Cake Decorating Supplies

We've been hard at work at Maisie Fantaisie and we are happy to announce that we have just launched a new online Cake Decorating Supplies store at http://www.cakedecoratingsupplies.co.uk

If you are looking for Sugarpaste Icing, Cupcake Supplies, Sugarcraft Supplies, Sprinkles, Chocolate Making Ingredients, Cake Decorating Books, Cake Stands & More then please visit the new shop. We will be adding new products constantly, if there is anything that we don't have that you would like us to stock then please drop us an email and let us know. Our new store will continue to offer the high level of service and customer care that our clients are accustomed to. Our prices are very competitive and our shipping costs are low, we love our new cake decorating supplies store and we hope that you enjoy it too!

cake-decorating-supplies

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Amaretto apricots and orange polenta cakes

Back in November 2009 (yes I know!! It's a long time ago!) I filled a jar with dried apricots and amaretto liqueur. I wanted the apricots to soak in the liqueur for a little while whilst I thought of what to make with them. As it happens, they have been soaking until now, sitting in my kitchen patiently waiting for their turn to be used in a Maisie Fantaisie cake! I tasted an apricot the other day and, oh my, they are delicious! I have often seen Amaretto mixed with oranges (particularly in cocktails!) and thought I'd use this flavour combination for my cakes. Orange and polenta cake is a popular recipe and adding the amaretto infused apricots will make the flavour extra special. People often use ground almonds when mixing orange and polenta, but I thought it would clash with the texture of the polenta (I also have a nut allergy and wanted to be able to eat the cakes myself afterwards!!). I also used a gluten free rice based flour instead of a wheat flour as I thought the texture of the polenta would work better with the rice flour than the wheat. I decided to use the little flan cases for the shape but you could use cupcake liners or mini loaf tins. I would suggest soaking the apricots for at least a week before using them (or even 9 months!). Try serving with a little creme fraiche, delicious!

'AMARETTO APRICOTS & ORANGE POLENTA CAKES'
(moist polenta and orange zest flans with whole amaretto infused apricots and an orange-amaretto syrup)

amaretto-apricots-cake

Makes 10 cakes

Amaretto apricots & orange polenta cake recipe
200g butter
200g golden caster sugar
4 eggs
150g doves farm gluten free flour
100g course polenta
1 tsp baking powder
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 tbsp Amaretto
Zest of 1 orange
Approx 20 amaretto infused dried apricots

Orange and Amaretto glaze
Juice from 1 orange, strained
1 tablespoon Amaretto
1 tsp golden caster sugar

DIRECTIONS:
1. Preheat the oven to 175 degrees celsius (160 for fan ovens).
2. Line the bottom of 10 mini flan tins and grease the sides well.
3. Cream the butter and sugar together in a mixing bowl.
4. Add the eggs one at a time, beating after each edition.
5. Sift in the flour and baking powder then add the polenta and mix until thoroughly combined.
6. Add the vanilla extract, orange zest and Amaretto.
7. Evenly distribute the mixture between the 10 flan tins.
8. Carefully slice all the dried apricots in half.
9. Place 4 slices of apricot on top of the cake mixture.
10. Place in the middle shelf of the oven and bake for 20 mins until golden brown.
11. To make the glaze, juice the orange and strain to remove any bits. Mix together with 1 table spoon of Amaretto and the caster sugar.
12. Place the mixture into a pan and set onto the hob on a high heat. Bring to the boil and simmer for 5 minutes.
13. Pour 2-3 teaspoons of the glaze over the cakes.
14. Allow to cool..

'AMARETTO APRICOTS & ORANGE POLENTA CAKES'

amaretto-apricots-cake close up

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30th Birthday Cake

I always think that come winter things might slow a little in the Maisie Fantaisie cake kitchen, but this winter has been our busiest to date, so please accept my apologies for neglecting my blog.

When production designer Bruce French commissioned a cake from Maisie Fantaisie for this year's 30th birthday Brit awards, his single request was that it was fabulous! We had some discussion about the aftershow party area and I was told that it was going to be a classic birthday party with a dress-up area, crazy golf, karaoke, tarot, dodgems, balloon makers, bingo and a dancefloor. The tables would be covered in pink gingham, with metallic balloons in the ceiling and glitter drapes everywhere. So, with that in mind I set about designing the cake. It needed to be tall, so we went for a five tier with a large base, and in keeping with the eclectic party theme I decided to make each tier of the cake a different design with a lot of pink glitter. I didn't want it to be overly music themed as it was primarily a birthday cake, but the music notes on the middle tier were the perfect gesture.

When I arrived at the venue with the cake Robbie Williams was soundchecking, especially for me! I have a soft spot for Robbie and it put me right in the mood for the show later, for which we had been given tickets. My friends and dapper chaps Laurence and Wolfgang who have a company called laroache brothers were there taking photos of the impressive backstage area which Bruce had designed, and the cake fitted in just perfectly so we were all very happy.

My husband and I went to the show with our friends Olly and Rachel Knights. Olly is the singer in a sublime band called Turin Brakes, who make beautiful music and deserve a Brit themselves…maybe next year! My assistant Emily came along with her fella and we all danced the night away – a great time was had by all….I went to get some cake….but it had all been eaten. Perfect!

30th birthday cake

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Weddings at Claridges

Maisie Fantaisie is recommended by the events team at Claridges and we have supplied numerous wedding cakes and birthday cakes for weddings at Claridges and private events. The events team will help you plan your day ensuring that every requirement is met to a very high standard. I have spent some lovely evenings with friends in Claridges bar and the service and atmosphere is really special and I can thoroughly recommend the hotel to host your wedding event.

Claridges is a traditional grand hotel located in a terraced block in Mayfair, central London. It has old connections with royalty and it's reputation in terms of elegance and prestige was cemented in 1860 when Queen Victoria was entertained during an extended visit by Empress Eugenie, wife of Napoleon III.

Over the years the Claridges has been popular with Actors and entertainers including Cary Grant, Audrey Hepburn, Alfred Hitchcock and Mick Jagger. The restaurant is currently run by Gordon Ramsay and offers an exquisite array of menus and a history of state banquets and royal receptions ensure it's function rooms offer outstanding facilities making them perfect for a very special London wedding or civil partnership.

On arrival you enter the hotel through the impressive main lobby….

claridges hotel entrance

The Art Deco Ballroom is a luxurious wedding venue and it has been the setting for many society weddings and balls. It is exquisitely decorated and flooded with natural daylight through five floor-to-ceiling windows. It's capacity is 192 but caters for up to 240 when used in conjunction with the mirror room…

claridges hotel ballroom

Alternatively The French Salon is perfect for cocktail receptions and weddings and also ideal for dancing and evening entertainment. The room features an impressive mural of a dancing couple, uncovered during refurbishment…

claridges french salon

There are also numerous other rooms available, you can book weddings at Claridges here.

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Wedding perfume

I love this perfume by Marc Jacobs, it's perfect for a daisy themed wedding along with our daisy wedding cake. My assistant Emily has a bottle of this delicious scent and it smells divine, like a Summer's day. I'm going to pick a bottle up myself for my Summer holiday. I love it when a fragrance reminds you of a special time in your life……….perfect for your wedding!

marc-jacobs-daisy-wedding-perfume

You can visit their lovely website here and pick up some wedding perfume.

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Weddings at The Ritz

The weekend saw me delivering another wedding cake to a wedding at The Ritz hotel on Piccadilly. It's such a wonderful hotel. Opened in 1906 by the Swiss hotelier Cesar Ritz, it was designed to resemble a stylish Parisian block of flats. Mr.Ritz personally managed the hotel's operations for many years. The high standards to which he held his staff and luxury which provided his guests had previously been entirely foreign to Victorian Londoners, and the sensation he caused in the hotel industry began a change in the industry's focus.

I was supplying the cake for an intimate wedding reception in the hotel's William Kent room. The William Kent House was renovated and opened in 2006 as an extension to the hotel and has a wonderful function area including the Burlington room, the William Kent room…

william kent room at the ritz hotel
and the Queen Elizabeth room..

queen elizabeth room at the ritz hotel room

Although I've been here quite a few times now I was thinking to myself, whilst setting the cake up, that it is always such a treat to see the room's opulence up close and personal and that I'm lucky to have these opportunities while supplying some of the best hotels in London. I remember first seeing this room whilst watching the film' The September Issue', Anna Wintour (editor-in-chief of American Vogue) was having a meeting and I remember thinking that it was an amazing room that I had no idea existed within the walls of the Ritz Hotel and there I was standing there myself!

So here is a picture of the lovely little sparkly cakes I delivered, I think I might have to think up a reason to book out the room myself! You can book weddings at The Ritz here!

red milano mini cakes

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KitchenAid blender

kitchenaid

I'm loving the KitchenAid ultra power blender. If you're anything like me and struggle with your 5 daily portions of fresh fruit and vegetables then this nifty little spinner is a dream. This morning my husband threw in one whole pineapple, one banana, two pears, half a cup of natural yogurt and one cup of orange and mango juice….This provides two people with their daily portion of fruit and it's so simple and Sooooo tasty!

KitchenAid at John Lewis online

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California Dreaming

gaytopper

Year: 1950. Location: California. Headline: Homosexuality is a growing social problem.

Check that year. 59 years later and yesterday's supreme court ruling in California to ban same sex marriage could easily be a headline from a 50's newspaper. This is the country that took us to the moon, developed the micro chip and voted for a black president.

And yet it seems that the most culturally diverse state in America fell asleep in the 50's and needs a bit of a shake.

2009: WAKE UP! California…..you've been dreaming that the world hates gays, and for homosexuals it's turning into a nightmare. See, we've all moved on.

Marriages and partnerships are about love, commitment, contentment and trust. and banning the legal recognition of a partnership between two people who love each other is simply wrong.

I have worked in the wedding industry for 10 years and was thrilled when at last in December 2005 Civil partnerships in England and Wales became available for same sex couples. The bill was passed and immediately I was inundated with orders for Christmas Civil partnership wedding cakes. I met with a lovely couple the other day, Matt and Stuart, who are planning their wedding cake for a June celebration. They're so excited and can't wait for their big day.

Meanwhile for thousands of homosexuals in California 'all the leaves are brown and the sky is grey'.

This is an interesting article written by the actor Alec Baldwin:
Alec Baldwin – Why Childless Straight Couples Make the Case for Gay Marriage

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Amaretto apricots

Earlier today I was thinking about the next recipe I'm going to post and I thought I might like to make something with apricots, one of my favourite fruits. I'm not quite sure of the combination of the recipe yet (apricots and chocolate, apricots and almond, apricots and orange), but I'm certain that I want to include the delicious Amaretto liqueur. So I'm preparing some dried apricots in Amaretto. I half filled a jar with apricots and I've covered them in the liqueur. Seeing the fruit soaking in the jar made me think that this would also make a lovely Christmas treat or gift. These great storage jars can be picked up in most kitchen shops, I got mine in the kitchen department at John Lewis. Name and date the jars with a sticker or tie a label to a ribbon. Whilst I'm deciding what to make, these apricots will soak up the liqueur and are going to taste fantastic! Recipe coming soon (Maybe I'll add it to my range of wedding cake flavours). x

amaretto-apricots-in-jar

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Banana and mars bar cakes

Goodness me it's been a while since my last blog post. We've had a really busy summer at Maisie Fantaisie making lots of wedding cakes and I haven't had a moment. So my apologies to you for that.

Last weekend was my nieces 7th birthday so we headed down to the cotswolds to help out with her 'Teddy Bears' picnic party. Lots of bunting, jelly and ice cream, mini sweet treats and of course a cake made by a doting Aunt! We danced and played games and while tucking into a mini mars bar (a sweet treat I haven't had for years!) it brought back memories of being a child and my Mum melting mars bars and pouring the sauce over vanilla ice cream. The caramel and nougat ingredients of the mars bar gives the sauce a toffee chocolate flavour, really delicious and very naughty!

I've been wanting to make some yummy banana cakes for a while and I think that this mars bar sauce topping is perfect. This banana cake recipe makes a really lovely light sponge and the sauce is a sticky delight which makes these cakes a truly scrumptious treat.

'BANANA AND MARS BAR CAKES' (banana and vanilla bean cakes, mars bar sauce)

banana-cake

Makes 12 cakes

Banana cake recipe
250g softened butter or margarine
250g golden caster sugar
5 eggs
250g self raising flour
5 ripe bananas
2 teaspoons baking powder
2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Mars bar sauce recipe
4 mars bars (58g bars)
4 tablespoons single cream

DIRECTIONS:
1. Preheat the oven to 175 degrees celsius (160 for fan ovens).
2. Line a 12 cup muffin tin with 12 muffin size cases.
3. Cream the butter and sugar together in a mixing bowl.
4. Add the eggs one at a time, beating after each edition.
5. Sift in the flour and baking powder, mix until thoroughly combined.
6. Add the vanilla extract.
7. In another bowl mash the banana with a fork.
8. Add the bananas to the vanilla sponge mix and combine thoroughly.
9. Evenly distribute the mixture between the 12 muffin cases.
10. Place in the middle shelf of the oven and bake for 30 mins until golden brown.
11. Whilst the cakes are cooling, cut the mars bars into chunks and place in a small pan (a non-stick pan would be best).
12. On a very low heat, melt the mars bars and stir in the cream.
13. When the cakes are cool, pour the hot mars bar sauce over each one and add a few chocolate sprinkles.

'BANANA AND MARS BAR CAKES'

banana-cake close up

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