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

 

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

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

80s Theme Cake

This 80s Theme Cake was made for Jessica’s 30th Birthday Bash in Brisbane. It is made from white chocolate and dark chocolate marbled mudcake, filled with dark chocolate ganache and covered with sugarpaste. The Rubik’s Cube is a really delicious truffle.
The birthday girl wanted hot pink, turquoise and yellow as her colours but you could use whatever colours you wish. To celebrate her 1980s themed birthday the cake incorporates the MTV logo, Pacman arcade game, Rubik Cube, Boogie box, fluorescent colours and animal print fondant, not to mention the giant number ’30’.

 
Baking Diary
DAY 1
Colour sugar-paste. Hint – You can buy ready coloured black sugarpaste which saves a big mess. Also I used Wilton’s Rose edible gel colour for the hot pink.
Make ganache click here for detailed ganaching info

Bake cakes
Wrap cakes in foil and place in fridge overnight.
Cut finger nails. There is nothing worse than making a mark with your long nails on your completed cake.
DAY 2
Take cake out of fridge first thing in the morning and allow to come to room temp.
Torte and ganache cake then leave it to set. click here for detailed ganaching info
Once set cover with sugar-paste.
DAY 3 
Decorate and complete the job.
DAY 4 
‘Stuff up’ day. You never know what might happen when making a cake so always pencil in a ‘stuff up’ day (I had a day with my feet up when making this cake as I had a toenail removed, ouch!)
DAY 5  The day of the party
 
Marbled Mudcake
The three tiers are made up of a 7″ round, a 5″ round and a 4.5″ square. The rubik cube (1.25″ / 3 cm) is made from the cut offs from the Boogie box mixed with left over ganache formed into a large truffle cube and covered on all sides with a thin layer of ganache.Make the light and dark mudcake batter in separate bowls then pour the dark in first filling your pans to half the usual height then fill each with the white choc mud batter and gently stir round a little to mix and bake for 1.5 hrs at 150C
 
Dark Chocolate Mud Cake (Pam’s recipe)
187g butter
150g dk choc
1 tbsp coffee, powder or granules
1 cup water
1 cup SR flour
3/4 cup caster sugar
1/4 cup cocoa
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla essence
 
Dark Chocolate Mud Cake Method
    1. Preheat the oven to 150C.
    2. Grease and line base and sides of cake pans with one thickness of baking paper, bringing paper 5cm above side of pan.
    3. Combine chopped butter, chopped chocolate, coffee, and water in a saucepan.
    4. Stir over low heat until chocolate is melted. Cool 15 minutes. Transfer mixture to bowl of mixer.
    5. Add caster sugar to mixture and beat well until dissolved. Add sifted flour and cocoa, lightly beaten eggs and vanilla.
    6. Pour mixture into prepared pans stopping at half the height you normally fill to.
No need to be delicate with this one – just make sure that the chocolate mixture has cooled sufficiently so as to not create a thickening reaction when the flour is added.
 
White Chocolate Mud Cake (Planet Cake recipe)
185g butter
185g white chocolate
170ml water
95g SR flour
185g plain flour
250g caster sugar
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1 tsp vanilla essence

White Chocolate Mud Cake Method
  1. Preheat the oven to 150C.
  2. Grease and line base and sides of cake pans with one thickness of baking paper, bringing paper 5cm above side of pan.
  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. Add the white batter to the already half full pans and fill to their normal height.

Marbling
To create the marbling effect simply gently stir round a little to mix (Do not overdo) and bake for 1.5 hrs at 150C. Check the small cakes before their time is up.

 
 Dark Chocolate Ganache click here for detailed ganaching info
1600g dark chocolate, finely chopped
800ml pure cream
  1. Grind the chocolate to fine granules in a processor.
  2. Put the chocolate in a large bowl
  3. 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. (Do not use an electric whisk, as you will create too many air bubbles in the ganache.)
  4. Allow to cool completely and then leave to set overnight.

Decoration
Templates can be found on my Free Stuff page click here
I used a whole lot of edible glue on this cake. I even stuck the tiers together with glue as it wasn’t a big heavy cake and the glue would survive the 200km round trip delivery.

Edible Glue
Also called Gum 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 animal print is made up of thin strips of black sugarpaste.
Some sugarpaste shapes for the Boogie box, Rubik’s Cube and Pacman
Pattern pieces for the more complicated shapes can be found on my Free Stuff page. Flat pieces such as the ’30’ and the ‘MTV’ logo should be made early and left flat. Curved pieces such as Pacman should be stuck to the cake soonish so that they can mould themselves to the shape of the cake. Add Tylose powder to any parts that need to be very stiff such as the MTV logo. I added just a quarter of a tsp of Tylose to a lump of pink which I used for the ’30’ and the ‘MTV’. Knead the powder into the sugarpste till well combined.
To make the handle for the Boogie box use some plastic tubing with cocktail sticks pushed in at the ends. Stick the sugarpaste on with edible glue.
You will need 45 coloured squares in total (none on the bottom) and stick them on with edible glue. Each square is 1cm x 1cm. Secure to the cake using two short wooden skewers and edible glue.
I used this image in the background of my cake picture. I made the image a couple of years ago with camper vans and surf board, typical of the Gold Coast and reminiscent of the ’80s. I changed the colours to suit the colour scheme of the cake.

Easter Cookie Tutorial

These cookies are iced using the ‘Outlining and Flooding’ technique which is simple to learn. The outline works as a dam or wall to hold the runny icing which you use to fill in the main parts of the cookie.
I made these cookies in 3 delightful flavours: chocolate, vanilla and gingerbread.
 

Chocolate Cookie Recipe

makes about 24 medium-sized cookies
275g plain flour
100g self raising flour
75g cocoa powder
125g granulated sugar
125g salted butter, diced
125g golden syrup
1 large egg, beaten
Sift flours and cocoa, add sugar and mix well.
Add butter and using finger tips rub till mix resembles breadcrumbs.
Make a well and add syrup and egg.
Stop as soon as a ball has formed.
Cover and chill till ready to use or roll and use immediately.

170C for 14-18 mins

Vanilla Cookie Recipe

makes about 24 medium-sized cookies

200g unsalted soft butter

200g caster sugar
seeds from one vanilla pod or 2 tsp of best vanilla essence
1 egg, lightly beaten
400g plain flour
In the mixer with paddle attachment, cream the butter, sugar and vanilla till well mixed and just creamy in texture. Do not overwork or cookies will spread during baking.

Beat in the egg till well combined.

Add the  flour and mix on low speed until a dough forms.
Cover with cling and place in fridge for at least 1 hour.
Place dough on floured surface and knead briefly.
Roll out to 5mm thick.
Cut out your shapes, then, using a palette knife, lay them on a baking tray lined with greaseproof paper.
Chill again for about 30 mins.
Preheat oven to 180C/170C fan and bake for about 10 mins, depending on size, until golden brown at the edges.
Transfer cookies to a wire rack and allow to cool before decorating.

Gingerbread Cookie Recipe

makes about 24 medium-sized cookies
90g butter
150g soft brown sugar
90g golden/corn syrup
425g Plain flour
1 tsp baking powder
2tsp ground ginger
1tsp mixed spice
1 medium egg (beaten)
Gently heat butter, sugar and syrup until dissolved.
Cool slightly for five mins.
Pre-heat oven 180C and lightly grease baking trays.
Sift flour, baking powder and spices tog into mixing bowl and make a well in centre.
Add melted mixture and egg into the centre. Bind tog with knife then use hands to form soft dough.
Sprinkle work surface with flour and roll out the gingerbread to 3mm (1/8″)

Bake in centre of oven for 13 mins.

Transfer cooked gingerbread to a cooling rack.
I have been using a homemade Cookie Leveller to roll out my cookie dough. I have all the instructions if you would like to make one.
Cookie Leveller click here
 

Royal Icing Recipe click here

A thicker consistancy icing is used to outline the cookie shape and then a thinner one (like custard) to fill in.

Outlining

Outline your cookies first and leave at least 15 minutes before you flood the inside of the ‘dam’ (outline). If the outline is a dark colour, it is best to wait 24 hours so that the colours don’t bleed into each other.
Outlining the egg
To outline the cookie hold the bag at 45 degrees and position the tip on your cookie. Put enough pressure on the bag so that the icing comes out and you can start moving in the direction that you want your icing to go. Start lifting the pipping bag till it is a few centimetres above your cookie and the icing just falls in a continuous line onto the cookie below. Come back closer to the cookie at corners and when finishing also reduce or stop pressure on the bag to go more slowly or to stop.

Flooding

Use a number 3,4 or 5 sized piping tip depending on the size of your cookie. Fill in one area at a time quickly zig zagging back and forth. Don’t worry if you haven’t filled in every spot: speed is more important at this point. To fill in these little missed bits just use your piping tip, toothpick or small paintbrush (used only for food), to push the icing into your missed bits.
Using a squeezy bottle to fill in with icing
Using a toothpick to fill in the missing bits

Decorating

Bunnies with White Tummies
Outline and flood your bunny with your chosen colour and immediately add a circle of white icing for the tummy. The icing will quickly sink down till a smooth or slightly domed tummy area remains.
Once completely dry add cheeks and front paws.
Add nose and eyes once cheeks are dry or almost dry.

Bunnies with Spots 

Outline and flood your bunny with your chosen colour and immediately add little blobs of white icing to make the dots.
Once completely dry add the bow using a No.00 piping nozzle.  
Pretty Little Easter Eggs
Outline and flood your eggs with your chosen colour and immediately add little blobs of white icing to make the dots.
Once completely dry add the bow using a No.00 piping nozzle.
Yellow Chicks
Outline and flood your chicks with yellow and when completely dry add little feather details, a pink beak and an eye.
Bunny Faces
Outline and flood each face with your chosen colour leaving the centre of the ears icing free.
Once dry add the cheeks in the same colour.
Once completely dry use a contrasting colour to make the nose, whiskers and middle ear. While still wet sprinkle the ears with coloured sugar sand or similar. If you are worried about the sprinkles sticking to the nose and whiskers you can add the nose and whiskers after the sprinkles have been added.
Finnish by making the eyes.

Storing

Let the cookies dry for 24 hours before you package them.
Store in an airtight container in a cool dry place out of the sun (sunlight can fade the colours). The cookies can keep for up to 2 months but I prefer to use them up within a month.

Transformers Cake Tutorial

This was a small 5.5″ diameter cake to feed 10 children.
Dark Chocolate Mud Cake (from Planet Cake Cookbook)
Ingredients for 5.5″ cake
80g  butter
80g  dark choc
10g  coffee
60ml  water
50g  SR
50g  plain
20g  cocoa
1/4 tsp  bicarb
180g  caster
1.5  eggs
3  tsp oil
40ml  buttermilk
Dark Chocolate Ganache 
450g dark chocolate, finely chopped
225ml pure cream
Fondant
RED: 600g sugar-paste to cover entire cake

GREY: 200g Background for mask and number plate
BLACK: 200g Mask and number
To find out how to make the mud-cake and ganache filling please visit my Ben Ten Cake blogTo Decorate your Transformer Cake

Download the shape below from here and resize to fit your cake if necessary and print it out. Then cut out the basic outline. Use this as a template to cut out a slightly larger (2 cms) shape which you will use to cut out the blank grey sugar-paste background for the mask.

Attach the grey shape to the cake using a little Royal Icing to stick it down.

Next, cut out all the separate pieces of the mask and use them as templates to cut out the pieces of black sugar-paste.

Attach each piece to the grey background making sure that the pieces are in the right place.

To make the plaque and the number 5, simply cut out a square of grey and attach it with some Royal Icing to the front of the cake.
Make an indent at each corner of the plaque with the end of a small paint brush (or similar) roll 4 small balls of grey sugar-paste and place in the holes with a tiny drop of water painted on as glue. Cut out a number 5 in black with a cutter and attach.

To transfer the letters onto the board just stick your printed word onto the board with sticky tape and trace round each letter with a pointed metal tip pressing quite heavily. You will see the imprint of the lettering on the board if you look closely.

Pipe the letters with some Royal Icing
I designed this image with a maori influence for a  T-shirt printer in Burieigh.
Who would have thought I would be making a TF cake not long after!