Christmas Cakes and Mistletoe

Surely I’m not the only one who loves this time of year.  It’s cold outside and Christmas is on its way.  On Saturday afternoons in December, when all the cake orders have been collected or delivered, it’s nice to curl up on the sofa and either watch a Christmas movie, or read a book.  This year, I have visions of myself reading Christmas Cakes and Mistletoe by Carole Matthews. 

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So, here’s the story…Fay and Danny are madly in love and it’s all Fay’s ever dreamed of. But she left everything – including the delightful cake shop she used to run – to be with Danny on his cosy canal boat The Dreamcatcher. As she soon finds out, making delicious cakes on the water isn’t always smooth sailing! Then Fay gets a call from her friends, a call that sends her back to where it all began, back to where she first met Danny, back to her friends and the Cake Shop in the Garden. And she soon she begins to wonder if she ever should have left.

With Christmas around the corner, she is determined that her friends will have a very merry time, but can Fay really get everything she ever wanted in … Christmas Cakes and Mistletoe Night

Christmas…

A cake shop…

A little romance…

Surely, what’s not to like? A cup of hot chocolate in one hand, the book in the other and a cupcake on a side plate, I’m ready and set for this festive page-turner.

 

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Yummy festive treats

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Image courtesy of Krispy Kreme

 

Krispy Kreme has a delicious selection of limited edition seasonal treats.   The four adorable doughnuts are:

  • Santa Belly Doughnut – A chocolate Kreme-filled shell is dipped in red icing and decorated to look like Santa’s belly
  • Ugly Sweater Doughnut – A new take on ugly Christmas sweaters, this doughnut is dipped in green icing, sprinkled with confetti, and decorated with over-the-top reindeer and penguin candy pieces
  • Holiday Plaid Doughnut – An Original Glazed Doughnut dipped in icing and decorated in a red and green plaid design
  • Chocolate Iced with Sprinkles Doughnut

These doughnuts are bound to fill your tummy with Christmas cheer, there’s just one thing I forgot to mention…they’re only available in the US and Canada.  But you never know, if you’re nice, Santa might bring some on his sleigh for you on Christmas Eve.

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Sweet store front

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It’s about time to check out the Christmas lights and festive store fronts around London. The Ivy Chelsea Garden is certainly bringing some Christmas cheer to Chelsea, with their Gingerbread House installation decked snow, sweets, gingerbread men, candy canes, baubles and sequins.

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If you’ve made a reservation, you can enjoy a Gingerbread Espresso Martini, which is totally in keeping with the theme.  The delicious concoction is made up of a freshly pulled espresso shot, Wyborowa Vodka, Bepi Tosolini Expre liqueur and gingerbread syrup, as a finishing touch.  I’m feeling festive already!  You can check out the Gingerbread House shop front at 197 King’s Road, SW3 5ED until New Years Day.

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Deck the doors

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The gingerbread theme is the gift that keeps on giving.  I am totally in love with this Gingerbread Wreath from Konjo Shop.  These handcrafted wreaths are lovingly put together with flowers, dried fruit, baubles, bells and of course gingerbread.  Deck your door with this wreath and be the envy of your neighbours.
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Cupcake bauble

It’s the little things that please me.

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Like the cutest little cupcake bauble from Asda (I know, right…). I’m a bit behind with all things festive.  But this is the first thing to spur me on to put up the tree.

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A sweet celebration

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Tate & Lyle are celebrating 140 years of sweetness this year.  To mark the occasion, they created this colossal cake, which showcased family favourites over the last 14 decades and inspiration for the future.

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The 15 tier cake, created by the Tattooed Bakers.

The 15 tiers comprised of:

  • Future
  • Rainbow
  • Sprinkle
  • Chocolate lava
  • Red velvet
  • Black forest
  • Pineapple upside down
  • Baked Alaska
  • Carrot
  • Cherry
  • Eton mess
  • Royal icing
  • Victoria sponge
  • Fruit
  • Battenberg

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The cake was created by the fabulous Tattooed Bakers.  Nick James, marketing director at Tate & Lyle Sugars, said: “Cake has always been at the centre of every celebration and it’s clear tomorrow’s consumer will demand hyper-personalisation, with cakes tailored to their specific needs and desires. We look forward to celebrating the joy of cake with the nation for another 140 years.”

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Here’s me and my daughter Phoebe. We were the first to be photographed with the colossal cake. All this fun before heading off to school. #welovebaking

The cake was on display at London’s King’s Cross station and I had to head down to see it.  Here’s a picture of me and my daughter with the cake.  The first 200 people who came down to view the cake were given a box of two delicious Galaxy Cupcakes – chocolate cupcakes with a galaxy swirl of buttercream, topped with pearls and a pipette of chocolate chilli ganache,  a special thank you.  Guess who was first in line?  Just guess!

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As I tucked into my celebratory cupcake, there was only one thing to say to Tate & Lyle:

Us bakers couldn’t create the desserts, cakes, cupcakes and cookies without you.

Here’s to 140 more sweet years!

 

 

 

 

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Wherefore art thou

Just over 30 years ago, I went to Art College.  I’m sure I have mentioned this before in previous posts.  But for those of you who didn’t know, I spent two years fine tuning my artistic skill to no avail.  During this time I met some big personalities who have gone on to fabulous things in product design, theatre and fine art.  I’m in touch with a few people, thanks to social media.

I met up with one of my classmates from that time, fine artist Justin Bradshaw, who is now based in the centre of the universe for all things art, fashion and design; Italy. We hadn’t seen each other since college we still recognised each other (and apparently, I haven’t aged).  Over a full English breakfast and copious cups of coffee, we put the world to right.

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We spoke about how the world of art has transformed, digital technology, being true to your work, inspiration and creativity.  It was a refreshing day for me.   It’s good for me to step out of the Delights Kitchen, every once in a while.  We even took in two local exhibitions near the University of Arts.

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He paints – people, places, expressions and possessions.  I create cakes…that sometimes happen to be works of art.  I created this cupcake in honour of Justin.  A chocolate cupcake piped with chocolate buttercream, topped with a framed mini masterpiece. I was chuffed when he said it looked like a combination of a Jackson Pollock and a Monet.

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