We love crafting and cooking here at Style at Home, which is why The Handmade Fair is right up our street! From 16th to 18th September at The Green at Hampton Court Palace, you can try your hand at something new in the Skills Workshops, shop for unique handmade products from over 250 handpicked sellers, and tickle your tastebuds with delicious food and drink.
This year cake connoisseur and Royal Wedding cake maker Fiona Cairns on stage with Kirstie teaching her how to decorate a birthday cake fit for the Queen’s 90th birthday. Kirstie will learn some super simple icing tips, how to crystallise flowers and a whole host of other decorating secrets.
Recently we were lucky enough to speak to the lovely Fiona about all things baking, have a read of our interview below.
What sparked your interest in baking?
I used to bake as a child as this was something my mother always did for the family. I do remember though that it was a rather exotic treat to visit my friend’s homes and eat Mr Kipling’s Fondant Fancies or shop bought éclairs as my mother never ever did this!
What 3 cake making tools can’t you live without?
It is difficult to single out just 3! However as baking requires precision and exact measures, a set of measuring spoons, digital scales and I would struggle without my Kitchen Aid!
For beginners, what is a good project to start with in cake decorating?
I would say to purchase a set of icing bags and a set of nozzles (star, plain etc) and practise simple piping swirls of buttercream and flavoured creams onto cakes and cupcakes. All it requires is a little patience and practice.
Where did you learn to bake?
As I said before I baked a little as a child, but when I got married and went on a 2 month cookery course my interest blossomed. I then worked for 3 years at Hambleton Hall (a Michelin Starred kitchen) as a pastry chef.
What’s been your favourite cake to make?
I would say without any doubt making the Royal Wedding Cake for William and Kate in April 2011. At the time of course it was not only a huge honour to be commissioned to create such a special wedding cake, but it was a time of many a sleepless night! We need not have worried, as the couple were delighted!
Any baking disasters?
Of course, there have been a few! The time I baked a huge chocolate cake for a New Years Eve party – during the afternoon, I took it out of the oven too soon and it was not cooked through in the middle. All the shops were closed and I just had to use my cake. So, I cut it in a dozen or so smaller round cakes (leaving the centre out) and individually decorated them with gold leaf and physallis and took them to the party – they were a great Success!
For more information and to buy tickets to The Handmade Fair visit thehandmadefair.com.
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