This weekend I had the honour of doing the cake of a friend of mine to her long term beau, Amber Waterfield and Nathan McAllister. They had an alternative wedding day that really suited them, the ceremony took place on a bandstand on Brighton beach with the food and drinks at a local restaurant, Silo, which prides itself on using local ingredients and creating no waste (I even had to take my cake boxes home!). The weather was amazing, not a cloud in the sky! You can see from the photos how achingly cool they looked with Nathan rocking a pink blazer and boat shoes, Amber in her charity shop dress (a girl after my own heart!)…
Once again its been another super-crazy-ridiculous couple of weeks, I’ve struggled to find time to bake! For those out there who love to create, when you don’t get to do it as often as you like, you kinda get a bit fidgety and frustrated. I always have so many ideas in my head for cakes that the longer I go without baking, the longer the list of ‘must bakes’ gets. I had the BF’s 30th birthday the other weekend on a barge in Battersea (too cool for school) so of course, I had to whip up the cake of my career (results to be posted soon!). Then this weekend I got to join some old friends on their hag doo (stag+hen= Hag. Obvs.) in Berlin. This involved much partying and very little sightseeing so a return trip is a must do, if only to indulge in more apple strudel. This weekend I have kept it empty and pretty much fun free to indulge in sewing patterns and baking (in order to recuperate some precious brain cells, two weeks of partying in a row for this old gal is not big or clever).
This is the cake I did for my friend Donna Aplin who’s mum was getting married today! Although this morning was pretty murky, thankfully the sun came out for them this afternoon. There wasn’t much of a brief to work to except that she wanted lemon and orange featured in the colours and this is what I came up with. A Summery treat with the top layer being coconut caramel and the bottom layer is strawberry and white chocolate.
I remember when I started baking and being told that baking is a science, its not like cooking where you can throw a little bit of this or that and it will probably be a taste sensation. You have to stick to the recipe or it will be a disaster! I’ve come to learn (often the hard way) that actually, you can go against the rules and shake things up if you understand how your ingredients work. So I’m going to tell you what I have learnt about different kinds of sugar when baking and how you can confidently change them around in a recipe.
Nobody wants to read a depressing blog but everyone has rubbish weeks. And I have had one of them. I’ll spare you the gory deets but it has been pretty grim. I’ve been rolling around in my own self pity and snaffling comfort food. I know I have it bad because when I was buying lunch the other day, I ordered a slice of cake. I never order other peoples cake (unless it is a highly worthy reason). I’m always certain my own cakes are better than everyone else’s and I would only be disappointed and waste the calories. Sometimes though, there is a space that only a slice of rhubarb crumble cake will fill. I was just too critical though as per and ended up doing a full critique which was good in a way, it gave me something else to think about for 10 minutes.
Check out this beauty of a cake I made over the weekend for my dear friend Becky! The decorations are all made using white chocolate with sprinkles or colouring dust. It is white chocolate with fresh raspberries and homemade strawberry jam. It was super yum! Please contact me using my contact form if you would like to enquire about your very own special celebration cake!
They say you should never meet your idols, you will only be disappointed. So understandably, I was feeling apprehensive yet super excited about meeting my favourite French sugar god, Eric Lanlard. I have been swooning over his books for a few years and had visited his shamazing café, Cake Boy, in Battersea so when I had to choose what I wanted for my 25th (ok, ok, 30th) birthday present, there was no doubt in my mind what to ask for. A baking tutorial day at Cake Boy with Eric. A whole day with Eric! A whole day! Me! And Eric! ERIC! He does a variety of different baking days and I plumped for the French Baking day complete with breakfast patisseries, lunch with wine and you get to take home everything you bake. The cakes we were going to make were almond and lavender provencal cake (gluten free), a gateaux Breton (even I had to google that one, a buttery crumbly flakey gorgeousness apparently) and a pear and juniper tart tatin. Major yummo.
This fabulous little number was a special order for a special birthday boy. It was the BF’s uncles birthday on Saturday, he and his wife popped down from their home in the Lake District to London for a weekend of celebrations which, of course, had to include a Hollylovescake creation! We went for a fantastic meal at La Famiglia, an Italian restaurant in Chelsea (I had the whitebait starter and tuna steak main if you are wondering) where it was presented for dessert.
So I was chatting with the BF (Someone asked why I call him BF. Boyfriend makes me sound about 16. Partner makes me sound well old. And quite frankly I totes love abbreviations) and having a good old moan that I didn’t have a clue what to do for this weeks bake. I needed some inspiration, I knew I wanted to use some gorgeous seasonal produce. The BF lives on the door step of Borough market in London so on Saturday morning we took a stroll down to see what I could use. I always prefer getting my produce from markets, if I’m at home in the Midlands, Bridgenorth in Shropshire has the most wonderful Saturday market full of stalls selling vibrant, fresh and still dirty from the ground veggies. The eggs are always tastier and bigger too than usual supermarket fare. Plus you get the added smugness of knowing your money is supporting someone local than lining the pockets of Tesco.
Check out my latest cake commission! This gorgeous number was for a friends office party. Two layers of brown sugar sponge sandwiched a layer of rich chocolate cake, bonded together with a nutty peanut butter cream. I decorated it with a rich caramel drizzle and milk chocolate shards scattered with toasted chopped hazelnuts. Reports confirm that it tasted as good as it looked! Please use my contact page if you want to order your own cake creation from Hollylovescake.