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Salted caramel and popcorn wedding cake

| Weddings

A salted caramel and popcorn wedding cake – what fun! Delicious layers of vanilla cake sandwiched with salted caramel and caramel crunch popcorn.

On Saturday the 23rd March 2019 at Blue Bay Lodge in Saldanha, a beautiful young couple tied the knot. Congratulations to the new Mr & Mrs Renate & Jan Malan. May your life be filled with joy and lots of laughter.

I feel very grateful and oh so thankful that they asked me to make their wedding cake. A take on a cake that I did in 2017 for another beautiful bride. This cake has been christened the Marty-Party cake. Its very presence says FUN! It is such a delight to behold.

salted caramel and popcorn wedding cake
salted caramel and popcorn wedding cake

This semi-naked style of cake lends itself very well to having decadent dollops of salted caramel sauce draped over it. The decorative element of the cake was kept to a minimum. The bride, Renate did not want to have flowers embellishing the cake only strategically placed popcorn.

For a sneak peak at the photos of this wedding please see Renate and Jan’s gallery. These beautiful and evocative photos were taken by Samantha Clifton. I cannot wait to see the whole wedding album.

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For the love of chocolate

| Wedding Cake, Weddings

When your groom has a love of chocolate what do you as the bride surprise him with – only but a huge chocolate cake and a matching set of brownie cakes.

For the love of chocolate, a huge chocolate cake filled with caramel treat and two brownie cakes

Bride, Jo, wanted to surprise her groom-to-be, Philip with a huge chocolate cake filled with Caramel Treat because as she put it “it’s his favourite”. It was only but a pleasure to oblige as I’m a firm fan of the stuff myself (guilty pleasure). Because the wedding was being held at The Strandkombuis, Yzerfontein it  was decided to keep the cake to a semi- naked style.  The exterior of the cake was covered in a smooth vanilla  buttercream. Topped with grey green foliage and Chuckles.

Rich brownie cake filled with cream cheese and Chuckles

Because of his love of chocolate and to accompany the chocolate cake Jo asked that there be two brownie cakes as well. I made these cakes using a 55% Belgium chocolate and filled them with a rich cream cheese frosting. As an added surprise each layer was studded with malted chocolate Chuckles, another of the grooms favourites. And to make the whole affair a lot more chocolaty I covered the top in a rich ganache and an avalanche of more Chuckles!  This cake was based on a style of cake made popular by Chef Christina Tosi of the Milk Bar Bakery, New York.

Bride and groom cutting the chocolate cake

This wedding looks to have been a whole lot of fun. To see more photos of this fun wedding taken by Jude of Silver Dune Photography please follow this link: Philip & Jo Die Strandkombuis.  

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Favourite cake creations of 2018

| Wedding Cake, Weddings

Wow, I can’t believe that we are already well into the second month of 2019. So perhaps now is a good time to look back at what were my favourite cake creations of 2018.

All my cake commissions hold a special place in my heart but these two are my favourite cake creations of the past year. The reason being that they are quite unique in their own way.

06 October 2018: Ilse & Ian at Blue Bay Lodge, Saldanha

Vintage wedding cake with cascading roses

This three tiered wedding cake was an absolute delight to make.  The clients request was for an elegant wedding cake with a vintage feel to it. The brief was to include some form of cascading rose effect with piped filigree  detailing on the middle tier. Ilse & Ian chose our lemon cake which is quite moist. The filling was a tangy lemon curd.

Close up of cascading moulded roses and accent sugar flowers

We decided to make the sugar roses using a Karen Davies mould instead of handcrafting them. This way they would be much more robust and handle the travelling a lot easier. The colour palette centered around ivory with accents of bronze and gold. I staggered the colouring of the roses from pale to dark ivory. I also painted the edges of the petals with an edible gold paint. The white roses, leaves, additional sugar accent flowers and the gold buds completed the arrangement.

10 November 2018: Lex & Jesse at Blue Bay Lodge, Saldanha

Three tiered contemporary wedding cake for a tropical inspired beach wedding

In May 2018 I had the pleasure of meeting Lex and Jesse when they came to  my studio here in St. Helena Bay for a cake tasting. The flavours they had  chosen to try were: coconut with passion fruit curd filling; carrot cake with  cream cheese frosting and apple spice with salted caramel. After much  discussion the apple spice cake with salted caramel was chosen. 

The design of the cake although for a tropical beach inspired wedding centered more around the grey blue colour tones. These colours went really well with the white and green of the floral arrangement. The cake was made up of three tiers. The top tier being the cutting cake covered in plain white fondant with white satin ribbon around the base. The middle tier had a marbled effect using ocean blue and grey colours. The bottom tier was a double barrel with what I would call a stormy waters effect accented with gold leaf.

Bride and groom cutting the cake

For this wedding we also provided precut portions of the apple spice cake topped with buttercream and drizzled with more salted caramel  accompanied by a gold macaron and toffee shards. 

Thank You! 

2018 was an interesting year. In 2017 I started experimenting with caramels. This year I launched a salted caramel collection called “Elemental” – based around the elements that are part of our daily lives in St. Helena Bay and we are hoping that in 2019 we will be able to open Indulge Me…caramel and chocolate boutique here on our smallholding.

Besides my favourite cake creations, another big commission for us in 2018 was doing the dessert table and wedding cake for Marcelle and Joe’s wedding held in Dwarskersbos in early April. This was my biggest commission to date and wow was it exciting to do.

Tropical beach inspired dessert table and wedding cake

To close I would like to say a huge thank you to all my clients over the past year for trusting me with your wedding cakes and desserts. Thank you!

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2017: Highlights!

| Dessert tables, Wedding Cake, Weddings

Wow! Where did 2017 go? A blink of the eye and there dawns 2018 and we’re already at the end of January!

Before we look back at the highlights of 2017 – I would like to thank all my clients for making 2017 a truly memorable year!

December 2017

This month was a lot fun and plenty of hard work – not that we’re complaining – it was great!

We put on our first pop up events in the run up to Christmas selling our new range of Limited Edition Artisan caramels and occasional bonbons which form part of our “Indulge Me…” range of artisan products. This was a new experience – but loads of fun.

Artisan caramel 18 piece boxes

Hand decorated 18 piece boxes

Besides our delicious caramels and traditional mini Christmas cakes, we also chose to sell our equally delicious macarons and brownies.

Pop up shop

Day 2 of our pop up event

Wedding cake highlights included this macaron cake shown below which was a first for us. We purchased the stand online and initially I was a little hesitant about the sturdiness of the arrangement – but it all seem to work out okay! I like the look of it. Contemporary. Venue: Gelukkie, Paternoster

Cutting cake on top of macarons

December also saw us making our biggest cake to date. A 4 tier carrot cake with traditional cream cheese filling. For this wedding I had the pleasure of working with Madri from The Event Planners. I really enjoyed working with Madri and her team. They gave me carte blanch to decorate the cake – I think the cake turned out quite lovely. Venue: Sea Trader, St. Helena Bay

4 tier carrot cake with cream cheese frosting

September 2017

Towards the end of September 2017 we introduced our new range of artisan caramels and occasional bonbons under the label:  Indulge Me… Our signature caramel being rosemary, apricot & pine-nut en-robed in a bittersweet dark chocolate.

Rosemary, apricot & pine-nut caramel

Rosemary, apricot & pine-nut caramel en-robed in a bittersweet chocolate

August 2017

The 9th August was quite a momentous day for me – I had been invited to speak at Blue Bay Lodge’s Women’s Day event. This was so far outside of my comfort zone – yikes! Anyway I chose to speak on chocolate and you know, I really enjoyed myself once I got going.

A chocolate selection

MAY 2017

On the 20th May we had the pleasure of being part of the second Taste of Gelukkie held at Gelukkie in Paternoster. We are very proud to be part of the Gelukkie Team. 

Dessert Table

Chocolate and caramel inspired dessert table

For this years Taste of Gelukkie we decided to showcase a chocolate and caramel inspired dessert table together with several wedding cakes.

Wedding Cake Selection

MARCH 2017

Although all my wedding cakes are very special and dear to me. This one however is a firm favourite of mine. The popcorn cake for Elke and Garreths’ wedding held at Blue Bay Lodge

This cake was recently featured on Mooi Troues

The cake was an elegant indulgence of delicious vanilla sponge filled with salted caramel and caramel popcorn. 

Vanilla sponge filled with salted caramel sauce and caramel popcorn

FEBRUARY 2017

During February we had the pleasure of making Hlony and Inaeng’s wedding cake. An elegant white cake decorated with green Swiss dots. This wedding featured on Mooi Troues later in the year. Venue: Gelukkie, Paternoster

Single tier white fondant covered cake with piped minty green Swiss dots

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Introducing our yummy caramels!

| Dessert tables, Weddings

Hi everyone – hope you are all having a truly wonderful day and a week to boot!

If you have been following my personal blog over at Bread and Jam, you will know that I’ve been playing around with making caramels.

My first flavour that I tried was coconut – I didn’t want to start with something way out – I thought this would be a nice safe flavour to begin my adventure into making caramels. Instead of using cream I chose coconut milk and in the last stages I folded in some desiccated coconut for texture. I en-robed these in a milk chocolate and sprinkled some desiccated coconut on top. For a first attempt they came out pretty well.

Coconut caramels en-robed in milk chocolate

With having some coconut milk left over, I decided to be a little bit more adventurous. I ferreted through my husband’s spice cupboard and found a block of tamarind – I love tamarind it has a delightful sourness to it (just thinking about it makes my mouth water – think sour worm gummy sweets!). I infused the coconut milk with the tamarind for an hour or so, ran the liquid through a sieve to remove the tamarind and then used this infusion instead of cream. Another flavour that works well with tamarind is peanut so I folded some chunky peanut butter through the caramel before pouring it out to set up. Again I chose to en-robe these in milk chocolate as I felt a dark chocolate would be a little overpowering.

Tamarind & peanut caramels en-robed in milk chocolate

Delighted with how the coconut and the tamarind caramels came out I chose to become a lot more adventurous with flavours. On our smallholding here in St. Helena Bay we grow lots of rosemary – this is a great plant for the semi-arid conditions that we have here on the West Coast of South Africa.

Some time ago I bought a very special book: The Flavor Bible by Karen Page and Andrew Dornenburg. It’s a wonderful tool to have in your arsenal of cooking equipment – it gives you a level of confidence when choosing flavour combinations. With having decided to use rosemary I checked in the BOOK to see what pairs well and lo and behold – apricot and pine-nut – fabulous! I infused the cream with some rosemary and later in the process folded into the caramel small bits of dried but still plump Turkish apricots. Once the caramel had set up I en-robed in a 55% dark chocolate and topped each one with a tiny cube of apricot, a dried rosemary leaf and a toasted pine-nut. 

Rosemary, apricot & pine-nut caramel

Rosemary, apricot & pine-nut caramel en-robed in a bittersweet chocolate

I think we may have found our signature caramel – it’s tastes amazing. There is a hint of rosemary and little nuggets of soft apricot hidden in the depths of the chewy caramel.

Since this exploration into flavour I have played with a few more combinations, which I will add in due course to our Cookies, Sweet Treats & Wedding Favours page. These little squares of pure pleasure would make for ideal wedding favours or as a wonderful addition to the dessert table or even to have with an after dinner coffee or brandy.

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