Sunday, 31 March 2013

Mary Berry's Easter Pavlova

We all saw the GBBO Easter Masterclass didn't we? If not...where the fudge were you?! I love these seasonal masterclasses, just keeping us going until the next GBBO can never see too much of Paul Hollywood really can you? My point exactly. So this show was basically just an excuse to stare at this lovely face...I mean cakes.....

Easter is probably my favourite baking time of the year after Christmas, anyone else? Normally because the sun is shining and the air is getting warmer...WRONG! So this year Easter weekend has been filled with cold winds and snow...but hey, at least there was chocolate.
Easter Sunday also happened to be my mum's birthday - HAPPY BIRTHDAY MUM! The birthday girl decided she didn't give fancy cake this year (sacrilige I know) but would rather have a dessert. So with the idea of combining Easter and her birthday, Mary Berry's Easter pavlova seemed like a winning choice.  A Meringue base and nests filled with cream, lemon curd and mini eggs. I did leave out the candied lemon as it's just not our thing although it does look pretty in their pictures.

I'll be honest, I've never made meringue before, and I've only eaten it once. But after seeing it made on the GBBO and eating it for the first time at my brother's wedding I thought...surely it couldn't be that hard? Mary Berry whips them up in what seems like seconds, and could probably pipe them blindfolded too.

So following their recipe to the letter I dove straight in. No fear - Julia Child style. And somehow...I pulled it off! I actually found the meringue a breeze to make. I do realise it's probably nothing compared to macaroons for example, but who cares! I DID IT! I did make it a little smaller than it said to as it was only really for two of us, but not too small - it's still a birthday and Easter after all.

So the dessert was a success, crisp on the outside, fluffy and chewy on the inside with gorgeous cream, tangy lemon curd and yummy mini eggs, what's not to like? I command you all to make this now and put your faces in it as soon as you physically can. The End.

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Friday, 22 March 2013

First Wedding Anniversary Giant Cupcake

Some of you may remember my first wedding cake pop order I had last year. I was very proud of my little treats in their stand looking all pretty so I was delighted when asked to make a giant cupcake for their wedding anniversary this month.

Their original order was for 50 red velvet cake pops decorated in pink and white so I kept the theme running for this cake. The cake itself was of course red velvet, you can't really get a more romantic sponge could you? Topped with cream cheese frosting it was the natural choice for event.

For the base I covered it in pink fondant dyed with claret Sugarflair colouring paste and for the top I piped rose swirls onto it with the cream cheese frosting with the famous 1M piping nozzle. To keep up the romantic feel I cut out hearts in red and pink fondant leaving a big red fondant heart for the front on which I piped 'Dave & Natty'.

I tied it all up with a love heart ribbon for the extra cute factor and a huge dusting of cake glitter it was ready for the happy couple. I haven't done a giant cupcake in a while so it was nice to make such a pretty one, I have missed my cake glitter!

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Sunday, 17 March 2013

Paisley Park Fabric Bunting - Review

I feel like we've been treated to a few days of lovely sun this week, so much so that all I wanted to do was to throw open the kitchen windows, break out the mixing bowl and bake something beautiful. So that's what I did.

We've recently moved into our new home and the kitchen area has basically turned into a tea room of sorts, not that we mind - it's beautiful. There was something missing though, so I was delighted when Dot Com Gift Shop asked me if I'd like to review some bunting...I LOVE BUNTING! Ahem, calm, yes, I love bunting, it just makes any room look nicer doesn't it? I like to get some for every occasion I can think of to be honest.

I couldn't have been happier when the postman came with a pack of *Paisley Park Fabric 7.00 am (cruel man) but who cares it was worth it. I personally prefer fabric to paper bunting - only because I use it so much and I think it hangs better with a bit of weight. Having said that I have had paper ones before that have lasted really well and look just as nice so all is well in the world of bunting no matter which type you go for.

The bunting itself is paisley, with two main colours featured, blue and red, very tea party. With a beautiful vintage feel print that matches a really nice (although expensive) crockery brand out there at the moment. The colours work really for this time of year, our house is always filled with flowers, cakes and colourful crockery so it looked great when I put it up in our tea room kitchen.

The fabric is really good quality cotton, heavy and durable, not a flimsy piece in sight. It's also 8m long  and made up of 15 pennants so it could easily reach around a good part of post rooms or stretch quite far outside. Tied together with pink ribbon that picks up the pink floral tones that runs through the design, it really is very might be staying up for quite some time I won't lie to you.

What sort of bunting do you guys prefer and when do you use it? Are we paper or plastic people? Whatever you prefer I can hand on heart..or shall I say hand on cake....say that I would recommend any from their range, it's beautiful, cute, good quality and I'm keeping it up for a very, very, very, very, very long time! :)


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Sunday, 10 March 2013

Vintage Mother's Day High Tea at The River Tea Rooms

Today is Mother's Day! So I'd like to say happy Mother's Day to all of the mothers out there! I decided to treat mine to our favourite special treat, high tea - in our favourite place, the River Tea Rooms in St Ives. This treat was more special though, a vintage Mother's Day version to be precise.  The high tea itself was amazing as always and this time included a lovely glass of cava - we chose pink - why not? It also came served on a beautiful vintage cake stand and plates, as did the coffee before.

They accidently served the coffee in a normal cup first (which we didn't even think about first to be honest) but when it was noticed we got another in the vintage set on the house which was lovely so it all matched.

The high tea we chose came with little cheese & pickle and also egg sandwiches, a huge scone and a whopping slice of cake to boot. This is what we normally choose, but we enjoy it so much there's no need to mess with the system :) The sandwiches come with big irregular slices of cheese and chunky pickle and the egg mix is filled so deep it's like a door stop - love it.

 We always get lovely service there even when it's heaving and it's always warm, friendly and inviting. I know we'll be back for many more high teas, cream teas....and huge slabs of cake!

I also decorated the kitchen in the morning and drove my mum around in my baby (Elvis) all day to make her feel special, shame about the snow! Happy Mother's Day!

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Sunday, 3 March 2013

Cake International London Ticket Giveaway!

It's Cake International time again! This time I have tickets for the exhibition at Excel, London for the 12th-14th April.

If you've never been to ICHF Cake International before then your missing out, it's a haven for everything cake, sugarcraft and chocolate and I have five pairs of tickets to give away!

There'll be an abundance of special guests such as the king and queen of baking - Mary Berry and Paul Hollywood. You'll also be able to see the winner of the last series of the GBBO John Waite,  who will all be showing off their baking skills and expertise. They'll not open be opening the show but will also be around to sign books and hosting Q & As so you can find out everything from their guilty pleasures to baking secrets.

There's also be competitions where you can enter your own cakes, no matter what your ability - which also means you can stare at all of the other cakes with envy or intrigue - there were some amazing ones last year so I can't wait to see what will be on show this time.

Make sure you check out the demonstration theaters for
  • Maisie Parrish demonstrating her cute baby and pet Westie
  • Paul Bradford Sugarcraft showcasing his Chocolate Wrap
  • Confection Perfection demonstrating her ‘shopaholic cupcakes’
  • Stephanie Weightman sharing her inspirational cake decorating and painting techniques. 
If shopping is on your agenda then it's a great place to stock up. There's stands for everything cake pop, cupcake and fondant. From cutters, cases, transfers, candy melts, tins, tools to nozzles and colourings. Make sure clear space in your car, you won't leave empty handed. 

Make sure you enter below for a chance of winning a pair of the tickets!

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Creative Stitches & Hobby Crafts Tickets Giveaway

It's exhibition time again! I have tickets for two events to giveaway, both for next month. The first is for ICHF Creative Stitches & Hobby Crafts, I have FIVE pairs of tickets to give away! The event takes place on 4th-6th April at ExCel, London.

" The Popular Creative Stitches & Hobbycrafts show is coming to ExCeL, London for the very first time! The show will be packed with all the latest supplies, ideas and innovations in the creative crafting world.
There are so many inspiring features to see and enjoy, plus an extensive programme of FREE Workshops, Demonstrations and Talks for you to take part in and improve your skills, you won't know where to start!
Sure to be a creative day out to remember."

There's lots of things to see and do at the exhibition such as
catwalk fashion shows
the Madeira Embroidery competition
papercraft demonstrations and
jewellery making & beading.

Visit the sewing hub for mini workshops, visit the Dressmakers’ Pattern Bar and test out your skills on sewing machines no matter what ability.

Meet various textile artists such as
  • Jo Penton
  • Bailey Tomlin
  • Dionne Swift 
If your into craft, sewing and dressmaking then this is a great exhibition with lots of stands, workshops, advice and patterns you'll need the whole day just to make sure you take everything in!

To enter to win a pair of tickets then just follow the steps below!

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