My First Cakes in Sydney!

Some of the first cakes I've made in Sydney

Some of the first cakes I've made in Sydney

It’s been a while since my last blog post. I’ve been very busy making the big move to Australia and settling in. There was also the task of setting up the business, sourcing ingredients and equipment, getting used to my new oven, and also tweaking recipes to make them work with Australian ingredients!

One of the hardest things I’ve been struggling with is making my fondant (sugarpaste). Icing sugar in Australia is VERY different to the UK and my fondant has been coming out very sticky and weak. A lot of the equipment so readily accessible to me in London is not supplied here in Sydney such as 12 inch cake drums, Sugar Flower Paste, and Sugar Dough. I’ve had to use cake boards instead of drums and learn to make my own flower and modelling paste. But since arriving 2 months ago, I’ve managed to make some really fun cakes! Here are a few of my favourites.

Almost immediately upon arrival, I started work on a wedding cake which was a massive 9 tier cupcake tower consisting of 144 cupcakes in 3 different flavours plus a 6 inch top cake. Each cupcake had a handmade red sugar gerbera and the top cake had 3 large sugar gerberas. It was a LOT of work and I had red colouring paste staining my hands for quite a while, but the end result was worth it as the happy couple loved it!

9 tier red gerbera cupcake tow

9 tier red gerbera cupcake tow

A lot of my work in the UK involved classic cakes, but so far in Sydney there’s been more demand for novelty cakes which are a lot of fun to make. Here is one of them, a hand carved sugar BBQ cake with snags and burgers hand made from fondant. The “charcoal” marks were made with diluted edible black colouring paste painted on.

BBQ cake with sugar sausages & burgers

BBQ cake with sugar sausages & burgers

The next cake is a pretty simple cake, but it was my first real sugar modelling work with my homemade sugar modelling paste. Plus I had no idea what In the Night Garden was or who Makka Pakka was so it was quite a challenge! I used pictures from the internet and managed to create him, right down to the different coloured circles on the pads of his feet and a pile of his little stones also made from sugar. The little stack of rings on the top and sides of his head were quite tricky on such a small scale.

Hand crafted sugar Makka Pakka with sugar stones

Hand crafted sugar Makka Pakka with sugar stones

I absolutely love to do sugar modelling, so the last cake I want to share with you was such a delight for me to make. I hand crafted 7 characters from the Muppets and Sesame Street for a cake toy box. I studied quite a lot of pictures of each character on the internet and tried to get every detail (even Fozzie’s eyebrows – I never knew he had any!). The easiest was Elmo, the hardest was Animal. I don’t have my sugar gun with me, it’s in a box along with a load of my stuff being shipped by slow boat from London, so I used a garlic press to make Animal’s wild hair. Each character took around 1.5 hours each! The one that took the longest was actually Fozzie. Hand cutting out all the little pink circles for his scarf was quite time consuming, and getting his hat just right took quite a few tries. I might blog in more detail later about making these guys as this cake has proved extremely popular.

Hand crafted sugar Muppet & Sesame St toy box cake

Hand crafted sugar Muppet & Sesame St toy box cake

 

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5 Responses to “My First Cakes in Sydney!”

  1. Kristi says:

    Soo…what exactly is the sugar paste made of? I am wanting to try my hand at modeling…but am unclear where/how to start and what I need.
    Most of my ‘accents’ on cakes have been made of fondant, but they aren’t too good for holding up =o)

    Great job…LOVE the Muppet cake and would enjoy a tutorial on crafting the characters <3

    • Hi Kristi,

      Thanks for reading my blog!

      You can very easily make your own modelling or flower sugar paste by adding some kind of gum powder to normal sugarpaste. I used Wilton’s Gum Tex powder. The most common powders to use are gum tragacanth or CMC tylose powder. These are all available at cake decorating supply shops.

      The main difference between modelling and flower pastes is that flower paste dries very very hard much quicker and is brittle when dry. Modelling paste usually takes longer to dry and doesn’t dry as hard so that when you bite into it it’s still soft. Bear this in mind when deciding how much gum powder to add to sugarpaste.

      If you can get your hands on Squires Kitchen Sugar Dough I would use that instead. It is made specifically for modelling. It comes in a wide range of colours and is very easy to use straight out of the packet.

      Stay tuned for next week’s blog post about modelling the sugar muppets!

  2. ES says:

    Do you sell the cake? If yes, send me your email.

  3. Denise says:

    Our daughter is getting married in May 2011 and the reception will be held on City Road, so your location in London would have been ideal. I have baked the wedding cake myself, but am not confident enough or sufficiently competent to ice it, so I would like to find someone to do this for me. Can you recommend anyone – my e-mail address has been provided if you wish to contact me directly.
    The design my daughter has in mind is very simple and I can provide a photograph.

  4. Wonderful post. Thanks for sharing this beautiful blog post with amazing snaps of cakes. These are wonderful.

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