Tuesday, 9 April 2013

This Month – No April Showers, please

At the risk of sounding very old… Is it April already? Seriously!

As usual, my March plan didn’t quite go as expected. Although the important things got done: wedding cake, fundraising, lots of dancing to 70s tunes…, I am still feeling a bit disappointed with my slow progress with this blog. I have a few things I know I want to do for definite this month but, with even less time than before, it’s going to be a bit of a task. (And I still need to catch up with what I did last month! Eeek!)

So what’s going on this month?

In my non-baking life, I am a mere civil servant. I say ‘mere’ but I actually adore my proper job nearly as much as I adore cake. I consider myself to be very lucky to work for English Heritage and to spend my working life in the most fascinating places.

My current work home is Mount Grace Priory in North Yorkshire. It offers the best preserved ruins of a Carthusian monastery, a beautiful 17th century commonwealth house with 19th century Arts & Crafts interiors, beautiful gardens, and an angry goose. It’s my spiritual home; the place where I can actually feel my soul being in a state of complete peace. Really.

If you are ever in the Yorkshire area, I urge you to go there, not just because I work there and we need the visitors, but because it is a truly fascinating place and immensely underrated. A hidden gem, if  you like. 

Due to budget cuts a couple of years ago, for 6 months of the year I work a measly total of 14 hours a week. This Easter weekend, however, marked the beginning of our summer season and will see me back at work 5 days a week like a proper person. This means that I now have to fit in cakes on my evenings. I have a feeling I will be pining for 14 hours weeks very soon…

I’ve got a few cakes to do this month and I’m looking forward to them. There’s a Paris themed one for a 50th birthday, giant cupcakes, my VW Campervan one (which was moved to this month,) golden anniversary cakes, and a cake for my boyfriend’s birthday which I can’t wait to do!

Left to right: cake my own, Paris hearts, Eiffel cake topper
I also hope I find some time to do some baking and hopefully bake something a little different compared to the masses of sponge cakes I have been doing lately!

Practice Makes Perfect

In August I am doing a wedding cake for a friend of a friend. I am very much looking forward to it because if I were to have a wedding cake it would be just like this one. That means, however, that in the next few months I need to get really good at royal icing! So, in order to take on this quest, I have bought Eddie Spence’s The Art of Royal Icing. This guy is a royal icing guru; MBEs don’t lie. 

Left to right: black icing, white wedding
Aside from needing it for the cake, whenever I use royal icing, I always dream of being an expert in its ways, so hopefully this will help me towards that and I will find the time to document my progress on here!

I wish you all the very best of sunny Aprils! Happy caking! J
Vicky xx

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