Saturday 30 November 2013

Smarties Surprise Birthday Cake

I made this cake for Evie's 6th birthday.  Who doesn't like smarties...

Start with the cake, 2 7-8inch cakes, using 3 & 4 egg Victoria sponge recipe, with different food colouring. Dangerous thing, trimming cakes when children are up. Wandering hands tend to congregate.

Slice in half

Bottom three layers, hollow out the middle. Funnily enough, all the bits of cake from the middle seem to have disappeared. 

Make up about 1kg of buttercream, sandwich the bottom three layers, and add about 200g of M&Ms.  Yes, despite the title I wasn't particular brand loyal...

Finish off the buttercream, cursing that you haven't made quite enough (as it traditional).

Then decorate, using up some of the other 3 bags of M&Ms. Caroline Hendry was very disparaging of my pattern. Or just not surprised in my attention to order.

The cake cut open for the world to see.  Given by the serving, I think the loose sweets got eaten first,

Monday 28 October 2013

Sodden fell above Thirlmere

On the last day we picked out a likely looking lowish walk since the weather was pretty foul.  However we hadn't really considered what the ground would be like under foot, a fairly simple school boy error.

Difficulty: 6
Walkers: Tim, Caroline
10:16, 0.0km 0h00 0m, Start (266)
13:24, 8.9km 3h08 629m, Raven Crag (461)
14:49, 12.5km 4h33 864m, Bleaberry Fell (590)
15:37, 14.5km 5h20 944m, High Seat (608)
16:08, 16.4km 5h51 965m, High Tove (515)
16:40, 17.9km 6h23 965m, End (266)

So we set off early to make sure we'd get a spot in the car park.  The minor road/track leading to the car park was quite interesting to drive, I suspect in a Land Rover it would be trivial...  It looks like we just about made it in time.

Climbing up, and looking back to the car.  It was dry inside the car.

Up here, however, it was ever so slightly waterlogged.

We thought this was Armboth Fell, but without GPS confirmation at the time we'd just gone a little short, so that's saved for another day.

From here, we descended to Thirlmere, to walk along the lake before heading back up at the north end.

Quite impressive engineering.

We climbed back up to Raven Crag, a fairly short but direct climb up.

And from there to Bleaberry Fell, the north end of this ridge.  This is another fine example of the benefits of cairns for seeking shelter from horizontal hail.

Looking north, past Derwent Water.

I have a sustaining memory of a long slog through waterlogged fell, where every step of the way I was testing just how waterproof my boots were.  Anyway, the end (or at least High Seat) eventually came in side.

And from High Seat, back to High Tove where we had first come up to the ridge.

By this point we had the nice downhill to look forward to, before the drive back to Birmingham in the dark and rain.  At least we warmed up, and several days later had dried out as well!

Sunday 27 October 2013

Half a Dale Head round

We were kind of aiming to do the Dale Head round, setting off from the small car park just below Little Town.  However, the weather was pretty terrible - very windy and raining, with some hail storms just to keep your interest.

Difficulty: 4
Walkers: Tim, Caroline
11:19, 0.0km 0h00 0m, Start (137)
12:29, 3.1km 1h10 436m, Maiden Moor (575)
13:07, 5.3km 1h47 532m, High Spy (653)
15:23, 11.3km 4h04 574m, End (137)

Having already walked up Catbells, the next summit to the left, it was geat to walk this way and piece together another part of the lakes.

Me at the top of Maiden Moor, with Catbell directly behind.  Derwent Water is on the right, with Keswick just about visible in the far distance.  Remember that most of these photos were taken in the brief intervals between rain...

At the top of High Spy, taking shelter in the cairn. It really wasn't great to be exposed up high, so I called a halt and said we would take the valley path down rather than climb up higher to Dale Head.  That was to be left for another walk, a few years later.

The valley path back to Little Town, slightly waterlogged.

Saturday 26 October 2013

Rosthwaite Fell in the rain

Myself and Caroline had a weekend in the lakes, and drove up on Saturday morning. We only had time for a short walk before dinner.

Difficulty: 2
Walkers: Tim, Caroline
15:02, 0.0km 0h00 0m, Start (120)
16:18, 3.0km 1h15 431m, Rosthwaite Fell (551)
17:36, 6.4km 2h33 461m, End (121)

We started from the car park on the way into Seatoller, started back down the road before turning up the far side towards Rosthwaite Fell.


Starting to gain some height, always great to get the first views of a trip.

Finally reached the top, Rosthwaite Fell (or Bessyboot).

Caroline joins me at the top.  From this point it mainly rained all the way back.

Thursday 17 October 2013

Dog Birthday Cake

I made this cake for Grace's 9th birthday.  She wanted another dog cake but I didn't have much time so did a much more simple cake than the previous dalmation cake.   One of Grace's presents was sponsorship of a guide dog. He's called Truffles, is a puppy a few months old, and (thankfully) doesn't look much like this cake. Hopefully the same number of eyes, eyes and feet, and is approaching the same colour.

Thursday 2 May 2013

Tiger Birthday Cake

I made this cake for Jonas, my godson, for his 3rd birthday.

I haven't saved any notes from making this cake, hopefully the pictures are enough of a guide.  First make two colours of cake mixture, putting one in the tin first then stirring the other on top.  

I was trying to get tiger stripes inside the cake, but didn't stir it in enough to get the real effect, I would have done this differently next time, maybe adding the cake mixture in turns, overlapping each other diagonally.

Slicing the cake open to add layers to add buttercream icing.

I think the buttercream was all orange, given the other pictures, but the colour balance on this picture was all wrong...  There was initially 1kg of buttercream, and I needed to stop to make some more.

Using some of the cake off cuts to make ears.

Roll out 1kg of orange fondant icing.

Smooth down, cutting some of the edges off to make the smoothing easier, before removing the remainder of the off cuts.

Then rolling out some white fondant, cutting to shapes and sticking down with edible glue.

I made a bunch of black icing and then piped the pattern on top.  Eating black icing will give you a purple tongue...