Category Archives: How to

The Pumpkin and The Little Witch

Witch and pumpkin

Yesterday was Halloween :)
Hope you all had fun filled day :)
I decided to bake a little cake for nursery as it is a great occasion.
I didn’t have much time so decided to carve a pumpkin and sit a little witch on top.
Anything gory would have scared the children and I wouldn’t want that.
So I baked a 7” Victoria sponge but had to bake it 3 times as the first was heavy. The second not high enough. Third time lucky as they say.
No time to rest the cake as Halloween was day after and I still had to cover, airbrush and model a witch.
Didn’t bake my cakes until 8pm and managed to carve, cover and airbrush it by 2am.
Next day I did the board, the little witch and the cat.
It was done by the evening when I took the photographs. I set up all the lights and background and after extensive photo shoot I have finally finished with the cake and off it went into its box for the next day.
I took some photos while making it so here they are:

pumpkin cake

Pumpkin cakeI baked 7” round cake and stacked it. Then i carved it down to round the edges and made the grooves. Placed markers so I can place it the way it was after filling it. Carved a bit more to even the sides after filling. Crumb coat, fridge, an0ther crumb coat. Smoothed the buttercream with kitchen paper. Fridge again and then I covered. Airbrushed using Kroma Orange, Brown and Black. I made the stalk and airbrushed it too. Covered the board and airbrushed with Kroma Black. Next day I made the witch and the cat and placed them on the cake as well as the leaf and the broom. Hope you like my little cake :)

Peony Tutorial

peony

I love peonies as they are so beautiful and look so gorgeous on a cake just on its own.
The fastest way to make a peony is to use not wired petals to build it.
Styrofoam centre will also speed the process as you don’t need to wait for the centre to dry as you would if you used sugar paste.
It will also make your flower lighter and less likely to damage your cake.
It is also the best to use flower paste as it will dry faster.
So here is how I made my flower. Hope you like the tutorial.

How to make ganache

Well, I get asked a lot how I make my ganache so I thought I should make a little post about it.
I am new to ganache and in no way an expert. I did try a few times to make ganache and it didn’t work as I was doing something wrong each time but I figured out what I was doing wrong and now I find ganache easy :) I know what to do :)
So this is a little guide if you have never made one and you probably do have lots of questions where and how to start. Hopefully this will help a little. The most sufficient way to learn is to try and see what works best for you :)

This ”How to” is for white chocolate ganache. I find dark chocolate easier to work with but I thought I should try white as well.
If you want to make:
– dark chocolate ganache you have to use 2:1 dark chocolate:double cream ratio
– white chocolate ganache is 3:1 ratio of white chocolate to double cream.
So far I have tried these two and still haven’t attempted milk chocolate (I will be back to update this post once I do)
You have to weigh both ingredients (the cream, the chocolate).

White chocolate ganache (the same applies to dark chocolate but different ratios are used)
750g white chocolate
250g double cream
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– Chop the white chocolate bar into small equal pieces. It will be easier for you to use white chocolate callets such as Callebaut but this cake was experimental so I decided to try simple supermarket chocolate bars. I am happy to inform you that it worked perfectly well.
– Place in deep plastic bowl. Plastic bowls are great as you can always place into the microwave later to soften your ganache.
IMG_5087– Get a small pan and heat your cream. Stir it constantly and do not let it boil. It has to be scalded and heated throughout.

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– Pour your cream over the chocolate.

IMG_5091– Move your bowl slowly to get the cream to mix with the chocolate.

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– Let it sit for just over minute
– Take a hand whisk and gently incorporate the cream with the chocolate.

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– Keep mixing until smooth. If you have pieces not melted place in microwave for 20-30 sec and stir again.

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– Let it get to room temperature and whisk a few times while doing so.
If you are in rush you can place in fridge to thicken once it reaches room temperature. Keep an eye on it so it doesn’t go too hard. If it does place in microwave for 20sec at time until it gets the consistency for spreading.

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– It has to be peanut butter consistency and then you can start ganaching your cake. Have fun :)

Notes:
*Do not use hand mixer to whip unless you are using as filling. I noticed whipping it with hand mixer makes the ganache soft and doesn’t set hard.
*White chocolate ganache will go oily but don’t worry. Keep mixing it occasionally until it gets to the peanut butter consistency. Once it has thickened you can start working with it.
*White chocolate ganache does take longer to set and thicken than the dark so be patient.