Tunip from the Octonauts Birthday Cake

A little while ago we showed you how to make a 10 year old big very happy. It turns out that you can also make 5 year old boys very happy by giving them a Tunip from the Octonauts birthday cake.

Tunip cake

Tunip cake 2

Tunip cake 3

You’d be amazed how many other popular children’s characters we can turn our hand to!

Wedding Trends for 2015 – Modern Luxe

One of the biggest wedding trends for 2015 will be Modern Luxe. This trend is all about sleek minimalism, clean lines and touches of fabulousness! If you are doing modern luxe your wedding is likely to be black and white, with touches of gold or emerald green. The important thing is that while this trend is minimalist, it is also luxurious, so it may mean that your table decorations and place settings are clean and uncluttered… but your cutlery are probably gold!

This trend is about dresses with simple silhouettes in luxurious fabrics, succulents and architectural flowers like calla lilies and orchids, geometric patterns in black and white, and low lighting provided by identical white candles in square glass vases.

As ever, I’ve put together a Pinterest board for you so if this trend appeals to you head over to the board for more ideas and inspiration but to give you a flavour, here are some of my favourites.

modern luxe 1

modern luxe 2

Modern luxe 3

modern luxe 4

modern luxe 5

Abstract watercolour cake

This is an abstract watercolour birthday cake and, technically speaking, a very interesting cake to make. At some point I may put together a “how to” tutorial because with a few key steps and the right tools you can create something unique and beautiful.

This cake has a base tier of a double height chocolate cake filled and finished with vanilla buttercream and a top tier of lemon cake finished with lemon buttercream. Usually, if you are hand painting a cake you would cover it with fondant, allow it to harden and then paint but in this case I used 4 very thin layers of buttercream to get a super smooth finish, chilled it until it was firm and then painted directly onto the cake using food colouring pastes mixed with vodka to create watercolours. The design was based on a collection of pinterest images (love pinterest!) collected by the birthday girl to give me a steer on what she liked.

Abstract watercolour cake 2

Abstract watercolour cake 3

Abstract watercolour cake

Would you like something truly personal to you, that reflects you and your personality? We can make that.

Battenberg cake recipe

This is a light almond cake that is surprisingly easy to make but always impresses! Choose a good quality marzipan as that will make the world of difference to your finished cake.

Battenberg cake

Serves 8-12
IMG_0007

Ingredients

For the cake:
225g organic butter
225g caster sugar
4 free range eggs
225g organic self raising flour
85g ground almonds
1 tsp organic vanilla extract
pink food colouring paste
2 tbsp Apricot jam
500g marzipan

Method

For the cake:

1. Pre-heat the oven to 180 degrees and grease and line 2 1lb loaf tins.
2. In a large bowl, mix all of the ingredients with a hand held electric whisk until well combined, light and fluffy.
3. Using a weighing scales, split the mixture in half, transferring half into a separate bowl.
4. Add pink food colouring to one half, folding it through until the desired colour is achieved.
5. Pour the plain mix into one loaf tin and the pink mix into the other cake tin.
6. Bake for 18-25 minutes, depending on your oven. The cakes are cooked when a skewer comes out clean. The cakes should be taken out as soon as the centre is cooked.
7. Allow the cakes to cool.

To assemble:

1. Warm the apricot jam, then push it through a sieve.
2. Cut each cake in half along the length of the cake – you should end up with 4 long strips of cake about an inch square each, 2 pink, 2 standard.
3. Roll out the marzipan into an oblong shape about 3mm thickness. It should be large enough to wrap around the cake entirely leaving the end exposed.
4. Use the apricot jam to stick a standard and pink cake strip to the marzipan, then, while the marzipan is still flat on the work top, use those cakes strips as a guide to trim the marzipan. It’s much easier to do that now than when it’s wrapped around the cake!
5. Cover the cakes with apricot jam and add the final two cake strips, then cover the whole lot in apricot jam.
6. Wrap the marzipan up the sides of the cake and seal on top, trimming if you need to. Pinch the marzipan together then turn the cake over and smooth with your hands to remove any lumps and bumps.

If you’d like to print or save this recipe, try our battenburg cake recipe card

Who we love – Wedding Wonders

At The Dandelion Bakery we are lucky enough to get to meet a lot of wonderful wedding suppliers. When we’ve used or worked with those suppliers a number of times and seen what they can do, they sometimes become people we love.

This month I wanted to tell you about Debbie Diggle of Wedding Wonders.

Debbie Diggle of Wedding Wonders

Debbie Diggle of Wedding Wonders

I know Debbie through The Athena Network and she is a brilliant networker, however, she is also a wedding, party and event planner. No event is too big or small, but Debbie specialises in organising parties and weddings that need the spectacular – if you want stilt walkers, fire eaters, cocktail flarers or for your canapés to be served by people painted silver, Debbie can provide it. I had the benefit of Debbie’s extensive list of contacts when I was planning my own wedding as she was kind enough to point me towards a number of suppliers who were all imaginative and creative, reliable, hardworking, high quality and good value. A large number of my wedding suppliers came from Debbie’s recommendations and they were all brilliant (and much better than some of the ones I found on my own!).

Debbie also offers an on-the-day co-ordination service to make sure that your wedding day goes perfectly. This mostly involves a lot of running around to make sure everything is going to plan, co-ordinating suppliers and basically ensuring that all of your plans are executed as you wanted them. It does also involve dealing with the things that will, inevitably, go wrong without you even knowing it’s happened. This may range from the minor, such as ensuring that all the men have their cravats tied properly, through the stressful, like a damaged wedding dress (and Debbie’s background in dress design and fashion helps enormously here!) through to the full-on crisis – on one occasion Debbie had to call an ambulance for a wedding guest taken ill before the ceremony and divert the Bride so that she didn’t arrive at the church to find an ambulance parked outside, all handled with quiet calm and sensitivity, without the Bride realising anything was wrong.

Debbie has stacks of experience (and the testimonials to go with it) and she has seen and done pretty much everything. She can help a couple to prioritise their plans so that they are spending their money in the right places and, as a result, getting the most for their money. Her top tip is to plan your event from the point of view of the guests – when might they be bored, hungry or thirsty? If you plan your day with your guests in mind, they will have a lovely time and make everything so much easier for you.

So why do we love Debbie so much anyway? She absolutely goes above and beyond. She gets stuck in and gets things done. She is a perfectionist. But most of all, she can help you to make sure that your wedding is remembered for all the right reasons, she can help you to spot gaps in your own planning and avoid mistakes before they come up on the day, and on the day itself she can avert all kinds of crises without you even knowing that it was happening! As a recent bride myself, I can honestly say that is worth its weight in gold!

You can find out more about Debbie by visiting her website.