My Day At Candy Mechanics!

02/17

This week, I was invited to Candy Mechanics HQ. Found deep in the heart of Somerset House in the ‘Makerversity’ workspace, filled with exciting and creative start up businesses, was a modern day chocolate factory!

Candy Mechanics have introduced the world’s first 3D consumable product created from a smartphone – and it’s your own head made in chocolate!! When I got the invitation a few weeks ago, the idea of making my own head on a chocolate lollipop (or lolpop as they are called) both fascinated and excited me.

Founded by Sam Part and Ben Redford back in 2015, the food tech startup collaborated with confectionery developer William Leigh, former chief taster at Green & Blacks, to produce their range of chocolate products. Developing the technology with engineer Chris Tait, the team have created a completely unique process to create incredible customised candy products.

It’s worth noting that this is not 3D printing. Candy Mechanics use 3D scanning and then carve the heads using a customised CNC mill. So I went along and was very excited to check it out!

Even though it’s in Somerset House, this part of the building felt akin to a secret underground laboratory from Despicable Me! I was fascinated. The machine set up was the Candy Carve – that bit of kit under the plastic box, a laptop and a 3D scanner. By having all of this in one easy to transport area, Candy Mechanics are able to take this technology out and about so anyone can have their head made from Belgian white, milk or dark chocolate. If you’re not in front of the machine itself, you can upload a 30 second video of your head, or anyone’s head for that matter, and send it in via their website to get your mini chocolate sculptures sent by post.

I sat still for 30 seconds, which was actually really tricky for me, so the scanner could build up an accurate image of my head. It then loaded it to the laptop so I could get a peek at me in blue 3D! Then it was cropped to fit the lollipop shape and we were good to go. They popped in a milk chocolate pop into the machine and away it went! Check out the video below to see how it carved me out of chocolate! I’ve sped up the process but in real time it only took about 5 minutes.

There I am! I’m so impressed!! I thought there would be a vague resemblance but I can 100% see it’s me! I look good dusted gold. Haha! I think it’s an awesome idea, perfect for a unique present!

Priced at £20, the Lolpops come in a box of 3 with one to eat, one to keep and one to share. These currently come in a selection of white, dark or milk chocolate and are dusted with edible gold lustre.

To find out more about Candy Mechanics, their Lolpos and the other products they offer, check out their website here.

Massive thank you to everyone at Candy Mechanics for a fantastic day. I don’t want to eat chocolate me! I think I’ll keep her forever!

Britt xo

World Nutella Day

02/17

I LOVE Nutella. Give me a jar and a spoon and I’m happy. However, if you would like to do something a little more sophisticated with this marvellous chocolate hazelnut spread, I’ve put all of my Nutella recipes for you below, click on the pictures to get to them!

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

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!

Happy baking!

Britt xo

Ferrero Rocher Cake

Nutella Filled Pancakes

Peanut Butter & Nutella Cake Nutella Maple Syrup Banan Bread

Cinnamon Nutella Muffins

 

 

 

Happy 4th Birthday to She Who Bakes!

01/17

Oh wow. Four years! My little blog is now four years old! On this day back in 2013, I published my first ever baking blog post. It was about macarons (or macaroons as I called them then!) hundreds of posts and two websites later, my blog has grown into something wonderful. Not only did writing about my baking adventures help me out of a very dark time, it has progressed to become my full time job and more than that, very much a part of who I am.

Those who have followed me for a while may know my story. A mixing bowl and wooden spoon became my saviour. I often say I ‘baked my way out of depression‘ and it’s true. Teaching myself how to bake, creating cakes and writing about them got me out of such a bad time in my life and I’m so grateful for it. I can’t believe it’s four years down the line and just how much has changed.

I just wanted to personally extend a big, BIG thank you. Thank you to every one of you who reads my blogs, uses my recipes, watches my videos and likes what I do. Wether you have been following me for four years, four months or four days, I am so grateful to you all.

Here’s to more wonderful years of baking and blogging.

Happy baking,

All my love, Britt xo

Now Cook It Lunch with SortedFood and Coop!

01/17

This week, I attended the launch of a new online cooking school brought to life by a tasty partnership of SortedFood and Coop!

SortedFood started in 2009 in Hertfordshire, England by a group of old school friends who, upon realising they were surviving on mostly microwave ready meals, decided to start sharing recipe ideas with each other on the back of beer mats in the pub! Seven years and two million subscribers later they have got people talking about food in a whole new way in this digital age!

Now, partnering with the Coop, they bring you Now Cook It. The first step to help address the cooking skills gap. It’s aimed at those who didn’t really learn cooking at school, didn’t master much of it at home and want to know how to do all the cool stuff in the kitchens and those looking to brush up on their skills. 27% of millennials have never been interested in learning to cook and 28% of those who can’t cook don’t see the importance in being able to. Now Cook It looks to change that!

I went along to Google HQ in London on Friday afternoon and cooked up a mean sausage carbonara (if I say so myself!) with the SortedFood boys, Mike, Ben, Barry and Jamie.

Now Cook It takes you through the process of learning to cook from start to finish, from de-seeding a pepper and poaching an egg, to cooking a steak and making a tomato sauce, there are so many core techniques shown in an easy video format. There are also a ton of recipes available including the sausage carbonara I got to make and eat!

I’m a keen baker, that much is clear, but I’ve never been the best or most confident cook. I spent 90% of my day in a kitchen and there are so many things I don’t know how to do! I’ve already watched so many of the core technique videos! I think it’s fab and especially being of the generation who maybe didn’t get the most extensive food education, I think it’s something so many people (of all ages) can benefit from! You can find all the information about it on their website here.

Happy baking, and cooking!

Britt xo

Peanut Butter Recipes

01/17

I love peanut butter. It’s one of those things that I can have at any time of the day, in any season. Below, I’ve compiled my favourite peanut butter recipes, including three no-bake treats and a show stopping cake! Click on the pictures for the recipes! I’m planning a lot more recipes including peanut butter over the next few months so watch this space and sign up to my newsletter at the bottom of the page for updates!

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 baking!

Britt xo

Peanut Butter & Nutella Cake

frozen banana chocolate peanut butter bites

Peanut Butter Cookie Dough Bites Gluten and Dairy Free

peanut butter chocolate squares

 

Christmas Chocolate Ombre Cake with Stork

12/16

This week I’ve been part of something very exciting! Stork wants to help the novice and avid baker to get creative in the kitchen and wow their friends and family this Christmas through creating a show-stopping, crowd- pleasing cake! As part of this campaign, I’ve been invited to recreate their Christmas Chocolate Ombre cake created by Ruth Clemens and put my own festive spin on it!

For those who follow my posts and recipes, you’ll see I use Stork in a number of my bakes. It always makes for a light and fluffy sponge and is perfect for a classic Victoria sponge. I also highly recommend it in Maderia cakes and I use it in my Classic Birthday Cake recipe. Their Stork with Butter is perfect for soft sponges and smooth fillings alike so I couldn’t wait to get baking!

You may or may not know that I’ve currently got one working hand after breaking a bone in my left hand last month but that hasn’t stopped me from making some tasty treats in my lovely red kitchen.

One thing that is pretty cool about this product, is that it can be used straight from the fridge! How many times have I forgotten to get the butter out to bring it to room temperature and had to wait ages before I could get my apron on and get baking! It’s lovely and smooth and has a nice buttery taste.

Baking The Cake

Using Ruth Clemens’ Christmas Chocolate Ombre cake recipe, I made three sponges; a vanilla, medium chocolate and full chocolate. Stork with Butter creates more volume as you mix, producing a lighter, fluffier texture! I baked them for the time stated and left to cool completely. I then wrapped them in cling film and left them in a cool room overnight. This is one of my baking top tips as when you are stacking and decorating, as we will be doing with this cake, it’s best to let the crumb structure ‘firm up’ as once made a cake can be very fragile. By leaving it wrapped well overnight, there is less chance of crumbs falling off or the cake breaking apart when you handle it.

 

 

The Buttercream

Again, following the recipe on the Bake with Stork website, I made the delicious soft buttercream using Stork with Butter. I have adapted it slightly by not using coca powder and instead using almond extract. As I wanted quite a pale colour buttercream to contrast with my decorations, I firstly beat the Stork with Butter on it’s own on a high speed for about 5 minutes. This aerated it and made it go a much paler colour. I then added in the icing sugar and mixed well. Finally, just to get a nice pale colour, I added in a teeny tiny bit of purple concentrated food colouring as this neutralises any yellow. You can read more about this here.

Then to stack the cake I started with the most chocolate sponge, then a layer of luscious buttercream, then the mid chocolate sponge, more buttercream and finally the vanilla sponge. Then I covered this all in a thin layer of buttercream and chilled for 15 minutes before taking it out and covering in a second and final layer just to cover up any crumbs or dark sections of chocolate sponge showing through.

The Decorations

I wanted to decorate my cake in a very festive way so I’ve gone for the classic colours of red and green. To top the cake I’m making frosted cranberries and edible holly leaves.

For the frosted cranberries you will need;

  • Cranberries
  • 1 egg white
  • 50g caster sugar
  • Kitchen roll
  • 2 forks
  1. Into a bowl pour in 1 egg white, whisk lightly with a fork.
  2. Drop a cranberry into the egg white and make sure it is covered nicely.
  3. Remove with a fork and drop this into the bowl of sugar. Shake the bowl around and move the cranberry to coat it nicely in sugar.
  4. Remove and pop on some kitchen roll to dry.

Try not to touch them with your fingers when they are wet as you may rub the sugar off.

For the holly leaves you will need;

  • Green sugarpaste (ready to roll icing)
  • Rolling pin
  • Cornflour
  • Holly leaf cutter or a sharp knife to cut them free hand
  • Drying foam or kitchen roll
  1. Roll out green sugarpaste onto a surface dusted with cornflour
  2. Using a cutter or sharp knife, cut out your holly leaves
  3. Leave these to dry on foam or kitchen roll

To Decorate

This is completely up to you! You can do pairs of berries with leaves, do a random pattern, or like I’ve done, stack frosted cranberries in the centre of the cake to form a festive pyramid and surround that in holly leaves! I’ve also made a border of frosted cranberries, with a few leaves on the side.

However you decorate your cake, you know it’s going to taste fantastic! Stork with Butter has unique qualities make it perfectly designed for baking as it’s the best choice for light and fluffy cakes with rich creamy icing and buttery taste!

You can see the Chocolate Ombre Cake recipe on Stork’s website here.

Give them a go this festive season and impress your guests with a Christmas showstopper! I’d love to see how you get on, tweet or Facebook me and use the hashtag #bakewithstork so that I can see them.

Merry Christmas and happy baking!

Britt xo

Cake serves: 16

Each serving contains:                         Percentage per serving*

Energy: 2161kj/513kcal                                      26%

  • Fat: 28.1g                                            40%
  • Saturates: 11.1g                                  56%
  • Sugars: 62.6g                                      70%
  • Salt: 0.7g                                             12%

*% of Reference Intake of an average adult (8400kJ/2000kcal)

This cake is intended as an indulgent festive treat

This is a sponsored post in partnership with Stork – Bake with Stork Christmas Campaign to encourage everyone to get baking this festive season! All views and opinions are my own.

How To Make A Giant Cupcake Christmas Tree

12/16

Merry Christmas!!

Tis the season of festive bakes and you don’t get much more festive than an edible Christmas tree! This fun cake design is easy to make and sure to impress your guests this season.

I’ve based it on a Giant Cupcake but you could easily do this with two 7″ round cakes carved to make a similar shape.

For this cake, I recommend making the cake, decorations and covering the board on the first day, leaving everything to set and then coming back to stack and decorate the following day.

You’re going to need;

  • Giant Cupcake (you can find my recipe here)
  • Small cake board (I’m using a 6″ round)
  • 250g sugarpaste in your chosen colour
  • A pack of milk chocolate candy melts, candy buttons or 300g milk chocolate
  • Ingredients to bake buttercream (see below)
  • A large piping bag
  • 2D nozzle
  • Green buttercream (you can find my recipe here, I’ve coloured with Sugarflair Party Green)
  • Christmas themed moulds/cutters for decorations/pre-made decorations or sweets
  • A small bit of royal icing
  • 15mm ribbon & double sided sticky tape OR washi tape

Equipment can be purchased from Iced Jems.

The first thing you’ll need is a Giant Cupcake, you can follow my step by step tutorial on how to make one here. I recommend making it the day before you want to decorate to give it time to firm up so it doesn’t fall apart when we are decorating. Make sure to leave it wrapped well in cling film in a cool dry room. I don’t advise decorating cakes the day you make them for this very reason. Read more about my cake timeline here.

Next, we’re going to make the star to top the tree as well as any other decorations you would like. To make the star you will need;

  • Yellow modelling paste
  • Large star cutter
  • Cornflour
  • Small rolling pin

Start by colouring modelling paste yellow (if starting with white), using a concentrated colouring. I’m using Sugarflair Melon. Then roll it out onto a surface dusted with cornflour and cut out a large star. Leave to dry overnight on foam.

Then, go on to make any other decorations you would like. Using flower paste and a plunger cutter I have made snowflakes and using modelling paste and silicone moulds I have made small stockings which I have painted with edible food paint and I’m using small store bought candy canes. You can make whatever you like or alternatively use pre-made edible Christmas decorations readily available in cake shops and supermarkets alike.

Next, we’re going to cover our board. I am a firm believer in covering cake boards with sugarpaste (read more about my crusade here) as I feel it adds a professional touch to your bakes and makes them look a bit more special. So for this you will need 100g sugarpaste (ready to roll icing) in whatever colour you like. I’m using a brown as I will be texturing the board to look like wood grain.

To do this, roll out your icing to 5mm thick on a corn floured surface, turning the sugarpaste as you roll to get an even shape and to stop it sticking. Spray your drum lightly with water and then using your rolling pin to lift your sugarpaste, lay it gently on the drum, securing it with your hand and cutting off the excess with a sharp knife. To see a video of me covering a board in sugarpaste, check out my post here.

Before I leave my board to set, I’m going to texture it with a textured mat. Starting at one end of the board, push the pattern onto the sugarpaste in an even fashion. Leave to set overnight.

Then, using either double sided tape and 15mm ribbon or washi tape (I’ve used sparkly silver washi), decorate the edge of your cake drum.

On to day 2!

The first thing we are going to do today is make the cupcake shell. I’m using milk chocolate candy buttons, to resemble the trunk of the tree but you can use whatever colour you like. You can also use candy melts or anything similar or milk chocolate instead. If using chocolate I recommend using good quality 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.

  1. Melt your candy melts/belgian chocolate.
  2. Pour half of this into your giant cupcake base.
  3. With a silicone brush, paint the candy/belgian chocolate up the sides of the case, being quite quick but firm.
  4. 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.
  5. Put back in the fridge to set for a further twenty minutes.
  6. Gently peel the top of the case away from the shell to check it has set.
  7. Then go around the shell only releasing the top.
  8. Then pull the sides of the base down away from the shell.

So now we have our shell and our board and decorations from the day before. Time to put it all together!

You will first need to level both cakes, using a cake leveller so they sit flat and then you will need to trim the base cake slightly as now the shell is a little thicker thanks to the candy buttons.

Then, split the base cake in two and fill with whatever filling you would like! I’m using a vanilla buttercream I’ve coloured green with Sugarflair Party Green, you can find my recipe here.

Crumb coat the base cake by spreading a thin layer of buttercream around the outside. Once set, gently put your base cake into it’s chocolate shell. Spread a little buttercream on top of the base cake.

Gently place on the cupcake top. Press down gently but firmly to ensure it is stuck down. Crumb coat the top of your cake by spreading on a thin layer of green buttercream, this will help your piping to stick and stop any cake from showing through.

Next, we’ll decorate the top with buttercream swirls. Fit a large piping bag with a nozzle of your choice, I’m using a 2D, and then fill the bag with green buttercream.

Starting around the base of your cupcake top, pipe swirls starting on the inside and working your way out gently but firmly, making sure to allow a little room between your nozzle and the cake for the design to come out. Go around the base of your cupcake top and then in between these on a second layer. Repeat until you are at the top and then pipe one large swirl on the very top of your cupcake. Pipe small stars in any gaps by squeezing firmly, stopping squeezing and then pulling away. You can find out more about piping on my online Cupcake Course.

Decorate as desired, placing the large star into the buttercream at the top of your cake and then any other shapes you like.

Once decorated, carefully fix your cake onto your iced board using a little buttercream.

Leave in a cool dry room until serving! This will last about a week if decorated fully (so no air can get to the sponge!) and then 3 days once cut into if wrapped well in cling film. Make sure to not leave it in a room that gets too warm for too long or the buttercream and chocolate casing may start to melt!

A perfect centrepiece for your Christmas table and a nice alternative to traditional desserts!

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.

Merry Christmas and happy baking!

Britt xo

Giant Cupcake Christmas Tree by She Who Bakes

 

How To Make A Santa Cake

12/16

At this years Manchester Cake & Bake Show, I demonstrated in the Baking & Decorating Classroom, how to make this fun and festive Santa Face Cake!

Follow my below tutorial to make your own for a fabulous centrepiece for your Christmas celebrations.

I’m using my 7″ round madeira cake recipe and vanilla buttercream. Both recipes can be found here.

For my cake timeline, which takes you thorough when you can bake and decorate your cake, click here.

I recommend using modelling paste to make the face as it’s less fragile. It can also be made on a smaller scale and used to decorate cupcakes!

The face and snowflakes can be made ahead of time, keep decorations in a cake box or another container that the air can get to (not in a sealed box, otherwise they may melt). For more on types of icing, check out my blog post here. Ideally, leave your decorations to dry overnight until they are firm before using to decorate.

I recommend using actual edible glue as opposed to water as water can make your shapes soggy. My top tip with edible glue is less is more! Only use a small amount.

For this I have used white modelling paste and coloured what I needed using Sugarflair colours Paprika/Flesh. I use pre-coloured red and black modelling paste.

Equipment can be purchased from Iced Jems.

Equipment
  • 7″ round tin
  • 7″ round thin cake card
  • 10″ round drum
  • 1kg white sugar paste
  • 100g Red modelling paste
  • 100g Peach modelling paste
  • Small piece of black modelling paste
  • Small bowl of caster sugar
  • White flower paste
  • Snowflake plunger cutter
  • Moustache cutter
  • Cutting wheel
  • Crimpers
  • Dusting brush
  • Pink edible dust colour
  • Paintbrush
  • Edible glue
  • Large rolling pin
  • Icing spacers
  • Smoothers
  • Royal icing
  • Christmas ribbon
  • Double sided tape

For the snowflakes

Roll out flower paste very thinly and use a snowflake plunger cutter. Leave these snowflakes to dry on foam overnight and when dry, attach with edible glue and by gently sticking the snowflakes into the side of the cake. I have also sprayed mine with shimmer spray but this is up to you.

For the cake

Split and fill your cake with your desired buttercream or ganache and secure your cake to the thin board using buttercream.

Prepare cake by lightly coating with buttercream or ganache.

 

Before rolling out icing, knead until it’s a workable consistency. If the icing is sticky or your hands are very warm, sprinkle lightly with cornflour. Lightly dust your smooth work surface also to prevent it sticking.

Roll out your sugar paste to a 1/4 of an inch thickness. If it helps, you can use icing spacers which are perfect for this.

To keep the sugar paste from sticking, lift and move it around as your roll. Add more cornflour if needed.

Gently lift icing over rolling pin to move and lower it onto your cake

Shape sugar paste to sides of cake using your hands and then your smoothers. I recommend using a smoother because the pressure of your hands may leave impressions on your sugar paste.

Beginning in the middle of the cake top, gently rub the sugar paste onto the cake. Start on one side and by a process of gently lifting any creases out and lifting down onto your cake, you can secure the sugar paste all the way around. If an air bubble appears, use a scribe to gently pop the bubble and smooth the air out.

Use your smoother to mark the sugar paste at the base of the cake and trim the excess using a palette knife or sharp knife.

Repeat this process to ice the board, sticking the icing down with a little water or piping jelly.

Using a crimper, crimp the edges of your icing, starting at the back of your cake and board. Go around evenly and decisively.

Fix your iced cake to your iced cake drum with a little royal icing.

Your cake is now ready to decorate!

For the Santa face

Roll out peach coloured icing to ¼” thick. Cut out a circle using a large circle cutter. This will be Santa’s face. Leave the face to dry on a piece of foam.

Roll out white icing to the same thickness. Cut out the same sized circle as the face then cut a third of that circle out with the same cutter, creating a crescent shape. This will be his beard. Using a little edible glue, stick the beard to the bottom half of the face making sure to cover the bottom ridge of peach icing. Then cut out a white moustache using a cutter or cut one out freehand using a cutting wheel. Glue this onto the beard.

Roll out red icing and cut out the same sized circle as the face then cut two thirds of that circle out with the same cutter, creating a smaller crescent shape. This will be his hat. Stick this to the top of the face using a little edible glue.

Then, using a cutting wheel, cut out an elongated triangle, gluing it to the hat, starting in the middle.

Then, for the bobble, roll out a small ball of white icing, paint thinly in edible glue and roll in caster sugar. Glue this at the end of the hat point.

Roll out a thin strip of white icing and glue this around the base of the hat to create the rim.

To finish the face, roll a small ball of peach icing and glue just above the moustache to create the nose.

Roll two smaller balls of black icing and glue in place for the eyes.

For the flush cheeks, use a large dusting brush and pink edible dust colour. Dab a little colouring onto the cheeks.

When your Santa face has dried, glue this to the centre of your cake using a little edible glue.

Finish your cake with a ribbon and bow around the base of the cake and the rim of the board.

 

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.

Merry Christmas and happy baking!

Britt xo

All of my online cake decorating courses are currently HALF PRICE! Grab a bargain here.

Santa Face Cake by She Who Bakes

Christmas Tree Cupcakes

12/16

It’s feeling very festive in the She Who Bakes kitchen this week!

I’ve made these gorgeous white chocolate cupcakes with white vanilla buttercream and desiccated coconut, topped with an edible white chocolate Christmas tree, exclusively for Party Cakes & Bakes Cake Craft Guide; a magazine from Cake, Decoration & Sugarcraft Magazine!

Grab your copy either in your local supermarket or online here.

Merry Christmas and happy baking!

Britt xo

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