28 Feb 2012

DIY+Recipe: How to Make a Face Cake

What's more thoughtful and fun than a face cake on your birthday? The answer is a homemade face cake! I came up with the idea of a homemade portrait cake when my fiancé James turned 30 a couple of years ago. I wanted to surprise him with a really special cake, but I didn't want to order a cake with his photograph from our local cake shop since they're very expensive and, in my opinion, not very tasty. So the idea of making my own cake with a picture of James was formed. After some thinking my idea came to life. Two years later our friends are still talking about that cake, it is an understatement to say that it was a success. Here's how i did it...

Step 1: The Cake
The inside of your cake can be any flavour you like, but the outside must be covered in whipped cream or a white creamy frosting. The top of your cake needs to be flat for best result.

This is the recipe for my Strawberry and White Chocolate Face Cake:
1. Make a simple sponge cake and cut it in half horizontally, or buy a ready-made layered sponge.
2. Grate the zest of a lime, make sure you don't get any of the white pith.
3. Slice a handful of strawberries.
4. Break five meringues into smaller parts.
5. To make white chocolate and mascarpone mousse:
Bring 150 ml double cream to the boil, break 100 g of white chocolate into small pieces and let them melt in the cream. Stir and let the mix cool down. When it's completely cool, whisk with an electrical mixer. Stir in 100 ml of mascarpone.
6. Arrange the strawberry slices on the first layer of sponge. Sprinkle the lime zest on top.
7. Add the meringue...
And the white chocolate/mascarpone mix.
8. Place the second cake layer on top...
And cover the whole thing with whipped cream or frosting, I use whipped cream.

Step 2: The Face
It's takes a little time and effort to create the portrait, but it's so worth it!
You will need:
  • A good photo of the birthday person's face (good contrast and no weird shadows)
  • some kind of image editing software
  • a scalpel
  • cocoa powder
  • a sieve.
1. Start with making the photo black and white, then you want to enhance the contrast between light and dark so much that the facial features consists of dark shadows and white parts. To do this I used a filter in Photoshop called "poster edges", but you just have to play around to see what works best on your image.
2. Cut out the dark parts with a scalpel to make a stencil. Don't worry if you make a mistake or if the face "falls out" because you have cut all the way around it (like I did), just use a little tape to fix it. Remember you are going to use the frame and the "holes", not the dark bits you are cutting out.
3. Place the stencil on top of your cake, or if you have someone to help you they can hold it just above the cake.

4. Sift the cocoa over the stencil, I used a tea sieve which worked really well. Don't use too much cocoa, you want a thin layer for best result.
5. Remove the stencil carefully and voilà!
A home made portrait cake.
7. Decorate the cake as you wish, and surprise your loved one with it!
When I brought out the cake at James' party everyone was in awe and James was so excited and thankful!

Here are some other face cakes I've made. It's so much fun to see the birthday person's reaction when you give them their cake and always very appreciated.

Happy face-caking!

25 Feb 2012

5 Brilliant Articles for Bloggers

Illustration by Inslee Haynes

Here are my top five tips for great articles on how to improve your blog, I love it when brilliant bloggers share their best tips!

1. Nubby Twiglet's "How Do I Get My Blog Noticed"
Nubby Twiglet is one of my personal design heroes, I highly recommend checking out her site even if you're not interested in this particular post. Her column "Ask Nubby" is filled with awesome advice about design, blogging and achieving your life goals.

This is a lovely post with lots of good advice for fashion bloggers! From superblogger Elsie Larsen of A Beautiful Mess.

This post is a sum-up from an Alt Summit talk and definitely worth reading if you want to attract more blog readers!
I have heard a lot of good things about this ebook, although I haven't personally read it. But I am a big fan of Kaleah and her blog Little Chief Honeybee, and the fact that she has managed to create such a succesful blog herself proves that this ebook is worth reading. The book costs $25 and can be purchased here.

5. Free Blog Templates from Pugly Pixel
Want to spruce up your blog design but don't know how to? Check out Pugly Pixel's free blog templates! Pugly Pixel is a blog design enthusiast and her website also offers lots of cool tutorials and how-to's.

23 Feb 2012

London Fashion Week Faves

London Fashion Week just finished yesterday, and it seems to have been one of the best ones yet! I was invited to a few shows but sadly I couldn't go because of clashing work commitments, bummer! Lucky we can follow the fash pack through the best blogs! Here are my favourites from LFW 2012.
Photographs by Kris Atomic, Style Bubble and Style.com
Beautiful colours and texture at Zoe Jordan.
I love the Moschino Cheap & Chic collection, it's like a rockier version of Gossip Girl!
Knitted pastels from Fred Butler.
Fiery colours and black lace by Bora Aksu.
Retro prints at Orla Kiely's presentation.
Crazy patterns and mohawks at the Louise Gray show.
Now this is one fashion show I wish I had been invited to; McQ by Sarah Burton for Alexander McQueen. The clothes, the set and the hauntingly beautiful models... Magical!

Which fashion show would you like to see in real life?

21 Feb 2012

Pancake Day or Fettisdagen?

Today you can either celebrate 'Pancake Day' in the UK, or 'Fettisdagen' (Fat Tuesday) in Sweden. I might be biased because I'm Swedish but I will definitely diss the pancakes for semla! I like pancakes but semlor is so much better! And home made semla is the best. Here is my best recipe.

If you're still not convinced to go for semla, here's some inspiration for all of you pancake lovers. From Underbara Clara's blog.

Happy Fettisdag/Pancake Day!

18 Feb 2012

Shop for Spring

The blizzard with snow have finally left London, so I'm trying to tell myself spring is here! It's still pretty grey and windy though, but a sure way to get that spring feeling is to go check out the new spring/summer fashion that has finally arrived in the stores here, so that's exactly what I'm going to do. Bring on the pastels and sheer fabrics! Have a nice Saturday lovely peeps!

16 Feb 2012

My Wedding Look: Hair Inspiration

Lately I have been spending far too much time on Pinterest browsing wedding pics, looking for inspiration for my look. Here are some ideas for my hair, hard to choose though since there are so many pretty ways to do it! I like the idea of a soft, natural look with flowers or maybe a 60's inspired do with a cool head piece?
Which style do you think would suit me? And if anyone have any tips for good websites to look at for wedding hair/make up it I'd be very grateful!

Sources for all images can be found on my wedding Pinterest board.

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