So, I needed inspiration for the final ‘Record Store Day’ cakes.
I needed something hippie-ish, something faaarrrr oouuuut maaaaaan.
I needed grass. (The green lawn variety, of course).
I needed flowers.
I needed friendship bracelets.
I needed music.
So, armed with my Cookie Girl book and the iPod, I decided on a vanilla cupcake, decorated using the above Xanthe Milton style of decoration. I did, however, add my own friendship bracelets!
Music is so important when baking. It helps focus the mind.
These were my favourite cakes to decorate – so whimsical. All I needed was a tent, a field, a campfire and a rip-roaring rendition of ‘In The Stores’. If you don’t know that song it’s one my Grandad used to sing when we used to go to camp. Camp was (and still is) the legacy of a few families, who, after WWII, decided to set up a non-profit making holiday camp where everyone could get together and camp cheaply with their families. I believe my grandparents were founder members, along with others, with strongly socialist ideals. So, as a result, when I grew up, I spent most of my summer holidays in tents and a marquee in Wales, with GREAT friends from London (whom I still see now), Birmingham and Sheffield. Lots of these families still go to this camp (Community Camping Club) and it is still going strong. NOW THAT is a hippie commune!
Anyone for dominoes?
Vanilla Cupcakes (Makes 8 good sized cakes)
200g softened butter
200g caster sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
200g well sifted self-raising flour
3 well beaten large eggs
200g icing sugar
Green food colouring
1 pack strawberry laces (these were good ones)
1 pack apple laces
1 pack of pineapple laces
Small amount of white sugarpaste (fondant icing), coloured any ‘flower’ colour
* Beat the butter until light and fluffy.
* Beat in the caster sugar. If you use a free-standing mixer, ensure that you scrape the sides down regularly.
* In a separate bowl, beat the eggs well.
* Add the eggs a little at a time to the butter/sugar mix, adding a tsp of plain flour if the mixture curdles.
* Add the vanilla extract.
* Gently fold in the flour.
* Using an ice-cream scoop, divide the mixture between cake cases.
* Bake for 20 minutes at 180 degrees C or until springy to the touch. Leave to cool on a cooling rack.
* Make the buttercream – beat together the butter and the icing sugar well, until smooth and soft. Beat in the green food colouring until you get a nice pastel shade.
* Colour your sugarpaste, kneading well so that all of the colour is incorporated. Roll it out thinly and cut out flowers using a small daisy plunger cutter, or a blossom cutter. I dried mine in an eggbox, to keep the petals curved.
* Using either:
Grass Icing Nozzle
Small star icing nozzle
Ice your cakes so that it looks like grass!! Or slightly resembles it!
* Plait the sugar/candy laces into friendship bracelets.
* Place the dried sugarpaste flowers and small friendship bracelets onto the ‘grass’.