Ganaching Kit / Cookies and Cream Cake

I have been eyeing up the Frost Form Kit for a while now, but I just couldn’t spend that much money for it as a novice / home baker. The 6” kit is currently selling for £66 which for me is a lot. That’s not saying it’s not worth it, just that it wasn’t something I was willing to invest in.

Last month, I stumbled across a similar product called “Brigid’s Ganaching Kit” which to me looked very similar. The 6” kit was on offer on Cake Cabinet for £19, so I took a punt and ordered one last month. I realised you can order direct from the company who make them though, so check out Brigid’s Cake Room

 Frost FormBrigid’s Ganaching Kit
Clear Form / TinYESNO
BaseYESNO
Base linerYESYES
Crumb CutterYESNO
LinerYESYES
BottleNOYES

You don’t get as much in the Brigid’s kit, but the things I was missing I already had – I have a 6” cake pan with detachable base. I have a 5” crumb cutter to trim my cake layers, so I figured I’d have everything I need.

I made a cake yesterday with no purpose other than testing the kit out. I baked 5 layers of vanilla cake with Oreo crumb, allowed them to cool, then trimmed them with my crumb cutter. I set up the Ganaching kit as per instructions, and began to build my cake*

I had 5 layers of cake, with vanilla buttercream and Oreo crumbles in each layer.

Once it was stacked, I made a white chocolate butter ganache mixed with Oreo powder. I added it to the bottle, then realised it wouldn’t come out of the spout due to the crumbs inside, so I just poured it over the cake instead.

I put the cake in the freezer for an hour to set, and then came the reveal

There was a tear in the ganache, but this was entirely my fault as the cake was pretty much touching the liner at this part & I hadn’t realised. I was ecstatic with the result though for a first go!

What you can see when I cut the cake is that the ganache is a lot thicker on some slices than others. Again, this was entirely down to me stacking the cakes slanted without realising.

*I should have been more careful in building the cake as it ended up leaning to the side. This was entirely my fault and I reckon I could have added ganache around the edging as I added each layer to keep it more in line.

My next test will be a buttercream coated cake.

Gender Reveal Cakesicles

I got to do something new over this last week – Gender Reveal Cakesicles

My friends are having a baby (expected towards the end of next month) and asked me if I’d be willing to make some cake-pops for them to have a gender reveal party. I have mini popsicle molds, so I asked if I could do those as I’m not the best as free-shaping cake-pops. Funny enough, this was deemed to be OK.

The request was for 40 cakesicles to be made, but only one of to have the colour reveal inside. I was given the sealed paper with the baby’s gender on it, and neither parent knew what it said. I was literally the only person other than the doctors / nurses to know! My husband didn’t want to know either, so to try keep everything secret, I made both pink and blue cake fillings to ensure the mystery remained.

I made the cake and cakesicles on the Sunday. I have 2 molds, so shaped 8 at a time.

I wrapped them in greaseproof paper and put them in zip-lock bags until later in the week. The day I did this I wasn’t fully paying attention and ended up making far more cakesicles than we’d actually need. Plus side – this gave me more for practice / errors.

On Thursday, I took the cakesicles out of the freezer to defrost during the day, and then I started working on them Thursday evening.

I had bought bags of white candy-coats to use so that I wasn’t trying to colour white chocolate. I melted these a bag at a time, and after adding vegetable shortening I finally got it to a consistency I was happy with for dipping.

The dipping commenced. I dipped all of the cakesicles and picked the “best” ones for the final 40.

I had numbered the backs of all of the sticks and knew which number was the gender reveal coloured one which made it easier to keep track of for the day.

My friend had made some chocolate stars / moons which she had coloured gold, but asked that I just go with whatever I fancied for decorations. I did a collection of gold designs using glitter, gold leaf, and her toppers.

I had bought some clear plastic boxes for cakesicles, so boxed up my favourite 40. I collected these back at the party for re-using to avoid the impact of “single use” plastics.

After boxing up the best ones, I had a LOAD spare. Thankfully, we have plenty of friends and workmates to pass these on to, as well as freezing some for family next weekend (they freeze for a few months).

I kept one each of the coloured ones so that I could 1 – test to see if you could see the colour through the chocolate (you couldn’t), and 2 – to take some pictures of the cut cakesicles.

The finishing touch was adding some small gold bows to each stick which I applied with glue dots.

When it came for the actual reveal at the party, the hosts allowed everyone to pick a cakesicles from the table. I kept an eye on who chose the one with the colour in it, and then they had everyone stand in a circle. Starting at the parents to be, each person took turns in biting their cakesicles to see if it contained a colour – to make this last longer we sent the order the longest way around the circle from the person who had the reveal. They got a video of this (2 minutes 20 before the bite revealed a colour).

Oh, they’re having a boy 😊

3 cakes in 1 day

It was our niece’s 6th birthday celebration on Sunday, and add to that it was the Brother in Law’s 40th that weekend too, so we decided to surprise him at her 6th Birthday “party” at our house. That was 2 cakes.

I had also kindly agreed to make a cake for a friend’s mum’s birthday, so that meant 3 cakes to sort on Saturday. I’ve never felt more like a baker, and it took the full day to decorate them all.

I’d pre-baked the layers (5″ rounds of vanilly cake for the niece, and chocolate cake for the other two) and kept them in the freezer. They always turn out amazing & it makes it so much easier to decorate from frozen.

This was the fridge throughout the Saturday:

It was just as well we have a big fridge & that what little food was in there condensed to the bottom shelf & drawers at the bottom.

These are the finished cakes that I ended up making that day:

And a few more shots of the cakes on the day:

Pride Cake

We had a Pride Day at Zen and I volunteered to bake cakes for it. I originally planned to do my striped rainbow cake again, but I couldn’t be bothered with the effort to dye and pipe all the buttercream.

I instead came up with a painted version with fondant toppers:

The main cake was vanilla sponge with strawberry jam, vanilla buttercream, and rainbow sprinkles.

I also made some vegan cupcakes to go with it – 6 each of Vanilla and Chocolate cupcakes.

Posing with my creation in all my rainbow-glory

Practice Practice Practice

I made another rainbow striped cake, this time for someone who asked me to make one for their sister’s birthday.

The stripes were definitely better this time around:

I added the banner on the top as I felt it just added that something to the cake – originally it was just going to have the candles on, but I liked the banner better. Thankfully, they did too!

The cake itself was chocolate cake layers and chocolate buttercream on the inside, then white chocolate and vanilla buttercream on the outside.

Frozen Birthday Cake – Free Cakes for Kids

This cake was done as part of the Free Cakes for Kids group that I bake for. The spec: Frozen – she especially loves Elsa.

I looked online for some inspiration, and opted to make Elsa using a cake topper / cut out. When I looked for cake toppers, I thought they were over-priced for what they were. I figured I’d buy a birthday card to use but then saw a gift bag for 99p when in Poundstretcher:

Seeing the chance to save some money, I got the bag & made my own topper using kebab sticks

The drip was made with white chocolate and silver lustre dust. I added some sprinkles and edible glitter for the finishing touches, as well as a candle I picked up at Asda for £1

Buttercream Blues

The last couple of cakes I have made really annoyed me as the buttercream kept “splitting” / going grainy and no matter what I did, I couldn’t get it to be smooth. I tried hacks like adding in a spoonful of melted butter which looked like it made it better, then it just went grainy again. You can see it on the Minecraft I did earlier this month too.

The next time I make a cake, I’m going to be super meticulous in every step to see if I can remedy this. Sadly, I didn’t have the time / energy to re-do buttercreams when I made my dad’s birthday cake this weekend.

Thankfully, my family all thought it was good, but I knew it should have been far better than this. I’m not perfect, but I know my own capabilities and it should have been better than it turned out.

The plus side – it was still edible 🙂

Minecraft Birthday Cake

It was my eldest Niece’s 8th Birthday last week, and my Sister-in-law suggested Minecraft as the theme.

The icing was a tad gritty – I’m not sure what went wrong there, but overall it went well.

The toppers were all made from fondant, and took FOREVER to do (it took me 90 minutes to do the TNT and pig!!)

She enjoyed it though, which is all that counts in the end!

Autumn Carrot Cake

I had a request to make an “autumnal carrot cake” and this was what I made

The cake was a carrot cake recipe taken from Chelsweets, though I only used half the amount on her site. It was a good cake!!

The cake was stacked, and iced with cream cheese frosting, and I coloured some fondant to cut out the leaves (with a plunger set from Amazon).

Loaf Cakes

L-R: Lemon Gin Cake, Lemon Drizzle Cake, Spiced Courgette Cake.

I was trying to keep myself busy a few weeks back to distract from feeling sad (one of my friends had died and we had been to his funeral). This resulted in me spending a Saturday afternoon in the kitchen baking up some random loaf-cakes. I didn’t originally plan on making three cakes, I just got carried away again.

Lemon Gin Cake

The first cake I made was a lemon + gin pound cake. This is made using equal weights of egg, sugar, butter and flour, and then adding gin and lemon juice to the mixture. Normally you can really taste the gin, but on this occasion I must have gone too easy. It’s topped with a gin + lemon soak.

Spiced Courgette Cake

The second cake I made was a vegan cake: spiced courgette cake with a lemon glaze. This was made following a recipe from Domestic Gothess that turned out so well I made the cake again the weekend after!

Vegan Lemon Drizzle

The third cake I made this day was a vegan lemon drizzle cake; again made with a recipe from Domestic Gothess

Again, this turned out really well and was very tasty!

As I wasn’t ever going to eat 3 loaf cakes to myself, I ended up slicing them all up and packaging them into cellophane wrappers to send to some people in the post as a pick-me-up / thank you for their help over recent weeks. It was a LOT of cake: