Friday, 14 December 2012

Renshaw Icing on my first attempt at a Two-Tier Cake!

I love baking - cakes, brownies, cupcakes - anything sweet and even better if it includes lots of chocolate! So when I visited possibly my favourite event of the year a couple of weekends ago - BBC Good Food Show at the NEC, Birmingham on from Wednesday 28th December to Sunday 2nd December! It's such a brilliant event for food lovers, or anyone who likes to try new food products and get great bargins! I actually went twice this year, I bought tickets to go on the Sunday and see Lorraine Pascale in the Supertheatre and the I was lucky enough to win 2 tickets from English Provender, so I went on the Wednesday too!

There are some excellent bargins to have and I bought a lot of things ready for Christmas. One of my favourite stands was the Renshaw Icing stand, they were offering some great deals and if you spent over £10 you also got a lovely vintage inspired cake tin! So I bought a Christmas Character modelling set for £1.50, 5 sets of Renshaw Ready to Roll Blue Icing for £1 each! They are usually £1.70, so almost half price! Some white ready to roll icing for £2 and in my opinion possibly the best invention for baking and constructing two tier cakes....edible ribbon! It was only £2.50 and nearly went around 2 cakes.

After my haul of icing I decided to try and make my first ever two-tier cake for a family Christmas gathering I was having. Firstly, I used the Renshaw Christmas Character Modelling set to make some Christmas Trees, Santa, Penguin and Snowman out of icing. The packet contained all the icing you needed to make the characters, you could also make a carol singer but I decided not to. The instructions on the back of the packet were easy to follow and the characters took very little time to create, here they are:

I then made a Vanilla Sponge, which I poured a small amount of vanilla syrup (water, sugar and vanilla simmered until the sugar is dissolved) over the top to stop it drying out. I then made a simple vanilla buttercream and covered the cake with it and put it in the fridge for 30 minutes to set.

This was also the first time I had used ready to roll icing, I covered the surfaces with icing sugar, rolled out the icing and then placed it over the cake, flattening with my hands. It was actually a lot easier to use than I expected, I thought the icing might break or tear but other than the odd small spot it stayed together. I then sliced off the excess icing from the bottom of the cake, this is when the cake started to look very 'homemade' and a bit of a mess to be honest! BUT luckily I had this Renshaw Edible Ribbon, so I damped the bottom of the icing with cold boiled water and wound the edible icing around the cake. It really was that simple! I would highly recommend it, it was easy to use, hid the awful looking bottom of the cake and best of all you can eat it! I put some edible glitter on the ribbon too to make it stand out more. To construct the two tier aspect of the cake I put 5 straws into the bottom cake (where I wanted the smaller cake to go), then snipped off the top of the straws. These work as much cheaper dowels, which support the cake and stop it collapsing with the weight of the top cake. I popped the christmas icing characters on top and that was the cake done!

Here's the final piece -

What do you think?
Have you tried make a two-tier cake before?

Please feel free to comment below :)


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