Sunday, 30 June 2013

I'm Back!

I'm Back! Wow, I know, I know I've been very poor in keeping you up to date with my cakey goings on but I have an excuse, which if I do say so myself is a pretty good one... since the start of May I haven't had a kitchen! When I bought my house last year it was what you might call a bit of a 'doer upper', thank the lord it is nearly finished and the second to last room to be completed was my dream kitchen. I'm not just talking plonking in a new set of units, oh no, we went the whole hog and had an extension, my baking heaven is now 7.5 metres long and houses a range cooker with four ovens. FOUR OVENS. So obviously the only thing to do was to celebrate with 33 heart shaped christening cakes and some raspberry and chocolate cupcakes. Once I had worked out how to drive the beast (who needs instruction manuals right?!) there was no stopping me. Luckily the oven and I are now friends and my cakes are coming out fluffy and light and totally yummy.

So really there is no stopping The Cakery now, I have no other excuses, I will be baking, I will be blogging and I will eventually work out what each of the twelves knobs on the cooker do... watch this space! 

Sunday, 19 May 2013

A very vintage affair

Today has been such a lovely and fun day down at the Bristol Harbourside Vintage Fair. The Cakery was there with a stall brimming with vintage inspired cakes including Lime Meringue Pie, Triple Chocolate, Apple Pie, Mocha, Lemonade, Vintage Victoria and French Toast cupcakes. Not to mention the most decadent quadruple chocolate gateaux (yes that's right I said quadruple!) and a rainbow triple layer vanilla cake surrounded by beautiful butter cream roses. I think my favourite part was talking to all the friendly customers and seeing their faces light up when they saw the array of cakes. Everyone was so complimentary and there is nothing more pleasing than people who think my cakes look and taste good. I have to say I always get the fear when someone takes their first bite, oh lordy what if they don't like it I think, but lucky for me (touch wood), this hasn't happened and I only get big smiles and lots of 'mmmmm' noises. Hurrah, everyone loves cake as much as me! So with weary feet and a face that hurts a little from all the smiling I will retire to the sofa and plan my next vintage fair menu. 

Oh and before signing off I would like to say a massive thank you to Mamma Lee for not only helping today but for also making these rather fetching Cakery aprons and matching bunting. Who matches there aprons to their bunting? The Cakery do that's who! 

Monday, 13 May 2013

Pastel Hearts

The last couple of weeks have been crazy busy, I haven't blogged about cakes because I've been too busy baking them! The bank holiday weekend was great, the sun was shining, the birds were singing and my days started at 7am with the smell of cakes waking Bob up. Not a bad wake up call if I do say so myself, the only thing that ever wakes me up is Biscuit jumping on me at 5.30am or my annoying phone alarm (oh and that person who rings me at 2am thinking I'm someone that is actually awake at that time. Reality check, I haven't seen 2am for a at least a year now. I.Am.That.Rock.N.Roll) 

So my favourite thing to have come out of the recent bank holiday are these cute heart cupcakes, perfect for a summer wedding or vintage tea party. I made both chocolate chip and vanilla sponge with contrasting buttercream (little tip: if you use condensed milk in your butter cream it tastes amazing) along with beautiful pastel fondant hearts. When you make a large batch of heart cakes like this they look great together and really stand out on a cake table. I would definitely have these at my wedding but with a larger souffle case decorated with vintage lace and pearls. Now enough with this chatting, I'm off to plan my menu for this coming Sunday's vintage fair at the Bristol Hotel. The Cakery will be there selling a variety of scrummy cakes, I just need to work out which ones...

Thursday, 2 May 2013

Mighty Mint

I have a confession, I am slightly addicted to mint choc chip. Give me an After Eight and I'm a happy girl, a mint Cornetto gets devoured within seconds and my home made frozen mint choc chip whoopie pies send me over the edge. I can't get enough! The strange thing is mint chocolate also make me sneeze, I thought I'd hidden my weird affliction until I was on a filming shoot years ago and the cameraman noticed that every time I ate an after dinner mint I sneezed. Cue 10 more mints, a lot of sneezes, a slight sicky feeling and some very amused colleagues. I don't care, I will continue to eat and sneeze and sneeze and eat. These mint choc chip cupcakes are no exception, the dark chocolate minted sponge, dark choc chips and mint buttercream are so moreish I can easily eat three in a row (in between sneezes of course). Bring the Kleenex, I'm going back for more...

Tuesday, 30 April 2013

Summers coming so it's time for a Mr Whippy!

Finally today it felt like summer might be winning and the nine month winter might, just might, be coming to an end. One hopeful Bristol resident even thought that the balmy 12 degrees and the two days of no rain warranted turning their sprinkler on and watering the garden. I think that may be taking it a little too far but the sunshine and the happy faces made me want to eat ice cream. Not just any ice cream but a Mr Whippy. Alas there wasn't a van in sight so instead I had to settle for one of these lime meringue cupcakes instead. Not a bad second choice at all even if I do say so myself!

The best part of these little gems is my take on the the gooey Italian meringue. Every time I bake these I like to watch people eat them, this may sound a bit odd but it's true, there is nothing more funny than someone trying to eat one without getting it all around their chops, over their hands and in their eyebrows (that actually happened, I kid you not) The best story was when my best friend Duncan was too embarrassed to eat one in public so went and sat in the work toilet. Unfortunately for him someone walked in just as he was stepping out of the cubicle, this would have been ok but the whippy meringue all over his face looked slightly suspect.

The secret ingredient in the meringue (which I won't reveal, you'll just have to order some!) compliments the tangy lime centre of the vanilla cupcake. It also provides another hurdle while trying to eat them delicately. I believe everyone should just take a leaf out of my book, embrace the goo and go for a second one while you're still a bit sticky.

Sunday, 28 April 2013

I Heart Cupcakes

I love weekends. If only weekends would last five days and work days only two. The 9 month winter seems to be coming to an end though which means, shock horror, I was able to walk Biscuit without wearing five layers, a ridiculous bobble hat and some fleece lined wellies (which Bob and I have matching pairs of, obviously) Biscuit is styling his own foot wear at the moment, a rather fetching and somewhat adorable camouflage bandage. The poor doof was having far too much fun with a Cockerpoo and managed to cut his paw. Cue a quick dash across town to the vets, one injection and £66 later Biscuit is hobbling around looking very street.

Anyway back to why I love weekends (apart from the obviously lack of work), take Saturday for instance, by 11am I had already baked and had cooling 36 french toast cupcakes. I had the craving to bake them so I did, not for anyone or anything in particular but just because I can. On the same day I also ordered a Stoves range cooker, one with no less than FOUR ovens. Oh lordy, imagine how much baking I can when this bad boy arrives?

So back to cupcakes (I keep getting distracted) this dark chocolate one, baked in a souffle cup, has a heart shaped raspberry buttercream filling. It's pretty, elegant and perfect for any occasion (Valentines days, wedding days, just because I love you days) The filling would work brilliantly in different flavours; mint, orange, vanilla, chocolate, the possibilities are endless. Just drop me an e mail and I can rustle you up a batch of these beauties.

Thursday, 25 April 2013

A Fancy Fondant...

So today was a good work day. I actually got paid to sit in the sunshine outside a swanky Clifton Cafe, eat cake and chat to my very lovely friend Sara. The only catch was that at the same time we were being filmed for a top secret project (which will be revealed soon but not quite yet) The cakes were amazing, tangy marmalade sponge, rose bud slice (a bit flowery tasting for my liking but looked so pretty) and a little pistachio number. Before we started filming we had lunch at the Primrose Cafe (love, love, LOVE) and then discovered a little boutique cake shop which I didn't even know existed. Oh the competition, they had to be checked out but in true Sara style it wasn't just walk in and have a look around it was walk in and pretend I'm getting married and get the DL on every cake in there. Obviously Sara with her beautiful Irish twang won the owner round and before long we were getting the whole story. Luckily for me her prices were the same as mine and our buttercream equally as whippy. Phew, I could breathe again. We had to walk out with at least one cup cake each which means in grand total I have eaten five cakes today. Oh dear, that seems so much worse when I write it down. It's all in the name of market research though right?

Ok so to distract from the shame of the amount of cake I have eaten I would like to introduce my latest wedding cupcake. This little fellow is vanilla with a buttercream middle and beautiful fondant icing. I love working with fondant because you can shape it into anything you like. I used a silicone mould for the rose and then cut around some mint leaves from my mint plant for the foliage. I pushed down on the icing to make sure all the pretty veins showed through to give the cake more detail. I used pearls on lace for the case decoration to give it a vintage style and Bobs your Uncle there you have a cake I would be proud to have at my wedding.