Wow, where has January gone? Don't know about you guys but for us its flown! There are so many exciting yet very sad things happening this month, you may recall in my previous blog about the sudden and shocking loss of a friend over the festive period after a very short illness, now the news is very much public I can talk a little about how Carmen and her family helped my dream become a reality! What at lot of you don't know is whilst I was working as a nurse in the NHS I had a Saturday job at Newfield Dairy Icecream Parlour & Cafe as my dream is to one day to have a cake business or manage my own cake shop and I fell in love with the place on my first visit, the staff, environment & customers. This is story how All Mine Cakes was created, its simple really and all started with a conversation about an Easter cake! I was asked to make the family a cake for their easter celebration and a few days later Carmen called me one evening asking if I would like to bake cakes for the business and the rest is history so I owe so much to Carmen, family and the business...All Mine Cakes was launched on the 25th May 2013 in the parlour, I continue to supply them with my award winning gluten free triple chocolate brownie and as my donation towards the after gathering I am donating some of my creations which were Carmen's favourite in bite size canapé sized pieces for people to reminisce and share stories so this week I have been busily beavering away creating lots of brownie, millionaire shortbread and Mars & Malteser slice, below is a picture of the day my business was launched and wherever this journey may go I am incredible thankful and appreciative of the opportunity given to me by such a lovely lady, her partner in crime Adrian and the lovely Pogson family. It is the family wish for anyone who would like to make a donation for their chosen charity of the British Heart Foundation instead of flowers for the service, you can make your own donation or if any easier there is a little collection at the parlour on the counter next to the lovely picture of Carmen, lots of love to everyone x x
Some of you who follow me on Facebook will know about an idea I have had for ages, how about creating some desserts/puddings? It was at the end of last year once my gluten free testing results had come back at <5mg/kg I started to think about the concept, did a bit of research and decided to develop a range of new products. So here's the background to the idea...As you know we have our beloved VW camper van called Little Pudding and I have always wanted to create a range of primarily gluten free desserts which you can cook at home and enjoy so hopefully you can see where this is going? All Mine Cakes is going to be developing and creating Little Puddings. The brand is now registered company therefore the range is going to be called All Mine Cakes creates Little Puddings, what do you think? Primarily I am going to focus on transferring existing award winning gluten free recipes into pudding so my 2 gold star sticky toffee pudding and my 1 gold star triple chocolate brownie so you can have comforting desserts on cold winter nights or whether you just fancy a treat. For those of you thinking well I don't need gluten free, have you actually tried one of my gluten free cakes? If I blind tasted you you wouldn't know any difference, the magic formula I have created after months of frustration and crying at the ovens (see one of my earlier blogs) bakes beautiful cakes which is why now 90% of my baking is gluten free which have been laboratory tested and I have certificates of proof. I was in the process of applying for the cross grain symbol but as I plan to have more cakes tested within the next few months I am holding off for the moment as it complicates the application and costings involved. So any of you who know me will know that when I have an idea I am like a dog with a bone, focus, focus, focus! So after many attempts to transfer the correct about of mixture, sauce allowing bubbling space when you guys cook it at home, tweaking recipe volumes so I can create a number of desserts from one mix without having a little left over I think I have cracked it for the gluten free sticky toffee pudding desserts, some lucky friends, family and supporters have been given the tester desserts with instruction how to cook etc. I am now working on storage, best before dates, methods of heating as its already cooked and excitingly thinking about the branding of the product. The reaction on by Facebook page has been phenomenal to the gluten sticky toffee pudding so with this in mind I am adding them to this weeks Friday cake club as I don't have a shop, they are not available in any retail outlets and its going to take time to have the calorie testing, packaging and everything sorted. After calculating ingredient cost, packaging costs, time for creating and overheads my first creation from All Mine Cakes creates Little Puddings range which is the gluten free sticky toffee pudding introductory price will be £6.49 each. The dessert serves 3-4 people, they are individually handmade in small batches to ensure each one is measured and weighed to be the same, they are a bespoke, gluten free, locally produced product made using my 2 gold star Great Taste Award winning recipe. I contacted The Guild of Fine food to see whether the award would be transferable but as thought because it is the same product i.e. the sponge & topping however as excludes the pecans and adjusted its presentation we will need to enter it into 2016. Anyone who needs to know allergen information it contains dairy, egg and nuts (ground almond). For those of you interested who are not local to Southwell, the puddings can be posted using Royal Mail first class post, there is an additional postage fee of £3.20 however I do not charge for the packaging as mindful of the cost. Any orders received will require payment to be received prior to the cakes being posted and you have my guarantee they will be sent out and you will received a message with a photograph of the postage receipt...How to store and reheat your dessert, preferably store in the refrigerator as it gives you a longer shelf life, to reheat using a microwave place a portion in a microwaveable safe bowl or plate and 25-30 seconds will be perfect, if you have more time and prefer a slightly stickier sauce and chewy edges, remove the sleeve & lid and place on a baking tray in an 185oC oven for 20 mins until its bubbling, our serving suggestion is to add vanilla ice cream but if you prefer lashings of double cream or vanilla custard, enjoy x
Happy New Year to you all, hope you had a good one? So its January and new year is often associated new year resolutions, how many if you are giving up alcohol, planning on going to the gym more, giving up chocolate etc? I learnt last year that January is a quieter month for All Mine Cakes from a baking perspective as everyone has tins of biscuits, chocolates and christmas left overs whilst budgets have been stretched to pay for the festivities, obviously the kitchen is open and cakes are being created keeping businesses stocked up with goodies, for Friday cake club there is little less choice as there are usually around 5-7 cake options available which becomes 3-4 simply so I don't have a cake cupboard full of cake and no hungry tummies. This month however does give me chance to catch up with so much other stuff which have fallen behind due to our event period started in mid-October...Applying for a the cross-grain symbol, more food labels, new product ideas, Great Taste Award 2016 entries, stock taking, event planning for the year believe me the list is endless whilst promising myself to go for a daily walk to get some fresh air and try to walk off my own little bit of christmas cuddliness! With some very tragic news over the christmas period it has made us review our work/life balance as we often work 10-15 hour days, 6 sometimes 7 days a week for several weeks in a row which simply isn't sustainable, don't get me wrong the success of All Mine Cakes is incredible, so much more than I ever believed it could have been and with my coming up to the 3rd year of business in May I am older, wiser and more knowledgable, I need to learn not to be on the edge of burning myself out and spend quality time with my hubby be it adventuring in Little Pudding, going out for scrummy pub lunches or simply to chill out and although we don't necessarily agree with New Year Resolutions we have had a wake up call so throughout the year you may see some adjustments to Friday cake club to enable long weekends or a cheeky day off....
Remember to hug the ones you love...