19 October, 2010

"We were on a break!"

I know I don't blog often, and as stated before, you guys understand that it's due to financial issues that very often occur with baking and big culinary projects. I always like to include posts on things I'm really proud of creating, so of course I'm not going to blog about my daily dinner routines - I want you to see lovely cakes and cookies all over my page :) Obviously I can't bake six times a week or whatever, and with work and Uni it's very hard to make time for it all.
This added with the mounting academic work I have to accomplish in a couple very short months has meant that I have to come to a desicion about my blog. I'm taking a break. I'm sure you won't miss me, seeing as I only have a very small following, but I do appreciate your interest in it nontheless. I'll still record my commissions and stuff over the next few weeks and blog about it when I come back,  but I definitely think that I need to get my head down and sort out my other work first. Blogging is a choice, not a necessity.

So with that said, ciao for now guys, be back soon :)
Happy Baking x

15 October, 2010

TV Reminder: Couture Cakes!

One of the author's of my recently reviewed cake design book, Mich Turner (Couture Wedding Cakes) has her own cake show on Wedding TV every Sunday night at 6:30pm. I've recently errr... stumbled... across this channel and one of the adverts featured Mich and I was like :O have to watch that!
It looks like it's going to be a really good programme for anyone who needs video tutorials on cake craft, and she emphasises the point of accessorising your cake with everything else in a wedding e.g. your tiara, your flowers, your colour theme. Definitely be watching this come Sunday night, might even do a little follow up on it. Anyways, just thought I'd let the cake lovers of the blogworld know about this :)
Happy Baking x

Disclaimer: I take no credit for the above image, sourced from Google.

13 October, 2010

Red Velvet Cupcakes: Not feeling the craze?

So in light of starting my dissy year at Uni I have succesfully procrastinated for another evening by baking some new flavour cupcakes - Red Velvet. All the cupcake blogs I follow have been raving about these, and even Brooke from One Tree Hill wanted them as part of her wedding cake (ahh I love it :P). Simply put, they are the usual recipe for vanilla cupcakes, but with cocoa powder and red food colouring. I'm not feeling it. I was expecting some mind blowing taste explosion to happen but my parents and I were left feeling disappointed after a taste-testing sesh. Maybe it was the recipe I used. Maybe it was my oven. I don't mean to toot my own horn but I'm one of the best cooks in my family, so I don't like to blame myself :P
Cocoa Powder and Red Food Colouring "Paste," this was added to the cake batter.
Anyway, I won't tell you the recipe. I think it was a ridiculous take on the basic vanilla sponge method. It even told me to add a mixture of bicarb of soda and white vinegar (and we all know what happens with that, we all used them in some sort of volcano project at school). Anyways, they do look good, I'll give myself that. But I won't be trying them again until I taste an amazingly good Red Velvet cupcake, possibly from a shop. I'm sure it won't take long for the UK to cotton on to this American craze.
The pretty pattern the cocoa paste made once swirled with the cake batter.
Oh and one of my best friend's, Nikki, bought me a little present the other day - my new apron! How cute is that?!
Anyone else tasted some great/not so great Red Velvet Cupcakes? Let me know!
Happy Baking x

11 October, 2010

Couture and Romantic: Book Review

Ahh so sorry for lack of posts, I've been out of money for a while and anyone who knows anything about baking and cakes knows that a lot of money goes into all those little details. So for now I thought I'd do a quick review of two books I've recently acquired for my cookbook collection. They are exactly the sort of cakes I'd love to delve into and get proper stuck in but for the time being all I can do is commissions :( (Don't worry, I have a fabulous chocolate cigerello tiered cake coming for my mother's 50th in a month! Oh and I'll probably do some sort of Halloween themed something-or-other come payday!)
So my new books are "Cakes for Romantic Occasions" by May Clee-Cadman and "Couture Wedding Cakes" by Mich Turner. Both authors are reknowned cake designers and they have a fabulous array of cakes inside.
Couture Wedding Cakes:
Mich Turner has designed some of the most intricate and amazing cakes I have ever seen, gaining inspiration from top notch designers such as Amanda Wakely, Tiffany's, Boodles (sigh!) and Chanel. She founded the Little Venice Cake Company in 1999, which stocks both M&S and Harrods.
The chocolate monochrome cake in the top right is what I will be attempting to make for Mummy's birthday - ahhh!! And I love the detail on the bottom left cake, that's actually painted on to give a feather effect - gorgeous!
Cakes for Romantic Occasions:
This book has really hit the nail on the head for a new craze in wedding cake design - mini cakes! I absolutely love them and they are so versatile, it's you wedding cake, dessert, and a party favour all rolled into one! Couture Cakes touched on them, but I really think Ms. Clee-Cadman is on to something here. I'm being commissioned to recreate one of her cakes for one of my best friend's wedding, and it's so easy to just adjust the colours to match in with her wedding theme. Get a load of these beauts:
Even my boyfriend, Jim, thinks that chocolate brownie mini triple-tiered wedding cakes would be adorable for our own special day :P And below that, you can see how amazingly little detailing can create such a perfect wedding favour. A small clear box, ribbon and a dried posy makes it look just that extra bit special.
The top right Raspberry Ripple cake looks to diiiiie for, and look - my cupcake wrappers have hit the trend in this book!

Here's a sneak peek of what's to come soon - modelling chocolate: ever seen a beautiful sugar flowered arrangement on a cake? Try that, but chooooocolate! I'll be trying my hand at this baby to practice for the 50th birthday cake.
That's all for now folks.
Happy Baking x

Disclaimer: All photographs in this post are re-taken images from the books previously mentioned. I take no credit for any of the images in this post, they are simply there to help advertise the books I have reviewed.