Friday, 20 July 2012

Bioblitz 2012

The 7th and 8th of July this year was the 2012 Bioblitz held at Cawsand Bay in Cornwall. 

In my workplace this is a very exciting event for all where we get as many experts and members of the [ublic as we can to come along during the 24 hours, and find as many different species as they can, within the area.

I attended the full 24 hours, and with a nice solid 1 and a half hours worth of sleep, had a brilliant time!

It shows how busy I have been since though, as I made these little treats for all of the hard working, very sleep deprived staff at the event, and have only now managed to pop them up here for all to see!  I made 50 in total, yummy vanilla sponge with lovely vanilla buttercream and a little glace icing to write with.  The sugar kick definitely helped us data monkeys to get through our entry during the day!

Vanilla Sponge with Simple Strawberry and Rose Decorations

This rather posh looking cake, was a request for a birthday cake, for someone who isn't big on many flavours of cake (apparently including chocolate??!!  How can you not like chocolate cake? This baffles me).  So... this cake started out life, as a plain and simple, vanilla victoria sponge cake.

I sandwhiched the two layers together with some posh raspberry jam, and some vanilla buttercream.  Then I iced over the top with more vanilla buttercream.  I used warmed knives (stood in a mug of boiled water and wiped dry on kitchen towel or a clean tea towel) to smooth out the icing, and get the edges lovely and straight.

After leaving for approximately 20 minutes to get the icing firmed up a bit, I then took some ready made chocolate roses, and stuck them on with blobs of vanilla buttercream.  Then did the same to stick some strawberries in between.  I added 5 extra roses around the plate for a little something extra.

Wonderfully simple.

Thanks for reading.

Thursday, 5 July 2012

Coffee Cupcakes with White Chocolate Roses

I am sooo pleased with how this very decadent little spread of cupcakes turned out!

This was a really succesful, pretty quick and easy way to decorate my cupcakes beautifully.

I really like the dark brown cupcake cases, they just look so much more glamorous and elegant than plain white ones. 

I made up a batch of coffee flavour cupcakes, topped with swirled coffee buttercream (using a piping bag with a serrated-end nozzle, and decorated with white chocolate roses, white sanding sugar, and white sugar pearls. 

For the cakes with chocolate rose buds on top, I piped on the bootom layer of icing, placed the roses, and sprinkled with sanding sugar (sugar glitter) and pearls then left the icing to dry and harden up a little on the outside (about 30 minutes).  Then I swirled more icing on top and around the rose bud to neatly hide the (slightly messy) bottom of the bud from view, and make the icing nice and neat (I just know that if I had put the roses into the finished icing I would have ended up blobbing it everywhere and making a mighty mess!).  I then sprinkled again with sanding sugar and added more white sugar pearls where I wanted them.

The cakes are sitting on a clear acrylic circular board which comes from a 7 tier acrylic cupcake-stand.  As seen in my treaty towers post.  I placed chocolate roses around the cupcakes then sprinkled over with more sanding sugar and pearls. 

In this instance I only needed a small number of cakes, but I could easily have run with this theme up all 7 tiers of my cupcake tower.

This was a really easy way to decorate a set of cupcakes!  I made my own chocolate roses, which was quite time consuming, but if you don't have the time these can be bought ready made. 

I'm quite looking forward to making a variation of something like this with a bit of red and green for christmas, and maybe poinsettia flowers instead of roses  (6 months early I know, but it's impossible to be TOO excited about Christmas! ... Though some parents may share a difference of opinion on this one).