Brownies and mixed berries ruffle cake

So now I have been asked to make a big one.. or rather a couple of things for a thirtieth birthday. Quite an important age and day as you may all agree so I gladly accepted to make this day great with lots of desserts for a sweet toothed birthday girl.

The request was as follows: cheesecakes in glasses, raspberry cupcakes and chocolate brownie cake with whipped cream and mixed berries all covered with ruffles.

The general theme as you will from the pictures is pink&gold, very elegant combination. The amount and number of items, however, were not the challenge, as she wanted only 10 of each plus the cake. The challenge was the lactose free and nut free everything. I don’t know about you, but it was the first time I had used any of these ingredients and maybe I didn’t use them properly, but they did not work as well as normal milk or cream. I had a couple of issues with the cheesecakes. The thickened cream didn’t whip, so the cheesecake was pretty flat and liquid by the end of it. I still managed to pull it off 🙂 it just meant I had to buy more cream to actually fill the 10 glasses with cookie base.

Given this hiccup, I was not able to make a whipped cream centre for the brownie cake and was asked to make raspberry buttercream instead.

 

Anyways, the brownie cake took me the longest to make and I am so very proud of it. Being my first ruffled cake I can’t complain too much about how it turned out. Of course it will get better as I practice but I’m still chuffed at the result.

INGREDIENTS: ( I made three layers of this cake, one at the time, so just tripled the quantities)

125 gr butter x3

100gr dark chocolate x3

1 1/2 cups sugar x3

3/4 cups flour x3

3 eggs, lightly whisked x3

1 tsp baking powder x3

1/4 cups cocoa powder x3

For the frosting: (for the whole cake)

300gr butter

4-5 cups icing sugar

100gr raspberry puree

125gr strawberries, fresh

125 gr blueberries, fresh

Decorations:

1kg pink fondant

500gr white fondant

gold spray and glitter

Turn oven on 180°. Grease with butter and flour a 9″ round tin. If you have three tins you can bake them all together or do them one at the time. Melt the butter and the chocolate together either bagnomaria or in the microwave, just make sure it doesn’t burn.

Once that is ready, mix in a bowl with all the other ingredients. Pour into the tin and bake for 25-30 minutes. Let it cool completely.

Make the frosting. Beat the butter and add half of the icing sugar. Add the puree and add the rest of the icing sugar. Put in the fridge until the cake is cool. Cut the strawberries and thin slices or cubes, whatever is your preference.

Now frost the cake. Stack the three layers with buttercream and fruit in the middle then finally ice the whole cake and place in the fridge.

My pink fondant was too pink so I mixed the white and pink together to give it a softer look and touch. Roll out your fondant, big enough to cover the whole cake and cover it.

I made some fondant circles and scrunched them and folded them on the cake to resemble ruffles. Sprayed gold and glitter on the cake and voilà! The ruffles were time consuming, but totally worth it!

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I have my house warming in two weeks so I will be making something special for that also 🙂 more experimenting and cake eating!! YAY

 

Vanilla-Raspberry cream cheese frosting wedding cake

This cake has been the biggest challenge compared to all the other ones I have made so far. HOWEVER it was such a great honour to make this for my friend’s special day 🙂 I’m flattered she trusted me to make such an important and BIG cake for her wedding fully knowing I have never make a wedding cake before.

All the hard work and the sweat and tears (yes there was lots of both ahah) paid out fully and it turned out to be a delicious, beautiful cake. And the bride and groom loved it, which is the most important thing after all 🙂

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Since it was a Chinese wedding, we negotiated a couple of ideas. The biggest problem, living in Queensland, is the heat and the humidity. The fondant did crack in some points due to these factors and the flowers also gave me some issues but it all worked out.

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For the cake the original recipe was for a 8′ cake tin. I found an amazing blog where the lady managed to figure out the perfect algorithm to double or even triple recipes according to the cake tin size. So I followed that and I’m definitely going to use it again.

When I find her again, I will link her here so you can also see her blog!

INGREDIENTS: (8′ pan- 2 layers)

250 gr butter

400sugar

4 eggs

360 flour

1 tsp baking powder

240 milk

Oven on 180°. Grease two tins with butter and flour. Mix butter and sugar until combined, add one egg at the time. Add the flour and baking powder. Finally add the milk a little at the time, or it will splash everywhere. Pour in the tins and bake for 20-30 minutes. It is the fluffiest cake I’ve made so far.

For the cream cheese frosting: (always for 8′)

100 gr butter

200 gr cream cheese

1-2 cups icing sugar

1/2 cups of raspberry puree (you can add more or less of this according to taste)

Beat butter and cream cheese. Add the icing sugar and then the puree little at the time.

Let the cakes cool completely. Take one layer and place on the serving dish. Spread the frosting to cover the top and then place the second layer on top. Cover the whole cake with frosting. Place in the fridge till ready to serve.

For the wedding cake I covered it in white fondant and made cherry blossom flowers, some leaves and used white 26 wires to make branches and give the flowers a sense of movement.

Voilà!

Ciao for now xx

Orange macadamia nut quilt cake

I have been gone for so long! So many things have happened in the past couple of months it seems like a lifetime has come and gone 😀 moving into my new place, moving IN with my boyfriend (big step I know), going to Europe for the holiday (which was amazing!) and coming back to normal life and reality. That took the longest 😛

So I am back in action with new challenges: bigger cakes and bigger designs!

I was asked by Mike’s mother if I could make her her 60th birthday cake. Of course I can, easy….NOT! I had the great idea of making it look like a quilt. Since that is her main hobby, I thought it would be very fitting.

However, the quilt wouldn’t have been as hard to make if only I had planned a pattern ahead of time!! I have learned my lesson for next time: plan way ahead or have an idea of what I would want it to look like before rolling out 3 kg of fondant. Without a plan or a direction, I was lost and it took me forever to figure out something that would look good and would actually look like a quilt.

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Well there you have it. Had some minor hiccups while transporting it to Stanthorpe but it was well received and it was DELICIOUS!

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For the cake I took inspiration from Australian Macadamias site but made my own changes and variations as usual.

INGREDIENTS:

For the cake:

250g unsalted butter, softened
250g  sugar
5 large eggs
250g self-raising flour, sifted
1 teaspoon baking powder, sifted
1 large orange, zested
1/2 cup unsalted macadamias, finely chopped

For the frosting:

125g unsalted butter, softened
250g cream cheese
250g icing sugar, sifted

3 tbsp double cream
1 orange, zested
juice of one orange

1/2 cup macadamias chopped

Turn oven on 180°. Grease with butter and flour two 8′ cake tins.

Beat the butter and the sugar until combined and fluffy. Add one egg at the time and scrape down the bowl. Add the flour, baking powder. Divide the batter in two bowls. In one add the zest, in the other the macadamias.

Pour into the tins and bake for 20-30minutes. Let them cool completely.

Make the frosting. Beat the butter cream cheese and cream together until combined. Add the icing sugar and the juice. If the frosting seems too liquid, add more double cream a tbsp at the time.

Place your bottom cake on a serving plate. Frost with cream cheese. Place the second cake layer on top and cover the whole cake in frosting.

Finally you can cover it with the fondant quilt. I made other objects to make it more like a sewing space, with the pin cushion, meter and threads.

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Next coming up, is a Chinese themed wedding cake for 70 people! 😀

Ciao for now xox

Disney Cake

I’ll be honest.. I wasn’t sure I was going to pull this off! The theme choice of the cake was a bit forced on me. We were organising a double birthday party (a boy and a girl) and already had some Minnie and Mikey mouse cupcakes from a local bakery. I like keeping things consistent, so instead of changing theme and making two cakes, I made it all in one!

I hadn’t used my Jumbo Cupcake mould in over a year, so time to dust it out and make good use of it once again. The ingredients to the cake and really simple and they were a delicious combination of flavours and textures! You need time to make this as the different layers have been baked one at the time. I’ll find a more efficient way of doing this eventually! 🙂

The frosting of the cake was extremely tricky as Brisbane weather decided it is finally summer. So make sure you are close to fridge when you are making this.

INGREDIENTS:

For the cake: (makes 4 layers)

375 butter

375 gr sugar

375 gr flour

6 eggs

1 tsp baking powder

3 tbsp milk

For the base:

400 gr white chocolate buttons

For the frosting:

500 gr butter

500gr icing sugar

500 gr cream cheese

cocoa powder

maple syrup essence

red, black and pink colouring

white, black and pink fondant

Make the cake first. Turn on oven 180°. Beat the sugar and butter until combined and fluffy. Add the eggs. Scrape down the bowl and add flour, baking powder and milk. Divide the batter into two bowls. Colour one with black and the other with pink.

Grease and flour the cupcake silicone base. pour half of the pink or black batter in and put in the oven for 30-40 minutes. Cool completely.

You can start making the base. Melt the chocolate. Divide in two bowl, one you be coloured in red and the other will remain white. Make sure the cupcake silicone base is clean! You can with either colour. Pour the chocolate and make sure it only stays in half the mould. Keep the old at 45° angle and move the mould to distribute the chocolate evenly. Put in the fridge.

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Once that is set, repeat the process with the red chocolate on the other half. The coloured chocolate will be denser so you can use a spoon to spread it around. Put in the freezer.

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With a serrated knife, cut the dome top of each cake and the sides and put aside.

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Make the frosting. Beat the cream cheese and soft butter together and add a cup of sugar at the time. Add the essence. Put a 1/3 in a piping bag with no nozzle.

Start layering the cake. Take the base out of the freezer and gently peel off the silicone. It should come off very easily.

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Pipe frosting in the bottom and put a layer in the base.

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For each layer, pipe more frosting on top and place, until all layers have been used.

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Put in the freezer to set for 5-10 minutes before cutting and shaping. It will be easier.

In the mean time you can start making the ears (roll out black fondant and cut out two big circles); make some butterflies and heart with the pink fondant and set aside.

Take the cake out again. With a BIG serrated knife, shape the cake into a dome. Cover with a thin layer of frosting and place in the fridge again.

Now divide the remaining frosting in two bowls: one will remain the same, you can pour that in a piping bag with a star nozzle and put in the fridge. Add 1 tbsp of cocoa powder to the second bowl, mix and then put in nozzled piping bag, leave in the fridge.

Make the bow! I actually had two friends try to make this, I just some small adjustments 🙂

Roll out the white fondant, and cut out some circles, that will go on the bow.

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Roll out the pink fondant. Cut out a large rectangle. Fold the short ends of the rectangle as if you were making a fa. If you need you can add a drop of water to make the end stick together.

Attach the two opposite ends to each other. Again use water if needed.

Turn the bow. Fold the long sides of the rectangle downwards, towards the back, where the folds are. Roll out another small strip of pink fondant and wrap it around the center of the bow. Now you can stick the white dots on it and let it dry.

 

Frost the cake. On the red half I piped the chocolate frosting and on the white side, the white.

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I strongly suggest to put this in the fridge (or freezer, depending on how much time you’ve got) and just as you are about to serve it, add the last pieces: ears, butterflies, hears and bow.

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Just to show the size of the cake compared to normal cupcakes! And look at the layers!

It was delicious and gone within the half hour 🙂

Ciao for now! xox

 

Mandala Coconut Mini Cakes

This is my very own coconut cake recipe! I’m really proud of how it came out, as it is soft, moist and so fluffy I could die! (Despicable me reference).

The designs and the cake decoration are dedicated to one of my best friends, Holly, who loves coconut cakes and is passionate about Mandala art and designs. Shame she won’t be able to eat it!

INGREDIENTS:

For the Cake:

1 cup sugar

100gr butter

2 eggs

2 1/2 cups flour

1 1/2 cup buttermilk

2 cups desiccated coconut

1 tsp coconut essence

1 tsp baking powder

1 tsp baking soda

For the Buttercream:

200 gr butter

2-3 cups of icing sugar

1 tbsp milk

1 cup of desiccated coconut

For the Decoration:

Block of different colour fondants, I used white, dark purple and pink

Royal Icing:

2 egg whites

4-5 cups icing sugar

blue, pink, yellow, green food colours

Turn oven on 180°. Beat the butter and the sugar, then add the eggs. Scrape down the bowl and add the dry ingredients, followed by the buttermilk and coconut essence. Put in round cake tray and bake for 30-40 minutes.

Prepare the buttercream but beating all the ingredients together and set aside.

Let it cool and then, with a serrated knife cut the top dome of the cake, so to level it out.

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With a round cookie cutter or a glass or anything you have handy, cut circles out of the bottom cake. Do not throw away the leftover cake! You can make cake pops with it. That will be the next post of the week! 🙂

Take two of the round cakes. With a small knife palette spread the buttercream on the bottom half, sandwich it and then cover the whole cake with buttercream. A thin layer will be enough. It might be a bit challenging as the cake is really fluffy and crumbs will come off.

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Place in the fridge for 30 minutes.

Start making the royal icing. Beat egg whites and add the sugar a bit at the time. Divide in 4 separate bowl, colour and pour into piping bags with thin round nozzles, or cut the piping bag at the very tip to make a small hole.

Take the cakes out of the fridge, cover with another layer of buttercream. Roll out the fondant. Place the fondant sheet on the cake. Make sure there are no air bubbles trapped in the cake, by delicately pulling the fondant on the sides and flattening it on the cake.

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Cut the excess fondant with a knife or a pizza cutter.

Now the fun part starts. It was hard to actually take pictures of this part, so I apologise if it is just the finished product. I will post another article with video instructions 🙂

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Voilà! These won’t be the last ones I make 🙂

Ciao for now xox

Zebra Cakes

Another Sunday session gone well! This is the easiest decoration I’ve ever made and it took me five minutes to put together. It still look incredible and creative, but if you are figuring out a last minute dessert and want to make something different this could be the one.

INGREDIENTS:

mini cakes (3 mini cakes will make one decorated cake)

buttercream

black and white fondant

For the cake you can just make a simple vanilla cake. I used the Wilton mini cake pans to make these are they are easier to use and get the cakes out. Once they have been baked and cooled, cut the dome of the mini cakes so they are all even. These are three layer mini cakes put together.

Spread buttercream between the layers and to cover the whole cake, place in the fridge for 30 minutes. Take out and cover with another layer of buttercream. Now the fun part.

Roll out the black buttercream. Don’t make it thin but at least 1 cm thick. With a pizza cutter or normal knife, cut uneven slithers of fondant.

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Now roughly roll out the white fondant. Leave it thick and place the slithers of black on top. Carefully roll out the fondant pressing making sure the black is attached with the white and roll out completely.

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Place the fondant on the cake. Make sure there are no air bubbles by gently flattening the fondant on the cake and delicately pulling the side to make it smooth.

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And there you go! I made two white and one black to change it up. Enjoy!

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Ciao for now xox

Red Velvet and strawberry cake

After two weeks of no baking I HAD TO do something today. Thankfully there is an actual occasion I can bring the cake to, instead of me eating the whole thing by myself.

It is strawberry season and how glorious it is!!! So cheap to buy and you simply can’t stop eating them when you start. So why not use them to make a cake look pretty and eat them at the same time? 🙂 -Got the recipe from Taste.com

INGREDIENTS

For the Cake –

180gr butter

1 1/2 cups sugar

2 eggs

2 1/2 cups flour

1 cup buttermilk

1 tbsp cocoa powder

1 tbsp baking soda

1 tsp vinegar

1 tbsp red food colouring

For the Topping-

250gr cream cheese

50 gr butter

1-2 cups icing sugar

250 gr strawberries (sliced- I would only slice half in case you might not need all of them)

Turn oven on 180°. Beat the sugar and the butter until creamy. Add one egg at the time and scrape down the bowl. Alternate adding the flour and the buttermilk. Add the rest of the ingredients. Grease the pans (I used 3 6′ pans and the rest of the batter I baked in a separate tray) and bake for 20 minutes.

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While the cakes are cooling, beat the cream cheese, the butter and the sugar together.

Place the one cake on your chosen serving plate and spread a layer of cream cheese frosting. Repeat with other two layers. Cover the whole cake with a thin layer of cream and put in the fridge for 10 minutes to set.

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Take out and add a second, thicker, layer of cream. Now start placing the strawberries 🙂

I put some at the bottom and then start layering them on the top in a circle.

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Lastly, just place one big strawberry in the centre and voilà! Ready to eat!!

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Ciao for now! xox

Martian-Alien Cake

This is definitely the most futuristic, alien, outer space cake I’ve ever made or ever even thought of making 🙂

It all started from a recipe in @Taste, a magazine sold in Coles supermarkets. Amazing taste and texture: really soft, moist and pretty to look at, which for me ticks all the boxes for an incredible dessert! However the looks of it are completely different from the original… I added my touch to it 🙂

This cake was made for a double birthday celebration. I don’t have pictures with the candles but both birthday people had candles for each of their ages and had the chance to blow their own. They only had to share the cake and the birthday song 🙂

INGREDIENTS:

For the cake-

200gr white chocolate chips/buttons

200 gr butter

125ml boiling water

215gr sugar

225gr flour

1 tsp baking powder

45gr desiccated coconut

200gr pie fruit apples

200gr greek yogurt

4 eggs

1 cup of frozen raspberries

For the buttercream-

350 gr butter (room temp)

300gr icing sugar

115gr raspberry jam

2 cups frozen raspberries

For the coating-

2 egg whites (room temp)

2 cups icing sugar

green and blue food colour

For the Rock Candy/meteorites-

1 cup of glucose syrup

3 1/2 cups of sugar

1 cup water

blue food colour

I started with the rock candy as it takes the most time! Put all the ingredients in a saucepan and let boil until it reaches 300°F, can take 20-30 mins. Be VERY CAREFUL! Hot sugar doesn’t agree with bare skin.

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Once it has reached the temp. take off the heat until it stops bubbling. It should look like lava 🙂 Line a tray and pour the sugar into it solidifies. I left it overnight and then broke it with a meat tenderiser.

IMG_3053 IMG_3058 IMG_3055It’s pretty cool as it looks very much like glass.

Now start making the cake. Turn oven on 170°. In a microwave proof bowl put in the butter, chocolate and water until melted. In a separate mixing bowl, combine all the dry ingredients. Make a well in the middle and pour the white chocolate mix. Add the rest of the ingredients while beating the batter.

Now, grease and flour two 20cm round pans, pour the batter and bake for 50 minutes. Let cool completely.

While waiting for the cake, start making the buttercream. Take out the frozen raspberries so to defrost before adding them to the cake. Beat the butter, add the sugar and the jam until smooth. Put aside.

Now that the cake has cooled down, place one layer on a service plate and spread buttercream on it. Distribute the raspberries on top and cover with the second cake layer. Cover the whole cake with buttercream. A thin layer is enough. Place in the fridge to set for 10mins. Spread another layer of buttercream and let it set again in the fridge.

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Make the royal icing coating. Beat the egg whites. As they start foaming, add sugar little at the time to incorporate it evenly. Once it has reached a marshmallow-y consistency and look, put one drop of green and a drop of blue, swirl with a toothpick and pour on top of the cake.

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To have that really cool marble effect, DO NOT spread the icing. Slightly tip the cake from one side to the other, moving the plate so that the icing will naturally fall over the edges. The drop effect was also really nice, making it uneven.

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Now have fun with the rocks you made before. Place shards in the middle. We sprinkled the smaller pieces around the cake also.

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How yummy does that look????? A friend of mine at the party confessed he hates cakes with fruit inside…. he ate 5 slices! 😉

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Ciao for now! xox

 

Lemon Poppyseed Cake with Blueberry Buttercream

SO It was my BIRTHDAY 🙂 26th yes! As I always want to make things bigger and better thought I would step it up. Had a masquerade party and wanted to stick the theme with the cake as well 🙂

This recipe is one of my mom’s cakes, again I put a slight on it, but hers still remains the best one! ❤

For this cake, however I just doubled the doses as it was meant to be three small 6′ layers, stacked on top of a standard two layer 10′. So here it goes.

INGREDIENTS:

For the Cake

250gr plain yogurt

8 eggs

5 cups of flour

3 cups of sugar

2 1/3 cups veg oil

1/2 cups poppy seeds

2 full tsp baking powder

zest of 4 lemons+ juice of one

For the Buttercream 

500gr butter

5 cups icing sugar

400gr frozen blueberries

For the Decorations 

1kg of white fondant

blue food colouring

blue royal icing (2egg whites+3 cups of icing sugar+blue)

home made edible glitter (coloured sugar*)

silver food colour

I started with the buttercream. Just easier to make so that when the cake is cooled down you can start stacking it. Put the blueberries in saucepan and pour enough water to cover them. Heat at medium temperature. Stir occasionally. When it starts looking like jam, then take of the heat. Might take 30 mins. I put all the content in a food processor and blitzed it and let cool completely.

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Now you can start with the cake. This cake goes into a cold oven. Start by mixing oil, eggs and sugar. Add all the other ingredients. Mix until combined. Now divide the batter in the different trays you want to use. In my case two 10′ and three 6′. Turn oven on 170°, leave in the oven for 30-40 minutes.

When completely cooled down, then you can start cutting the edges and the top of the layers to even them out. Before you cover them in frosting make sure they look good and neat when layered.

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Now for the buttercream. Beat the butter until soft and then add the sugar. Add the blueberries a little at the time and taste as you go. I used the whole batch but it depends on tastes.

Now you can start putting it together. Put frosting on the first bottom layer, spread evenly and then stack the second layer and proceed to cover entirely. Since there two different levels need to be covered in fondant I left them separate for the time being. I advise to put the bottom bigger part of the cake on the serving plate from the start, as it might be very hard to move once it has set. The smaller one is easier to handle.

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Roll out the fondant and cover the cakes, making sure you don’t leave any creases.

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Cut the extra and seal at the bottom with your hands.

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Leave to dry overnight or for a couple of hours. To dry fondant quickly point a cold fan to it for a couple of hours. That should do that trick.

With a lightly damp sponge and silver colour, paint the cake silver. You will have to do this twice and let dry each time.

Start with the fun and most stressful part now: the masks!! I made the edible glitter by putting X amount of sugar in a container, pouring 3 drops of colouring and then shake it. Place it in a baking tray and put it in the oven at 180° for 5 minutes. It turns out great.

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I made three masks: the smaller two are simply cut out of fondant and let to dry on al foil in front a fan. I just wet them slightly with a brush and made may own patterns of glitter (coloured sugar). For the third and main one, I still have to figure out how to make it stand on its own. I used a real plastic mask as a stencil but had to leave it on as the first three attempts cracked.

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Now get the cakes and stack them. Put some buttercream or royal icing on top of the bottom part as glue for the top. With the royal icing make some squiggles and lines around the cake.

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Put it all together. Place the masks on top of the cake, two on the bottom and one on top. I used toothpicks to help me keep them up and attached to the cake. To cover them I made some small roses to place on the bottom masks. Also at the bottom of the cakes I attached blue diamond liners, which makes it look neater. But you can use ribbon also.

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And voilà. It very yummy and everyone was impressed, including myself! 🙂

Enojy, Ciao for now xox

 

 

Tiramisù

It was International Food night in the office this past Monday. I honestly had forgotten all about it, I hate to admit. I had literally just got back from a food shop when my team leader asks what I was gonna make for the dinner. PANIC! Well… I had all the components to make the quickest and yummy tiramisù, except for the mascarpone which Mike had to go pick up 😛 such a good boyfriend!

This is probably the simplest dessert ever! There is no baking time or any real skill to it. I used a pyrex (30×15 approx) so you could see the layers 🙂

INGREDIENTS:

500gr pack of Savoiardi- Sponge fingers

3 tbsp of instant coffee

500ml hot water  (if you need more make more)

3 eggs- separate yolk and whites

100gr sugar

250gr mascarpone

250gr pack of chocolate buttons

1/2 cup cocoa powder

Start making the coffee. Mix the boiling water and the instant coffee together and put aside to let it cool completely. Blitz the chocolate buttons into small pieces, close to crumbs.

Beat the egg yolks, the sugar and the mascarpone together until pale and fluffy. Set aside.

 

Whisk the egg whites reaching hard peaks. Fold with a spatula in the mascarpone mix.

 

Now the fun part starts. Smear a small amount of cream in the bottom of your serving tray. Dip a sponge finger in the coffee. Do one at the time and make sure you soak them for ONE SECOND! This is important. These cookies soak up liquid like sponges (hence the name I guess) and really quickly. You want to avoid having a soggy tiramisù!!  Place them in the tray as you wish, one next to the other to cover the surface.

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Now cover with a layer of mascarpone cream. Top that with the blitzed chocolate.

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Repeat the process with the second layer and finally finish with a layer of cocoa powder. I poured the cocoa powder in a sieve to sprinkle it on top. At least it evens it out and its neater. Cover and place in the fridge for at least 2 hours. Needless to say it was yummmmmmmmm

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Ciao for now xox