Wedding cake – the Cake Partnership

Wedding fruit cake made by the Cake Partnership

I recently went to my friend’s wedding in St Andrews and managed to get a few snaps of the gorgeous wedding cake. It was a lovely fruit cake (there was also choc sponge but I didn’t manage to get a piece of that as well). The cake was made by the Cake Partnership in Edinburgh –  a mother and daughter duo – Lillian and Emma. My friend said she fell in love with the cake the second she saw it – I can understand why!

Pip Studio Cake Plate

Raspberry courting cake close up on Pip Studio plate

This is one of my most prized cake possessions – the Pip Studio cake plate. I saw it in a little gift shop in Edinburgh last year but didn’t buy it straight away as it was a bit of an extravagance. I decided I had to go back to the shop to get it, and almost missed the train home with my friend! She is used to my being very late for things! I’ve used the cake plate before but never been able to get a good photo of it. I made birthday cupcakes and displayed them on the plate last year but before I could get my camera, all the cakes had gone! Here, I made raspberry courting cake – the perfect summer treat – for my boyfriend’s parents. The good news is it went down well and seconds were requested! After much searching as it is sold out across most outlets, I found you can still buy it on the Selfridges website. Yay!

whole raspberry courting cake on Pip Studio cake plate

Yumbots – robot cupcakes!

My boyfriend spotted these when they first came out in America but it’s only recently they’ve become available in the UK. I spotted mine in the sale at Oliver Bonas (currently out of stock) but you can buy them from Play.com but they’re cheaper on Find me a Gift. In the box, you get four ‘yumbots’ – robot cupcakes moulds made out of silicone. They’re dishwasher safe, they swizzle their heads, and look super cool. What more could you want? Just be careful when taking them in and out of the oven as I found one of the yumbots came loose during the baking stage.  I filled them with vanilla sponge cupcake mix and then piped vanilla buttercream icing on their heads.  Perfect for a cake treat for your man or kids! Yum-bots!

Vanilla Birthday Cake shower gel

I caught up with a friend last night and we exchanged belated birthday presents! Although this was 9 months later than my birthday it was well worth waiting for as it’s shampoo, shower gel and bath creme all in one – and it smells deliciously sweet of vanilla sponge cake! You can buy it from John Lewis and there are other great smells from Philosophy such as raspberry sorbet and melon daiquiri!

Angry Birds Cupcakes

Angry Birds Cupcakes for the Cake takes the biscuit blog

My boyfriend sends me lots of links to cool cakes he sees on the web and hints at which cakes he’d like for his birthday. I knew an Angry Birds cake was on the list after he sent me the Playable Angry Birds Cake video and this clever modelled one. I’m not all that experienced at modelling so didn’t think I’d be able to do the birds justice. In the end I came up with the idea of cupcake toppers but found there are very few items of Angry Birds merchandise out there at the moment. I bought these off eBay and they’re very reasonably priced and were delivered quickly. I made vanilla sponge cupcakes with piped buttercream (Cakes4Fun recipe) and then added the toppers. I found the pigs came out the best because the printing of that topper was the most accurate colour wise. I then bought some happy birthday candles and was set! Note to self though, don’t walk with those happy bday candles – the wicks are really short and they fizzle out in seconds!

Gareth James Chocolatier – one year on…

Today I visited Gareth James Chocolatier shop in Tynemouth and it was a timely visit as it will be their one year anniversary later this month. Since I last visited, the shop has widened its range with chocolate pearls, sea salted caramel squares and their new 60% chocolate and orange bars. They are also doing more coffees and teas and it was lovely to sit outside for a mid morning coffee in the sunshine. The staff were friendly and efficient and admitted whenever they do tastings, they can’t help but eat the chocolate themselves! I don’t blame them. My next stop was the beach and I thought it would be fun to photograph the chocolates with the complementary sand colour.

 

The chocs in a box were delicious and I loved the sea salted caramel one and the hazlenut praline whilst my boyfriend enjoyed the champagne, orange blossom and classic ones. The brownie was lovely and gooey although perhaps needed a little more structure and the dark choc and orange bar was really delicious and the taste was lingering in your mouth so you hardly needed to eat any. If you’re in Newcastle, it’s worth the metro ride out to Tynemouth for the beach and chocs!

Let Them Eat Cake Exhibition Review

Tate & Lyle cake exhibitionA couple of days before the Royal Wedding, I took my Parisian friend to the ‘Let them eat cake’ exhibition organised by Tate and Lyle. She had asked to do something ‘British’ before she moved back to Paris permanently. We had already been to the Orangery for afternoon tea so I thought a royal wedding cake competition and exhibit would be the perfect cake outing. Tate & Lyle held a competition on Facebook for people to create their version of the royal wedding cake. At Wellington Arch, the cakes were presented and there were some great entries. They were works of art!

Whilst browsing the cakes and reading all the tid bits of information about royal wedding cakes throughout the ages, I was asked if I wanted to be filmed for a Channel 5 and OK magazine feature. I agreed although was horrified that I had gone out with no make-up on as I was too busy for make-up with all the moving house tasks. I spoke about what I thought the royal wedding cake would look like and which cakes I liked at the exhibition. I haven’t heard that the feature has gone out just yet but if it makes the cut, I’ll let you know!

Made with sugar paste on an aluminium armature

I learned all sorts of facts at the exhibition such as Queen Elizabeth II’s cake was 9ft high and a replica of Buckingham Palace with models of Balmoral and Windsor Castle! A 27 year old piece of cake from Princess Diana and Prince Charles’ wedding was sold at an auction for over £1,000! And in days gone by, wedding cakes had lots of lovely white icing, because it showed off how rich the bride’s family was because sugar was so expensive. Who knew! I loved the replica of the Victorian era cake because the detail and craftsmanship was beautiful. The It Must be Love cake was a big favourite of other visitors too. Enjoy the pics and you can see a slide show of more pictures on the Independent’s website here.

Top 10 Baking Tips from Cakes4Fun Cupcake Course

Here is my top ten list of tips which I learnt from the Cakes4Fun Ultimate Cupcakes Baking Course. I hope these tips help and you can read more about the courses on offer here.

  • Use margarine not butter so that you get a flat top for your cupcake; butter makes them dome
  • Weigh your eggs so that you get the same weight ratio to your flour, sugar and butter – 125g of each for 10 cupcakes
  • Pipe your sponge mixture into the cupcake cases (half full) so this leaves a little gap at the top for your icing
  • Use disposable piping bags to pipe your mixture and buttercream – this is much faster than spooning the mixture into the cases
  • When using sugar glue, ensure you make it the night before – see this video for instructions. I didn’t know this before!
  • Divide your sugar paste into small sections, wrap well and store in the freezer. Defrost the night before you bake. This way your sugar paste won’t dry out as one large bundle and will last longer
  • Use a non-stick board and non-stick mini rolling pin to roll out your sugar paste or flower paste – I had very swift delivery from Windsor Cake Craft
  • When using sugar paste, warm it in your hands and work quickly to make butterflies and flowers (Lakeland stock them) so the paste doesn’t dry and crack when you roll it out
  • Roll out your sugar paste thinly and flip over. For flowers add a shimmer with a cake brush (looks like a paintbrush). For butterflies, add sugar glue, then tap the cake brush with edible glitter on to the butterfly
  • When using liquid fondant, ice the cupcake, then put it back in the cupcake tin for a really even finish
  • Happy cupcake baking and decorating!

    Review: Cakes4Fun Ultimate Cupcakes Baking Course

    This month, I was lucky enough to be treated to a full day’s baking course at Cakes4Fun in Putney for my Christmas pressie from my boyfriend. He did a lot of research before he chose the course and I can confirm it was excellent. It’s definitely a treat as it’s not the cheapest course at £99 but you do get 5.5 hours of tuition in a group of eight people, 12 beautiful cupcakes to take home, you learn two different ways to ice the cupcakes and four ways to decorate them. You also get a sturdy box and cake carry bag to ensure your cupcakes get home safely. Our tutor was really friendly and organised and was very helpful too.

    Cakes4Fun cupcake by Naomi LongworthThe surprising part of the baking course was how relaxing it was. With classical music quietly playing in the background, and the calmness of making little sugar paste decorations, I felt thoroughly chilled out after the day. I honestly thought I had been pampering myself in a spa I was so relaxed and I even fell asleep on the bus home!

    You can see the results of the baking course for yourself – they look pretty professional! My favourite cupcake was this vanilla sponge one with bluegrass liquid fondant icing with waterlilly sugar paste flowers. I wasn’t particularly gifted at making the waterlillies but had more success with the butterflies and hydrangea flowers. I wasn’t the best at modelling either so my teddy bear isn’t as good as some of the others in my group. The course is really good for finding out which techniques you like.  At home, I would like to explore using liquid fondant icing. I have already tried making the butterflies with edible glitter at home but I have learnt some tips on how to get the best results which I’ll share with you in another post! Here’s the Ultimate Cupcakes course on offer in May if you’re interested.

    Photo story: Finnish cinnamon rolls ‘Korvapuusti’

    Korvapuusti

    I was browsing my Facebook newsfeed last week and came across my friend’s incredible culinary creation – Korvapuusti – which are Finnish cinnamon rolls. My friend, Miina Salminen, is also a fantastic photographer and so I asked if I could show her photo on the Cake takes the biscuit blog. You can get the recipe here via Flickr. I adore pastries so I definitely need to add this to my list of things to bake!

    %d bloggers like this: