home made cakes for special days and elevenses

Sunday, 18 January 2015

An Elegant Wedding Cake for the Painted Hall

Last Saturday I was very excited, and a little nervous, to be setting up one of my wedding cakes in the beautiful Painted Hall in Greenwich. Set in the Old Royal Naval College, and dating back to the early 1700's, the building was designed by Sir Christopher Wren and Nicholas Hawksmoor. The walls and ceiling were painted by Sir James Thornhill, and are magnificent.

For such an elegant setting, the cake really needed to look the part. Hilary and Richard, the bride and groom, chose a simple ivory cake, with fresh roses. I piped rows of dots on two tiers, which were finished off with satin ribbon, and on the other two I piped a pattern to resemble the lace on Hilary's dress.

I hadn't visited Greenwich in a while, and I had never seen inside the Painted Hall, despite walking through the grounds before. It is free to visit, and well worth a look. 

Many congratulations to Hilary and Richard on their marriage. I hope you had a fantastic day!

Saturday, 10 January 2015

West London Mums - Live Love Local Awards

I am really pleased to start the New Year with a nomination for 'best birthday cake maker' in West London Mum's Live Love Local Awards 2014. Some fabulous local businesses have been nominated across the various categories, and I am delighted to be included. Voting closes tonight, and I would be very grateful for any last minute votes. Many thanks, and happy New Year!

Monday, 22 December 2014

Christmas Pudding Macarons

Time for a little seasonal blog post, before the big day arrives. We love macarons in our house, and chocolate is my favourite. I have added some simple decoration to these to make them a bit more festive, but not so much to take away from the delicious chocolate and almond taste. My preferred recipe is by Yotam Ottolenghi, as it consistently gives great results. I sometimes freeze the shells before filling them, and once they are filled, macarons will keep for a couple of days in the fridge. These would make a lovely Christmas gift, and they are great served with bubbles.

Wednesday, 17 December 2014

West Six Garden Centre Cafe

I have baked a lot of gingerbread cookies over the last few weeks, and many of them have gone to the gorgeous new cafe at West Six Garden Centre in Hammersmith. This is the second of two lovely venues that I now supply cakes and biscuits to. The garden centre is situated on the edge of Ravenscourt Park, just off King Street, and the cafe is located in one of the railway arches, just at the back of the garden centre. It is a beautiful space, with bare brick walls, lots of greenery and a large wooden bar area in the centre. The furniture and little bits of garden ornamentation give the cafe an appropriate outdoors feel. 

The menu at West Six is locally sourced, with meat coming from Chiswick butchers, Macken Brothers, bread, pastries and cakes from Sally Clarke's Bakery in Kensington, and other cakes and biscuits from little old me in Hanwell. The menu looks delicious, and I can vouch for the pastries and coffee. There is a warm winter vegetable salad that I have my eye on for another time.

The garden centre often holds events, such as window box and wreath making. It also plays host to children's outdoor theatre shows, with performances of The Snow Queen scheduled for this weekend. More details are available on the West Six web site and Facebook page.

The cafe has only been open for a few weeks, but seems to be thriving. Do pop along if you are local, it's just lovely!

Monday, 1 December 2014

Drink Me Eat Me

Over the last few weeks I have started supplying cakes to a couple of lovely cafes in Hammersmith. The first of these is a gorgeous place called Drink Me Eat Me, where your coffee comes served in beautiful vintage style crockery, and they do a delicious hot chocolate! 

Drink Me Eat Me has a large room next to the cafe area where classes are held for adults and children, and there is often a pop up shop to be found, The space is also available to hire for children's parties, baby showers, hen parties etc., and the cafe hosts its own events there on a regular basis as well. More details are available on their website
Drink Me Eat Me is a lovely spot for lunch, or a slice of cake, including my Curly Wurly layer cake!

Sunday, 30 November 2014

Gingerbread Christmas Cookies

This gingerbread recipe couldn't be simpler, and is perfect for making festive cookies to decorate the tree or to give as gifts to friends. It's also great for all those school Christmas fairs that are coming up.

Last week I recieved a gorgeous gift of candy cane rocky road from the fabulous Katie of Feeding Boys and a Firefighter, as part of the Waitrose #bakeitforward campaign. To continue sharing the baking love, I made these cookies for my lovely friend Jane and her boys. Jane lives over the road from me and hers is always the first door that I knock on when I have run out of eggs, washing up liquid or any number of emergency supplies. She is also a very talented lady, and has a fantastic sewing blog that is well worth a look. You will find her at Handmade Jane

Gingerbread Cookies

Makes: 10 large cookies

125g butter
50g light brown sugar
50g dark brown muscovado sugar
2 tbs golden syrup
1 tbsp treacle
2 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
300g plain flour
Royal icing to decorate

1. Sieve the ginger, bicarbonate of soda and flour into a large bowl.
2. Melt the butter, sugars, syrup and treacle in a saucepan, then stir into the dry ingredients.
3. When the mixture has come together, roll out between two sheets of baking parchment, to about 5mm thick.  Place on a baking tray and leave in the fridge to chill for approximately 20 minutes.
4. Preheat oven to 180°C/160°C fan. Use a large cookie cutter to cut your chosen shapes. Place the cookies on a lined baking tray and bake for approximately 12 minutes, or until the edges are just starting to darken.
5. When the cookies are cool, decorate with royal icing. 

Tuesday, 18 November 2014

Minions Birthday Cakes

I have a new birthday cake to show you, featuring one of the Despicable Me Minions. The Minion is made from lemon cake, filled with lemon curd and buttercream. He sits on top of a chocolate cake, filled with chocolate buttercream. I also made some cookies and cake pops to match, all for Edessa's second birthday party. Happy birthday Edessa, hope you had a fun filled day!