A wedding and a resurrection

Hello!

This is my first post in something like nine months, so in case you’re wondering if I’m still alive the answer is yes! And if you’re a little less melodramatic and simply wondering if I’m still baking, the answer is also yes albeit less regularly.

The very short and sweet update is I am super busy with a great job and also surrounded by people who – for their sins – like dieting and are less keen on being force fed cake every week. Fools!

This means I’m making less frequently and not having the time to write about it, although if you follow me on Instagram (@natblachford) you will have seen some of the bits and pieces I have been knocking up in the kitchen.

One of the most significant things I’ve failed to mention on here is my biggest challenge to date – I made a wedding cake!

Wedding Cake 2

A friend contacted me to say he was getting married and he wondered if I’d be interested in making the cake. There’s a cute backstory, as it turns out he proposed on his now wife’s birthday when he’d commissioned me to make her birthday cake and so they wanted the same cake re-made for their wedding.

You can see the original cake here – it’s a chocolate and raspberry extravaganza and, dare I say it, quite a lot tastier and more indulgent than your average wedding cake.

To turn it into a wedding cake that would serve 150 people, some tweaks were made to the recipe and I decided to go a bit more traditional in appearance with white chocolate collars rather than the dark chocolate used previously.

I used my new go-to chocolate cake recipe without any whole raspberries in and refined the raspberry sauce to remove the seeds – the verdict from my taste testers at work was that it was better without. I used a white chocolate buttercream (also a go-to recipe) to cover the cakes, before finishing with the chocolate collars and fresh raspberries on top.

Wedding Cake 3

My life was made a lot easier by the fact the couple already had a cake stand to suit their countryside wedding theme so I didn’t have to worry about tiering. They also had their own lego wedding topper ready to pop on top – the perfect finishing touch.

It’s been so long since the wedding that I don’t even have the original photos any more, which is why I’ve had to salvage a few from Instagram to use here.

The most important thing was that the bride and groom were thrilled with the cake and it got eaten, which is good because in my mind nothing is sadder than a neglected cake left sat in the corner!

Wedding cake 1

So thank you Charlie and Sarah for letting me be a part of your big day and hopefully this blog post won’t be the last of this year – I’ve got some exciting recipes to share with you all and it feels like time to write again so the resurrection is here…

Alive and eating…

I know, it’s kinda been a while since my last post – sorry! Things have been pretty hectic recently, and while I have still been baking a bit, time for blogging has been pretty much non-existent.

So, what have I been so busy with? Well among other things, I’ve been back in Romania!

First Dance

I was invited back for a wedding, and wow, what a wedding it was. Romanians clearly don’t do understated, and I think British brides and grooms could take a few tips from their traditions!

The evening reception had more than 300 guests, started at 9pm and continued until 5.30am. The amount of food served was staggering – along with canapes, starter, main and cake for dessert, there was a fruit buffet (below – doesn’t it look amazing!), a cookie buffet, a traditional Romanian buffet with hog roast and sarmale (filled cabbage rolls), and free flowing champagne, wine, whisky and a whole host of other drinks.

Fruit Buffet

The food is served throughout the night (main course was around 3am…) with LOTS of dancing and music the whole time. They have a tradition where the bride is ‘kidnapped’ and the groom has to pay a ransom – in this case a bottle of champagne, bottle of whisky, and a very romantic declaration of love.

There was also a very emotional ritual of removing the bride’s veil and tying her hair with a scarf, which I believe signifies leaving her family to start a new family with her husband – there were lots of tears all round!

Wedding Cake

The cake was then cut, and it was without a doubt the best wedding cake I’ve tasted – layers of chocolate sponge, chocolate mousse, cherries and cream, spiked with some sort of liquor and covered with fondant icing. I forgot to take a picture of the cut cake, but it was seriously delicious!

You’d think that would be enough food to last a week, but I managed to squeeze in one or two other treats…

Mini Macarons

At Paul’s I had mini macarons as a pre-wedding ‘light snack’ – too cute to resist!

At my friend’s hotel in the mountains I ate delicious apple pies, chocolate and almond cake and papanasi – oh how I miss you papanasi!

Mini patisserie

Back in Bucharest, I continued the mini patisserie theme with these – mini apricot and cherry tarts, and a traditional Romanian cake, armandine – chocolate sponge layers soaked in what I think was amaretto, sandwiched with chocolate mousse and coated in chocolate icing. All very, very tasty!

Ice Cream Fondue

I also experienced my first ever ice cream fondue – I’m not sure how this works, but it does, and it’s good. Next time I am in London I’m definitely going to have to visit their parlour in Leicester Square to have it again!

So while I may not have been baking and blogging too much, clearly I have been eating – a bit too much you could say…

I do have a few recipes lined up to post, and a fab cookbook to review, so normal service will hopefully resume shortly!

Although, I do have another wedding this weekend, and a mini-holiday in Wales the weekend after, so bear with me if it takes a little while…