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March-ing on...

I can't believe it's March already! I've had a very busy start to 2017 hence why I've not had time to write any blog posts. I've got four weddings under my belt already this year along with a photo shoot, a proposal cake, lots of celebration cakes & cupcakes, plenty of wedding consultations, my first workshop, a fair few gluten-free cakes and the odd unicorn thrown in! So getting time to clear my inbox & messages has been tricky let alone finding time to sit and compose something for my blog.

Selection of wedding cakes so far this year

Since setting up 'bake...' just over a year ago, I've been concentrating on growing my presence locally through social media and word-of-mouth. What started out as predominantly birthday cakes, has evolved into more weddings as I've grown in confidence and settled into my 'style' of baking & decorating. At the end of last year, I was shortlisted in the Best Newcomer category in The Wedding Industry Awards which was a real boost, firstly to be voted for by my brides & grooms, and secondly to be recognised & endorsed by industry experts.

So this year will be all about developing new skills. I've already started to learn how to use edible paints on cakes after receiving my first set of Natasha Collins edible paints (by Squires Kitchen) for Christmas. There are so many beautiful hand-painted cakes but it is definitely something that requires a lot of practice, patience - and a steady hand. At the end of April, I'm attending a modern calligraphy workshop run by Polly & Me which I'm super excited about. Hopefully I'll be able to write beautiful labels & signs for my cakes and maybe even transfer the skill to writing or painting onto icing. Having never attended any sugar craft courses, my sugar-flower-making skills are pretty basic. YouTube is a wonderful teacher and last month I made my first ever wired sugar flower. I didn't have any of the kit so was pretty impressed with my novice efforts. It spurred me to invest in a veining board, some stamens and a set of proper peony cutters! So watch this space as I attempt more sugar floral work...

Hand painted cakes and sugar flower

I also held my first trial workshop last month which, despite my nerves, was a great success. I had two lovely ladies who were keen bakers but wanted to learn some more refined decorating techniques. We butter-creamed, ganached and decorated to create two masterpieces that they were able to take home with them. There has been a lot of interest in future classes so again, watch this space as I increase equipment and sort out logistics.

Cake Decorating Workshop

Next month, I shall be exhibiting at the beautiful Tissington Hall again which I'm looking forward to. It's always lovely to meet new couples and their families, especially in such stunning surroundings. The Wedding Open Day is on Sunday 2nd April, 11am - 3pm at Tissington Hall, DE6 1RA.

Tissington Hall Wedding Open Day

I've also bought some isomalt nibs to experiment with, I want to have a stab at a geode cake, try my hand at marbling with water icing, nail mirror glazing... and those damned macarons!! Will I ever bake a perfect batch of bloody macarons?!

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