Monday, 28 May 2012

Midnight Garden Cake.

       Back at the beginning of May, I decided to enter Karen's Tea Time Treats blog challenge as this month's challenge was 'Flowers'. The main reason was that I wanted to practice making lots and lots of sugarcraft flowers. Fast forward to the closing date and here is the final production, The Midnight Garden Cake, with its one sugarcraft flower lol. Oh the floral extravaganza that was going to adorn my dream creation! To be fair, I did make two flowers, but one, my first, was just seeing if I could make an Osteospermum 'Whirlygig'....

Sugarcraft Osteospermum!

Real Osteospermum.

.... and it didn't come off too badly :) But it wasn't for this cake.
        Originally I was going to have more different coloured flowers round the edge, daytime sky (Mix the blue too dark did we? - ed.) and a cloud top that would be adorned with pure white 'flowers in heaven' type thing. This is why I don't bother making plans normally. So, that was my first attempt at a rose on the top. It wasn't bad, just have to work on getting it more 'delicate' instead of a hefty lump of a rose. 
        The cake contained a few other firsts that I wanted to do. This is the first time I've rolled out an icing covering using a pack of the ol' white Regalice. The second attempt was more relaxing after dusting the work surface with a bit more cornflour thus making it not stick like the frustrating arse first one! So finally I got it off the surface on a rolling pin, onto the cake and averagely smooth and tidy. Hooray! 

       There isn't a recipe for this as I used the chocolate celebration cake recipe Here, saving a bit of the buttercream to mix with green gel colour for the grass.

So I made this purely to try new things and also to enter this months #TeaTimeTreats being run by Karen over at Lavender and Lovage. and after having a month to do something, I'm now doing blog first draft with 11 mins left to enter! and I will finish the post tomorrow....goodnight :)

....and suddenly it's June 3rd! lol Anyway, a bit more info on the cake. After getting the rolled icing on, I used some blue blossom tint mixed up with some Rejuvenating solution to make the paint, and started doing the sky on the sides. I was going for a smoother covering of colour, but with the way the icing soaks up the paint I ended up with the brush-strokey look, which I kind of grew to like. Another case of practice will make perfect, or at least better. I did the paint on the top a day later which didn't work as well because where the icing had dried a bit, it got a sugary dust on it and this went into little lumps with the paint and also gummed up the end of the brush. I think it would probably have been ok if I'd buffed off the top a bit first. 
     Next I mixed up some green paint and drew on the flower stems, rolled out some white icing for the flowers and cut them out then pressed straight onto the side of the cake. Then piped some green buttercream through a grass/hair nozzle for the grass around the base of the cake.
     Then, the next day, I made the clouds using the marshmallow frosting mix that Ros used for her amazing Hi Hat Marshmallow Cupcakes. I did wonder how much the recipe would make, and it was, er, quite a lot lol About 20 times too much for my few clouds, and there's only so much marshmallow frosting you can eat straight out of the bowl lol I think I also either over whisked or left the frosting too long before I piped it as it didn't pipe as smoothly as I was hoping and so ended up with quite angular clouds instead of the smooth fluffy ones I was looking for, but they worked ok.
    Next I took some white flowerpaste and mixed in some yellow gel colour. This was for the 'moon' rose (I'm really hoping at least a few of you realised the rose was representing the moon! :D ), the stars and the side flower centres. There's plenty of rose tutorials on t'web out there for you to see. It is quite simple, even for me and especially making my big lummox of a rose. I pressed out the petals inside one of those clear flexi plastic A4 paper folders. Then I rolled out some thin and cut out the stars, then rolled little balls and pressed into the centres of the flowers. 
       And hey presto! Midnight Garden cake! :)

Some tunes for the garden.....starting with the flippin brilliant Miranda Sex Garden - Peep Show

Chill with The Orb - Little Fluffy Clouds

The Creepshow - The Garden

I like a bit of the Levellers now and again and went to their brilliant Beautiful Days Festival in Devon last year. I don't really rate this from them, but it's cakey linked :D The Levellers - In This Garden

LOVE! This one though. The Levellers - 15 Years

Any excuse for some Manics - Small Black Flowers That Grow In The Sky

Ok, 2 more. First, All About Eve - Flowers in our Hair

and finally, The other good track from The Killers - Mr Brightside. Brandon Flowers innit ;)

Stay dark and floral people.


  1. nice opinion.. thanks for posting.

  2. IT's FABULOUS - JUST fabulous and I am thrilled that it was made JUST for the May Tea Time Treats challenge too.....GREAT tips about rolling out the icing and using cornflour and the cake and it's midnight flowers is just MAGICAL! IT's also great to see the step-by-step photos too....Thanks, Karen

  3. What a wonderful looking cake!

    It reminds me of the time my daughter wanted use dark blue icing to decorate her christmas cake at school - she wanted to do the silhouette of a sleigh against a night sky. The teacher tried to disuade her from using blue, and to think of something using red and green, or gold, but she held her ground and produced what even the teacher admitted was a stunning looking cake.

  4. What a fabulous idea for a cake...this looks so striking! A lovely flower on top too! :-)