Out and about with cake

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Last weekend, I stepped out of the Delights Kitchen and took part in a Christmas Fair at our local nail bar, Pili Does Nails. Paloma Banks, the owner and I, have been business buddies for quite some time now, so it was a good opportunity to support the event and continue to spread the word about my fabulous cakes and cupcakes. 

While ladies popped in for a pedi or mani, there were festive cupcakes on sale, with the lovely Jemimah at the helm in her branded t-shirt. She enjoyed her first day as a sales assistant, but seemed more in awe of the artistry, glam and glitter, as Islington’s finest came in to pretty-up for the season. 

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I had a little bit of nail envy, as I saw several ladies head out the door with terrific talons.  I spend most of my time baking or decorating cakes, which means that it’s not best to wear nail polish for health and safety reasons. But once the last cake order is collected or delivered on the 23rd, I’m popping into Pilli’s for a festive mani (it is Christmas, after all).

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By the end of the day, there were only a few cupcakes left, so this was a successful day for Delights by Cynthia.  Arriving home, Delights and Daughters had a ‘post-match chat’ about the day.  The general team feedback was that it was a fun day out, it was an opportunity to meet new customers and to spread the word, and we’ll definitely do it again.  So keep your eyes peeled for the Delights Girls as we step out to satisfy the desires of the sweetest tooth.

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It’s National Cookie Day!

It seems like there’s a special a day for everything. It turns out that 4 December is National Cookie Day. A day to feast on and celebrate the humble or mighty cookie! The day was set and fixed as 4 December by the Children’s Dictionary of Sesame Street. Since then, lovers of all things sweet have joined in the celebrations.

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Back in the day…
The first biscuit was baked in Denmark. Danish bakers used to check the temperature of their ovens, by using small pieces of dough, so they wouldn’t spoil their whole pie cases. At some point, somebody in the bakery realised that these little lumps of baked dough were delicious enough to eat on their own…and the rest (as they say) is history.

 

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What’s your flavour?
Chocolate Chip, Oatmeal or Gingerbread….

Chocolate Chip: In 1937, Ruth Wakefield (the owner of a small hotel) added slices of chocolate bars into butter dough, instead of grated chocolate. She hoped the chocolate would melt and give the biscuits a chocolatey brown tinge. Instead, the chocolate didn’t melt and her happy accident, resulted in chocolate chip cookies. It’s perfectly ok to experiment or mess-up a recipe, you never know what you will create.
Oatmeal: Let’s go back to Seventeenth Century Scotland. A time when wheat was seen as inferior and oats were the grain or seed of choice. Oatmeal cookies were initial baked on an open fire. Today you can bake them in your oven; plain or sweet.
Gingerbread: Legend has it that English monks in 12-13th Century invented gingerbread cookies, at a time when many European countries were using spices in their cooking. The most popular spice was ginger. Over time, ginger has become synonymous with Christmas, as has the gentle gingerbread cookie…Why wait a whole year for these delicious delights.
Here are some more interesting facts about cookies:
• The word “cookie” is an English word, which derives from a Dutch word “koekje,” meaning little or small cake
• The most popular cookie around the world is the chocolate chip cookie
• The world’s largest cookie was baked by the Immaculate Baking Company, weighing in at more than 18 tonnes and 102 feet wide
• Fortune cookies were created in California, and not China

All this talk of cookies is making me hungry.  Hand me a glass of milk…

 

 

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Gingerly…

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Not long now until Christmas and I’m well under way with my shopping (if truth be told, I’ve been Christmas shopping since August).  This year I have seen and have been buying lots of things with a gingerbread theme.

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I think I’ve found my Christmas jumper for this year…

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Gingerbread candles. A bargain at £3, from Primark.

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Check out these little fellas.  Cute enough for cupcakes.

I’ve also picked up:

  • Gingerbread wrapping paper
  • Gingerbread Lip Balm
  • Gingerbread Mugs
  • Gingerbread to decorate

I do feel sorry for the little ginger darlings (I call them Gingerlings – hey, perhaps I have made up a new word), they only seem to get a look-in at Christmas, and they are perfectly cute at any time of the year.

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The Joy of Cake

I’ve made cakes and cupcakes this year with joy being a big part of them.  Excuse the pun, but it truly was a joy to create them.

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Rachel’s 50th birthday cake consisted of an illustration by Stephanie Hill; a depiction of Rachel on her bike, singing ‘Joyful, Joyful, Lord we adore thee’, one of her favourite songs, riding to work (or perhaps the tennis court).  I decorated the cake with hand-made tennis balls and rackets to represent her love of tennis and the things that bring her joy.

Joy Cupcakes

Last Christmas, I created these joy cupcakes.  They went down a treat, with everyone who received them.

Goodbye shouldn’t always be about sad farewells.  So when Anne was leaving our church to move out of London, I was asked to create a ‘goodbye cake’.  This simple verse of scripture was the perfect send-off from her church family:

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“You will go out in joy and be led forth in peace;

the mountains and hills will burst into song before you,

and all the trees of the field will clap their hands.” – Isaiah 55 v 12

Cakes are usually part of the most joyous occasions, so there is definitely joy in cake.

 

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Do you see things in ‘cake’?

When I was at art college (many moons ago), it was a fantastic time for me, yet also a terribly frustrating time too.  I’m a very creative person, I still am.  I think creatively, I solve problems and  bring about solutions that are out of the box.  I love to play with colour and texture, light and shade…But I’m hopeless at drawing. I spent ages being frustrated in life drawing classes and still life sessions, simply because I couldn’t transfer what I saw onto paper.

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In my second year I majored in textiles, which was an obvious choice for me, according to my art teachers, simply because I saw everything in terms of pattern and texture.

Nowadays I think in cake.  I can’t help it.  I see a brand new, shiny car and I think ‘that colour would look great on a cake’.  Show mw a new technique in nail art and I’m already thinking how to replicate it on a cake design.

So last week, I was at the Wesley Hotel and I was admiring the feature wallpaper in one of the rooms.  There are illustrations of inkpots, cutlery and different types of further.  And there, I see it..On first glance, I actually thought it was a cake stand.  But it’s actually a table.  Do you see it?  Do you think in cake, or is it just me?….

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We will remember them

Remembrance Day should be a significant day to us all. For most of us living in the free world, we are only able to do this because of the men and women who fought in the last two World Wars, for our freedom. From a personal perspective I have had two family members who fought in the Second World War and was privileged to hear their stories when they were alive.

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I have created cakes for those who have served in the armed forces and it has been an honour and a privilege to do so; but I’m yet to make a cake for Remembrance Day, it’s not exactly a celebration, but more about marking the day significantly.

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Now thankfully, I’m not the only one who is creative in our home. Miss Phoebe made this beautiful remembrance wreath out of cupcake cases, in her art club, last week. So simple, but beautiful too. It’s hanging up in the living room, for all to see.

Today, at 11.00am, whether there are cakes to bake or decorate, I will down tools; pray, ponder and remember them…

“They shall grow not old,

as we that are left grow old:

Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.

At the going down of the sun and in the morning

We will remember them.”

 

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I’m spinning around

“All the world’s waiting for you,

and the power you possess.

In your satin tights,

fighting for your rights,

and the old Red, White and Blue…”

Wonder Woman - image courtesy of Pinterest

Image courtesy of Pinterest

As a child, I would hear that theme tune, stop what I was doing immediately and run into the living room to watch…Wonder Woman!  The following Monday, you’d probably catch me in the school playground, spinning around three times, hoping that the same magic would happen. I am quite excited to see the new Wonder Woman film, featuring Gal Gadot. I am definitely taking my daughters to see this (we’ll all about girl power, in the Delights Kitchen).

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What I’m even more excited about is the ice-cream and cupcake, specially created to mark the release of the film.  Stone Cold Creamery has created the frozen treat, Wonder Woman Bold, a Dark Chocolate Triple Berry with chocolate shavings, edible gold glitter and raspberries.  In addition, the company is also launching a cupcake called Triple Berry Wonder, featuring layers of Red Velvet cake and Dark Chocolate Triple Berry Ice Cream, topped with chocolate frosting, edible gold glitter and a Wonder Woman chocolate medallion, an empowering and adventurous combination, on both counts – a power packed chocolatey taste with soft raspberries and some golden glitz.  I’m spinning around at the thought of this!

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