Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Shoe Cake Toppers - Happy 30th Birthday Chhay!

Like the majority of females, my sister-in-law is obsessed with shoes. But she is the only one I know who owns around 50 pairs (that was around 3 years ago so it's significantly more by now I'd say. I think she's stopped counting at this stage). So it was only fitting that I make a cake decorated with shoes for her 30th birthday.

This is no doubt one of the trickiest cakes I've put together (compared to the steak cake and the butt cake). And making it harder was the fact we were having the party at the park which meant transporting the iced cake to the venue and then putting the shoes on after we arrived. Unfortunately the shoe on the right didn't make the full journey : ( No matter, the cake tasted fantastic. I was very impressed with how it turned out. Thank you to my wonderful friend Tina who sent me her reliable chocolate cake recipe. She's my go-to-cake-advice-buddy. You rock!

The cake itself wasn't hard to make it was just the shoes that were a nightmare. You know how fondant can be on a warmish day. And especially when you make your own fondant, it's not as good as the real stuff, but again I like to punish myself don't I?

So how to make the shoe topper? From this excellent website. Oh Nati you are amazing! She also provides a template for you to print out. Awesome!

On to how I made the shoes.....

My first attempt
The Sole...

The sole with heel

Another view
The lining. Upside down sorry
Lining on the sole

Using scrunched up cling film at the front to hold up the top of the shoe and stop it from collapsing

I stuck on cachous which ended up giving it that studded look
Second attempt

This heel was a disaster as you will see in the following photos

I gave the lining some stitching marks this time
The heel is collapsing!!!

Third and final attempt as I was well and truly over making shoes by now haha!
Starting to make the bow

Now for the cake itself. A simple cake which surprisingly didn't have any milk. Turned out to be really lovely and moist.

2 cups sugar
2 eggs
2/3 cup canola oil
1 teaspoon vanilla essence (I used vanilla paste)
2 2/3 cups plain flour
2/3 cups baking cocoa
2 teaspoons baking powder
2 teasponos bicarb soda
1 teaspoon salt
2 cups boiling water
1. Boil the kettle while you prepare everything
2. Mix oil, sugar, eggs and vanilla
3. Sift dry ingredients together and fold into wet mixture with the 2 cups of boiling water
4. Mix until smooth, pour into greased tin
5. Bake at 180 degress for around 45mins

Dry ingredients

Wet ingredients

Mixing the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients

All mixed and ready for the oven
I forgot to take a photo after I baked the cake. Here it's all baked and trimed and iced with chocolate gananche.

Chocolate Gananche
200g dark chocolate
200ml thickened cream
1. Using the double boiler method, melt chocolate (filing water in saucepan and bring to boiling point. Place chocolate in bowl and put it on top of the boiling saucepan making sure the bowl does not touch the water. Stir the chocolate until fully melted)
2. Pour the cream into the melted chocolate and mix
3. Take it off the heat and allow to cool for 15mins
4. Whip it up so it's light and somewhat fluffy and holds it's shape.
5. Smother the cake with it

My handwriting is terrible so I didn't want to attempt icing the message on, instead I went with fondant and little letter shaped cookie cutters. Much safer option.
Carted the cake to the park in my handy Wilton cake carrier and finished it off there.


Oh so moist!

Happy 30th birthday, Chhay! Hope you had a lovely day and of course many many many more. Try to curb your shoe addiction too : )
Lots of love from all of us

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Banana Bread

I've made banana cake before but this was my first time making banana bread. It's a good recipe and the bread turned out better than I expected. To really enjoy it, I needed to spread a fair amount of butter (ok a lot of butter) but that's just me. I looooove butter.

Recipe can be found here.
2 mashed bananas
256g self rasing flour
40g plain flour
1 teaspoon cinnamon

140g brown sugar

50g melted butter (cooled)

125ml skim milk (although I used full cream because I don't buy skim)
2 eggs
Add the cooled melted butter and mix

Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and mix

Pour batter into a loaf tin and bake for 180 degrees for 45mins

Fresh out of the oven

Sliced up

The townhouse smelt so wonderful! Banana and cinnamon wafting out to the neighbours. Bet I made them jealous hehehe!

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Potato Bake

Another tried and tested recipe I always go back to time and time again. Potato and sour cream - enough said. The other bits are just little extras ; )

1kg potato
1 large onion
4-6 rashers of bacon (diced)
300ml sour cream
salt & pepper
1 cup grated tasty cheese
(the cup of cheese will depend on how wide your dish is. I used a big roasting pan so ended up needing 2 cups of cheese to cover it all but if you use a smaller dish, but deeper, you should get away with a lot less cheese)
Cook and drain spuds
Cook the bacon and onion in a frying pan with a dash of oil

Pour the spuds, bacon and onion in the roasting pan/dish.
Add the sour cream, salt & pepper and mix it all really well
Spread the cheese over the top evenly

Bake for about 20mins at 180 degrees.
Or if you are in a rush, just grill it till the cheese is melted and golden brown
And what did we have the potato bake with this time?
Dad's roast chicken

And the rear view
AND pork ribs too!