Meet The Maker

I can’t believe it’s March already of 2021… and it is that time where many small business owners write about themselves with ‘meet the maker’.

This year I have decided to join ‘the club’ of meet the makers and do a daily post on Facebook and Instagram all about myself. So I thought it would be fitting to also write on here about myself and my little cakery. I promise to keep it short!

I am a 40 year old mum and wife, whose cake business started as baking cakes for my own child many years ago. I would post pictures on my Facebook page and get many lovely comments of “Wow, did you make that?” and “Could you make my son/daughter a birthday cake?” I realised that I had a talent for making great tasting homemade cake and an artistic flair for sugar craft. I’m not saying by any means that I’m the greatest cake baker of all time, as their many more talented people out in the cake business, but I could fit into the cake making business. 8 years on and I’ve built up a good client base of returning customers.

My brand is custom cakes, all homemade using the finest ingredients with no added preservatives. Made to individuals specifications for someone special day. I like to think that my style is contemporary but I will put my hand to any style and give any a go.

So to keep this short, today’s meet the maker post should be “newest make”. So this week’s bake was this Costa coffee celebration cake. The brief was from a Danielle’s husband and children, to make a 40th birthday cake of a Costa Coffee shop front, specifically the one she used to frequent before lockdown.

I am sorry this week I haven’t got a recipe to share, its been a busy week with homemade custom cakes. Please keep watching and listening, if you are podcast for hopefully new recipes soon. Thank you Em x

Celebrating

Normally I would be posting a recipe to share with you but today, I’m mixing it up. This week I celebrated a milestone birthday. It’s shocking how time goes so quick. Celebrating 40 years and it has definitely made me reflect on my life. BUT I’m going to talk deeply today. Today the sun is shining and spring is certainly on its way, so let kept it light hearted.

The featured picture was (as I’ve eaten it all) my birthday cake, made by me. 4 deep layers of vanilla sponge, raspberry jam and lactose free vanilla buttercream, making that cake stand 6 inches tall. The flowers are my own creative work too, handmade sugar craft closed peonies. All in my favourite colours, turquoise and claret, with the added sparkle of gold. The leopard print is free hand painted with edible paint. Simple flavours, elegant design.

As well as it being my birthday, I helped two others to celebrate their birthday too, by making two more celebration cakes alongside my own. It is so rewarding to to make someones day so special and that was returned by the wonderful reviews and feedback I received. So not only celebrating my birthday but helping others with my cake creations and celebrating my achievements over the years.

“What an amazing gluten free cake Em made for my husband’s birthday. Totally yummy, and after giving Em a couple of ideas she decorated the cake beautifully. Thoroughly recommend Emmms Cakes and we’ll be going back for more!!!”

“Can I say that Emmm’s Cakes has out done herself once again, I will share at lunch time when this beast of a master pokemon ball will be cut. Thank you so much Em, Owen loves it xxx”

Rhubarb & Ginger Cake

Recently I visited my local farm shop to buy my weeks fruit and vegetables, and outside was some beautiful coloured pink rhubarb. I love shopping and cooking with locally sourced, seasonal foods. Forced Rhubarb definitely went in my shopping basket. Well, what to make with it..?

I did a quick scan on’t internet and found lots of varying recipes but which one should I chose…? I came to the decision to make up my own recipe and below you can find my delicious rhubarb and ginger cake recipe. It is so light in flavour and morishly moist. I hop you enjoy baking and eating it as such as I did.

Happy Baking!

For a 1lb loaf tin you will need:

  • 150g/5 oz forced rhubarb, chop into 5mm thick pieces
  • 1 tsp freshly grated ginger
  • 1/2 tsp ground ginger
  • 114g/4 oz butter/baking margarine
  • 114g/4 oz caster sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 150g/5 oz self raising flour
  • For the topping/decoration – icing sugar and lemon juice
  • (optional) sugar coated stem ginger

How to bake it..

Pre-heat oven to 150 degrees C. Grease and line the tin. In a large bowl, cream the softened butter with the sugar until a light and smooth consistency. Sieve flour and a separate bowl with ground ginger. Add eggs and beat well. Fold in the flour with ground ginger and beat until smooth. Fold in fresh ginger and rhubarb. Please cake mix in to the tin and place in the oven for 1 hour – 1 hour 15 mins or until a skewer comes out clean. Place on a cooling rack for 10-15 mins, then turn out the cake from the tin and allow to cool completely (which is really hard to do, if you are like me, a slice of warm cake is heavenly!) In a bowl add a small amount of icing sugar and with lemon juice and drizzle over the top of the cooled cake and decorate with the sugar coated stem ginger.

Flash Back Friday

This time last year, the air in my local village was buzzy with excitement and fierce competition, there was going to be a bake off and most important in all, judged by Great British Bake Off’s Paul Hollywood, who had moved in to the area. I remember wracking my brains for a design and flavour. I decided to keep it simple, less is more tactic.. I baked my classic vanilla sponge cake and filled it with my deliciously smooth buttercream and raspberry jam. I spent time making delicate sugar flowers to dry in time to decorate for the occasion. I assembled and crafted my cake, with in mind of maybe getting a Paul Hollywood famous ‘handshake’. Walking down to the local pub with my “prize winning” cake to where the judging was taking place, I was thinking that there wasn’t many people around, walking to the pub, to find out the whole of the village was crammed into this one village pub! It was shoulder to shoulder, everyone shuffling to enter their ‘prize winning’ cakes and bakes too. I must admit feeling very much ‘out done’ by the amazing assortment of cakes. Each with their very unique artist impression. I never knew the people in my village where such amazing artistic bakers! We were all lined up, squished like sardines, all waiting for Mr Hollywood. The room was surrounded by excited chatter and guessing “who’s cake was that?”, when Paul entered the room and the judging started. Each carefully created cake having a slice removed and a single bite, sometimes two.. I felt for Paul as he had over 50 cakes and bakes to sample, how he didn’t feel ill..? My cake was the last to be cut and tasted.. I remember watching his face very carefully to read his thoughts. I got a raised eye brow and a little tiny nod of his head and the hope that just maybe it made the cut… I hasten to add, my cake was NOT picked for the finalist but the raised eye brow and slight nod of the head was enough for me on what was an amazing village community event.

Vegan and Gluten Free Celebration Cake

We have seen the start of 2021 with Vegan January or Veganuary as it’s best known by. The month of where plant Vs meat, a global movement campaigning to make better food choices. Vegan is either a lifestyle choice or a necessity to health and well-being. This month I was requested to make a cake that was gluten free and dairy free due to dietary requirements. The perfect opportunity to use my own vegan and gluten free cake recipe that I have been trialling. I have to say that it was a success and my client was extremely pleased.

Unfortunately peeps I’m not going to share this recipe with you just yet, as I have big plans for this recipe! But keep watching here at Emmm’s Cakes for the release of the recipe.

Here is are some pictures of my Veganuary celebration sloth cake.

Ginger Beer Cake

This week saw national ‘kiss a ginger day’! As a ginger myself I do love to cook and bake with ginger. Recently I’ve been experimenting with using fizzy drinks in my bakes and the outcomes have been delicious. So I thought this recipe is just perfect to share with you this week.

So let’s get started…

The ingredients you will need are:

  • 250g plain flour
  • 175g caster sugar
  • 2 tsp ground ginger
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 150ml ginger beer
  • 80ml vegetable oil
  • 5 tbsp golden syrup
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • dark brown sugar to sprinkle on top

This is how we do it….

  1. Preheat oven to 150C / 300F / gas mark 2.
  2. In a large bowl, put the sugar, oil, golden syrup and eggs in together and beat until well mixed and the lumps of sugar are dissolved.
  3. In a separate bowl, place all the dry ingredients together.
  4. Add the dry ingredients in with the wet ingredients gradually, making sure each time you mix well to remove any lumps.
  5. Add the ginger beer gradually, until well mixed in.
  6. Then pour into a greased and line 2lb loaf tin.
  7. Bake for approximately 1 hour – 1 hour 15 minutes. Once the cake is firm to the touch, remove from oven.
  8. Sprinkle immediately with a little dark drown sugar to decorate, then allow to cool for 10 minutes, before placing on the cooling rack.
  9. Served best with your favourite cuppa.

The Best of 2020

We are part way into 2021 now and I feel it time to reflect on last year’s cake creations. I asked myself this question… “What are my top 5 favourite cakes of 2020?” And these are my chosen 5

I didn’t just select these cakes purely because they look the best (but it didn’t have a small part to play..) But also for the enjoyment they brought to me in making them and to the people who received them. It does seems sad that I have only selected 5 as my best, as I can tell you it was a hard pick! And who could forget the array of 50 christmas cakes, made for clients and the local shops. But these five where a learning curve, where I used new products, like sugar paste and modelling fondant and new techniques, as well as testing my modelling skills. I’m proud to say that each topper is handmade and done by eye and each cake inside is made using quality ingredients with free range eggs and no added preservatives, ensuring that you get that authentic homemade cake taste that is delicious.

Moving on… “How to make 2021 cakes as better than 2020’s?” is now the question for this year and I look forward to embracing what new challenges, recipes and newly required skills are to come.

Healthier Beginnings!


Happy new year to you all! It’s January, and to many of us, imparticularly me, that means a healthier start to the new year. But hang on, I’m a cake maker, how can I have a healthier year if I bake all those tasty treats, that are full of refinded sugar and butter laced? And yes I am always tempted to eat, sorry I mean ‘test’, what I bake.

So this has got me thinking….?. Is there such a thing as a ‘healthy’ cake/bake/treat? Well to be honest, no there isn’t, in such, that’s why they are called ‘treats’. But wouldn’t it be great if we could maybe reduce the impact slightly and bake a tasty treat, that is ‘lower in fat &/or sugar’?

This has lead me on to doing some investigating. I have researched on the Internet and some baking magazines to find these so called ‘healthier’ treats. The search hasn’t been hard, as most celebrities and top chefs have either brought a book out or an article on healthy living.

I starting off with trying to find my favourite bake, the ‘chocolate brownie’. At this point I’ve either got you intrigued or laughing your head off at the darfed idea of a ‘healthier’ brownie. Come on it has chocolate in it…!

I was surprised with what I found. There are lots of different variants on the web but the one that really caught my eye was in a popular Sunday newspaper supliment, “You”. I was reading about Davina McCall and there was an article taken from Davina’s new book ‘Smart Carbs’.

The exert talks about ‘smart carbs V dumb carbs’ and how we can make wiser choices, not just with sweet treats but also with meals.

So scanning through, there it was, Davina’s “Chocolate and banana traybake”… now they look good!

Here is the link to ‘You magazine’ online for Davina’s Smart carbs if you would like to see all of her recipes, they do look good!

But I just had to have a go that this chocolate and banana traybake recipe!

Davina’s recipe uses a 24cm x 24cm tin, which makes approx 16 squares or cut smaller for less calorie intake. You can find the exact amounts used, in the link above.

For myself, I used at 16cm square tin and these are the amounts of ingredients I used to make 9 squares of loveliness! I have also changed a couple of ingredients as I didn’t have the exact ones in my store cupboard.

Ingredients

134g whole meal plain flour

35g cocoa powder

1 tsp baking powder

Pinch of salt

120g low fat butter/margarine

100g honey

2 small ripe bananas, mashed

4 eggs

Method

  1. Preheat oven to 160 C for a fan oven or 180 C otherwise. Grease and line your tin
  2. Put flour straight into a bowl and add sifted cocoa, pinch of salt and baking powder into that bowl.
  3. In a small pan, melt gently the butter and honey together. once melted remove from heat and mix in mashed bananas.
  4. In a separate bowl, break eggs and whisk until frothy (you may want to use an electric mixer for this) Then add the dry ingredients, then butter, honey and banana mixture and fold in until well mixed. It should be quite runny.
  5. Pour mixture into tin and bake for about 30 mins or until it has risen and is springy to touch.
  6. Remove from the oven and allow to cool for 10mins before transferring to a wire rack and cut into squares.

You can store in an airtight container for a few days (if they last that long!) or freeze them and consume within a month.

These are excellent once frozen because you can get one out of the freezer, pop it in the microwave, on a non-metallic plate, for a minute or 2 and serve warm with berries, fat free natural yoghurt or creme fraiche. Mmm scrummmy!

Have a go yourself and tell me what you think.

Happy Baking

Em x

Chocolate Cornflake Cakes

Hi and welcome to my blog ‘Scrummmy Friday’s’

I hope you have all has an amazing week trying out some great recipes.

This week is my all time favourite, chocolate cornflakes nests/cakes. 

It brings back memories of of when I was a kid making these. The best part was licking the bowl and spoon afterwards.

 It is now my turn to show my little one how to make these. We all know these are so simple and easy to make so let’s get started!

Ingredients

125g chocolate (either milk or dark. I used dark chocolate) 

50g unsalted butter

3 tbsp golden syrup

100g Cornflakes 

Mini chocolate eggs (to decorate)

Method

  1. Break up the chocolate into small chunks and place in a heat proof bowl
  2. The Grown up’s part – over a simmering saucepan of water, melt the chocolate and butter together with the golden syrup, until well combined.
  3. Allow the chocolate mixture to cool slightly
  4. In a separate bowl, weigh out the cornflakes.
  5. Add the chocolate mixture to the cornflakes and mix well with a wooden spoon.
  6. Using your hands or 2 desert spoons, scoop out mixture and put them into cupcake cases in a cupcake tray or baking tray.
  7. This is optional Using your finger, make a small hole to make a nest for the mini chocolate eggs.
  8. Allow to cool and set in the fridge before eating, if you and the kids can wait that long…

Happy non-baking

Em x

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