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Well… that was a bit of a week!

Yes, I know… I went quiet again last week, but in my defence, I can’t remember the last time I had such a busy week…!

You’ve probably seen most of what I was up to over on my social media, but just in case you missed any of it, I thought I would get you all caught up.

At the start of the week, I was actually finishing up a project for one of the brands that I work with. Funnily enough, a good amount of the work I do is actually all behind the scenes stuff that you never get to see it on my social media. Believe me though, it was a very busy day and I was working very hard (and VERY quickly…!).

However, I’m sure you are well aware of one the last week’s biggest projects though and that was my cake for the Jane’s Patisserie book launch party, which I’m sure most of you will have seen by now.

Jane had originally approached me about making a cake for her party towards the beginning of July and, at the time, I had gone back to her with a counterproposal… come in and film with me and we’ll make the cake together.

Luckily, she loved the idea, so on Tuesday, Jane and her lovely assistant Chloe were in my studio, so we could start work on the cake. We managed to film a good chunk of the ‘making’ process, so stay tuned for a video of that over on my YouTube channel (probably a week on Sunday – probably).

On the Tuesday, we managed to do all of the construction of the bottom tier of the cake. Although I handled the top carved tier after they had gone – baby steps people! I’m not sure you’ll get to see much of that in the video though – unless it’s about four hours long!

And then Jane was back on Wednesday, so we could begin work on the decoration.

While she was here on the Wednesday, we also filmed a very quick (emphasis on quick) Ask Me Anything video, which went up on my YouTube channel on Sunday. We were answering some of your burning questions, covering everything from baking to book writing, and even more besides. If you fancy checking that out, I’ll embed it here, but you can also catch it over on YouTube, of course…

Oh, we also announced the winner of my Jane’s Patisserie recipe book giveaway, so if you entered, you’ll definitely want to check it out!

On Thursday, I paused work on Jane’s cake to go live in the Kenwood Kids Club, where we were celebrating our first birthday. I honestly cannot believe that we have been inspiring the next generation to cook, experiment and develop their skills in the kitchen for a whole year! Naturally, we needed to mark the occasion with a really special bake, so I was whipping up some delicious Chocolate Birthday Cupcakes on our dedicated YouTube channel. You can find it at this link.

As soon as I finished streaming in the Kids Club (and I literally mean AS SOON AS), I was on the road to Hastings (!!!) to go and collect some edible prints to use on Jane’s cake. We had originally planned to paint the book covers ourselves using the new Edible Artists’ Oil Paints from Karen Portaleo, but we honestly ran out of time – this may have been a blessing as neither Jane or I were feeling particularly confident in our painting abilities!

This does mean that I will need to come up with another video idea to have a play with the Edible Artists’ Oil Paints though because I am desperate to get stuck into them.

But I’m getting side-tracked again (shock). Yes, I immediately drove down to Hastings (which would normally be a five-hour round trip from where I live), but I actually also detoured over to Basingstoke to collect the incredible #minijane topper that I had commissioned from the super-talented Yellow Bee – Sugar Art by Vicky Teather.

The topper itself was my gift to Jane to celebrate her success and I knew it had to be super special. I also didn’t want to run the risk of Jane catching sight of it while she was in the studio, which is why I outsourced it. I’m sure it will come as no surprise to regular readers that I asked Vicky to take on this special commission… I love her work and I knew she would do an amazing job.

On Friday, I was live again – this time on Facebook – over on the Renshaw Baking page, demonstrating how to make my Hippos in a Hot Tub (or rather a Mud Tub) Cake, as part of the Renshaw Summer School.

In case you have missed it, throughout the summer holidays, the UK-based Renshaw Academy ambassadors have been creating a selection of cake decorating tutorials for our younger #minichums, to help them keep busy during the break.

First up was Jacqui Kelly of Totally Sugar who showed us how to make these fabulous cupcakes

Then Molly Robbins of Molly Makes Cakes demonstrated how to make a realistic burger cake

For my tutorial, I wanted to do something really simple and achievable, and that is how I came up with my Hippos in a Mud Tub cake. What I love about it is it can be adapted in a whole host of different ways. You can replace the hippos with another animal (pigs are always popular in this style of cake), or you can simply fill the top with your favourite chocolates. Plus, the Kit-Kats and poured ganache topping ensure that the cake itself is essentially hidden, so you can be as messy as you’d like…

As soon as the live was finished, it was time to crack on and finish Jane’s cake. I’m not exaggerating when I say it necessitated a particularly late night to get everything done. And do not get me started on the humidity… Oh the humidity. Living on the coast AND by a lake certainly is lovely, but the humidity…?!

Anyway… Saturday was another mega busy one as I was due to appear at Foodies Festival London at Syon Park, but I first had to deliver Jane’s cake to the party venue in Portsmouth on my way.

Leaving a cake at a venue hours before an event is due to start is always a hair-raising experience, but I must say a special thank you to the team at The Canteen for looking after it so well – and for sending me an image of it in position ready for the party, which definitely helped calm my nerves.

Obviously, my day with the #foodiesfamily was great fun as always and a massive thank you to everyone that came to watch my demonstration, where I was once again whipping up a batch of gluten-free Carrot and Orange Cupcakes.

Once we were done with the Foodies fun, it was time to race back to Portsmouth to attend Jane’s party. It really was lovely to have the chance to celebrate Jane’s incredible success and I got to meet some fabulous people, including Jane’s family.

I must also say thank you to #bakeoffdave (AKA Dave Friday – although I am adamant that this nickname WILL catch on – I’m now trying to convince him to change his social media tags) for being the perfect #brodate.

Finally, I rounded off the week with the ultimate in lazy and decadent self-care days, barely leaving the sofa on Sunday at all. This has certainly helped to leave me fighting fit and ready for a new week in the studio, so make sure you stay tuned to my social media to find out what I will be up to next…

If you managed to make it all the way to end of this rather marathon post, please do let me congratulate you, thank you, and wish you a wonderful week ahead.

And until next time, as always, happy baking!

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