Sunday, 6 July 2014

Where it all began

I grew up in rural mid-Wales having moved to the tiny village of Pennal from Wolverhampton in the late 60's. Mum and Dad had bought a rundown Country House called Penmaendyfi and set about renovating it - building up a very successful business with bar, restaurant, self catering accommodation, swimming pool and squash courts. Mum was a good cook but was very busy running the business and we always made a fuss making out we never got cakes and puddings. On a regular basis mum got 'Home and Freezer Digest', one of the first cookery magazines available in the early 1980's, although she rarely had time to try out new recipes. A supplement sold with the magazine called 'Special Occasion Cakes' is still part of my small library of cake books.

Cake books - new and old

Our small local shops didn't stock fondant icing back then but the book included lots of techniques using Royal Icing - and as icing sugar and eggs were readily available I was keen to try them out.

Fascinated by a technique in Lesson 7 called Run-out Work I set about, using the simple instructions, recreating the effect on our family Christmas Cake.


I remember being really pleased with how the collar turned out complete with the little lace sections and piping around the edges. I'm no artist but even the scene I copied from a Xmas Card and painted onto the cake looked quite good to my untrained eye. Family and friends were impressed and that was the start of my interest in cake decorating. The scanned photo of the cake isn't great but you get the idea!

The book has been well used as it has my trusty rich fruit cake recipe in it. Using the run-out technique you can create shapes,numbers and letters, it's been many years since I did any run-out work but I might just have another go. Watch this space.....

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