Every day, cake bakers such as myself post pictures of beautiful creations on websites and facebook. These are blogged and tweeted out, pinned and shared.
But we rarely see – or hear – what lies behind these glossy images – until now!
Some of you may be familiar with my “other” blog which is where thoughts such as this would more usually be shared. But to amuse those of you who follow Filled With Love here is a summary of today’s fun and games!
It all began yesterday if I am honest. I had been asked to create a set of cupcakes with babies on the top. But the babies were to be of different ethnic origins. I messed around for ages with food colouring but somehow things went horribly wrong. Late last night I was remoulding them in chocolate fondant which tastes wonderful and hopefully looked the part too.
Up early this morning to bake thirty cakes for a thirtieth birthday party. And the cakes to nestle the babies on. Somehow my brain wasn’t computing properly and I hadn’t baked enough. Neither did they rise as I would have wished, but I cut one in half to test and taste and it was divine. The rind of three fresh lemons had been grated into the batter and you could taste the fresh citrus flavour! Not to mention the home made lemon curd I’d squeezed into the centre (remind me to blog about the sauce bottle…)
This order was needed in Waterloo by lunchtime so I dropped everything to catch the tube to and from Starbucks where the handover took place.
Then back to leafy Croxley Green and the realisation my sugar and chocolate fondant babies were too big to sit on a standard cupcake!
Another batch later – baked in large foil cases with 48g of batter in each and high fondant tops levelled to make a surface for them – the babies were settled. Have to say I was pleased and I think the recipient liked them.
But we both smiled when we realised just how dark the chocolate had dried. I need to work on my use of food colourings if I am to make more babies in future…
Loved making these very pretty girlie cupcakes for three very special ladies celebrating their birthdays today.
Definitely gaining confidence with the large orders – three flavours here and a variety of designs. More in the gallery.
Still pondering the price though…
Spent several hours making the flowers, then baked the cakes and of course filled them. Lemon curd in the lime and coconut cakes, rasberry conserve in the vanilla cakes, and chocolate hazelnut in the chocolate cakes.
Half are decorated with buttercream swirls, half with embossed fondant domes over more buttercream. All the buttercream is hand made with unsalted butter and icing sugar which of course creates a cloud to clear up in the kitchen!
Then the fun starts – like being back at school sticking the flowers on with edible glue!
Then they are chilled before packing and delivering or being collected. This time around I also made the cake toppers with the various ages on.
So how much would you expect to pay for fifty cakes like this…? I think my prices are reasonable – but I am looking at how to reduce the price for my customers by offering various options such as unfilled cakes, plain buttercream swirls with sprinkles as decoration, hire of plastic boxes to save on packaging costs etc
All comments welcome and if you haven’t already please complete this survey for the chance to win six cupcakes! If it doesn’t click then just copy and paste the link into your browser http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/G9JZ3RR
Loved making these cakes for an 80th birthday. Been a while since I did such an elaborate bespoke order and was lots of fun!
Do you have a birthday or other special occasion coming up? Would you like to treat your team/office/family to some very special cupcakes?
If so do get in touch firstname.lastname@example.org as I’d love to hear from you!
If you live in Croxley we could discuss your order over a cuppa maybe?
Friday was pretty manic – with the Giant Cupcake and Cake Pops. There were a couple of birthday orders too – the cake stand above is full of baby cupcakes for a 60th birthday – lots of fun to do and looked really spectacular!
As did the red, white, blue and gold themed cakes for an 18th birthday… some of my favourites so far just because of their clean simplicity and, having tasted one, absolute scrumminess!
It’s important for a chef to taste their food. I was taught this years ago working in a large kitchen catering for students and conferences.
I’m good at checking buttercream for sweetness and consistency. I always bake an extra cake when trying a new recipe to check the sponge for texture and flavour. But only very rarely do I eat a whole cake.
I just did – and believe me – it was delicious. Light sponge, delicious strawberry filling and buttercream so fluffy and with just enough vanilla flavour. I could have eaten another one – or three…
If you want one get in quick – there is a batch waiting for you at Coco or you can order them for local delivery/collection or next day post. Just email email@example.com
Meanwhile – some new lines…
Almond sponge, cherry jam, cherries and almonds and a drizzle of icing. Perfect for anyone who doesn’t like too much buttercream!
As above – almond sponge, cherry jam, but a buttercream swirl and glace cherry finish. Eat your heart out Mr Kip…g
Gold medals for TeamGB – gold sprinkles and balls for the ever popular chocolate fudge cakes.
If any of these take your fancy do get in touch – busy week ahead but could squeeze in one or two orders if you are quick! firstname.lastname@example.org
So this is it! After 18 months in the application, recruitment, selection, interview and training process tomorrow it is time to don my trilby and take my place as a London Ambassador. Excited, nervous, and – of course – keen to support my fellow volunteers with a box of suitably themed cupcakes.
Meanwhile, back at Coco Cafe…
Coco’s signature cupcake is moist chocolate sponge, filled with orange curd, topped with chocolate buttercream and a layer of soft chocolate fondant. And the heart logo of course.
Throughout the Olympics some of the hearts will have a hint of patriotic colour – with the occasional union flag and “Go Team GB” which we cannot of course publicise for fear of breaking all sorts of complicated sponsporship/logo-istic rules.
Elsewhere… feels like an age since I made anything other than a red/white/blue themed cake – but these were a welcome to Beechcroft Avenue gift for a new couple on the friendliest street in Croxley Green…
And finally …
Ever keen to be creative, innovative, early adopter and ahead of the field here is my first venture into cake pops. Fresh (ish) from the other side of the pond these bite size pops of deliciousness are basically a truffle – moist sponge crumbs held together with frosting/buttercream, stuck on a stick and coated.
I opted to use fairly traded chocolate rather than synthetic candy melts, and I quickly discovered just what a fiddly and sticky task it can be to assemble them. However I suspect judicious use of the freezer may help, along with the purchase of a cake pop stand. (improvisations such as an upturned colander whilst well intentioned did not work for this user…)
Initial taste tests suggest they are AMAZE-BALLS!
First of all, just back from a week away it’s lovely to see a steady stream of visits to my website – thank you for keeping it company while I was gone!
The Olympics Opening Ceremony – wow! loved every brilliant, bonkers, British, Boyle-inspired, Bean, Bond and Becks moment – thank you Danny Boy!
Feeling inspired to create a plethora of patriotic cupcakes between now and the closing ceremony of the Paralympic games on September 9. And determined not to be thwarted by rules and regulations that seem to forbid anyone other than the official sponsors from using olympic words or images!
I may not be allowed to show five rings but expect to see judicious use of sugar covered chocolate beans, liberal dollops of red and blue sugarflair paste, and a huge thank you m and m’s for your limited edition (but next time could you arrange for the colour not to fade please…?!)
First samples above and on sale from today at the really wonderful, lovely, community cafe “Coco” here in Croxley Green. However did we manage without it? Read more later on http://www.lookingforlinda.blogspot.com.
Meanwhile – another box of patriotic cakes for a party this afternoon – hope you’re all having fun!
… what an incredibly busy day!
A full day of writing and an evening of baking. Things I love to do best but just sat down and it is tomorrow already!
A few photos and a little bit of info…..
Not the best photo – snapped after an evening of baking and in low light!
Reaction here was that these look good! Beanie Babies of a different kind
A box of chocs for a special friend …
Bespoke cupcakes for Coco!
Loving these little citrus babies!
And finally – some vanilla cakes and a few rocky road – mmmm….
Now it may just be time for some sleep!
Tadaaaa…..! (cue drum roll, fireworks and general excitement building effects)
Coco Cafe opened in Croxley Green today – a really lovely cafe/deli serving just the best coffee you’ve ever tasted. Along with sandwiches, light lunches and nice cakes.
Two of my cakes can currently only be found at Coco. Here they are – if you would like to taste them then you need to come and visit!
This is the Coco cake. Dark chocolate, a shot of espresso, moist coconut and a mango curd filling (the stringy bits prove it is genuine real home made fresh mango curd!) Topped with a chocolate mousse-like buttercream, mango chunks and a drizzle of more dark chocolate.
If chocolate’s not your thing or you fancy a change here’s the lemon meringue cake. Fluffy lemon sponge filled with lemon curd and topped with swiss meringue buttercream – the Oscar of icings! Drizzled with lemon curd.
Pop into Coco and enjoy a cake with a delicious cup of Extract coffee. Or let me know you’re going and maybe I’ll see you there!
A box of twelve cupcakes like this makes a lovely alternative to a birthday cake. It can be personalised with the recipients name and a greeting, and can include a variety of flavours and decorations.
It is a special and personal gift at a price that compares favourably with a bouquet of flowers or bottle of champagne!
Are you holding a fundraising event or charity raffle? I may be able to help you with a prize in return for a few flyers at the event to advertise http://www.filledwithlovecupcakes.org
Here are some that will be at Yorke Mead School tomorrow – wonder who the lucky winner will be!
My minimum order is officially six cakes but if you would like just one or two it is worth calling up. If the oven is on I can often help out!
And finally – baby cakes retain their popularity! Probably outselling all others – so here are a few more I made today…