Proud Mary

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Mary Berry wins the Best TV Judge Award at the National Television Awards – Pic: Ian West/PA Wire

We’re big fans of Mary Berry in the Delights Kitchen.  It was so nice to see her beat off stiff competition and pick up the award for Best TV Judge at the National Television Awards, last week (and we were loving the fist-pump, too).  Congratulations, Mary.  We salute you!

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The gentle art of procrastibaking

 

procrastibaking

Yes, I raise my hand up, as I am totally guilty of this.  In fact, this t-shirt, was probably made with me in mind.

Procrastibaking:  The art of making cupcakes instead of doing something else you should be doing.

Right now, I am knee-deep in receipts and invoices, in the Delights Office.  I need to complete my tax return by 31st January.  I have started off with the best intentions.  I get myself some coffee, I switch on the computer and I start crunching the numbers.  I neatly put everything under the right headings: Ingredients, Packaging, Postage, Cleaning Products, Equipment, Website updates and Deliveries. After about an hour of this, my mind starts to wander.  I drift off to more exciting subjects.  Being a creative type, crunching numbers and doing my tax return is incredibly boring, but it is very necessary.  As I type away and organise my receipts, my mind starts to think about other matters…

  • Decorating techniques
  • Flavour combinations
  • Themes
  • Colour combinations
  • Topping
  • Fillings
  • The fluffiness of frostings
  • Just anything to do with cake, really…

Before you know it, I am down in the Delights Kitchen, reaching for the vanilla extract, plugging in Penelope and baking up a storm.  Yesterday, I just had a yearning for plain old vanilla cake, so that’s how I got my bake-on.  I’ve got two days to complete this task and press the ‘go’ button, so I better stop procastibaking and get on with the job at hand!  I will keep you posted on how I get on….

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Cake-gate

 

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English etiquette teaches us that at dinner parties and social gatherings, you never mix good food with talk of religion or politics.

Cake is universal, everybody loves cake, there is a special cake out there for everyone,  (whether you’re gluten free, fat free or sugar-free), there is equality with cake.  Cake and politics are rarely bedfellows. However in the last week, with all the pomp of the American presidential Inauguration, cake made centre stage.  It seems that the cake made for the Salute to the Armed Forces Ball, attended by the newly sworn –in President Trump, was the exact replica of the cake made four years ago for President Barack Obama’s second inauguration.

The original cake (the cake on the left) was made by Duff Goldman of Charm City Cakes.  Both cakes have nine tiers, with stripes on the bottom, a presidential banner and seal motif, shiny emblems in the middle section, and the cakes are both topped with stars.

The second cake (the cake on the right) was made by Terry McIsaac of the Buttercream Bakeshop in Washington D.C.  We understand that an unnamed member of Team Trump contacted the cake shop several weeks ago on short notice with a request to copy the original.  Terry initially offered to use the original cake as inspiration, but it was insisted that the cake should be a replica.

Whenever someone comes to me requesting a replica of a cake, I always give them this reply:

“I cannot copy someone else’s work, but if there are elements from the cake you like, we can take this as inspiration to create a personalised cake for you.”

In the cake world, we have to acknowledge and respect the great work of other cake makers. There is enough sky for all of us, and we must learn to cultivate and develop our own cake style.   The Internet has gone wild over this story and has brought it back to politics.

Duff Goldman graciously took the copy-cake as a compliment. He congratulated the Buttercream Bakeshop on doing a fantastic job. There’s a lot of love in the cake world (this is not always the case in the political arena).

According to the Buttercream Bakeshop’s Instagram post, profits from the cake will be donated to the The Human Rights Campaign, the largest civil rights organisation in America working to achieve lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer equality.

 

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The night-shift

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I can totally relate to this image.  There has been many a night, when I’ve been up, way past the midnight hour, to finish decorating a cake, or even bake a cake.  Thankfully, that doesn’t happen as much these days.  I’m a little more organised and realise that there truly is such a thing as cake prep.  Having said that, there are times when the most creative cake ideas and solutions seem to come in the dead of night.  Usually because everyone else is fast asleep, there’s no noise and no distractions.  What time of day are you most creative?

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Ooh it’s frrreezzing…

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Baby, it’s cold outside.  Don’t forget to put on your mittens.  I baked and created made these winter inspired cupcakes with these simple, sugar,ice-blue mittens on the top.  Perfect after a winter walk, sitting by the fire (or radiator) with a hot chocolate or something stronger…Keep warm in the winter, my lovelies.

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It’s been a while…

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It’s been a while since I’ve written a post here.  And I apologise for this.  To be honest, I got side-tracked and bedazzled.  Now, I’m not blaming my daughter, but she encouraged me to venture with technology and to start using Instagram.  So I began uploading images, sometimes spontaneously and other times, it was planned with great preparation.  I got more focused on uploading content on Instagram than doing anything else.  I’d spend hours looking at other great ‘Cakers’, and got so engrossed I began adding cake equipment to my Christmas wish-list (and I managed to source a hot pair of ankle boots).  The other thing was, I ended up either being so busy baking and creating cakes, that I didn’t get round to writing about them.

Insta 2016

 

But I have to tell you, I love writing.  It’s my second passion after cakes.  The longer I didn’t write a post, the harder it became to write something. It might have been writers’ block, or it could have just been plain old laziness.  The thing about cakes and all things sweet is that there’s no way you cannot be inspired by them in some way, so really, I don’t have an excuse not to write and enthuse about them.   Interestingly, while I’ve not been blogging, people have still been reading what I have to say.

Hopefully, in 2017, you’ll get to hear about some of the wonderful cake stories from last year and the current ones too.  I’ve taken some classes, bought some new ‘toys’ and have been spurred on by different Cake Fairies, so I’m hopeful this year, for all things cake.

So to all my followers who have been thinking, where’s that Cake Lady in North London, who writes those quirky quips and comments? I’m back again…And if I wonder off once in a while this year, please feel free to ‘poke’ me into writing something (I’m putting my hands on my ears and singing ‘la-la-la-la-la’, every time my daughters say ‘Mummy, you should start doing videos or do live broadcasts on Facebook).

Lots of love,

Cynthia

 

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Sprinkle Toes

Aww…These Pink Sprinkle Toes from The Shoe Bakery  so sweet.. They’re making me a little broody.  Either that or hungry for a cupcake…

Store+pics-+Baby+Shoes

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