Emma and Dwayne celebrated their wedding at the beautiful Cain Manor in December 2016 - here are some lovely photos of their special day. Their wedding cake was an ivory three tier simply decorated with piped icing (which complimented the lace of the bride's dress) and pink sugar roses.
The annual Squires Kitchen Exhibition, which last year celebrated its 30th anniversary, entices bakers and cake decorators from around the country to Farnham in Surrey. There are live demonstrations from all the big names in the cake world, a wedding cake showroom, competitions and a marketplace to stock up on sugar craft supplies. I was lucky enough to spend the day there on Sunday, here are my highlights:
I always head straight to the wedding cake showroom. It is inspiring to see the creations from the best names in the business. This year there were some truly incredible cakes and it is near impossible to pick out my favourites, but here are a few.....
Cake by Amelie's Kitchen
The design brief for this cake was for it to be ivory and white, have hessian, lace and pearls and to be adorned with fabric flowers. I looked to source the flowers from someone more skilled than I am in sewing but couldn't find exactly what I needed. Therefore after a trip to the haberdashery and some advice from their helpful sales assistant I set about creating the flowers myself.
When I arrived at The Talbot Inn in Ripley to set up the cake it was wonderful to see how it complimented their theme - the chairs covers were finished with hessian and lace just as the cake was, and it fitted their vintage look perfectly. As you can see from the pictures below the room was dressed beautifully and they had thought of every detail.
As I was finishing the set up of the wedding cake the staff at the venue made me aware there was an addition for the cake left by the bride and groom - as you can see below someone is a Dr Who fan! Congratulations to Mr and Mrs McGill, I hope you had a wonderful day.
I am delighted to share with you that one of my cakes has been in featured in Wedding Cakes magazine. One of my 'Buttercream ruffles' cakes was chosen for the Spring 2016 edition as part of their 'dress details' feature.
Wedding Cakes Magazine is a great source of inspiration for both brides and wedding cake designers so I was very pleased to be featured alongside some of the UK's best designers.
Most of us have at least one Hummingbird Bakery cookbook on our bookshelf - this is the latest addition to their collection, and contains over 100 new recipes including layer cakes, cookies and desserts, but also whole chapters on pancakes and icecream. We couldn't resist giving you a sneak peek inside and sharing one of the recipes (although it was so hard to decide which one!), and for one lucky reader we have a copy to giveaway - just click on 'Read more' and scroll down to enter!
The delicious aroma of gingerbread baking in the kitchen just can't fail to make you feel Christmassy - put some carols on (or your Michael Buble Christmas album if you must) and follow the recipe and instructions below - I guarantee you'll be feeling festive in no time. This is a great project to do with the kids - let them use all their favourite sweets and go mad with the decoration.
The design process behind this cake was relatively simple - Emma and Nick had already seen pictures of a cake we had created earlier this year - our 'Peaches and Cream' buttecream ruffles cake. All was needed was to match the colour of the buttercream icing to their wedding theme - which was done with the aid of a swatch of the bridesmaids dress material, and to choose a sugar flower - a delicate rose suited the vintagey feel of their wedding day.
Who would have thought.....a grilled cake! I must admit it was a first for me. A Schichttorte is a German creation with 20 layers of grilled cake batter, alternating between lighter and darker layers. You will notice (and perhaps be relieved) that this week's technical bake challenge doesn't have quite so many steps as last week's. Don't be deceived though, this doesn't mean this is a quick task - to grill 20 layers of cake alone takes almost an hour. You will need to use your oven timer like never before to ensure each layer doesn't over-bake, and a good pair of oven gloves to handle the tin whilst layering up your cake between bakes....and I defy anyone not to lose track of how many layers you have done without keeping a running 'tally' as you go - have a pen and paper to hand!
So, this week's technical bake was a recipe I was less familiar with - Prinsesstarta (or Princess Cake). It is a Swedish layer cake comprised of sponge, cream, custard, jam and topped with marzipan - so perhaps more of a dessert than a cake, it does make me think of trifle?! It did cause me to bring out my 'Boutique Baking' book by Peggy Porschen (the most beautiful book, if you are a lover of baking books- put it on your Christmas list) who includes her own version and calls it a 'Raspberry and Rose Dome Cake'. I've been loyal here to Mary's recipe, although I do love the piping work on Peggy's version. If you aren't a big fan of marzipan don't let that put you off trying this recipe - I see no reason why you couldn't cover this cake in sugar paste icing instead.
Cream, coffee, brandy...does it get any better? Yes, Bake Off have come up trumps with this week's technical bake. Tiramisu is a real treat of a dessert, so I was looking forward to using these flavours in a cake.
To make this recipe gluten free isn't too difficult - a light sponge can be made using gluten free flour. However, as one of the main components is marscapone cheese making it dairy free is more of a challenge. My dairy-free alternative recipe is below and consists of dairy-free cream cheese and fresh soya cream mixed with pure vegetable fat.
Helen owns and runs The Buttercup Kitchen, a cake design company in Woking, Surrey. Welcome to our blog which indulges in all things baking and cake decorating. Do add comments or questions on our posts, we'd love to hear from you!