Ultimate guide to making the perfect cup of tea

Tea image

By Eric Lanlard


Did you know that tea is the second most widely consumed drink after water? No surprise there – after all the UK is a nation of tea lovers.

It all starts with the water – your ingredients are secondary; it doesn’t matter if you use a tea bag or loose leaf tea, a horrible taste like chlorine, iron or sulphur can damage the taste and aroma of your tea. Fill a kettle with cold mineral or filtered water – do not use pre-boiled or distilled water, as the more oxygen there is in the water, the better your tea will taste.

Bring fresh water to the boil. Immediately fill your empty cup or teapot and leave for 5 minutes to warm.

Fine china is a great insulator of heat that will keep your tea warmer for longer. Empty the water from your cup or teapot and refill with very hot (but not boiling) water. If the water is boiling or too hot you could destroy some of the complex flavours from the tea leaves. If using a cup, leave some space for the milk (if liked).

If using a tea bag, leave it to infuse for 3–5 minutes depending on the type of tea and how strong you like it, then remove the tea bag using a spoon. There is always an argument about when to add the milk (if using), but it has been proven that tea will infuse more effectively in just hot water rather than a mix of milk and water.

If using loose leaf tea, add one teaspoon of tea per person to the tea pot, plus one extra (this is the same if using a infuser).

Using a preheated spoon, swirl the leaves in the water and leave to infuse for:

  • 1 minute  for green tea (don’t leave for more than 2 minutes, as green tea will become bitter)
  • 3 minutes  for black tea
  • 8–10 minutes  for herbal or fruit infusions

The taste and flavours of loose tea leaves is incomparable to tea bags, even expensive brands. In the Far East, the traditional way to use loose tea leaves is to add them first to very hot water to remove any impurities, and then infuse them in slightly cooler freshly drawn hot water.

book image Add sugar or honey to sweeten your tea, and what we call in France ‘un nuage de lait’ (a cloud of milk) if you want, too. Sit back, relax and savour the moment with your perfect cup of tea.

The ideal accompaniment to the perfectly made cup of tea is a slice of tasty cake.

My new Afternoon Tea book is filled with cakes and perfect bakes to accompany a well made cup of tea.   Enjoy!

Find Eric’s new ‘Afternoon Tea’ book for sale here

The art of tempering chocolate: Tips from Paul A. Young

paul a young Award-winning master chocolatier and chocolate guru, Paul A. Young, has kindly shared with us his fantastic recipe to create your own homemade Easter egg. In addition to this Paul has also shared with us his top tips to mastering the art of chocolate tempering and a few different methods that you can try at home.

Firstly, what does tempering mean?

Tempering chocolate is an important technique to ensure that your finished chocolate has a satin, glossy shine and a good ‘snap.’ There are two methods for this; seeding or marble slab.

Seeding tempering

Paul A. Young recommends that you try this method first as it requires no special equipment at all and it’s also very clean, no pouring chocolate onto your kitchen counter. Once you have mastered this technique there will be no stopping your creative urges to produce amazing chocolate bars, truffles and other yummy goodies.

For this method you will require the following equipment:
Glass or stainless steel mixing bowl
Rubber spatula
Sauce pan

• Place two thirds of your required amount of chocolate into a mixing bowl.

• Fill the pan with water until just below the bottom of the bowl when sat on top of the saucepan.

• Place on a medium heat and allow the water to become hot but do not allow to boil as this can burn the chocolate and it will become grainy and ruined. So take care.

• Allow the chocolate to melt for at least one hour. The temperature of the chocolate should be at 55°C. Once fully melted, remove the bowl from the sauce pan and place on a towel or cloth.

• Now while mixing vigorously, add the remaining one third of chocolate in small pieces. Keep mixing until fully melted and until the chocolate cools to 27-28°C, this is when the chocolate begins to crystallise.

• At this point place the bowl back onto the heat until the temperature reached 31-32°C, this is the working temperature and the chocolate is now ready to use.

• Dip the end of a knife or spatula in to the chocolate and allow to set. If the chocolate is smooth, glossy and brittle when set then you have mastered seeding tempering.

Marble slab tempering

For this method you will require the following equipment:
Marble slab
Mixing bowl
Sauce pan
Rubber spatula
Palette knife
Triangle scraper
Digital thermometer (optional)

• Over a bain marie melt at least 1kg of chocolate to a maximum temperature of 55°C. Do not let the water boil or simmer but keep hot and allow the chocolate to melt for at least two hours. This will ensure that all the fats, sugars and crystals have melted evenly.

• Pour two thirds of the chocolate onto the marble slab. Spread evenly over the slab with the palette knife and scrape back together with the triangle scraper. Repeat this action until the chocolate cools to 27-28°C which is when the chocolate begins to crystallise and harden.

• You can check this temperature by using a digital thermometer or by touching some chocolate with a separate palette knife on to your bottom lip. The chocolate should feel neither cold nor warm but at body temperature. Practice is the best policy here and soon you will be able to determine the right temperature. (This is Paul’s preferred method.)

• Now scrape the cool chocolate in to the warm chocolate at 55°C and mix very well until fully incorporated. Be vigorous and confident working smoothly at this stage.

• Mixing is very important and lots of it to bring the temperature even throughout the chocolate. The temperature should now be 31-32°C; this is called the working temperature.

• To check if the chocolate is tempered, dip the end of your palette knife into the chocolate and place aside to set. If the chocolate sets with a shine and is crisp then you have tempered your chocolate perfectly.

• If the chocolate is streaky, grainy or dull then there are a few ways to determine what has happened. The temperature of the chocolate may still be too high and you may need to re-temper on the marble slab briefly.

• You may need to continue mixing to emulsify the chocolate together or you may have not melted your chocolate sufficiently at the beginning.

• Once you have your bowl of tempered chocolate it is ready to use but you must maintain the working temperature by warming briefly on the bain marie.

Tempering with different types of chocolate

You will need to adapt your tempering temperatures depending on the type of chocolate that you are using.

The guide below will help you adapt your tempering method to suit different chocolate types:

If you have a taste for chocolate, why not try a few more of Paul A. Young’s chocolate recipe on BakingMad.com.
Easter Simnel Brownie
Triple Sweet Truffles
Caramel Bomb

Or alternatively visit one of Paul’s shops in London for an indulgent chocolate fix (http://www.paulayoung.co.uk/).

The Big Breakfast Challenge

group shot Since it’s National Breakfast Week and frankly we love any excuse to get baking at BakingMad.com HQ, I took it upon myself to throw down the breakfast gauntlet and challenge my comrades; Gina and Katie to The Big Breakfast challenge.

So the rules were as follows; each contender could select one of Allinson’s simple (and delicious) sweet dough breakfast recipes and must complete the recipe to the best of their ability, in order for us to enjoy a yummy breakfast/brunch together (all in the name of work of course!)

Before we begin, it might be good to know a little bit about each baker…

katie Katie is our energetic, Aussie bundle of fun. Whilst she wouldn’t describe herself as a natural baker (her nickname being The Burnt Baker), Katie will always select the most ambitious looking bake when browsing through foodie magazines and Pinterest and put her own individual spin to it. For this reason alone, Katie selected the impressive looking Chocolate and Pistachio Breakfast Wreath…

ginaGina, on the other hand would probably describe herself as a kitchen calamity. Her highlights being that she created the most complicated yet perfect chocolate soufflé and lowlights being that she baked a simple chocolate brownie until it turned to dust! Who knows perhaps Gina is suited to the complex baking recipes? Gina selected the classic Cinnamon Roll recipe for the breakfast challenge…

SamAnd me? I’m Sam, the BakingMad.com resident baker. I’m pretty sure I am the definition of being well and truly baking mad. I fancied giving the teacakes a try for this challenge. The beauty of these Allinson recipes is that whilst they produce amazing showstopper style bakes they are actually super simple to make for bakers of all skill sets.

Each recipe started with the same easy steps, heat the milk and butter, mix with the eggs, gradually add to the dry ingredients, knead and prove.

It was the second stage that set each bake apart. Gina’s cinnamon rolls were the first in the oven, delicately nestled in a muffin tin, filling the kitchen with the sweet scents. wreath

Next was the chocolate and pistachio wreath. Katie found the twisting stage of her wreath surprisingly easy to achieve but suggested that she would be a lot more generous with the chocolate spread next time round!! She also popped the pistachios in a food blender which was faster than chopping them up – a great timesaving tip.

teacake I proved and baked my teacakes in a Yorkshire pudding tin, which is great to keep your teacakes in shape and flat. However, don’t worry if you don’t have one of these tins as you can bake them on a baking tray similar to when you bake bread rolls.

For an extra touch try glazing the top of your teacakes with a beaten egg to add a bit of sheen to your finished bakes.

So all our breakfast goodies were baked and out of the oven and all that was left was the taste test. Ok, I will be honest, they all tasted really great and we couldn’t decide on a winner so we tucked in and polished off the remains with a nice cup of tea… It would have been rude not to!

To have a go at your own breakfast baking challenge, check out the Allinson collection here.

The Christmas Golden Sugar-Coated Caramel Bombs

caramel bom

We were really excited to receive a box of Paul A Young’s latest chocolate masterpiece, the Golden Sugar-Coated Caramel Bombs. Rich dark chocolate shells filled with the most indulgently smooth caramel centre; push your standard selection boxes aside, this is one chocolate that is worth fighting over with the family this Christmas.

Paul A Young always uses Billington’s finest unrefined sugars in his chocolates and these are no exception, with light and dark muscovado and rolled in golden caster sugar these ingredients are really noticeable in the unique flavour of the caramel.

These chocolates are available for purchase in all of Paul A Young’s stores across London this December, priced at £15.50 for a box of 9 they really do make a great gift for your family and friends. We may even leave a box out for Santa to guarantee we are on the nice list this year.

If you aren’t able to make it to one of Paul’s store in time for the big day don’t panic. We have been lucky enough that Paul has shared his special chocolate recipe with us so you could make your very own handmade Golden Sugar-Coated Caramel Bomb chocolates to fill your loved ones, Christmas stockings.

Convenient chocolate shells can be purchased online from sites such as the Chocolate Trading Co. to save yourself some precious time during the festive period. Simply whip up a batch of the indulgent caramel and fill your chocolate with this heavenly centre.

The complete recipe for these chocolates can be found here, so get a head start on your Christmas gifting and make a batch today.

Merry Christmas x

Sarah Randell’s Clementine Christmas Pudding

xmas pud Christmas is just around the corner and we are already eagerly planning our upcoming festive bakes, the first on our list being our Christmas pudding.

We are extra excited this year for Stir Up Sunday as we have a delicious new recipe that has been shared by Sarah Randell.

Sarah, having professionally trained at Leith’s School of Food and Wine and worked with the likes of Delia Smith and on various magazines and TV programmes is now Food Director at Sainsbury’s Magazine. Sarah has also written several of her own books including, Weekend Baking (Ryland, Peters & Small) and Marmalade; A Bittersweet Cookbook (Saltyard Books)

marmalade book

Her Clementine Christmas Pudding combines a medley of seasonal fruit such as clementines, bramley apples and prunes, perfectly complimented by the rich flavours of muscovado sugar and zesty marmalade. Once you have tried this recipe you will never look at a traditional Christmas pudding in the same way.

This recipe can be found on BakingMad.com here as well as Sarah’s latest book, Marmalade: A Bittersweet Cookbook, out now and available from bookstores or as an eBook. This book would make an ideal Christmas gift for marmalade fans.

10 ways to use a pumpkin

pumpkin We love Autumn and all the seasonal fun that comes with it, in particular Halloween and most importantly pumpkins!

For us, pumpkins are one of those ingredients that really sums up this time of year and a great way to get the whole family involved in the fun, from picking your pumpkin, carving it to baking with it – the possibilities are endless. We share our 10 ways to use a pumpkin:

1. This week we ventured out to hand-select our perfect pumpkin. We really love pick your own farms, and there are a surprising amount dotted around most of the country so we would highly recommend researching where your nearest one is.

We were spoilt for your choice at our pumpkin patch – big, small, unusually shaped, stripey, even white pumpkins!

1 2 stripy pumpkin

2. We’d been researching pumpkin designs for weeks on Pinterest but in reality when we got our pumpkins back home we just let our inner creativity run its own course. Most supermarkets sell handy little carving kits which are ideal for basic pumpkins design. Don’t forget to save the pumpkin flesh and seeds when you’re carving – we will show you how to use these later. carve

Once our pumpkin was carved we then had the impatient wait until it was dark enough for us to spark the tea lights hidden inside and set our pumpkin aglow.

What’s great about pumpkins is that there is no wastage, all the delicious flesh scooped out of the centre can be used in a whole host of seasonal recipes.

3. Mini Pumpkin Pies – these ‘scream’ of autumn flavours, pumpkin and spices in little bitesize pies

4. Pumpkin and Ginger Cupcakes – if you’re a fan of cupcakes then this is the recipe for you. Best enjoyed with your feet up and a warm drink in hand.

5. Pumpkin and molasses Cookies – if you are looking for a homemade alternative for trick or treaters why not give these a try. The molasses sugar in this recipe gives a lovely treacle flavour.

6. Handbaked spiced pumpkin loaves – we love this bread. Shaped like a pumpkin this acts as a great centre piece at a Halloween dinner party. For an added twist spread a flavoured butter on your slices when serving.

7. Pumpkin, goats cheese and rocket pizza – having a Halloween night in treat your ghosts and ghouls to this yummy pizza. It’s frightfully tasty!

pies a s

8. Don’t forget the pumpkin seeds can be used too and are particularly great for sprinkling on homebaked bread.

9. For a healthy snack, roast your leftover pumpkin seeds. If you like them salty, boil the seeds in salted water before roasting in the oven. Don’t forget to oil the roasting tray first!

10. If you have more of a sweet tooth, try frying up the pumpkin seeds in a pan with brown sugar to caramelise and make a delicious sweet treat.

Happy Halloween!!!

The Chocolate Show 2015

choc show logo We were very excited to hear of an upcoming food show this month based around one of our favourite ingredients…chocolate!

The Chocolate Show returns to Olympia National this year between 16th-18th October and has a line-up with more variety that a tub of Quality Street’s at Christmas.

There will be a chocolate factory where Paul Wayne–Gregory will be demonstrating the techniques behind the chocolate making process – making this the first show ever to make chocolate from the bean live on site.

Not to be missed, our favourite chocolatier Paul a Young will be making his famous brownies live at the show and serving warm with a variety of toppings including his world award winning sea salted caramel sauce. truffles

There will be appearances from celebrity chefs including Will Torrent, Willie Harcourt-Cooze, Chris & Jeff Galvin, Tony Rodd and GBBO winner Edd Kimber who will be showcasing their patisserie and chocolate recipes live on the main stage.

The delicious Tasting Room will offer guests a chance to taste and learn about some of the world’s best chocolate.

Award-winning musical Charlie & The Chocolate Factory, will host the children’s area where little hands can get messy with chocolate workshops and an appearance from the iconic Great Glass Elevator.

Ever dreamed of dressing in chocolate? There is a world famous Chocolate Fashion Show live on the catwalk each day at 5pm – bigger and more awe-inspiring than ever before.
And what’s most exciting is that BakingMad.com readers can get a 10% discount with this exclusive code. Simply enter BAKINGMAD when purchasing your tickets at www.thechocolateshow.co.uk

Richard Burr – All about Great British Bake Off

Guest blogger, 2014 Great British Bake Off finalist, Richard Burr reminisces about last year’s final, reveals his favourite baker and shares what he has been up to over the last 12 months. Grab a cup of tea and put your feet up it’s a great read…

richard signing books

“With this year’s Bake Off final fast approaching, I’ve been thinking a lot about my time on the show and looking back on the year I’ve had since. It’s been terrific and I still have to pinch myself when I think of everything that’s happened. I’ve written a weekly blog for the past year at www.richardburr.london, which has acted as a bit of a diary for me to keep track of everything I’ve been up to.

gorilla cake From making cakes for gorillas at London Zoo to meeting heroes like David Tennant to writing my own recipe book, B.I.Y. Bake It Yourself, and having it published, it’s been a mad but an entirely positive experience. If anyone is even considering applying for the Great British Bake Off I’d say to jump in feet first – you have nothing to lose and so much potential fun to have.

One of the most special things for me has been meeting the 11 fellow bakers from my series. We are all really close. The first day we met, we set up a Whatsapp group and ever since, we’ve been in touch on a daily basis and meet up as often as possible. I’m catching up with Iain, Chetna and Luis tomorrow in fact! To find out more about what everyone has been up to, on Sunday 4 October on BBC1 is the Bake Off Class of 2014 programme. They took us back to the tent to interview us about the year we’ve each had, which made us all very nostalgic. It felt great to be back at the magnificent Welford Park.

2014 contestants

Writing my recipe book, B.I.Y. Bake It Yourself, was a massive high for me. I was pretty green about the process and it was a steep learning curve, but I reckon it turned out pretty good! As a builder, I’m used to spending most winters out in the cold – digging foundations, fixing roofs, unblocking drains, etc. This was the first winter in about 15 years where instead of freezing my fingers off I was shacked-up in my warm kitchen writing, testing and developing my favourite recipes. My book covers many different baking techniques but grades each recipe for difficulty as level 1, 2 or 3. This means there’s something for everyone; from people who have never made a Victoria sponge before to those who are keen to try their hand at entremets. I’m really proud of the book and I worked with a great team at Quadrille to produce it. We shot the book at my house in February and March of this year, which meant that I could use my own oven to prepare all the food featured. It became a real family affair, with both my daughters and loads of my building materials featured in B.I.Y. The styling and photography are really original and complemented my recipes perfectly.

GBBO tent I wondered whether it would feel weird watching a new batch of bakers in the tent this year; all rattling around with my pots and pans, but I’ve loved it. This series has shown that the popularity of the Great British Bake Off is unlikely to wane any time soon, with viewing figures consistently high. I’ve watched the series really closely as I’ve been reviewing it for the Radio Times so I’ve seen every episode at least three times. It makes me feel like I’ve got to know the bakers very well and I’ve been in touch with most of them on Twitter too. Stu and Ian even made it along to my B.I.Y. book launch party. Frances, Kimberley and Ruby – the Bake Off finalists from 2013 – were really generous with their advice to me in the lead up to my final last year and it’s been good to pay that forward to this year’s semi-finalists. I was so nervous in the run up to the final being aired last year as there was such a weight of expectation on my shoulders after winning Star Baker five times. I didn’t want people to feel I’d let them down. Thankfully, even though everything that followed has been quite unpredictable, people have been so warm. No one ever comes up to you and says “I hated you on the Bake Off”. It’s not that sort of a show.

Paul Hollywood In this series of the Great British Bake Off, I’ve particularly enjoyed the humour of Sandy and Mat, the level headedness of Paul, Ian’s delicate and unusual flavours and pretty much everything Nadiya has made! She’s been my favourite from early on and I really hope to see her in the final. Some of the challenges this year have been extremely difficult. For example, the Religieuse a L’ancienne showstoppers in the quarter finals looked almost as complicated as what we faced in our finals. Quite a few of the technical bakes this year have been things that none of the contestants have heard of. On the positive side, this puts them all on an even keel in making them. However, it’s often meant that for viewers at home, we’re not quite sure how they’re supposed to turn out either, and therefore whether the bakers are getting it wrong! I am very excited about what we’re going to see from the bakers in the final stages and I think they’ve got even more up their sleeves to wow us. If you’ve enjoyed this series as much as I have, put your money where your mouth is and apply for the next series. I promise you won’t regret it!”


Richard’s new book, “B-I-Y Bake It Yourself” is available for purchase now and if you would like a sneak peek at one of his delicious recipes, head over to his Blackcurrant Macarons recipe on BakingMad.com by clicking here.

Luis Troyano Q&A

Luis With the latest series of Great British Bake Off in full swing and the nation going bonkers for baguettes, biscotti and Berry (Mary Berry that is) we caught up with last year’s finalist Luis Troyano to find out about life after GBBO…

What inspired you to apply for The Great British Bake Off?

I thought it would be fun and a change from my everyday life. To be honest, I never ever expected to walk into the tent and actually take part. The first day there was really surreal, almost dream like. I learnt so much from the experience, it was simply amazing and I would wholeheartedly recommend it to anyone who is considering taking part.

What were Paul and Mary like to work with?

Their knowledge in all things baking is simply mind-blowing. I often thought there were hidden cameras as I couldn’t get my head around how they knew what we had done without actually seeing us do it. They were a real pleasure to get to know and work with. The key was listening to their feedback and taking it on-board.

What was your most embarrassing moment during GBBO?

Definitely self-saucing puddings. I knew I had a dodgy recipe and I’ll never forget Paul just staring at me whilst dribbling the horrible thin sauce off a spoon in front of me. I just wanted the ground to open up and swallow me.

Were there any bloopers that happened in the bake off tent that didn’t make the final cut?

Lots! I remember the semi-final in particular. Nancy had made a really thin chocolate ganache and was pouring it over some cakes. It was also pouring all over her bench, down the sides, all over the floor. We were absolutely wetting ourselves. I actually went over to help catch it some of it.

What was your favourite moment of the bake off experience?

I have so many fond memories. But if had to choose just one, bread week. Paul Hollywood said he had never tasted anything like my rye rolls and shook my hand. I was blown away.

luis book If you could summarise your bake off journey in 3 words what would they be?

Terrifying. Fun. Friendships.

What do you love most about baking?

I love baking. It ticks so many boxes for me. I love the chemistry and experimentation, the creativity and the opportunity to be artistic. Most of all though it’s the perfect thing to give family and friends, it always makes them smile.

What is your all-time favourite type of cake/pastry?

Definitely a Bakewell tart! It’s my absolute favourite and the recipe is firmly memorised. Crisp thin short crust pastry, almond and lemon frangipane topped off with a thick layer of fondant icing. Magic. There’s so many disciplines covered in making one that I think it taught me how to bake.

What is your favourite ingredient to work with and why?

I suppose it would have to be flour. The possibilities of what you can make are endless, in-fact it’s mind boggling when you think about it. It’s such a core staple of baking that changed the world. There’s nothing better than handling perfect bread dough, so so satisfying.

We love your new book ‘Bake it Yourself’. What is your favourite recipe from it?

Wow that’s a really difficult question. If I was looking at it sentimentally, I would choose my mum’s Spanish Roscos de Anis. They are a deep fried doughnut, nothing like our traditional version. They are heavily flavoured with aniseed and extra virgin olive oil and are my earliest memory of baking as a child. If I was to choose one of my own recipes it would have to be a tart, probably the raspberry, pistachio and white chocolate one.

What is your fail-safe recipe that you turn to when you need a last minute bake?

Definitely my Cherry Bakewell Cupcakes. I have probably made thousands of these by now. Quick and easy to make, incredibly moist and taste delicious. They are topped off with a layer of Amaretto icing and look great too.

We love baking hacks at BakingMad.com what are your top 3 baking tips?

Firstly I always leave a little tab sticking out on the non-stick paper disc under a tart; you can then just grab it and slide the tart off. Secondly, test your oven temperature with an oven thermometer; you will be surprised how out it can be. Thirdly, when making bread, always make the dough the day before and prove it in the fridge for up to 24 hours, it really does make for a better end result.

Tell us a bit about your bee keeping? Do you use the honey a lot in your baking?

I’m very lucky to have a constant supply of honey on hand so yes I use it lots. In fact there’s a whole chapter of recipes dedicated to it in my book. Beekeeping is the most amazing hobby; they really are fascinating creatures and a complete joy to keep. I find it really relaxing when I go out to inspect the hives and you just forget everything else going on around you.

What have you been up to since Great British Bake Off?

Wow, where do I start? My life has been turned upside down in the most amazing way. I gave up my old day job and now focus on baking activities. I was very privileged to get the opportunity to write my own recipe book so that took quite a lot of time to do. The book is called Bake It Great and is published by Pavilion. I also hold afternoon teas at the Farmers Arms in my home village of Poynton on a regular basis, I make all the cakes. I have a really full diary teaching people how to bake at Seasoned Cookery School and Cheshire Cookery School as well as working at many of the food festivals around the country this summer and autumn. You can view my schedule of where I’ll be on my website, www.luistroyano.com
Long term, I would love to have my own bakery, something I’m currently investigating.

Thanks so much to Luis for the great answers, we can’t wait to try more recipes from ‘Bake It Yourself’(Published by Pavilion. Photography by Clare Winfield)

Luis has kindly shared his Carrot and Cardamom cake, Raspberry, Pistachio and White Chocolate tart and our favourite, Bakewell Tart – check them out on BakingMad.com.

Behind the scenes with Juliet Sear

camera We are so excited to take you all behind the scenes for a sneaky peak of our recent video shoot with Juliet Sear. Juliet kindly shared four recipes from her brand new book, Cakeology (available in all good book stores) and we cannot wait to share the finished videos with you.

We love the buzz of a video shoot; cameras, lights and microphones at the ready, the aroma of different smells floating around the kitchen and watching a baking pro first hand showing just how simple decorating cakes can be.

dog The first recipe of the day was adorable woodland creature cupcakes, which in our opinion were almost as cute as Juliet’s dog, Dougie who was patiently catching some rays in the garden whilst we were all busy in the kitchen.

Juliet also effortlessly produced two showstopper cakes; a stunning three tier ombre cake, which features on the front cover of her Cakeology book, and a vibrant piñata cake filled to the brim with every sweet imaginable. (Confession: there wasn’t too many sweet left by the end of the shoot.)group

We picked up some great tips from Juliet during the filming, our favourites being that it’s all about the wiggle (someone better tell Megan Trainor) when piping your piñata cake and that air-bubbles are the enemy…we won’t spoil anymore for you, so make sure you watch the videos.

The recipes were so straightforward; we left the shoot planning to recreate the piñata cake for an upcoming birthday party.

For the final recipe, Christmas fever took over the kitchen, despite the glorious sunshine outside but more to come on that later in the year…Ok, here is a sneaky photo to tickle your taste buds. snowman

It was so much fun shooting with Juliet and we cannot recommend her book enough, so what are you waiting for grab your copy of Cakeology now!

Also why not follow Juliet’s blog on her new website here