Friday, 26 November 2010

Let it Snow

It really feels like winter has arrived here finally. We had our first snowfall of winter yesterday and it all looks so Christmassy. Freezing cold, but beautiful.

I have been really busy in the Cakery this week too, getting even more orders for my Christmas Cakes and Puddings ready. I have totally fell in love with Christmas Pudding making this year, too. I'm using a recipe that is a little bit more modern than some (which often contain suet and breadcrumbs). Mine just uses self raising flour and I think this makes the pudding so much lighter and less stodgy-I've eaten quite a few already in the name of research (!) and I'm still really enjoying them-especially in this weather. There's something really old-fashioned feeling and satisfying about getting a huge big bowl and just stirring everything together before steaming the little basins for hours and hours. One more batch to make today, then we're going sledging....

Wednesday, 10 November 2010

Stirring up for Christmas

Last week, I got started with the Christmas Cakes and Puddings. I have had a pile of orders already for lots of different types (gluten free, nut free, etc, etc...the list goes on!) Anyway, I have already made quite a few and they are just 'sleeping' (as I like to think of it!) in their tins while I feed them regularly with Brandy in preparation for the Big Day. All this Christmas baking has made me think that the great thing about baking for a living is that you can totally and unashamadly immerse yourself in the festive spirit of things a long way before it's actually decent to do so-Christmas, Easter, Halloween, Bonfire Night...I'm thinking about them months in advance in anticipation and that's just the way I like it.

After much testing (spanning quite a few years!), I'm making my cakes and puddings to a recipe that is part -Delia, part -Rachel and part- my Mum's and I'm icing them in a variety of ways-some just with almonds dropped in before they bake like a Dundee Cake, some with glazed nuts or fruit and some with some full on sugar paste decorations that I am learning to make in my wonderful SugarCraft Night Class. I know it sounds very old fashioned but I can't recommend these classes enough if you're interested in cakes and cake decorating and general crafty things like that-all I can say is you'll be amazed what you can make with some sugar paste (pictures to follow next week when I finish my latest creation.)

Monday, 1 November 2010

A Trip to the South Coast and Fish and Chips for Supper

We have been away for a really lovely holiday on the South Coast (hence the lack of Blogging!) The weather was absolutely fantastic-more like Summer than Autumn/Winter and we had lots of gorgeous walks on the beaches.
We also went to some really gorgeous foodie shops and ate some amazing meals (best of all, a huge portion of Fish and Chips after another walk on the beach-I don't think there are many things that taste as good).

Purely on the grounds of research, of course, we also ate some amazing cakes! We had a trip up to London and went to the very lovely and inspirational Primrose Bakery: their chocolate cupcakes are highly reccommended!

and also to the equally delicious Hope and Greenwood for another retro-glam sugar fix!