Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Girl with the Pearl Earring

Girl with the Pearl Earring Costume
Long story short. I was studying the book by Tracy Chevalier called 'Girl with the Pearl Earring' as part of my comparative studies during my Leaving Cert. Woeful book I might add. Anyway, the book was inspired by Johannes Vermeer's painting Girl with a Pearl Earring. Which is a lovely painting. I decided since the book and movie (the movie is actually more boring than watching paint dry since you are watching a movie about paint drying) was popular that I would dress up as the girl with the pearl earring for Halloween. I got my Mam to sew my head piece out of some scraps. I found a cheap lace top and voila. However, I have never had my ears pierced so the pearl earrings were not as straight forward. Before gearing myself up to make some crazy clip on earrings I thought I'd see if my local odd stuff shop had any and guess what! They did indeed. So outfit complete. Off I went. No one at the party I attended had a clue who I was but I didn't care. :)

Johannes Vermeer's painting Girl with a Pearl Earring
Scarlet Johansson as the Girl with the Pearl Earring

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Chocolate Bull!

Chocolate Bull Cake
Once again a fine example of a novelty cake that my house mates made and I didn't. Can you see the trend? Anything I get involved in ends up messy! Anyway they made this cake for ME! It was for my 22nd birthday. Why a bull? Well that is my boyfriend's nickname. (No sniggering!) Anywho it is once again an awesome chocolate pudding cake covered in chocolate cake covering which you can see is very cheap. The nose is made of Wagon Wheels which if I have to be honest I don't really like but a common phrase of mine is 'Well I wouldn't buy them but I'd still eat it like'. In addition to the wagon wheels two chocolate buttons and some white icing (I think maybe it is the filling from an Oreo?) was used for the nostrils and ring. The ears are halved Oreos (Another I wouldn't buy them but eat them biscuit). The horns are wagon wheels halved. Then the eyes are Oreos with one piece of biscuit removed and replaced with a chocolate button.  This cake is fantastic because it is so simple! Only needed chocolate, Wagon Wheels, Oreos, Chocolate Buttons and maybe a bit of icing. It was very tasty too. I love my housemates.

Me as Lady Gaga eating my Bull Cake

Friday, August 12, 2011

Smashed Guitar

Guitar Cake
Another example of a crazy cake where we got carried away. Two circular cakes side by side. Then covered in chocolate cake covering aka cheap cooking chocolate. I made this horrible looking black icing to fill in the hole. Not the best call I've ever made. The neck and head are made from Rocky bars which are biscuits covered in chocolate. Since it would have been too big to have laid out we made a broken guitar which worked out pretty cool with the liquorice lace as strings. I then I wrote happy birthday on it with a decorating marker. A rushed job and a silly idea. Everyone still ate it! 

Sunday, August 7, 2011


So the musician Deadmau5 is known for wearing a large cartoon mouse head on stage. Therefore there is alot of merchandise etc. associated with his brand. One fan gave him a teddy bear called Babymau5. Two of my friends expressed a desire to buy a Babymau5 which I thought was unneccessary. I set about making them teddies. Pictured about is Formalmau5 which is the second teddy I made. Far from perfect but full of character. Simply red felt, white felt, two white buttons and stuffing. The buttons were tricky to attach and had to be sewn through the head to keep them from wobbling therefore in hindsight I would have used flat buttons. I don't have a photo of the first teddy at the moment but I will get one off my friend. Have a look at Babymau5's Facebook page where fans have unloaded pictures of their teddies and pictures of Babymau5 around the world! 

Deadmau5 on Stage

Deadmau5 with Babymau5

Friday, August 5, 2011

Malteaser Cake

Tiered Chocolate Cake Decorated with Malteasers and Chocolate Fingers
As you can see from the reference on the photo I did not actually make that cake. It was the inspiration for a cake I did make today however it doesn't look so appealing so I thought I'd lure you in with a pretty picture! It is my parents wedding anniversary around now so I thought I'd make them a mock wedding cake and well there ya go. Unfortunately, white chocolate fingers and malteasers were not available in my local shops. Maybe in Tesco but I didn't have time or the transport to get to Tesco. So with the help of my boyfriend we had to improvise. 

Believe it or not but I'm actually not a big fan of cake unless it is very fresh sponge cake. As a result alot of my cakes and cupcakes are actually a chocolate pudding mixture. Mmmm. But I wanted tiers. First mistake. I poured the pudding mixture into a cake tin, a small tart tin and a ramekin. Popped them in the oven and let them cook for about twice as long as the pudding recipe would suggest. They are still pretty gooey and fragile when you take them out. I stacked them on top of eachother. At the start this looked great but they slowly started to sink into eachother resulting in more of a blob than 3 tiers.

A Hint of the Mess to Come
Next issue, the lack of white fingers and chocolates. Why bother says you. Well, after some research on Google Images I decided all milk chocolate versions were just a bit boring. So melted some white chocolate and tried dipping some of the milk chocolate fingers in it. The chocolate was too thick. I added some milk. The mixture wasn't making the fingers white enough. Chucked in a load of icing sugar. Perfect. Well sort of. It was still very messy and rough around the edges. My diligent boyfriend dipped about a third of the fingers and malteasers into the white chocolate mix and laid them out on cling film to dry. Now because the mixture had to be fairly thick to give a good covering it meant that a achieving an even smooth finish was quite difficult. Basically we got the white chocolate everywhere! It also made the white ones much bigger than the milk ones. 

So it was messy looking. The white ones were out of proportion. The whole thing started to sink and lean to the side. Did we care? Nope it tastes absolutely awesome!

Malteaser and Chocolate Finger Tiered Chocolate Cake

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

M&M Basket Cake

M&M Chocolate Finger Basket Cake
Now I didn't make this cake. My housemates did and it was yummy. It was for our other housemate who loves chocolate M&Ms. I'd seen a basket cake made with Kit Kats on the internet that my sister showed me. The cake is a overcooked chocolate pudding which gives a gorgeous moist hybrid between a chocolate fudge cake and a chocolate pudding. I am a big fan of them. Then they iced the cake in chocolate fudge icing, stuck the chocolate fingers on and then covered it in M&Ms. Simple and awesome looking. Probably one of the tastiest cakes I've ever had. Here are some examples of Kitkat basket cakes; Miss Oven MittsCollege Baker

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Classic Sponge

Rose Petal Sponge Cake
So despite saying I was going to lay off the rose petal treats it was the only jam in the house so I made rose petal jam and cream filled vanilla sponge cake. Quite the mouthful in many ways. The sponge cake was made using Delia Smith's All-in-one-sponge which is the recipe I always use because it is dead easy. On my mothers instruction I used Soya butter to my disgust but you couldn't taste it in the cake. For more about the all in one sponge cake have a look at a previous post: Rose Petal Fairy Cakes but the basic ingredients are flour, baking powder, eggs, caster sugar and soft butter. I also used vanilla extract.

The Ingredients for an All-in-One-Sponge
I doubled the recipe so as to make two cakes but when I took them out of the oven they were a bit shallow as I suspected. Upon turning the page of the cook book I discovered that for layered cakes 50% more cake mixture was needed. Not to worry. So what happened to the other cake... Well I attempted to make lemon curd but it was all lumpy and not worth photographing and well the cake was disgusting. Still gobbled it up all the same. Fortunately, the second cake was simply filled with rose petal jam and cream and then dusted with icing sugar. Yum Yum!
The Sponge Cake Cooling

Rose And Cream Sponge Cake

Monday, August 1, 2011

Cookie Monster Cake!

Simple Cookie Monster Cake
My friends and I like making novelty cakes for eachother's birthdays that have some connection with that person. The themes can be quite obvious or totally obscure. One of my friends loves the Cookie Monster so it was easy to sort his cake out since there are plenty of examples on-line of Cookie Monster cakes and cupcakes, such as this site Coolest Birthday Cakes which has loads of examples of novelty cakes. You might see a few of mine there. The cake is simply a normal chocolate sponge which had been allowed to cool. 

Firstly, we poured melted chocolate onto the top of the cake and let it set a bit. The eyes are Jacobs Coconut Creams which are a marshmallow biscuit. They were stuck onto the cake with melted chocolate. Then to complete the eyes Cadbury's Chocolate Buttons were stuck on with a bit of melted chocolate. Note that his eyes are wonky on purpose. Then with a knife the shape of the mouth was outlined in the chocolate. 

The icing is buttercream icing with alot of blue food colouring and more icing sugar than usual to get the stiff peaks. Possibly half a bottle of colouring maybe more. In order to get the fur like texture a piping syringe with a star cap was used. I started at the bottom and worked around in layers so that the icing wouldn't slide downwards. Just after I'd squeezed the icing on I'd push the syringe into the icing and then pull away. This stopped the icing from being pulled off the cake as the syringe was pulled away. This resulted in neat peaks. 

Finally to finish it off we placed a cookie and some crumbled cookie in his mouth. Due to the large amount of food colouring in the icing no one could stomach it! The icing was very bitter so be warned sometimes it is better to buy colouring paste in order to get the right colour or it won't taste great. 

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