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).
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!
Coming back to real life after India was a huge uncomfortable bump. I was feeling rather blue, real life is just pants. I was still day dreaming about flexing my yoga skills under blue skys with the parrots flying overhead. So I was very glad to have my chocolate day course booked in for the week after my return with the fabulous Mark Tilling, twice crowned UK’s best chocolatier at Squires Kitchen near Guildford. This was the second part of my prize after winning Tate and Lyles Baking Dreams competition back in November (I haven’t stopped entering competitions since, you’ve got to be in it to win it).
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.
It can happen almost anywhere. I could be in a shopping centre, browsing Ebay, searching through the charity shop when suddenly, BOOM! I’ll spot something absolutely amazing that I must have absolutely immediately that would look absolutely fantastic on top of a cake. I’m like a cake decoration magpie, constantly picking up little bits and pieces that make my mind go dizzy with ideas for my next bake and I buy it and pop it to the back of my minds imaginary cake queue, cakes that must be baked where I will use this life changing yellow chocolate/moustache print ribbon/piece of fudge shaped like a bear (these things actually exist in my cupboard). Except I buy it, put on my cake shelf (which has actually expanded into an entire cupboard) and kinda forget about it once I procure yet another amazing something or other. I always rediscover it once it’s too late. The yellow chocolate is past it ‘best by’ date, the ribbon got stained in food colouring and the bear lost his head. Sad face. So the moral of this story? Stop buying more? Pfffftttt, whatevs!
So, it turns out making the perfect chocolate chip cookie is pretty darn difficult. Yup, that little round beige thing with brown spots? A kitchen nightmare. Take it from a girl who has tried a million different recipes over many years. Non of them delivered 100%, there would always be a certain level of crippling disappointment. There were the ones that didn’t have enough chocolate, ones that spread too much, the ones that stuck to the baking tray, the ones that were too crunchy. I wasted a lot of time money and ingredients trying to achieve cookie paradise! To achieve perfection, I have combined my favourite bits from several recipes to create baking bohemia.
This 3 tier cake I designed and made for a birthday party for 3 people celebrating the same weekend! The top tier is chocolate fudge, the middle was maple and walnut and the base was brown sugar salted caramel, all covered in a vanilla bean butter cream. I also made the letters myself with glittery foam. Please contact me with any cake requests for availability and prices!