Monday, 25 October 2010

Hen party ideas

Cupcake decorating with a vintage afternoon tea is a very lovely and might I add very civilised way to spend your hen party. This group of ladies organised their hen do in record time but it all went very well indeed! The champagne was flowing, one of the ladies even brought her homemade Elderflower champers along for everyone to enjoy. There was lots of tea and cakes piled up on pretty vintage cake stands. The room looked gorgeous and then the icing sugar and edible glitter were opened and every where was covered! If you don't get covered in buttercream and icing sugar whilst doing this workshop then you haven't worked hard enough quite frankly!

I held this particular workshop at a beautiful place called New Farm, it is owned and run by Chris who is a top chef. It is a unique barn conversion on the rural border of Staffordshire and Derbyshire. They offer exclusive private dining and also provide external catering to stately homes and other venues.

I had such a nice day teaching these ladies and I must say they produced some amazing designs; none of them have ever done it before either so I was very impressed! I ran a little competition for the best decorated cupcakes and you can see the winner pictured here. They won a little teacup and saucer candle from Kate Aspen Uk.

The winner of my little competition

The hen, Lauren is getting married in November and I hope she has a wonderful day! she has lots of really lovely friends to share it with.

Congratulations Lauren, all the best for your wedding day!


The finished cupcakes!

Monday, 18 October 2010

Christmas cake baking!

I know some of you may simply not want to even hear the word mentioned... but I couldn't resist a little blog about... Christmas! I have been baking Christmas cakes every day for the past week and my final ones are now happily baking in the oven.

I absolutely love the whole process of baking fruit cakes as they remind me of baking them with my mum when I was young. We would have a ritual every year in November when my dad was out at work and my brothers were staying with friends. We would soak the fruits the night before which was so satisfying and the smell... divine! Then we would mix and blend and chop and get it in the oven, once it was safely baking away we would watch films and eat crisp sandwiches (nice and healthy!) after about 30 minutes of baking, we could start to smell that beautifully homely smell, 5 hours later... it was done. As I write I can smell that same nostalgic smell of Christmas and feeling all warm and cosy at home!

I soak my fruits in brandy and then feed my cakes several times before Christmas, but you can of course soak them in whatever you fancy.

I will be at Kedleston Christmas Craft fair on the 27th and 28th November, with my individually iced Christmas cakes, some of the designs are pictured here. It will be a lovely event so I hope you can make it.