Sainsbury’s Free From Christmas Review

11/13

This week I received a fabulous package full of Sainsbury’s Free From Christmas goodies!

One in five Britons now claims to have a food allergy or intolerance, with most stating wheat as the problem. That is an increase of 400 per cent in the past 20 years.

Years ago, sufferers of food allergies had to go to specialist shops and forgo meals out, but most supermarkets now have aisles dedicated to restricted diets, and packaging is carefully labelled. ’Free from’ food has been going from strength to strength.

Sainsbury’s were the first major supermarket to introduce their own label free from range back in 2002 and they haven’t looked back since.

Christmas is a time where food plays a major part in our social occasions and if you have an intolerance or allergy, it can be quite difficult.

So, here is my She Who Bakes review on the Christmas free from range from Sainsbury’s!

Mini Chocolate Logs;

These were lovely. Very rich and chocolatey, perfect for a dessert. You would never know it was wheat, dairy and gluten free.

Iced Rich Fruit Cake Slices;

Fruit cake, to me IS Christmas. Topped with marzipan and icing too! These were VERY nice. Packed with fruit and great flavour!

Gingerbread Man;

Gingerbread men are one of my favourite parts of Christmas. They’re everywhere! This was super tasty, very gingery and had a fab crunch.

Chocolate Santa Bar & Chocolate Coins;

Imagine not being able to eat chocolate at Christmas? It should be illegal. These tasty treats are perfect and very chocolatey!

Iced & Plain Mince Pies;

Gotta love a mince pie. Especially with some hot custard. Mmmm. These were packed with filling, sweet pastry, very impressed!

All in all, you would never know any of these products were made especially for food intolerances. Sainsbury’s have done really well. Make sure you give them a try this festive season!

Until next time,

Britt xo

She Who Bakes Stamp

10/13

Morning muffins!

This week I received something very lovely from the equally lovely people over at The Cupcake Company. I now have my very own ‘She Who Bakes’ stamp to brand every cake that leaves my kitchen.

It’s small and discreet, like a clothing label! And I’ve been putting it on the back in the cake’s colour scheme. Like a signature!

So, here’s the stamp;

And here’s the Planes birthday cake;

How cute is the stamp!! I think it’s fab.

If you would like to order one you can do so here.

Happy baking!

Britt xo

Illustrations by Hollie Wise

10/13

Some fab illustrations of me done by the equally fabulous Hollie Wise. For more info on how to get some personalised pics, you can contact her at hollie.wise@hotmail.co.uk

Macmillan Coffee Morning

09/13

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As many other people yesterday, I took part in a Macmillan Coffee Morning at the Pro Health Therapy Rooms in Maidstone and it was amazing!

Fresh from the She Who Bakes kitchen was a luscious lemon cake, a moist carrot cake, hidden Oreo cupcakes with an Oreo cream cheese frosting, madagascan vanilla cupcakes and milk choc chip cupcakes with a salted caramel frosting!

As well as tasty treats, there was also face painting from ‘In Your Face‘ (Great name!), beautiful jewellery from Kathryn Cooper Jewellery, Georgina making a cracking cuppa and Nicola proving to be the hostest with the mostest!

But the BIGGEST news of the day was the beautiful and amazing Ali Hollands, local hypnotherapist (probably the best in the world fyi) who had her head shaved to raise money!!

Running TOTAL is £633.02 – BUT there is still time to donate! You can now Text to Donate £5 on 70550 using code COFFEE 1GM!

Here are some pictures to sum up the day!

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Britt xo

 

Then & Now

09/13

Hey Muffins.

Hope you are ok and enjoying the crisp Autumnal weather! I know I am.

Todays post is all about personal growth. When I first started baking and cake decorating I was so proud of each and everything thing I created. Mainly because I’d never been that sort of girl to know her way around a kitchen. So with every cake and bake, I grew more and more in love with it.

Now, a few years down the line, even though I look back at my previous creations and think they aren’t great, it will never take away the feeling of happiness and pride that I felt when making them.

The old adage that practice makes perfect is so true. I’m learning new and wonderful things every day and I’m a firm believer in the fact that we never really stop learning! (Or making mistakes, but they are lessons in disguise!)

I recently made a Christening cake for the daughter of an old school friend. It was a three tier, simple but girly cake that I really enjoyed making. It got me thinking of the first ever tiered cake I made. I was practising and made it for a friends birthday in January 2011. Whilst I was very proud of the finished result, it was one of the hardest and most stressful things I had ever created. It brought me to tears and there and then I wanted to quit and never ice a cake for as long as I lived.

But when it was stacked up (wrongly, I hasten to add), I was so happy. And I knew that it was what I wanted to do for the rest of my life.

On the left is my first ever tiered cake which brought me through so much emotional turmoil, and on the right is the Christening cake which got picked up yesterday and caused me no trouble whatsoever.

Find something you love to do, and you’ll never work a day in your life” – Harvey MacKay


Happy Baking!

Britt xo

Cake and Bake Show 2013

09/13

Hello Muffins!

Hope you are all ok!

This weekend I was lucky enough to be invited along to the Cake and Bake Show at Earl’s Court as Sainsbury’s guest. I had a fabulous day, saw some old friends and made some new ones too!

Highlights of the day definitely include meeting all the lovely guys and girls from Great British Bake Off past and present. Catching up with Luisa Zissman from The Apprentice and her fab company The Baker Shop. (VERY excited for the release of her fabulous new brain child The Bakers Toolkit!) Being in a Q&A on the Lakeland stage with the charismatic Eric Lanlard. Watching Stacie Stewart on the Cake Kitchen. So much cake and bake awesome.

Special mention really needs to go to The Marshmallowists, who serve delicious gourmet marshmallows. You need to check them out!

Also a MASSIVE thank you to Sainsbury’s and if you are interested in baking you NEED to check out their new range. Fab baking products at affordable prices. Themed decorations and easy to use kits perfect for doing with the kids!

Britt xo

Q&A with Cat Dresser

09/13

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Hello Muffins!

The very lovely Cat Dresser from 2012’s Great British Bake Off has been kind enough to answer a few of my questions about her experience on GBBO. Cat is honestly, one of the nicest , most talented people I have ever met.

Thanks for this Cat! So what made you audition for GBBO?

I am a super mega GBBO fan and loved it from series 1. I looked at the application form for series 2, just out of curiosity, filled it in, sent it away and heard nothing at all (as expected). I watched and loved series 2, and did the same again…obviously knowing I would again not hear anything…but I did! I was SO shocked and never ever imagined that I would actually have been selected!

Was the audition process tough?

The audition process is top secret, but I can tell you that it is a long process and there’s lots involved but it was so much fun at every stage!

What was it like baking in front of the camera?

Baking in front if the cameras was initially terrifying but as you get to know the amazing crew you begin to relax and settle into it, plus the baking is the most important thing to you while you’re there and so this remains more of a focus than the cameras.

How/where did your love of baking start?

I am from a food obsessed family and my mum and three aunties are all incredible bakers (better than me…shhh!!!) so I have always been surrounded by wonderful things to eat, picking things up along the way.  Then I left home and had children and wanted to give them this love and experience too and so started to bake a lot more on my own, for and with them.

What was your favourite week on GBBO as in, what wsa your favourite bake?

I loved making my Wellington (giant sausage roll) the most mainly as it was the thing that all my family loved best during practice and also it went well on the day too and Mary really liked and understood my recipe.

What has been the most amazing thing to happen since doing GBBO?
I have been so incredibly lucky during and after Gbbo, I guess the most amazing thing is my book, I couldn’t have imagined doing any of the things I have done and am so indescribably grateful!

What advice would you give to someone wanting to audition?

My advice for someone wanting to audition is…. GO FOR IT, I can’t describe what a wonderful thing it is! Be Very honest with your application but also think of ways to really show and describe your skill and love!

Thank you again Cat for being part of She Who Bakes.

You can follow Cats adventures on twitter here;

https://twitter.com/cat_dresser

Happy baking!

Britt xo

Sainsbury’s Christmas Press Event

07/13

Today, I was lucky enough to have been invited to the Sainsbury’s Christmas Press Event in Covent Garden, London.

I was SUPER excited about not only getting to experience Christmas in July (on one of the hottest days of the year I’d like to point out…) but to also get a sneak peek at the amazing new products lined up to tantalise our tastebuds over the festive season.

Upon arriving, there were holly wreaths leading down the stairs and a tree with presents underneath to really set the scene. Forget the blazing hot sun outside, I was in an cool winter wonderland with the air full of Christmas songs and the smell of warming winter food.

I instantly headed for the baking section and I was not disappointed. To add to their ever expanding baking range of now icings (blog post about these bad boys coming soon!), condensed range of mixes, infused sugars and decorating equipment, I was very pleased to see new things coming out this year too. I got a sneak peek of some Christmas fruit packages that can easily be put into your tried and tested fruit cake recipe, chopped stem ginger, full strips of candied orange and lemon peel which would look perfect adorning a little fruit cake just on their own! Also their sprinkles which now come in an adorable little pinch pot and are a super fast and easy way to decorate cupcakes, especially if you’ve got little helpers with little hands! There were some amazing looking morello cherry ingredients too which I’m very much looking forward to trying and also mixes of fruits and nuts that are made especially to transform a plain cupcake or cookie recipe into something a little more special but without the extra effort and the cost of buying bigger packets. Trust me on this one, if baking is your thing, get down and try Sainsbury’s own brand of cake and bake goodies.

In the main hall, everything was set out like a Dickensian market place, and after visiting each stall for a period of time, it became very clear very quickly, that Sainsbury’s are so very passionate about giving their customers the best at not only the special time of year but all year round. The enthusiasm shown by these product developers really struck a chord with me. I was impressed by not only their knowledge of the products but their happiness when we enjoyed them.

We tried a large range of sweet products from cupcakes, frosting, ice cream and tarts, to more savoury and traditional morsels like chutneys, turkey, gammon, pies, salmon and cheese.

Even though my heart lies with baking, I have such a passion for food. Good food. And I do have to admit, Sainsbury’s have nailed Christmas. Their two ranges they were showcasing were the ‘By Sainsbury’s’ and the ‘Taste the Difference’ and both were superb.

The meats melted in your mouth, the Taste the Difference Norfolk black turkey terrine with pork, chestnut and maple stuffing wrapped in dry cured, oak smoked streaky bacon is going to be on my Christmas table, the salmon terrine with a red onion and cranberry relish crumbled in the right places and left no greasy aftertaste, the pies had the perfect crust and the cheese, well, let’s just say as a cheese fiend and after trying each one and learning about their maturing times, I still have yet to find a cheese I don’t like.

The homeware range was also on show from furnishings to decor and accessories making me want to start redecorating right now. And giving me a lot of inspiration to do so. The clothing, toys and presents department were fabulous and I’m already thinking about this years Christmas jumper! (Seriously, everyone needs a Christmas jumper…)

All in all, very impressed. And, even though it’s only July and we are in the middle of a heatwave, it’s never too early to start thinking about Christmas. But it’s ok, Christmas 2013 is sorted – thanks to Sainsbury’s.

Here are some pictures of my favourite parts of today!

Yes. That is me messing about with some of the props. When in Rome…

Until next time,

Britt xo

The Depressed Cake Shop

05/13

Hey muffins.

I can now reveal something I will be involved in later this year that I am very excited about. Miss Cakehead is a fabulous lady who is a freelance creative director. This year, Miss Cakehead’s charity project is The Depressed Cake Shop; ‘A unique pop up cake shop where every single cake on sale will be grey, colour only revealed on the inside.’

Please have a look at her fabulous blog and press release here.

Basically one in four of us will experience a mental health problem at some point in our lives. And from someone who has first hand experience, this is something I am very proud to be a part of.

I will be updating you more nearer the time as the pop up shop will be in London from the 2nd-4th August.

Britt xo

Giant Cupcake Shell Tutorial

05/13

I really like giant cupcakes. I love cupcakes in general so making it 24 times bigger is a plus in my opinion. But I get a lot of people asking the best way to finish off the base. Now there are many different options. You can buttercream it, similarly to the top. You can ice it with sugarpaste or you can leave it on it’s own in all it’s glory. But my favourite option has to be making a candy or chocolate shell to sit the base into. I think it’s very clean and neat, gives it a fab finish and it super easy to do!

You will need the base of your giant cupcake baking kit. I use the silicone one as it is much easier to get the base out than if you use a metal tin. And you will need some candy melts or Belgian chocolate. I have found that if you use standard chocolate bars, it may crack when you are trying to get it out and it also sometimes melt when you are handling it. I also advise painting the inside of your mould or tin with a little cake release first before pouring in the chocolate to make it easier to come out.

Melt your candy melts/belgian chocolate.

Pour half of this into your giant cupcake base.

With a silicon brush, paint the candy/belgian chocolate up the sides of the case, being quite quick but firm.

It should look like this! Then pop it in the fridge to set for twenty minutes or so then take it out and give it a second coat repeating the first few steps. You may need to remelt your candy/chocolate. Then put back in the fridge for a further twenty minutes.

Gently peel the top of the case away from the shell to check it has set. Then go around the shell only releasing the top like this.

Then pull the sides of the base down away from the shell like so.

And there you should have your giant cupcake base shell!

You will need to trim the cake that was baked in this shell as we have now make the base a little thicker. So trim, split and fill then place the cake inside the shell gently. Once it’s in, decorate as desired!

You can also repeat the process for the top to create an edible shell to fill with delicious treats like I’ve done here for Halloween –

halloween-giant-cupcake

Check out my other Halloween inspired recipes and tutorials here.

If you want to turn your baking hobby into a career, check out my ebook How To Start A Cake Business From Home for everything you need to know about running a successful baking business, including pricing, marketing, insurance and much more!

Give it a try and let me know how you get on either on Facebook or Twitter or Instagram.

Happy Halloween and happy baking!

Britt xo

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