I haven’t posted on here for over 2 years. It’s very easy to convince yourself that what you make isn’t good enough. I’ve recently reminded myself that I set this page up for me, to remind myself of the things I have made and be proud of these. If it happens to generate ideas in someone else then that’s also good.
To kick start 2019, I’m going to do a couple of posts with a look back at my favourite things from 2018 (in no particular order). Starting with…
1. Wedding cake
My sister in law married the love of her life back in June. They asked me when they got engaged to make their wedding cake. I am a cake hobbyist and had never made a proper tiered cake before.
This cake had a rich chocolate cake base with chocolate buttercream, a lemon drizzle middle tier and the top was my own creation of a cherry Bakewell (a plain sponge with almond essence, cherry jam and almond buttercream). I used a BBC Good Food recipe. I made them ahead and froze them.
The flowers are all artificial and we’re jsut purchased from Amazon. They were inserted into polystyrene dummies ahead of time.
On the day of the wedding, I had my hair done in the morning, raced to the venue to set the cake up and help do last minute touches then headed back to get my make up done and get changed and of course help my sister in law get ready for her big day!! I was super pleased with how this turned out, especially as it was all new to me. It tasted delicious and all the layers turned out even too.
Photo courtesy of Graeme Beck photography
2. Wedding bake off entry
This year I went to 6 weddings in c. 6 weeks. For the last cake of the season, the bride and groom organised for a bake off from guests to fill their pudding table. This was my entry, rustled together a bit last minute but a second prize winner (with rosette).
This uses a Swiss meringue buttercream which is one of my new favourites this year due to the velvety texture.
3. My Dad’s Birthday cake
My Dad is a Celtic fan. Seems obvious from this really. This is just a normal sponge cake (same recipe as the wedding cake). I used a square tin and kind of just guessed how to slice it into a shirt. There are loads of tutorials out there and helpful people who actually remembered to write down what they were doing.
4. 30th Birthday cake
My husband’s family love a cake. This was the first of the year for my Brother-in-law’s 30th Birthday in early Jan. He hired a farmhouse in Derby and the family gathered to celebrate. We drove this cake, already made up from London.
January can be dreary in the UK, once the excitement of christmas has died down, the twinkly lights start to come down and it’s cold and dark. I wanted this cake therefore to be bright and exciting.
The recipe is the same as the raspberry cake before and one I’ve used a few times now Link to recipe
It’s a Katherine Sabbath recipe and seems to hold very well with the layers and the Swiss meringue buttercream. This cake also had a white chocolate ganache, which I coloured orange.
5. 60th Birthday Cake
The above cake was one of the last of the year. This one was for my Mother in law’s 60th (as I said, my in laws love the cakes!)
She had a party for friends down in the south of France. This sounds a bit more extravagant than it is – they have a little place down there and have local friends. This was a second go of the cherry Bakewell cake from the earlier wedding cake. Same recipe with a bit more almond. The cake was made in advance, frozen and then defrosted in car journey down. I also took icing and decorating materials.
The marble effect was from dotting some colouring in (I use gel) then essentially just not mixing it through properly. I used a gold pen to try and emphasise the marbling lines. I also tried adding some gold leaf – not the easiest thing to do but added a nice bit of colour / glam to it.
Very well received and lots of people asking for seconds.
Cake materials for all the cakes come from Cake Craft Shop
I actually only live a few minutes walk from the Chatterton Road shop in Bromley. This is a treasure trove of goods, selling everything you could need, including cake mixes, icing, ribbons, drums, boards, boxes. The ladies in there are very helpful so if you have a problem, ask them. This year I also hired cake tins from them and the stand underneath the wedding cake was also hired for something like £20 for the weekend.
They also sell Sattina icing which is the nicest I’ve found so far. Less sticky than the supermarket brands so much nicer to roll out.
I don’t make cakes to sell. However my very talented friend Holly does. If you’re looking for celebration cakes for birthdays, weddings etc then have a look at the Isle Bakery
They are based near Ely in Cambridge but get in touch for options, including delivery.