Archive for September, 2007

Mad about Ladyfinger Sponges

Monday, September 24th, 2007

              Miniature Tiramisu

Ladyfinger sponges, also known as Savoiardi, are a staple in my pantry. I love having these light and sweet sponges on hand, so I can whip up a tiramisu on short notice. But more importantly, I love how gorgeous they look on the side of a cake, large or small. Add on a satin ribbon and the cake takes on a regal look!

              Strawberry Cake

This birthday cake (made for a client’s friend) looks like a Charlotte Russe on the outside, but it’s really 3 layers of sponge cake, sandwiched with 2 layers of homemade strawberry compote and cream.

Strawberry Cake

I wasn’t sure how to completely cover the top with strawberries as requested. Initially, I’d thought of placing whole strawberries with their bottoms up, but changed my mind when I realised that it would look terrible because the berries were of vastly different sizes.

I’m really glad I went with the sliced version on this cake. I’ll definitely be using this layout again. I only hope WL and her dinner guests were as pleased with the cake as I was!

Mad about Sugar Paste Roses

Saturday, September 8th, 2007

              Miniature Rose Cakes

I really wasn’t going to make more sugar paste cakes so soon, but the beautiful photos of sugar paste roses in Peggy Porschen’s Romantic Cakes were so inspiring that I couldn’t help myself.

Sugar Paste Roses

Sadly, no matter how hard I tried I couldn’t tease the rose petals to take on the life-like frilly edges (no amount of rolling or pressing with the bone tool produced the desired result) and I finally settled for smaller blooms.

Miniature Rose Cakes

While the roses here are a far cry from the gorgeous ones in the book, I was so delighted with how the cakes turned out that I might just attempt a small 2-tiered cake next.

Mad about Miniature Sugar Paste Cakes

Sunday, September 2nd, 2007

Miniature Sugar Paste Cakes

When I took a break from macarons last month, the plan was to use the spare time to experiment with the inspiring royal icing and sugar paste decorating ideas from Peggy Porschen’s beautiful book, Romantic Cakes. But procrastination got the upperhand and the month went by without any form of sugar crafting. It was only early this week that I finally went to the store and bought some sugar crafting supplies.

              Miniature Sugar Paste Cakes

These miniature cakes are 3″ across and 2″ tall, made up of Victoria sponge sandwiched with raspberry jam and vanilla buttercream, covered with a thin layer of marzipan and another thin layer of white sugar paste.

The royal icing butterflies and sugar paste flowers were attached to the cakes with royal icing and the tiny royal icing green leaves piped on last.

Miniature Sugar Paste Cake

The butterflies were made 4 days ahead of time and the roses 2 days in advance since these had to dry before they could be used.

The wet and humid weather we’ve been having here this week did not help the drying process at all. I’ve found that sugar paste dries fine with air-conditioning, but once it’s brought back to a non air-conditioned environment, the paste starts to absorb moisture and turn slightly soft again. I’m beginning to think that the humid climate here is not suitable for sugar crafting unless one works and keeps the end product in an air-conditioned space. (Update: The sugar paste has finally dried after 3 days.)

Butterfly Closeup

While the cake, buttercream and marzipan tasted really good, I don’t think I’ll be making sugar paste cakes on a regular basis. It seems such an awful waste to chuck away all the pretty decorations, which had been so painstakingly made, just to get to the cake beneath.