Serve you right

Being an old art and design student, I’m always admiring beautiful works of art and inspirational design.  When a great product is designed around cake, I am doubly thrilled.

70113_7_cakechallenge.jpg

 

Check out the Magisso Cake Server by Maria KivijärviYou can now cut with class, by doing these three simple steps:

  • Press the stainless steel server through the cake and squeeze lightly
  • Lift it over the plate, then release and squeeze
  • Place the perfect piece of cake onto a plate and enjoy.

70113_14_cakechallenge.jpg

Works perfectly well with puddings and pies.

Advertisements
Posted in Cake, Cake decorating, Cakes | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Carrie, Miranda, Charlotte, Samantha and Cupcakes

Can you believe it is 20 years since we were introduced to Carrie, Charlotte, Miranda and Samantha.

Credit - HBO

Credit – HBO

There were many memorable moments in the series, but for some of us who like the sweet stuff, the most memorable moment tool place on a park bench.  Carrie and Miranda sit on the bench outside Magnolia Bakery on Bleecker Street and devour cupcakes while discussing latest beau.

The scene lasted one minute and 17 seconds, but that was all it took to create cupcake frenzy.  Those vanilla cupcakes with fluffy pink frosting sparked a cupcake phenomenon around New York City.  People began to travel far and wide to visit the bakery where Carrie spoke about her love live, while eating a $4 cupcake.

Magnolia Bakery

Credit: Magnolia Bakery

Within weeks of the famous episode, queues began to form around the block.  People were prepared to wait, and once they had their first Carrie-Cupcake moment, they know it was worth it.

Years later, people began to do Sex and the City tours and the most popular stop-off, was the Magnolia Bakery.

The bakery even created a speciality cupcake, dedicated to Sarah Jessica Parker’s television character: A delicious vanilla cupcake with pale frosting and a sugar flow in the middle, perched on top.

Today, to celebrate 20 years of Sex and the City, Magnolia Bakery is giving away 50 of their Carrie Cupcakes in all nine of their locations.  You’ll have to leg it in your Louboutin’s, as they’re only available between 12pm – 1pm.

 

Posted in Bakery, Cake or Cupcake?, Cupcakes | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Sweet Tweet

There’s quite a lot of negativity out there at the monent, so I thought I’d bring some joy with this story.  It’s quite old but it still goes to show how one person’s actions can make a huge difference.

Teenager Jackie Garza was desperate to help save her father’s floundering bakery business and did what most teenagers do today; she turned to social media.  Jackie went on Twitter and posted:

Hey y’all my dad has a little panaderia/ restaurant. He makes all of the pan dulce himself. He been thinking about closing but I can’t let that happen, spread the word 1 rt could bring in a potential customer!”

La Casa

She wrote in the caption, along with the restaurant’s address.  She pressed ‘send’ and waited.

Since posting her tweet, this message has gone viral, with more than 48,000 likes, nearly 60,000 retweets and over 1.1 million views.

Tweet teen

Thanks to her savvy thinking, business has been booming ever since.  I love the fact that her father, didn’t even know what Twitter was.  I hope that business is still booming.

 

Posted in Bakery | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

24 Karat Magic

Gold chocolate is all the rage, thanks to Callebut. The Belgian chocolate makers recently introduced the new colour and flavour to its finest Belgian chocolate range. The new caramel flavoured chocolate “Goldjoined the range of white, milk and dark chocolate.

BarryCallebaut_Gold - Credit Barry Callbaut

Pic: Barry Callebaut

Callebaut have expertly crafted and composed the chocolate from a fine selection of ingredients such as caramelised sugar and caramelised milk.  The intense caramel chocolate taste, has rich notes of toffee, butter, cream and an exciting dash of salt, for good measure.

With such a heavenly aroma and taste I cannot wait to start some culinary alchemy. Think Drip cakes, golden ganache and 24 carat toppings to decadent desserts.

 

 

 

Posted in Chocolate, Gold, golden | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

For Cake’s Sake!

In the weeks leading up to the Royal Wedding, there was much speculation in the cake community, firstly about who would make the cake, and then what style it would be.  There was probably about as much excitement about the cake as ‘the dress’.

Claire Ptak of Violet Bakery made the cake for the wedding of the year.  The day before the wedding, the only thing Ms Ptak would give away regarding the cake, was:

kensington-palace-cake

credit: Kensington Palace

“It’s a non-traditional layout. It’s a slight shift from tradition.”

She went on to describe the cake flavour as a balance between sweet and tart, the combination of the “ethereal elderflower” and adding that the texture was “really lovely and the flavour is quintessentially British.”

Leading up to the wedding she worked for five days at the Buckingham Palace kitchens (probably flat out).  The cake was made in separate parts and then transported to Windsor Castle, where it was assembled and dressed with the fresh flowers.

Made with:

200 Amalfi Lemons

500 Organic Suffolk Eggs

20kg of butter

20kg of flour

20kg of sugar

10 bottles of Elderflower syrup

The cake was a light sponge cake filled with Amafi lemon curd and elderflower buttercream with elderflower syrup.  The elderflower syrup was made at the Queen’s residence in Sandringham from the elderflower trees on the estate. The cake was decorated with Swiss meringue buttercream and 150 seasonal, fresh flowers – Peonies and roses.  Everyone else will read that and stop there, but for all the ‘cakers’ out there, the cake had a rustic effect – read as ‘no sharp edges’.

As soon as the cake was finally revealed, there was much commentary and criticism in the cake world.  Now, I’ve always taken delight in the fact that most people in the cake industry are usually kind and considerate folk (we all know what it’s like to pull an ‘all nighter’ to create something magical for our customers). However, there palette knives were out and in force all over social media from Saturday onwards, with harsh and critical commentary about this cake.

I won’t give you my opinion about the wedding cake just yet, because to be perfectly frank, my opinion doesn’t matter.  I didn’t order the cake and it wasn’t my wedding, or for my guests.  The cake was not made to meet yours or my expectations.  If Prince Harry and Meghan (the Duke and Duchess of Sussex) liked the cake, that is all that mattered.  I’m sure there was a cake consultation, perhaps a cake tasting too, and I’m sure this was the agreed design that was executed.  So all you ‘cake haters’ out there need to pipe down (every pun intended).

There’s also been a lot of talk about the cost of the cake.  Who knows if it actually cost £50,000, or perhaps that was just an estimate.  The good thing is that the ‘cost’ might empower some of us cake makers who still struggle with charging the true value of what our work is worth (design, buying stock and ingredients, packaging, labour – probably charging less than minimum wage; need I go on…).

Elderflower and Lemon

 

One thing is for sure, us cake makers need to thank Claire Ptak for giving us all a new flavour to present to brides and grooms in the future. How many of us rushed out to stock up on lemons and elderflower cordial last week?  Even I had a go at making this flavour and it is delicious (it went down a treat with a cuppa, my neighbours, in the afternoon after the wedding).

The cake was simply gorgeous…Refreshingly modern for a thoroughly modern couple. Now as I drop my spatula (which is the cake equivalent of a mic drop); that is all.

Posted in Royal Wedding, Wedding, Wedding Cake | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Today’s the day! #RoyalWedding

At last the Big Day has arrived.  I’m super-excited about today’s Royal Wedding and of course I’ve been baking something in celebration.  As the Bride and Groom make their vows, I will be in the front of the television, taking in every moment…tissues at hand (I love weddings).

My daughter is on scone duty for afternoon tea,  and I’ve made some Union Jack cupcakes – red, white and blue buttercream swirls with iconic London motifs.

IMG_20180518_205330_480.jpg

I still haven’t decided whether I’ll be drinking a Great British Cuppa or sipping something fizzy (probably both, throughout the day), but I will be raising a toast:

Harry and Megan,

I wish you joy,

 lots of love…

 and a long happy life together.

May today and your future be sweet.

Posted in Royal Wedding, Uncategorized, Wedding Cake | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Kitchen Nightmares

I want to level with you; can I just be real here (among the filtered photos and selfie lights)? I actually have some baking fears…Yes, fears about certain bakes cakes and recipes.  There are things that I have just backed away from, due to some irrational fear.  But this year, I am determined to face my fears and bake it out and see what happens.

The main reason that I have been fearful of certain culinary skills is that there has been a tiny voice in my head saying ‘What you get it wrong?…What if you mess up?’.

One of my fears has been making meringues…Yes, light, fluffy, dainty meringues.  Can you believe it?  I’ve been setting myself a weekly challenge to bake or create something new, based on what I have been shying away from.

IMG_20180513_102434_974

I’m now at the stage in my life, where I’m saying ‘so what?’ to that voice, because messing up is all part of the learning.   So take a look at what I made earlier. Let’s see what I get up to next week.IMG_20180507_165901_942.jpg

Posted in Bakery, Baking | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment