My little girl was 6 months old so I made her a cake. I was actually on a wedding cake decorating workshop for the day. Learning the basics (and pitfalls) of making wedding cakes. Not that I am planning any wedding cakes but I thought the basics would do me well (and help make my little girls covered birthday cakes).
We went over the types of cake to use, sizes and portions, stacking cakes etc and then got on with covering a cake and having a go at a wired spray. I chose a flower theme with 6’s on it inspired by my daughters birthday.
So here is my entry for the Alphabakes blog challenge for February. The aim is to bake something with an ingredient that begins with the letter L …………. I have chosen Lemons.
I did say that I was going to give myself an extra challenge to make decorated cookies each month representing the chosen ingredients to practice my decorating skills. Well, I realised with Lemons I could combine the two and I decided to make lemony biscuits in the shape of lemon segments decorated with lemon icing. The inspiration came from a picture I saw on the web somewhere of biscuits decorated to look like slices of lime to go with cocktail cookies (here actually). However, I soon realised there was a bit of a discrepancy between what was in my head and what I could actually achieve with my current decorating and piping skills, but then that’s the aim of this and these were my first ever flood iced and decorated cookies and I now know how I would do them better next time.
I chose to adapt a butter biscuit recipe from the Nigella Domestic Goddess book. I decided to substitute the vanilla extract for lemon juice and zest. I have only done half the recipe amounts too but tried to make them quite lemony.
85g unsalted butter
100g caster sugar
1 tsp Lemon juice and zest of 1 lemon
200g plain flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
pinch of salt
Cream butter and sugar together and beat in the eggs and lemon juice/zest. Add flour, baking powder and salt and mix to a dough. Put to rest in clingfilm in the fridge for 1 hour. I cut out circles and semi-circles and some free hand lemons. Bake at 160C fan oven for 12 minutes.
Once cool I used royal icing to outline the lemon segments and then some Lemon flood icing to fill (I used glace icing so I could use the remaining lemon juice to make the icing lovely and lemony).
I then added royal icing piping detail in yellow or white. I have realised that with piping I need to use a nozzle in order to get a consistent line. I know you can just snip the end of a hand-made baking parchment piping bag but I find that it gets bigger and squarer as I go along. I only have 1 icing nozzle and therefore had to use the no-nozzle method for the white icing, hence the inconsistency in my piping.
All done just in time for afternoon tea.
This week’s class we began to assemble our minature cakes for final decoration next week. This involved covering cakes with marzipan and sugarpaste. We were using bought-in swiss rolls for these so they are not all that level on the top. The excitement comes next week when we decorate them. I am thinking bows, flowers and some piping. One of the cakes is embossed on the top to flood paint next week.