A quick and easy way of levelling a domed cake is to put it back into the tin it was baked in and slicing the top off.
If the cake is shallower than the tin, you can prop up using a cake board(s) which is an inch smaller than the cake to prop up the cake, saucer etc then put the cake back in and level as above
Deep boxes can be quite pricey and occasionally I get carried away with cake designs and end up with a cake a lot taller than initially designed. It is then that I discover that I actually need a deep box to allow for the design change (several times this discovery is made at 2am and the cake is due to go out the next day. Too late to order on-line, and no sugar craft shops are open at that hour!- So I thought I would share a very quick and inexpensive way of making corner extensions (cheaper than buying a giant cupcake box/ extra deep cake boxes at current prices). This is a cost you can cut down on quite easily
All you need is some scissors and cardboard (I used a cake box lid-)
Cut into 4 equal strips, about 8cm wide in this case
Fold the strips into half lengthwise
Tuck them into the corners of your assembled box. Tip- do the far corners first
You can staple them to secure them, but I find I never need to
Place cake onto box and repeat same process with the near corners
Place lid on- Nice and secure way of transporting you cake
I happened to have some mango pulp leftover from when I was having a go at replicating Nandos Mango and lime chicken from scratch. I love mango cake but have actually never had mango muffins. (I am a big fan of muffins, they make me feel like I’m being good too, though I get carried away and eat too much at times which defeats the whole purpose!)
I decided to throw bits together hoping it would work and it did! They came out really well, moist and fluffy.
- 100ml oil
- 100g caster sugar
- 1 egg
- grated zest of 1 lime
- 250g self raising flour, sifted
- 240ml mango pulp (available in foods of the world isles in supermarkets)
- 2 tablespoons lime juice
- Prepare your muffin tin with liners if using and preheat oven to 170ºC fan/ 190ºC Conventional
- Beat together oil,egg, lime zest and caster sugar until well mixed
- Stir in flour alternating with the mango juice (I mixed the lime juice with mango pulp beforehand), beginning and ending with the flour. I use a metal spoon for this to avoid overmixing
- Spoon into prepared tins,I use an ice cream scoop so my muffins are the same size
- Bake for about 20 minutes (Tops should be golden and if skewer is inserted in the centre it should come out clean)
Lately I’ve been trying to come to a decision as to whether I carry on doing enough hours a year or not in order to keep my registration with the health professions council. Part of me feels like I should make an effort to stay registered as an Advanced Practitioner in Medical Ultrasound. I am however finding it increasingly difficult to fit it into my already busy schedule. Perhaps it is time for me to burn my bridges so I can focus on what I love best. Failure will no longer be an option.
A bit of my background
I studied Radiography and went on to do a Postgrad in Medical Ultrasound. I enjoyed my job on the most part, but like many I just selected it from a list of available courses not particularly because I wanted to do it, but I had to choose a qualification of some sort. I went on to become a Clinical Applications Specialist. This appeared to be my dream job at the time. I guess for the most part I did not really see life outside the medical field.
I never saw myself ever having the opportunity to work from home due to the nature of my job-unless I built my own hospital! Although this was a brilliant job in a sense, I had to do it on a full-time basis and it took me away from home a lot. This meant spending less time with my husband and two boys, Yanis and Ethan.
My reasons for starting a business…
- I wanted to be able to spend more time with my family and earn some form of income as we cannot afford to live on one income
- I get to do work I am passionate about. I love being in the kitchen, it is such a privilege to wake up everyday and do what I love the most, which is creating edible pieces of art. The joy on customers faces when they come to collect their cakes is priceless.
- I get to choose my working hours, and manage to spend valuable time with my loved ones. I am able organise my work so I do as much as I can while the children are at school or in bed so I can be with them when they need me
- Although cake making in itself is quite a low paying job initially, there is no limit to the earning potential unlike in a traditional job. I believe as I get more experience things will get better. To supplement my income I have opened my Cake decorating supplies online shop which is going from strength to strength
- Lastly -I do not miss commuting!!!
Have you transitioned from a traditional job or are you considering it/ running your own business? How are you dealing with it?
Do you ever go to the store to buy an item and come back with all sorts of items excluding the one thing you went for in the first place?
Or no matter how thorough you are about writing a shopping list there is always a vital item which you almost always seem to forget?
Mine has to be fresh cream for making chocolate ganache! I couldn’t tell you how many times I’ve been caught out but never seem to learn my lesson.
This recipe was developed out of desperation. My husband was away, kids were on bed (10pm) and there was no way I could pop out to buy some. I was going to have to attempt using just what I had, which was just milk and chocolate. I guess as the saying goes necessity is the master of all invention
Since I started covering my cakes using ganache before fondant (sugarpaste) I have not looked back. It helps give the most amazing and flawless finish to cakes, makes getting sharp edges easier and best of all it is utterly delicious
I’m going to share the white chocolate ganache recipe today, and the dark in an upcoming post.
You will need: 5 parts white chocolate to 1 part milk, for example 1kg (1000g) of chocolate to 200g of milk (I weigh the milk too, but there’s not a huge difference if you chose to use a fluid measuring jug)
Place the chocolate (broken into squares if not using callets/ buttons) into a microwavable bowl. Add milk and microwave on full power for 20- 30 second blasts. Mix after each blast and take care not to burn the chocolate
The it should be spreadable consistency, more like cream cheese.
A great video tutorial on how to obtain sharp edges, and recipe for ganache using cream is this one by Michelle of Inspired by Michelle Designs
Do you prefer ganache or buttercream for crumb coating your cakes?
I am a huge fan of Swiss Meringue buttercream.Though delicious, it is a little time consuming to make. If you need a great alternative in a rush this will be perfect I have been working on perfecting this for the past few days and I have to say I was most pleased with my last result.
Up until now when in a rush I have been using Jessicakes marshmallow fluff buttercream recipe which is brilliant too. Definitely worth checking out.
To make my version you need:
2 tablespoons (15g)pure albumen powder or Meri white
120ml hot water
200g granulated sugar
125g sifted icing sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
Dissolve Meri White in the water and commence mixing using the whisk attachment on your mixer whilst gradually adding the sugar. Continue whisking until full peak is obtained (about 8 to 10 minutes at full speed)
Once full peak is obtained swap whisk for paddle attachment and add butter gradually (it may curdle,don’t panic just carry on mixing. Add vanilla extract and continue beating mixture for a further 2 to 3 minutes.
Add sifted icing sugar and beat until nice and fluffy.