Monthly Archives: April 2011

Baking The Great British Wedding Cake

I never thought I would make wedding cakes, the one time I had in the past was fine but I wasn’t very inspired and I didn’t enjoy the process all that much, to be honest I found it boring. But when I was asked to take part in The Great British Wedding Cake I thought, why not, lets see what challenges they throw us? And it turns out I thoroughly enjoyed it, it was creative, challenging and I ended up making two cakes I absolutely loved, both of which I would be happy to have at my own wedding one day. I enjoyed making the wedding cakes so much that I have since even taken a couple of orders to make cakes for real couples and their real weddings not just for TV.

Traditional Cake

My traditional cake was based around my Nanna’s christmas cake recipe, which if you watched carefully was a bit more like a dundee cake. Many people dont like traditional dark wedding cake because it’s heavy and very very rich. The cake I made is the opposite of that stereotype, it’s lighter and moist and not heavy at all, it has converted quite a few haters of wedding cake in its time. I kept the decoration simple and what I thought was rather classy and spring-like, perfect for this time of year.

Modern Cake

Of course my modern wedding cake was made of macarons, what else could it be? I hadn’t actually made this cake until the day we did it for the show. Sure that’s not the wisest decision but I loved the finished look and I’m sure this will become a signature, I’ve already been asked to make another. If you can make macarons well, then you can make this cake. It needs accuracy, as the macarons need to be the same size, and needs to be assembled as close to the wedding reception as possible as it isn’t as stable as a wedding cake, but I think it makes for a stunning alternative to the more traditional choice and the extra effort is well worth it.

The Boy Who Bakes – The Book

I know I have mentioned it in the past but I thought it might be time to properly announce it – I have a baking book coming out in September of this year (I have my final photoshoot tomorrow)!! It has just been added onto Amazon and is available to pre-order, I really hope you all like it. It’s called The Boy Who Bakes and is baking that I love, in my modern and slightly inventive style. I can’t tell you how excited I am for everyone to see it, the recipes are ones I love and the book is looking beautiful!

In other news, I wanted to quickly let you all know that I will be doing a few food festivals this year and will announce them as they are confirmed but so far…

Glynde Food Festival 16th-17th July

Harvest at Jimmys 9th-12th September

Hope to see some of you there! 🙂


Mum’s Apple Crumble

I know Mothers Day was last week but I was working all day in the kitchen making a few hundred macarons so couldnt spend it with my own lovely mother. It did however get me thinking about family recipes and what they mean to me. I dont have that many to choose from but those that I do have are precious and mean an awful lot to me. If you follow me on twitter then you will know that I have a cookbook coming out later in the year, which is why I have been a bad blogger recently, and of course it will include a few of those cherished recipes. We recently started the photoshoots for the book and this week we shot a recipe of my Nannas, and it made me want to get back in the kitchen and bake something that my mum used to make us almost every week, a simple apple crumble. There isnt a written recipe its basically just a ratio. 2 parts flour to 1 part sugar and 1 part butter, very simple, very classic and totally delicious. When I was younger I always craved apple purely on its own but over the years we had many variations from apple and raspberry to gooseberry and rhubarb, all delicious but its the simple apple crumble that I crave the most.

Mum’s Apple Crumble

130g plain flour

65g caster sugar

65g butter

25g oats

650g bramley apples

2 tsp lemon juice

1 tsp ground cinnamon

150g caster sugar

For the crumble topping add the flour, sugar and butter into a medium bowl and rub together using your fingertips until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs. Stir in the oats and cover the bowl with clingfilm and refrigerate until needed.

Preheat the oven 200C/390C. Peel, core and roughly dice the apples and toss together in a medium bowl with the lemon juice, cinnamon and caster sugar.

Add the apple mixture to a 1.1-litre ovenproof dish and sprinkle the crumble topping evenly over the apples. Bake in the preheated for 45 minutes until the apple filling is bubbling and the topping is lightly golden.

Allow to cool slightly before serving with cream or a scoop of vanilla ice cream.

I would also like to quickly say im supporting a new charity campaign launched by Belling supporting FoodCycle, a charity that redirects edible surplus food thrown away by food retailers, to create nutritious meals for people affected by food poverty. Belling are crowd sourcing 140 character recipes on twitter and the best ones will be chosen to be published in Tweet Pie, the worlds shortest recipe book, the proceeds of which will go towards FoodCycle’s work. Not only could your recipe appear in the cokbook but you could also win one of ten Baby Belling Black cookers.If I was to convert my recipe for twitter this is what it would look like:

650gApples/2tspLemon/1tspCinnamon/150gSugar Add to dish 130gFlour/65gSugar/65gButter/25gOats rub together, add on top apples bke@200C 45mins

To enter the competition tweet your recipe using the hashtag #tweetpie take a look here for more info and tips