A lovely lady, who works with my mum, asked me to make a tray bake to take to her daughter's wedding. As she told me maple and pecan was her favourite flavour combination, I decided to turn one one my most used layer cake recipes (which incorporates the same flavours) into a tray bake.
To make a maple and pecan cake, you basically want to add about 100g of chopped pecans and 80ml of maple syrup (or to taste) to your usual sponge mixture and bake as normal. Easy peasy.
She also asked if I would top the tray bake slices with pink sugarcraft roses. Sugarcraft is something that I haven't had much practice at, I don't have very steady hands (as I am sure you can tell from all my blurry photos!) and have never been particularly neat in my cake decorating. For these reasons it was never something that appealed to me to try, but I thought I should give it a go anyway.
I decided to order some ready made roses online, incase the ones I made turned out to be awful! I made my roses using pink sugar paste that I got from a company called Squires Kitchen (http://www.squires-shop.com/uk). They were actually very easy to do and didn't take me very long. I used the end of a (very clean and new!) paintbrush to shape the petals and then I moulded them together with the help of a tiny amount of clear alcohol (I used malibu, you should probably use something like vodka though if you need it).