Flatlay3.jpg

Blog

Our crazy Summer of wedding cakes....
 Image by Charlotte Giddings Photography

Image by Charlotte Giddings Photography

As the leaves turn beautiful hues of golden brown and deep rich reds, the seasons are definitely changing. We welcome Autumn with excitement about what lies ahead and look back on an amazing wedding season that’s been incredibly fulfilling, if a little exhausting at times!

I work closely with each couple, as well as their chosen suppliers such as florists, stylists, stationery designers and venues to ensure each cake we design is the perfect manifestation of their wedding vision in cake form!

As I look back at the weddings from the Spring and Summer season, I just love how varied and individual they all are. I also love how we get to work with such an amazing array of incredibly talented suppliers, each and every one of them putting their heart and soul into their work for their clients, just as we do. Being able to surround myself with like-minded individuals who have the same ethos and work ethic as me is so important and really keeps me on my toes, providing me with constant inspiration!

 Image by Alfred & Co Photography

Image by Alfred & Co Photography

It’s fair to say that I’m never going to get bored doing this job. It’s crazy, exciting, exhausting, even frustrating at times, but it’s NEVER boring!

Each cake commission that comes our way is a challenge to be better, an opportunity to be different, dare I say it, the chance to trail blaze and I value this enormously. This year we’ve been lucky to get some incredible briefs from the loveliest of clients. Many of our couples seek us out because they love what we do and then it's my job to make them love it even more! We’ve had some of the most amazing feedback and thank-yous from our couples this year and it’s really what keeps me going, keeps me striving to be better for all the couples who are still to come.

 Image by Frank Henshall Photography

Image by Frank Henshall Photography

I love how invested and excited our couples get about their wedding cake, even following their initial design consultation and tasting, clients get a real buzz about their cake and it becomes one of the main things they can’t wait to see (and taste of course) on the day!

Over the Spring and Summer I’ve set wedding cakes up at venues across the entire North West and it seems that we’re getting further afield each year. Each venue is so different and each one has different implications for the cake. How it’s designed, where and how displayed, if the cake needs moving for the cutting, how it will be served and of course, not forgetting two things that cake designers concern themselves most with at venues - how level the floor is and how warm the room is going to get on the day!

There’s no doubt about it, this Summer has been a scorcher! Thankfully for us, we invested in air conditioning in the studio years ago but venues are a different story and the stories are so varied, it's lucky that we know a lot of the venues well enough to be able to guide our clients on what’s best when it comes to cake!

From marquees and tipis, to barns, manor houses and hotels - knowing the environment that the cake is going to be in, in advance of the actual wedding day makes the delivery a lot less stressful and means we can properly advise clients, liaising with the venue team early on to ensure plans are in place for all eventualities - let’s face it the British weather is nothing if it’s not unpredictable!

Inbetween weddings, we've also been lucky enough to collaborate on some really gorgeous styled photoshoots. These give us the chance to experiment with new techniques, try out new sugar flower varieties, and work with colour schemes that perhaps haven’t yet been adopted by any of our couples. Giving us the opportunity to demonstrate what can be achieved in wedding cake design so our couples can have a cake that none of their guests have ever seen before.

We also get to see new venue spaces during shoots such as the beautiful Fig House at Middleton Lodge where we joined a team including One Stylish Day, Nicola Dixon Photography, Jo Bradbury Photography, Boho Chic Weddings and Lucy MacNicoll Floral Design to create something really special!

Time spent amongst other creative talents and having the freedom to indulge my own thoughts and ideas with regards to cake designs is not only a luxury but also, for me, a complete necessity. It allows me to work without any of the potential confines of a client brief and instead create something that is truly unique and true to me - a little self indulgent but it’s always exciting!

42838592_1981723838540432_1912042646163947520_o.jpg

Now that Summer is well and truly over and I’ve swapped the air con for the central heating and thick socks, we’ve started to schedule our Design Consultation & Tasting sessions with new clients who are getting married in 2019 and yes, even 2020!

I’m also scheduling some small group classes in the studio from November. With the launch of our Sugarcraft School, dates for these will be released soon.

Farewell to a crazy Spring/Summer season and roll on all of the exciting projects for Autumn and Winter!

Celebrating the launch of our blog with a little look back.....

For my first blog post I thought I’d tell you a little bit about how my love of baking began…..

 That’s me, top right with the mega-fringe! Check out my fabulous home-made birthday cake at the bottom of the picture, so much pink, I actually think it may have been My Little Pony-themed!  Also my wonderful Grandad on the left, drafted in to help “supervise”………

That’s me, top right with the mega-fringe! Check out my fabulous home-made birthday cake at the bottom of the picture, so much pink, I actually think it may have been My Little Pony-themed!

Also my wonderful Grandad on the left, drafted in to help “supervise”………

Okay, so I grew up baking. My amazing Nana baked, taught my Mum to bake and it was just something that happened in our house. All the time. Pudding (I’m from Yorkshire), wasn't just for weekends, it was every night. I know, in today’s clean eating society, how incredibly unlikely but also amazing does that sound? I must be clear here that it wasn’t always a fabulous home-baked dessert - I’m a child of the 80’s after all so full disclosure here, sometimes it was tinned fruit and vanilla ice cream from a huge plastic tub, or a slice of mandarin cheesecake from Iceland - most times still a little bit rock hard and frozen in the middle but as someone who has a major sweet tooth, I was never one to complain!

But, when baking happened, I loved every part of it. My Dad is Irish and also has a sweet tooth, loved anything with apple in it, lemon flavoured things, rhubarb and ice cream. My Mum’s staple bakes were as follows;

  • Coconut cake

  • Chocolate cake

  • Victoria sponge (because, obviously)

  • Apple Crumble/pie/charlotte - my Dad insisted these be with home-made custard

  • Pavlova - a dinner party favourite

  • Christmas pudding - still the best I ever tasted (sorry Heston but you don’t even come close!)

  • Mince pies

  • Fairy cakes/chocolate cornflake cakes/chocolate rice krispie cakes

  • Rock buns - I think these were meant to be scones but went wrong?

  • Australian crunch - made frequently at the request of my older brother

  • TRIFLE, all kinds of different flavoured trifle!!!!!

Writing that list just made me smile! It’s worth explaining here that whilst my Mum was great at being able to whip things up at a moments notice, she’s not one for doing fancy things! Playing it a little bit fast and loose with the measurements, never too worried about making things look perfect and as a mum of three, let’s face it sometimes things may have been left in the oven longer than they should. But, and it’s a really significant but, they always tasted delicious and were very much devoured by anyone and everyone who was around.

It’s no surprise that growing up in that environment and having a major sweet tooth, I would love baking too. I actually remember spending Saturday afternoons baking but pretending I was Delia on a TV show. Everything got weighed out into nice little bowls beforehand and I would pretend I was talking to a camera - I created A LOT of unnecessary washing up and this was before the days when my parents had a dishwasher!

I have two brothers and we always, always had birthday cakes, often themed to our various requests and demands. I learnt early on how lovely it was to have friends and family come to together to celebrate a special occasion over a delicious home-baked cake and that’s still how I feel when I design and create each and every cake.

Here are just a few from over the years, and yes, I did have a Wonder Woman party and my brother got in a massive sulk because he had to wear a Wonder Woman crown, also made by my Mum!!

As we got older and had landmark birthdays (16th, 18th etc) a lovely lady across the road called Anne who was actually a nurse at our local hospital made some of our birthday cakes including the last one above, which was for my 18th and had a little sugar model of me playing my cello!

I honestly do feel like growing up in an environment where cake was really a central point of every celebration, and baking was just part of every day life, it really opened up the joy of baking for me from a very young age. Making something from scratch, experimenting with flavours and sitting around with loved ones to share and savour the experience of eating it really is one of those small joys in life that is just good for the soul.

As we enter into the Autumn, and the craziness of the Spring/Summer wedding season is behind me, I’m excited to have a little more time to do some home-baking, simply for the sheer pleasure of it!

Watch this space over the coming months as I experiment with some new recipes and most certainly return to some firm favourites.