Sunday, 18 November 2012

Art Attack Cake

I was asked to create a cake for my colleague's daughter who was turning three and loved Art Attack and Mister Maker. I jumped at the cake at making an art themed cake, knowing that it'd be a lot of fun to make. Organised chaos sprung to mind!

I was told that her favourite colours were pink and purple - a little girl after my own heart! So I decided to cover the cake in a deep pink colour, with the theme of purple elsewhere. I knew that I wanted the cake to have an artist palette, paintbrushes and paint tubes on the top of the cake.

I used and coloured royal icing for the paint on the palette. I was so pleased with how paint like it actually looked, especially with the squeezed out effect with the peaks. I dipped the end of the paintbrushes in the royal icing that left a really realistic look of paint – looking a little messy and thick just like the real thing. The palette was made purely of flower paste to ensure that it dried hard. 

 The paintbrushes were constructed in three parts. A long sausage shape made out of flower paste with a small amount of sugar paste mixed in. A small rectangle for the metal between the handle and brush and a tear shaped tip for the brush. I coloured the handle with some caramel colouring and once air dried for a short while, I scored it to give the affect of wood grain. To make it look more like wood grain, I made a thin brown paint (water consistency) so it could be painted on to give a varnish affect. It worked as desired as the scored areas were darker and trapped the colouring beautifully.

The picture stood at the side was one of my favourite elements and was inspired by a cake I found online. It was made purely of flower paste and I painted the background of the picture first and then sketched the family afterwards. I thought that this was a endearing addition to the cake, especially because I drew it like I thought a three year old would and ensured that it was a representation of the family the cake was for.

I marbled some of the sugar paste decorations to give it a swirled look, rather than a block colour. I used a swirly embossing sheet and a quilt affect embossing tool to create some the decorations. I loved how they looked once placed on the cake. I think it added just enough texture and creative edge for it to be both girly and arty.

I loved how the paint tubes and leakages looked on the cake. This was the epitome of messy and fun art to me! I was so impressed with how amazing the royal icing leakages looked. 

Thursday, 15 November 2012

Peanut Butter Squares

This recipe is taken from Lorraine Pascale’s new book. It’s a lovely book and I’ve made three things so far. Two main meals and this beautiful sweet treat.  I could say many superlatives regarding these morsels of sheer genius, however I just need to stress that if you are a peanut butter fanatic like I am (as you know!) then you must make them.

It’s a brilliantly easy recipe and takes very little preparation – peanut butter, digestive biscuits, melted butter, brown sugar, chocolate, vanilla and chilled in the fridge when all combined. Easy peasy. It’s extremely indulgent, calling for most of a jar of peanut butter, however it does make 16 squares. They are quite large squares too so you could down size even more if you wish. I didn’t want to because they were so moreish and I do have quite a high threshold for sweet things. 

The next time I make these, I am going to cover them in white chocolate instead of milk chocolate. The recipe calls for dark chocolate but I went for milk, simply because I prefer the saltiness from the peanuts against the smooth, sweet milk chocolate – yum! 

I would say that these squares are a hybrid between a biscuit and a Reese’s peanut butter cup. 
Simply fabulous!