Tiers of the Cake

A tasty slice of inspiration...

Hello foodies,

A huge warm welcome to Red Velvet Baking, the blog! I have been baking since I can remember and I have always wanted to share my experiences and tasty flair beyond the walls of my own home. In summer 2011 I launched this little blog. I blog as a celebration of my achievements and dedication to my culinary passion, alongside an overflow of my enthusiasm, with a few added delicious recipe ideas. Pictures and tips galore, sure enough to sink your teeth right into and to get your mouth watering. Delicious beautiful baking can put a smile on anyones face.

Summer 2013 saw me train for a month at Leiths, gaining a distinction in practical cookery and last summer I ran a culinary arts course in the USA, specialising in baking.

I am now back in the UK, writing for my blog from sunny Yorkshire. 2015 is going to be a big year for Red Velvet Baking, so keep posted!

Keep calm, enjoy and most importantly BAKE!


Jessica

xox

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Website - Undergoing a magical makeover!

Find the missing sprinkle...

Monday, 28 July 2014

Simply for Summer Camp: Mac 'n' Cheese

Hey foodies,


So as I am teaching away in America, I thought it would only be fair to share a couple of simple recipes with you guys too, starting with this super simple Mac 'n' Cheese. All the recipes I put up over the next two months will be incredibly kid friendly and can be done and dusted in less than an hour. Don't worry, I will be giving you the UK friendly recipes and saving the cups for the USA!

Right, let's get cooking...

Ingredients
·         250g elbow macaroni (cooked to packet instructions in salted water)
·         60g butter
·         60g plain flour
·         200g  cheddar (2oz extra for topping if serving grilled)
·         White pepper to taste
·         Pinch of paprika
·         400ml milk
·         Optional – fried off pancetta

Method
1.      Cook macaroni according to packet instructions in salted water on a hob.
2.      In a medium sized saucepan, melt butter over a medium heat.
3.      Stir in the flour off the heat, beating fast and return to the heat and cook out the flour for 1 minute, stirring continuously. CHECK Stir quickly and add gradually to avoid lumps.
4.      Remove from the heat and gradually add the milk, stirring quickly to keep the sauce smooth
5.      Once all the milk is added, return to a medium heat and stir until thickened (up to 5 minutes). Season whilst the sauce is thickening.
6.      Drain macaroni and add to thickened sauce, adding paprika and adjusting seasoning. (Add pancetta here). CHECK Hot pan with liquid – be careful.
7.      Either serve or transfer to an oven dish, sprinkle with extra cheddar and grill until cheese blisters.

Keep calm and let's get cheesy.

Love, 

Jess xo

Monday, 14 July 2014

Eggcellent Chocolate Filled Clandestine Cake Club

April saw a fantastically full gathering at the Clandestine Easter themed baking event, in Sheffield. It was a chocolate based event, so I obviously had to attend! With Spring fever, I baked a simple chocolate loaf cake and turned the decoration into a carrot garden bed, with rosette piped buttercream, vanilla flowers and bright orange carrots running through the centre of the cake - not forgetting the popping candy mud.






With spare mixture I also rustled up a few mini cupcakes. We held a dissertation hand in house party and the cupcakes went down a treat! Mini mouthful's of happiness!


The rest of the cakes were equally as delicious, including a Sachertorte, marble bundt cake and a few Brooklyn Blackout cakes. I took a big board of tasty treats home for my friends too!






You can see how busy this event was with the sheer number of tasty chocolate treats for us all to try.





Check out my home time cake platter! Chocolate cake never lasts long in my house though!



Keep calm and tuck in.

Love,

Jess xo

Monday, 7 July 2014

APP REVIEW: Cook with M & S


Hello all you cooking enthusiasts!

I trialled another app out and want you to let me know what you think - what do you like to cook most?

This week I tried out the reasonably new Cook with M&S application, to get all you packet natives, into using that kitchen side and messing up the chopping boards.

I was pleasantly surprised that there was less emphasis on getting you to cook using their ingredients and it actually seemed nice and simple to use, with a clean looking user interface. I mean the food photography is gorgeous - check it out simply to sit a drool!



In terms of it's real purpose, there are a number of functions which I enjoyed, including the cooking mode for step-by-step instructions. Each recipe is broken down and really simply explained with pictures. There is also an integrated link to add the recipe ingredients to a master shopping list, which I can imagine would be extremely useful if you were meal planning for a period of days. 

 In addition, there is a handy serving alteration button to add more or less servings. This automatically affects the recipe to exclude any calculations. Perfect for upscaling your favourite dishes to double as dinner party winners. I especially loved this as I hate the hassle of upscaling and the calculations involved - why not get the app to do it for you!


Another feature is the recipe book, where I can store all my favourite recipes by photographic thumbnail. Personally, I would prefer a more structured recipe filing system on the app, but it does come across very clean and efficient. All recipes are viewable initially via a picture thumbnail, name and include timings for people under limited time restrictions for culinary creativity. 

I did enjoy the app and felt rather inspired to get back in the kitchen and cook! Tell me your opinion or experience below...what are you looking for in a foodie cooking app?

Keep calm and get that apron on.

Love, 

Jess xo

Monday, 23 June 2014

APP REVIEW: Urbanspoon


Hey foodies, 

So recently I have been trying a few new foodie apps and looking forward towards the 2014/15 food app trends. In May, Urbanspoon launched and as far as I am aware, it is doing really well and to be honest, I was impressed too!

I really enjoyed trialling this app and also cannot wait to try it out in New York, this coming August. The app tracked my location and brought up all the local eateries in the local vicinity and as recently I lived temporarily in London and then came back up to Sheffield - it has been really useful!

You can browse restaurants by cuisine, dining time of day or price and there are selected picks of the “hottest in London”, “Nearest You”, “Celebrity Favourites”, “Bargain Gems”, “Top Picks” and “Picks from a Local”. I was able to view nearly all the restaurants within walking distance and plan for dining out experiences at places rated by professionals and locals. I think this is a really important feature, especially for places out of the capital, like Sheffield, as people tend to stick to chain restaurants, as it is what they know and it is such a shame!



 This app opens up a wide variety of choices for people to see reviews and recommendations of people who live in the area, encouraging people to choose more local, independent restaurants and cafes, which are fantastic and potentially better than chain restaurants, using fresh, local produce. I felt a lot safer choosing a new location, knowing it had been rated and reviewed by others in my position and felt more comfortable exploring the less established eateries in the area. 

My only difficulty was browsing other city locations, other than the one I am currently in. I wanted to be able to plan ahead for places in New York for example, before I get there. I think this is something that could be worked upon and may be a future feature, as the app is taking on more and more restaurants each day, adding to a vast catalogue of eateries around the world. 

I think this app has fantastic potential and cannot wait to take it over seas! It is FREE to download so check it out foodies!


Keep calm and get your Urbanspoon on.

Love, 

Jess xo

Wednesday, 18 June 2014

Embarking on an American Dream

Hey foodies,

So the big day has come and today sees me jet to the USA for 8 weeks to teach culinary arts. After completing a course at Leiths last summer, I applied for the role with camp leaders and got accepted in January. How time flies as it's here already.

 I mean it was one of my goals...

I wanted to have the experience of a lifetime. To let you into my life a little more, I am the kind of person who likes to plan ahead and this was always on my to do list. People say that to...



I wanted to see a little more of the world and because I love teaching and sharing my knowledge, I wanted to share my passion for food with the kids overseas. I know in my heart that teaching in the traditional sense of the word, like state education, is not for me but I still wanted to exercise my desire to preach about the wonders and delights of fresh food and cooking. I also understand that after I get into a great job, I wouldn't be able to leave it for travel at a later date. This seems like the best time for me.

I kind of know in the short term where I am going, what my aims are and how I NEED food to be a huge part of my life, as it is what make me happy. But long term...


And being on my way is good enough for me! Trying to keep my passion at the heart of what I do, I know I will enjoy the journey and even more the unknown destination.

As mentioned above, I have been organised enough to set up a series of blogs for whilst I am away, so please don't be shy and keep in touch! I am taking a break from cake orders, clearly, whilst I am abroad, but I will be back in action on my return. To sweeten you guys up for my plans in September, I will also be sharing a few tasty treats on here, with the recipes to get your tantalise those tastebuds of yours!

As my old boss used to say...


So I will see you properly on the other side! 

Keep calm and lets get busy baking the dream.

Love, as always,

Jess

xox




Tuesday, 17 June 2014

It's My BIRTHDAY and I'm gonna BAKE!

So this May was my 21st birthday and being a big baker, I had to make my favourite! No two guesses needed that I'm a chocoholic, so check out my three layer sponge with white chocolate ganache filling and dark chocolate ganache coating. Not forgetting the homemade chocolate truffles dusted in bitter cocoa.








It was a huge hit - what do you think? Slices were pretty big! It was nice to have a relaxing bake on my birthday and it turned out pretty smooth too.


Let me know what your perfect birthday cake would be? If you're lucky I may knock up a few tutorials for you cheeky bakers with the best ideas!


Keep calm and cake on!

Love,

Jess xo

Monday, 16 June 2014

A Busy Bloggers Apology...

Afternoon my lovely foodies,

Just a little apology from me, for my lack of loving over the past few months. University intervened with assignments, exams and then work got intense too! I have scheduled a series of blogs for the coming months, so I am sure not to disappoint you with plenty of cake pictures and a few cheeky recipes. So promise to keep your eyes peeled...

Keep calm and keep on cooking.

Love,

Jess <3

Monday, 17 March 2014

Little Baked Beauties...


Hey foodies! Just a short and sweet post with a few of these little beauties I made as a thank you for my website designers. I have a team of fabulous SHU students working their magic on my website design, which is soon to launch, and what better way for a baker to say thanks than with CAKE!


I could not resist a little snap of them coming out the oven. I wish I could put the aroma of fresh red velvet cupcakes online, because the house was full of their warm, homely, sweet, chocolatiness!


 But the cupcakes that got the most attention are these tasty treats below!


These cuties were a simple vanilla sponge base, with vanilla pod frosting and a caramel swirl. 


 I finished the red velvet cupcakes with a little red dusting, elegant, but not quite as dramatic as the caramel.

My website hosting page (Red Velvet Baking) is now live, so keep posted for more to come. In the meantime, dry not to dribble on your keyboard! ;)


 Keep calm and say thanks with cake!

Love,

Jess

xxx







Saturday, 15 March 2014

My Vintage Valentine

 Afternoon foodies!

I FINALLY got myself down to the Sheffield Clandestine Cake Club and it was fantastic! I baked a simple cake, in the February vintage valentine theme and really enjoyed sharing my ideas with loads of other baking fanatics. My pretty in pink cake was a rose, raspberry and pistachio layer cake, with rose piped buttercream, fresh raspberries and crushed pistachios to decorate.



 I was so pleased as it went down well, but still had plenty to share with house mates when I got home!

 Before I went I even took a few cheeky cake selfies! They get progressively worse, or more entertaining - I will let you decide!



All the cakes varied from vintage recipes, to styles and there we even some delicious bakes by little bakers! Upcoming talent right here! Check out the other masterpiece cakes :)

 Chocolate box cake...
 Honey for my honey cake...
 This cake had a secret red velvet love heart surprise!
 Bubbly bundt, made with champagne and apple juice.
 Traditional courting cake with orange and fresh strawberries.
Love heart shaped cake with a beautiful orange and strawberry drizzle.
Cake for my cake - vanilla sponge with jam and buttercream!

Crazy for this coconut cake, with a tasty texture. 
 Nanna's coconut and cherry pound cake.
 LOVE Heart sweetie cake, with crushed love hearts in the buttercream.
Last but not least would be this delicious sponge with fresh fruit and a cute love heart boarder.


The CCC Sheffield was held at newly opened Jamesons Cafe on Abbeydale road, which is well worth a visit. Check the cuties out online at Jamesons Tea Rooms.

 We shared our cakes by the slice with a little drink, I opted for traditional lemonade! There was plenty to take home, check out my box below!
 Luckily, we had a movie and cake night, back at the house and my house managed to devour the contents of the box, with ease. We also used these little beauties below, which I got from the Tea Room shop, attached to the cafe. Definitely worth a visit for some beautiful, vintage pieces for the home and even for your curves!

 I would honestly recommend to anyone who is a huge cake lover, like myself to dabble in the joys of the Clandestine Cake Club. It is a fun, friendly way to experiment in the kitchen and taste some delicious cakes, new flavours, new styles and what better way to get some new found cakespiration.

Keep calm and let's get cakey!

Love,

Jess

Chief Baker ;)

xxx