Monday, 27 December 2010

Glam Gingerbread

I hope everyone had a sparkly Christmas with lots of baking and making things. This year I made loads of gingerbread - some to hang on the tree like this snowflake with silver balls, edible glitter and baker's twine and also loads of DIY gifts wrapped in a cellophane bag and tied at the top like the one below. I also had a great time making tags (like the one above) with my new snowflake stamping set from Muji which I LOVE!

I tried a few different gingerbread recipes this year but here's my favorite...

6 cups plain flour
1 tbsp baking powder
1 tbsp ground ginger
1 tsp ground nutmeg
1 tsp ground cloves
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 cup Trex, melted and cooled slightly
1/2 cup golden syrup
1/2 cup black treacle
1 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup water
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla extract

Note: This recipe uses American cups rather than weighing the ingredients - just use something that takes about 240 ml of liquid.

1. Sift together the flour, baking powder, ginger, nutmeg, cloves, and cinnamon; set aside.
2. In a medium bowl, mix together the Trex, golden syrup, black treacle, brown sugar, water, egg, and vanilla until smooth. Gradually stir in the dry ingredients, until they are completely absorbed. Divide dough into three pieces, pat down to one and a half inch thickness, wrap in clingfilm and refrigerate for at least three hours.
3. Preheat oven to 175C (gas mark 4). On a lightly floured surface, roll the dough out to one quarter inch thickness. Cut into desired shapes with cookie cutters. Place cookies one inch apart onto an ungreased cookie sheet.
4. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes in the preheated oven. When the cookies are done they will look dry, but still be soft to the touch. Remove from the baking sheet to cool on wire racks. When cool, the cookies can be decorated however you like - I would recommend the instant royal icing sugar that you get in supermarkets - much firmer if you want to stack your gingerbread without it sticking together.

Makes loads!

Adapted from the Channel 4 Kirstie & Phil's Perfect Xmas show - brilliant pre Xmas viewing this year.

Sunday, 5 December 2010

Make Lounge Cupcake Workshop

I spent a brilliant evening at the The Make Lounge Figurines & Flowers Workshop recently. Over a glass of wine we made these cute guys and the pretty flowers below from sugarpaste. Our tutor was Louise Hill from Love to Cake - Louise makes incredibly life like cake sculptures so we knew we were in good hands (my favorite are these spherical chocolate hedge cakes!)  We even got to take our left over sugarpaste home so I will definitely be trying out a few things with it soon.

Wednesday, 1 December 2010

Christmassy Cake Pops for We Make London

It's December which means Christmas is almost here woo! Time to break out the glitter and make some Christmassy cake pops. These ones are winging their way to the We Make London Christmas craft fair at Chelsea Town Hall on Saturday 4th 11am-5pm. Get there early to get a free one on the door!

The pops are made in the usual way - here's my cake pop tutorial if you haven't seen it before. All of the sprinkles for these (apart from the Christmas tree ones) are from Betty Blythe, a lovely local tea room and 'fine food pantry' near me in Brook Green - definitely worth a visit if you're in the area. I've also used white hologram edible glitter which makes everything look amazing and really Christmassy!

Glam Peach, Gold and Black Themed Birthday Party

A glamorous peach, gold and black themed 30th birthday party for one of my best friends who loves all things Victoriana. I was so pleased with how the cakes and decor came together that I couldn't resist posting lots of lovely photos (courtesy of Mr Rhubarb & Rose). We had cakes galore, a dressing up hamper, typewriter for messages, and vintage style photos of the birthday girl through the years. This was the biggest cake I have made ever (I was secretly hoping for a cake fight at the end but it all got eaten!). Skip to the end for all the deets on the deets!



The cake was a 10" lemon layer cake with a lemon curd filling and vanilla buttercream icing. The decor was made from chocolate moulds (for the bows and roses) and candy melts with gold edible glitter and lustre dust. I left a an old typewriter from eBay in a corner of the room for messages. The labels were made from parcel tags and typewriter font rubber stamps. The 'Red Heads Have More Fun' dressing up hamper was filled with red wigs from a local fancy dress shop. The stickers were from Moo. The photo frames were from Ikea and painted gold. The little bottles were left over from our wedding this summer and were filled with roses and placed on paper doilies on each table along with simple tea lights. The lovely room is above the Defectors Weld in Shepherds Bush (they looked after us very well - thanks guys!).


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