Monday, October 7, 2013

Prize-winning cake

We had a local event called the Best of Bedminster here. It's a local event that showcases local produce, jams, kids fun, etc. Once I saw a cake competition was being held, of course I had to enter. And no half-hearted effort, I wanted needed to wow. After much discussion with the husband, I decided to make the Tobacco Factory (a mixed use cafe/bar/event/theatre space) that is well known in South Bristol.

I decided to go further into local love and use Bristol beer from the Bristol Beer Factory. I made a chocolate stout cake with the Ultimate Stout and a vanilla cake using their Independence Ale (American pale ale). Chocolate stout cake is delicious and I don't even like beer. It's so rich and has a real depth to it. I've made it I think 4 or 5 times now. Vanilla beer cake is kind of boring though.

I counted the exact number of windows (a lot) on both sides and decided to make them out of wafer cookies. This involved cutting said cookies in half lengthwise and using a sharp knife to cut them out. Then I piped Wilton candy melts to make the windows. I actually wound up cautting all of them smaller since apparently 4 layers of cake is still not high enough. And I'm annoyed because there are actually tiny windows on top, but i didn't have enough room. I had to have this in the show by 1PM, we literally left the house at 12:40PM. So the detail was not as good as I would've liked.

It was a big hit & everyone loved it. Afterwards they kept some of it there for people to taste. Then I took the rest to the actual Tobacco Factory for people to eat. Lots of people ate it & liked it (some came up to me & said so). But sadly I didn't have any business cards so it was a real missed opportunity there.

The mayor (George Ferguson) actually lives on the top floor here and he walked in to the cafe. I was sitting with my sister-in-law & she said go up to him. So I did and showed him my cake. He ate some & said he liked it & asked about the show (he had a previous engagement or would have come). So it's mayor approved! Sadly, I didn't think to take a pic of him eating it...

My first English prize for my baking. I once won 'best cake' back when I worked at MySpace in LA. I also think it's strange that first place is red here, and not blue. Their second place was blue. Maybe it's an English thing?

Look at my happy face!

Posing in front of the actual Tobacco Factory.

Sunday, October 6, 2013

treasure chest cake

My neighbor(u)r wanted me to do a cake for her her 5 year old Lois. Lois requested a pirate cake and not too girly so I made a treasure chest. We did it during a Playing Out session - which is when they close the street for 3 hours so kids can play, it's a fab idea. Her Mom wanted cupcakes as well since our street has so many kids.

I googled and Pinterested treasure chests and here's my final product. The only thing I really took away from my googling was the Curly Wurly as a metal type brace. Genius idea I think, and I sprayed it with gold food coloring spray.

I think I spent more time googling graphics for the cupcake picks and then fixing them in Photoshop so I could print them out.

I knew about this one a month out so I had time to search for stuff. At the .99 store I got candy necklaces, skull lollipops & the pirate candles. I got the pirate cupcake wrappers at Asda & the gold coins at Sainsbury's. The coins are white chocolate buttons sprayed with my gold spray (also from the .99 store, I love that place, it's £2.97 elsewhere).

I used (soft) gold dragees (also on offer for .99 at Aldi) for the studs on the chest and some weird blackjack aniseed taffy thing for the lock & hasp, which I sprayed gold. It faded which added to the effect.

Happy birthday girl & happy kids!