Having Your Cake and Eating It

One of the recent trends in wedding eats, which I approve of heartily, is having a dessert table laden with sweet treats for your guests to enjoy (and keep on enjoying as the afternoon or evening progresses). This can take the place of a cake, or be as well as a cake, or even instead of an evening buffet.  A vision of bounty, overflowing with pick your own treats, guests can fill up with as much or as little as they like. Or take a few extra mouthfuls later when no-one is looking!

From a vintage wardrobe, to old-fashioned cider crates, or retro fruit pallets covered in picnic rugs and patchwork quilts, presentation of your table is as unusual or unique as you are. From a Mad Hatter’s Tea to a picnic in the country, the look and taste can fit in with the theme of your day. Even the decoration of the sweet treats effectively reflects the colour palette of the wedding.

The chance to eat as many sweet things as you like often evokes memories of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, and brings out the big kid in most adults. And what better day to have a bit of fun than your wedding day.

I specialise in dessert tables – they’re one of my favourite things to cook. So if you fancy a selection of sweet treats, a platter full of pies, or a truck laden with tarts, why not get in touch and I will arrange a sample session for you, free of charge.


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Try Before You Buy

The decision to ask someone to make the food for your wedding is probably one of the biggest that you will make about your entire day, and not one that you will undertake lightly. If, like me, your appetite guides most of your daily activities, which seem to revolve around either cooking, eating or planning the next meal, then you can count this doubly or triply so for your wedding day.

The food needs to reflect your personalities as individuals and as a couple, it needs to nourish and sustain everyone, and most importantly it needs to be utterly delicious.

So, out of the vast array of caterers out there, how do you start? Well, I decided to put myself in the position of bride to be, and knew that it would be very important to me to sample my caterer’s food, and meet them in person to make sure they understood my exact requirements.

I like to meet all my potential brides and grooms, and invite them into my home to eat the dishes I have prepared from their bespoke menus. I don’t charge for this service, as I think it’s important for people to relax and not feel pressurised. Hopefully, my clients feel that they’ve come to a friend’s house, and feel comfortable and relaxed – and of course leave feeling very full!

It’s also a great chance to make any tweaks to the menu to make sure that they are completely happy with the dishes – more or less salt or spice for instance, to reflect their particular tastes.

Hopefully the photos below will whet your appetite, and if you’re planning your wedding, why not book a free sample session, under no obligation.

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The most decadent meal of the day?  Absolutely.  If you’re having brunch you’re not working, and you’ve generally been lazing around in bed most of the morning  – this means it is a Good Day.  By its very unnecessary nature it seems luxurious.  An extra meal!  Crammed in round the traditional three (by this rulebook I also love afternoon tea, but that’s another story).  And if you’re a proper eater it doesn’t mean forgoing two meals so you can have this one, it just means more judicial use of timings, and possibly putting things back a little.  Brunch in place of breakfast and lunch is not my idea of a good time.

Being the brunch chef for both Metrodeco and Beatnik Breaks, and in a previous life the owner of a gourmet B&B, it’s a subject very close to my heart – and the hearts of the hungry (and sometimes hung-over) people I’m cooking for.  Where to have it?  What time to have it?  And most importantly what to eat.  Sweet or savoury?  Or (my personal favourite) a bit of both?  More than one course – hell yeah!

I’m of course happy to come and serve a delicious fry-up, if the night before has been a long one.  Sometimes (many times) only crispy bacon will do.

But my favourite brunch to cook, and the one that always goes down a treat with my clients is my 3-course spectacular.  Honed over the years into a decadent feast that no-one (and yes that is a challenge!) has ever managed to finish…..

We begin with homemade Granola – I usually make an Almond, Apple and Cinnamon version, but this changes depending on what’s in the pantry.  Cocoa and Sour Cherry also works very well, and I often make a Gluten-free, nut-free Buckwheat and Goji berry version for if people are feeling virtuous.  I serve this with fruit compote, which changes weekly depending on what’s fresh:  Plum and Star Anise was a favourite in Autumn, whilst Rhubarb and Ginger is currently very popular.  Lashings of Greek yoghurt finish the first course.

We then move onto the pastries – three kinds, freshly baked and warm from the oven.  From Croissants to Pecan Cinnamon Danish pastries, Brioche loaves and Pain au Chocolat.  Don’t fill up too much however, as there’s still the main event to come…

A choice of hot main course, booked in advance to client’s specifications and desires – choices range from Baked Blueberry and Pecan French toast (pictured) to the perennial favourite Eggs Benedict, which I usually serve on hand carved ham and warm corn muffins.  Perhaps a stack of Buttermilk Pancakes drizzled with maple syrup and served with homemade caramel yoghurt?  Or if you’re feeling adventurous, maybe a Sweet Potato and Chorizo Rosti?

I hope I’ve tempted you….

Brighton Bakes Pecan Toast

Wedding Belles

Love is in the air and Spring is just round the corner…..The season for weddings, and for planning your own celebration perhaps.  Are you thinking about tying the knot?  Does the idea of the same dreary venues, droopy sandwiches and beige taffeta frocks turn you off?

 Brighton Bakes will be featured in a brilliant wedding magazine with a twist, and recommended by an online wedding blogs and a vintage event organisers in Sussex this season. All have one thing in common – they promote everything unique, creative, homespun and independent. I will be working closely with them, and hope that the Brighton Bakes ethos is a good fit with their all round loveliness.

 Issue Number 5 of the divine Doily Days Magazine is available now!  Get your copy in all the stylish shops in Sussex (www.doilydays.co.uk).  Brighton Bakes will be featuring in the monthly cake round up, and also as one of their featured caterers.  Belles Events runs beautiful vintage, unique and unusual wedding fairs round Sussex, and Brighton Bakes will be one of the featured suppliers on their gorgeously designed website (www.bellesevents.co.uk), and will be featured in their Quirky Boutique Wedding Fair on 10th May at the Brighton Corn Exchange, which is all rather exciting.  I will also be a Recommended Supplier for Love Sussex Weddings – a local wedding blogazine with all kinds of inspiration and fantastic creative suppliers for the big day, full of great photoshoots and loads of ideas (www.lovesussexweddings.co.uk)

 So, if you’re planning your wedding, and you’d like to have a chat about food, or venues or ideas (or just a good old chat really), do give me a call or drop me an email.  Whether you’d like a vintage afternoon tea, a rustic buffet, a Morocan feast, or a traditional three course wedding breakfast with each course being based around one of your favourite foods – I can happily create a bespoke feast for you, based completely on your preferences. 

Back to School

Brighton Bakes will be offering cookery classes at a top secret central Brighton location SOON!  Excellent presents for the foodie in your life, or simply a treat for yourself.

In the next few weeks interested punters can book their tickets for a selection of creative, informal cookery classes which I will be hosting.  To get your tastebuds tingling, the wide variety of culinary subjects on offer include Seasonal Cookery, Street Food Snacks, How to Bake Your Own Wedding Cake and Healthy Dinner Parties.  All classes will focus on a specific technique or cuisine, so you will leave with a new skill!

Classes will be two hours long, and students will get to enjoy their culinary endeavours with a glass of wine at the end.  There will also be a handout to take away so you can practise your new skill at home – and impress your friends and family!

Classes will be held at one of Beatnik Break’s beautiful houses, scattered across Brighton (for more details of the accommodation they offer, see their website www.beatnikbreaks.com)

Keep checking the Brighton Bakes or Beatnik sites, plus all the local magazines such as Viva Brighton or Latest for class and venue information and further details, which will be released very soon……