Princess Tiana gets [another] Makeover

Hi My Cakers, Bakers and Beauties

This is another Princess cake I did for a little girl whose mother wanted her to have a cake that looked like her. I live in London UK and even in 2013 I don’t see any Princess cakes that represent the diversity we have in London, However I am changing that myself  and I can’t wait to do Princess cakes for girls of all different backgrounds.

Here is the process in pictures:

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Again I apologise for the quality of my photographs, my Husband is my photographer and we’re both still learning.

Thanks

Luv

Sian

x

Project Embrace, The Look of Love May 18th 2013.

Hi Everybody,

Last Saturday was the launch of Project Embrace, & I was fortunate enough to be invited to showcase my fledgling business

 Cater To Your Senses

This is their description of the project and it’s aims:

“Project Embrace™ challenges the narrow perception of beautiful hair. We inspire girls and young women to love, embrace and celebrate everything about themselves including their own hair and reject the narrow ideals of beautiful hair.
  
To promote the idea that there is more than one way to have beautiful hair, Project Embrace™ will be taking out billboards around London and other UK cities, and featuring black models with Afro textured hair on them.Please feel free to donate to the campaign via their Facebook page.Project Embrace™ will be calling on the UK Government to look into regulating the sale and use of chemical hair relaxers and extensions, by placing an age restriction on their use, with a total ban for their use on children, until the age of 16 for hair extensions and 18 for relaxers.We also organize workshops for young girls and women on how to care for natural hair as well as developing and improving a healthy self image, because we strongly believe that a positive self image leads to high self esteem.

I know we do not need any psychologist telling us this but according to the American Psychological Association, the most important factors to happiness and well-being is self-esteem.”

I totally support this project and so I was delighted to be part of this amazing event. The event took place on 18th May 2013 at the Yaa Asentewaa Arts Centre in Maida Vale, West London.

I was so nervous as this would be the first event at which I had a stall. I had started preparing for the stall weeks in advance by buying items I didn’t already own, such as a very large table cloth, cash box and colour coordinated napkins. I didn’t know how many attendees there would be and I was agonising constantly about how many cupcakes to make, I didn’t want to go home with any cakes left at the end of the day but I didn’t want to sell out too quickly either.

In the end after changing my mind about a billion times I finally decided to make 120 cupcakes. I chose my current best selling flavours : Banoffee (with and without whipped cream),

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Chocolate and Hazelnut &  Chocolate and Cherry,

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Oreo, Vanilla

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Coconut and Lemon & Red Velvet

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My day began at 6am, I woke up,  got ready and fussed and flapped about for an hour or so before my lovely Mummy turned up and we were off for the day. My Mum had volunteered her Saturday to help me and hubby at the event.and Carrot Cake (Gluten-Free) . No Photo sorry.

I was too nervous to even eat breakfast! In fact I was so nervous I dropped two boxes of cakes! Luckily I had stored them in the fridge over night and the decorations had set, so I was able to turn them upright in the boxes with minimal damage.

I had used larger boxes than normal and bought them from a new supplier, unfortunately there were no support ” legs” in the centre of the cardboard divider like there are in my normal boxes, these cardboard legs prevent the dividers from touching the bottom of the box, you need a gap between the divider and the base of the box  so that the cakes are individually sitting snugly in little hole, without that gap the divider is just a flat circle and the cupcakes are not stable which is why all mine toppled over when I dropped the box! I’ve learned my lesson now and will be sticking with my usual supplier.

It was a quick car journey to the venue and Mum and I started setting up the stall, I had printed large photos of some of my other cake creations to display on my stall but my Mum had the Amazeballs idea of putting the photos up in a wall display.

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When I go to other events I am naturally drawn to the cake stalls but I’m always put off by the fact that the cakes are displayed out in the open where anyone can touch them, breathe on them, sneeze on them and so on.

With this in mind I looked high and low for a light and portable display case for my cakes, eventually I found this one  but it still had one open panel at the back. I called the company and asked if they could put a door on the cabinet for me and they confirmed that they could do it and send it to me within a week. I was so happy! I also made sure we had gloves, antibacterial spray, and wipes and lots of other important hygiene tools.

As you know, money is also really dirty so throughout the day once we were set up and when I was serving cakes I used tongs and handed people their cakes in the serviette or a “take away” cupcake pod. I didn’t handle money I left that to hubby and Mummy.

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We wanted to give free samples of my cakes so I set up a covered dish of cupcakes cut up into small pieces. The free samples turned out to be a really good idea, although we did have one lady try every flavour and only buy one cake! Some people are just craven like that…

There were so many fantastic vendors and speakers there on the day and I got to meet some lovely people including the Beautiful Belinda from BeUnique, the gorgeous ladies from Root2Tip, Valley Fontaine and Heather Katsonga-Woodward (and her lovely husband)

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Finally having a little nibble...

Finally having a little nibble…

Putting together an assorted box for Melissa of Bespoke Hairstyles

Putting together an assorted box for Melissa of Bespoke Hairstyles

Akua Wood of Shea Butter Cottage.

Akua Wood of Shea Butter Cottage.

I was lucky enough to have my stall next to the House of Loulee Stall. Hi Lucy!

I was lucky enough to have my stall next to the House of Loulee Stall. Hi Lucy!

Lekia Lée the founder of Project Embrace.  Thank you Lekia! xxx

Lekia Lée the founder of Project Embrace. Thank you Lekia! xxx

It was a fantastic day and at the end of the event we only had 3 cupcakes left.

Take care, thanks for reading

Luv

Sian (The Baker)

Chocolate and Beetroot Cake – Recipe included!

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This cake is not one of those cakes where the beetroot is added just for fun, you can taste the beetroot in the cake however if you don’t like beetroot, I would still say to try the cake as it’s so moist and tasty and it does mainly taste like chocolate, I served some to my family and although they could tell it wasn’t only a chocolate cake, no one guessed the “secret ingredient  was beetroot.

Vegetables in cake is not a new thing (carrot cake anyone?)  and beetroot was the original colouring for red velvet cake, if you’ve ever roasted a fresh beetroot you will know how beautifully sweet and tender they become.

Although the original recipe  says to serve it dusted with icing sugar I decided to cover it in chocolate ganache. I  used 85% chocolate in the cake because I love the deeper rich flavour in cooking . I also discovered that I’d somehow not weighed my beetroot properly at the market and since I was only around 50g short, I chucked strawberries in as that is what I had on hand, I’m always breaking the food rules because I know that even if it turns out looking messed up and lopsided we will still eat it as we don’t waste food ’round here!

Serves 8

INGREDIENTS

  • 250g butter at room temperature
  • 325g dark muscovado sugar
  • 4 medium eggs beaten
  • 250g plain flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 2 heaped tbsp cocoa powder
  • 450g raw beetroot finely grated
  • 115g grated dark chocolate (70 per cent cocoa solids)
  • 1⁄2 tbsp vanilla essence

METHOD

  1. Preheat the oven to 180C/160C fan/350F/gas 4. Butter a 23cm deep-sided cake tin.
  2. In a bowl, mix together the softened butter and muscovado sugar until light and fluffy. Add the beaten eggs little by little, mixing well.
  3. Sift the flour, baking powder and cocoa powder into the cake batter and stir well. Add the grated beetroot to the cake mix together with the grated chocolate. Stir well to combine and add the vanilla essence.
  4. Transfer the mixture to the prepared cake tin and bake for 50-65 minutes, depending
    on your oven and the depth of the cake tin (the cake in the photograph took 1 hour).
    Check whether it is ready by carefully piercing the centre of the cake with a skewer. It should come out relatively clean. If you can still see pink batter on the skewer, it needs longer. Cover the top of the cake loosely with foil to prevent it from burning while the middle cooks.
  5. Allow to cool in the tin for 10 minutes, then turn out on to a wire rack to cool completely. Serve dusted with icing sugar.

Recipe from: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/home/you/article-1033341/Beetroot-chocolate-cake.html#ixzz2SeDBOEuD

Please wear gloves when grating your beetroot!

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I really love using dark muscovado sugar especially in Chocolate desserts/cakes.

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Creamed the butter and sugar.

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Added beaten eggs little by little, don’t worry if it starts looking curdled it’ll be fine

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Sifted in my flour and cocoa,

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Grated my chocolate with my hot little hands, if you do this freeze or refrigerate your chocolate first!

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not enough beetroot, so strawberries are red chucked them in too!

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Once everything has been incorporated it looks like this… Hmm very appetising!

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I greased and floured my cake tin as I thought a cake this moist would need the extra “non stickiness.

Also the flour gives the cake something to cling onto as it rises.

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While the cake was in the oven I made my Chocolate Ganache

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Left it to cool and firm up at room temperature while the cake continued to bake…Image

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It rose perfectly with a slight crust and cracks, which are perfectly normal, you can  just see the strawberries peeking through!

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Once it had cooled enough I turned the cake out of the tin onto a cooling rack, it turned out perfectly.

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Once my ganache had cooled and firmed to the texture of chocolate spread I spread it on the cake using a large palette knife.

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I used the tip of the palette knife to create swirled patterns.

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It really was delicious,  if you’re a foodie like me give it a go.

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Luv Sian

xxx