Happy 1st Birthday Cara

And so it was finally here, we have been blessed with Cara’s first birthday, I can remember the day my sister went to the hospital with my brother in law and mom.

Isla (3 year old niece/big sister to Cara) stayed up all night (shush) watching Mickey Mouse Clubhouse. Until the following day we awaited to hear the news.

I wanted to do something special and as you can see from my previous cakes, I’ve always been happy to use cake mixes and icing but this time I wanted to do it myself.

I didn’t take as much pictures as I would like because I didn’t have faith it would go better than I expected. I used fondant icing to cover the cakes and FINALLY used my topsy turvy cakes. I was a complete beginner with both icing and tins and was researching smoothing techniques and various recipes for what would be a 3 (albeit wonky) cake.

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I bought
1kg of Caster Sugar,
18 Eggs,
1.5kg of Self Raising Flour,
A big tub of Stork margarine
1kg of fondant icing and 3 x 250g
250g of pink icing
Pink food colouring
Green food colouring
Vanilla Essence
1 candle
Betty Crocker Vanilla Icing
Baking powder

I also found a Madeira cake/Victoria sponge mix in the cupboard but these weren’t used.

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I used this recipe for the three cakes. The 25cm tin which would be the bottom. The 20cm tin for the middle and the 15cm tin for the top. The website where I got the recipe and method from seems to have disappeared and so I’m a bit disappointed I can’t put it on here. However I’m a big fan of Lorraine Pascal and this link is a good recipe to follow:
http://www.bbc.co.uk/food/recipes/three-tier_red_velvet_17795

I’m not sure if that link works but I generally googled three tier cake recipes till I found a method I liked.

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As usual I sat down to watch it rise. There’s something comforting watching what you made grow. A bit how my sister feels watching Cara grow in to a toddler and Isla in to a little lady.

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When it came out I was a bit ‘hmmm’ about it. The recipe I used didn’t call for baking soda/bicarbonate even though I had bought some. I felt it had not risen enough. Once I took it out the pan though, I could see the it had moulded to the shape of the wonk so was a little bit more pleased.

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This was in the oven at gas mark 4 for about 1 hour and a half.

I used the method of creaming the butter and sugar and adding 1 egg to 1 spoonful of flour to avoid curdling. I set to work greasing and lining the middle pan and put this in the oven for 1 hour.
And this was the end result.

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I had neglected the boy a little. So he offered to loosen up and colour my fondant icing.
It turned out he was a dab hand at cutting the butterflies out of fondant and therefore he takes the credit.

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Now came the crumb coat. This is the first time I have used icing to coat a cake crumb like rather than just plop it on!
And the fondant icing. I’ve never used it before. I’ve never covered a cake before. I didn’t have a scraper or a smoother. Just my hands.

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For my first attempt I was impressed and I’m never happy but I really was pleased. It was a heavy cake and I thought it wouldn’t be nice because of it being a sponge cake I missed putting the jam on it. I thought no one would like but everyone was pleased.

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And the birthday girl enjoyed her very first piece of cake 🙂

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Dreams

Since my dad passed away I’ve had the strangest dreams. None that I can ever remember or I confuse them with past dreams, but it got me thinking of my dreams and what of them?

I dream of a world where there is no pain and suffering;
I dream that instead of an old bag and cat lady, I can raise owls.

I find myself daydreaming of my own shop and in my dream world, each party member has a task.

Mom – she is an an inspiring woman, if not a little cranky sometimes. She does not deserve the pain she receives. She would be in charge. A fine head on her shoulders, she would rule the roost.

Nan and Aunt Sam – would be fighting in the kitchen whilst doing the washing up. Fighting because Sam would feed the stray cats with my leftovers therefore resulting in a lot of cats. Sam fighting back because nan is nagging her.

Mrs C – she is an extraordinary woman who can create magic from her fingertips. She would be part business woman/event organiser/chief costume maker

Pete – he would be Mrs C’s right hand (wo)man. He would flurry through my shop and bring with it a sparkle of excitement.

Ana – she would sit in the corner, feet up, cup of tea and book in lap and her family would be curled up under her feet. If it was a cold winter, she would be sat in front of the fire, singing to herself and watching the world go by.

Cahill – he would be the decorator. Creativity is second nature to him and creating something spectacular and unique flows from his fingertips. He is an artist.

Isla – she would be our queen and taste monster. Cara would be drooling, crawling and causing mischief.

Laura – now she would have a section of the shop where she could sell her knitted garments as she helps write nan’s autobiography.

Mrs G – now she would combine her soup making with Pete’s soup making and would be the nice side to my shop. (Everyone else being naughtier!)

Poppa G – my finance man, a remarkable man and a man who pulls a lot of funny faces.

Alex – he would be the one who keeps us all together. His loyalty, his attitude and his ability to look at things from an outside perspective. He would be the calm after the storm and of course stud engineer top security man and all round safe keeper.

Me – I guess I would bake as I watch this little family of mine intermingle on a daily basis and smile as I know, deep down, if it weren’t for them, I wouldn’t dream at all.

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