Friday, 26 September 2014

Wedding Cake

Earlier in the year I had the enormous pleasure of making a wedding cake for a colleague. As you can see there was a bit of a Dr Who theme!

The botton tier was a 12" chocolate sponge and the top was an 8" victoria sponge. I'd not made this quantity or size of cake before, nevermind decorated one. I don't tend to do many fully iced cakes, just the odd few at Christmas and they're usually round, so I was really pleased with the finish I managed on these.

I'm afriad I can't take credit for the gorgeous toppers - these were from Eternal Cake Toppers. I think having their doggies on the cake was a lovely touch!

I loved the experience of doing this, and it was wonderful to see so many people enjoying and appreciating something that I'd created, but it reaffirmed that I much prefer baking as a hobby!

Friday, 19 September 2014

Brambling at Mill Road Cemetery

A fair few weeks ago I went blackberry picking at the local cemetery. There were lots of big juicy blackberries to be had.

The cemetery is a little haven away from the hustle and bustle of Mill Road. It's a lovely place to go for a little wander.

As might be expected, it's a tranquil place. There are intricately carved monuments and headstones in almost every direction.

I love the textures and pinches of colour you stumble upon here and there.

A lot of the blackberries (or brambles if you're from Up North like me) were ripe for picking and dropped off the branches with ease.

If you live in Cambridge and have never been, I highly recommend a visit. To find out more take a look at the Mill Road Cemetery website.

I managed to fill my jug to the brim! I went again a couple of weeks ago and there wasn't all that many so it's just as well I got in there early.

I used some of my haul to make some blackberry syrup which I've used in cocktails and desserts. The rest went into some blackberry and apple gin. I've not made it before (I used this recipe) and I can't wait to try it - roll on Christmas!

Tuesday, 2 September 2014

A very special Birthday

A few weeks back we celebrated a very special lady celebrated a very special Birthday. Mr Makes Nan turned 100! I know, amazing right?! She is an incredible person who never fails to make me smile with all the tales she has to tell about her life.

To mark the occasion a party was held on a hot weekend in July, which meant everyone could enjoy themselves outside in the garden. It was a wonderful day with masses of tasty food and great live music provided by the very talented musicians in the family.

There was plenty of punch to be had and, after a delicious buffet, there were too many desserts to choose from, which *obviously* meant I had to try a little bit of everything (with the exception of anything with strawberries as I'm allergic).

Virginia's key lime pie

Judith's fruity pavlovas

my lemon curd merigues

strawberry cheesecake

and it wouldn't be a party without a giant chocolate cake! It was so hot I thought the ganache would never set but it eventually did. It was a big old cake - 24cm wide and 14cm tall - but it disappeared pretty quickly once the candles had been blown out!

Thursday, 28 August 2014

Out and about in sunny Cambridge

Cambridge is such a beautiful city and an amazing place to live. We've just bought our very first home here (eeek!) and in between all the moving chaos and attempts at DIY we've been out and about enjoying Cambridge in the sunshine. 

There have been bike rides and kayaking expeditions to Grantchester for picnics on the meadows, trips to Museums, leisurely walks and plenty of pit stops for foodie treats.

Delicious beef concoctions and gin at The Pint Shop during Cambridge Food Festival.

Scrummy peach and almond cake from Afternoon Tease.

Carved unicorn at Great St Mary's Church. For any Cambridge folks reading this, there will be an Elizabethan pageant here on Saturday 13 September - check out Heritage at Great St Mary's for details.

Stamps in Antarctica exhibition at The Polar Museum.

I love cycling past this every day!

A walk along the river by Jesus Green.

Wednesday, 11 June 2014

Pikmin Birthday Cake

A few weeks back it was the Mr's Birthday. It was a big one, thirty! We celebrated with a tasty homemade Sunday roast with family and a London adventure with friends. Of course, there was chocolate cake too. Being the nerds that we are, the cake theme was video game inspired, as recently one of our favourite games to play together is Pikmin 3.

I used BBCgoodfood's recipe for the ultimate chocolate cake and it turned out wonderfully. It's a heavenly rich, dense cake. I had to be quick to get a photo of the inside. It was like feeding time at the zoo.

Friday, 6 June 2014

Bits and bobs (mostly baked goods)

It's been a busy few months. I've not done as much baking and making as I'd have liked, but I did manage a couple of new things.

I've wanted to make battenberg for the longest time. My mum bought me a special tin ages ago and a couple of months back I finally used it. This recipe on bbcgoodfood worked wonderfully. It turned out much bigger than I anticipated, about 10cm tall.

I made heart shaped custard creams for Valentine's Day and hot cross buns at Easter. In amongst all this there was time for the odd coffee at Afternoon Tease. I also gave these bagels a go. And yes, that is a slightly wonky Tardis cake.

In other news the Mr had a big Birthday - 30! There was a video game inspired cake and Ghostbusters-themed presents. I will post some photos very soon!

Tuesday, 3 June 2014

Edible Masterpieces

Earlier this month I encouraged my colleagues to get their bake on for the Art Fund's Edible Masterpieces. Four of us took on the challenge, as the rest of HLFEoE no doubt went off in search of suitably loose/elasticated clothing to wear on the day.

Ana produced Alfred Wallace's The Blue Ship on ginger cake (above). It looked stunning and was bloomin' delicious.

Robyn recreated an East of England treasure, the Sutton Hoo mask, in pizza form. She also made a sheild (see last photo), and her masterpieces were all the more authentic as she had used Woodbridge Tide Mill flour.

Sophie created a beautiful Henri Matisse Blue Nude on a marzipan covered sponge cake. Great British Bake Off winner Frances Quinn was similarly inspired, baking a Blue-berry Nude cheesecake.

I decorated my salted caramel and pecan brownie with the policeman on a bicycle from Edward Bawden's Ives Farmhouse.

Everyone did a great job and I think we were all impressed with each and every one of our creations. We gained half a stone each and raised a tidy little sum to help support UK museums and galleries to buy and show great art. The office was buzzing but people refused to vote for a winner declaring them all masterpieces!

Friday, 17 January 2014

Happy New Year

Although we’re more than half way through January already (eeek!), I’d like to wish all you lovely readers the very best for 2014. I’m not quite sure where the time has gone these past few months. This little blog of mine has been somewhat neglected. It’s not that I haven’t been up to creative things. I’ve been baking and creating as usual whenever there’s been time, but I've had a lot of otherthings going on and blogging just hasn’t been at the top of my priorities.
I do love being able to look back on the things I’ve done, and on top of that hopefully people enjoy hearing about it too. I’ll try to be a better blogger this year. So to start 2014 I’d really like to share some of the creative things from 2013 that I didn’t get around to blogging about. Here's to another year of cake, crochet and creativity! 


baby blanket I made at the Cambridge Etsy Craft Party

Kahlua brownies

churro layer cake
crochet bobble blanket (ahem... still in progress!)

sausage rolls

Christmas bauble macarons

mini panettone

my attempt at Kimberley Wilson's brioche wreath
Christmas pudding macarons