Mad about a 1st Birthday Cake

April 2nd, 2015

              Rachel's 1st Birthday Cake

The story of my life these days seems to be finally getting around to doing things that I should have done many months ago. This post is no different; it has been 10 months since Rachel turned 1. She’s almost 22 months old and much more mischievous than her elder sister is precocious, which is why I haven’t had much time to bake, let alone tend to my much neglected blog. Ok, fine, I confess, I’m just a huge procrastinator!

              Rachel's 1st Birthday Cake

I’ll be blogging about Ashley’s 5th birthday cake shortly, so here are a bunch of photos of Rachel’s cake for now. The design for the bottom tier and the “One” topper came from this fabulous photostream I found on Flickr: Люба Златкова. Her cakes and cookies are amazing! She has 4 boys and her youngest is just a couple of weeks younger than Rachel. I don’t know how she finds the time to bake all those beautiful cakes and cookie. To top it off, she’s so slim and looks completely gorgeous, even after 4 kids!

Bottom Tier

I loved this particular facing of the bottom tier, but decided to go with the simpler looking facing for the front.

              Inside the cake

Inside: Chocolate cake with salted caramel italian meringue buttercream.

Mad about a 4th Birthday Cake

March 31st, 2014

              Cake details

As Ashley’s 4th birthday approached and I ran various cake ideas through my mind, I recalled reading on WL’s FB page about how K, her goddaughter, had asked for a princess themed birthday party at age 4.

Even though Ashley had been going through the same inevitable “I want to be a princess (despite my best efforts explaining to her that a princess isn’t a real profession) and I want everything in pink” phase, I tried to steer her towards something other than a pink princess themed cake.

              Ashley's 4th birthday cake

My hopes were raised when she first said, “I want a horse cake.” Then came, “I want the horse to be pink.” And I thought, well, at least there hadn’t been any mention of the other “p” word.

Then 3 days later, while we were in the car, she said, out of nowhere, “Mummy, I want a princess cake for my birthday and I want it to be pink.” I expressed my dismay to WL, who laughed and then told me, why not indulge her?

              Ashley's 4th birthday cakeJ

So rather than fight it, I went all out. In keeping with the pink theme, I decided on a ombre (pink, of course) raspberry butter cake with raspberry italian meringue buttercream. For the exterior, I very briefly toyed with the idea of some sort of castle, but decided against it in the end.

              Ashley's 4th birthday cake

I think the final design is probably more suited for an older child, what with the very frilly ruffles (I hadn’t planned on the ruffles looking that frilly) and gilded buttons on a pillowy tier, except for the cartoony fondant princess figurine. I think if I were ever to make another fondant figurine, I’d go with a simple round nose, smaller eyes and less scary eye lashes. But A seemed perfectly happy with her cake and didn’t have any complaints.

              Slice

And neither did I, as I enjoyed my slice of cake in peace and quiet, the day after the party.

Mad about Cakes and Baby

February 20th, 2014

              Rachel @ 7 months old

I’ve always marvelled, with great envy, at how other mothers manage to find time just after having a baby to cook/bake and update their blogs with beautifully taken photographs. Clearly, I am not one of them super mothers, as I find myself dusting the virtual dust off my blog and asking H to delete the 280,000 odd unmoderated comments that have accumulated since my last blog entry 8 months ago (I had gone into labour the night of my last post). There was no way I could have gone through all those comments to sieve out the spam from the genuine ones without pulling my hair out in the process. If you had left a comment or enquired about macarons or classes and I’d deleted it, I am truly truly sorry!

              Petal Cake

It’s not that I haven’t been baking between the diapering and night feeds, just not very much and there’s been nothing fun or interesting to write about until now.

The petal cake is something that I had come across previously while looking up rainbow cakes last year for A’s birthday. It looked like a design that would be cool to try out, so when I had leftover layers of devil’s food cake from making H’s birthday cake this year, I did.

              Inside Petal Cake

There weren’t quite enough cake layers left over to make a tall enough cake, so I decided on a blackforest cake filling to make up the remaining height I needed. The recipes for the whipped chocolate cream filling and soaking syrup for the pitted cherries came from PH’s Chocolate Desserts book.

              Rainbow Layers

The rainbow cake pictured here was requested by my sister’s friend, B, for his friend’s birthday. I haven’t taken any cake orders in a long time (read tired and sleep deprived mother) but B was such a nice and considerate guy that I didn’t have the heart to say no. I didn’t have much time for an elaborate cake, so I sent him 2 suggestions. I was glad he picked the rainbow cake; I couldn’t help feeling all happy and cheery just looking at the bright colours.

              Birthday Cake

The 1st batch of whipped chocolate ganache curdled because I was too impatient and didn’t let it thaw long enough. The 2nd batch was better, but was much more difficult to spread and pipe than usual. I think it had to do with my having substituted the corn syrup with honey. :( The end result was a less than smooth finish on the cake and piped shells with jagged instead of sharp edges. Still, I am glad I managed to make the cake for B’s friend and I hope he had a great birthday!