Cute VW Kombi Cake Tutorial

 

Cute Kombi
Cute Kombi

This cute Kombi is just 6.5″ long by 3.5″ wide and is a smaller and cuter version of my usual VW Kombi. It is made from dark chocolate mud cake filled and covered with dark chocolate ganache with a layer of sugar-paste on top. This little cake will serve 16 dessert portions.

VW Kombi Van Cake
Full size VW Kombi Van Cake

Materials

9″ round cake board

thin card with a glossy side

white sugar-paste

blue sugar-paste

black sugar-paste

Set up Board
Set up Board

Cut out your set up board from a sheet of thin card with a glossy side. Shape it into a van shape approx. 6″ x 3″. Your board should be a little larger than your cake so that you fill the gap with ganache and use the edge of your set up board to guide your scrapper giving you a smooth finish. Use a non slip mat under your set up board.

 

Bake a 6″ square Dark Chocolate Mud cake

Ingredients:

220g unsalted butter

180g dark chocolate

4.5g instant coffee

1 cup warm water

170g caster sugar

230g self raising flour

25g cocoa

2 small eggs

1 teaspoon vanilla

 

Instructions:

  1. Grease and line base and sides of cake pan with one thickness of baking paper, bringing paper 5cm above side of pan.
  2. Combine chopped butter, chopped chocolate, coffee, and water in a saucepan.
  3. Stir over low heat until chocolate is melted. Cool 15 minutes. Transfer mixture to bowl of mixer.
  4. Add caster sugar to mixture and beat well until dissolved. Add sifted flour and cocoa, lightly beaten eggs and vanilla and mix till combined.
  5. Pour mixture into prepared pan.
  6. Bake at 150C for 1-1 hour 15 mins. Test with skewer. Cool cake in pan.

 

Make Ganache

For detailed instructions on making and using ganache click here

1 kg dark chocolate
400ml pure cream

Heat the cream until it just starts to bubble, pour over chocolate (which you have blitzed in the food processor to coffee granules size) and let it sit for about a minute to melt. Use a hand whisk to blend it all together then set aside to cool.
Your ganache at this point will be thin and you will have to let it set overnight until it thickens to a slightly thicker peanut butter consistency. Since I don’t have the patience to wait, I just let it cool to room temperature and then pop it in the fridge (don’t cover because you might get condensation). It would usually set in the fridge in under an hour. If it sets too hard, just microwave it in 10 second intervals (keep mixing it whenever you take it out).

 

Cut your cake in half and stick one half to your set up board with some ganache. Level the top.

Bottom of cake

 

Spread with a layer of ganache.

Ganache middle

 

Add the remaining piece of cake on top and shape the roof. Use some of the cut offs to fill in the rounded front of the van and use a sharp knife to create a believable van shape then cover with a thin coat of ganache (crumb coat).

Ready for Ganache

 

Put the cake in the fridge for around 30 mins to firm up then add more ganache and create the final smooth shape.

Crumb coat

 

Pop the cake back in the fridge or leave overnight on the bench to harden. Cover with white sugar-paste.

Sugar-paste

 

Cut out a surf board template and use it to cut out a white sugar-paste surf board.

Surf board

 

Cover the cake board with black sugar-paste.

Cake board covered with black sugar-paste

 

Cut out a template for the blue lower section. I cut out each side separately and then joined them neatly at the back. Cut out the wheel arches using a cutter then use the same cutter to cut out the wheels.

Wheel arches

 

Use black sugar-paste for the windows and white for the roof rack.

Windows

 

To make the VW badge cut out a large circle of blue sugar-paste then cut out the middle and replace with a white sugar=paste circle of the same size. Use a scalpel to cut out the VW detail freehand from  a thin piece of blue sugar-paste. Decorate the suf board with cut outs or paint on a design.

Cute Kombi Top

 

Add lights, bumpers and number plates.

Cute Kombi coming into frame

 

Attach the wheels with a blob of Royal icing.

Cute Kombi

 

Either place the surf board on top or leaning against one side.

Cute Kombi

 

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Abbey Monster High Cake Tutorial

Abbey Monster High Cake

Below are the instructions on how to bake, decorate and hand paint this cute Abbey cake but first…

…welcome to Monster High, the place where children of famous monsters rule the school! Abbey Bominable is 16 years old and the daughter of Yeti! She’s the coolest ghoul in the school and I love her trendy wardrobe and white fur boots. Her BFF is Draculaura and I have a Draculaura cake tutorial that you might like here.

Draculaura Cake
Draculaura Cake

Although Abbey is very pretty she says ‘I am cold in the touching and being touched’

Her favourite sport is Snow Boarding and her pet “shiver’ s an adorable baby Wooly Mammoth.

Shiver
Shiver

Instructions

This 7″ Abbey birthday cake is made from dark chocolate mud-cake and filled with dark chocolate ganache.

Materials

10″ cake board

7″ set up board

1.2 kg Ice blue sugar-paste

For cake topper….

Tylose powder

Edible Americolor gel colour in blue, white, pink and lilac

White sugar-paste

Make the 7″ round Dark Chocolate Mud Cake

190g unsalted butter

155g dark chocolate

4g instant coffee

1 cup warm water

145g caster sugar

200g self raising flour

23g cocoa

1 large egg

1 teaspoon vanilla

1. Grease and line base and sides of cake pan with one thickness of baking paper, bringing paper 5cm above side of pan.

2. Combine chopped butter, chopped chocolate, coffee, and water in a saucepan. Stir over low heat until chocolate is melted. Cool 15 minutes. Transfer mixture to bowl of mixer.

3. Add caster sugar to mixture and beat well until dissolved. Add sifted flour and cocoa, lightly beaten egg and vanilla.

4. Pour mixture into prepared pan.

5. Bake at 150C for 1 – 1.5 hours . Test with skewer. Cool cake in pan.

Make the Dark Chocolate Ganache

600g dark chocolate, finely chopped

250ml pure cream

Method:

Heat the cream until it just starts to bubble, pour over chocolate (which you have blitzed in the food processor to coffee granules size) and let it sit for about a minute to melt. Use a hand whisk to blend it all together then set aside to cool. Your ganache at this point will be thin. You will have to let it set overnight until it thickens to a slightly thicker peanut butter consistency. Since I don’t have the patience to wait, I just let it cool to room temperature and then pop it in the fridge (don’t cover because you might get condensation). It would usually set in the fridge in about an hour or two. If it sets too hard, just microwave it in 10 second intervals (keep mixing it whenever you take it out).

For more information on how to make ganache and cover your cake with it, please click here.

Assembling the cake

Cut the cake in half and fill with ganache. Attach cake to set up board with edible glue or some Royal Icing. Cover the top and the sides of the cake with ganache and smooth the surfaces. Cover cake and board in one application with Ice blue sugar-paste.

Cake covered with ganache
Cake covered with ganache
Cake covered in Ice blue sugarpaste
Cake covered in Ice blue sugarpaste
Printable image
Printable image

Using the Template Click on the image above and save image. Enlarge or reduce the image to fit your cake. I printed it out to fit a 6.5″ circle just a little smaller than the cake. Print 2 copies so that you can keep one copy intact and the other you can cut up to make smaller templates. 1. Face, ears and neck (cut out in Ice blue sugar-paste). 2. Hair and headband (cut out in white sugar-paste).   You may wish to make a little modelling paste in white and some in Ice blue for the Abbey cake topper. This will help the topper dry quichly and make it stronger. Modelling Paste 350g sugar-paste 1 teaspoon Cellogen (if using CMC, Tylose Powder or Gum Trag then use only 0.5 teaspoon) Sprinkle the powder over the sugar-paste and kneed carefully till smooth.

Cut out the face and neck in Ice blue sugarpaste
Cut out the face and neck in Ice blue sugarpaste
Cut off any rough edges
Cut off any rough edges
Cut the hair and headband section from white sugarpaste
Cut the hair and headband section from white sugarpaste
Neaten up rough edges if necessary
Neaten up rough edges if necessary
The two sections should fit together well
The two sections should fit together well

Using a few fine paintbrushes, edible gel colours and a little Vodka as a thinner start painting the hair / headband area as it is simpler and then paint in the facial features last. To help me place the eyes, nose and mouth in the right spots, I used the face template, tracing the outline of the features on the back of the template and then transferring the details onto the Ice blue sugarpaste by tracing over the outlines of the features with the template the right way up on top of the sugarpaste. You can see the fine graphite outline of the lips in the image below.

I have made a video of me painting Abbey’s face and will upload it here shortly.

Painting the face and hair with edible food colour
Painting the face and hair with edible food colour
Abbey
Abbey
Add pink candles for a nice contrast
Add pink candles for a nice contrast
Add 'Chelsea' to the covered cake board
Add ‘Chelsea’ to the covered cake board

Abbey Monster High Cake

Draculaura Monster High Cake Tutorial

Draculaura Cake
Draculaura Cake

Welcome to Monster High, the place where children of famous monsters rule the school! My favorite is Draculaura, Count Dracula’s daughter! She’s the coolest ghoul in the school and I love her trendy wardrobe and her scary cute pets, too.

She is so popular that Amelia decided she would like a Draculaura cake on her birthday!

This 7″ Draculaura birthday cake is made from dark chocolate mud-cake and filled with dark chocolate ganache.

Materials

10″ cake board

7″ set up board

1.2 kg fuchsia sugar-paste

For cake topper….

Tylose powder

Americolor Fuchsia gel colour

Black sugar-paste

White sugar-paste

Light fuchsia sugar-paste

Make the 7″ round Dark Chocolate Mud Cake

190g unsalted butter
155g dark chocolate
4g  instant coffee
1 cups warm water
145g caster sugar
200g self raising flour
23g cocoa
1 large egg
1 teaspoon vanilla
1. Grease and line base and sides of cake pan with one thickness of baking paper, bringing paper 5cm above side of pan.
2. Combine chopped butter, chopped chocolate, coffee, and water in a saucepan.
Stir over low heat until chocolate is melted. Cool 15 minutes. Transfer mixture to bowl of mixer.
3. Add caster sugar to mixture and beat well until dissolved. Add sifted flour and cocoa, lightly beaten eggs and vanilla.
4. Pour mixture into prepared pan.
5. Bake at 150C for 1 – 1.5 hours . Test with skewer. Cool cake in pan.
Make the Dark Chocolate Ganache

600g dark chocolate, finely chopped

250ml pure cream

Method: Heat the cream until it just starts to bubble, pour over chocolate (which you have blitzed in the food processor to coffee granules size) and let it sit for about a minute to melt. Use a hand whisk to blend it all together then set aside to cool.
Your ganache at this point will be thin. You will have to let it set overnight until it thickens to a slightly thicker peanut butter consistency. Since I don’t have the patience to wait, I just let it cool to room temperature and then pop it in the fridge (don’t cover because you might get condensation). It would  usually set in the fridge in about an hour or two. If it sets too hard, just microwave it in 10 second intervals (keep mixing it whenever you take it out).
For more information on how to make ganache and cover your cake with it, please click here.
Assembling the cake
Cut the cake in half and fill with ganache.
Attach cake to set up board with edible glue or some Royal Icing.
Cover the top and the sides of the cake with ganache and smooth the surfaces.
Cover in fuchsia sugar-paste.
Draculaura character
She loves to splash her black outfits with some cheery pink, and even carries a frilly umbrella so she can take an occasional walk in the sun.
Template
Template

Using the Template

Click on the template above and save image. Enlarge or reduce the image to fit your cake. I printed it out to fit a 6.5″ circle just a little smaller than the cake. Print 2 copies so that you can keep one copy intact and the other you can cut up to make smaller templates.

1. Face, ears and sholders (cut out in white sugar-paste).

2. Hair on top of head (cut out in light fuchsia sugar-paste).

3. Hair bunches at side of head ( cut out in light fuchsia sugar-paste).

4. Earrings (white)

Cut template into smaller pieces
Cut template into smaller pieces
Prepare white and Fuchsia sugar paste and  cut out hair, face and earrings.
Prepare white and light fuchsia sugar paste and cut out hair, face and earrings.

You will need to make a little modelling paste in white and some in light fuchsia for the Draculaura cake topper. This will help the topper dry quichly and make it stronger.

Modelling Paste

350g sugar-paste

1 teaspoon Cellogen (if using CMC, Tylose Powder or Gum Trag then use only 0.5 teaspoon)

Sprinkle the powder over the sugar-paste and kneed carefully till smooth.

fit pieces together and allow to dry out a little more fit pieces together and allow to dry out a little more

Painting Draculaura cake topper

I used Wilton and Americolor edible gel colours which I thinned with a little Vodka. I was not sure how I was going to achieve a good result but just got stuck in with ‘paint’ and brushes. I was quite pleased with the outcome and I have put together a video of my attempt on YouTube. Unfortunately the camera was not switched on when I was painting the eyes and mouth (the important bits) but the video is still worth watching as i have speeded it up to lessen the boredom and give you a laugh.

 

Check everything fits
Check everything fits

Draculaura askew

Draculaura upside down

Monster High Logo

Draculaura side
Draculaura can’t see her reflection in a mirror, she has to leave the house not knowing if her clothes and makeup are just right. Of course, after 1,600 years of practice she’s gotten pretty good at it.
Draculaura low angle
Draculaura is a vegan. No icky blood for her, so it’s fruits, vegetables and a lot of iron supplements.
Draculaura Cake
Draculaura Cake

Rainbow Cake

Rainbow Cake
Rainbow Cake

This cake is similar to my Rainbow Layer Cake. Full instructions for making the Rainbow Layer Cake can be found here.

A slice of Rainbow Cake
A slice of Rainbow Layer Cake

I made this cake for Linda’s birthday.  Her husband secretly ordered it from me and I thought that such a romantic gesture wouldn’t be complete without some love hearts!

It really is as simple to make as the photos look – you dye the cake batter, pour into the pans and bake!

It is based on a white mud cake, filled with white chocolate ganache and covered in sugar paste
This cake was so much fun to make and eat!  I love the surprised look on peoples faces when you pull out the first slice ~ Rainbow cake is something that makes everyone smile 🙂
If you need more information on how to make ganache and cover your cake with it just click here.

Two things make this cake special

1. The Rainbow Inside. A really big surprise if the recipient and/or guests have no idea what is inside.

2. The cake is based on a White Chocolate Mud Cake. Lots of people are scarred to use colours with Chocolate mud cakes if they do not have the special chocolate colours. I did a lot of research before I used my ordinary food colours and the reason they work is because we are not colouring 100% pure chocolate. The other ingredients magically make it alright to use Wilton or AmeriColor (these are the only two makes that I have tried so far).

7″ White Chocolate Mud Cake (Planet Cake recipe)

I used 2 x 7″ pans
180g butter
180g white chocolate
160ml water
195g SR flour
180g plain flour
240g caster sugar
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1 tsp vanilla essence


Ganache

780g white chocolate, finely chopped
270g pure cream
Sugarpaste

730g yellow sugar paste

small amounts of orange, red, purple, blue and green sugar paste
White Chocolate Mud Cake Method

    1. Preheat the oven to 180C.
    2. Grease and line bases of both cake pans with baking paper.
    3. Combine chopped butter and water in a saucepan.
    4. Stir over low heat until butter is melted. Turn off heat, then add the chocolate and stir until it has melted and is well combined.
    5. Sift flours into a bowl. Add sugar, a pinch of salt and make a well in the centre.
    6. Pour chocolate mixture, egg and vanilla into the well then stir with a wooden spoon until well combined.
    7. Divide the batter equally amongst the 6 bowls. Weigh your mixing bowl before you begin adding ingredients and then subtract the weight of the bowl from the final measurement after the batter is completed. Divide that number by six and add that weight of batter to each bowl, and then whisk a fair amount of the appropriate food colour into each bowl. Keep in mind that the color of the unbaked batter will be the color of the baked batter.
    8. I poured 5/6th of the red batter into the pan that would be the top tier. I spread it out a little to touch the sides of the pan and be a little thinner in the middle.
    9. I then poured 4/6th of the orange batter in the middle of the pan on top of the red. I moved it about a little to make a good circle.
    10. I then poured 3/6th (i.e. 1/2) of the yellow batter on top followed by the green, blue then purple.
    11. In the second pan that would be the bottom tier, I first of all poured 5/6th of the purple batter followed by the blue, green, yellow, orange and finally red.
    12. Bake for 30 -35 minutes or until a skewer comes out clean when poked into the middle of the cakes.
    13. Leave in tins to cool completely on a wire rack.
    14. When cool, cut the domes off both cake and sandwich together with white ganache making sure that the bottom tier is placed upside down to create the design in my picture at the top of this post.

White Ganache

1. Place chocolate pieces in a large bowl.
2. Put the cream in a saucepan and bring to boiling point. Pour the cream over the chopped chocolate and mix with a hand whisk until the ganache is smooth.
3. Allow to cool completely and then leave to set overnight, if possible.

Colours of the rainbow
Colours of the rainbow
Coloured cake batter
Coloured cake batter
Ready for the oven
Ready for the oven
Cooling on a wire rack
Cooling on a wire rack
Rainbow Cake
Rainbow Cake
Rainbow Cake
Rainbow Cake
Rainbow Cake
Rainbow Cake
Rainbow Cake
Rainbow Cake
Rainbow Cake
Rainbow Cake

Thong cake (Flip-flop cake)

Blue and Yellow Thong cake

This lovely cake can be baked for many different special occasions. I even made one for a Christening!!

Materials

900g Pale blue sugar paste, coloured with Wilton Royal blue and Americolor Royal Purple (for cake, straps, plaque and flower centres)

200g Dark blue sugar paste, coloured with Wilton Royal blue and Americolor Royal Purple (for flowers)

300g yellow sugar paste (for top layer)

1 hollow plastic dowel

pale blue Royal icing for piping

clear A4 sheet of plastic acetate

Make the Dark Chocolate Mud Cake

Use an 8″ square pan but fill it with more batter than usual following the quantities below
500g unsalted butter
400g dark chocolate
10g (2 tablespoon) instant coffee
2-2/3 cups warm water
380g (2 cup) caster sugar
520g (3 cups) self raising flour
60g (1/2 cup) cocoa
4 eggs
2 teaspoon vanilla
1. Grease and line base and sides of cake pan with one thickness of baking paper, bringing paper 5cm above side of pan.
2. Combine chopped butter, chopped chocolate, coffee, and water in a saucepan.
Stir over low heat until chocolate is melted. Cool 15 minutes. Transfer mixture to bowl of mixer.
3. Add caster sugar to mixture and beat well until dissolved. Add sifted flour and cocoa, lightly beaten eggs and vanilla.
4. Pour mixture into prepared pan.
5. Bake at 150C for 1 hour 45 mins. Test with skewer. Cool cake in pan.

Make the Dark Chocolate Ganache

1.2 kg (2lb 10oz) dark chocolate, finely chopped

500ml (17.5 fl oz) pure cream

Method: Heat the cream until it just starts to bubble, pour over chocolate (which you have blitzed in the food processor to coffee granules size) and let it sit for about a minute to melt. Use a hand whisk to blend it all together then set aside to cool.
Your ganache at this point will be thin. You will have to let it set overnight until it thickens to a slightly thicker peanut butter consistency. Since I don’t have the patience to wait, I just let it cool to room temperature and then pop it in the fridge (don’t cover because you might get condensation). It would  usually set in the fridge in about an hour or two. If it sets too hard, just microwave it in 10 second intervals (keep mixing it whenever you take it out).

Making the templates

Draw around a thong and enlarge the line drawing in a photocopier to around 14.5 inches long (my AUS size 10 thong needed to be enlarged by 140%). You may have to enlarge in two steps if your copier is only A4 size. If your copier does not enlarge images, you will have to draw an enlargement by hand.

This is a right hand thong so make sure you don’t accidentally flip your templates and end up with left hand pieces that won’t fit your cake!!!

Copy this shape twice onto thick card. One will be covered in foil to make the set up board and the other will eventually be covered in cling film to make a top board to help with ganaching the sides of your cake.

Your paper template will later be reduced by 1/4″ all round and used to cut out the thong shape from the cake slab.

Making the templates
Making the templates
Make the cake board (rectangular) and the set up board (thong shape)
As it is next to impossible to purchase rectangular cake boards exactly to the size you need, it is best to make your own from 6 or 9 mm MDF covered in foil. Below is a picture of my efforts in making a rectangular board and a thong set up board at the same time. I use PVA glue spread by my fingers to do the job and it works well. Please note that I used the rectangular board with the yellow / orange thong cake at the very bottom of this blog. N.B. (another method I use is to cut the thong set up board out of a large square of gold or silver set up board. This way you won’t need to cover the board.)Glue on the metallic foil
Glue on the metallic foil
Glue and overlap the edges neatly
Glue and overlap the edges neatly
Ready for action
Ready for action

Slice the cake into 3 layers

Place your 8″ square cake on a turntable and cut the dome from the top (if necessary) of the cake to get a levelled surface. Place one hand on top of the cake. Hold a long serrated knife in the other hand, making sure to keep the knife level, then slice the cake twice horizontally to make three even layers. Spread each layer with syrup (whisk 100g of apricot jam with 100ml boiling water until smooth) as this will reduce the amount of crumbs when ganaching, help the ganache to stick to the cake and keep your cake moist. Then cut one layer in half to 8 x 4 in.
Cutting the cake into 3 layers
Cutting the cake into 3 layers
Brushing each layer with apricot syrup
Brushing each layer with apricot syrup

Make and fill a rectangle

Take one of the half layers and sandwich it on to the end of one normal layer with ganache. Put the other normal and half layer on top and sandwich with ganache. You should now have an 8″ x 12″ rectangular cake.

Assembling the layers
Assembling the layers

Build up the cake

Take your initial paper thong template and make it slightly smaller by cutting off 1/4″ – 1/8″ all round (this space will be filled with ganache later on). Place the template on top of your cake (the template will be too long for the cake but don’t worry) and using a sharp knife held at right angles, cut around it. Build up the shape of the thong with the cut offs using ganache as glue. Using some ganache to stick the shaped cake on the set up board. Brush the sides with the syrup.

Reducing the size of the 'cutting template' to leave room for the ganache

Reducing the size of the ‘cutting template’ to leave room for the ganache
Placing the template on the cake
Placing the template on the cake

Apply ganache to the sides and top

Quickly cover the sides and top of the cake with a thin crumb coat of ganache. This will seal the cake and make it easy to add the next layer of ganache and achieve a perfect smooth finnish. Place the cake in the fridge till the outside is nice and firm to the touch.
Before applying the second layer of ganache, cover the remaining thong shaped piece of card with cling film and place on top of cake. Using the top and bottom card shapes as a guide add the ganache and smooth it off with a straight edge such as a ruler or set square. Pop the cake back in the fridge to firm up then remove the card and cling film and smooth some extra ganache over the top of the cake to fill any gaps.
Using a top board and set square to smooth the sides
Ready for the sugar paste
Ready for the sugar paste

Cover with sugar-paste

Knead 900g of pale blue sugar-paste to a pliable dough and roll to 1/8″ thick. Brush the top and sides of the cake with a little water as this will help the sugar-paste to glide onto the cake and also help it stick. Smooth the top of the cake first with a smoother. Next smooth the sides by gently pulling the sugar-paste away from the side before smoothing down with your hands and then the smoother. Roughly cut away the overhanging sugar-paste with scissors, knife or a pizza cutter. Carefully trim the sugar-paste around the base with a small knife. Now stick your cake to the display board with some syrup, Royal icing or edible glue.

Using the cake smoother
Using the cake smoother

Apply the top layer

Roll out yellow sugar-paste to about 1/8 in thick. Place the thong template on top and cut around it with a small knife or pizza cutter. Brush the top of the cake with syrup. Gently lift the sugar-paste and place it on top of the cake. Manipulate the sugar-paste till you get a good fit. Use a smoother to smooth it off and help stretch it if needed.

Using the template
Using the template
Using the pizza cutter
Using the pizza cutter
Applying the top layer
Applying the top layer

Prepare the toe area

Insert the hollow plastic dowel into the correct spot in the toe area using the template as a guide. Leave 4 cm (1 1/2″) of the dowel above the cake. Clip off any excess with scissors. Roll out some yellow sugar paste to 1/8″ thick. cut out a strip 5 x 2 cm (2 x 3/4″ ). Wrap the strip around the skewer and secure with a dab of water or edible glue. Because my dowel was made from yellow plastic and it matched the colour of the thong, I didn’t bother covering it in sugar paste. Fill the hollow dowel with yellow sugar paste as best you can and insert a cocktail stick as in the image below. The cocktail stick will help to anchor the straps and central flower. Mark the position of the straps (towards the back of the thong) with a sharp knife using the template as a guide. Cut out two acetate strips 2.5 cm wide and longer than needed (cut off any excess later). Join the strips at right angles and secure with sticky tape. Make a small hole in the centre with a pin and slip over the end of the cocktail stick. Cut the end off the cocktail stick now but leave a little bit sticking up to help secure the flowers. Decide how long your acetate straps need to be and cut off any extra at an angle while leaving enough to be inserted into the cake as an anchor.

Cut out two pale blue sugar paste straps to fit and attach with edible glue.

To make edible glue

Add 2 tablespoons of warm water to a quarter teaspoon of Tylose Powder and allow the Tylose powder to melt. Don’t worry if at this stage the glue appears not to be blending. Put a lid on the container and leave it in the refrigerator overnight and in the morning you will have a perfectly clear and ready to use glue.
The glue should be a dripping consistency. If it is too thick, just add a little more water and stir with a toothpick .
The edible glue should be stored in the refrigerator when not in use.
To apply the glue, use a good quality paintbrush and brush on to the area where you are going to be working. Leave until it begins to dry a little so that the area is just tacky to touch.

The acetate straps

The acetate straps
Adding the sugar paste straps
Adding the sugar paste straps

Make the flower decorations

Roll out the dark blue and the remaining pale blue sugar paste to 3 mm (1/8″) thick. Using a small flower cutter, cut out up to 30 flowers and a similar number of flower centres in the pale blue. You will also need one large dark blue flower and a circular pale blue plaque to write your birthday message on. You can stick the flowers onto the thong in a random pattern but I have measured mine so that they are spaced 6.5 cm apart.

I used a piping bag with a size 00 nozzle. The RI was make up of 10g of real egg white, 70g sifted icing sugar, 3 drops acetic acid and water added a few drops at a time. Mix all ingredients together with a hand held electric mixer and a few drops of water. Add edible colouring and a few more drops of water until your RI (Royal Icing) reaches the required consistancy: it should take 7 seconds for stirred RI to flatten out. If your RI is too stiff add some more water and test again. If it is too soft,add more sifted icing sugar and test again.

Cutting out the flowers
Cutting out the flowers

Blue and Yellow Thong cake

Blue and yellow thong cake

Blue thong_080313_7874 1mb
Thong cake

Black and White Thong Cake

Another variation to match the party invitations.
Another variation to match the party invitations.
Stripe Thong Cake with Matching cupcakes and surf board toppers
Stripe Thong Cake with matching cupcakes and surf board toppers

How to make a Rainbow Layer Cake using white chocolate mud recipe

Rainbow Cake
Rainbow Layer Cake

This cake is similar to my Rainbow Cake below and you can find full instructions for it here.

Rainbow Cake
Rainbow Cake

Three things make this cake special

1. The Rainbow Layers. They can be a big surprise if the recipient and/or guests have no idea what is inside.

2. The cake is based on a White Chocolate Mud Cake. Lots of people are scarred to use colours with Chocolate mud cakes if they do not have the special chocolate colours. I did a lot of research before I used my ordinary food colours and the reason they work is because we are not colouring 100% pure chocolate. The other ingredients magically make it alright to use Wilton or AmeriColor (these are the only two makes that I have tried so far).

3. You can make this cake even if you do not have 6 x 10″ round cake pans. I have 2 x 10 inch pans and I bake the layers in 3 batches. You could make do with just one pan, it will just take a little longer.

Colours of the rainbow
Colours of the rainbow Red, Orange, yellow, green, blue and purple.
Coloured cake batter
Coloured cake batter
Use 2 x 10 inch pans
Use 2 x 10 inch pans

White Chocolate Mud Cake 

(Planet Cake recipe)

Need a minimum of one 10″ pan ( 6 x 10″ pans would make the job really easy though!)

I used 2 x 10″ pans as that is all I have.

390g butter
390g white chocolate
350ml water
195g SR flour
390g plain flour
520g caster sugar
4 eggs, lightly beaten
2 tsp vanilla essence

White Chocolate Mud Cake Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 150C.
  2. Grease and line bases of both cake pans with one thickness of baking paper.
  3. Combine chopped butter and water in a saucepan.
  4. Stir over low heat until butter is melted. Turn off heat, then add the chocolate and stir until it has melted and is well combined.
  5. Sift flours into a bowl. Add sugar, a pinch of salt and make a well in the centre.
  6. Pour chocolate mixture, egg and vanilla into the well then stir with a wooden spoon until well combined.
  7. Divide the batter equally amongst the 6 bowls.  Weigh your mixing bowl before you begin adding ingredients and then subtract the weight of the bowl from the final measurement after the batter is completed. Divide that number by six and add that weight of batter to each bowl, and then whisk a fair amount of the appropriate food color into each bowl. Keep in mind that the color of the unbaked batter will be the color of the baked batter. Pour into the pans and bake for 15 minutes each or until a skewer comes out clean when poked into the middle of the cake.
  8. Once cake pans have been washed, repeat the process twice more till all 6 layers have been baked.

 

Rainbow layers ready for buttercream
Rainbow layers ready for buttercream

Lemony Swiss Meringue Buttercream

As you can see from the recipe, this cake requires a huge amount of buttercream to fill the layers and cover the outside. I would recommend that you make the buttercream in two separate batches ( 1. To fill and crumb coat. 2. To frost) because you would need a HUGE bowl to make this much buttercream at one time!

Please click here for a step-by-step guide to making Swiss Meringue Buttercream and troubleshooting tips!

To fill and crumb coat:

9 egg whites
1 ¾ cup (350 g) sugar
4 sticks (452 g) butter, room temp
2 tsp lemon extract

To frost:

5 egg whites
1 cup (200 g) sugar
2 sticks (226 g) butter, room temp
1 tsp lemon extract

Cook the egg whites and sugar in a small saucepan over medium heat, whisking constantly, until the sugar is completely dissolved (test by rubbing some between your fingers. If it’s completely smooth, it’s done). Pour into another bowl (a stand mixer is preferable) and whip on high speed until room temp. Then, on a medium-slow speed, add the butter, waiting until each piece is completely incorporated before adding the next. After all the butter has been added, turn the mixer back to high speed and whip until it has come together, about five minutes. Add the extract, beat briefly and then use.

If the buttercream seems soupy after all of the butter is added and does not come together after whipping, refrigerate for 5 to 7 minutes and continue whipping until it becomes fluffy and workable.

Filled with buttercrem
Filled with buttercrem

Assembly

Stack the layers in your preferred order and fill and frost as you would any other cake.

Once frosted, the cake can be left on the counter without any problems, but feel free to refrigerate it. Just be sure that the cake is at room temperature when serving or the frosting will be hard.

A slice of Rainbow Cake
A slice of Rainbow Cake

Frangipani Chocolate Box Cake

This is a wonderful cake suitable for all sorts of occasions – birthdays, Valentine’s, Mother’s Day, anniversary’s etc. I made this cake for the first time for my friend Lesley’s birthday and it was such a success that I have made it many times since and each time I give it a different look. This cake was for an 65th Birthday surprise. 


Below are the instructions you need to make this cake including my 10 minute video clip ‘How to make fondant  frangipanis’ using an individual frangipani petal cutter and a step by step guide to making frangipanis using a one piece rose cutter. Decide which method you prefer and have a go.


Instructions are for a 6″ dark chocolate mud cake filled with dark chocolate ganache and covered in sugar-paste


Ingredients

Dark Chocolate Mud Cake 
100g butter
 
100g dark choc
 
10g coffee
 
70ml water
 
55g SR flour
 
55g plain flour
 
20g cocoa powder
 
0.25 tsp bicarb
 
210g caster sugar
 
2 eggs
 
3 tsp oil
 
45ml buttermilk
Ganache
520g dark chocolate
 
260ml pure cream
 

Flower-paste

700 grams of rolled fondant (I used Bakels Pettinice, but any will do)
2 teaspoons of Cellogen (if you use CMC, Tylose Powder or Gum Trag then only use 1 to 1.5 teaspoons)
1/3 teaspoon raw egg white
2 teaspoons Cream of Tartar
 
a small amount of Crisco or shortening


Edible Glue
1 teasp Tylose Powder
 
Other
500g (17oz) pink sugar paste (rolled fondant)
 
30g (1oz) bag of chocolate buttons or Freckles
 
227g (1/2lb) box milk chocolate15cm (6″) thin card board for the lid.


Individual frangipani petal cutter or a one piece 5 petal rose cutter


Petal Dust in yellow



1. To make the Dark Chocolate Mud Cake

  1. Preheat the oven to 160C. Grease the tin and line the base and sides with a collar that extends 2 cm above the top of the tin.
  2. Put the butter, chocolate, coffee and water in a saucepan and stir over low heat until melted, then remove from the heat.
  3. Sift the flours, cocoa and bicarbonate of soda into a large bowl. Stir in the sugar and make a well in the centre. Add the combined egg, oil and buttermilk and the chocolate mixture, stirring with a large spoon until completely combined.
  4. Pour the mixture into the tin and bake for 2 hours (for 11’5″cake) or until a skewer poked into the centre of the cake comes out clean, though it may be a little sticky. Leave the cake in the tin until cold.
2. To make and apply the ganache click here.
Frangipani Chocolate Box Cake

3. To decorate the cake
Measure the height of the cake.Roll out 200g of the pink sugar-paste so that you can cut a strip about 46cm (18in) long and 1cm (0.5in) wider than the depth of your cake.Brush the sides of the cake with a little water.Roll the sugar-paste up like a bandage, making sure it is not too tight and then unwind it around the side of the cake.Paint a light line of water around the inside edge of the chocolate box and neatly press the chocolate buttons into the ganache. My buttons were big so I cut each one in half first.Arrange chocolates on top of the box. Stick one of the chocolates on top of the others as this will help secure the lid at an angle later on.Moisten the top and sides of your thin cake board with a little water, roll out and cover with 100g (30z) of pink sugar-paste. Trim and neaten edges.Use 200g (7oz) pink sugar-paste to cover your base cake board (moisten with a little water first), if you are using one. Cut out a long strip of sugar-paste and roll up as if a bandage and unroll to cover around the board


4. To make the Flower-paste
Flower-paste (also called modelling paste)
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Serves: Makes around 500 grams of paste
Instructions:
Use a little Crisco on your work surface and knead up your fondant so its nice and soft.
Sprinkle the Cellogen, or alternative, over the work surface and knead it into the fondant.
This flower paste is white as it is for a different cake. Sorry!
Make a well in the mix and pour in the egg white, knead until mixed through, it may feel a little sticky, add more Crisco to the surface if you need to.
Sprinkle the Cream of Tartar on the work surface and knead into the mix until all incorporated.
Wrap the paste in cling wrap tightly, a few times and place in an air tight container, leave for at least 12 hours before use.
You don’t need to refrigerate it, and it will last for months.
I cut mine up into four pieces, and generally freeze it. It defrosts with the heat of your hands in minutes.5. To make the Frangipanis

Soften the flower paste
Roll out till thin
Press down hard with your cutter
Lift up and check
Use the balling tool or something similar to push out the flower-paste shape
Stick the petals together one at a time using edible glue
Carefully paint glue along the last petal edge
Join together and make sure all the petals are evenly spaced.
Turn upside down and check that there are no gaps
Curve the petals a little
Squeeze the stem together firming everything up nicely.
Place in an egg carton overnight to harden.
6. Finishing touches
Glue the flowers around the base of the cake using edible glue.To make the glue mix the Tylose powder with approximately 4 tblsp water. Any lumps will disappear if you put the mixture in the fridge overnight.I arranged the flowers in pairs as it made a more interesting arrangement.Arrange a few of the flowers together for the top of the lid. As the flowers were hard, I pushed them into a piece of the left over flower-paste which was still soft as I had wrapped it in cling film overnight.Stick the lid to the chocolates using a blob of ganache.
 Below is a different colour combination that you might like to try.