I was recently asked to provide a cake for a photo shoot, the brief was soft pastels and ‘dreamy’. My absolute dream plant is cascading lilac wisteria, so to match it with lace and peach coloured piping was to me, perfect. The black velvet ribbon also really adds some drama to the softness of the painting behind… in my opinion anyway! I would have loved this cake at my wedding, I think it’s a very ‘Me’ cake. I hope you like x
After much deliberation over what cake Fran wanted for her parents big surprise anniversary party, we came up with something from the past. It’s based on the bouquet that the bride had 20 years ago! The wedding photograph was placed next to the cake when presented, cute. To start off I painted a yellow water-colour wash over the base and to finish, I highlighted the painting with royal icing details. The whole cake was lastly glazed with a shimmer spray, to give it a pearlescent light. And if you are wondering, it’s a Victoria Sponge…
If you need a helping hand looking for these tools, check out Squires Kitchen, it has some really fun things to play with, Enjoy!
Last Sunday I ventured into the magical world of The Chosen Wedding Fair, so much lace and pretty bespoke creations everywhere!
This was my stall, I decided quite early on that I wanted to make more of a ‘mark’ when displaying my painted wedding cakes. So I decided to bring a meadow with me! Lots of hessian, straw and twigs filled the back of the van, and even a couple of wooden old crates to add height, I LOVED IT! It totally made me want a shop front just so I could play with window displays all day long. Alas, not this decade!
I also met tonnes of lovely people, including Kiki who organised the show. She was running around making sure everyone was happy, which they were, so well done to a great job!
So here are some new Creative Cakery Friends that I would recommend you check out, if not for a wedding then just for inspiration, they are really fun:
Next week have my next injection of Brides and engagement ring spotting (fun!) at The Vintage Wedding Fayre in Bethnal Green, York Hall. “Tis the season to get wed!”
A few days ago I was rushing around, balancing display cakes, white drapes and business cards on my head. Well it felt like that anyway. Not knowing what to expect at my first wedding fair I prepared myself in a … Continue reading
So I seem to have unintentionally created a few cakes which ‘talk’ about meadows, fields and gardens. But I really can’t help it and as I have said before, my favourite time of year is spring and meadows encompass that. … Continue reading
A very dear friend of mine got married on 28th December last year, my gift to the happy couple was this wedding cake. Kate is a bride of impeccable taste and as an Events Organiser, she needed everything to be ‘just right’, this included the cake, so the pressure was on.
We were clear that this wasn’t to be a christmassy cake, but a magical, silvery, frosted design that would tie into her colours of ivory/red/silver and grey. I knew the red would throw me so I only added a touch at the end. The Bridesmaids were in scarlet dresses and the groomsmen were in grey suits.
The wedding was held at Pembroke Lodge, which was also where the Ant and Bee wedding was (one of my personal favourites). So a beautiful white manor house in Richmond Park was the venue, the Royal Park, if you don’t already know, is huge and the local residents are mainly Stags, Deer and herons as well as lots of other fantastic woodland animals. There is even a large population of bright green Parakeets which I was told once escaped from London Zoo… but that might not be true.
I digress. So the white lodge was decorated in blue lighting so that Kate got her frosted, Narnia atmosphere. White twigs were arching over the aisle that she walked down and a harpist played, filling the room with magic. I would have been very watery-eyed if it hadn’t been for a small child making funny noises as soon as Kate entered the room. If you need tears on demand, I’m your girl and I am happy to attend weddings to open the flood gates. I could be called Rent-O-Blub, suggestions welcome…
Back to the cake. It was a chocolate fudge, 2 tiered giant. I hand-painted various snowflake designs and as you can see adorned the cake with a branch which I made from sugarpaste. The silver-leafed rose was also made from sugarpaste. I actually really enjoyed adding the depth of the branch and pairing it with the hand-painted detail, different to what my usual ‘flat’ cakes are like. I also had a nice opportunity to use edible silver leaf. which I think looks really effective and has a certain dipped-in-molten-silver appearance. It’s quite simple to use, you just brush it on a damp surface and fiddle about a bit… give it a go! It would look awesome on some cookies.
To finish off the cake, and what I was MOST pleased with, was the trademark Lorna’s Cakery spots – but this time I piped them on using simple icing sugar and water in a piping bag. It gave the cake extra polished angles – as you might have noticed the top-tier is purposefully off-centre but I think the piping brings the whole design to a close nicely. I also enjoyed the ‘craziness’ (waves hands in the air) of running the sugarpaste and icing over the top of the ribbons and lace, it’s the simple things that I enjoy obviously! Below is the ‘cutting of the cake’, which funnily enough happened on the dance floor! Please spot Kate’s fantastic expression in picture 1, complete cake fear!
Congratulations Kate and Luke!
Today I delivered this cake. It was chocolate fudge with chocolate buttercream, the Cakery’s best seller.
The brief was: a gentleman’s 60th Birthday, who likes all things older guys love (?!) for instance, fishing, gardening and golf. However, I was also told that he has a certain love for the ‘Wind in the Willows’ – so this has inspired the design quite a lot.
If you have seen any of my cakes you will know that I don’t do novelty designs and my work is more illustrational and heavily set in patterns and graphical drawing. So to ensure the inspiration from the ‘Wind in the Willows’ didnt look like the cake was for a child, I went for the riverbank setting rather than looking at the characters (which I love by the way). So we have Ratty’s rowing boat amongst the reeds and a fancy looking heron (just because I thought he would look cool) and two playing dragonflies.
I used an edible black pen to get the finer lines and it gave me a lot more freedom and allowed for the over look to be more like it’s taken from a story book; which I am very happy with,as I don’t consider storybooks childish at all, they often contain my most favourite of pictures.
The overall style is teetering on the Art Nouveau, I think it’s because of the finer lines of the pen and also, of course, because I added the swirly sea, like in a few of my other cakes. I love the feel this brings and I will keep playing around with this element of my work in my future cakes.
Oh and look! Check out my stickers for my cake boxes, posh eh!
So my first ever cake competition was last week, it was at the Cake and Bake show in Earl’s Court. It was so fun! But I did have nervous, shaky hands for about 24 hours from delivering my cake (via a bus and a tube!) to finally watching the judges walk around the entries and confirm the winner. I didn’t win but amazingly, when I went around to see if anything was by my cake, I saw this cheeky little certificate next to it!
It felt fantastic! Like I was getting peer validation that I am doing the right thing with my Cakery ‘mission’. Don’t get me wrong, I was not having doubts about Lorna’s Cakery, but to hear positive and complimentary comments from successful people in the ‘cake world’ was really encouraging.
It was my target for 2012, to learn new skills (chocolate showpiece) and to enter a competition. I actually entered two, next one is in Birmingham at the NEC for Cake International. (mega!)
So for this competition, I firstly had to apply by submitting my design idea, which had to be inspired by the brief ‘The Edible Beach’. I was so chuffed when I was emailed saying my idea had been chosen to exhibit at the show, chuffed and suddenly really nervous… This is what I sent in:
“A hand-painted cake – silhouette of an elderly couple on a park bench with their trusty dog.
It is dusk, they are looking at the bright, busy pier in the distance.
It will be nostalgic & romantic. Inspired by grandparents enjoying fish & chips by the sea.”
Rumour has it, that they had over 600 people apply with their designs and they chose about 60 to enter (I’m guessing at the 60, I didn’t count how many cakes there were, I should have though!)
Here is a very crude panel that I put together using my out of date, SLOW, Photoshop – showing you the complete design all around the cake:
The icing was marbled with a nude and light tangerine colour before I covered the cake, I then did a light wash of blue with a wide brush to give me layers to work against when deciding where to place the pier etc. I wanted to create textures and depth in the design, I am really happy with the final product. It took a long time and lots of concentration, but before I took it to the competition I knew it was a true representation of what I want to achieve with the Cakery, it was illustrational, with a slight narrative. I knew many of the other entries at the show would be a fabulous array of complex 3D and novelty cakes, all based on a different ‘Edible Beach’ and to be honest my cake stood out as different, almost modest (!) but really, I think this is what I wanted and I was proud that it sat quietly there – if people wanted to and were willing to take a closer look, they would be able to read the little story I painted on my cake.
OK, so I seem to be getting a little poetic now so I will backtrack…you might have noticed that my pictures have got my watermark on, this is all in preparation for my new website, it’s nearly ready! Curtousy of my ever-so patient friend Louise. It’s going to be awesome and act as a ‘front door’ to Lorna’s Cakery. This blog will be nestled inside and visa versa – I have found the blog so useful in my building of the Cakery, even just as a tool to work out what I personally think about what my next ‘move’ should be.
So, talking about progress and ambition, my next ventures that are highlighted in my calendar are: *Hampers (yes, I still haven’t quite figured them out for 2012! Nearly there!), *Eat Your Heart Out – a not-for-profit event run by Miss Cakehead on 26-28 Oct (She is one of the judges at the competition that I cornered and chatted to) *another cake competition in November at the mother of all shows; Cake International! I’m scared. *AND a couple of cake orders in and around all of that, who knows, maybe Lorna’s Cakery is finally taking flight? Now that would be nice wouldn’t it…
(and finally, doesn’t this bird just look ridiculous! Like its clicking its heels in a Mary Poppins salute!)