Monday, 29 November 2010
Yay its nearly Christmas! I love it - I'm constantly humming the Twelve Days of Christmas which reminded me of this winter wedding cake from a couple of weeks ago. I love the simple design of the ribbon with the blingy brooch but what really makes this cake special to me is the piping. I love white piping on the white cake and love doing it even more.
The bride was a delight to cater for and her feedback was lovely - They had a fabulous day which they really deserved. Congratulations to them!
Posted by Casa Costello at 21:51
Monday, 8 November 2010
What is it with me and vehicles? The brief for this order was either a Volkswagon Golf (Argh!!!) or something Formula 1 - neither of which particularly float my boat (oh god, another vehicle) but in the end we decided on F1.
Chris is a lad from our local church whose Nan/Gran/Mother (it's a St Helens thing!) knows my Mum - He has overcome the most horrendous health problems over the past few years but it is now looking great - I saw him on Sunday and he is MASSIVE (tall).
I'm having a phase of enjoying piping so tried to include some tiny details on the car - most of which don't show up on the pic - particularly as I took it on my phone! I love the effect on the board of the checks too!
Tuesday, 2 November 2010
I am on a mission to own AND USE 200 baking and cooking books by the time I am 40 which is just under 3 years years away (Argh!) These must be books that are useful and don't just sit on the shelf collecting dust. I am already up to at least 120 with just a couple that I need to get rid of as they are not that good.
The Love Bakery book is my latest acquisition and I LOVE it! There are hundreds of cupcake books on the market but this has loads of recipes that I will make. I have only owned the book for a week but have already made the Toffee Apple cupcakes and the Chocolate Orange Cupcakes with plenty more on my 'to bake' list. I attended a charity event last Friday for Halloween where I took loads of cupcakes and the Chocolate Orange Cupcakes were the first to sell out, so they will definately be made again! The recipes do not have loads of ingredients in them or even worse really obscure ingredients that will be impossible to find here in St Helens.
I enjoyed reading the introduction about how the bakery came about and it really struck a chord as it is similar to how my business has started. I paid £12.99 for this book in Chesters (The Coffee shop by the River in Ambleside - I will tell you more about this coffee shop another time) but last night I discovered the book is being sold by The Book People for £4.99 - so fill your boots!
All-in-all a great book and a recommended one for anyone interested in baking.
After a long absence from the blog, I am back with loads of new stuff to post. Millions (well nearly) of cakey and baking books to review (its a serious addiction of mine and all part of the plan to own and use 200 good baking/cook books by the time I'm 40). I have been really busy with weddings but sadly have been very lax with the photos. Still lots to post about though, so lets get on shall we?
I've included for this post 2 of my favourite and most popular christening cake designs - The girly one is just so girly without being too frilly for me - the little kitten is edible and is placed in an icing box (which is a pain to make but worth it in the end). The design comes from Marian Frost and I first saw it at the Sugarcraft exhibition at the NEC a couple of years ago - that exhibition is on this weekend but sadly I am not attending this year. There is a cake tweet-up happening there on the Saturday which sounds brill but will have to wait until next year for me - Have a great time guys!
The 'George' cake can be changed for a girl - in fact I've done a pink and lemon version which was lovely. I like the bold colours and of course the little baby can have blond hair and blue eyes and even freckles! The idea for this cake was given to me by George's Mum but sadly I cannot find who the original design belongs to - Please feel free to tell me if you know as I would love to credit them.
Coming soon Love Bakery - The review and Wedding Cake Madness - Some of the summer of fun!
I'm always on the lookout
Posted by Casa Costello at 10:39
Monday, 7 June 2010
I cannot believe my daughter's birthday has come around again so quickly - This time she is the big 4 - although for months now she has been refusing to admit she is 4 and says she is '3 again!'. On her actual birthday we asked her how old she is now and she said 5! As they say here in St Helens - She is having us on!
I have wanted to do Cath Kidston colours for ages and what better excuse than your daughter's cake? All she said she wanted on it was Peppa Pig (again!) - as the weeks went on though she started adding more characters that she wanted - maybe next year...
I plan on doing more Cath Kidston inspired cakes as I think they can be suited to all manner of occasions - I even plan on doing the rose pattern painted on - will have to have a steady hand for that day!
Tuesday, 25 May 2010
I've said it before and I'm sure I'll say it again - I love a challenge and a new design of cake. This order was completely by chance as my Mum had happened to meet the Grandma of the recipient a couple of weeks earlier and got talking about cakes - as you do round here!
I had a moment of panic when they told me what they wanted and drew a picture of a similar design that they had seen somewhere but couldn't remember where but decided to be brave.
The cake is made of 3 tiers of vanilla sponge all iced individually and then all together (that was a scary moment!) My favourite bit is the royal iced details and the sparkly pink butterfly of course!
Wednesday, 14 April 2010
A cake from last week - My brief was a Dad sat in a cream chair reading the Daily Telegraph. From speaking to one of his daughters it turned out that he was way more interesting than just that!
Also included was a cup of tea (what self respecting person from the north is ever without one!), a teacher's old fashioned hat, wooden walking stick, a roast dinner (complete with mini peas and mini julienne carrots), a book and a bottle of cabernet sauvignon! What a guy!
Most of the people I deal with are just lovely but every now and again I will really click with a customer and we will have loads to chat about. This man's daughter was one of them - We chatted about daughters (we both have 2) and French music (She is married to a French man and I have French music on my website) and so much more. A hidden side to my job that I just didn't anticipate enjoying so much when I started this business -Long may I enjoy these random chats!
Monday, 5 April 2010
The time has come! I have to admit a little secret... Whenever people ring and ask for number shaped cakes I tend to try and put them off for a different style! Well, no longer - I am a new fan.
I have always really struggled to get the convering clean and tidy on number shaped cakes and hate presenting a cake if it is not perfect (or as near to perfect as poss!) So practice I did and I seem to have found a method of covering that 'will do' for now...
The cake pictured was for the son of a client of my husband's - A man that he has spoken about several times as what a nice man he is - no pressue there then to do a good cake! When I spoke to the birthday boy's mum she asked for a baby green as this is the colour he has always had his room decorated in and number cakes - Oh how was I going to make this what she wanted but yet suitable for an 18 year old? We came up with the combination of green and balck with good old star explosions and I have to admit I was quite pleased with the end result - The good news...So were they!
Coming up next...I have no idea!
Sunday, 28 March 2010
As you can probably imagine, I get asked to make a LOT of football cakes - It is always a challenge to make them that little bit individual and different than the last. This was for a man whose wife I have met at a trade show that I regularly attend (More about trade shows at a later date!) - The husband in question was having the mother of all suprise parties and they wanted a BIG cake.
The lady (another Helen) was delighted with her cake when she came to collect but was a little disappointed for my husband who was celebrating his birthday on the same day - with an ASDA cake - The joys of being married to a busy cake decorator!
A few days after the party I received this lovely thank you message...
I just wanted to drop you a line to thank you for Neil's Birthday Cake. He loved the football design and it was absolutely delicious. There was plenty for all our guests, plus we really enjoyed sharing the football afterwards!
Hope your Husband enjoyed his Birthday too and that you will be back at Shop Direct some time soon.
I don't 'do' cakes for the glory or the Thank Yous but they are really lovely when they come.
Coming soon ...Christening Cake
Tuesday, 16 March 2010
This jukebox cake was massive!! This was a bunch of people who went all out to arrange a party for their friend. Everything was co-ordinated to a Rock and Roll theme and the outfits they wore for the party were AMAZING! I believe the cake went down a storm aswell as the cupcakes which all had either musical notes, treble clefs or 'records' all with different song titles. I know Dolly Parton isnt exactly Rock and Roll but Moira (the birthday lady) is a massive Dolly fan and wanted her incorporated. The records were completely edible and varnished with edible varnish. I was slightly depressed though when my 7 year old daughter asked what a record was - how old do I feel?
Coming soon ... Football Cake
Wednesday, 17 February 2010
One of 'our' favourite programmes has recently become Ben & Holly's Magic Kingdom. (When I say 'our' every parent knows that you lose control of the tv until the little ones are in bed!) For a kids programme it is really quite funny - especially the Queen with her accent and sarcastic remarks. I always picture them when I make this cake which is quite a popular one. This was for a little girl that has ordered some of the most amazing cakes I have done so far - Her Mum has the best ideas! Everything except the princesses tiara and the number 4 is edible. Enjoy!
Posted by Casa Costello at 19:37
Saturday, 13 February 2010
Once again, I believe I have one of the best jobs around - as a result of this blog I received an email asking if I would be willing to receive a bouquet of Interflora flowers and describe my thoughts here. Well, hell yes!
They arrived on a boring mundane Tuesday afternoon and immediatedly brightened up my day - even the box was special!
The bouquet I was lucky enough to receive was the 'Me to You' collection along with a super soft teddy - I have to say my girls were so much more excited with the teddy than the flowers! Even the cellophane was Me to you!
I thought roses were just roses but these were gorgeous and lasted really well - 5+ days!
If you are a bit last minute and wanting a really special Valentines gift then these will win you a million brownie points!
Thank you Interflora!
Coming soon ... the castle cake as promised earlier and a MASSIVE juke box cake!
Saturday, 30 January 2010
This week's offering is for a very musical chap - Board designed with paino keys and I had great fun making the drums and the guitar. I used lolly sticks to put the higher drums on which could then be put straight into the cake. The symbols are my favourite - I painted cocktail sticks silver and put these into the drums as they can't go straight into the cake.
Next up...Princess Castle Cake
Monday, 25 January 2010
Look away if you are easily offended! This cake contains nudity - of the marzipan variety.
This is a popular design (not sure where the original idea came from) but it seems to be a popular choice for 40th birthdays.
The ladies' bits are covered up by sparkly stars and legs are strategically placed - This is the rudest cake I do as I have to let my little girls see them - Its by far not the rudest cake I have been asked to do though!! My 7YO thinks its hilarious that anyone would want ladies showing their boobs on a cake but who am I to ask?
Coming soon...Wedding Stationery - the start of 2010 collection and Drum Kits/Guitars and Pianos
Posted by Casa Costello at 20:03
Wednesday, 20 January 2010
Ha! This post is nothing to do with the delectable George Michael but the children's toy craze that frequently has me mithering newsagents up and down the land.
For non-kiddy people, Gogos are a massive range of tiny plastic creatures that all have something individual about them - My latest cake recipient is a young man named Sam who by all accounts is even more obsessed with Gogos than my 2! His favourite is the guy on top of the cake names Rein-W whose 'superpower' is to zap people with blue water - therefore why he is shiny blue too! To get the shimmery blue colour I painted on Ice Blue Dusting powder which transformed him. Thankfully Sam recognised him straightaway and I got a lovely message from his mum later on saying how overwhelmed but delighted he was with his cake and they kept sneaking a peek! Aw!
The other creatures around the side are gogos too from the other Series (es) - what is the plural for series? There are 4 series with about 60 gogos in each - If my girls think they are collecting them all they've had it!
The delivery of this cake was probably one of the most traumatic I have ever had - and there have been many traumas! It coincided with the worst snow and ice that this country has seen for nearly 30 years and the birthday boy lives in a quiet road that had obviously had the right amount of walking traffic to make the pavement lethal - to make it even worse I was on my own with my 3 year old who had spent more time on her bottom than on her feet that day - we skidded and slided to the front door though and happily the cake was delivered in one piece - I will never forget it!
Hope you like! Next time...Naked Ladies!
Posted by Casa Costello at 15:29
Friday, 15 January 2010
Well I promised a Peppa Cake next but then I forgot to take a proper picture before I delivered it (I actually have done 2 recently but forgot to take a picture of either) - I don't think a quick snap whilst travelling in the car counts but I will post it anyway. I wasn't driving BTW!
I have also posted a picture of an older Peppa Pig cake - I love doing them. I have recently started making the Peppas using a walnut whip (From M&S as they are a bit smaller than the normal ones - and a lot cheaper!) I would prefer to eat a walnut whip than solid icing anyday.
Peppa is in the news today - Her and George have been spotted in the car without seatbelts - how horrendous - because us parents would automatically think that if Peppa doesn't have to wear a belt then our children don't either wouldn't we!!??**!
I intend on making Easter Peppa Pig figures and hope to post soon.
Coming next - Gogo Cake and the delivery from hell!