Christmas Cakes

It’s been fun doing the Christmas cakes this year, although I could do with being just a tad more organised about things – a little lot less last minute dashing is the plan for next year.

Working with different media is always refreshing, and it was great to be able to work on the solidity of a fruit cake rather than the more fragile sponge ones.

Devoted though I am to Italian meringue buttercream, it was a nice change to use marzipan again.  That stuff is so easy to handle, mould and form – I wish more people liked it!

I was also reminded that I really must get to grips with royal icing.  The trouble is, it’s about as unpopular as marzipan so I generally only get one request a year for it (on a Christmas cake).  It’s easy to give it low priority.  Nonetheless, I need to make the effort to practice with it; quite apart from anything else, the marzipan button tree cake would have looked SO much better on a smooth topped cake.

Anyway, the last three Christmas cakes of 2015…

Star tree cake

Star Tree Christmas Cake – 6″ traditional fruit cake, covered with marzipan and fondant, finished with fondant stars and silver nonpareils.

I like the design of this but wasn’t happy with my finish on the stars.  I also don’t like the slightly lopsided look of the tree…better star positioning needed!

Snowman Cake

Snowman Christmas Cake –  6″ traditional fruit cake, covered with marzipan and fondant, finished with fondant features and bobble hat.

He’s cute, isn’t he?  I was pleased with him.  I was particularly happy with the fondant bobble on his hat, which was made using a ‘brainwave technique’ (involving scissors) that truly worked 🙂

It’s a shame this picture was taken before Mr. Snowman was beribboned and that I forgot to take one after – with a jaunty red and white spotted ribbon tied around him he looked even more appealing.

Gold star cake

Gold Stars Christmas Cake – 5″ traditional fruit cake, covered with marzipan and fondant, finished with antique gold fondant stars and gold nonpareils.

I really like the pretty simplicity of this cake – the gold board added just enough glitz to lift a fairly plain cake into understated glamour.

Five cakes in total and I really can’t decide which is my favourite.  I think the gingerbread man…but maybe the gold stars…p’haps the snowman…?!

Which one would you go for?

x

 

A peek through the window

If you were to peep through my living room window right now (which I sincerely hope you don’t, because that would be creepy), you might deduce that I quite like Christmas. IMG_0028Our tree went up yesterday and underneath it are bags full of wrapped and beribboned presents.  Every time I see it, it fair makes my heart sing with pleasure.

Now, I’m going to get a bit navel gaze-y for a minute here, so you might want to skip forward a bit…

I was told quite recently, by someone once close to me, that the things that are important to me are “just materialistic crap” (another story, not to be told here).   This is the kind of barb that can leave a sore; more than once during my Christmas preparations I’ve paused to question the ‘rightness’ of the degree of pleasure that I’m getting from buying things for people and spending money on non-essentials to make my home feel cosy and pretty.

I find myself to be absolutely ok with it!

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