As you probably know by know I love cake decorating and there is nothing I like more than creating a cake table. They are a lot of work though so I only do them twice a year. Once for Teddy's birthday and once for Cosy's. Luckily they are six months apart which gives me plenty of time to recover! For some reason my husband always seems to be away in the lead up to Cosy's birthday which is frustrating as it's when I need him most. This year he was at his brothers stag party and didn't get back till the night before the party. That meant that as well as effectively being a working single parent for the week I had to work cake making night and day to get all the treats prepared for the cake table. When I say had to obviously I mean want to but it does always turn into a big commitment on top of everything else. This year I did a couple of things I haven't got round to before. One is I printed off some mermaid themed 'food cards' from Etsy which my talented adult daughter wrote on in calligraphy. I think this really pulled the whole look of the table together and made it look more finished. The other thing is that I set the table up and photographed it before the guests arrived to make sure I got some good picks before everything got mauled. Also, I got a pic of the mermaid birthday cake in situ before whisking it away to bring out as a surprise for the magical moment when everyone sings 'Happy Birthday'. Unfortunately the mischievous birthday girl snuck a good look at whilst I was taking the pics. Next year I may need to arrange someone to take her to the park whilst I do that. Having done all this in advance did mean that I was able to socialise a bit during the party and have a few drinks rather than my usual rushing around like a mad person. I did indulge in a couple of bottles of Corona beer and relaxed whilst the kids did a great job entertaining themselves. In fact I relaxed so much that it wasn't till everyone had left that I realised that I'd totally forgotten to do the Pinata! Still at least I didn't forget the cake! The funny thing was I had thought I was so organised, wrapping the parcel for pass the parcel (or parcel, parcel, as my kids call it) and prepping the party bags in advance. There's still always something I've overlooked!
When Carousel PR got in touch to ask if we could create an Alice in Wonderland themed biscuit decorating workshop we were only too happy to help. The event was for Bentalls Shopping Centre in Kingston Upon Thames. They had thoughtfully provided it as an activity to keep the kids entertained whilst the parents were Christmas shopping. We made a variety of biscuits including; gingerbread men, rabbits, teapots, teacups, 'eat me' plaques and 'drink me' bottles. The kids were very creative and invented some characters that would need a whole other Alice adventure book to tell their stories! I'm really looking forward to returning on 16th December to fo it all over again....
When Stylist Magazine approached me about creating a biscuit decorating workshop for their collaboration with Pinterest I was only too happy to help. As we do so many cake making events it's nice to get the chance to work on something a bit different. The theme was neon. I have to say that this was great news for me as I find traditional green and red can look a bit dull and traditional. I baked a classic vanilla biscuit dough. I then used a variety of 'Christmas Bauble' cutters to create interesting shapes. I have been wanting to experiment with cake lace for a while so I thought this was a great opportunity to work with it. I used Katie Sue designs and mixture in a variety of colours. I also made lots of cute little cherubs out of fondant icing. I went for lime green, yellow, pink & purple. This worked really well and created texture as well as looking good. The participants used scissors to cut out the premade lace fit onto the shapes and then piped on icing and added the cherubs and rose garlands. The group were thrilled with the end results and amazed by what they had achieved in the hour long workshop. Everyone got to take home 8 biscuit baubles to hang from their Christmas Tree. If they made it that far before being eaten!
We love it when companies ask us to create a unique workshop to fit their needs. We have done these for product launches and brand launches, blogger events and press days. Not only is it a fun way to entertain your employees, guests or clients, but it also leads to great social media activity as everyone is so excited to share their baking creations with friends and family. Whether it is a conference, client event, networking event or just an opportunity to treat your staff to a fun filled workshop, our tailor made workshops will tick all the boxes.
I literally adore my sister in law.
She is one of loveliest people I know.
In fact, I met here before my brother in law, on a hen in Ibiza.
She was performing on stage with Leftfield and we were
hypnotised by her.
When she turned up at our villa later that night (or morning by then!)
I got chatting with her and realised that she is a great beauty inside and out.
I had one of those rare moments where you meet someone and just think
‘Wow you're amazing. How do I get you in my life?’
And then my brother in law met her (not through me) a few months later and clearly
thought exactly the same!
They have been together a few years and are now expecting their first baby
together. Very exciting. So obviously I offered to do the cake table. And also host
the party. It was a great event. There where probably around 60 or 70 people there.
I made a ‘Cuddly Toy Sheep Cake’, This was the same technique as I used for Teddy’s
1st birthday Teddy Bear Cake. ’ Baby Vest & booty biscuits’, ‘Bottle Biscuits’,
‘Baby Cakes’ and Bunting Cupcakes’. I also made some healthy fruit skewers.
It was a lot of work and a lot of fun. And I did have some help from my children. Although
some would say more hindrance….
There is pretty much nothing I like better than coming up with a new idea. So when Samsung asked me to create an experience to celebrate the launch of the Samsung Note I thought that icing and decorating gingerbread men would be ideal. The 02 staff had so much fun, popping down in their lunch break and throughout the day between meeting etc. I was very impressed by the standard of some of the biscuits. Particularly the mermaid, the children and the Halloween characters.
We had our lovely new neighbours around for supper last night. It's only taken us a year to get round to it! We had a wonderful time where the conversation flowed effortlessly and before we knew what had happened it was 1am! Not the best time to go to bed when you have toddlers to get up with in the morning. My mum was here and was not only great company but also effortlessly took on some of the cooking which was a huge help. We had sliced lamb with hummus, Greek salad, sweet potato and my mums crisply, sliced potatoes and garlic broccoli. I wanted to make dessert but didn't want to spend ages baking (busman's holiday!) As we had summer berries and Greek Yoghurt in the fridge I decided to quickly knock up some light crumbly shortbread type biscuits to elevate a simple assembly job into something dinner party worthy. I really should have put a lot of the unbaked biscuits in the fridge because I ended up eating rather a lot of the left-overs the next day....
So here's the recipe:
450g/ 1lb plain flour
165g/5 1/2oz icing sugar
2tsp vanilla extract
*1 egg white
2 tbsp granulated sugar
Line 2 baking sheets with greaseproof paper. Mix the flour and icing sugar together and rub in the butter. Once the mixture begins to come together add the vanilla essence. Lightly knead the dough then roll into four x 4cm wide logs. wrap them in cling film and place in the freezer to firm up of an hour or so )If you are in a rush try 10 mins in the freezer). If you don't want to make too many you can store some of the logs in the freezer for up to 3 months. Preheat the oven to 190 C/ 375 f/ Gas mark 5. Brush each log with the egg white and then roll in the sugar. Cut into 6mm/1/4 inch thick slices. Place the cookie slices on the sheets and bake for 8-10 mins. Cool on a wire rack.
Serve with mixed berries and yoghurt, mousse or syllabub. Or simply a cup of tea!
*If you are vegan or intolerant to eggs you can leave this out and just sprinkle the sugar onto the biscuits. Vegans can also swap the butter for soya margarine.