Wednesday, 23 November 2011

The gorilla and the bunny?

We loved this cake so much we just 'had' to share it with you...

A client needed a birthday cake for both his boys who happen to have birthdays very close together...  Our 'Super' Dan & Vincenzo had one of their legendary brain storming sessions.. more cake than a girl can take so I usually stay well away.. the room is just too charged with male bonding.. things... & cake.. & stuff...

Anyway.. here is the result 'a brilliant, cute, quirky & highly original cake design' (said the boy's Dad !)... your next cake is FREE my good man!

We really like it & hope you do to.  All you need to do is email workable images of whoever you'd like to feature on the cake & Daniel will chat you through ideas for how to 'decorate' them.. maybe their favourite superhero.. film star.. cartoon character... royal...sports person... 'YOU DECIDE'... as they used to say on Channel 4... and now on Channel 5 !!! 

SORRY.. if you're reading this outside the UK & have no knowledge of British telly... you will not get my last joke... (not actually that funny)

1000th cake Sale!!! Day!!!!!!

Today is a day of celebration here at our Family Cake Company... we always knew that our amazing..

'DECO TUBE & MIXED BERRY CAKE' would be popular, but we've just sold our 1000'TH one... it really is a show stopper of a cake... sweet berries with white, dark & milk chocolate tubes made from the most delicious Belgian chocolate.  The sponge is either a light vanilla or a very chocolaty chocolate sponge, laced with a dash of Italian liquor, more fresh berries & St honore' cream & fresh cream...

Happy 1000'TH berry cake sale to us...

Lemon Tart...

... has long been a favourite of mine.. & funnily enough, I just can't get enough of it.  I have scoured the London restaurant scene for the best of the best..

I've driven Vincenzo mad about my favourites & hassled him enough to modify our almost perfect lemon tart to create what I consider to be THE PERFECT lemon tart... if you like it caramelised like I do... just pop it under the grill for a couple of mind with a sprinkle of icing sugar on top.. we find this brings out the flavour of the lemons even more than before...

(that rhymed!)

Someone who knows all about rhyming is the greatest Italian poet in history, Dante Alighieri, creator of the Divine Comedy.. .... anyway... where is this going??  

Whilst perusing the latest photos of the wonderful & everly sweeter by the day Vincenzo.. I noticed what a striking resemblance the great caker has to the great Italian 'Poeta' himself! Minus the leafy head dress and histrorical hoodie...

Moving swiftly onto the receipe...

For the sweet pastry

250 g plain flour

200 g unsalted butter, cut into dice

100 g icing sugar, sifted

pinch of sea salt

2 egg yolks

1 drop vanilla extract, optional

For the lemon custard  filling

+ 7 egg yolks

320 ml freshly squeezed lemon juice

zest of 5 lemons

375 g caster sugar

320 g unsalted butter

To serve

50 g icing sugar

crème fraîche (optional)

For the sweet pastry .. needs a bit of time, if you're pushed for time buy a best quality read made shortcrust pastry.

1. Sift the flour into a bowl and add the diced butter. Mix with your fingertips until you achieve a sandy texture. Do not overwork.

2. Sift in the icing sugar, add salt and mix with the fingertips.

3. Add the egg yolks and mix well using a fork, until the the mixture comes together as a dough.

4. Add the extract, if using, and knead 2-3 times.

5. Wrap in cling film and put in the fridge for 1 hour.

6. Preheat oven to 150C/gas mark 2. Line an 8 1/2 inch flan ring.

7. Grate the pastry into the case and press it down to form a base. Blind bake for 15 minutes or until golden.

For the filling.. this is simple
1. In a pan over low heat, cook the eggs, yolks, lemon, sugar and zest until it starts to thicken. Slowly beat in the butter.

2. Pour the mix into the case and leave to set at room temperature.

3. Sprinkle with sifted icing sugar and glaze under a grill. Serve with the creme fraiche, or a trickle of cream if you prefer



Friday, 18 November 2011

Ooooohhhh Nice!

We have been making Donuts..

Our lovely Vincenzo (look at that face !) has been busy developing a new range of home made donuts, Italian style.. for Sands Catering

We say Donut, Italians say: Ciambelle/ Krapfen/Bombolloni.

Italians are partial to a chocolate or custard filled.  Personally you can't beat a raspberry jam filled donut. (SWOON)

PS.. the donuts Vincenzo is modelling havedn't been cooked yet, incase you thought they looked a bit pale.  He's tried out oven baking as well as deep frying.. every calorie counts ladies & gents.

Friday, 11 November 2011

Have you got a Sonic Screwdriver

Dear Dr.Who.. & your good lady Amy, or is it Rose, or Donna... sorry can't keep up with the good Dr's lady friends..

Can I interest you in a brand new Tardis?  You've had yours for quite some time now..
Ours is made purley of sugar, marzipan & a couple of other things of which are of absolutely no taste at all to Darleks, Sybermen, Weeping Angels, Ice Worriors or Autons...

This Tardis is yet another of Anna & Vincenzo's amazing creations.  We made this with almost no notice, it was a real challenge but we are so thrilled with the result.  The perfect cake for all DR Who buffs..  If you need a birthday cake for a friend or a loved one throw us a challenge of their favourite film, hobby or TV show & see what Daniel can come up with for Anna & Vincenzo to create.
PS, the actual cakey bit of this cake, which is of course of equal importance to the design.. cakes are not only for looking at after all... was a light vanilla sponge with home made buttercream & a thick raspberry jam

Wednesday, 9 November 2011

Our Head Chef......

Here come the boys..

Or in this case here comes the boy...

6ft 3 inches of solid, rippeling brooding man chef.

Vincenzo is our very own pastry chef, 37 years old, single, sexy & loving the attention he's been getting recently.  He's fast becoming the new darling of the wedding cake world !  Ladies.. Lock up your fiancees !

How can it be that such big, strong confident hands can make such light delicate work of sponge, sugarcraft, piping & patisserie?

The temperature in the Family Cake kitchen is always very hot, & I don't mean because the oven is on too high!

Here are some images of the man himself... hey sugar, come & give us some sugar!

Petit Choux Who !?

The pastry shop Popelini in the Marais which took the cake eating fraternity of Paris by gale force earlier this year is devoted solely to delicious indiviudal choux buns or choux puffs.  Has the much celebrated macaroon had it's day? What of the Whoopie pie I hear you gasp? Should cup cakes to be relegated to the archives of old Sex & The City episodes?

Are we Brits ready to be wooed by a khelidascope of creamy delicately perfumed choux buns???  They look & sounds delicious, almost good enough to wear.  However,  has anyone pointed out to the elite A lister patisserie chefs in Paris that us Brits have been eating the such since before Artic Rolls & Vienettas became a thing of nostalgia... When's your next party Abigail?

Check out some of the creme filled choux buns we specialise in here at the Family Cake Company. Very delicious, VERY hard to say no to... so why bother... bon apetit !

Tuesday, 1 November 2011

The Mazipan Army!!!

June 4, 1940, Winston Churchill
"We shall not flag or fail. We shall go on to the end. We shall fight in France, we shall fight on the seas and oceans, we shall fight with growing confidence and growing strength in the air, we shall defend our island, whatever the cost may be. We shall fight on the beaches, we shall fight on the landing grounds, we shall fight in the fields and in the streets, we shall fight in the hills; we shall never surrender.

It's almost Christmas everyone.. we are the marzipan army!!!

First we have our infantry, the ever powerful, unstoppable and with a carrot nose.
They are many, they are tough, and they each have red scarf they are the SNOWMAN!!
Next we have our cavlary, they are quick, the hunt in packs and you might even find one with a red nose.
They are proud warriors who never back down and can be counted to save the day even in the worse conditions, they are the REINDEER!!

Last, but certainly not the least we have the muscle behind our army. I look to think of them as the siege wepions, but way cooler.

I like to think that these proud noble beasts have the tenacity to be able win any battle that we face. They are determined, they are relentless, but also adorable, they are the POLAR BEARS!!!

Now watch out this Christmas since this army is going to be just what the doctor ordered.

Till nex time, Mark out

Introucing the Man With the Cake Touch

We don’t talk enough about Daniel.  So where to begin… ?

Daniel comes from a long, sweet, sugary line of cake makers, bakers & designers.  His destiny was almost mapped out for him in chocolate icing, so much so that by the tender age of 22 he was firmly at the helm of the great cake shop & café bar to the stars, soho boho’s & glitterati....None other than AMATO Patisserie.  Amato knew no limits in cake innovation.  Daniel’s imagination was put to task again & again when commissioned to create wedding cakes for those who were looking for a total change from the traditional 3 stack white tower. A birthday was not complete without a choux bun, cream swirled dream, filled with pasticciera & fresh berries… & on it went. 
The taste was always as important as the quirky, pretty ‘out there’ designs.  No two cakes were ever the same & before long Daniel’s flair & originality earnt him a well deserved reputation.
Not only did people flock to Amato to indulge in all things cream & cake but simply to dip their toe into Daniel’s eccentric whirlwind of conversation. Each morning whilst the local Soho media & advertising darlings queued for one of Mr Rap’s perfectly executed cappuccinos with only the right amount of silky froth dusted with the darkest cocoa, Daniel would wow everyone with stories as flamboyant & as rich as one of his chocolate truffle cakes. The women wanted to be with him… and the guys definitely wanted to be him (or even occasionally be with him.. well, this was ‘roaring Soho’ in the early ‘nauties’ after all ! !)

The good news is that Daniel is still busy designing cakes, his designs still know no limit and along with his protégés Vincenzo & Anna right here at The Family Cake Company, Daniel is all set to keep the sugar boiling..

Next… Here come the boys… look out for the bio on the gorgeous Vincenzo, our very own Italian Stallion from darkest Sicilia !!

Complimets go out to Mireille Bonello  who wrote this wonderful blog about Daniel...

Till nex time this Mark signing off. Have a good week cake lovers