and b) I have now found a use for it!
A quick google and an hour later and I had these

If you have never tried, or if like me you have the patience of a flea, then please give them a go. I don't think I will stop making sugar flowers but I can tell you that I will now be having a play with different flowers to see just what can and can't be done :)

A quick tutorial has been added in the tutorial section if you would like to see justhow easy it is :)

Tuesday, 30 June 2015

Game of Thrones

Game of what now?

Ok so I admit...I have never watched an episode! My 22 and 18 year old sons do though and they keep telling me I good it I will be hooked if I just watch one....

So I decided to do the next best thing...impress them with cake!
Now don't get me wrong, if I am in the cake room working and they pass by they will pop their heads in and say hello, and I may even ask them what they think about whatever creation I am working on at the time but despite my efforts all I ever get apart from the odd nod or grunt is..".thats nice"...or something similar.

So in a bid to actually get them to notice I thought what better way than to recreate the thing they love most. A Game of Thrones Cake that would get a reaction.....or if I was lucky two grunts and a smile :)

Having never watched even a trailer for it I had no option but to google! I soon discovered that the most impressive visual was the Iron Throne everyone wants so decided to go with that as a topper. It looked pretty impressive and I was sure my sons would think so too.

Five hours later.....this was the result!

Made using a mixture of gum paste and my homemade modelling chocolate (tutorial above)
Suffice to say I love my pasta machine very much! Oh and my sons reactions?...."Oooh thats pretty good that is...let me take a picture" and "very impressed mum"
My job here is done...well no its not because that's just the topper so watch this space as there very soon will be a cake that I am hoping will equally impress them!

Friday, 26 June 2015

Square eyes!

"I'd like to order a minecraft cake please"
Words that make quite a few cake makers/decorators shudder.
A labour of love for sure, spending hours cutting a sticking tiny sqares of fondant over a cake, mixing all the colours, going squared eyed looking at it :)

Not any more!
From my very first request I vowed to never again spend that much time doing the squares and decided to try and find a way to make it not only easier to do but to look better, because lets face it...its hard to line squares up, never mind stick them on perfectly straight!

So I tried several ideas and came up with this

Not one cut square!

I was so pleased to have finally mastered the cake we all dread to get an order for that I want to save all my cakey friends from the same square eyed fate.
So I have made a little how to video which is in the tutorial section above. It really is so easy to do I hope everyone has a go and agrees :)

Sunday, 21 June 2015

Mario Mayhem

This has been a fun week at Ninja HQ
I have been playing with Modelling Chocolate again, this time making figures.
For a reason unknown I decided on Mario and pals, I think mainly because of the bright colours but also because, even if it did make me feel my age, they took me back to my childhood :)

Here is the result

Of course they then needed a home so I got to work and made them a cakey one. I had so much fun remembering all the little blocks and chimneys.
Best of all it was entirely made using homemade fondant and was a real test as to how well it would work on smaller details and the result was great.

I was inundated with requests for a tutorial for the figures so this has now been added to the tutorial page above. Please have a go :)

Tuesday, 16 June 2015

Modelling Chocolate Madness (with recipe)

Modelling Chocolate madness!

So this week I have discovered the joys of modelling chocolate, and when I say joy I mean I have finally mastered the perfect recipe. You see I tried this chocolate 'stuff' last year with disastrous results and being the stubborn mule that I am I gave up and walked away, thinking I really did not need to add it to my accomplishments. How wrong I was!

I decided to have another go and wanted the fail...I could find. No heating this and that to certain temperatures, no substituting corn syrup for golden syrup. Something really simple, and I found it!

Now you will have to forgive me for no knowing exactly where I found it as I generally have a scrap of paper and jot down anything I need to 'keep safe' which just means I lose everything of course :)
It was the most basic recipe I had come across, with the easiest Instructions, so of course I went and purchased what I needed straight away and got going.

It was so easy that it was almost guaranteed to end in the same brick like disaster as before which when kneaded turned into a greasy chocolatey mess, but no. It came together beautifully and I lovingly wrapped it up and waited impatiently for it to set up.
An hour later I could wait no more and just had to unwrap it and see what it was like. It clearly was going to be good but I decided to be good and leave it overnight (like I was meant to).

The next day I almost went in the cake room in my pj's I was so eager to have a play!
The chocolate was lovely and smooth and now I had to decide what to do with after at least 20 seconds of thought I decided it would be the perfect time to try out the wax paper transfer method as well as the modelling chocolate. I had wanted to make a stripey cake for a while so it was the perfect chance to kill two birds.

This is the result!

As near perfect as it could be :)

I will do another post about the wax paper transfer method soon but for now here is the modelling chocolate recipe with tips.

300 gms of white choc or 300 gms of white candy melts (I used Asda cheap choc buttons and PME melts)

140ml of liquid glucose (I used Dr Oetker and one tube is 140ml)

1. Melt choc or melts in microwave for one min then stir. Continue in 30 second bursts until completely smooth and melted.

2. Cut the end of the tube and add glucose to chocolate. Stir slowly just until it starts to thicken (about 30 seconds) then pour onto clingfilm and wrap tightly. Dont be tempted to stir for longer.

Leave for at least two hours (overnight is best) then unwrap and knead well untill soft (will be hard ). Rewrap until needed.


If you find that the chocolate has tiny little lumps in do not despair. Just pop it back in the microwave for ten seconds and knead well and they will disappear. Rewrap and leave for an hour or two.

This can be coloured in the same way as fondant. Simply knead in until desired coloured is acheived then wrap.

Make sure any unused mc is wrapped tightly in clingfilm and stored in an airtight container.

Good luck :)

p.s. if like me you are a visual learner there is now a video added to the tutorialsection above!

Sunday, 14 June 2015

Home made fondant

I have decided to post this here as I have had lots of requests for the recipe for home made fondant.

I'm sure we all know how expensive it is to buy, even if like me you are getting it wholesale, so being able to make your own at half the price is a good reason on its own but the fact that it tastes super yummy too is the best reason!

This fondant is super robust too, no tearing or elephant skin here!

This is a recent cake of mine using nothing but homemade and you can see how smooth it is.

Ok so here is the recipe and the how to handle it best tips :)

900 grams icing sugar
450 grams marshmallows (I use asda cheap pink and white and split them)1 1/2 tablespoons of waterTrex or white fat of choice

1. Put the marshmallows and water into a bowl and microwave in 30 second blasts, stiring between until melted and smooth.

2. Add 1/4 of the icing sugar and stir in until incorporated then add half of the remaining sugar and repeat.

3. Rub a generous amount of trex onto your work surface (it really does help) and tip your mix onto it and give it a little knead.

4. Gradually add in the last of the icing sugar and knead well until smooth.

5. Rub a layer of trex over your ball of fondant and tightly wrap in clingfilm.

Leave it to rest overnight.


This fondant can be coloured in all the usual ways.
When needed unwrap and knead....dont worry if it feels quite stiff,its meant to.
Just pop in a bowl and microwave for a few SECONDS (ten is generally enough). It will soften up lovely :)
I roll mine with a little cornstarch but icing sugar works just as well.

For those that are visual learners like me, I have also made a little video tutoial :)

Friday, 15 May 2015

Deliver me from Evil!

Cake delivery.......words that strike fear into the most confident cake maker......and with good reason, especially when its a tall wedding cake and definitely when you don't have the option of stacking on site!
I have spent many hours, even days finishing all the little details and checking and double checking that it is just perfect for the most important day of the happy couples life,  so the thought of some disaster just waiting around the corner is always there. Of course it rarely brain on the other hand seems to think it should keep reminding me that it could ... and it will be very persistent with this at 3am on the day before delivery!

So today I had a delivery to make for a lovely couple that met us at a wedding fayre last year. The design was to be a soft petal style wave with a few statement ruffle flowers in Royal blue. A ten inch vanilla base followed by double height lemon cakes and finished with double height chocolate cakes.
This cake was not large by any means but it was tall and very heavy and more importantly had to travel in one piece! Bring on the nightmares!

So here is what happened...or more importantly didn't happen....but it could of done...I mean what were the chances of a cow running across the motorway at the exact same time we were slowly travelling to the my head there was every chance and that's where my problems my head. It doesn't matter that i am a sensible person because on cake delivery day all sense goes out the window along with my sanity.

Its not only the fact that the cake room is situated at the bottom of a rather steep hill, nor the fact the the road up the hill has to be the most pothole ridden road in the vicinity...but living in a relatively small village in Wales means that most venues are a motorway and roundabout infested ordeal that literally strike fear into this feisty 5ft woman! I turn into a jibbering wreck wishing I had a Tardis or the like to safely transport my lovely creation.

Alas my superpowers are amiss and it will have to be the boot of the car.

Now .... as a cake maker carefully planning ahead for this day, I decided I would take every measure possible to ensure this cake stayed put. I had a central support through the entire cake which also had some heavy duty dowelling. I had a heavy duty specially made box with a recess in the bottom that perfectly fitted the board ensuring no movement to the bottom. I had removed the flowers and carefully packed those separately too. Nothing could move right?...well just to be convinced of this we carefully placed two large flat poly sheets in the boot to act as a shock absorber.
Ready for the off! well no not quite.
You see my brain awoke again and reminded me that I really ought to take my emergency repair kit (just in case) and i quickly gathered together the items that would cover every disaster from cows to hurricanes. Ok so now we are ready!

The cake is happily sitting in the boot with me next to it....determined not to open the lid until we get there. Its only half hour away....i can do that right? I check out Mr Tiddy in the driver seat as we slowly reverse at 1 mph off the drive as he tells me he wont bump the kerb......"Oh its fine, it will be fine" I say unconvincingly, trying to smile as we slowly climb the hill.

Out of the village and onto the first of what seems like hundreds of roundabouts. I glance at the box as I catch Mr Tiddy looking at me! "It will be ok once we are on the motorway" he says sensing my fear, and I nod and agree, resisting every urge to peek.
We get onto the motorway and into the slow lane. I try to relax as we poodle along behind a huge lorry. Bump...bump...bump...must resist....must resist.

Poor Mr Tiddy, like its not bad enough that he is responsible for getting us there in one piece and on time, he also has a nervous ninja on his hands! "the problem with the slow lane is its all battered from the lorries so its the worst lane...but I don't want to go fast so we have to stay in it" he says.
Now I am sure, no, in fact I know he was just trying to make me feel better but by now my bladder had become nervous and the urge not to peak was spiking off the scale!
"Next junction" he says with a smile. Well I must have been holding my breath because I suddenly let out a gasp that Anastasia Steele would be proud of!

We turn into the road that will take us to the grand venue, and when I say grand  mean GRAND!

A lovely tree lined road with....THE MOST potholes in the world! Oh my! my head a little voice is cursing the venue for having such rich guests but failing to ensure they arrive in comfort to stay at their over priced hotel! My ninja is awake and gritting her teeth!

We make the final turn only to be met by......SPEED BUMPS! Honestly I want to spontaneously combust at this point and remember my yogic breathing to get me through! Finally..after a last (almost just to top it off) sharp turn, we are at the entrance. Thankfully there is a space for us and i rather ungracefully exit the car and head off with Mr Tiddy to find out which suite we are delivering to. A lift ride later and we are there.
We patiently wait for the man with the keys to grant us access and enjoy the couple of minutes of sanity. We are in, and what a beautiful room!

We spot the small table in the corner with the grand looking cake stand and head over. My brain now decides its time to convince me that in the short distance from door to table we could trip or something could fall or we may even encounter a stray cow so I turn on my ninja eyesight just in case! Phew we made it!
Now just to get it from the box to stand and we are done.....mmmmm hard can that be? Well the box had to go on the floor as there was no other option...the cake is very heavy...the table and stand are quite high and im 5ft and a bit and despite Mr Tiddy being 6ft 3" there was no way i was letting him take responsibility for any mishaps. I gather myself together and quietly pray for no sudden noises as I slowly hoist the cake out and up.

I did it! Yet again I survived a cake delivery.

I add the flowers, take a few snaps and return to my usual humorous self as we head out the door safe in the knowledge that very soon we will do it all over again...ok it may not be the same cake or the same journey but let me tell you...I WILL be the same nervous wreck getting it safely delivered haha!