What a busy few days it’s been both in the SmartCookieSam kitchen. As I type, it is Sunday March 20th and it has been a glorious, sunny Spring weekend up here in North Yorkshire. We have been very lucky with the weather over the past couple of days. But as I am so busy, I’ve not really had the benefit of being out in the gorgeous weather all weekend. I have been inside all today so far as I have been cleaning, ironing and making a cheesecake for an order.
I thought if I don’t get round to typing up my blog now, it will never get done this week. So I’ve forced myself to sit upstairs in my office on my laptop!
I have been enjoying scratching off a few more of my #100bakeschallenge poster bakes over the previous few days. One of the bakes was actually a birthday cake order, so I thought I could scratch off the Fondant Iced Birthday cake square for this one. This cake was the first of two, for two brothers with birthdays two days apart.
The cake was a triple layer Lemon Drizzle Cake, adapted from a recipe in Jane’s Patisserie’s book. Her original recipe was for a Key Lime Cake but I substituted the limes for lemons and used Sugar and Crumbs’ Lemon Drizzle Icing Sugar to make up some lemon buttercream for the cake’s crumb coat. It gives a great zingy taste without all the extra faff of squeezing lemons!
Jane’s original recipe can be found in her book: here but I don’t think it is available on her website.
The customer’s sons had different tastes. The older son wanted a Computer Circuit board so I googled ideas and put my own twist on the one I had seen by adding the birthday boy’s name onto the top of the cake. I am not the neatest at piping, especially as I suddenly get nervous and start shaking as soon as I have my icing bag out!
After the cake was crumb coated and refrigerated overnight, I put on another thin layer of buttercream before attaching the fondant to the cake. This is one of the jobs I hate when decorating cakes. It never goes on neatly with me!
I always use Renshaws Fondant Icing Sugarpaste for my decorated cakes and prefer to buy it ready coloured if I can, mainly for time reasons. It comes in many colours and I buy mine from Lewis and Cooper in Northallerton which is about half an hour away from me.
I used two different sized mini oval cutters for the circuit board as well as cutting the other shapes freehand with a small knife and a ruler. For the name, I used a mini circular cutter and some alphabet plunger cutters. I have a big set which includes upper case, lower case and also some numbers.
Although the second cake wasn’t part of the #100bakeschallenge, I would love to include it on here as I was so pleased with how it turned out. For the second cake, I baked a quadruple layer chocolate sponge, layered and crumb coated with white chocolate ganache and finished with a three tone blue buttercream.
To this I added some white chocolate (coloured blue) waves which were left to set on baking parchment as well as some dark blue Deco Melts to turn into waves around the top of the cake. Finally, for the piece de resistance, I added some shortbread dolphins leaping out of the top of the cake. It was a nerve wracking experience putting it together and carrying it around to the customer’s house! Thankfully, she was really impressed with it, although I was a bundle of nerves.
I absolutely love making birthday cakes but this last weekend was so busy. I ended up asking Mr S to get us a Chinese takeaway that night as I was so tired after all that standing up in the kitchen!
Love Sam xx