Sunday, May 17, 2009

Holiday & a birthday cake

I'm back from Egypt now - we had a marvelous time, just what the doctor ordered really!
Egypt is such an exciting, interesting and sunny place to visit, I'd highly recommend it. My favourite was the Nile with it's beautiful green colour and dusty sunsets. I'm also really pleased I cleaned the house before we left... coming back from holiday always a bit of a downer, but allot better if you step back into a fresh and tidy home. Here are some highlights from our trip....

A kiss for the Sphinx

The temple of Philae on the Nile

Coming back from holiday, it's all been a bit of a rush, and I quickly had to get my apron ready because it was our one niece's 1st birthday! (we have 6 nieces and nephews between us).
My sister-in-law sent me a photo of a cake she liked, I adapted it a bit and voila... a girly 1st birthday cake for a special young lady.

Well, actually it wasn't voila... it was hard work! My mum use to make wedding cakes, not to mention the most amazing birthday cakes for us, and still makes birthday cakes for all her grandchildren, so I'm lucky that I've picked up some great tips from her. It's nice to know I can ring her up and say 'mum, the icing is cracking, what am I doing wrong?'. It's certainly not perfect, it has some cracks, lumpy- bumpy bits and is even a bit wonky - but hey, it's a homemade cake, and that's what matters.

Fondant icing can be a real pain to work with, but here are some tips if you decide to try it yourself:

  • Always knead and warm the fondant with your hands before you roll it out.
  • Use both your hands to lift up the rolled fondant to avoid it stretching - stretching will also cause cracks!
  • Adding a tiny bit of egg whites can help prevent cracking and smoothing it.
  • I don't buy ready coloured fondant because you can achieve the exact colour you want and you'll need to work the icing anyway before you can roll it out.
  • To test if the icing is ready, when you tear a piece off it should make a nice 'thump' sound as it breaks.
I hope you like the cake, I wish I could share a slice with you all (it's a vanilla Madeira cake).
I'll have to do a proper 'cake making' post some time.

Thanks for stopping by!


Lorilee said...

I love the "kissing the Sphinx" photo. Wow, what an exciting trip. I have never been out of my state-granted it is a big state (Texas). Your cake is awesome. I also like to decorate cakes. I love to use fondant. It reminds me of playing with play-dough! Do you make your own fondant? If so, is it hard to do? I have only bought ready-made fondant. I just color it myself.

Judy said...

What a wonderful vacation. I love the photos. Good job on the cake!! It looks so pretty and I wish you could share a piece with us too. I agree with you on coming home to a nice clean house. It makes such a difference.

Florence and Mary said...

Oh my what a cake!

I love your photos from Egypt, esp the sphinx.

Victoria xx

Ivy said...

Hey you!
I am so glad you had such a great time in Egypt.

You fondant cake look fabulous!

The Vintage Kitten said...

Your holiday photos look amazing. My mother has an apartment in Egypt and lives there most of the year. Love your cake, it looks fab! X

A note on perfection

Many of the posts featured on this blog are about doing household chores the correct, or so to say perfect way. My intention is not to make readers feel that the way they are running their households are wrong. So if making the bed, or ironing shirts in a certain way doesn't fit your lifestyle, do not feel guilty about it. But by learning the correct way of doing things it might just come in handy for those times when special guests are staying, or when you need to iron that shirt perfectly for a job interview. So enjoy the learning, but skip the guilt and LOVE your homes. x

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