FREQUENTLY ASKED

Below are some of the many questions I get asked from day to day.

Please have a look through these before you send in your query... as I have probably answered it below!

You can also find A LOT of questions answered over on my Instagram Q&A Highlights: click here

FAQ

Recipes

What is "Baking Butter"?


Quite a few of my sponge recipes refer to "Baking Butter" in the ingridients. Baking Butter is an oil based butter. DON'T PANIC - if you cannot find Baking Butter in your country, you can substitute this for Block Unsalted Butter. You just need to make sure you whip your butter up to make it nice and fluffy (airy) before adding it into your mixing bowl!




Are you recipes only used in England?


NO! Is the short answer. We have people from all over the world buying and using our recipes perfectly! However - all our recipes and PDF downloads are in ENGLISH only.




We don't have "Self-Raising" Flour in our country, what can I do?


Do not panic! If you can't get hold of Self Raising flour you can use Plain flour and baking powder instead. For every 100g of Self Raising flour in the recipe, use 100g of Plain Flour plus 1tsp of baking powder.




What is the best gluten free flour you have found?


Dove's Gluten Free Flour is my go to flour when I am doing my gluten free cakes.




What temperature do you bake your cakes?


This is very dependent on each sponge flavour - my recipes can be found here.





Flowers

How do you seal your fresh flowers?


A question I get asked pretty much every day, here is a quick video to show you what I do. You'll need: Food Safe Florist Tape Cling Film Scissors




When is best to add fresh flowers to a cake?


Any flowers which I have collected the day before a delivery are prepped and kept in the fridge overnight in water. I then dry and seal them the morning of delivery and decorate the cake with them. This is to keep them as fresh as possible.




How long do fresh flowers last on a cake?


I put fresh flowers on my cakes the morning of delivery and they last until the next day. This will be dependent on how fresh your flowers are - I always try to make sure I get the freshest of flowers from my florist friends.





Ganache

Do you ganache your cakes?


First thing to state if it isn’t obvious, I am 100% a buttercream girl so all my cakes are finished in buttercream - no exceptions. I ALWAYS ganache my cakes with a ganache CRUMB COAT except if it is a semi-naked design (then I just do buttercream).I then ALWAYS finish my cakes in buttercream 💁🏼‍♀️Why do I do this? Two reasons: 1. Ganache offers a lot more stability when it comes to buttercream cakes, as ganache sets a lot harder than buttercream. It also withstands hotter temperatures (not that I need to worry about this being in Northumberland 😅). 2. It tastes so dammmm good 🤤I also get asked, why don’t I just do ganache. Simply because I LOVE buttercream. I love the texture and the finish I can get with my buttercream cakes. And finally all my cakes are filled with buttercream and preserves/curd/caramel depending on flavour - not GANACHE 😂 Side note: I don’t always whiten my ganache - because that’s a waste as it gets covered in my super white buttercream anyway ☺️




My ganache keeps cracking, what can I do?


So this can be for many reasons: - Your ganache ration may not be right - my ganache recipe is available here. - Your ganache may be too thin - ganache can crack when it is applied too thinly. Think of your ganache like a chocolate bar, the thinner the chocolate bar, the easier it is the break. - Your cake layers and the filling you use between each layer may not be stable enough. You may be adding too much filling that is trying to burst out - this can be helped by applying a thicker ganache layer.




Why does my ganache curdle/"split"?


Your ganache will curdle when it has been heated too quickly. But don't worry, here is a helpful video to help you fix "split" ganache: click here.





General

How long did it take you to perfect your recipes and skills?


Honestly I feel like I am still learning something new every day. There is so much to learn. I have been baking for a long time and I would say I have only just, in the last two years, felt like my recipes and skills have become what/wehere I want them to be!




Did you always know the style you wanted to do?


I had NO IDEA at the start. Who does? There was so many different styles out there and I decided to try a few different styles and techniques before I realised I loved the classic, simple, elegant designs.




Do you ever need to repair your cakes once delivered?


Luckily I don't really have to "repair" but this is all because of the stability of my cakes. This isn't just down to the stacking, there are MANY reasons: - The structure of your sponge and if you have trimmed them straight. - Your filling - making sure it isn't causing any sliding due to too much filling. - If you have crumb coated (i.e. I use ganache to make my cakes even more stable) - A stable buttercream recipe - have you seen Chemily's Buttercream Recipe? - And lastly, yes, the stacking - a tutorial will be coming soon.




What size are your tiered cakes?


My three tier cakes are always the following sizes: Top Tier: 5" Middle Tier: 7" Bottom Tier: 9" My two tier cakes are always the following sizes: Top Tier: 5" Bottom Tier: 7"




How many hours do your three tier wedding cakes take to make?


This really depends on the cake design but roughly a three tier cake will take me 3 days from start to set up. I bake the sponges two days before the wedding date. Baking three tiers takes about 5 hours (not including cooling time). Then one day before the date I trim, fill, ganache, ice, stack and decorate (if any stencil is required or ombre effect etc). This takes the whole day - from 9am until 5/6pm. On the day of the wedding, I decorate the cake with any fresh flowers required (either in the morning in my studio or at the venue) and then I have to deliver the cake. Normally on a cake delivery day I am in the car from 9am and I don't return until about 3pm. There really isn't a set time on how lone a cake takes as each cake is individual.




What is your favourite cake flavour?


So a bit of a funny one.. Carrot cake is my ALL TIME favourite cake flavour but I don't make it! Why? It is very simple, I don't want to add any risk to my baking in regards to nuts. I haven't found a carrot recipe I love that doesn't contain nuts yet so I have taken it off the menu. My favourite of which I do make is my White Chocolate & Raspberry Sponge - recipe available here.




Do you do 1:1 classes?


Hopefully one day I will! I LOVE teaching people so I would love to start 1:1 classes - I just need to find a bigger work space first.




What height are your cakes?


My tiers are always 7-7.5" tall. So a three tier is about 22" tall. The small change in height depends on how I apply my ganache and buttercream. As I do my ganache and buttercream free hand the height can vary.





Stacking

Do you always dowel your cakes?


110% YES if they are more than one tier. My Stacking Tutorial will be going up very soon and all will be revealed!




Do you central dowel your cakes?


If they are more than one tier I ALWAYS central dowel my cakes. No matter how far I am travelling, any cake that is more than one tier needs to be stable and this is why you MUST central dowel - especially with buttercream cakes.





Decorating

What icing do you use for stenciling?


I use american buttercream to do all my stenciling. You need to make sure your cake is nice and chilled before you start to apply your stencil.




What icing do you decorate your cakes with?


I am an AMERICAN BUTTERCREAM GAL 💁🏼‍♀️ All my cakes you see are covered in American Buttercream, there are no exceptions!




What do you use to do the "ruffle" effect on your cakes?


I use metal scrapers to create the "ruffle" effect on my buttercream - my favourite one to use is the Lissie Lou metal scraper.




What do you use to dilute your lustre dust?


I use Culpitt Dipping Solution to dilute my Lustre Dusts. You NEED to make sure you customers don't have any dietry/personal reasons where they can't have alcohol, as this solution is Food grade ethanol (96%)alcohol.




What is the best lustre dust that you use for gold?


My go to gold lustre dust is Sweet Sticks Antique Gold - it has been my favourite since day one!




What do you colour your American Buttercream with?


I always use Colour Mill products to colour my buttercream. If you are struggling to get the bold colours you are after you need to let your coloured buttercream "rest" before using it. The colour gets bolder the longer it is left to sit before being applied to your cake.





Buttercream

Do you use real butter or margarine in your buttercream?


I use block butter (what some call real butter) - but you should buy my recipe to find out more 😜




My buttercream is grainy, can you help?


Firsrtly, buy my recipe 😜 Secondly, your buttercream will be grainy because of the brand of icing you are using (not necessarily because of the ratio of icing to butter). Try different icing sugars (even supermarket own brands) to find your favourite.