There is nothing I like better than a challenge so I was thrilled to hear from Nik who wanted something unique. He told me he worked for a company called nike. ‘Ah yes, I’ve heard of them’, I replied. He wanted a bespoke event created that would stimulate some great brainstorming. This gave me the chance to create some fab edible trainers (Nike obvs), football kits and world cups. They would use the cakes instead of a mood board and then pitch their concept. The themes they were given were; ‘Woman’s World Cup’, ‘London Marathon’ & ‘Nike Air’. Let’s just say that some of the deliveries were more successful than others and the stand out pitch was not for the winning presentation. But the first pic below shows the winning teams brilliantly executed design. They showed great focus and team work as well as an impressive technical ability with the actual piping and decorating. For me there design stood out as cohesive and well realised. The girls were thrilled with their prizes of Cookie Girl cake decorating kits.
The company Allmeds had been supporting the fantastic work done by Variety children’s charity for a few years. This year they decided to do something more involved than simply donating money. So they had the fantastic idea of creating a fun filled family day to treat a group of deserving children with. They got in touch to ask if we could create a gingerbread decorating workshop for them and we were very happy to do so.The kids had a great time in the biscuit decorating workshop. They did really well with the piping and loved the fact that there were sweets to decorate them with. At the end of the event they took there gingerbread men home to share with their families.
I had a lovely time teaching a private baking class to Imer and her daughter Emine. They anted to learn how to make red velvet cookies and chocolate fudge cupcakes. I’d never tried making this flavour of cookie before but soon realised that I could easily adjust my class is cookie recipe. I have to say that the results were absolutely delicious. So I thought I would share the recipe with you.
Red Velvet Cookies (double quantity)
2 tbsp milk
2 tsp vinegar
3-4 tsp red food colour
2 tsp vanilla extract
225g/8 oz butter, room temperature
340g/12 oz granulated sugar
85g/3oz sof dark brown sugar
425g/15 oz self raising flour
200g/7 oz white chocolate
Preheat oven to 190/375/Gas Mark 5. You will need a large, heavy, ungreased baking sheet.
Add the vinegar, food colour and vanilla to the milk. Set aside to curdle. Cream together the butter and sugars, then add the eggs, one at a time.
Now add the 'buttermilk' mixture alternating with the flour, mixing well between additions. You should now have a soft dough. Chop the chocolate into small pieces and add to the dough. Now use a spoon or ice-cream scoop to portion up balls of cookie dough. Place these inches apart on the baking sheet. Bake in the preheated oven for 10-12 minutes until they are just cooked/dry on top but still wet and gooey under the top layer. Leave to cool on the baking sheet for 10 mins then place on a wire rack to cool fully.
Although Celeste Bickle now lives in Ireland she decided to host her baby shower in Central London. That way all her closest friends could be there. Bryony and the whole team at Entourage Collection had done a fantastic job creating a beautiful space for the baby shower event. They had covered every detail perfectly. Each of the place names at the dining table had a unique portrait of the guest on them. Due to the fact that Celeste had watched my cake making and cake decorating tutorials on YouTube she was really keen that I host the event. Initially I didn’t think I could do his as that week before Christmas was incredibly busy for us with a variety. In the end I managed to move things around so that I could be there for the first hour before handing over the workshop to the lovely Nadia. She was really thrilled that I’d managed to make it as I kept it as a surprise. The cake making activity was a huge hit with her guests. They did a fantastic job and loved all our new sprinkles including rubber duck sprinkles as well a baby elephants and bunnies. It was a great ice breaker for the ladies who didn’t know each other already. All in all the cake making class was just perfect for a fun baby shower activity. Celeste was such a delightful lady and her friends were very warm and relaxed. Attending the event was an absolute pleasure.
It was an absolute blast working with WeWork as a part of their brilliantly curated Christmas activities and experiences for their staff. The lovely Annick had done a terrific job creating a varied and inspiring range of pursuits for both WeWork employees and members as client events. We set up ‘Pop Up’ cupcake decorating area and we were absolutely inundated by people wanting to have the opportunity to try their hand at cake making. I was really impressed by the standard of cake decorating and their were a lot of really imaginative cupcakes being created. It always surprises me when people talk about cake decorating being a women’s thing. On this occasion there were definitely a lot more men than women taking part. And there was a lot of competition between them. I always find this when we are doing team building and conference activities, the guys always take it much more seriously than the women do. It’s such a great idea to create all these varied experiences for their member’s to get involved with and fosters a real sense of community and belonging as well as a great opportunity for some networking. I have worked for WeWork before hosting a cupcake decorating workshop as a team bonding activity for one of their monthly mixer evenings. It was really fun and they were a lovely group. I was really impressed by the London Bridge venue and loved the concept of what they do and how they do it. This time working at Devonshire Square I learnt so much more about the company ethos and discovered just why their employees love working there. They are a really young company and have such a fresh approach to running a business. They are really into sustainability and have a no plastics policy. They also support refugees as their priority charity. As you know this is close to my heart with my fundraising for help Refugees through my initiative #Bake4Refugees. A lot of businesses are wary of showing support for this cause as it has become so politicised so I really admire and respect them for this. We had such great feedback from everyone and they were so appreciative of what we offered we are really looking forward to going back to do more cake events with them soon.
This was a lovelys small cake making class. The ladies had a great time learning how to bake delicious vanilla cupcakes from scratch. This gave me the opportunity to work with each of them individually giving them tips and guidance on how to improve their cake baking and decorating techniques. Michelle was originally planning on bringing her 9yr old daughter as she is a passionate cake maker and really wanted to have a baking lesson. Unfortunately the daughter ended up double booked so she brought her friend instead. Michelle enjoyed herself so much that she is now planning on bringing her daughter back to do the same class! They did a great job with their baking and all turned out to be fairly proficient at piping buttercream swirls and by the time we finished they were getting to a near professional level of cake decorating. We spent a lot of time focused on creating beautiful buttercream roses. These are the one time of buttercream flowers that we cover in the beginners class. I love the fact that people can move from beginners to a high standard in a short time when it comes to piping swirls on cupcakes. They were thrilled with the end results. We even made a few extra cakes so that they could sample their creations and still take home a full box of a dozen of their gorgeous cupcake creations. What a great cake class!
For her birthday Dan wanted to bring his wife Ellie for a private cake baking class with me. She was already an able baker but wanted to learn to lift her cake making skills to a more professional level. It was such a thoughtful present and she was thrilled that he had splashed out on a private lesson rather than a group cake making lesson. We had a really fun 3hrs together. She had never made red velvet cupcakes before so was really excited to try the recipe out. They came out absolutely perfectly which was a great boost to her confidence. As Dan was not sure about that flavour and much preferred good old classic vanilla cupcakes we made those as well! Dan got involved with the swirl piping too. They were very happy to be taking home two dozen cupcakes and a signed copy of my recipe book. What a great couple!
How lucky are the graduate recruits at Capgemini? They got to do one of our cake making team building events for their ‘freshers week’ activity. They had a total laugh learning how to decorate cakes at this fun filled company event. It was a wonderful opportunity for the new recruits to network and do some team bonding with their co-workers. What better way to get to know your new recruits than by joining them to learn how to create stunning cakes in a fab cake class team event. It was a really great company event and by the end of the evening a lot of team bonding had been achieved!
Olivia from Expedia got in touch to see if we could host a team building event for her department at Expedia. Being a multinational with offices all over the world they work in the same department as co workers on all four corners of the world. So what they do is get together every three months to have some time together bonding as a team. Obviously we were only too happy to create a fun filled cake making activity for them to enjoy. We love doing company events. We took everything required for the cake event to their offices and set up in a conference room (one of the great things about our cake workshops is that we are fully portable). They had a brilliant time making cakes creating fabulous buttercream swirls. I was pretty impressed by the general standard of cake decorating. Then the speed cupcake decorating element brought out their competitive side and led to much hilarity with a couple of cakes ending up with so much icing they wouldn’t fit in the participants mouths! All in all it was a great team event. At the end of the 2hr cake class they decided to open up the meeting room to their coworkers for them all to enjoy the cupcakes together. This was a wise move as I’m not sure the cakes would have survived the flights home. It is always such a pleasure to work with Expedia and Egencia.
Rosa really wowed me with her cake decorating during her cake workshop. She had just finished her patisserie diploma in Melbourne before she came to study with me. It was a real treat to do a cake class with someone so proficient. She really wanted to focus on advanced cake decorating rather that cake making and also to learn how to make fondant and sugar-paste roses and other decorations. So I created a bespoke cake class for her to cover everything in one go. She was able to get the hang of the buttercream roses, ruffles and petals very quickly and she loved the coffee, peach and pastels colour scheme that we worked with. She was also amazed by the technique we used for piping leaves just by cutting the piping bag into an appropriate shape. She was an absolute natural at piping buttercream flowers and quickly got the hang of the fondant and sugar-paste work. All in all I was totally wowed by what she achieved. As I’m sure you are when you look at these pictures. We had such a lovely time during her private cake lesson.