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cake

Top Tips: How to make our homemade strawberry jam

By | Contemporary Cake Designs, Top Tips | No Comments

Strawberry Jam has been a mainstay in our cupboards for years now; whether it’s spreading it on two slices of bread to make a sandwich, flavouring our cakes or being the perfect accompaniment to clotted cream in our freshly baked scones, Strawberry Jam is without doubt the national treasure of fruit preserves.

A range of our homemade jams.

A range of our homemade jams.

With the British berry season well under way (started 1st May) we’re just in time to see the strawberries begin to be picked off the leaves in all their vibrant red glory; at least before they all get devoured at this year’s Wimbledon tournament alongside the 28,000kg of cream!

Xavier and I love this time of year because it enables us to create fresh, homemade strawberry jam to fill our wedding cakes and desserts with, making sure we have just enough to preserve over the winter months as well. We’re all about homemade produce here at Contemporary Cake Designs and where possible always try to make use of the best local ingredients right here in our kitchen.

With so few ingredients making strawberry jam couldn’t be simpler, just as long as you’re willing to abide by the rules of food science! So with that being said, we thought we’d give you a helping hand by offering our expertise on how to make this homemade sumptuous summer strawberry jam.

Tip 1 – Try using seasonal produce. Jam will preserve over the winter months so it’s best to make as much as you can during the summer when strawberries are in season. Also check to see if any are damaged and if so, remove from the punnet.

Tip 2 – Use more fruit and less sugar as this will give you a more flavoursome jam and will stop it from crystallising in the jar.

Tip 3 – Slow and steady wins the race with this one. Remember to keep the hob on a low heat so that you don’t burn the sugar. Let it dissolve slowly with the juices of the fruit and reach 103°C

Tip 4 – Strawberries are low in pectin so we advise using sugar making jam, which contains pectin, as this will help form a gel and thicken up your jam.

Tip 5 – Use sterilised jars to ensure your jam is safe from any harmful bacteria.

If strawberries don’t tickle your taste buds then why not pick your own flavour. Raspberries and blackberries are good options and have slightly higher pectin levels, which means you don’t have to use as much sugar making jam.

Follow these rules and making jam will never be easier!

Divine Dessert Tables at Eastington Park

By | Wedding Cakes | One Comment

A while back Xavier and I teamed up with some of our favourite wedding industry friends to help style a Black Swan photo shoot at Eastington Park.

On the menu was a two tier sponge cake alongside a dessert table full of delicious treats and this was the end result;

swan shoot christy blanch photography (455 of 922) swan shoot christy blanch photography (461 of 922) swan shoot christy blanch photography (698 of 922) swan shoot christy blanch photography (451 of 922)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

On the plates featured a group of indulgent chocolate cake pops, scrumptious vanilla cupcakes topped with icing and moist almond biscuits shaped into dinky dresses.

These tables full of gorgeous goodies are continuing to grow in popularity in 2014 and allow us to get really creative with our designs in the kitchen. Each table is artistically fashioned around a theme or colour palette to perfectly fit each couples individual wedding.

This year they’re expected to take off as brides are increasingly opting for a more relaxing celebration and an alternative to the traditional wedding cake. The best bit about dessert tables is that they give you a little bit of everything and will be bring real elegance to your wedding table.

Thank you to the wonderful Christy Blanch Photography for taking these stunning photos.

Five Delicious and Mouth-watering Desserts

By | Contemporary Cake Designs | No Comments

Over the years everyone, especially us Brits have established quite the reputation for our love of wholesome food, and none more so than an indulgent dessert. There’s just something so comforting and homely about tucking into a bowl of a classic steam pudding with custard or a smooth strawberry cheesecake, it’s a great part of our heritage.

Although in more recent years we’ve seen influences from overseas that have allowed our taste buds to explore new flavours and textures. The beautiful art of French Patisserie is one of those with its visually outstanding presentation and rich, intense flavours.

Here at Contemporary Cake Designs it’s a passionate part of what we do so we thought we’d round up our top five mouth-watering desserts to tickle your taste buds on our 2014 range. So, get your spoons at the ready as we dive in and give you a taste of these five delicious desserts.

1. Chocolate Craquant

Chocolate Craquant

Chocolate Craquant

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2. Mango Mouse

Our summer delight - Mango Mousse

Our summer delight – Mango Mousse

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

3. Tiramisu

A very teasing tiramisu!

A very teasing tiramisu!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

4. Teardrop mousse

Strawberry Teardrop Mousse

Strawberry Teardrop Mousse

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

5.  Black Forest Gateux

Our berrylicous black forest gateux

Our berrylicous black forest gateux

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

All these desserts are beautifully crafted by Xavier and Bee Pelloux and are the perfect addition to any restaurant, pub or café’s menu. These five products are just a few of our 2014 dessert range that wholesale customers can order from us here at Contemporary Cake Designs. For individual customers in the local area we do attend markets where you can purchase some of our delicious products.

If you’re interested in purchasing our desserts please call us on 07766 900 832 / 01242 252 352 or email us at admin@contemporarycakedesigns.com/

You can also follow us on Twitter: https://twitter.com/ContemporaryCD

Like us on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ContemporaryCD?ref=hl

Mille-Feuille Series: How to make Buttercream

By | Contemporary Cake Designs, Top Tips, Video Tour | No Comments

The great thing about Mille-Feuille is that it allows for a variety of topping. Traditionally the French dessert is covered with a layer of fondant or a dusting of icing sugar but if you’re feeling a little creative you can decorate it with whatever takes your fancy, just think about the flavours and textures! For us, it’s all about Xavier’s famous buttercream which is made from the following ingredients:

9 egg yolks

1kg butter

500g caster sugar

160g water

If you would like to learn how to make Xavier’s watch the video below. Buttercream is used for all sorts of desserts, cakes and pastries so this recipe isn’t just a one trick pony!

Here are our top five tips to make a gorgeous butter cream filling:

  1. Cook the sugar to the correct temperature
  2. Make sure you don’t cook the egg when pouring sugar into it
  3. Create an emulsion
  4. Make sure mixture is cool enough before adding the butter
  5. Make sure you don’t add the butter to quick

Wedding Cake Trends to Watch Out For In 2014

By | Contemporary Cake Designs, Wedding Cakes | No Comments

Like most industries there are trends that come in and out of fashion each year, and this is no different in respect to the wedding trade. 2013 saw wedding cakes head back towards classic, multi-tiered cakes with a vintage design. We also saw the rise of the fascinating ruffled and frilled fondant cakes and the increase in demand for the colour of pink.

So what should I be looking out for in 2014 Bee and Xavier I hear you say? Well, this year we’re seeing simpler designs come through but also we feel others will be trending in 2014 too.

Vintage style wedding cakes once again top the list as a trend for 2014. This is still big news in the wedding cake industry with designs from edible lace cakes to birdcage shaped cakes here to stay. Round cakes are also taking centre stage in 2014 with different tiers, different heights and various finishes on each tier.

Also expect to see wedding cakes go all bare as they strip off their icing and reveal all in 2014. That’s right, expect to see ‘naked’ wedding cakes become more popular in 2014 giving your cake a rustic yet authentic look and decorated with fruits and flowers.

The 'naked' wedding cake.

Our very own ‘naked’ wedding cake.

Ombre or graduated tones of one colour is also set to rise in popularity this year. It’s already a big deal in the cake industry and it’s easy to see why. The gradual colour change is able to transform a cake into something really modern, using everything from pastel colours to more bright and bold statements.

Ombre is set to have a big 2014.

Ombre is set to have a big 2014. Here’s our latest designs.

In terms of flavours trending last year we saw essences such as red velvet, chocolate and vanilla grab the top spots. In 2014 we feel there will be a mix up with our new decadent chocolate cake infused with light mint syrup and layered with a mint chocolate butter cream filling. It’s a great shade and lends itself well to many different themes both in the summer and winter seasons.

Trends are a perception and generalisation of how the industry is shifting as a whole. The main thing to understand is that each individual has their personal taste on what classifies as their perfect wedding cake design and flavour/s. It’s important we value this more than anything else and design cake to meet each individuals needs for their big day.

If you would like to arrange a consultation with us please visit our web site and fill in the online inquiry form http://www.contemporarycakedesigns.com/contact/ at the top of every contact us page or visit our social media pages below.

Twitter: @ContemporaryCD

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ContemporaryCD?ref=hl

#12CakesOfChristmas Competition

By | Contemporary Cake Designs | No Comments

With Christmas shoppers manically hunting down the last of their Christmas presents and the Christmas cakes baking in oven, the festive season is in full swing.

Christmas is just nine days away now and we thought what better way to celebrate than to showcase our top Christmas creations over a glass of mulled wine and a mince pie.

Over the 12 days before Christmas day, we’ve been singing you our version of the 12 days, or should we say cakes of Christmas on our Facebook page. But that’s not all; we’ve also given you the chance to win one of the new additions to our afternoon tea range – a Fraisier cake. This creation is a classic recipe and is made from three components – the sponge, crème patisserie and strawberries (see below).

On the first day of Christmas my true love sent to me, a yule log in a photograph

On the first day of Christmas my true love sent to me, a yule log in a photograph.

Traditionally, the 12 days of Christmas refer to the days after and not before —from December 25 to January 5 – but recent marketing activity has shown businesses engaging through social media channels. So this year, we thought we’d join in with the festive fun and surprise you with a present of our own.

The prize of our competition - A Fraisier cake

The prize of our competition – A Fraisier cake

A simple ‘Like and Share’ on the cake of that day could see you indulging in one of our caketastic Fraisier cakes. Pretty simple eh? Well why not head over to our Facebook page and get involved at  https://www.facebook.com/ContemporaryCD.

The winner will be announced in the week following Christmas and we wish you the best of luck!

Cake Study: Christmas Cake Decorations at Ellenborough Park

By | Contemporary Cake Designs | No Comments

After the triumph of Elmore Court back in November, we were fortunate enough last month to get the gig at Ellenborough Park running a 30 minute demonstration and question and answer session to a room of approximately 50 lovely ladies.

Ellenborough Park is a stunning hotel based in the heart of the Cotswolds and is the perfect location for luxury country retreats, romantic breaks and weddings. The occasion was held as part of their renowned ‘Ladies Lunch Club’ events which invites ladies from the local community to welcome drinks, an exquisite 2 course lunch followed by an afternoon demonstration.

We opened the show by speaking a little about ourselves, who we were, where we came from and what we did as business. It was then onto the task in hand – decorating the Christmas cake. We were stood confidently at the front with a camera set up and an overhead screen so everybody could see our hands and what we were doing. It was my job (Bee) to practically demonstrate each step while Xavier talked through each step and treated the guests to a couple tips along the way.

Ellenborough Park

We started by covering a dummy cake with white icing to give the snowy effect before placing this on an iced board. To create an iced board we iced the base board of the cake by simply rolling out some icing or chocolate paste (depending on what the cake is going to be covered in), wet the board place it on the top, smooth it over and trim around the edge of the board and wrap the ribbon around the edge to give a special finish. It was then onto the decorations where we made some Christmas classic’s in the shape of snowmen and Christmas trees to put the icing on the cake, literally! These were created using sugar paste and colouring which are easily accessible in your local supermarket. We then carved these into the individual pieces before constructing them into the snowmen and Christmas Trees.

We received a great reception from all the guests who attended the event last month with many of them coming up to us post-event asking us for more tips and general enquiries.

It leaves us to say a massive thank you to Ellenborough Park for having us and we hope all the ladies come up trumps with their Christmas bakes this year.

For more caketastic content feel free to follow us @ContemporaryCD or like us on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/ContemporaryCD