Saturday, 4 September 2010

My Baking Adventures!

I have always loved baking and because I know my creations taste great, I have never been too fussed about how they look. My housemate (who is very into baked goods and their appearances) has actually laughed at my cakes a few times. This one time, at band camp it was a Victoria Sponge which had risen in the oven and then fallen as soon as I took it out so it was too thin to slice in two. 'No biggie', I thought, 'I'll just put the cream and strawberries on top in the manner of a tart'. And I was perfectly happy with this until my housemate came in, took one look at it, pointed with one hand and burst out laughing while trying to stifle his laughter with the other hand. Another time, I had made a layer cake but only had enough frosting to cover the top of it so the sides were frosting-less - he said it looked half naked! But it never bothered me ... until I started baking cupcakes. Because let's be honest, cupcakes are all about appearances! A layer cake will always taste better than a cupcake but what cupcakes have is the potential to look so amazing that you actually have a pang of regret when you bite into them. And now I'm very into appearances, not just of my cupcakes but all my cakes!

There are some really talented bakers around like Faithy The Baker and 4 Goodness Cake and they have inspired me to work on learning to frost cakes so that one day I too might make incredible cake creations just like theirs! But practice makes perfect so there is a lot of baking and frosting in my future before I'm even close. Starting with a cupcake decorating course at the make lounge in November - I can't wait! If anyone knows of any other good cake decorating or even baking courses in London, please do let me know! I might invest in a 'cake decorating for dummies' book after in order to continue learning and progressing. Again, if anybody can recommend any good BEGINNERS cake decorating books, then please let me know.

I'm sure it's not coincidence that I'm trying to improve my craft around the same time that I have realised that I would like to take this baking thing more seriously and start baking for parties and events from home. I had a taste of mass baking the last couple of weekends. I made a huge, rather rude cake for a friend's Hen Party a couple of weekends ago despite much initial protest on my part that I had never made a willy cake and wouldn't even know where to start. After much discussion with my cousin (who begged, pleaded and cajoled me into making the cake), I decided to make a vanilla sponge cake with a strawberry cream filling and vanilla buttercream icing using the recipe for the vanilla cupcakes I blogged about here. And then for the piece de resistance, we bought a willy mould into which I poured melted chocolate and voila – an 8 inch chocolate willy! Due to the fact that I’d like my blog to have a U rating, I’m not going to post pictures but email me if you’d like to see one!

My baking the following weekend was more family friendly – 60 cupcakes; half of them vanilla with vanilla buttercream frosting (as per my previous post) and half red velvet with cream cheese frosting (which I’ll blog about in the future). Despite only being able to bake 12 at a time, I really enjoyed the process and it seemed everyone really enjoyed the results!

So if you’re in London and you need some cupcakes, a cake, anything baked really, for an event or party, let me know!

In other news, Nigella has a new book out; Kitchen: Recipes from the Heart of the Home which has been promptly added to my Amazon wish list! Bring on Christmas or Amazon might send me an angry email telling me to stop adding books to my wish list unless I start buying books from it!
Have an amazing weekend and week people!


Adura said...

Yay! I'm placing an order soon, actually... I'm calling you tomorrow. A friend's birthday is coming up :)

And your meatpies are yummy!

Sese Akuse said...

Mmm! I must agree, ur cakes are wonderful, I love baking too and this has inspired me to continue till they are perfect like urs!
Ps id love to see the picture of the ahem 'rude cake'

faithy, the baker said...

Your cupcakes look delicious! Nigella has a new book? I must go check it out! I have all her books and i admire that woman greatly! :D

inStilettos said...

hmmm! they do look amazing! Have an event on the 16th of Oct and I was going to place a pretty impressive 'cupcake' order with 'Hummingbird'... you might just get an e mail! well done!

Ms Afropolitan said...

the course sounds so exciting - enjoy! it all sounds like a delicious amount of fun, I'll bear you in mind for events that require fabulous bakery.

Mari said...

Well done, Vickii! You are doing a great job with the baking. I'm so happy and proud :) BTW where's the meat pie recipe? If you dont wanna share your secret, email it to me, plssss!!!!

Chacha said...

I absolutely love that this has turned into a small business. It's great to get paid for doing what you love. Ermm when can you arrive next Spring...:)