Recipe: Vanilla Peach Cake

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When a friend gave me some beautiful black boy peaches I immediately thought of this cake. It's super quick to whip up using everyday ingredients. Depending on the season, you can use any kind of fruit on the top. Even jam or preserves work nicely too. The recipe is based off a Norwegian apple cake, and is almost like a batter. It turns out lovely and soft and spongy. You can bake it in two smaller round tins, but I like to make it in a rectangular tin so I can cut it into squares and freeze it for the kids lunches. If there's any leftover from afternoon tea that is - it's hard to beat cake warm from the oven! 

Vanilla Peach Cake

2 large eggs

150 grams white sugar

1 tsp vanilla extract

100 grams butter

150 mls milk

175 grams flour

2 tsps baking powder

enough sliced fruit to cover the surface of the cake

Whisk the eggs, sugar and vanilla until thick and creamy. Heat butter and milk in the microwave until nearly boiling. Sift flour and baking powder into the egg mixture, then pour in the milk mixture. Whisk all the ingredients together until smooth.

Pour into either two small cake tins, or one rectangle baking tray, lined with baking paper. Arrange the sliced fruit over the top. (You could also sprinkle over some brown sugar or chopped nuts if you like.) Bake at 180 degrees celcius for 20-30 mins.

Enjoy! Let me know if you try it and what kind of fruit you use in it. Now I'm off to eat some cake... 

Rebecca x

Wild Hearts Wedding Fair

On 1 July I'll be one of the vendors at the Wild Hearts Wedding Fair in Christchurch. It's going to be a stunning event! Tickets are on sale now through the Wild Hearts website.

I'm really looking forward to meeting people and sharing my unique wedding designs. So put it in your diary and come along! Here's what the Wild Hearts crew have to say about the events:

"Wild Hearts is an experience like no other, a glorious day filled to the brim with inspiration, styling, runway shows, shopping, live music, & food.

Bringing you the most on trend, high fashion, international and local vendors, designers, photographers and creative inspiration with our Destination Wedding Fairs & Runway Shows, while at the same time showcasing the beauty New Zealand and its stunning destinations have to offer."

Head to www.wildheartsweddingfairs.co.nz for more info x

Wedding Portfolio

Of everything I create, wedding cakes are my total favourite. In my mind a wedding cake shouldn't just be an afterthought, or simply ticking a box in the list of things to get done for the wedding. It should be a centerpiece that draws people in. Something that makes a statement, tells your story and pulls in details of your wedding in an artistic way. And most importantly it should be a masterpiece inside as well. Because who need boring bland cake on their special day?! People always remember the cake!

With these thoughts driving me I have been creating some wedding designs for my portfolio. If you follow me on Pinterest (@beksdickson) you will see that I have wedding inspiration boards for a bunch of different wedding styles. I've tried really hard to not just pin cakes that other people have designed, even though there are some amazing ones out there. Instead I pin details, elements, textures, colours and shapes that inspire me to create something unique, as I seek to do with my clients. Inspiration can come from anywhere!

Some of my designs I'm still working on, which I will probably keep hidden away until the Wild Hearts Wedding Fair Christchurch on July 1st. But for now I have a few designs I can share, which will hopefully inspire you to get creative with your wedding cake style! Read on for more details on each design.

Huge thanks to my lovely friend Charleen for shooting these for me on super short notice x

A semi-naked finish on a towering single tier with a glistening salted caramel drip. Even a single tier wedding cake can have a bit of drama with extra height and organic unstructured florals. This style is so versatile and would be perfect in a number of settings: rustic, romantic garden or vineyard weddings, or as part of a larger dessert table.

This bold, modern design has a smooth sharp fondant finish with extra tall tiers (yes I have a soft spot for tall cakes!). The bottom tier has a handpainted floral pattern and a blush pink watercolour wash on the top two tiers. The calligraphy style acrylic heart topper is from Design @ 409. They can custom make any topper to suit your design. I love this modern style, and I particularly love using black in wedding cakes. It can be really striking and complement a monochromatic or traditional colour palette, as well as make a statement in a modern setting. The watercolour effect is a subtle way to introduce some colour into your design, and complement colours used in your bridal party outfits, bouquets or stationary.

And while I'm convincing you about black wedding cakes, let me introduce this beauty! Why have one flower on your cake when you can have a whole bouquet? This single tier cake is covered in black fondant which has been textured with a woodgrain type finish. I chose wild and bright coloured flowers to complement the black, but the many other floral styles would be just as stunning. As with the other floral cakes in my portfolio, you can see I have drawn inspiration from current trends in floristry. Wild, unstructured, organic, loose arrangements are becoming popular and is a style I just love! It adds so much movement to a design compared to a tightly packed arrangement.

Three tall tiers finished in marbled fondant with gold leaf details. Marble has been big for a while now in interior design and homewares, and has found its way into edible form. It is such a beautiful look and each one turns out slightly different. It can be quite classic and timeless, or modern and edgy depending on what elements are in the design. I love you marble x

An all white design with a modern edge. Pantone have announced "greenery" as the colour of the year 2017. This design is a nod to that, but with an all white colour palette. The foliage is all handcut from edible wafer paper and arranged on a smooth white fondant finish. I can imagine this cake alongside a beautiful vertical flower/foliage wall or hanging tropical foliage. The design is very modern and structural, but still classic and minimal.

I had so much fun creating these designs and imagining the kinds of settings they might find themselves in. Here's to more statement cakes in the future!

Rebecca x

Five Favourites from 2016

Well 2016 has certainly been a big year! My girls are growing up fast and settled in to kindy and school this year, renovation projects have been completed, and many other ups and downs in between. The extra time I've gained during the week has allowed me lots of time to dream and scheme what Rebecca Jane Sugar Art could look like as it transitions into a business. As I've thought about who I am, and what my style is, this year I've sought to design cakes that reflect that. I'm just getting started and can't want to see what 2017 holds!

In the meantime, here are five of my favourite cake designs from 2016 in no particular order ...

1. Half and Half

This cake design was chosen by the Groom, who wanted to inject a bit of his personality into it. A fun twist on a traditional wedding cake! The different sides were designed to match the attire of the Bride and Groom. This was my biggest cake to date when I made it, and I certainly learned a lot from making it! 

2. Blush Buttercream

Fresh florals and smooth, sharp buttercream are an elegant combination, and a trend that is still going strong. A bit of gold in there never hurts either! Blush pink has been big this year and is great for adding a subtle pop of colour. Sure to continue in 2017 I hope!

3. Modern New Zealand

I designed this cake for a NZ Cake Decorators "Kiwi As" Collaboration. I wanted to create a modern interpretation of a NZ themed wedding cake. The top tier is wafer paper woven in a raranga, the second is painted with edible watercolour to look like pounamu. The bottom tier features wafer paper cut out detail designed from the Christchurch chalice sculpture. 

4. Industrial concrete Drip

This has been the year of the drip cake for sure! I love a good ganache drip, it makes a cake look super delicious. This design features other favourites of this year - concrete look buttercream and metallics. The metallic chocolate sail adds a bit of drama and structure to the design, and the edible waterfall some wow-factor.

5. Sugar Flower Garden

A smooth clean base of buttercream ensures the climbing arrangement of pastel sugar flowers are the hero of this design. Fresh flowers are so popular at the moment, but handmade sugar flowers are such a special personal touch, and can be kept for years as a momento of the special day. They are a labour of love, but I Iove creating them knowing they will be treasured for years to come. I hope we see more sugar flowers making their way back into wedding cakes in 2017, with a contemporary, structural twist.

So Happy New Year beautiful people. Here's to a cracking 2017 full of creativity and craziness!

Rebecca x