bakerdays Review & Giveaway

When I was contacted by the bakerdays team to review one of their letterbox cakes how could I say no? Cake is what I do; it is what I live for (ok a bit dramatic but I think you are all getting to understand my baking obsession).

bakerdays

A little introduction directly from them:

*bakerdays is a Personalised Celebration Cake Specialist, providing quality personalised cakes for all occasions. The delicious range of recipes and sizes are available for delivery 6 days a week, and if you order before 2pm, bakerdays can deliver the very next day!

In essence they can provide a cake for 3 people up to 55 people. The smallest size (5 inch) is the one that fit through your letterbox. This is very true! It fitted through ours with no problem.   Each cake can be delivered the next day if you are in a rush (forgot until it was too late to do anything about it). All delivery details are listed on their website. The volume of choice is extensive. There are Princess cakes, Pirate cakes, Anniversary cakes and Apology cakes. There are even emoji cakes! Anyone who follows me on social media will know I am a huge fan of an emoji! (Who isn’t right?) Plus so many more! Most of them are personalisable (spell checker says that isn’t a word… I’m using it anyway), and some even allow you to upload one of your photos onto it.

Our Cake

We chose a Christmas design (I consulted Hubby but then ignored his suggestions) because I am feeling very festive and no matter how hard I try to write about other things I seem to be filling the blog with festivities! Once I had chosen the design and added our name, I checked the preview and ordered the cake. It is a very simple process.

Ours arrived at the most fortuitous moment! After a 5am wake up call (thanks Pinky!) all I wanted was cake, but since I needed match sticks to keep my eyes open the last thing I wanted to do was make any. Cue cake hitting the mat making me one super happy Mama.

Our cake is vanilla but there are also the options of chocolate, gluten, wheat and dairy free. They even do cupcakes! This might be my new favourite thing!

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It arrived in a well-sealed, sturdy cardboard box, which despite having been dropped through our letterbox onto a very hard floor doesn’t have a dent in it! Inside the box is a tin and a little cracker for Christmas. Inside the tin is our cake… TaDah!

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Isn’t it pretty?! Please pay note to their instructions…. No need me to devour the cake with great gusto, I usually inhale the stuff 😉

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Taste

Well it tasted delicious! It wasn’t too sweet which meant I probably would have eaten it all to myself but it was more than enough for the four of us.  And it didn’t last long at all!

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Find them

You can find bakerdays on Twitter and Facebook. Their website is extremely easy to use and navigate.  The hardest part is choosing which design you would like.  With so many possibilities to choose from it is very hard to decide.

Giveaway

bakerdays are giving away one letterbox cake to a lucky winner.  The cake will be provided directly from bakerdays.  You can choose your own design.  Competition is open from 7am 12/12/16 to 11.59pm 29/12/16.  The winner will be picked at random notified on 30/12/16. Click below to enter.

Winnettes bakerdays giveaway

* Disclaimer: I was provided with a cake for free in exchange for an honest review.  All thoughts and opinions are my own.

The Diary of an 'Ordinary' Mum
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My October Baking Showcase

October has been an extremely busy baking month for me.  First there was the Cake and Bake Show which certainly gave me more inspiration than I knew what to do with!  Then there was Hubby’s birthday and what is the point in having a baker for a life if she can’t make you a decent cake? So I did!  Then a friend had asked me to make her daughters birthday cake for her.  I was so flattered to be asked I was never going to say no.

So here is a round up of what I made.

First up were Chocolate and Lime Macarons.  I made green macarons and filled with with a dark chocolate ganache and a homemade lime curd in the middle. (These were really good).

 

Obviously in the interest of jumping on the blogger Halloween train I made some Halloween Biscuits.

Next up, after a suggestion from another friend, I made Gin and Elderflower Macarons.  This time they were grey macarons filled with an elderflower buttercream and a gin and tonic jelly.

 

Pinky requested pink cake… Obviously it had to be pink! So together we made some pink Vanilla Cupcakes with a Vanilla Italian Meringue Buttercream.

 

Up next was Hubby’s birthday cake.  I took this opportunity to make two types of cake I had always want to try in one go.  A Sprinkle Piñata Cake.  The smarties in the middle were a huge surprise to him.  It had to be smarties as they are his favourite.

 

Lastly the birthday cake for my friends little girl.  I was given a brief of a chocolate cake and a picture of the sort of thing she wanted.  This was my interpretation and I was very please with it…. I hope my friend was too.

 

November will be filled with baking but it is unlikely to be this full….  Hopefully one day soon I will be able to bake even more than this.

The Cake & Bake Show

Whist looking through one of my cake decorating magazines I found an advertisement for the Cake and Bake show at the Excel London. I knew with the promise of free samples Hubby would be fully on board to come with me. We booked the tickets online and got 2 for £20 with a code in the magazine.

I won’t lie, I was a little over excited about going. I want to take my baking from hobby to something a little more professional in the not so distant future so was interested in exploring various equipment and the cost of certain cakes.

The Excel is in East London so it was a couple of trains and a tube to get there. I had no idea how enormous it was! We didn’t even walk the length of it and we seemed to have walked a mile (we hadn’t, I exaggerate).

As we entered the Cake and Bake show space we were greeted by the enormous head of the BFG made completely from sugar!

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There were plenty of stands selling baking equipment, I may have spent a small fortune. Some of them were showcasing what their silicon mounds could do. Some had made some sugar statues in advance.

There were two display tables at either end of the hall, one had various items and the other had cakes cut into shapes and figures.

There were various talks and classes taking place during the day including a talk by GBBO’s Jon Waite and Nadia Hussain. Plus an area for book signing.

A lot of the stands were fairly similar, selling a lot of the same stuff. Of course the Meringue Girls stood out from the crowd with their Rainbow Poo Meringue.

The thing I found most interesting was the cost of some of the cakes and biscuits I make. I already know how expensive cakes can be to buy but I was unsure about macaroons and decorated biscuits. Well the macaroons generally sold for £1-£1.50 each, often with a deal for 5 or more. The decorated biscuits were being sold for £3 each! Now they do take time to complete and a good understanding of royal icing but I think that may be a little steep? Or is it just me?

Once I had seen and explored everything I wanted to we gathered our bags together and went on our way. My mind has been reeling with ideas since. I feel so inspired and just want to bake constantly. Of course that isn’t very practical. But watch this space…. there will be many sweet delights posted on the blog in the near future.

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Birthday Cake for the Mother in Law

The Mother-in-Laws birthday gave me an excellent opportunity to practice some skills I am trying to perfect. We had invited everyone around ours for Sunday lunch and as that meant 8 adults and 3 children I decided to make a fairly large cake with the idea of giving everyone some to take home with them.

The cake itself was chocolate flavoured. This isn’t personally my favourite cake as it can be very dry but over the years of home baking I have found various methods to keep to as moist as possible, such as adding oil or buttermilk to the mixture. I hear beetroot is also a good way of doing this but I am yet to try it.

The icing was vanilla Italian meringue buttercream, which I urge you to try if you haven’t done already. It’s surprisingly easy to make and tastes so much better than normal buttercream. I’m a total convert and now will never use anything else (other than maybe Swiss meringue buttercream but that is slightly harder to make). I use Sugarflair paste colours mostly because they are the ones I can get locally but also because I have done some research into other brands and I actually like their colour tones the best anyway. My second choice is always Squires Kitchen as they too are relatively local to me and I always use their sugarpastes. Anyway…..
I added enough of the ‘pink’ sugarflair colour to make it nice and vibrant as I didn’t want it to be a pastel coloured cake.

As we are all fans of macarons they had to go on the cake. Obviously. I used a very small amount of ‘navy’ Sugarflair and filled them with ‘violet’ vanilla Italian Meringue buttercream.

With this I made rainbow meringue kisses. I use edible paint I found in Lakeland but I cannot remember the brand.

I have always wanted to try to temper chocolate. I believe dark chocolate is easier than white chocolate but I like a challenge so I steamed straight in. It worked but my technique needs improving. It’s such a shame that this has forced me to practice with chocolate causing me to eat my attempts. Life is so hard sometimes 😉

I also decided that I wanted this to be a drip cake. Now I am very good at ganache, even if I do say so myself but I had never attempted to make the trickier white chocolate ganache before. This wasn’t as successful as I would have liked it to be but I know how to improve it next time. And it tasted good so really I’m just being overly critical of myself but that’s how I improve.

This was all finished off with a little of the buttercream piped using a star nozzle.

It went down really well and my MIL was really pleased with the end result and quite flattered since she hadn’t asked to make her anything at all. As generous as it may seem it gave me the excuse I wanted to practice all these techniques and I enjoyed every second of making it. I’m not sure what the next family occasion I bake for will be but I’m sure I will make something just as elaborate. in the mean time I shall just keep practicing the individual elements.

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