So I have discovered royal icing!
Me and baking had a falling out a few weeks ago, I went back to my parents house for the weekend and did a lot of baking for an afternoon tea party and a family bbq. It all started going wrong with my scones, I rolled them too thin, for reasons best known to myself , so they didn’t rise and were very thin. I thought it’ll be fiiiine until my dad grabbed one off the tray and said “these biscuits are great”. Biscuit?! not a great start.
Next I moved on to nice and simple vanilla cupcakes which came out too dry, despite filling them with copious amounts of homemade apple puree! blurgh
The family bbq was on Sunday so I prepared some cakes the night before. My real succes of the weekend was a Key Lime Pie. Now I know some people aren’t a fan as it’s too tangy but I substituted the digestive biscuit base for a ginger nut biscuit base and topped the whole thing with meringue (inspired by the lovely Ruth) to make it slightly sweeter. The only pain is the 8 limes you have to zest but it is worth it! I made the key lime pie the night before then topped with meringue and baked just before the guests arrived (will upload the recipe soon).
So after my baking disasters I decided to stick to my tried and tested classic recipes; The Rich Chocolate Cake and The Vanilla Cake. Chocolate cake was fab as usual, love this recipe and will put up after this.
The vanilla cake sank…SANK! This is my most trusted recipe, it never fails but this day it sunk. So picture the scene - my whole house is full of family friends, my parents have been bragging to them that there daughter is so good at baking, and here I am with a sunken vanilla cake……….cue trying to impress them in other ways. I grabbed the fondant icing and made some bees, yes bees. Not sure why exactly, perhaps in the panic I was inspired by my parents garden. Anyway, so I’ve got a family of bees (mummy, daddy and baby as my niece, Anya, told me) ready to go on my cake. I made some yellow buttercream to top the cake, but not normal yellow, fluorescent yellow! I totally underestimated how good liquid food colouring is (as I usually use paste) and put a huge dollop in….oops. In a last attempt to save the cake I made some homemade raspberry jam to fill it.
Despite me being unhappy with the yellow cake it all went down pretty well, although they may have just been being polite.
Sorry so back to royal icing, I’m not going to lie, the baking weekend tired me out and I secretly vowed never to bake again. After a week of sulking I decided to get back on the baking wagon.
I watched this useful video by littleladycakes to make some drop flowers with royal icing.
I made them with pink royal icing (I just brought a tub from the supermarket and heated it up – I am a strong believer of making life easier for yourself. If your going to make the cake and the icing, you shouldn’t have to worry about making extra icing for the decorations). They were so easy and therapeutic I made about 50! I love buttercream but it does have a tendency to melt in the warm weather and fondant icing is sometimes too fiddly.
Royal icing is an easy way to make your own decorations:
1) It sets rock hard to you dont have to worry about your decorations losing their shape and it’s easy to transport.
2) You can make the decorations in advance and just leave them in the cupboard until you are ready to use them.
I was going to use them to top some engagement cupcakes but I was too ill to go to the engagement party so I used them on the Coffee cupcakes posted next.