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Calling all brides...

Wedding season is well under way with plenty of local Open Days and Wedding Fairs to visit. These are an ideal way to view venues, meet suppliers and start to firm up your ideas and plans for your special day. I have been lucky enough to be invited to two stunning locations this spring.

Last weekend I was exhibiting wedding cakes at the magnificent Tissington Hall. The 17th century mansion is in the heart of the Peak District and boasts a brand new wedding pavilion in the beautiful gardens. My cakes and I were situated in the library, surrounded by old books, casement windows and a crackling fire. I could quite happily have spent the night there curled up on the sofa reading a book and eating cake!

I baked two 'display' cakes: A 3 tier classic Victoria sponge that had buttercream around the bottom tier, a thin scraped layer of buttercream around the middle tier to give a semi-naked finish, then a naked top tier. This was finished with a gold 'love' topper, fresh roses, honeysuckle and peach blossom. The other cake was a towering eight layers of mocha sponge split into two tiers and coated with vanilla buttercream smoothed to a semi-naked finish. It was drizzled with salted caramel and piped with Swiss meringue which I crisped & coloured with my handy little blow torch (!) then dressed with gold-dusted fresh red currants.

To accompany these two beauties, I made samples of my most popular sponge flavours - lemon, salted caramel and chocolate. I topped the lemon sponge squares with a blob (very technical term...) of lemon curd, a Swiss meringue kiss and a wedge of fresh raspberry. The salted caramel ones had a piped swirl of buttercream and were drizzled with salted caramel and the chocolate sponge was topped with a dark chocolate ganache, drizzled white chocolate and brushed gold dust. Needless to say, the samples all disappeared! The salted caramel proved to be the most popular (it's my personal fave) with lots of positive feedback and happy brides!

So now I can look forward to showcasing more cakes at The Heath House at Tean, near Uttoxeter next month. The amazing Peak Tipis are holding their Spring Open Weekend there and will be championing the best local wedding suppliers. Their giant Kata Tipis will be styled for an on-trend 2016 wedding so once again, calling all brides... Saturday 7th and Sunday 8th May, 10am - 4pm.

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