Thursday, 19 April 2018

Big May Wedding

Next month, on the 19th, this Crafty Welsh Grandma has a very special wedding to contend with. My eldest son is getting married to a wonderful woman, and I have been tasked with the responsibility of ... The Wedding Cake!

Over the next few weeks, with the exception of my Grandson's 10th birthday, I have cleared my diary!

Which will mean, I will have little, if anything, that I can publish.
The whole set of wedding projects are a bit of a secret until May 19th.
But I don't want to lose any readers.
So, please ... 

If you already follow my blog you will have a load of notifications on the 19th May, letting you know that my scheduled posts have been published. This should happen at about 14:15 BST.

If you don't already follow CGW's blog, you can do so now to keep up-to-date.

Check down the column on the right to either Subscribe or Follow by eMail.

The posts scheduled, will be published here first during the wedding and not posted anywhere else until after the wedding.

A list of scheduled publications include:
  • Cake topper(s)
  • Table decorations
  • A handcrafted cake stand
  • A handcrafted, hand-fasting ribbon lei
  • The main topper repaint
  • The Cake
    • In tiers and
    • As a whole (but after I arrive home from the wedding)
I am also setting out a separate Wedding and Engagement Cake and Project Index, I will add a link on each project when I'm home from the wedding weekend

Friday, 6 April 2018

Chocolate 18th Birthday Delight

Last month, it was my nephew's 18th birthday, this month it's his friend's 18th birthday. Quite independently of each other, both the mums managed to chose remarkably similar cakes for their sons birthdays.

In addition to this cake, this lucky 18-year-old will also be receiving two dozen delicious matching cupcakes!

This 8" chocolate cake, mix here, is sandwiched together with delightful chocolate buttercream, with a surprise of chocolate buttons in the very centre with the buttercream. surrounded with chocolate fingers and topped off, and surrounded by Maltesers.

This young man's mum obtained the topper in a wonderful glitter blue, so I co-ordinated the cake board and ribbon for this cake.

These chocolate cakes, as I have mentioned before, are becoming quite popular, this is the fourth one I have had the pleasure of creating and I love every one. Although, I've only had the pleasure of receiving a slice from 50% of them.

Let's hope the recipient enjoys them all and has a great 18th birthday

Chocolate Cupcakes for an 18-year-old

It's not every day you're 18, and it's certainly not every day you get two dozen scrummy chocolate cupcakes and a cake.

For these 24 delicious little beauties, I doubled up on the batter mix and the buttercream.

The birthday boy's mum secured the rice paper toppers from elsewhere. which came in four different designs. But I had to cut each one out by hand.  Which was a little difficult due to a tendon issue in my thumb. But I managed it ok.

Anyway, I wish I could see this young man's face when he tries these because the smell utterly divine!

Friday, 30 March 2018

Giant Doughnut Birthday Cake

A ten inch doughnut cake for my Niece's birthday, commissioned by her mum.  Topped off with hand-cut hundreds and thousands / sugar strands - but from fondant.  

If you're planning a doughnut cake of your own, read on as I will show you how I cut the fondant for the 'icing' on the top.

I'm not a big fan of silicone baking mould / tins, but this is what I used here. This cake was a one-off and I didn't want to buy a ring cake tin for one cake. You can, of course, bake this in a standard tin, shape it yourself and cut a hole with a large round cookie cutter.

For this 10" cake, I used two mixes of my vanilla cake mix, one mix for each half. After trimming off the humps, I sandwiched it together with plain, vanilla buttercream coloured with Sugarflair chocolate food colour gel, I didn't use any other flavour except vanilla, my Niece's favourite. I used double the recipe of the buttercream also.

Once crumb coated and chilled, I added a final, thin layer, of the same buttercream and chilled it again.

Now for the fake 'icing' that every ring doughnut shouldn't be seen without. 

Using the tin you cooked the sponge in, draw around it.  If you've used a ring tin, draw around the centre hole whilst still in place.

If you've used a standard round tin and a cookie cutter, draw around the cookie cutter, making sure it's in the centre of  your outer circle.

Then cut it out

Once cut out, roll out your fondant so that your template fits. Place template on top and cut a wavy shape around, and on the inside of your template.

Use your fingers to smooth off the sharp, cut edges around the piece before placing on top of the cake. 

Then, place on the top of your cake. Gently smooth the icing down into the middle of the hole and down the outside.

Now for the sugar strands. It's hard to find large sugar strands so I made my own from fondant.

  1. Using a clay extruder, extrude the colours you require. If you don't have a clay extruder, you can roll your fondant into a thin sausage shape.
  2. Straighten them out.
  3. Allow to dry for a few moments, perhaps whilst you extrude the next colour
  4. Once dried a little, I used my smallest off-set spatula as a width guide and cut them with a sharp knife
  5. Allow to dry some more before adding to the cake.
This was, by far, the hardest part for me as I ended up cutting oodles of these fake sugar strands!

Affix, to the icing portion of your cake only, using either a little water, edible glue or, like I have, some clear piping gel.

I tried to be as random as possible, but I ended up seeing patterns forming, so I stopped for a coffee before completing.
I sprayed the cake with some clear glaze to simulate the shiny icing bit on the top and sprinkled with some magic ... silver, edible lustre dust.

My niece's other cakes have included:
Now, all that;s left for me to say is ...
Happy 13th Birthday to my fab Niece

Monday, 26 March 2018

Carrot Cupcakes

Carrot is the flavour of this month and what better way to bring it to an end than a dozen scrummy cupcakes for a birthday gift.  

For my delicious, easy carrot cake mix, see here.

I made half with a basic buttercream frosting with a little orange stripe. Before adding the buttercream to the piping bag, A ran a thin line of orange food colour down the one side of the bag, then filled it with the buttercream and piped, using a star nozzle ...

and the other half with a cream cheese frosting. For these, I used a round nozzle, I'd never used one before and definitely need a bit more practice with it.

Once topped they were decorated with milk chocolate carrots I managed to source, these were wrapped to look like carrots and I thought they were a change from fondant ones.

Even though these are for my brother-in-law's birthday, they would also make a sweet addition to any Easter tea table.

Here is a full list of all the carrot cake projects I have published so far:

Friday, 23 March 2018

18-Year-Old's Plethora of Chocolate

These types of cakes are becoming very popular for this here Crafty Welsh Grandma, this is the third one I've made in the last six or seven months.  

This one is for my Nephew, commissioned for him by his parents. He was 18 last weekend but is not having his celebration with his family until this weekend.

His Mam always insists on purchasing the resources required for the cakes that she asks me for, but this time, she has vastly over bought stuff! I think maybe I'll suggest that she leaves the purchasing to me from now on. She has a lot of waste - but the cake looks amazing! The cake stand in this image was not used on the day.

As I stated earlier, this kind of cake is becoming very common, check out my previous ones here:
This one consisted of:
It was decorated with:
  • Chocolate buttercream to stick all this chocolatey-ness onto.
  • Piped chocolate buttercream around the bottom of the cake, topped with alternate white and milk chocolate buttons
  • Hidden on the inside:
    • Chocolate M&Ms with
    • Crispy M&Ms
  • On the sides:
    • Milk chocolate finger biscuits
    • White chocolate finger biscuits 
  • On the top:
    • Maltesers
    • Minstrals
    • Milk chocolate buttons
    • White chocolate buttons 
Then trimmed off with a white grosgrain with a blue 'Happy Birthday' on it, which matches the wonderful blue glitter topper!

Oh, I almost forgot ... Some birthday magic in the shape of gold lustre dust!  Otherwise known as 'Unicorn F*rts!'

My nephew's other cakes have included:

I'm guessing all that's left for me to say is ...
Happy 18th Birthday to my little nephew xxx

Tuesday, 20 March 2018

DIY Minecraft Names and Numbers

I'm not a Minecraft fan, but, by the time I get to finish this cake, I will be totally Minecafted out!   

So when the Grandson will be reaching the realm of a double figured age, this Grandma had better come up with the goods for what is his 'in thing' for this year!

His previous cakes have been:
For the Minecraft Sword, please see here for a detailed entry.

For the name and age, I had my daughter-in-law-to-be prepare some drawings on graph paper for me. If you don't know why the Minecraft stuff looks like this, see here

To ensure I obtained the pixelated / squared look, I needed the rolled modelling fondant to be impressed with tiny squares, which would also help me get it right.

I have a kitchen board that has small squares on the underside, I used this before when I made the PJ Masks Character Faces. It worked great then, so I'm using it again for this.

I rolled out the fondant, for the name, to 1mm thickness, impressed the squares and cut each one, following the graph paper design. The Creeper in the letter A was hard because I had to cut out the eyes and fill them in with black. But, as you can see, they came out half decent.

For the black background, I rolled the modelling paste out to 2mm thickness and, again, impressed with the squares.  I was then able to ensure that the letters were lined up. The letter A went a bit mis-shaped, but I don't think the big guy will mind on the day.

The letters, once stuck on the trimmed background were then dry brushed with white food colour gel to lighten them and give them a stone look. The four cocktail sticks will be used to affix this to the top of the cake.

The numbers were made using the same method, only this time, they were rolled to 5mm thickness. It was difficult for me to cut the inside of the 0 out. To get the cut-out look, I painted them using navy blue food colour and added a little dry brush of the same.

Once all these pieces were dried enough, they were sprayed with edible glaze and placed in my makeshift drying box.  After all, I don't need them until May, but this was only supposed to be a practice. However, they've worked so well, I'm going to keep them moisture-free and and in an airtight container until then.

My next project will be Minecraft Steve and a Creeper, watch this space
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