I constantly look for inspiration for cakes, whether for flavours, colours or decoration. This week I visited Cake International, hoping to soak up some new cakey ideas. But I couldn’t be more wrong. It was all about sugar craft. And I really dislike sugar craft. By this I mean rolled icing, flowers made from sugar paste, highly intricate traditional wedding and celebration type cakes. Not my style at all. I prefer to lash on the butter cream, throw on some flowers, chuck some chocolate buttons on. I think it just looks so much more tasty, fun and appetizing when it isn’t so precise. Like you just want to grab a fork and dig right in. I just don’t feel that when I look at a slab of rolled icing. There is a time and a place for more serious sugar crafted cakes, I know the majority choose them for their celebration cake and I totally admire the artistry that goes into it but I just really don’t like it (Dare I say it, I find it a bit tacky..). So after having a giggle at some truly awful cakes I got a bit carried away buying cut price cake accessories. Nothing got me more excited this week than finding pure Maple Syrup flavoring extract! Can you imagine a maple cream cheese frosting?! OMW. And just when I thought my day couldn’t get any better I found hot cross bun flavored icing sugar! It was like eating paradise. Will go delightfully on top of a carrot cake (Yes, I am a cake geek. No shame.). So I left the show with some ideas of how not to do cakes and my wallet was a hell of a lot lighter.
Those with food intolerances are viewed by many as just fussy eaters (or awkwardtarians as my mate calls it. I like this cos it sounds like a dinosaur). There are those who avoid gluten or dairy due to the amount of research and opinions from professionals saying they are not the kindest food stuffs for our waist line. However, a huge amount of people cut out wheat and/or dairy due to the health impact on the body, especially the tummy and digestion. My mum is lactose intolerant which she kindly passed onto me in a currently very mild form. I’m not quite sure how it works (with my peanut sized brain) but not all dairy is created equal with some products containing more lactose than others. I made her really ill the other week when she tucked into my chocolate Easter cake without telling her it contained cream. Uh oh. Was def not the favourite child after that incident.
Oh how I love making wedding cakes! It’s so nice to be making something that will be so central to such a big day. I thought I would share with you the latest wedding cake I did for a lovely couple, Charlie and Leanne. They had a wedding in a converted barn with a really rustice feel which suited my style of natural decoration perfectly (If you haven’t already checked out the rest of my blog, I love naked cakes, rough butter cream finishes, dried or fresh flowers and fruit to decorate)! Roses were used in the bouquet so I also used them to decorate, fresh roses on top with dried rose petals scattered around the base. Leanne wanted a more unusual flavour to fill the cake so I used rhubarb jam with vanilla bean butter cream. Mmmmmm…. So if you or anyone you know is planning a wedding with a difference, please think of Holly Loves Cake! Contact me now, firstname.lastname@example.org
I lost it this weekend. Completly lost my baking mojo. I was a disaster in the kitchen and if it could go wrong, it did go wrong. As soon as I post my recipe on a Sunday, I immediately start plotting and planning my next bake. I read books, look at blogs, dream about past baking successes (this happens a lot, I wake up dissapointed when I realise I wasn’t actually eating cake) and cobble together ideas until I come up with a bake I am happy to share with you, my gorgeous readers (flattery gets you everywhere). So le grande plan for this weekend was a delectable fusion of cheesecake, honey and blueberries in a cupcake. Generally, I hate cupcakes. I want a piece, no no, I want a SLAB of cake. Not a cupcake for it will not satisfy any cake fanciers appetite. However, I thought as it was quite a rich bake a smaller offering in cupcake form would work. But I was wrong. When I opened the over door I was greeted by overflowing, burst cake cases with volcanic blueberries and a bready textured cake. Not good at all. When this happens, I have a little tantrum. I put on a pout, slam the cupboard doors and occasionally I boarderline on tears, actual tears. Its not a pretty sight. What a waste of expensive ingrediants! Of my time! Shattered cake dreams! I also attempted the honey cream cheese icing as they were in the oven. That too was a failure as I bought medium fat cream cheese instead of full fat which lead to a runny icing that would not hold its own. Failed icing plus failed cake = MEGA FAIL.
It is such a wonderful thing when someone goes out of their way for you, to do something that they really didn’t need to do but they did it anyway. It is these little (and sadly, sometimes way too few) acts of kindness that make the day so much sweeter and make you smile. This week, I was contacted by a lovely lady (Girl? Bird? Lass? Lady sounds scarily formal and old…) who requested some of my cakes for a photo shoot at Unionweddings.co.uk! I read the message and did my usual dance of joy around the room. As if someone seriously requested my cakes for a photo shoot! AS IF! And how did the lovely lady find out about me? Through the new wife of one of my oldest friends, Sam. Now, I’ve known Sam for 14 years through college and then we moved to university in Manchester together where he sported a hair doo similar to an Afghan hound and pranced his way around Indie dance floors thinking he was Jagger. We kinda lost touch over the past few years but met up for dinner last week in London with his new wife, Jo, and me with the BF (We went to Boho Mexicana in Shoreditch if you are interested, lots of tequila which makes me VERY happy). This was the first time I had met Jo and filled her in about my cake blog, obvs. She passed on my details to her friend who happens to be the lovely lady at unionweddings.co.uk. Jo did not need to take a minute out of her day to do this but she did and I am so grateful she did, I owe her several tequilas. As soon as I know where and when my cakes will be featured I will post it on here (if I can stop doing my dance of joy around the room).
This week has been a week of OMG WHAT THE HECK AM I DOING-ness. There has been a grand plan in my head for years about doing a cake business full time but now I am trying to do it for real, things have suddenly felt a bit wobbly and intimidating! I have the brain of a squirrel (No actually, as a squirrel can remember where it buried its acorns 6 months ago. I, however, cannot remember what I did 6 minutes ago. So perhaps to compare my brain to that of a goldfish would be more appropriate). I certainly do not have a head for figures or thinking practically, when I started to realistically look at what I need to do to get Holly Loves Cake up and running I totally panicked. My mum threw a million questions at me and I really had to ask myself if I am doing the right thing. How on earth am I going to earn enough money to keep me in Whistles dresses and Marc Jacobs shoes (Will I even be able to earn enough to move out of my mums which is a more important question. Its destroying my street cred.)?!
OK so I have sat here for ages (I say ages, probably more like 30 seconds) trying to marry the words ‘pistachio’ and ‘raspberry’ together in a Brangelina (Brad and Angelina, obvs) way to make pistachio and raspberry cake sound a bit more interesting/hip/Hollywood. However, the best conjoined word I could come up with was Rastachio which sounds like a rasta with a moustache. Not something that sounds particularly scrumptious so instead I got rid of the cake and replaced with the perfect descriptive word for this bake, loveliness…