Monday, 11 April 2011

My top 5 tips to getting great cakes

Here are my top 5 tips to getting great cakes, although I am not an expert, these seem to work for me.

1) Always line the cake tin with greaseproof paper, this will stop any sticking and the cakes seems to turn out better. (wait until the cake has cooled before trying to remove the paper)

2) To flavour your cake, use a sugar syrup to get some more interesting combinations.
To make a sugar syrup simple melt some sugar in a saucepan and add mint, green tea or orange blossom water or whatever you fancy trying and brushing the whole cake with it.

3) You can freeze your cakes for up to a couple of months before needed. After baking, leave to cool and then wrap in cling film and into the freezer it goes. I tend to freeze my cakes even if I am using that day or the next, because it easier to handle, especially if its a bit of a crumbly.

4) Freezing also helps with the crumb coating, this a coating of butter icing that is smoothed onto the cake to prevent crumbs getting into the top icing and give you a better finish. I smooth on the icing and using a piece of paper I remove the excess, then place the cake in the fridge for 20mins-1 hour. Repeat process if required.

5) Using a cake smoother or polisher is great for when you are putting on roll on. It smoothes out bubbles and creases (pictures behind the cake)

...and give a professional finish.

Enjoy Sus x

Wednesday, 6 April 2011

Whooo gives a hooot?

I was inspired to make a cute cuddly owl. My cupboard door in the hall is soooo rebelious, as it opens when it wants to (nothing to do with the stuff in the cupboard packed to capacity, obviously!!) I decided what I needed was a doorstop and an Owl would be nice to look at.

It was so easy to make, you use just two pieces of material, one slightly large than the other in a semi circle with a pointed top bit (which form the owlies beak ;-) I added some quilted wings because Husbee (my husband) suggested it (and I have to agree, it looks better with them...clever old husbee :-)

I made big Al a friend so they could make sure the hallway cupboard door stays shut (and so he has company and someone to gossip with)

Enjoy Sus x

Notice Board

At last I have gotten around to making my own Noticeboard, like my friend Vicky made. She told me how to do it, it then took another 6 weeks plus for it to be process in my brain and then voila!. ( I just couldn't decided what fabric to use, you know the problem too many nice pieces of fabric, which do I use!!!!????)

I really love how it has turned out, I wanted some red on it, as our kitchen has colour accents of this colour. The fabric I used in the end I have had for years and bought a tiny piece of it because I loved it soooo much and that was all I could afford. So I glad I was able to do something special with it, at last :-)

If you want to make you own, all you will need is a corkboard or artist cavas, thinkish wadding (not too thick if you plan to use tacks or drawing pins in it), fabric of you choice (good luck choosing) and some ribbons. The wadding is then staple gunned to the board (or cavas), then same with the fabric. I pinned my ribbons into place first, then stapled them on when I was happy (tra la la) and if you wish put some buttons on, sew or glue them on to finish.

Enjoy Sus x