Sunday, 3 November 2013

BooKoo revived.

So I have had an awful lot going on lately which has meant I have been compleIy neglectful. I have decided it is high time for me to get my creative hat on and restart the blog. 
I have been continually baking in the time I have been away and can't wait to share some of my new skills, recipes and creations! 

I was placed in the top ten in a magazine competition with a garden themed cake made for my step dad in July, and although I don't bake for Shorely Scrumptious anymore I am getting a couple of orders here and there!

 I also held my first stall sale, although i just about made my costs, it was good fun. 

So stay tuned and in the next couple of days I will post the recipe for my cinnamon roll scones, which proved very popular! I will also post the recipe for a scrummy spice cake with cream cheese frosting and an autumnal design!


Thursday, 4 April 2013

Making gum paste

So today for the first time I made Tylose gum paste following Nicholas Lodges recipe which you can find here:

It is amazing and made me extremely happy. I had never thought to make my own and compared with to the price of the pre-made stuff its so cheap! I currently have it settling in the fridge and it is exciting to think that it is just there waiting for me to play with tomorrow! 
I also bought some cake dummies of late in order to perfect my 'from design to cake' process.
There aren't many opportunities for me to bake heaps of cakes just to play around with, not just because of the costs of making cakes, but mainly for the fact they would have to be eaten afterwards. I value my family and enjoy them having low cholesterol too much to put them through this.

In other news BooKoo bakes got their first 'official' order over easter, and two at that! Two easter cakes and 8 cuppies for the birth of a baby boy! 
I pretty much had free reign so make a teeny tiny nest from rolled fondant, some gum paste daffodils (which drove me mad as I only had a rose cutter with me so had to cut the petals etc) and some mini easter eggs and a bunny 'appliqué' design on the fronts.

For the cuppies I covered in blue and white butter cream, made mini 'it's a boy' flags, some ribbon roses and fondant teddy bears!

All were fondly received and I am excited for any more orders that come my way! Of course I still have the cafe and have been experimenting with new flavours! 

Tuesday, 12 March 2013

Sea side dreams

I could never imagine moving anywhere away from the coast anymore. I moved away for a while whilst I was at university and I remember getting the train home and enjoying the increasing smell of seaweed and the horrible 'cacaws' of sea gulls as each station stop got closer to home!
Im not in denial of the faults of my home town, quite frankly most of it is a dive. As airy fairy as it sounds, its the freshness of the sea breeze that runs through it and the sense of freedom you get when you look out to sea that draws me in every time. Never ending blue (ahem- grey, green and smelly) is calming. And don't even get me started on the continual heart beat of waves.

If I could live in a beach hut I would.

I also find the usual sea side town tack that can be found in such towns completely endearing. Souvenir shops, arcades and sign posts describing how the promenade was used in the Victorian times.
This is why I am glad that my cakes are being sold in a shop called Shorely Scrumptious 
(that and the fact they were the only ones who would take them!)
So to celebrate the fact that it was my first cake and inspired by my love for the sea I based my cake on the seaside!

My usual sponge, jam and buttercream collaboration with fondant icing. I created the vertical pleats by cutting stripes of alternating coloured fondant and thin-ing out one side length of it using a ball tool. 
I then piped using an open star nozzle and a light turquoise butter cream around the edge in an up down motion to create a wave. The nozzle I used worked really well and was from a kitchen craft set of 24 I got. 

My seagulls were made using a dove fondant cutter in white fondant. I added a bit of orange for a beak. glueing it on with some water. And then using an edible paint I made from food gel and a little bit of vanilla essence I painted on grey colouring at the base of the wings and on the tail.
For Octavia the octopus I got a ball of pink icing, and rolled it into an oval. I cut one end into 8 legs and spread them out (oo-er). I drew on eyes and a mouth and using a cocktail stick I poked holes at the bottom of each leg to create suckers. The bow I used a piece of blue fondant divided into two and rolled into a sausage. I flattened the sausages and looped them both over and pinched. I then lay the two pinched sides together and wrapped a last thinner piece of the fondant around to create the knot. 
And finally Mr fish was made using an oval of blue fondant, and two small triangular-ish shapes with thinned out edges for the fins. I also used the circular side of a piping nozzle to give it a scaley look.
I covered the two sea creatures in edible glitter to make them look wet and piped more 'waves' around their bottoms! 

On the first day I sold 4 slices! (normally cakes there have to be frozen due to lack of sales) This made me very happy and £4.80 better off! 

Friday, 8 March 2013

Ombre rosette buttercream cake

So great news! My partners parents own a cafe in the town where i live and have said i can sell a few cakes in there! Yippee!

To celebrate i decided i would use up my entire store of regular buttercream in one hit! Sensible? No. Yummy? Yes.

You will need:
A cake. Any cake.
A heap of butter cream
gel paste food colours

I added pink and peach to three bags of icing in varying shades from dark to light. I rough coated a cake and using a closed star nozzle i began at the base with the darkest icing and piped small rosettes.

Any gaps i filled with icing in a sweeping fashion to carry on the rosette effect. A third of the way up change your icing colour to a slightly lighter shade, and cotinue. Once two thirds are covered change to your lightest bag and continue to cover the entire cake.

Sprinkle with additional icing sugar or glitter and serve.

This method is wonderfully easy. It takes a lot of buttercream but is versatile. You can add shades, go from light to dark, change the size of your cake. Its fab!

Mr Kipling can eat my battenburg...

So I made some batten-burg cakes for the first time EVER. It was fun, and I love almonds so it smelt delicious! 
I don't however like marzipan so I just pealed it off and ate mini almond squares.

To make the sponges you will need

125g of butter/ margarine
125g of caster sugar
140g of self raising flour
50g of ground almonds
3 eggs
1/2 tsp of vanilla essence
1/2 tsp of almond essence

additional things you will need:
red or pink food gel.
apricot jam
golden marzipan

20cm x 10cm loaf tin

mix all the ingredients together until it forms an airy batter. Divide into two and colour one half pink! Grease and line two loaf tins and fill one plain and one pink.
bake at gas mark 4 for 25 minutes until risen. 

 To check cooked pierce with a skewer or cocktail stick or a fork. If it comes out clean its cooked.

Cool each cake in the tin for 5 minutes then remove, put on a cooling rack and leave until FULLY cooled. Using a sharp knife divide each cake into four length ways.

Boil the apricot jam and sieve through to remove lumps and allow to cool. Coat each cake piece in apricot jam. Using it as a glue we then assemble two pink lengths and two plain lengths together in the traditional batten-burg styleeeee (in a chessboard way). With this recipe you will make two cakes.

Roll out the marzipan using icing sugar to prevent it sticking. Cover each outside edge of the two assembled cakes in the last of the apricot jam and roll the marzipan around the edge ensuring some of the marzipan overlaps on the bottom side of your batten-burg. trim your ends and score the top in a checkered fashion and serve.

If you like marzipan that is...

Monday, 25 February 2013

A cake called Penelope

So my boyfriend bought me the mat from Sweet wise. It was a complete suprise and I was so excited as it meant powder free fondant rolling... let me hear you say alleluia! 
Now as sad as that sounds I am a bit of a nomad and use a number of peoples kitchens to bake my cakes, also being of a clumsy nature I end up covering everything in icing sugar. 
This can put a strain on relationships.

So I seasoned it as advised by sweet wise, and used a ready made fondant as some of the reviews I had read suggested that the Mat needed breaking in a bit with ready made before using homemade and yeah, it saved me time!
Here is the link to sweet wise the Mat. IT WILL CHANGE YOUR LIFE!
If you cant be bothered to click on the linky link then I will give a brief guide It is two sheets of completely foodsafe acetate.  Put your fondant in the middle of the two sheets and roll. As easy as that! It means no awkward rolling pin lifting manoeuvre, no arm washing AND the fondant stays sufficiently stuck to one side of the acetate that you can hover over your cake or pick it up if you misplace the centre.

I was worried as I had read mixed reviews about fondant sticking etc, but aside from my getting used to using it and a few beginner errors it has made me so happy.

Anyway, allow me to introduce Penelope.

(This was supposed to only be a step-by-step on piping hydrangeas but I got distracted by my new toy!)

So I made a small cake, sliced to size and sandwiched with buttercream and heaps of jam and rough coated the outside with more buttercream.
I then used my mat to roll out a light pink fondant and popped that on top. Using some Swiss buttercream that I made in bulk and froze last week I began piping a few petals in a deep mauvy purple colour.

Once I had piped some petals on some greeseproof paper I moved onto small four petal flowers with a yellow blob in the centre.
Petals are piped in and arch motion with the thinner end of the petal tip nozzle used as a pivot. Well thats how I do them anyhow!

Once four petals are piped add a yellow dot to the centre. After I had made a few flowers I then used a  separate piece of greaseproof paper and began layering flowers. The first layer I lay the flowers in a circle then built up the centre placing flowers on flowers until it looked like a hydrangea!

Once these had chilled in the fridge for a spell I popped them on the top of the cake, along with a few 'we just fell from the flower in a gust of wind' petals. And around the side of the cake I popped five evenly spaced flowers.

Penelope breathed her first breath of life. 

Having a genetic need to give inanimate objects a name can be a chore and disappointing. Especially when you are reminded of a bad name choice everyday such as Vincent my mobile.However in this case the name totally fit. 

And after all, Penelope won't last long enough for any 'bad name choice' regret.

Thursday, 21 February 2013

February summer picnic

So I hadn't seen my friend in a while and I finally got around to seeing her and I had a delightful time. It was a sunny but cold day and I trekked over to her house armed with scones and specially made fondant iced cupcakes decorated with buttercream roses and homemade cupcake cases.

We had agreed that we both needed a bit of summer in our lives, and being firm fanatics of the traditional picnic we decided we would adapt this summer past time to suit February! Initially we tried the green house but although it was warm in there there were a number of cobwebs. I am fine with spiders unless they land on my head. Then I do not like them!

So we picked up a yellow lampshade my friend had recently painted, a couple of pairs of sunnies, the picnic basket full of goodies, champagne flutes and a blanket set it up on her bed and got ready to chow down.

She had supplied kettle crisps, chorizo and dips along with vegetable sticks and it was HEAVEN. We ate until we were fat then lazed about listening to an acoustic playlist.

Sometimes I struggle to get myself out to see friends and this day reminded me that it is important to make time to relax in different ways with different people. And a painted yellow lampshade, champagne flute of fizzy water and ben howards dulcet tones will definitely go some to help!