Month: November 2015

Knitting a Cake for Granny

The last time I knitted a cake I received an overwhelmingly positive response. This increased even more when I shared a photograph of the lady who received the cake seeing it for the first time. Not only did her delight come across as utterly genuine and heartwarming, but her vitality for a woman who had just turned 90 was clear for all to see. Clearly, finding delight in everyday things is the secret of youthfulness. So I was delighted to be asked to make another cake with a knitting theme. I was asked by a friend of my partner, who also happens to be the parent of one of my pupils (how positively mortifying for my poor pupil). Tracy wanted me to make a knitting themed cake for her mum’s 70th birthday. Her mum has recently had a serious health scare and lives a few hours away from the family, so it’s been an anxious time for them all. She wanted a bespoke cake to surprise her with on her special day. The cake had …

Winter Berries and sparkle

I know I’ve written this before, but I really mean it this time. This *is* a short post. I just wanted to share some images from something that I baked and decorated this weekend, especially as it’s a departure for me from cake. I also chose to decorate it with a nod to the visual themes of winter berries and sparkle. Some of you might be thinking ahead to Christmas and be looking for decorative ideas, and I thought this might inspire one or two of you. Ages ago a girl that I went to school with asked if I’d make a cake for her sister’s birthday this weekend. As it got closer to firming up ideas she confessed that her sister doesn’t actually like cake. After some discussion we settled on a baked cheesecake. Of course, I had to make it as celebratory and beautiful as a birthday cake. Seeing as the season has well and truly changed to winter here in Scotland, I felt completely justified in picking up some edible silver leaf …

Feeling Festive

Over the last few years it has become a tradition for me to make a Gingerbread House for my kids to decorate. Only two out of the three really like the taste of Gingerbread. But you see, it’s not about the Gingerbread: it’s about the sweets and icing; the edible glitter; and the fun and mess that we (they) make when decorating it. I use a BBC Good Food recipe (link at the bottom), that bakes into a tasty yet sturdy building, able to withstand a heavy handed toddler. Just remember to let the royal icing “cement” dry overnight. On a few occasions I’ve made a house, covered it in sweets, and donated it to my kids’ nursery or school. Money is easily raised by folk paying to guess how many sweets are on it. Yes, I do count them and yes, it’s a lot. If you plan to cover your Gingerbread House entirely in sweets, then make sure you buy lots of them. They probably won’t all make it on to the house. 😉 …

A 40th celebration in Pistachio, Raspberry and Rose

I shall try to keep this post brief. I should really be doing some of my Sunday chores in the house before heading out galavanting with my daughter to a Christmas craft fayre this afternoon. But I couldn’t wait to share the details of the cake that I made for my friend’s 40th birthday party last night, even if the photos are a bit ropey. I met this particular friend as a Glasgow Baking Club event at least a couple of years ago, and we share a common interest in baking and good food. She is an excellent and adventurous baker and first class cook who understands flavours very well. She wanted someone to make her special cake and charged her husband with the task of organising it with me. The only essential was that it was to be a fondant free zone. Very quickly, we came up with the idea of a Pistachio Cake filled with Raspberry and Rose Italian Meringue Buttercream and decorations of Meringues and Macarons. She had also expressed a desire …

Fall into Autumn

I’d planned to put this recipe together and write this post about a month ago, during our school holidays. It seemed a suitable gap in the bustle of family life and a timely mark of the changing season. It wasn’t to be, however, as we decided to take advantage of the glorious crisp and golden Scottish autumn weather, headed for the hills, and simply enjoyed spending time with one another in the fresh air. I can thoroughly recommend it. I love autumn: it’s my favourite season. And autumn in Scotland is stunning, especially once you leave behind the cities and head to the Trossachs and the Highlands. I think it’s the best season to visit and explore Scotland and, as with this year, we often get a late surge in pleasant sunny weather, that makes roaming about outside a far more pleasant experience. I also, like many, find the change in season a good excuse to dig out those more traditional and comforting family recipes. I find this with baking too. The late summer and …