Leeza’s family cake

My neice Leeza had a birthday recently, but to her dismay her party had to be delayed due to her having the chicken pox. She did not think that was fair. Poor wee thing it’s not fun to have the chicken pox, especially on your birthday.

I’m pleased to report she is well again now and we had a lovely birthday celebration for her in the weekend.  This year she wanted a cake with her family on it, a really lovely idea.

So, you know those ‘My Family’ car stickers, well they were the inspiration for this cake. It started out just black and white, but I just had to add colour! Leeza is the dancing girl in dressed in her favourite colour pink.

Leeza's family
Leeza’s family

Happy Birthday Leeza.

Oh, and for those who like the details, it was a chocolate cake, covered in fondant icing and the family characters were piped on in royal icing.

Periodic Table of Elements Cookies

My baby is away at university, at the other end of the country. I miss him a lot and know he’d be studying hard for end of year exams. So I thought I’d send him some cookies to keep him going and help him with his studies.

Now I’m not a chemistry geek so when I had the idea to bake the period table of elements in cookies, I was not really aware just how many elements there are… 118! That’s a lot of cookies. With so many to bake I had to go with his all time favourite gingerbread cookies, decorated with royal icing.

I patted and rolled and baked the first batch, but on counting them out I was eight short. Oh what to do? Well after some pondering and egging on from friends and colleagues kindly offering to eat any extras, I baked a second batch, and am glad I did.

So here they are….

The period table in cookies
The period table in cookies

Thanks to my good friend (and chemistry teacher) Alex and her daughter Gracie for helping out with icing them all, and taking some of the extras off my hands. I’m sure Alex could have done them all from memory but I did have to use a cheat sheet.

I hope they had fun eating them.

Christmas cakes 2011

Here are the cakes I made for family this christmas.

Christmas tree and presents cake
Christmas tree and presents
Choir boys Christmas cake
Choir boys Christmas cake
Poinsettia Christmas cake
Poinsettia design Christmas cake

For the two square ones I tried a different method for the lettering.  I used royal icing but piped the letters out on parchment then when dry transferred them to the cake.  I did a couple of sets which was good as i did break a few so was pleased to have some back ups.

I think I like doing the rectangle shaped cake for fruit cakes.  This time I tried a piping the lettering directly on the cake using two layers white on the bottom and a wriggly red top layer.  The poinsettia flowers were all piped royal icing.

The drop line experiment

After reading up on the stunning and intricate piping work that Eddie Spence does.  I thought I’d give it a try.  Thankfully I had a set of his step by step instructions to follow. It turned out quite well for a first attempt.  Though I think I need to work on getting my lines the same length and maybe being a bit more tidy.

Amazingly this was easier than I thought it would be, and I just love the way the loops seem to defy gravity. A steady hand is necessary and I did have to redo a couple that got knocked off.  I would not want to have to transport a cake like this anywhere, one bump in the road and it could all shatter.

Anyway here it is…

Drop line piping
The drop line piping experiment

Halloween cookies

It’s that time of year again… instead of sweets I thought I’d make some cookies.

Gingerbread cookies decorated with royal icing – yummy.

Halloween Cookies
Halloween Cookies

Created using some new d-line Halloween cookie cutters I picked up.