Sunday, 28 October 2012

League Of Legends Nexus Cake

'What flavour of birthday cake do you want, darling?' I ask The Man.
'Big what?'
'Muh, dunno.  Chocolate.'

'Chocolate' wasn't good enough for me, so I made a 28cm-diameter chocolate-and cherry cake,

and a 28cm white chocolate-and-ginger cake, cut them into regular hexagons,

iced them with ginger syrup buttercream and chocolate ganache,

and covered them in ready-roll fondant,

and scored the fondant into 'stone walls,' and added more vanilla cake covered in more chocolate and fondant,

hexagons of blue fondant, and made marzipan 'statues' of wizards with blue birthday candles for staffs and cocktail sticks holding their heads on, with fondant cloaks, and six piped triangles and one piped hexagon of macaroon/meringue

assembled into a regular 6-sided pyramid filled with small round macaroon and whipped cream, covered in more blue fondant. 

And added green coconut buttercream 'moss' and candided angelica 'weeds'.

Until it looked something like this:

This was not a Simple Thing to do.  Do not try this at home, kids.

Or do, but be aware that the Faff Index occasionally goes up to 11.

The final thing needed a total of 16 eggs, a kilogram of butter and half a kilo of chocolate.  I think that counts as 'Big.'

Tuesday, 23 October 2012

Cross-stitch update

As you can see, with little else to do I have been getting on with my cross-stitch.  The brown border does look a little overpowering, but hopefully I can fill out the tree itself a few more bits and pieces and make the main pattern more eye-catching later.

The little animals in the branches have been coming off well; I am particularly pleased with the squirrel.

I also wanted to share with the Internet the following amusing photo of some fried eggs, which I thought rather resembled Edvard Munch's The Scream.

 That's all; it has been quiet on the crafty front the last month while I've been filling in forms and so on in my spare time, but I'm looking forward to the Man's birthday cake this week which should be gracing these pages soon.  Not to mention I have just ordered some more wool from Kemps with which to make my first proper jumper - an aran cardigan to replace the well-worn and over-mothed ones which my mother made me years ago, whose sleeves are suffering.

Friday, 5 October 2012

Fig Upside-Down Cake

I made this cake on the fly as a thank-you present for lots of people.  It needed to be rich and square so that everyone could take a small piece which would satisfy them and not spoil the shape of the cake.  I think it would make a lovely low-key Christmas cake for those who are not big on the traditional version.

Fig Upside-Down Cake
You Will Need: 20cm square cake tin, scissors and greaseproof paper, scales, large bowl, small bowl, teaspoon, kettle, chopping board and knife, sieve, wooden spoon, dinner knife, lemon zester or grater, rolling pin, cooling rack, serving dish.

4 ripe figs
40g hazelnuts
8oz soft butter
6 1/2 oz caster sugar
3tsp honey
12 fresh dates
2 large handfuls of sultanas
2 Lady Grey teabags
4 eggs
zest one orange
8oz self-raising flour
100g golden marzipan

1) Preheat the oven to 180 degrees C.  Grease the bottom of your tin. Cut two long slices of greaseproof paper, and cross them in the bottom of the tin.
2) Cut the stalks off your figs.  Slice them into 3mm slices.  Use to line the bottom of your tin in a symmetrical pattern.  Scatter hazelnuts into the gaps between the fig slices.
3) Chop the dates, removing the stones.  Put them in a bowl with the sultanas and teabags; add just enough boiling water to cover them.  Allow to steep.
4) Cream the butter, honey and sugar in the large bowl.  Add one egg at a time, beating in well, followed by some of the flour, then the next egg.  Beat to a smooth mixture.  Zest the orange and stir in the zest.
5) Drain the fruits in the sieve and add the dry fruits to the mixture.  Mix gently.  Spoon half of this mixture into the tin, being careful not to spoil the fig pattern.
6) Roll out the block of marzipan into a square, about 2mm thick and smaller than your tin.  Place on top of the mix in the tin, then pour the rest of the mix on top.  Level the mixture.
7) Bake for about 40+ minutes, if necessary with a tinfoil hat on to prevent browning.
8) Cool for a long time in the tin before turning out, first to the cooling rack and then sliding onto the final plate.