Golden Anniversary

I have been sitting here for about ten minutes and do not know how to start this blog post. I have a little cold and I think it is impeding my creativity. Well as you may have guessed from the title I made a cake for a 50th Wedding Anniversary!

Late last year my hubbie’s Aunty calledMichelle's Labyrinth to ask if I would make a cake for her brother and his wife for their 50th wedding anniversary. They live in Queensland, but they were married in Perth and were coming over to celebrate their anniversary here. Aunty had the idea of me replicating the wedding cake and she would show me a photo at Christmas. I was honoured to be asked and said I would make it and would definitely “try” to replicate the wedding cake.

When I saw the wedding cake I was excited (the cake had pillars), scared (the cake had pillars) and a little thrown (the photo of the cake wasn’t very clear)! The photo of hubbie’s Uncle and Aunty is a beautiful one of them, but the cake is overexposed. I could see ribbon, flowers and pillars, so I was sure I would be able to make something that resembled their wedding cake and I had a few months to think about it.

A couple of months ago I did have a thought – what were the colour of the flowers! I assumed they were white when I first saw the photo, but of course the photo is in black and white. So they could have been pale pink or pale yellow or even something else. I Michelle's Labyrinthmessaged hubbie’s cousin (who was co-organising the party) and she came back saying that they were gardenias, which I was happy about because I have made a gardenia before.

About the same time I tried correcting the overexposure of the photo. I didn’t have too much success, but I had a better idea about how many flowers there were and that there was ribbon on each tier. I liked that the boards weren’t covered in fondant, because that gave me a great excuse not to cover my boards with fondant – a cost saving too. I also noticed these tall thin things on the corners of the bottom layer but had no idea what they were so decided to ignore them. I found out at the party that they were long candles that were used to light prayer candles at their church – I’m glad I didn’t Michelle's Labyrinth Golden Anniversary Petalsstress about finding out what they were! I also decided that I wouldn’t be able to match the ribbon exactly, so I would go down a different path and use gold ribbons – well the 50th is the golden anniversary!

Before I show you the cake I wanted you to know that it did take me a while to make even if it looks relatively simple. The cake is made up of seven cakes, so I spent a day baking. I’ve tried baking more than one cake at a time before, but I don’t have the biggest oven and when you cook more than one it takes longer than the recipe, so I end up checking Michelle's Labyrinth Golden Anniversary Cake Gardeniait ten times ensuring they don’t over cook (which makes it hard to multi-task). So now I cook one at a time. I also had a production line of buds and petals! And it was only once they were dry I realised I missed making the petals “cup” at the base! I was worried they wouldn’t fit around the bud, but thankfully I made them work – so didn’t have to spend hours making more petals! See I am always learning! And I just need to write this down so it sinks in – if making ribbon fillers again always buy more ribbon than you think. I think I had over 10 metres of the three small gold/white ribbons, but it was probably only half of what I actually needed. Michelle's Labyrinth Golden Anniversary Cake

I was definitely excited and scared about constructing this cake! One of the ladies at Cake Tinz N’ Thingz guaranteed me that pillars were really easy, and that the dowels in the pillars hold the weight of the middle and top tiers and not the actual pillar. Plus the dowels make the pillars sturdy, so no wobbling! And she was right! It was easy and the cake stood! So here is my 50th anniversary cake inspired by the wedding cake:Michelle's Labyrinth Golden Anniversary Cake  Michelle's Labyrinth Golden Anniversary Cake

The 50th wedding anniversary party was lovely and the inspirational, special couple were reunited with many old friends. The “bride” said the cake was a lovely, modern version of the original.

Michelle's Labyrinth Golden Anniversary CakeMichelle's Labyrinth Golden Anniversary Cake

And even better – the cake was eaten and enjoyed! Bottom layer was chocolate – which the kids were happy about. Middle tier was a sultana butter cake – my favourite! And the top tier was my fruit cake – which I hear is being saved for their 51st wedding anniversary!Michelle's Labyrinth Golden Anniversary Cake

You’ll never believe, but the folded card behind the top tier is the actual wedding invitation! My mother-in-law kept it all these years!

That’s right, I remember one last thing I wanted to mentioned (sorry head is still a little furry!). I also airbrushed the white cakes with Pearlescent White metallic food paint. I am not sure if you can really tell, but I thought it would give it a little extra pizzazz. I was definitely happy when the cake was set up at the venue, that is for sure. A huge relief! I hope you think I did justice to the original cake. Well until next time, be happy! :)

Michelle's Labyrinth Golden Anniversary Cake

 

 

 

Sentimental Flowers

In the middle of 2013 my friend’sMichelle's Labyrinth Flowers Mum asked if I would be able to make her sister’s 60th birthday cake. Of course I was pleased to, but this request had a twist. My friend’s Mum had flowers from her grandmother’s 90th birthday cake that she wanted me to put on the cake. The grandmother was born in 1895, so the flowers were from 1985! I didn’t see a problem with using the flowers so I was entrusted with the flowers that were safely stored in a Quality Street chocolate tin!

Michelle's Labyrinth DogI asked if she wanted anything else on the cake and I was told about the birthday girl’s dog and also that she often had kangaroos on her front lawn and big eucalyptus around her house because she lived out of the city. I had until October to work out what I was going to do so I let my sub-conscious contemplate it.

 

When it came time to seriouslyMichelle's Labyrinth Dog Kangaroo 2 think about the cake I opened the flowers so I could see the colour of them. Then I did something I rarely do, and I don’t know why I did it. I smelt the flowers! I am not usually a “sniffer”, like one of my sisters is. I would much prefer not to smell bad things. Now the flowers didn’t smell, but I got a shot of very old dust up my nose! It was unpleasant to say the least! I guess it let me know that I would need a protective layer between the cake and the flowers, so I made a fondant base for the flowers.

I knew I would make the dog, especially after seeing a photo of her (what a cutie!) and I thought I would do a kangaroo. I wish I had made the dog and kangaroo earlier, because they weren’t exactly comparable sizes!

I wasn’t sure about the colour scheme of the cake. I tried my best to match the pink and green in the flowers. I wasn’t overly keen of the outcome, but I do have an aversion to pink! So I hope the end result was ok.

Michelle's Labyrinth Dog Kangaroo 1

While writing this post I decided I was a bit bored of seeing black or brown/wood backgrounds to my cakes, so I decided this cake needed a brighter background. Well turning 60 is a joyous occasion and I was lucky enough to be invited to this 60th luncheon where 4 generations were at the table! I was also lucky to taste the butter and sultana cake – I think it is one of my favourites that I make :)Michelle's Labyrinth Dog_GardenAnd because it’s my birthday weekend I wanted to spread even more brightness so I brightened up my Olaf cake! I hope you are having a bright weekend!

Bees’ll buzz
Kids’ll blow dandelion fuzz
And I’ll be doing whatever snow does
In summer

Michelle's Labyrinth Olaf Beach

P.S. Check out the gorgeous black forest (cream-free) cake my sister made me for my birthday. It was delicious! I am very spoilt :)Michelle's Labyrinth Cream-Free Black Forest Cake

 

 

 

The Flower Pot

Bill and Ben Flower Pot Men is all I can think of! I usually try to create a witty title for my blog posts, but today my post is about a flower pot and I cannot get past Bill and Ben. I have no recollection of watching
Bill and Ben, although I rememberMichelle's Labyrinth Flower Pot having discussions with Mum about it in the car (quite specific!). I just Googled it and Bill and Ben were originally aired (in TV Series Watch With Mother) from 1950-1974 so I reckon it was a show Mum watched and she tried once or twice to be smart about the names Bill and Ben… but maybe I am wrong and I watched it with Mother! (Sad joke? 😛  )

So to the actual flower pot in question! This term in cake decorating class we made flowers. Lots of flowers and of different varieties. The only flowers we coloured during the term were the 2 hibiscus – the rest we left until the last day to colour and then plant in a pot!

Michelle's Labyrinth Flower PotThe first night we made the centre of about 4 different flowers (everlasting daisies, hibiscus, formal roses and gardenias). The second week we made a gardenia and some primulas.

The big cream flower with pink edging is my gardenia – I only made one full one. The primulas are the small blue and purple ones. They are a great “filler” flower and they come in a wide range of colours in real life!

 

Despite my Dad being an amazing gardener and my sister being a botanist – I have no idea what plants and flowers are called – besides roses, Geraldton wax and frangipanis. I don’t even say “plant” right by most Australians – I say “plarnt” not plant with a short A! That would be because of my British parents! So each week as I was making these flowers I Googled their names to see what they looked like!

We then made some formal roses  – these are more open compared to the other roses I have made and they have stamens. I ended up colouring these roses pink and a deep red. You can see one of the deep red ones hiding under my orange hibiscus.

Michelle's Labyrinth Flower PotMichelle's Labyrinth Flower Pot

Michelle's Labyrinth Flower PotWe also made some orange blossoms, which I love, and they will be another great filler flower. I believe orange blossoms should have yellow or orange heads on the stamen, but I liked the pink ones and I thought they looked quite pretty once they were together. I also like how the orange blossoms look nice draping over the pot.

 

The following week we put another row of petals on our formal roses and made everlasting daisies. I loved making the everlasting daisies and you may remember I made some extra ones for the office party cake I made. They are so easy and really pretty! I am sure you are going to see more of these in the future.

Michelle's Labyrinth Flower PotWe then made our 2 hibiscus flowers. The petals were quite hard to place just because of the size of them (and you can’t drop the petals because they will crack!). But I got each one to a position I liked and put florist tape around the stem to keep the petal in place. The same night we made them we coloured them – with Wilton’s Colour Mist! I have been a bit dubious about buying the colour mist in the past – well it comes out of an aerosol can so there must be chemicals in it! But it was so much fun colouring the flowers with mist! And I was able to blend the colours a bit. Two things you need to be careful about colour mist is that if you haven’t shaken the can well, or if the colour is running out, it can spray drops onto your work. Also it fades fast! I usually put all my fondant creations in my kitchen cabinet, but I left my flowers out the whole term. By the last week the pink hibiscus was showing lots of white! I just dusted it on the last night – so it wasn’t the end of the world.

The last flower we made was the water lily. I love the colour of my water lilies – so bright and vibrant! I should have another row of pink petals on the water lilies – but that was going to be another hour or so of work! I think I made the right decision to leave them that size because they would have been too big for my pot – plus one of my formal roses was not put in my pot because I had run out of room!

I would like to thank Lyn at My Delicious for the awesome term and for arranging my flowers in my pot. I am really enjoying my cake decorating classes. The ladies are lovely and we always have a great laugh – at the expense of children, “sausages” are spoken of and we laugh (or swear) at Lyn for making us make hard decorations! I am looking forward to next term – but I am keeping the topic a secret – I am very excited about it!

Michelle's Labyrinth Flower Pot

Just before I go, since I mentioned colour mist and how I liked the idea of it. Well I have been very keen on learning how to use an airbrush. There is also a cake that I am making soon that I think will be perfect with some airbrushing, so my research into it became more vigorous. After a particular trying week hubbie said I could buy an airbrush (to brighten me up!) so the next day I went into Cake Tinz n Things and asked them if they recommended a particular brand. The newMichelle's Labyrinth Airbrushing owner came up to me and said that she was about to announce a special for an airbrush and a hands on demonstration in the next couple of days.

So Saturday just gone was the demonstration and it was great! We were given 2 cupcakes, a rose, some small flowers and a chocolate lolly pop!

Two hours later they were all coloured and I was quite pleased with my first play! I cannot wait to practice some more on fondant. I also learnt one strange thing (the lady taking the demonstration is an artists and knows all about colours) and is that pink is one of the fasted fading colours. Don’t ask me for specifics, but I thought that was interesting since it was the pink that faded on my hibiscus!

Michelle's Labyrinth AirbrushingMichelle's Labyrinth Airbrushing

On Sunday I tried airbrushing on buttercream, but it seems to spot a bit. I am not sure if I wasn’t allowing the airbrushing to dry enough before putting more on, or if it was reacting with the buttercream. The cupcakes we made in class were piped with Dream Whip (or some soy version).

I guess I’ll just have to practice!  And no I didn’t make the dinosaurs – they are a Coles brand. I didn’t have time to make special cupcake toppers because it was end of financial year! I hope I can write more soon. And I hope you liked my Flower Pot!

Michelle's Labyrinth Airbrushing

 

 

 

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