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Sunday, 29 November 2009

Getting Ready for Christmas

This week is the start of the Christmas Baking period for many people who intend to bake and decorate home-made cakes and mince pies for Christmas.
Usually,I would bake and cover my cakes with sugar paste and leave them to dry for a week before decorating them .
By the week before Christmas (December 18th) ,I would have completed all my Cake projects.
My last wedding cake for the year should be ready before the couple's wedding day on 19th December.
The aspect of cake decoration which should be started weeks before the Christmas cakes are baked, is the making of sugar flowers and other decorations.
Annually , I make sugar Christmas wreaths as toppers for cakes .
This year, I am making three 10" Christmas cakes , topped with sugar wreaths for my family and guests and to give as Christmas gifts.
Other types of edible Christmas wreaths are bread and biscuits wreaths.

Sugar Wreaths for cakes
Each wreath is made of a sugar paste plaque-covered plaque framed by the sugar wreath.
The plaques are covered cake boards, left to dry rock-hard for at least one week before a Christmas scene is drawn and painted on them . Then they are left to dry for days before the wreath is attached with a ring of royal icing .
For one of this year's plaques , I chose a scene copied from a Christmas card.
The scene shows a robin on a holly branch with a glittering snow-covered homestead back-ground.
The plaque was covered with white sugar paste and the scene was traced on and painted with a sable brushes , royal icing and edible paste colours.
The robin , snow and holly bush is made in "Bas Relief" method before painting them.

Draw and paint Christmas greeting on plaque.
 
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Sugar wreathes are made of many hand-made sugar decorations like these:
Twigs of sugar Holly leaves with clusters of red sugar berries :
 
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Hand -made , wired sugar Pine cones :
 
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Ten wired damask-red sugar roses and rose buds; wired sugar rose hips and variegated sugar rose leaves in rich autumn colours:
 
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Dozens of green and autumn -coloured variegated Ivy leaves in all sizes;
 
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Dozens of Eucalyptus leaves in green and autumn colours:
 
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3 Large Poinsetta flowers :
 
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These flowers, leaves and cones should be left to dry very well before they are taped together with green floristry tape to form 10" round wreaths framing the painted plaques.
To give the wreaths a special look , I will attach to them, equally-spaced ribbons loops and bows; in holly green, gold and red colours and Swarovski crystal stamens .
The basics for the wreaths are almost completed ; I am almost there. They should (must!) be ready before Christmas.

Sunday, 22 November 2009

Happy Birthday , Ivie .

This is a white 4-tier 40th birthday cake, with black filigree lace piping work .
It is the customer's selected design with some slight variations , by me.
This project demanded a lot of intricate piping work with black royal icing and the end result is absolutely stunning.
A winner for any wedding or birthday party!

Welcome Home , Annie !

For my friend and neighbour , Annie.