An Extra slice. The filming

 

imgres-1

 

Last Sunday I was lucky enough to be invited to the filming of The Great British Bake Off’s ‘An Extra Slice’. Cristina the chief organiser behind the Bromley ‘Free Cakes For Kids’ charity requested six tickets and invited some of the team to go with her. Do you think we were happy about it ?(enter cheesy, blurry selfie! below!) photo 2

Yes, we were excited. We had to arrive at The London Studios for 3pm (which I did by the skin of my teeth – sorry ladies) and get wrist bands. We had priority bands due to Cristina’s tickets but I think that just meant that we would definitely get in. Waiting, waiting, waiting

The queue was pretty long by 3.05pm. That pic is just a fraction of the line of bakers waiting to get in.

imgres

So what happens during filming?

We were directed into a main room and were asked to sit and wait. The producer came and spoke to us explaining what was going to happen for the rest of the day. We were given timings and told that it would take until around 8.30pm to complete the filming. It was 3.30pm. The hall had a wall of glass windows and it was really sunny making the room super hot. We were glad there were refreshments available to buy. Ice cold Sprite (whilst on a water only 30 day challenge!) Don’t mind if I do – Ooops!

Last weeks episode of the GBBO was put on the big screens at the front of the room. There were a few groans because let’s face it- if you’re there you’ve probably already seen last weeks show! But that was just for background noise. Then we were asked to sign a rather long and detailed confidentiality form swearing that we wouldn’t say who went out. We were going to get to see next weeks (yesterday’s) episode a whole four days early. Yep. We were really happy about that too!

It was during this hour that the production runners came and looked at all the bakes everyone had brought in. Kim had made a cake in the shape of our charity’s badge (which you can see us all wearing- just for Jo Brand. Unfortunately the cake wasn’t selected. We were competing with a naked Paul Hollywood and a carrot Mary Berry and Jo was “very busy” and basically not accepting cakes so Lucy took it into work the next day and sold slices for charity instead. It did look mighty good. Jo missed out there! Us in our badgesFCFK cake

Then it was time to take our seats (second row in the middle in case you’re looking). We all removed our wrist bands and sat in the audience seats. Those whose cakes were selected sat at the front at the tables and while the next episode was screened the runners went about making sure each bake had a plate or cake stand to display it on.

It was really great to be watching an episode in secret like that with a whole load of bakers. I mean it’s great to watch with Tim at home but this was a real experience. We all oohed and ahhed at the same time and picked up things that non-bakers just wouldn’t see. It felt like an exclusive club.

There was a great warm up guy who was really funny. He introduced Jo Brand and then the filming began. It was now around 5.15pm. The guests this week are really funny- (I don’t think I can say who they are but you haven’t got long to wait) We saw loads of funny bakes which were emailed in. The audience bakes were really funny and Jo Brand is just so down to earth and natural you just feel like you know her. She really made me laugh.

Watching the lighting and cameras was really interesting. Also the set is fab. The paintings either side of the main kitchen area are amazing and the propping is excellent. Not to mention the furniture mix.

At 8.30pm, starving hungry having just watched cake for nearly five hours it was all over. It was a great experience and I would definitely do it again. All that’s left to say is thanks Cristina for inviting us. We had a chance to have a really catch up and shared a really great experience.

images

 

An Extra Slice is a Love Films production. Tickets are still available for future shows. Visit their Facebook page for contact details.

 

EmmaMT

Darcey’s Owl Birthday cake

Darcey's Owl Birthday cake

So, here we are again. Darcey’s birthday! Eight already! Seriously when will she stop getting so big? I know she’ll never stop being cheeky. I mean just look at her weilding that knife. “I want to cut the cake right down the middle” she said. Most people say “Oh, I love the cake. I don’t want to cut it” But not my kids. Give them a knife nearly twice their size and they’ll chop right down through the head!Darcey's owl chopping cake

Darcey is mad keen on owls all of a sudden so it was a no brainer what cake she would want for her 8th Birthday sleepover party. The thing with having an August birthday is that nearly all of her friends were away on holiday when it was her party. Even Beau was at scout camp. This meant that the cake only needed to feed 4 little wrigglers.
Owl Birthday Cake

To start with we made the sky base for the stand. Darcey insisted on helping – which lasted for all of 10 minutes. We added some white balls of sugarpaste to the blue before rolling it out to create the clouds then positioned the sugarpaste onto the cake stand and cut it to fit.

TRay bake Madeira Cake

As we only needed a small cake I made a Madeira cake in a disposable tin (one of these fab ones from Lakeland) I knew I could cut out four circles to make the shape of the owl’s body. For the arms I turned the off cuts into crumbs and added a small amount of buttercream. Mixed it all together and made wings for the sides. The buttercream meant that the wings just stuck to the side of the body easily.

2

I layered up the four circles of madeira cake with raspberry jam and buttercream then shaped them so they were smooth. A quick crumb coating then the arms were added.  The chocolate sugarpaste was rolled out and placed over the whole body. I smoothed it with my hands until it was neat, then removed the excess paste. Owl cake

To decorate the wings I cut out loads and loads of leaves from blue icing and layered them up – starting at the bottom and working my way up to the top. I did the same process for the body but here I used an oval cutter. The ears and beak came next then the eyes, eyelashes and flower. To finish off I created a blossom branch with flowers for the owl to stand on. A couple of yellow feet and she was done… in the nick of time!

Darcey was pretty happy with the end result but then again she knew she would be. She drew me a plan of exactly what she wanted the cake to look like and what colour each element was to be right down to the eye lashes and flower.

Darcey's owl drawing

Happy Birthday gorgeous, cheeky, sticky Darcey doodles. We love you so.

Love Mamma

aka EmmaMT

 

 

Best for baking: Oxo Silicone spatulas

Oxo Spatula Best for baking: Oxo Silicone spatulas

I may have mentioned my mild obsession with spatulas before. Sainsburys were always my favourite and I had 5 at one point – just in case they stopped selling them. And guess what? They stopped selling them!!!! The reason I liked them so much was that they were really strong, very flexible at the tip. You can use them up to really hot temperatures and they come up like new in the dishwasher.

The new best spatula

In comes an email from the Oxo Good Grips press office about their new gizmos and gadgets and what should be there but a spanking new spatula! It’s fate. I’m currently down to three. They have new ones. It’s a match made in heaven. Three days later I received a large and small spatula in the post and you would have thought Christmas had come early from the over excited squeals coming from me. I really do need to get out more often if I get this excited about a spatula! But it was the fact that I expected one to be a good size but the second one was so tall and thin. Perfect I thought. I couldn’t wait to give them a good testing.

The testing

So, what can they do? Well, whether you’re baking or cooking they are so, so useful. As the head is made from silicone you can use it on any cook/bakeware. You can leave it sitting in a saucepan of simmering Bolognese if you want and the handle will be cool to the touch and the base will be ready to stir it all up. Let’s face it with a heat resistance of 600ºF/315ºC you can use it anywhere in the kitchen without it scratching, melting or damaging anything.

Oxo Spatula wipes cleanThe larger one is perfect for baking. You can scrape out every spec of cake mix from a bowl without a drop of licking the spoon (but that’s no fun!) The smaller ‘jar spatula is just that. Great for scooping out every morsel from any jam jar. I used it for that hard to get at bottom of the jar mayonnaise and it worked a treat.

OXO Good Grips Silicone Medium Spatula, Raspberry, £7, Amazon.co.uk

OXO Good Grips Silicone Jar Spatula, White, £13

 So the verdict? I love them, but I knew I would. I love it that the jar spatula one has such a long reaching neck that fits into any jam jar and can get into the tightest corner at the top of a jar. I love it that the ends are so flexible and that they’re both so versatile. They’re a baking kit must in this bakers opinion.

EmmaMT

x

Disclaimer: The product in this post was provided by Oxo Good Grips for review. All thoughts and opinions and entirely my own.

The Squires cake show 2014

2I’m always surprised when people ask me if I ever run out of ideas on what to write about here on CakesBakesAndCookies.com. I mean I think of my little cake blog as a bit of a cake decorators/baker’s/cook book enthusiast’s magazine type blog. I write about what interests me (as I think you’re all like me) and what I’ve been up to, so how could I ever run out of ideas? I’m always crazy busy andthere’s always so much to see, do and bake!

Every now and again I’ll start writing a blog post and I get distracted before it get’s published – usually it’s because there’s a cake to decorate or a Bake off to watch or a new decorating book out. I’ve got a list of cakes I’ve decorated on a post-it note here on my Mac just waiting to be written about. When I check my ‘drafts’ folder at the mo there are 19 posts.  Some I wrote back at the very beginning (very cringe worthy) and some not so long ago. Which is where todays post comes in.

Back at the beginning of the year Mum and I went to the Squires Cake show. How on earth did this one slip through the net? Anyway, have you ever been? It’s really good. Of all the cake shows it’s one of the most intimate and friendly. I always come away inspired not only by the many cakes on display and by the entrants to the cake competition but also by the products available to buy – there’s always something new to discover.

There are always great free workshops – we saw Mark Tilling doing a chocolate demonstration. He was really great- funny, friendly and has a wealth of clever tips from tempering chocolate properly to making chocolate nests in under a minute! I so want to get onto one of his courses.

There are also loads of suppliers demonstrating how their products work on their stands. For me this is where you pick up the most valuable lessons. How to use this and how to apply that. They’re always happy to answer any questions.

In the main hall they have the Squires products and loads of the cakes that are in the new Squires book along with many of the decorators who appear in the book and teach at the Squires school.

In all we spent a little and learnt a lot. Inspiration all around. So here’s some of the fantastic cakes on show.

Enjoy!

13 4 5 6 8I’m already looking forward to next year!

 

EmmaMT

x

Inspired Recipes : Stork Salted Caramel Marble cake

Stork Salted Caramel Marble cake. Nom nom nomHow many times have you bought some baking ingredients and seen a recipe on the side of the packaging and thought “Oooooo that looks good. I must make that some time!” and then used up the flour/sugar/butter and thrown the packaging away? Loads of times if you’re anything like me. Well, last week I picked up a tub of Stork margarine and when I went to make my cake there was a really tasty looking recipe on that paper lining you get just under the lid. “Right!” I thought. This Salted Caramel Marble cake looks totally deeelish so I AM going to make it. So I did. For camping!

Family Camping

Last weekend my family- that’s the Moomah and Poopah, my sister, her husband and son and Tim, me and the girls all went off on a camping trip to Suffolk. Now, if you live here in the UK you’ll know that it was rather wet and windy last weekend but that didn’t dampen our spirits (but it did dampen our clothes on Sunday. Actually soaked would be a better description) We had a really lovely weekend. Lots of marshmallows around the camp fire (no there wasn’t any sining) and lots of laughter. And lots of eating. I wanted to take a cake with as a treat so I baked the Stork Salted Caramel Marble cake on Thursday night and wrapped it in foil as soon as it was cool then made the icing topping Friday morning and popped it in a jam jar ready for the off. Our car was so jam packed with equipment that I had a sleeping bag and football at my feet for the entire three hour journey up there –  so a sticky cake wasn’t going to happen till we were there. I have to say I’ve never covered a cake whilst in a tent before (some may say I’m cake obsessed!) There I was hunched over the low table smearing the salted caramel icing over the cake with a plastic spoon. Was it worth it? Oh boy yes it was! Salted Caramel Marble cake The cake was incredibly light and fluffy. It tasted great.  Tim loved the salted caramel topping and combined with the dark and white chocolate cake it was a total hit on a rather chilly and windy evening. This cake is my attempt at glamping.

Slice of Stork Salted Caramel Marble cakeStork’s Salted Caramel Marble cake

Cake Ingredients

  • 175g Stork
  • 175g Caster sugar
  • 175g Self raising flour (sieved)
  • 3 Medium eggs
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 55g plain chocolate- melted
  • 55g white chocolate – melted

Salted Caramel icing Ingredients

  • 250g light soft brown sugar
  • 150ml double cream
  • 140g Stork
  • ½ tsp salt
  1. Place all the ingredients in a mixing bowl except for the chocolate and beat well until smooth. Split the mixture between two bowls and add melted dark chocolate to one and white chocolate to another.
  2. Alternate spoonfuls of mixture into a greased bottom lined 20cm (8″) cake tin and gently swirl through the mixture with a skewerMaking marble cake
  3. Bake in a pre-heated oven 170ºC, 160ºC fan for 50-60minutes. Leave to cool.
  4. To make the icing place sugar, cream and salt in a saucepan and heat until the sugar dissolves. Bubble for 3-4 minutes not stirring. Cool for 10 minutes, beat in stork. Chill until firm.
  5. Split the cake and sandwich together with half the icing. Cover the top with the remaining salted caramel icing.

I should point out that the original recipe on the packaging had a delicious looking chocolate ganache topping with truffles to finish. Although it looked amazing it was a step to far for camping so I just added the icing on the top and it was soooo good. What’s more it stayed soft for a few days. So where is the craziest place you’ve decorated a cake? I’d love to know.

EmmaMT

p.s. Thanks to Stork for allowing me to share your recipe with my readers. I’m sure they’ll love it!

Gluten free cookies from a box!

Gluten free cookiesThe first house that Tim and I ever lived in together was with some friends on a farm. There were four guys and me and each weekend all the girl friends would descend. I was at uni at the time and one weekend one of the girlfriends suggested that we make the men folk a cake. She proceeded to take out a box from the cupboard saying “I think we just need an egg and some butter?” I had never seen a cake in a box before!  Growing up in a traditional Jewish household we always baked and cooked from scratch. What on earth was a cake doing in a box?

I think I may have offended the girlfriend in question when I suggested we actually bake a cake (without the box) as it would taste better and really didn’t take much more effort. It did taste better! And I don’t think I’ve ever baked from a box before today!

Phil Vickery cookiesA while ago I went to the Squires Cake show and was given a few products to try out. In the bag was a Phil Vickery gluten free Chocolate chunk cookie mix. In a BOX! Not only is it gluten free but it’s dairy free too. I popped it in the cupboard for when I had a school cake sale to bake for. I always like to ensure the coeliacs don’t miss out. But yesterday we had Evie round to play and as she is a gluten free kid I decided to bake them right away.

Just add an egg

All you have to do is whisk up a little oil and one egg then add the dry mix from the box. Knead it with your hands to combine, roll it into a sausage and then cut slices to bake.

Baking Gluten free cookies

Once sliced I made them rounder and baked them. Luckily I left quite a bit of space around each one as they spread out quite considerably. I sliced enough to ensure each kid had two after dinner. They were really good. Just the right amount of delicate crunch on the outside and soft gooeyness on the inside. Not the normal graininess you get with gluten free baking

The verdict from the four girls around my dinner table last night? Double thumbs up!

EmmaMT

The fastest Peach pie in the world (by cheating of course!)

Quick and easy Apricot pieIt’s been a crazy couple of weeks here at MT towers. I seem to have switched off the power to say no and have been in a mist of Christmas launches, photo shoots and celebration cakes. Six cakes in 5 weeks whilst working full time to be completely honest and I’m not exactly sure how I managed that? So it should come as no surprise (especially to anyone who knows me!) that I completely forgot that I had offered to host our family Friday night dinner last weekend! Not a problem I thought – as I got off the phone from Tim – who I also hadn’t told we had the family coming round and who had to remind me.  I’ll bung a tuna pasta bake in the oven and get some ready made puff pastry and some apples and whack a pie in the oven. No problemo!

So, after whizzing into London for a planning meeting I got off the train, sprinted around Sainsburys and got everything I needed – except the apples. apricots instead! Got to school by the skin of my teeth, collected daughters and nephew then let them play in the garden at home.  I thought as it was such a hot and sunny evening we would eat alfresco and have a tuna pasta salad and an Peach pie instead. The pie took literally 5 minutes to prepare and 30 to bake. So quick. So easy. And so tasty! I even had dinner made by the time it had finished baking.

Fast Apricot pie recipe

IMG_1287

Ingredients

  • 1 pack of ready rolled puff pasty ( I did say I cheated)
  • 2 tins of peaches in natural juice
  • ½ tsp Cinnamon – or more if you like it lots
  • 20g demerara sugar (any sugar will work but demerara looks fab)
  • 1 egg – whisked

How to make the pie

  1. Pre-heat your oven to the temperature on your puff pastry packaging. Mine said 180ºC (160ºC Fan oven). Line a baking sheet with greaseproof paper
  2. Unwrap your puff pastry. I wanted to have two squares so I rolled it out a little longer. This stopped it from puffing up as much as it could have but that wasn’t a problem. I cut it in half with a pizza wheel.
  3. Drain the peaches so you don’t get a soggy bottom. Place them in a bowl and add the cinnamon and sugar (keeping a little sugar back to sprinkle on the top) mix with your hands. Cinnamon and apricot pie recipe
  4. Place the peaches on the centre of the sheet of pastry. Lay the second piece of pastry over the top and press down along the edges to seal it closed. Place your hands gently on the top and press the peaches into place so they aren’t all bunched up in the middle but are evenly spaced inside the puff pastry casing. Use a sharp knife to make slits to allow steam to escape.Apricot pie recipe
  5. Brush the whole pie with the egg wash then sprinkle the sugar over the top.
  6. Bake for 25-30 minutes or until the pie is golden brown.
  7. Serve warm with ice cream while your sister photo bombs your shot and your family wait for you to take photos of your pie for your blog at the end of their family meal! Thanks family for being so patient… and testing my recipes!

    Little sis.x

    How long before my little sister asks me to take this pic down?

 EmmaMT

x

The Black Forrest Gateau decorated cake

Best Black forrest gateaux Do you ever have one of those days when you just get a brainwave? A stroke of cake genius that you just can’t stop thinking about till you’ve baked it / tried it / tasted it? Well that’s what happened last month with the big birthdays in my family.

Tim was born on his mum’s birthday and this year it was a double whammy of BIG birthdays. Let’s just say that they are both staying 21 forever!

Tim’s mum invited us to go out for lunch to celebrate at The Bottlehouse which is an amazing pub with the most fantastic food. I made the cake – of course! Now I know I have mentioned that Tim’s favorite cake is black forrest gateau before but my dilemma was that Tim’s mum had requested a Whisky cake!  I decided to kind of mix them both up and make a very boozy Black forrest gateau in the same kind of way that I made the Whisky cake. That basically meant adding a ton of alcohol. That was my brainwave.

I used the recipe from this post and added more kirsch and cherry brandy at every chance I could. I thought this would put my girls off. Nope! I do believe I am going to have problems with Darcey when she’s a teenager! She loves the alcoholic cakes and she’s only 7!

The challengeRenshaw

It was about this time that I decided to enter the Renshaw birthday cake challenge. Perfect timing you might say. I don’t enter into competitions or challenges very often but when the challenge is something you’ve planned to do anyway you just think “Let’s go for it!”. T that and “fingers crossed!”.

I selected my Renshaw colours. Have you seen their website? I hadn’t before the challenge. I just bought my sugarpastes from the local cake decorating shop, but they do tons more colours and products than I was aware of. Thirty six colour to be precise.  Jade green or tropical coral anyone?

For this cake I used:

  • Duck egg blue for the cake board. I wanted something that would look good for boys and girls and duck egg blue looks so good with brown.
  • Chocolate brown This tastes really good. It’s probably the best tasting ready roll out there.
  • White for the cream topping
  • Poppy Red for the cherries, but I could have chosen Ruby red.

 

How to make the decorated Black Forrest Gateau cake

The cake recipe

  • 225g butter, at room temperature
  • 225g caster sugar
  • 160g  self-raising flour
  • 65g cocoa powder
  • ½ tsp baking powder
  • 4 medium eggs
  • 1 tbsp kirsch
  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C (160°C fan). Grease 2 x 8 inch round tins and line the base with baking paper. You can use two tins and cut the cake in half through the middle, or if you have enough tins bake four separate ones.
  2. Blend the butter and sugar together.
  3. Add in the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder and eggs and blend until smooth.
  4. Add the kirsch
  5. Divide the mix into the cake tins and smooth it flat.
  6. Bake for 20–25 minutes until the cakes start to come away from the sides.
  7. Leave them to cool for 5 minutes before turning them out onto a wire rack to cool completely. Make sure you remove the baking paper so the cake doesn’t ‘sweat’.

The filling recipe

  • 340g jar of morello cherry jam (any cherry jam will work)
  • 3 tbsp kirsch
  1. Place the jam in a saucepan on a low heat with the Kirsch until it melts. Set aside to cool then place between each cake layer.

The chocolate cherry ganache recipe

  • 50g butter
  • 100g dark chocolate
  • 1 tbsp cherry brandy
  • 100g icing sugar
  • 1 tbsp milk to soften if neccesary
  1. Place the chocolate and butter in a saucepan over a low heat until they are completely melted. Stir continuously. Add the Cherry brandy then set aside to cool for a few minutes. 
  2. Sieve the icing sugar into a bowl then add the chocolate mix. Whisk until combined then add a little milk at a time. The ganache should look glossy. 
  3. Leave to cool for a few minutes before covering your cake completely with a crumb coat and then a thicker coat. Chill the cake in the fridge in between each layer of buttercream. 

The Black forrest Gateaux cake

Cover the cake in chocolate sugarpaste, smooth and remove the excess.

The cherries

To make the cherries: roll out some red sugarpaste between two spacers. This will give an even thickness so when you cut out circles with a cutter and then roll them into balls each cherry will be exactly the same size.

I wanted the cherries to be a darker shade on one side making them look more realistic. So I got my air brush gun out. This was it’s first outing and I have to say it was really, really easy to use and I pretty much got the desired effect straight away. It was good fun too. I’d been avoiding using it for ages as I didn’t know how it worked.  Now it’s all I want to do.

The Black forrest Gateaux cake

I sprayed the sides of each cherry with a mixture of red and a drop of black food dye until they looked darker and glossier. I then left them overnight to harden up and dry up. 

A few days earlier I made the cherry stems and stuck them in the dips in the cherries before the cherries dried.  Make the stems by rolling out some green and brown sugarpaste. Squidge them together and roll until the stem is the desired length. Add a tiny bit of brown at the tip and leave to dry.

Create swirls of cream with rolled out white sugarpaste. Don’t make the ‘cream’ too tall or it won’t look quite right. I used royal icing to ‘glue’ the cherries in place.

The Black forrest Gateaux cake

To make the cream topping I rolled out the white sugarpaste into a rough circle then used a circle cutter to create some dribbles. Smooth the edge of the cream with your fingers then place over the chocolate sugarpaste. If the cream needs securing brush the underside with a little water.

Add the cherries and swirls of cream and you’re done.

The Black forrest Gateaux cake

This cake turned out really well. It was really moist and rich – which Tim loved and I think his mum liked it too! Darcey definitely did! black forrest gateau

Happy Birthday gorgeous bloke. x

 

EmmaMT

x

Ask the Expert: Lindy Smith

Lindy Smith - cake decorator extrordinaireLindy Smith is a world renowned cake decorator with a ton of books under her belt. And when I say a ton I mean A TON!! The latest Creative Colour for Cake Decorating  has won her the prestigious International Gourmand Cookbook Award.

I met Lindy at a press launch a few months back. She was doing a demonstration and the PR girl kept saying ‘Lindy has been doing this with the sugarpaste cutters’ and ‘Lindy has been doing that with the cookie shapers’ and I just stood there thinking – “that’s not THE Lindy Smith? Is it?” but it was and I couldn’t believe it. She was so down to earth – but then let’s face it all cakey people are pretty lovely (aren’t we?)

Me & Lindy

We chatted for a while and I told her about the cake Darcey requested for her 7th birthday party last year. Not one of mine, not a Darcey imaginative idea but one of Lindy’s. She wanted the whale from Lindy’s book Party animals . The girls love to pour over cake books whilst eating their morning cereal choosing what they want next year. Usually they change their minds on a daily basis but not this time. The whale was very cute and I was happy with the end result.

Whale cake

  So, never one to miss an opportunity I asked if I could interview Lindy for this here blog and she kindly said yes so here it is. Lindy  shares her passions and inspiration behind her beautiful cake designs with us.

How did you get into baking and cake decorating?

I have baked ever since I was old enough to hold a wooden spoon! I was lucky, both my mother and grandmother were keen bakers so learning to bake cakes was all part of growing up. As for cake decorating, I was inspired by my own wedding cake to take evening classes in cake decorating. I fell in love with the craft right from my very first lesson, which was how to make sugarpaste – no manufactured paste available then!! I have tried many crafts over the years but sugarcraft is the one that I love the most, it combines my love of baking, art and design and colour, what could be more perfect?

Who inspires you most in the cake decorating arena?

I have had the privilege of meeting many many talented sugarcrafters from around the globe from Brazil to Australia, Canada to Portugal.  These peoples work is amazing, but when it comes to inspiration for my own cakes I like to look to the world of art and design and beyond. I strive to be different and take influences from what I am drawn to, whether it’s a flower in my garden, a piece of wrought iron work or an elaborate wall paper.

What do you do for fun?

To de-stress and relax I like to spend time outside in my garden, cultivating colourful and scented flowers and tasty organic vegetables. My garden is where I forget all the trails and tribulations of everyday life and just concentrate on the job in hand whether its pricking out delicate seedlings or attacking an over grown bush with a pruning saw.

Lindy Smith Owl cake

owl cake detailWhere is your favourite place to go out for dinner?

Well, I recently moved house so I’m in the process of finding new places to eat out. But a place we discovered whilst house hunting and one we’ve been back to on numerous occasions for lunch is the Ludlow Kitchen. It serves amazingly tasty, local fresh food – fabulous

What kitchen gadget could you not live without and why?

My Kenwood mixer, my old one packed up at Christmas after 25 years service and I was totally lost without it!

What’s your favorite meal?

I like to eat a wide variety of food from grilled fish to marinated venison, food that is fresh and full of flavour. I love sampling new dishes and trying new flavour combinations. But actually what I miss most when I’m working away from home is beautifully cooked fresh vegetables!

What’s your favorite dessert?

I have two favourite desserts: the fabulous sticky toffee pudding served with a really good vanilla ice-cream and the gorgeously decedent baked but gooey chocolate fondant – what a treat!

Are you a Tea or coffee drinker?

Both! If I am out I will always try and find a good local coffee shop – a real treat for me is a superbly blended cappuccino, it’s an art! I’m quite experimental when it comes to tea, in my kitchen at any one time I will have between 6 and 10 varieties of loose leaf tea ranging from say a first flush darjeeling tea to jasmine silver tip china tea. 

How long did the book take to write?

This was quite an involved book so from conception to repro took 16 months. Although I created the cakes and wrote the text over an 8 month period

Were there any major disasters when working on the book?

 No major disasters per say but I did start afresh with the peacock cake. Originally I was using much stronger colours and larger cakes but the overall effect wasn’t elegant enough so I scaled down the cake sizes and brought a fresh look to the colours – I’m thrilled with the result

What is your favourite cake design in the book?

I am really pleased with how the peacock inspired cake turned out but my favourite has to be my carved owl cake, he has such character.

Tell us about the International Gourmand Cookbook Award for Best Pastry Sweets Book in the UK.

The Gourmand World Cookbook Awards were started in 1995 by founder and President Edouard Cointreau, whose family have owned vineyards since 1270 and are probably best known for Cointreau liqueur and the Frapin and Remy Martin cognac brands. The awards are seen by many to be the Oscars of the food industry, so I am really thrilled to have won the Pastry Sweets category for the UK, especially as its such a large category and cake decorating only constitutes a small part 

What’s next on the Lindy Smith to do list?

 I have a lot happening this year, but I’m currently working on my next book which is being launched at the Cake international exhibition at the NEC in November. I am also in the process of finalising images and text for a Lindy Smith 2015 calender which is being produced as a licensed product – my first foray into licensing, which is all very exciting.

Creative Colour for Cake Decorating, Lindy Smith (David & Charles) available from all good booksellers or online at http://www.stitchcraftcreate.co.uk

Lindy Smith peacock cake Lindy Smith Peacock cake EmmaMT

x

My very first ‘Free Cake For Kids’ cake

I was really excited earlier this week to be able to make my very first ‘Free Cakes For Kids‘ birthday cake. I’ve been wanting to make one for ages but the requests have all come in when I was either shooting or away or had another cake on the go – and let’s face it one cake at a time is probably best when you work elsewhere full time!

The cake request came in and the details I were given were that the little girl likes pink, butterflies and would love a heart shaped cake. So I set to!

I covered the cake board in light pink icing then cut out a piece of paper that mimiced the shape of the board. I have a heart shaped tin but it isn’t a great shape so I used it anyway and cut a better heart shape out of it. I did toy with the idea of making a square and round cake and cutting the round in half to make a heart shape but whatever way I tried it it just wouldn’t work out. It was either too big or had too much waste. My old heart shaped tin was perfect in the end and only gave a few off cuts (much to Beau’s disgust!) I then gave it a crumb coating.

FCFK1Now, all I needed to do was a second coat of buttercream to get a really good smooth base and then cover it in sugarpaste. I made the hearts and butterfly decorations the day before I made the cake so they had time to firm up enough to be handled without breaking.

FCFK4Once the cake was smooth and I had positioned it on the cake board I stuck on the heart shapes around the outer edge with Royal Icing. I then added the mini hearts and butterflies to the hearts and voila!

FCFK5

How cool is this ribbon that the head of Free Cakes For Kids Bromley had made up to go around our cake boards? Gives them a really professional look don’t you think? FCFK Ribbon

I delivered the cake on Monday and the feedback has been great but I have to say that whenever I deliver a cake and there’s a big smile it just makes my day!

If you want to join ‘Free Cakes For Kids‘ check out the website for your closest branch – they’re everywhere now.

EmmaMT

x

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

1 2 3 23

%d bloggers like this: