Well, after having to read about my journey along the road to ‘cake maker extraordinaire’ for these countless months, Pieces of Cake are bringing you a bit of light relied – a guest blog to introduce the baking talents of Claudine Bisson, so over to her…
Hi everyone! – I’m Claudine, I did some science with Beki at Sheffield, where she also taught me how to decorate cakes in anticipation of my boyfriend’s mum’s 60th birthday bonanza last June.
Spots and Stripes
Cake number one was a practice cake to learn how to work with fondant icing and how to tier sponges. It was a basic two-tier sponge cake (jam-filled and butter-creaned) with white icing with blue stripes and spots.
We used the famous ‘Delia all-in-one’ but I’ve never been very good at baking sponge and unfortunately (but not unexpectantly) the middle of the cakes sunk – I blame my oven but it also may have been my over-keen beating. Not to worry, bread was there to save the day and we wedged a bit underneath to support the sunken part (Beki’s idea).
The most crucial thing when making a tiered cake is to make sure the weight of the top cakes doesn’t squash the bottom ones. This can happen if you don’t use internal support, so in this case we pushed some paper dowels in the cakes but with bigger cakes plastic dowels are required. Continue reading
This was the scene that greeted myself and a good friend as we wandered toward Castle Gibson on Stoke Newington Road one fine Sunday afternoon. That, and this:
It was a quite splendid mixture of Lily Vanilli cakes (albeit models) and House of Hackney‘s original and exciting fabrics, featuring, to name just one design theme, a range of animals in unusual situations… Continue reading
Here’s a blast from the past: about this time last year, in fact. It’s Alice’s birthday cake for her Hill Billy themed party, so obviously it only seemed right that I make a swamp cake with an alligator. Plus it meant I got to use my new animal Cake Character book, which is amazing and really helpful.
Calm down everyone, I know you’ve been worried – a flurry of baking and a sudden influx of cakey blogs followed by an unprecedented lull? Well, this is a serious one. I’ve given up sweet things for Lent and I’m not brave enough to bake and try and not eat so the baking part of the blog is on hiatus until then.
Luckily for you though I’ve still got a few old classics up my sleeve, so you’ll be seeing some mice, a swamp and possibly even George Michael in the near future. And even better than that, I’ll be practising even more once the trauma of my going cold turkey on the sugar front is over, because I’m baking cupcakes for my friend’s wedding! So I’ll need all the hints and tips I can get – recipes, piping ideas, beautiful designs you’ve seen… all are very welcome.
So I’ll be baking again in just under a month and in the meantime enjoy the coming blogs and also the return of the Cake-O-Graph!
With demand for the After Eight chocolate brownie cupcakes reaching an all time high (for me at least, I wouldn’t like to speak to the recipe’s inventor Martha Stewart) I decided it was time to take it to the next level. And what better time to do it than on a science-free night (these are entirely necessary when you spend all your days and most nights writing, thinking or reading about science) with my fellow science journalists?
So we headed off to Mike’s, stopping at the shops to pick up the necessary equipment…
So, as mentioned in earlier posts, I made some more cupcakes (again from Martha Stewart’s Cupcakes book) for Valentine’s Day and my fellow science journalists – we were all in need of a bit of a cheer-up so what better way than with cake?
By popular demand I made the mint-filled brownies again.
Cupcakes, ready for their birthday celebrations!
Yes, I was planning to make cupcakes. With my trusty Martha Stewart’s Cupcakes book in hand, I tried to decide from the wealth of choice which would be the tastiest and which would be most likely to survive the journey to Sheffield.