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!
It’s been ages since Ive posted a recipe. The thing is I’m so busy keeping you up to date with all the team building and conference activities, hen parties and cake making lessons there just aren’t enough hours in the day!
However, I’ve come up with this recipe and I just think it is too good not to share with you! It’s really healthy and we have it most mornings. Also the kids love it which is great as there is no sugar in it! Feel free to use whichever milk, nuts, seeds and sweetner you have in the store cupboard.
1 tbsp Agave
1 tbsp Sunflower Oil
300 ml Rice Dream
500g Organic Rolled Oats
100g Cashew Nuts
2 tbsp Pumpkin Seeds
1 tbsp Chia Seeds
1 tbsp Desiccated Coconut
Preheat the oven to 170 degrees
Mix together the Agave, oil and milk. Pour into a large bowl. Add the oats into the bowl and mix until all oats are covered in liquid. Tip the oats into a large baking tin (it doesn’t need to be oiled) and spread evenly. Bake in the middle of the oven for 15 minus until it’s golden around the edges. Take out the tray and turn the mixture, pulling the edges into the centre. This will allow it to cook more easily. Bake for another 10 mins. Take the tray out and turn the mixture again and then spread on the nuts, seeds and coconut. Bake for another 7 minutes. Take out and allow to cool. Once cooled keep the granola in a kilner jar. It should last for a good couple of weeks although it doesn’t hang around for long in our house! Serve with yoghurt, rice dream and berries.
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!
The Specialist Works were having a conference for their clients. So, Channel 4, asked us to create a ‘Great British Bake Off’ inspired cake making area to remind the brands what great advertising potential the baking show created. It was a fantastic conference. As we were right next to the stage I heard most of the speakers. My favourite was the one called ‘Be More Pirate’. It was all about being a disruptor and creating ‘good trouble’- right up my street! Our cake making conference activity proved to be a big hit with the delegates. They had a brilliant time bonding with colleagues and making new connections whilst piping buttercream. The pop up cake decorating area was perfect for people to wander up to during breaks throughout the day. The guys from Channel 4 were great fun and embraced the cake making workshop wholeheartedly. In fact they really got quite competitive with their cupcake piping techniques. There were people from lots of different brands there and loads of interest in us providing cake making team bonding, networking and client events for them. The guys from The Specialist Works were absolutely lovely. I made sure I took plenty of cupcakes over to the reception area to give them a little lift at the end of the day. I had to leave before the party kicked off but they had gone to so much trouble with everything that I’m sure it was great bash. I did manage to see the brilliant ‘rap battles’ where opposing companies battled it out to see who had the ‘best game’. What an imaginatively curated conference it was.
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.
Jessie is a really keen baker, so for her cake making birthday party she wanted to bake her own cake from scratch! As you can see she did a fantastic job doing every step herself (with a little help from her friends) weighing, creaming, mixing & beating. She basically had her own private baking class. I then taught her how to create a stunning pastel watercolour effect on the finished cake. Whilst the cake was baking I had the opportunity to teach her and her friends and cousins how to pipe gorgeous ruffles and swirls in a kids cake class. They did a fantastic job with their cupcake decorating. Especially considering some of them were only 6yrs old! They loved the taste of the buttercream icing and cream cheese frosting in a variety of gorgeous colours. They were super excited by the huge range of sprinkles we have. The unicorn sprinkles were a big hit! The girls left the class with a good bag of their own cupcake creation to take home and share with their families. They behaved beautifully and Jessie had the best time having learnt cake decorating as well as having had her own private baking class. And she had the wonderful sense of achievement of having made her own birthday cake to take home.
We were thrilled to be invited by Conde Nast Brides Magazine to do a cake making workshop at their live show as they thought it would inspire their visitors to do it as a fun hen activity. . I went to host the workshop myself and I took along a small film crew who are making a little promo for us. I really wanted to give the group of 16 a taste each of our different cupcake decorating levels. So they had the opportunity to work with cream cheese icing as well as buttercream. The girls applied themselves to the cake making lesson and got some amazing results. After piping a variety of swirls and leaves they did an amazing job on their buttercream ruffles and buttercream flowers during their cake class. Some of them were really keen on booking their hen parties with us. One girl wanted to know if we could come to Oxford for her hen do and I said that as long as it was a large group we would be able to do that. At the end of the cake decorating class they were very happy with their end results and we packed every ones cakes up for them to take home and share with their families. We are really looking forward to seeing ourselves featured in Brides magazine in a couple of months.
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.
It was hard to believe that Rebecca had never tried piping buttercream swirls when she did cake making before. She was an absolute natural! She really benefited from the focus of a private one to one cake decorating lesson. We covered the swirl piping techniques that we would do in our usual beginners cake class as well as some of the sugarpaste work we do in the full day decorating class. She absolutely loved creating the sugarpaste roses and as you can see from the photos she did a brilliant job with them. She spent time experimenting with the different fondant molds to make a variety of edible adornments including; broaches, bows and flowers. She also decided to use this cake class to experiment with two tone icing colours. I showed her a variety of different ways to get good effects without having to invest in a two channel bag (which I personally don’t think look very good anyway). We had such a great time working together and I’m looking forward to her returning to learn intermediate and advanced piping techniques at her next cupcake workshop.