Sunday, 9 March 2014

Birthday bakings (and crafts)

This post is a little bit late, as the birthday in question was last month - but I have to mark it - as the birthday girl is also the fab neighbour that keeps me in eggs for my baking (The Yellow Chicken House). It would be rude to not have made her a lovely birthday cake!

So the night before, I sneakily found out her favourite cake (hmm, ok, by sneakily, I went round as specifically asked her, but you's the thought that counts!).  So the plan was, a nice vanilla sponge - easy peasy....

Never never say any bake is easy!  I was so relaxed about this one, I was juggling it with a trip to the gym (where I rather ouchily pulled a calf muscle), an evening of The Great British Sewing Bee with a friend (I was meant to be watching it around her's, but was unable to limp round with aforementioned ouchy pulled muscle), so she kindly came round to mine. I quickly mixed the cake together and popped it in the oven. For some reason - I thought it was a good idea to open the oven early on in the bake and swap the pans over. I'd decided that the oven wasn't big enough to put both tins on the same shelf, and putting one on the top and one on the bottom seemed to be causing a very inconsistent bake. Of course, all those sensible bakers out there will know what happened...yes....sinking cake syndrome. I've never never had a cake sink!! Arghhh :/ ah well, we all have to go through it once I guess?

So I left the cakes to cool while watching the Sew Bee, and then inspected the damage with my friend after. She had the amazing idea of using my cookie cutters and some rolled icing and decorating the cake.  So I went for vanilla butter cream and jam in the middle (quite a bit to build up the dip in the middle), and then sprinkle icing sugar over the top of the cake, blobs of butter cream around the top (not as stylish as I'd have liked...I definintely need more practice in that area), and then some purple flowers cut out and positioned around the cake. I was quite impressed, so happily took the cake round early to be greeted by a delighted neighbour!  

I should add that baking is not the only craft thing I do, although is the main thing I'm blogging about - my other crafts take me a lot longer to create and finish. However, for my friend's birthday I wanted to make something special and I'd spotted some lovely chicken fabric in my local haberdashery - which has the fab fab name of Aberdashery! I had to rope in another friend to help me start off this crafty present, I knew what I wanted to make, but not quite sure where to start. So one Sunday afternoon we set to cutting out triangle templates and then I chopped out lots of fabric while she created exciting things in her kitchen (I can't blog about them, as I wasn't involved...I've also potentially forgotten what they were!) Can you guess what I was creating with many triangles and chicken fabric? Hmm, OK not many clues.  So instead, here's a picture of the finished piece hanging up in Sarah's house (if you look closely enough you might even spot some little lego characters hiding in the stonework)

I should add that the lovely little cat glaring at the camera is Rex :)

Happy birthday Sarah!! xx

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