Wednesday, 26 January 2011

Valentine's cupcake giveaway and all things pretty

I recently got together with Kerry from The Blossom Tree and we did a little photoshoot with cupcakes, flowers and a sprinkling of old fashioned sweets and vintage china too! I also used some lovely party picks that Joanne from the fab Vintage Twee made especially for this shoot, so thank you very much to her! and you can see in one of the photos that I have used my amazing Vintage and Cake sign made for me by Vicky Trainor. I won a giveaway on her lovely blog and this was the prize! All in all I am very happy with the results of the photoshoot so thank you to Ben my ace boyfriend/photographer!

This blog isn't however just about me bigging myself and The Blossom Tree up oh no, its about another giveaway for you all! I will be giving one of you fellow bloggers and readers the chance to win 4 Valentine's cupcakes, all you have to do is follow me, leave a comment making sure you include your email address and that's it!

This giveaway is for UK followers only I am afraid.

I will be drawing the winner randomly on the 5th February, so get your comments in before that please! I will then announce the cupcake winner on my blog so make sure you keep your peepers out for that.

Good luck everyone

Julie x

Friday, 21 January 2011

Vintage rose and pearl cupcakes

I designed these for a wedding consultation that I have tomorrow. The cupcakes are a mixture of lemon drizzle, vanilla and chocolate, my bride and groom to be will also be treated to some lovely fruit cake too!

The large rose is made with layers of thinly rolled out florist paste using rose cutters and shaped using a bone tool (brilliant tool!) it is then assembled and the petals eased out as necessary.

The little party pick that you see with 'love is sweet' is from the fantastic Joanne over at Vintage Twee. You will be hearing more from her work in my next Valentine's blog!

Well tomorrow I shall be up bright and early and the table will be set with tea and cake galore!!

Sign up for more vintage and cake news here!


Tuesday, 18 January 2011

Shells and Seahorses wedding cake and cupcakes

Lovely seashells and seahorse wedding cake with a gigantic sugar bow on top!

The top tier is a rich fruit cake and the cupcakes are chocolate and vanilla topped with sugary sea life!

Monday, 17 January 2011

High Tea and Afternoon Tea... what's the difference?

I have been meaning to write this blog for quite some time now and well, here it is!

I wanted to outline the distinct differences between afternoon tea and high tea so with the help of Helen Simpson who wrote the wonderful book 'The Ritz London Book Of Afternoon Tea' given to me by my boyfriends lovey grandma this Christmas I shall tell you!

Afternoon Tea

Traditionally this meal was served at 4 o'clock due to Anna, the Duchess of Bedford growing so very tired of the 'sinking feeling' in her poor tummy at around this time. In 1840 she simply decided enough was enough; she was famished so she plucked up the courage to ask for a tray of tea, bread and butter and cake to be brought to her room. Goodness me she was cheeky! Once this habit had been formed she just could not break it and soon it spread amongst her lady friends who started donning long, frilly gowns for the occasion. Tea services kept up to with side plates, bread and butter plates, cake stands and every other accompaniment you could think of. The china was always delicate and the chat kept light with a side of gossip.

Afternoon tea
to this day is a graceful event and brings people together to really chat about life and love over a comforting cuppa and a slice of cake.

High Tea

Unlike the Afternoon tea, High Tea is certainly not a dainty affair. It is usually served at 6 o'clock and divides day from night. It is a very hearty meal, so much so that dinner isn't always a necessity.

What you will find at High Tea...

Heavy brown Firestone teapots with ridiculously strong tea, as they say 'to trot a mouse on' (who says that?) large white, crisp tablecloths, smoked hams, egg and bacon pies, wedges of cheese, potted shrimps, kippers, bread and butter with pots of jam and full bodied fruit cakes.

What you will NOT find at High Tea...

Delicate fingers hooked through pretty bone china, social chit chat or little cakes and scones.

So there you have it the differences are pretty distinct and traditionally they were and still are a very different type of meal in both food, tea and conversation!

Thursday, 13 January 2011

Wedgwood wedding cake

Here is my latest cake... a Wedgwood inspired 4 tier cake. This is actually a dummy cake made for me to practice my skills as I have a real order for one this summer and of course I wanted to photograph it and blog about it. I also wanted to see if I could achieve the right blue and I think I did with lots of royal blue gel colour and a hint of black, I think that is a pretty good Wedgwood blue even though I do say so myself!

The bottom tier are some lovely vintage moulds that I received just before Christmas so was itching to use. The second tier is delicate roses and blossoms arranged in a swag, a very typical Wedgwood style. The third tier is my Wedgwood Cameo brooch pushed into the icing and the top tier are little cameo moulds.

I have to say that I found it much harder to ice a foam cake than an actual one and no way near as satisfying but I am glad I have the dummies now as I will be experimenting with lots of different designs in the next few weeks to photograph and take to my next vintage wedding fair in Lemington Spa on 10th April.

I love Wedgwood and have had my lovely Wedgwood Cameo brooch for years now, my friends gave me a collection of them in fab vintage tins for my 24th Birthday, it was the best present ever. I am a big fan of wearing a brooch, it makes any outfit stand out.

See...a vintage brooch brightens up this outfit!

So I would like to thank you Josiah Wedgwood for playing with barium sulphate (caulk) and producing Jasperware, which is the blue and white ornaments, china, jewellery and now cakes that we see today and adore!

Wednesday, 12 January 2011

How about a giant cupcake wedding cake?

This wedding cake is certainly one to impress your wedding guests, you can have it in whatever colour you fancy! You could even top it with sugar designs of your choice.

The giant cupcake in this photo is a Madeira cake and the cupcakes are all chocolate, vanilla and lemon topped with luscious buttercream.

I love making this particular cake as the giant cupcake is incredibly satisfying to ice, lots and lots of lovely buttercream, this cake makes me smile!

Just thought I would share this one with you


Monday, 3 January 2011

A white rose wedding cake

Christmas wasn't all about the eating and chilling out for me, oh no there was work to be done as weddings took place over the festive period, well on the 28th December anyway!

I had two weddings on this date one was for a large vintage china order for a British themed wedding, delivered to a lovely village hall in Nottingham (sorry no photos as yet!) and one was for a very simple yet elegant white sugar rose stacked wedding cake. So on the day after Boxing day it was back into the kitchen for me and then 7 hours later this cake emerged!

I must say I do find it rather a challenge stacking wedding cakes as there are so many processes involved and the doweling and icing is key so that your cake doesn't sink at the venue, that would be a nightmare, in fact I do actually have nightmares about that happening or the cake falling when the couple go to cut it, luckily that has never happened and I will make sure it never happens!

This cake had 3 layers, the bottom was a rich fruit cake, the 2nd and 3rd tiers were a simple vanilla sponge with whipped vanilla bean buttercream. I set it up at Donington Park Farmhouse, one of my favourite venues in Derbyshire as the staff are great and the place is so cosy. This couple had their wedding in the old piggeries and it was gorgeous, very lovely for a cold winters day.

My next wedding cake is another shells and starfish cupcakes with top tier, I love making that cake. The fruit cake is already made and maturing nicely!

Happy New Year everyone and please check back for my New Year giveaway soon!