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kids

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Beach Cake

Uncategorized February 6, 2011

This was a birthday cake for two twin boys from my church who were celebrating their first birthday. I had a bit of time to decide on what I could do for it and Mum suggested something beachy, so I set upon google to do some research. One of the cakes that I like the most was from this blog here. It looked pretty simple but effective, so I decided to go along with something similar. I still think that this original design was a lot better than mine, mine was a bit too ‘noisy’ and seemed a bit crowded, but hey, first attempt. We’re all friends here after all.. Right? Right?

Here’s what you will need for one beach cake.
One cooled sheet cake (I chose chocolate)
1 bag of Tiny Teddies
1 roll of lifesavers
some coloured fondant (you can do this yourself or buy pre-dyed)
paper umbrellas
brown sugar
candle/s

One batch of Swiss Meringue Buttercream (or an alternative amount of the buttercream of your choice. SMBC is my new fave.)
4 egg whites
1 cup of granulated sugar
1.5 cups of butter
a pinch of salt

Whisk egg whites briskly with a pinch of salt and then add in granulated sugar. Whisk to combine. Place bowl over simmering water and whisk continuously for about 4-5 minutes or until sugar has dissolved (which will ensure that the egg whites have pasteurised  ; in other words, salmonella free! hooray!) Whip egg whites with an electric mixer (or hand mixer as I used) for about 4-5 minutes or until stiff peaks have formed. By this time, your bowl should be cool to the touch. While the beaters are mixing, gradually add in cut up butter (room temperature) until your bowl becomes magically filled with creamy, dreamy swiss meringue buttercream. it is a beautiful, beautiful thing.

This cake was freakishly easier than I thought it would be and took about half an hour or less to assemble.

Ok so start out with your cooled, unadorned cake. When I started out with my cake decorating, I would often bake the cake on the day of the decorating. I’ve found its a lot easier to do it the day or the night before – less freaking out and the cake is nice and cool and won’t melt your frosting.

Start applying your buttercream icing. Since there was going to be quite a lot of frosting and other decorations on the cake, I didn’t bother to apply a crumb coat as I usually would and it turned out fine. Using a tablespoon, apply your frosting in globs and smooth them out with a spatula.

Smooth out the frosting on the cake.

Using your spatula, push the blue frosting towards the middle of the cake to create a ripply/wave-like effect.

Now is the fun part – adding all the extra details.
I added some fondant details – a starfish, a surfboard, some fish and a beach ball.

This was all a bit fiddly and was like playing with not-as-pliable play dough. For the beach ball, I made a small ball out of blue fondant and then made balls of fondant (same size) in blue and green, then cut out sections (about a sixth of the ball) then replaced each section with different colours by cutting sixth sections from the other colours. Then I added a small red top to each side of the finished beach ball with red fondant (using the tip of plain icing tip to cut out the small circle).

For the surfboard, I just used a knife to cut the fondant into the shape of a surfboard and used my fingers to try and shape it as much as possible. For the starfish, I used the smallest star shaped cookie cutter I had and used it to cut out a very thick piece of rolled fondant and then moulded it into the shape of a star fish. The fish .. well I won’t even bother to explain the fish as I think it was a rather poor effort – or at least one that could be improved greatly!


There were bears covering each other with sand.


Bears making a sand castle.

This was a very easy cake to make – made a lot easier having pre-made bears, lifesavers and paper umbrellas to help make it look authentic without any extra work for me. The sand also looked great and required no extra work either – hurray for brown sugar looking so much like sand.. I was tempted to add some blue piping gel to the waves to make it look a bit more authentic but I ran out of time (I swear I spend more time washing up than actually making the cake haha) but I think it looked fine. Would definitely make this again if I had the opportunity – give it a try! Looks pretty good and is a great beginner cake 🙂

xoxo

Christine

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final

Giraffe Cake

Uncategorized December 10, 2010

It was my God-daughter Talei’s second birthday coming up and I had to decide what kind of cake to make her.
Finally! An excuse for me to start using my copy of the Australian Women’s Weekly Kids Birthday Cakes. I had been looking forward to this moment for a long time.

Talei is half Kenyan, so her Mum thought that a giraffe cake would be appropriate. Which was useful for me because it was one of the easiest cakes in the book.

For the cake, I tried a new twist on Pioneer Woman’s sheet cake (yes I know I use it all the time, but its an excellent recipe and what’s more, I always have all the ingredients in my cupboard. Plus there’s no pesky melting-of-chocolate involved, which adds heaps of extra washing up, boo.)

Instead of making it a chocolate cake this time, however, I removed the cocoa powder and added in a good two teaspoons of Queens Vanilla bean extract (with actual beans, as opposed to just the alcohol). I also had a spare egg that needed to be used up so in that went as well. The result was quite good – it was a very moist dense vanilla cake that did not have a very strong flavour (which was great for the kids). It got eaten in about thirty seconds.

For the frosting, I just made a simple buttercream (butter, a teeny bit of milk and icing sugar) and tinted it orange. This also had a heap of vanilla beans also.

To make the ‘spots’ on the giraffe, Women’s Weekly suggested melting chocolate, pouring it onto a lined cookie tray and then slicing it into diamonds when it was half set. So that’s exactly what I did.

To cut the cake into the perfect size, Women’s Weekly had a special printout which you copied onto baking paper, cut out and then placed on the cake to use as a guideline. You could easily trace a design onto baking paper yourself or make a smaller version with just an A4 piece of paper. You can see that the outline is quite simple to draw.

Then cover it with frosting and start decorating.

Ta daaa! To decorate the rest of its face, I just used extra pieces of chocolate – I had plenty to spare, so this also went onto the sides of the cake. For the feet, mane and the top of the giraffe’s head, I used dark chocolate bullets. The eyes were M&Ms and piping gel. The choc diamonds were just choccy melts. I realised that I did forget the tail.. I guess that’s something I’ll have to look out for next time.

Me with the Birthday Girl!

Birthday Girl and her cake (she just woke up, hence the sleepy/sad face.. lol).

Happy Birthday my gorgeous God-daughter!!! Love ya heaps xxox

Have a great weekend!!

xoxo

Christine

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