Tweet Tweet – Twitter cakes for iCake

Run-out twitter birds

It’s Tuesday afternoon and I’m having a great time thanks to Emma – aka Miss Cakehead. I’ve been doing some very therapeutic run-out work making little tweety birds to put on cupcakes for tomorrow’s iCake Shop at the Hospital Club.

Lots of cakes, all themed around things geeky, and all profits to a good cause.  Make sure you get down there tomorrow!

Sneak preview of the twitter birds on the left ūüôā

And more details about the event here.



Wedding fever

Don’t panic, this is categorically NOT another post about the Royal Wedding as the country becomes ever more obsessed with the event: even those who profess no interest at all in the wedding seem to spend an awful lot of time talking about it.

No, the wedding I’m thinking of is my brother’s. ¬†About the only things it will have in common with Wills and Kate’s bash is that it will be on a Friday, vows will be exchanged, and the reception will be held at the family home. ¬†Beyond that, however, I’m hoping it’ll be a very different event. ¬†And, knowing my brother, it will be.

My involvement in the process is – you’ve guessed it – the cake. ¬†Or cakes, to be precise. ¬†Having tempted little bro away from the delights of serving a giant steak and kidney pie in lieu of a wedding cake, he and his intended have decided on cupcakes for the big day, both to eat and to take home as favours.

This week, we finally managed to sort out a tasting session.  I had taken the monster to see his grandparents in the Cotswolds, so it was an easy trip up from Bristol for little bro and the kids to come and try some cakes.  On the menu were lavender and lime and the blueberry basket, partly because Simon was keen to try the lavender, and partly because the blueberry baskets are always a hit with children.

Mum had expressed some surprise at the number of cakes for a guest list of just 60 people: 150 seemed like a lot to her, especially since a traditional wedding cake usually ends up with considerable amounts of leftovers. ¬†I had explained to her that doing cupcakes pretty much guaranteed there’d be nothing left, as the whole idea is to provide sufficient variety of flavours that everyone can find something they like, but I don’t think she was convinced until she saw how quickly two dozen cupcakes disappeared on Tuesday.

Notwithstanding the difficulties of mobile cakery – I’m based in London, the wedding is in Bristol and so I’m baking out of Mum’s place to make it easier to get everything there intact – I’m quite looking forward to this one. ¬†It’s a fairly relaxed wedding, and the choice of cakes reflects that: flavour is much more important than fitting them into a colour scheme. ¬†And it’ll be quite relaxing to revert to some simple swirls after the birthday cake I’m preparing earlier that week, which is to be a Bugatti Veyron.

It’s the simplicity of Simon’s wedding that makes me feel a little sorry for the royal couple. ¬†Simon and Rachael have been able to choose to do things the way they want, that reflects their taste and personality. ¬†They will know everyone on the guest list and there will have been no diplomatic requirements to fulfil. ¬†The food will be delicious (BBQ – yay!), the band will seriously rock and laughter will be the order of the day. ¬†It’s going to be a wonderful day.

William and Kate, on the other hand, will have hundreds of guests, won’t get to talk to the majority of them, have various protocols to follow and will be lucky if they even get two minutes to themselves before they head for bed that night. ¬†Is this really Kate’s fairytale, or has she, like many brides, found herself occasionally wishing she was heading for Gretna or Vegas so that the whole point of her marriage – her love for her husband and their desire to be together forever – doesn’t get missed in all the trappings of the wedding?

Oops. ¬†And I really hadn’t meant to write about the royal wedding. ¬†Back to the kitchen for me, then…

Hello fellow cake lovers!

Welcome to my blog! ¬†I’m Melanie, and I make cakes. ¬†Quite a lot of cakes, actually, as well as other nice things to eat. ¬†While the cooking and baking have been going on for quite some time, I’ve not previously blogged about them, but that’s changing now. ¬†While my family and friends love eating the results, they are – probably sensibly – less passionate about discussing such things.

And I’ll admit I’m on a bit of a mission. ¬†Having been told by the docs I would have to stick to a gluten-free diet for the rest of my life, I quickly discovered that this would mean accepting some pretty poor substitute products if I wanted to eat the same kind of things I did before. ¬†This was worrying, because I love my food. ¬†I love textures and flavours and the amazing smells a little time and care can produce, and I wasn’t keen to compromise. ¬†How hard could it be to reproduce the things I loved without including gluten in the process?

So began the journey. ¬†I’ve met a few other coeliacs and people with a range of food intolerances since I started experimenting. ¬†I’ve also found that most people assume that anything calling itself ‘free-from’ or ‘gluten-free’ will be sub-standard and less worth eating than its wheat, rye or barley-stuffed counterpart. ¬†Fortunately, I’ve also surprised a lot of them by giving them a cake, letting them express their enjoyment, and then revealing that it was gluten-free.

I want to prove that gluten-free can be as delicious as ‘normal’ food. ¬†I don’t think it’s acceptable for companies to set lower standards of flavour and texture for people with food intolerance than they do for those without. ¬†It’s not good enough if customers say that a product is ‘not bad for something gluten-free’. ¬†It’s either good or it isn’t.

I shall get off my soapbox now. ¬†For those who’ve made it this far, thanks for reading – I hope to get to know a few of you as time goes on ūüôā