Ladies and Gents, I’m almost back to health and whilst recovering I’ve been setting my mind to some things I’d like to try over to widen my repertoire and test my creative skills. I’m seeing the same novelty cakes in a million different websites with many cake companies buying in their cakes ready made and then decorating them. So watch this space for some new ideas and flavour combinations for 2015 over the coming weeks. Happy baking!
Having just returned from a fabulous annual family get together that started with 12 members back in the early 80s and has now grown to 40 plus, I was reminded that I am not alone in my passion for food as I put together my doggy bag of fudge, empire biscuits and Christmas cake all home made by aunts and uncles in the family. I’d arrived as usual with boxes and tubs amidst a kitchen buzzing with stories of recipes, mishaps and my dear old Nana’s vol au vents and apple cake.
Pastas, chilli, quiche and chutneys, ginger cake, caramel shortcake to mention just a few dishes, reflected the depth of culinary experience within my ‘wee’ family and newly ignites a pride and passion for food and baking that will no doubt stand me in good stead for the year ahead.
For all you folks that tell yourself you can’t bake or cook, take a leaf out of my family book and try it. Of my Nana’s 6 children, ALL of them took some influence from her tips and encouragement becoming great homebakers and NONE have had any professional training. The joy is that it is being passed on to my generation and no doubt will stretch further in the years ahead.
Food brings people together. We laughed, we cried, we ate and we ate some more and a thoroughly good time was had by all. Now I’m off to have another of my uncle Paul’s Empire biscuits!
Hello fellow bakers and food lovers!
I’ve been meaning to write some more posts and in particular to share with you my own celebrations in the year that has been my 40th. In May I celebrated my big day with my love, my friends and my family and I’ve been celebrating quite a lot since – even as recently as last weekend! I even made my own birthday cake!
Life is, at 40, not as I imagined it would be when I was 20, but these constant surprises are what keeps you young aren’t they?
One of the biggest surprises is to have my own cake business – whilst also working full time – and that so many people take the time to say they love my cakes.
So to all you budding bakers, foodies, friends and family, do what you love, what gives you joy and satisfaction, what challenges you and what surprises you and then every year can be a celebration.
Happy Birthday to all those 1974 guys and gals and happy baking!
Why don’t you dust off your cake pans and get yourself a nice new apron and do something special for the kids of Great Ormond Street Hospital
Can you help with a small dilemma? I’ve never made bread before and having seen Paul Hollywood making soda bread which requires no kneading or proving, I thought that would be a great place to start. My dilemma however is whether to use his recipe or to use a true Irish lady’s recipe Rachel Allen who’s recipes I use a lot. So it’s traditional vs expert (no offence Rachel) or maybe you have a tried and tested recipe you want to share. Answers on a postcard…..
Well I said I’d keep y’all posted on my cake levelling and boy was I missing a trick! I used it on a circular and square cake and it was quick, easy and I managed it even without the instruction of the clever David Duncan. I used a Tala make and I’ve never going back to the old electric carving knife.
I’d highly recommend it if you’ve not tried it. Now off to try out my new turntable, watch this space…..
At the weekend I overcame one of my big cake fears, using a cake leveller. Not the most dramatic of revelations I admit but when you have had many wonky cakes over the years, a piece of kit that can do it easily, quicker and with a lot less hammering of the heart and holding of breath gets my vote.
So why haven’t I used one before I hear you ask? Well, plain and simple – I didn’t know how! It looks a bit like a bandsaw but the ‘blade’ is actually a bit of wire and not terribly sharp, so how does it actually work?
Well, here is a few tips for any of you cake amateurs like me
- Keep the feet of it on the work surface you are leaning on and if one rubber foot wears away, remove the other to keep level
- start at the corner of the cake or if its a circular cake make a small cut with a very sharp knife to get started
- then just move it back and forth – a bit like a bandsaw in fact – don’t be shy, give it wellie!
So, I’m off to try my brand spanking new cake leveller to level both a square and a circular cake and I will keep you posted on its virgin flight.
Just sharing a wee something I made yesterday with the help of 3D Cakes in Edinburgh and the wonderful David Duncan. What a delight it was to work alongside a real expert and look what I created! I can’t wait to make it again and to use the tips I learned to make all my cakes even better. It’s also given me the confidence to try new things and to stretch my imagination with what I can do. Thanks again 3D cakes!
I’ve been busy trying out some different ideas for Valentine’s Day and I’ve loving my edible red roses. A new white chocolate cupcake recipe too which is really tasty just gives an added dimension to the humble cupcake. I attempted to make a single rose with a cupcake but sadly I failed to get my weight ratios quite right so back to the drawing board – watch this space!
So I’ve just finished making some spooky Halloween cupcakes and I freaked myself out with the spider ones. I am really looking forward to our Halloween party, decorating the house and sharing my spooky cakes – hopefully no-one will find them frightening.
In the meantime, these samples will no doubt be gobbled up by my work colleagues tomorrow.