Halloween cake decorating:
I have always really enjoyed halloween baking, you can be silly, you can be a bit gross, you can be extremely childish.
Though I have plenty of ideas and am not too shabby knocking up a cake, my buttercream skills are not the best. Working with a tremor too means I am often taking slightly different routes to ensure I am comfortable when doing something.
I wanted to practice and develop my skills and with Halloween fast approaching, now felt like the perfect time.
I was fortunate enough to have Rebecca from http://www.rebeccas-cakes.co.uk come over to my house to teach me some tricks.
Rebecca has been providing us with the most delicious cupcakes, biscuits etc for over ten years. She has provided goodies for most of the significant events/parties I have had. She is a cake wizard, a buttercream genius. Her goodies will leave your hips hating you but your hearts begging for more. Having her come to my house was the best Monday ever.
Arriving with an array of spooky decorations, sprinkles, edible decorations, spiders, coloured fondant, liquorice and ghost mallows. Rebecca was well prepared for a Halloween explosion.
Rebecca advised me that Tk Maxx are great for themed decorations as well as pound shops, eBay and local cake stores where she stocks up.
I quickly learnt that one of the reasons why I struggle is that I am too careful and cautious when handling the cake and buttercream. As well as the fact that Rebecca’s buttercream knocked mine to pieces and was not fearful of being slathered and scraped. (Recipe below)
Rebecca brought a practice cake, where I learnt about crumb coating, how to fill in the cracks (I think I could be a plasterer now) how to manipulate the cake using the right tools and to not worry. Crumb coats are basically like wearing Spanx pants, it keeps it all in and it does not matter how it looks as no one can see it anyway.
We then had a play with piping. This will not be my thing. My hands are not a fan of it and after a while they hurt from the way you hold the bag.
It was fun though to have a play with it and my skills were not the worst.
After a crumb coat applying the outer layer of buttercream was a dream. Any mistakes could be scraped off and gently re applied.
I love a drip cake, I love the way it looks, I love that is the perfect cover up for any “imperfections”.
Drips can be made out of an assortment of things, salted caramel, icing sugar, candy melts, chocolate, ganache.
As I was Halloween cake decorating, I wanted to work with ganache so to make the drips I used a sauce bottle to squeeze and drip. This was really easy and a lot less messier than when I had previously used a spoon.
The drips depend on the consistency of the ganache. (Recipe below) I was not too fussed about them reaching the bottom.
Halloween cake decorating:
Well this bit was fun, I called out for my inner child who quite frankly is never too far to be seen. We sprinkled, used the liquorice skulls, Marshmallow ghouls, fondant bats, spiders and lastly the sugar figures from Tkmaxx.
The different ways I could have decorated were endless due to a good stash of decorations.
I think if you are looking to decorate a Halloween cake but on a budget then I really advise investing some time to head over to the places I mentioned above. Then it becomes so much more fun when you, and if you have any little helpers, can just have fun with it.
I really picked up some new techniques from the fabulous Rebecca and I learnt that though I have to respect the cake, it needs to know who the boss is.
My tummy definitely appreciated it and I am really in the mood for some more spooky baking and practising my Halloween cake decorating.
300g unsalted butter, 700g icing sugar, drop of vanilla or whatever flavour you fancy and a few tablespoons of water and mix in a mixer. Add more water if needing to soften more.
Colouring as you wish, though be aware that Wilton colourings I think slightly alter the taste. I prefer Sugar Flair (which usually needs just a pin drop added)
Equal amounts of double cream and dark or white chocolate. Whatever type of chocolate you fancy, need not be expensive as mixing with cream.
Can be either melted in the microwave on short bursts and then whisked, or in a bowl over boiling water.
Head over to http://www.rebeccas-cakes.co.uk if you are looking for cakes, goodies or catering.
She is also on Instagram as http://www.instagram.com/cakerebecca