Blogs

Mincemeat's A-Mixing....

I've just started up my first batch of mincemeat - delicious raisins, sultanas, currants, apricots, dates, apples, the wonderfully aromatic mixed spice and a smidge of brandy. Seven days of stirring and mixing and the mincemeat will be ready to go! It'll be £3.60 for a 400g jar. Get your orders in now!

Are You Ready for Friday? It's Going to Be Good!

Right now, there is the smell of a deliciously fruity Simnel cake emanating from my kitchen along with a batch of chocolatey Easter cupcakes. From now up until Easter, I am selling Easter design cupcakes and Simnel cakes. 

Cupcakes come in batches of 6/12 and prices start from £10.20 for 6 plain sponge cakes. You can choose from any of the four designs pictured - you could have all of one design or a mixture. The choice is entirely up to you! Prices for a Simnel cake start from £32.00 for a 6" diameter cake. 

It's Nearly THAT Time Of Year Again.....

Ok, I know it has been quite a long time since I last posted a blog! Life has been rather busy and blogs seem to have taken quite a back seat for a while! I've had birthdays, weddings, our first family holiday, a Memory Walk and my husbands' *ahem* big birthday this year as well! Good old Facebook 'reminded' me that this time last year, I was starting to think about making Christmas cakes and mincemeat.... This means that over the next few weeks, I shall be mixing up my mincemeat and taking orders for Christmas cakes! One of my favourite part of Christmas is making my mincemeat. All that glorious fruit, the spices, the brandy! (or rum for that matter!). I love the smells that waft from my kitchen when I've been baking. Right now, it's chocolate cake! Nothing beats my great-gran's 70 year old war-time recipe. I've tweaked it before so I use Horlicks instead of cocoa. Filled with vanilla buttercream, the result is a cake that tastes just like Malted Milk biscuits!

Anyway, back to Christmas cakes and mincemeat! The design ideas are endless when it comes to Christmas - ranging from the traditional holly leaves and berries to the silhouettes of the Three Wise Men on their camels following the star. Round, square, or even cupcakes, the shape and size of your cake is entirely up to you! I do cater for any allergies/dietary requirements, so if you require a 'free-from' cake, please let me know and I will bake accordingly! My Christmas cakes will be mainly rich fruit cakes that will have been fed for maximum of 8 weeks. (dependent on when your order is placed) However, you do not HAVE to have a fruit cake as your Christmas cake and you don't even have to have it 'fed', you could have a sponge, chocolate, carrot....the choice is up to you! If you have a design idea in mind for your Christmas cake, feel free to ask me about it and I can arrange a quote for you.

I shall be delivering the Christmas cakes in the week before and leading up to Christmas (starting from 19th December), so it is best to get your cake orders in by the 24th October. This will give your cake the maximum 'feeding' time!

I shall also be attending a Christmas Fair at Buckminster Primary School where you can pop on down and pick up a cake (or two), mince pies, jars of mincemeat and maybe even some of my blood orange marmalade too! I have a few recipes I want to try out for lots of other Christmassy goodies, so pop on over to Buckminster Primary School on the 29th November between 3-6pm!

Prices (quoted without delivery. Collection, obviously, is free!)

 

Mincemeat - 400g (approx) jars.  *Allergens - sulphur dioxide and milk (butter is used)* - £3.50

 

Christmas Cupcakes

Cupcakes.

Delicious Christmas fruity cupcakes with a snowy meringue icing. These are sold in batches of 6/12.

6 Christmas cupcakes = £15

12 Christmas cupcakes = £30

Alternatively, for sponge Christmas cupcakes, these are also sold in batches of 6/12 at a cost of £12/£24 per batch.

 

The Three Wise Men Christmas Cake

Round (or square) Christmas cake.

These come in various sizes (portion sizes being about 1"x2") -

7", 9" or 10" round cake (to feed approximately 18, 32 and 38 accordingly)  

OR  

6", 8" or 9" square cake (which will feed approximately 18, 32 or 40 accordingly).

Holly Christmas Cake

7" round / 6" square = £40

9" round / 8" square = £55

10" round / 9" square = £65

To order your Christmas cake/s, choose your size and design from those featured in this blog, pop over to the Contact Form, fill out your details and I shall be straight back in touch with you!

 

Alternatively, if you have a design idea in mind or a budget, please don't hesitate to contact me and ask. I am more than happy to work with you!

Memories

*TISSUE ALERT*

You may remember I recently started offering Memory Cakes as something for you to remember those who are no longer with us. On days where you want to celebrate your loved ones life and the fact they are no longer with you. Shawna McGreevy of McGreevy Cakes has made the most wonderful Memory Cake in memory of a wonderful little boy, Ian. The blog she wrote to accompany the cake is so moving, it had me in tears. (So please have your hankies at the ready!)

Memory Cakes are such a wonderful way to remember and celebrate our loved ones and in the words of little Ian, "Don't worry mom. Just believe."

 

 

To read Shawna's beautiful blog about this marvellous cake, "In Memory of Ian", just click on this link

 

 

If you yourself would like a Memory Cake, please don't hesitate to contact me eith

er via the Contact Form, or give me a call on (07810) 285191.

Tea, Cake and Fond Farewells.

Today we said farewell to a wonderful lady - my grandma. A wonderful woman who may be gone, but most definitely will not be forgotten and will forever be in our hearts! She always loved tea accompanied by a slice of cake with copious amounts of icing.. So I thought, the nicest way to celebrate her, was to create a 'Memory Cake' incorporating little things that reminded us of her.

Her creativeness : She was always creating things - embroidery, cross-stitch and quilting. She made some extremely beautiful pieces. Over 900 pieces she has documented over the last 30 years up to 2013! I do believe there is one piece housed somewhere in Leeds Castle. Her quilting is one of my fondest memories of her. Lots of tiny pieces of fabric that she would cut out and carefully piece together into beautiful intricate patterns. 

Tea and Cake : Food always played a big part in our childhood (and some adult) visits to her and my grandads little bungalow. One of my most favourite memories from when I was really small, was sitting around the kitchen table at tea-time with both my grandma and my grandad, this amazing spread of food with this giant comb of honey sitting proudly in the middle of the table waiting for someone to carve the first piece out. Tea-time also meant SO much food, we would be fit to burst and were allowed to take home little goodie-bags. These would inevitably be filled up with cake and biscuits! What person doesn't love cake and biscuits? Pudding at lunch came with the choice of either ice cream or custard to go with it. My younger brother when asked whether he would like ice cream or custard one time simply said "Yes please". After that afternoon, it seemed to be a thing to have both custard AND ice cream with our puddings!

Before tea though,there would be card games, board games and afternoons of general silliness. 'Happy Families', 'Uno' and 'Sorry' were just a few of our favourites. 

She also kept her garden looking lovely and full of flowers. Especially fuschias. The bright pink and purple blooms drooping in beautiful bunches. And the red pillar box? She loved them and I remember her taking photos of most (if not all) of the ones she would come across.

There are so many special memories that we (my family) have of her. She will be missed by us, but there will always be something that reminds us of happy times with her.

Cake and Bake Show, Manchester 2015.

The 13th of November showcased the start of the Cake and Bake Show in Manchester at EventCity. 3 days of solid cakey goodness with celebrities, lots of stands and a plethora of competition cakes. Having not been to a show before, I thought I would toddle along to see what I was missing! I even treated myself to a ticket for a demo by the fabulous Danielle Gotheridge in one of the classrooms at the show on the Saturday.

It was like being a small child in a sweet shop seeing all the lovely stands crammed with cakes, sweets and baking goodies. It was tricky to know where to start. I decided to have a mooch around the competition bakes first. I have to say, there were some seriously good bakers and decorators that had entered. Some amateur, some professional and even a junior section! It was interesting to see how other people work with cake, icing and structural materials when they create their masterpieces. But it did give me a few ideas on new materials I can use for my future bakes! It has made me want to enter one of my creations into a competition. That'll come next year at Cake International I think!

The demo that was run by Danielle was very interesting and quite eye-opening when it came to her talking about the tools that she uses. There are lots of fancy gadgets, utensils and gimmicks that you can get to use when you are creating your cake masterpiece, but, in agreement with Danielle, I like using the bare minimum. Treating the cake and covering like an edible sculpture. It takes me back to when I was small. Playing with plasticine and Playdoh was the best thing ever! And that is what I class cakes as. Edible plasticine/Playdoh. A cake doesn't always have to be just a plain round or square shape. It can be turned into something spectacular! My favourite tools I use when I am constructing and carving my cakes are simply and small serrated knife, my icing smoother, pizza wheel and my hands. I always start with either a round or square cake as my base and then carve away from there! I still remember the first ever carved cake I was asked to make. This was going back at least 6 years ago or so and it was a Spiderman mask. I must have placed my knife on the top of the cake dozens of times before I finally plucked up the courage to chop away the first part of the cake! All it takes is time and confidence.

After watching the delightful Lisa Faulkner at the Cake & Bake Super Theatre, I came across one rather lovely stand that sells THE most deliciously naturally flavoured icing sugars - Sugar and Crumbs. When you get asked "Would you like to try a sample of the apple crumble icing sugar?". Of course the answer is a resounding yes! 

Oh. My. Goodness! It was absolutely divine. It was just like eating apple crumble. Who knew you could do that with icing sugar? I have now bought their pink lemonade and their Jaffa Twist flavoured icing sugars to try out on my cupcakes. (Which, by the way, if you fill out a Contact Form or give me a call, you can order some from me!).

I thoroughly enjoyed myself at the Cake and Bake Show this year and it is an experience which I would most certainly love to do again next year. Who knows, one year I may even have my own stand!...... 

The Geese Are Getting Fat......

"Christmas is coming and the geese are getting fat,

Please put a penny in the old mans hat,

If you haven't got a penny, a ha'penny will do,

If you haven't got a ha'penny, God bless you!"

Yes, I am talking about Christmas already! Christmas is a wonderful time to spend with family, friends and loved ones. Decorating the tree together, putting up baubles and tinsel, making mince pies, wrapping presents... I can hear the jingle of bells already! My favourite part of Christmas is making my mincemeat and the Christmas cakes. All that glorious fruit, the spices, (the brandy!) - my kitchen smells DIVINE when the cake has been made and the mincemeat is slowly maturing.  There is nothing tastier than home-made mincemeat and a rich fruit cake for Christmas!

Sleigh Christmas CakeI have spent the last week or so deciding on my Christmas cake designs for this year. Ranging from the traditional holly leaves and berries to the silhouettes of the Three Wise Men on their camels following the star. Round, square, or even cupcakes, the shape and size of your cake is entirely up to you! I do cater for any allergies/dietary requirements, so if you require a 'free-from' cake, please let me know and I will bake accordingly! My Christmas cakes will be mainly rich fruit cakes that will have been fed for maximum of 8 weeks. (dependent on when your order is placed) However, you do not HAVE to have a fruit cake as your Christmas cake, you could have a sponge, chocolate, carrot....the choice is up to you! If you have a design idea in mind for your Christmas cake, feel free to ask me about it and I can arrange a quote for you.

I shall be delivering the Christmas cakes in the week before and leading up to Christmas (starting from 21st December), so it is best to get your cake orders in by the 26th October. This will give your cake the maximum 'feeding' time. 

Prices (quoted without delivery)

Christmas Cupcakes

Cupcakes.

Delicious fruity cupcakes with a snowy meringue icing. These are sold in batches of 6/12.

6 Christmas cupcakes = £15

12 Christmas cupcakes = £30

 

 

The Three Wise Men Christmas Cake

Round (or square) Christmas cake.

These come in various sizes -

7", 9" or 10" round cake (to feed approximately 11, 18 and 21 accordingly)  

OR  

6", 8" or 9" square cake (which will feed approximately 9, 16 or 21 accordingly).

Holly Christmas Cake

7" round / 6" square = £40

9" round / 8" square = £55

10" round / 9" square = £65

To order your Christmas cake/s, choose your size and design from those featured in this blog, pop over to the Contact Form, fill out your details and I shall be straight back in touch with you!

 

Alternatively, if you have a design idea in mind or a budget, please don't hesitate to contact me and ask. I am more than happy to work with you!

Macmillan Coffee Afternoon

Friday the 25th September saw lots of people joining in with the "Worlds' Biggest Coffee Morning". One such place was The Blue Cow Inn, in South Witham; a lovely little pub just down the road from me. What does a coffee morning require? Cake! What better way to help raise money for such a worthwhile charity than to supply them with a little cake. But which flavour to pick? There are so many flavours to choose from! I thought, going with an ale or beer theme, would be an appropriate idea due to the venue of this coffee morning. Now, I have made a chocolate and Guinness cake before as a request from a friend a while ago, but never got to taste it (apparently it was delicious!).

This time, I thought I would try the very same recipe, but with a twist - by substituting the Guinness with a draft ale from the pub! I decided to use a lovely ale called "Vulcan Bomber" - a smooth, deep ruby coloured ale. An absolute favourite of my husbands' and quite a few more from the village too I shouldn't wonder! Topped with a delectable cream cheese icing, the cake smelt and looked delicious!

The coffee morning (well, afternoon, being as it was held at 2pm!) was a resounding success. A grand total of £301 and 2 Euros (don't ask!) was raised through the sale of the cakes and a "Guess the Weight of the Cake" with a Red Velvet Cake donated by myself. I managed to try the Chocolate and Vulcan bomber Ale Cake this time. Verdict? As good as it smelt. It reminded me very much of a chocolate cake my mum and my grandma used to make. Delicious!

Weddings, Wedding Fairs and Bunting!

These last two weeks have been exceptionally hectic for me, hence the quietness on the blog front!

The start of the first week was preparation for my first ever wedding fair - making dummy cakes, fondant flowers, sample cakes for tasting, making sure I have enough business cards....the list went on! Days and days of preparation was well worth it though. Once the car was loaded up with cakes, cards and dummies, it was off to Grantham Guildhall Arts Centre

It was a small affair with just 15 stands in the ballroom, which, to be honest, for someone doing their first wedding fair, was ideal! Especially being as the nerves were kicking in whilst I was setting up. That soon changed once the doors were opened and people started meandering in. It got me talking about one of the things I love - CAKE! At that point, the nerves flittered away completely! For my first fair, it went rather well. I got to speak to lots of brides (and grooms!) and I also managed to speak with a few of the other businesses that were there -  Russell Croucher Photography, Jennifer Anne Make Up Artist, WiseGuys Menswear, Paul Bryant Photography and a lovely lady by the name of Colette from Repli-cake, who makes a miniature version of your wedding cake from clay to keep as a memento of your special day, displayed in a glass dome. Her attention to detail in each cake is phenomenal and truly beautiful!

I have always said, there is no 'blue-print' for a wedding cake. It is all about making it personal to yourselves - from the traditional flower sprays to 'something a little different', there is no right or wrong way as to how your wedding cake looks. I  do love making something that is personal to each couple, whether it be dry stone walls, Pacman and cakes as we had on our wedding cake; beautiful handmade flowers and sparkles as requested by a lovely local couple recently or vintage shabby chic and bunting as for a couple I made their wedding cake for, this weekend.

It is always nice to have customers come back again. More so when the last time you spoke to them is quite some time ago,  but you still remember who they were. I was asked at the beginning of the year if I could make a wedding cake for a couple I had made a birthday cake for a few years ago (a Typhoon Fighter jet to be precise...) 

Did I remember them? Of course! Because all of my cakes are made to order, not one of them has ever been identical to another, which makes them all the more memorable. The theme of this wedding cake? 

Shabby chic with bunting, pale pinks and blues. It sounded beautiful. Pencils and pens to paper and I came up with a few ideas, the design was picked and a few months later the cake made (with a few extra cupcakes to go with it). Displayed in the banqueting hall of Barnsdale Lodge, with the drapes hanging from the ceiling and the silver candelabra, it all looked beautiful!

 

 

Congratulations to both couples on starting their new lives together! 

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