Minnie Mouse Cake Part 1 {Step by step}

Its been a while since I did a step by step post. So here it is!
I'm still not comfortable saying 'tutorial' I don't feel I'm qualified to call it that.
But if it helps you then that's my goal! So I guess its sort of the same thing.
This post was getting a little long so I've decided to do it in 2 parts.
This 1 is the carving and covering etc. of the cake itself.
Part 2 will be the face,decorating and finishing touches.

Its my daughters birthday tomorrow,and she loves Minnie Mouse.
17th birthday I might add!
So the obvious theme was Minnie.
Now I've only made 1 carved cake before so I wasn't exactly brimming with confidence.
I'm up for a challenge though and any chance to hone my skills!

The first thing I did was to make a template.
Actually I baked a 10 inch square,2 layer chocolate cake first!
Ill assume you already know how to do that part.
There are quite a few photos in this post so didn't want to bore you with lots more
about something you already know how to do :)

I found the perfect picture on Google images and I've included the same 1 that I used here for if you decide to give it a go too.

Minnie mouse face cake template

My plan was for Minnie to be approx 9 inches square,my printer only prints up to A4...as most do.
So i printed her in 2 halves and taped them together to make 1 whole face.
Like this...

I then drew around the template on a piece of cardboard and checked again that it was a good fit before making 1 more cardboard cut-out approx 1/2 inch bigger which we'll set aside until later.

Now for the fun part,or scary part depending on how you feel!
To hold the template in place,I pierced it with skewers.

I scored around the template with my craft knife first,Leaving myself just a little wiggle room around the edge. You can just about see it here.

Then I started to cut the cake away,slowly working my way down and around the cake.

Take your time with this part,you want as straight sides as you can manage.
Don't be too 'ocd' though,when you ganache/buttercream your cake that will give you your smooth sides.
Just focus on the actual 'face' shape.
It helps hugely if you put the cake in the fridge first for a little while to firm up.

After the cake is carved and you're happy with it,grab that other cardboard that was set aside earlier.
Set the cake onto it like you would with any other cake board.
Unless you're very very lucky,or have 1 especially made then you aren't going to find a board in this shape.
The next step is to ganache or buttercream the cake...in your usual way.
I nearly always use ganache,It sets much firmer and gives a much smoother and sharper finish.
Ill definitely write a step by step on ganching in a future post,its on my to do list I promise.

Ill be honest,this was a tricky step.
Getting into those corners and around those curves wasn't fun.
But I did 3 fine coats of the ganache and went over it with a hot palette knife after each set and eventually I got there.
Or rather I got to where it was good enough anyway!

While the cake was set aside to firm up,it was here that I covered my cake board in red fondant.
I forgot to take a photo,sorry but you'll see it soon.
It was a 13 inch round cake board that I used.
I wanted enough room to decorate it and using rather large boards is a habit of mine!

Not the greatest photo but it was as smooth as I was getting it...you cant see it but the sides were more important (you'll see why later) and they were good enough.

Now to cover the cake in black fondant.
I wasn't sure how to go about this and I settled on doing it in 2 pieces.
The plan was to first cover the top and then wrap the sides.
I was convinced I couldn't do it in 1 piece.
But that's exactly what I did.
Oh ye have little faith!

Id rolled the fondant way bigger than I thought,and it fit right over the cake.
I just started smoothing and pushing it around those nooks and crannies and voilĂ .
Much much easier than Id expected.

When id finished smoothing,and smoothing some more.
I set the cake onto my covered board.

I'm now onto the next step of cutting out and piecing together Minnie's cute smiley face.
But I'm saving that and the rest for the Part 2.
Where ill show you the finished cake.
After all it isn't Bethany's birthday yet.
So I have 1 day to finish it.
Oh,plus the matching cupcakes she's asked for too!
Wish me luck :)

If there's anything I missed (I'm writing this at 2.30am,blurry eyed) 
please feel free to let me know or ask me anything.

SweetHarts...Edible toppers and expanding my venture!

All of you wonderful readers that follow my blog and pages etc will know that some time ago,
I started a small venture. Designing and printing edible images.
I'm happy to say its going well and I really enjoy it!

Mothers day cupcake toppers
Example of cupcake toppers
For some time now I've wanted to expand a little and move into selling other 'cakey' goodies
such as cutters,moulds,ribbon etc.
All of the things we bakers use to prettify our creations.
So I recently started to do just that!
Although I cant really call it a full blown shop just yet...(I'm finding my feet and just getting it off the ground)
I do have some nice things and many more to come!
Everything I sell I test out myself first,to ensure great items at bargain prices.

lovebirds heart mould
Lovebirds heart mould £3.50

If you would like to take a look,or just stop by and say hello...please do!
At the moment,I'm using Facebook as my base,but hopefully soon ill be moving to a website.

I hope to see you there!

cupcake patterned cello cookie bags
12 pack of cello bags £1
Or you can email me Sweetharts@Live.co.uk

I'll be back soon with a birthday cake post...Minnie mouse,which is a new 1 for me!

De'Longhi Easi-Tronic Combi Microwave: Argos {Review}

In a house with 3 adults and 4 teenagers, a microwave is a blessed thing!
Anyone that knows me,knows I'm not the best cook. 
While I do try to make a good home-cooked meal when I can,I freely admit that it isn't often.
Look how sexy this is!
I can call a microwave sexy...right?!

Its a De'Longhi Easi-Tronic Combi Microwave and I've been using it for a little while now. 
Its for sure 'Feature Packed' with an oven that heats right up to 200 and it even has a grill!
Having 2 ovens in my house is fantastic,especially if cooking for the whole family at one time.
Even though I'm essentially a baker,when I'm cooking,something I struggle with is my timings so this has proved to be a huge help.
I can even bake in it..(can you believe that) I haven't tried that just yet but in the next few days I plan to...
ill be letting you know how that goes as it'll be a first for me!
On first glance it looks a little complicated to use,with all those fancy buttons...
but it really isn't and we all got used to it right away.
It heats up and does it thing really fast,unlike my previous microwave.
Which honestly had seen better days!

Anyway..I love it,it fits right into my kitchen.

The only negative I can point out is that there isn't a grilling rack supplied.
So Ill have to pop out and buy 1 of those. Besides that,it really is the best microwave I've ever had
and I highly recommend it.

Argos has a whole range of cheap microwaves to suit any budget...make it your 1st stop if your thinking of renewing yours!

Chocolate addiction cake

I think that's an appropriate title for this post,this cake is a chocoholics dream!

2 tier chocolate candy covered cake

Ive made a fair few candy covered cakes but I have to say that this is my favourite.
It isn't quite what I had in mind for my sons 18th birthday...but this is exactly what he wanted.

I have to admit it made my life a whole lot easier,the cake I had planned would have been a lot more work and a lot more stress!

The cakes themselves are chocolate,of course...
covered in Kit Kats,Chocolate Buttons,M & M's, Snow Bites,Maltesers and 
topped off with a single Ferrero Rocher!

2 tier chocolate candy covered cake

Yes,its a dentists nightmare but he didn't eat it alone :)

If you'd like to see a more detailed post about these type of cakes,pop over to an earlier post of mine.
Chocolate Lovers Cake

Xbox birthday cake

I want to start by saying what a terrible blogger I've been! (Again)
Life is really crazy at the moment what with my little topper business getting busier by the day,my brood of teenagers and just life in general really!
So I am sorry...and I promise to try and be here more often.
My email is a little backed up too...please bear with me or give me a hefty nudge and ill get back to you asap!

My most recent cake was for my son Christopher's 14th birthday.
Much like alot of boys his age,his Xbox is his prized possession!

What do you think?

I was going to make the Xbox itself...but that would have been alot of cake wasted if I 
messed it up so went for this instead.
This is the first cake I've ever attempted to carve so i was apprehensive.
I'm so pleased with how it turned out and Chris loved it.

I did take quite a few photos along the way so plan to write up a step by step 'how-to'
I know how helpful they can be!

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