c December 2012 | Garden, Tea, Cakes, (Books) and Me

Christmas Wish List - Part 2

Following on from my very garden orientated Christmas Wish List Part 1, you will see much more of an indoor theme for my Christmas Wish List - Part 2.  You will spot a few extreme items on the list making this truly a 'wish list'.

Dear Santa

If you have any room on your sleigh would you mind ever so just throwing these few things in...

What baking bonkers person would not want a shiny red Kitchen Aid mixer. 

A First Edition of Gone With the Wind by Margaret Mitchell, one of my favourite books and what I would not give for a first edition.

I am really into using chocolate in my baking at the moment and would love a gadget to keep the chocolate at the perfect temperature. Until my fad with chocolate fades I will continue to use the trusted pyrex bowl over a saucepan of hot water method.

Now this is rather indulgent of me but who would not want their very own dry floatation bed, a truly relaxing experience without having to visit a health spa. I have a feeling Santa will not have room in his sack for this.

A brand spanking new kitchen, with an oven that gets reliably hot. This photo of an unusual round kitchen island caught my eye from bespoke kitchen design company called Smallbone.

Now I could not leave my cat off the Christmas wish list particularly when I spotted this amazing cat bed from design company Vurv Design studio. Yes you guessed it, it costs a small fortune.

Happy Christmas!
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The Christmas cake that won't be eaten

You would think that most people would be only too willing to tuck into a cake. But I'm having real problems getting family to eat my Bauble Christmas Cake. It was intended to be eaten at a family Christmas 'do' at my Aunt and Uncle's, I'd received lots super comments about the cake and must admit it looked rather magnificent out on display. There were gasps of "oh my" and "wow" and "that's amazing" and "we can not possible cut into the cake" and you guessed it that is exactly what happened.  No one would cut into the Christmas Bauble cake! Luckily I had also made some snowflake fairy cakes and a snowflake version of butterfly cakes, which were eaten in the blink of an eye.

Who knows maybe by the New Year the Christmas Bauble Cake will be a mere sprinkling of crumbs. Thanks to my cousin for taking these photographs, a chance for her to try our her new camera and very good photographs they are too.
Royal icing stencil snowflakes

Snowflake fairy cakes
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Vintage Inspired Christmas Bauble Cake

Vintage Inspired Christmas Bauble Cake
At the beginning of December a friend and I attended a cake decorating course, to make the exquisite Vintage Inspired Christmas Bauble  Cake you see above.  It was a full day course run by the very talented Louise Scofield, I've been on a few cake courses in the past and I have to say that this was the most relaxed and enjoyable I have been on.  With five eager learners the course started promptly at 10am, which is good I like prompt. Now when I say eager learners I'm doing the ladies on the course a disservice for they were all accomplished cake decorators.   
Louise sharing her skills
I loved the fact that this course was not your usual square or round shaped cake but a ball. I don't have a ball shape cake tin, so I chose to buy my fruit cake, but two ladies on the course made their own - impressive I can tell you. Now onto decorating that cake, there were many steps from the start to the finish but here here is a visual guide.

Now whilst it was not quite that quick to complete the finished cake I can say that there was no pressure to hurry along and finish. Normally on a course I have one eye on everyone else worrying that I need to stay ahead. I learnt so many new tips and techniques, which hopefully I can remember for future cake decorating. The one thing that you really can not appreciate on the photographs is all the shimmer and sparkle on the cakes, something the camera has not quite captured.
You can see from the cakes above we all made slightly different styles of Christmas Bauble CakesI had a thoroughly enjoyable day thanks to Louise and my fellow cake decorators.  Handy too not having to travel far for the course, Louise offers a choice of locations either lovely Shropshire (yes I know I'm somewhat biased) or Bilston near Wolverhampton. I shall certainly be keeping my eye on Louise's workshop schedule for 2013.
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A Christmas Table Decoration

I'm lucky to have hedges and hedges of Holly in the garden, along with some Yew, Ivy and Laurel. Sadly there are virtual no berries left on the Holly as the birds have been busy keeping themselves fed over the last few weeks. All of these plants are excellent for making either Christmas wreaths or a Christmas table decorations. For the first time in history I thought I would turn my hand at making my very own Christmas Table Decoration. There is just one thing you need to understand - I'm no florist!

I had acquired some fir cones from my sister's garden, who is overrun with them lucky for me. For colour I added some berries from a Berberis in the garden, although I expect they will not last until Christmas Day. 

I think it's fair to say that I will use this years Christmas table decoration as my benchmark !
from this...

to this!
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