Shortbread Smalls

I was going to send these tiny little biscuits out as invitations… However, I completely underestimated my propensity to eat as I bake- I don’t think the shortbread would have survived the post in one piece anyway.

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Allotment Cake

My flatmates recently decided to go gluten-free, which although annoying from a spaghetti and hot buttered toast pinching point of view, has been a wonderful opportunity to look at the world of flourless cakes. I find either they are too soggy or too dry but as long as you use ground almonds they seem to turn out just about alright. Flourless Chocolate brownies are my favourite type of brownie in any case.

This… (excuse out of focus photo- as per usual, I deleted any that were in focus)Image

 

Is my allotment cake it is 5 alternating layers of courgette and carrot cake with a mound of cream cheese icing and a little vegetable patch made out of sugar paste, complete with it’s own slugs. Don’t ask why. 

 

 

Happy Mother’s Day

My family is all about presents… so every Christmas, Birthday, etc. my sister and I ask if there is anything that my mum wants and instead of making a suggestion she sends us an ever more cryptic challenge either by post or by email.

Friday morning my sister rings me stating the gauntlet has been thrown regarding Mother’s Day:

She says “Mum has requested the “Courtesan au Chocolat” from The Grand Budapest Hotel film by Wes Anderson.

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… complete with correct branding and a box that falls apart just like in the film. ”

 

So yesterday my sister and I spent 1 hour working out the mechanism of the box and branding, 3 hours making the box and then a further 5 hours making the cakes themselves. They are small towers of 3 sizes of choux bun, piped full of dark chocolate creme patissiere, covered in 3 pastel coloured glazes, stuck together with blue butter cream, piped with white chocolate and finished off with a raspberry (although I think it’s a coffee bean in the original)

I think our version is pretty analogous and she was very happy, although she  had to step in at one point to resurrect my creme patisserie.It was a bit

floppy (whoops!)

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Pomp de Franc- Bespoke Baking

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Last week, I went to help out Katie Franklin of the “Pomp de Franc” cake society. She makes the most delightful concept cakes for events, in particular to go with Fashion collections. They are so creative and it’s really exciting to be around that much edible artwork. When I arrived she was making red and gold fortune cookies for a jewellery auction at Harrods. A few of which contained some actual earrings and pendants. The best thing about them was that these were the sort of fortune cookies that you’d actually want to eat- they were so yummy!

This is the kind of work that she does… in her darling little studio in Shoreditch.

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She had me and another girl playing with rice paper coming up with edible origami designs for decorating cupcakes. These cupcakes were for Fred Butler’s (one of my favourite, favourite designers) showcase at London Fashion Week. They looked really inedible in a range of pastel tones, using crazy culinary stuff I’d never seen like spray paint which you can eat. Fred Butler’s new collection also had a really nice textile we were using as the stimulus.

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A Day trip to Bath

I went down to Bath to pick up the paper airplanes from a window display I did at “Meticulous Ink, Fine Stationery” in September.   In return for my window display, the fabulous shop owner, Athena, agreed to make me some business cards. Knowing that she is a talented lady I left it by and large up to her and she has made me the most beautiful, thick, embossed, colourful, covetable business cards in all existenceImage. I am in love. And they’re even better in 3D because you can feel the thickness of the card and the bruising on the back of the card from the embossing.

The shop prints the best stationery in England… so, if you require a decent calibre of  stationery for leisurely correspondance, occasions or business enterprises- then it is imperative that you go there. 

After visiting the shop, I went shopping, naturally… I like Bath for shops, particularly craft and vintage, it has some really nice pedestrianised lanes with little independent shops on them (Try The Makery, for trimmings and Scarlet Vintage for clothes) and there’s covered market bits too.  This being said my money ended up being spent in the charity shops. I like it when you leave London because the charity shops become more genuine as opposed to the price-hiked “vintage” charity shops that you get in London. I bought a red corset top so that I can dress up as a lobster and am pleased.

For repose, Athena recommended that I go to the Bertinet Cafe- for excellent cake and mini bottles of flavoured milk with paper straws. 

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I had to queue but it was charming and the tables had individual toasters for all of their homemade breads. 

Which concludes my day out. (I like my life.)