Saturday, 2 May 2015
Alice in Wonderland is such a fabulous theme for a birthday party, with all its fascinating characters and colourful eccentricities; and yet I have only just made my first order of Alice cupcakes. I'm surprised I haven't been asked for these before, and delighted to be given the chance to make them. It also meant that I could play with my little teapot cupcake stands at last! These were a Christmas gift from my sister in law (also called Alice), who knew they would come in handy at some point.
Wednesday, 15 April 2015
Spring seems to have well and truly arrived in London, and I have been trying out some new recipes to celebrate. First up is this fruity, zesty ring cake. Moist, and full of flavour, this is perfect for afternoon tea in the garden. If you don't have a ring cake, it would be fine made in an 18-20cm diameter round cake tin, although the cooking time may vary.
Blueberry Ring Cake
Serves: 10 slices
For the cake:
225g butter, softened
225g caster sugar
Grated zest of 1 lemon
200g self raising flour
½ tsp bicarbonate of soda
30g ground almonds
4 eggs, beaten
100g icing sugar
Juice from 1 lemon
40g flaked almonds, toasted
1. For the cake : Preheat oven to 180°C/160°C fan/gas 4. Grease and line a 20cm ring shaped cake tin with baking parchment.
2. Cream together the softened butter and sugar, until pale and fluffy. Add the lemon zest.
3. Sift the flour and bicarbonate of soda into the bowl, and add the ground almonds and eggs. Beat until just combined. Stir in the blueberries, reserving a few for decoration.
4. Fill the cake tin and bake for around 40 minutes, or until the cake begins to shrink away from the sides of the tin. Leave to cool for 5-10 minutes before turning out on to a wire rack, to cool completely.
5. To decorate: Sift the icing sugar into a bowl and gradually add the lemon juice, until the glaze is just runny enough to fall from the spoon (probably about 3 tsp of juice). Decorate with the toasted almonds and remaining blueberries.
Wednesday, 4 March 2015
As all parents of young children know, tomorrow is World Book Day. In fact many of us will tonight be hastily putting together costumes for the children to wear to school tomorrow. To mark the event I would like to share some pictures of one of my latest cakes with you.
'Oi Frog' is a new children's picture book by author Kes Gray and illustrator Jim Field, published just last month. To celebrate the launch of the book their publisher commissioned a cake featuring the main character, a grumpy frog, sitting on a log. Hodder Children's Books took the cake along to a school event that the pair were attending, and surprised them with it.
I love this picture of Kes and Jim with their cake.
Monday, 23 February 2015
I have made a few new birthday cakes recently that I haven't shared yet, so here's a little round up. First up is Paddington. We went to see this film on Christmas Eve, and the whole family loved it. I can't say that happens very often, so it's a real winner for us. I was really pleased to be asked to make a Paddington birthday cake last month, complete with a handmade figure on top.
I made two little girls' birthday cakes perfect for the winter weather in January. One was a big jolly penguin (which must have given all the party guests black teeth and lips!), and the other was a new version of my Frozen cake, with a few printed images on the side.
Moving away from little girls' parties, I also made a Wonder Woman cake, for a lady celebrating her 40th.
Belated birthday wishes to all the birthday girls - Frieda, Charlotte, Edie and Lynda.
Saturday, 14 February 2015
Thank you so much to anyone who voted for me in the West London Mum Live Love Local Awards. I am thrilled to tell you that Vanilla Frost Cakes won the coveted title of Best Cake Maker. This put a big smile on my face, and I am very grateful to all my lovely customers who took the time to vote.
Click through to the West London Mum web site to see which other local businesses were named as winners and runners up in their categories.
Sunday, 1 February 2015
I think I have a new favourite cake. A friend of mine commissioned a chocolate chilli cake last week, and gave me a few ideas as to how to decorate it. I'm really pleased with the look of the cake, and she tells me it tasted pretty awesome too, so thumbs up all round. I'm excited about how this can be adapted with other flavours, and can't wait to try out some other ideas.
This version is a chocolate mud cake, filled with chocolate ganache, coated in vanilla buttercream and decorated with melted dark chocolate. I made some marbled chilli chocolate shards to stand at the back, and on the side of the cake, and decorated the top with some posh chocs from Montezuma's, and edible glitter.
Sunday, 18 January 2015
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!