Sunday, 14 February 2016

Tulips and Roses

This week I have been the recipient of a lot of kindness. Lots of kind words from many of you who recognise the need to talk more about mental illness. And then on Tuesday one of my students who had read my last post brought me flowers... Just because! Thank you Julia, they are beautiful, still going strong and bring me cheer every time I see them. This week has been marginally better and I'm appreciating each small step in the right direction.

As well as tulips there have been roses this week... Of the sugar variety.


 When we had out kitchen refitted, the fitter Julian asked whether I would be able to make a big cake for his wife's 40th birthday... For a surprise party. Could it have a bit of an eighties theme... Or better still Guns n Roses? Being busy having babies in the 1980s and 90s I am a bit clueless about the music scene at the time but I had at least heard of Guns n Roses and after a bit of research decided that a cake in the form of Slash's hat might work.


This was above and beyond anything I had tackled before and required meticulous planning, starting with four layers of chocolate brownie torte, each an 8" cake in its own right, layered with vanilla buttercream. This was then "crumb coated" with more buttercream to seal the cake and provide a sticky surface for the fondant layer to adhere to.


Each step felt like a challenge... rolling and lifting the single layer of black fondant to cover the cake... smoothing it out to minimize the cracks etc (I didn't get rid of them all)... and then lifting the cake onto the fondant covered cake board. I was hugely relieved when I got to that stage!


Modelling all the extra bits seemed easy after that. Well, relatively easy!

I learned to use lustre powder, brushed on with gin to create a metallic effect as well as picking up other skills that I hope will be useful in the future.

As for Julian... he was thrilled with the result. I hope Jody was too... and that she enjoyed her party last night!

And no sooner than I finished that I was finishing off Valentine orders... personalised cookies

And four of these Brownie Rolo Hearts. There were spare roses left from the big cake so I thought they added a special touch.


Happy Valentine's Day to you all!

21 comments:

  1. Wow! That birthday cake is amazing! What a talented lady you are.

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  2. My goodness , that Guns +Roses cake is amazing, what a lot of work. Looks great though, and I hope you charged accordingly! X

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  3. So pleased this week has been a bit better for you - it has certainly been busy. You must be thrilled with the results of your labours - they are works of art and I am certain that Jody will love her cake.

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  4. Magnificent. Happy Valentine's Day.

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  5. That cake is stunning! I'm glad this week's been a bit better, enjoy those lovely tulips.

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  6. Wow! That cake is stunning. I'm glad things are a little easier for you.

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  7. A triumph, they're all brilliant. I'm glad you have this outlet to give you some respite from the mental health issues you have to deal with, not easy at all. x

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  8. those roses ... should bring you a new circle of customers.
    Stunning cake!

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  9. That cake is superb. It must have taken hours and hours! My congratulations to you. I am so glad that things have improved for you.

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  10. "Wow" just doesn't cut it for this amazing cake. May I borrow your British term "gob smacked"!! This is just incredible Gina! Well done. Your clients will not want to cut into it I'll bet. The guns! The roses! So much work. You rock my friend. The other treats look delicious too! Happy Valentine's Day (just a bit late), and I hope you enjoyed some pampering and relaxation in the end.
    Wendy xox

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  11. PS I just showed my 17 year old son, and asked him if he recognized this rocker's hat. Big smile and "Oh Yeah! Slash's Hat!!" was his reply ;)

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  12. Well, in the up and down world of caring, I would say that judging by the cake all is not lost. Keep doing what you love and the rest will find its place.

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  13. This is one amazing cake Gina!

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  14. Just amazing - you are one very talented lady.

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  15. Beautiful tulips!! The cakes are stunning!!!! You really are such a talented cake maker and baker, your creations are wonderful to look at and taste, I am sure, even better than they look!!! xx p.s. yes, hug, I also have kiss! xx

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  16. Dear Gina,

    Somehow I missed seeing your previous post until now, and definitely wanted to let you know that I feel that your writing about mental illness was wise and very caring. I think by now you know how much I admire all that you accomplish. The more I know, the more awed I am.

    Shall I now praise that Guns and Roses top hat cake? Quadruple Wow! It's a brilliantly conception perfectly carried out. I expect that every time you deliver one of these very special commissions, you are planting seeds for many more future commissions.

    Now I will will you a slightly tardy Happy Valentine's Day! xxx ooo

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  17. Absolutely brilliant - all the recipients must have been delighted!

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  18. An amazing cake, what a relief to complete it; you must be proud!

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  19. That hat cake is spectacular! Didn't you do well?

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