Autumn leaves…

October 16th, 2013 by Gilly

Autumn cupcakes past

Autumn cupcakes past

It’s been a long time since I updated the blog. Summer has come and gone and now here we are in lovely, misty, crunchy Autumn. Gillyflower Jewellery and Bakery are on hold while I complete the final year of my degree, so for now I will just have to dream of past baking.

I’m hoping to do a sneaky bake next week just for friends, sadly there’s no time to take orders while I’m in dissertation-stress-mode! Time to get a move on with my studying and stop procrastinating…

Autumn

rustles and crunches beneath my feet

as golden rays light a thousand leaves of summer

turned amber, red, brown.

Scents of warm, gentle earth

and smoky air

fill my senses and comfort me.

A deceit.

For it is stripping back:

Bare branches

Bared soul.

I must act now

in the slow, creeping autumn

before it is too late,

before the death that is made by winter.

Spring is on the way…

March 9th, 2013 by Gilly
Easter display

Easter display

The snowdrops are out, daffodils are starting to poke their leaves through the soil and the trees are budding – it can only mean one thing: SPRING!! At my favourite time of year, there’s little I enjoy more than a walk in the fresh air and time for some Easter baking. But will I have time? I’d love to make a few mini Easter fruit cakes or some iced cookies to hang on my blossom branch display – if they don’t all get eaten first! ;)

Easter gift basket

Easter gift basket

Fancy making your own Easter cookies or mini decorated fruit cakes? Check out my tutorial in UK Handmade online magazine, back in the spring edition 2010!

Happy baking, Gilly xx

Christmas Cakes Past…

December 16th, 2012 by Gilly
Christmas cakes past

Christmas cakes past

With Christmas around the corner and so much work to do on my placement, all I can do is dream about the cakes I’d like to have made this year. My past designs include this Christmas pudding, present cake and polar bear, and if I get time on Christmas Eve I might whip up a last minute cake. I’m thinking a forest of pink and green snow-covered Christmas trees…

If you fancy making the present cake yourself, you can find instructions on my blog here, and my tutorial for the Christmas pudding cookies and cake in the Winter 2010 UK Handmade magazine here.

Merry Christmas, Gilly xx

Autumnal Apple Cake

November 6th, 2012 by Gilly
Autumnal Apple Spice Cake

Autumnal Apple Spice Cake

Mmmm, I adore Autumn. Even rainy days like today. I love the golds and browns mixed with the bright green leaves that are still to turn, the red berries hanging on the bushes, the smokey smell that drifts through the air, and the wet, earthy smell of the ground as foliage decays and plants snuggle up for winter.

My thoughts are already turning to this weekend and the rare chance these days to do some baking on a Saturday afternoon. With the abundance of apples at this time of year, and the crab apples on my tree turning a beautiful orange hue, spiced apple and blackberry cake seems the perfect choice. The cake itself contains cooking apples, but a small bunch of crab apples looks sweet adorning the cinnamon-crusted top once the cake is plated up.

I first created this recipe for UK Handmade magazine’s Autumn edition 2009, adapting my Mum’s favourite apple cake recipe with juicy blackberries and a little more sugar and spice. For a naughty treat, serve with a generous dollop of spiced mascarpone….

Apple and blackberry cake with cinnamon mascarpone

Apple and blackberry cake with cinnamon mascarpone

Ingredients

For the cake

170g Butter, softened and chopped

195g Castor sugar

2 Eggs

230g Plain flour

Pinch of salt

Pinch of nutmeg

Grated zest and juice of 1 lemon

250g Cooking apples, chopped (approximately 2 medium cooking apples)

75g Blackberries (wild berries tend to have more flavour than supermarket ones)

For the topping

30g Dark brown sugar

1 Heaped tsp cinnamon

For the cinnamon mascarpone

250g Mascarpone

80g Icing sugar

1/2 tsp Cinnamon


To make the cake

1) Preheat the oven to 180C / 160C fan oven / gas mark 4

2) Grease a 20cm / 8” baking tin

3) Cream the butter and sugar together

4) Beat in the eggs

5) Add the flour, salt and nutmeg and fold into the mixture

6) Stir in the lemon juice and grated zest

7) Stir in the chopped apple and blackberries

8) Pour or spoon the mixture into the baking tin

9) Sprinkle the top with the dark brown sugar and cinnamon

10) Bake in the oven for 1 1/2 hours until golden brown and a skewer comes out clean from the middle of the cake

11) Allow to cool in the tin, then turn out

12) Serve with the cinnamon mascarpone if desired

To make the cinnamon mascarpone

1) Beat the mascarpone to soften it

2) Beat in the icing sugar and cinnamon

3) Chill until ready to serve

Mixing the apple cake ingredients

Beating the apple cake ingredients

Mini Cakes!

June 11th, 2012 by Gilly

I love making mini cakes, they’re extra special as gifts and look so pretty as part of a table display. They can be quite time consuming, but I think the effort that goes into them is well worth it – see UK Handmade magazine for my tutorials on how to make them :)

Mini tiered butterfly cake

Mini tiered butterfly cake

A mini three tiered cake the size of a teacup saucer! Adorned with handmade miniature sugarpaste butterflies…

Mini birthday cake

Mini birthday cake

Pink and green, my favourite colour combination. This made a perfect birthday cake – just a tiny portion each!

Red white and blue cupcake

Union Jack cupcake

In the spirit of all the recent Jubilee celebrations, I couldn’t resist sharing again this photo of my Union Jack royal wedding cupcake.

Mothers' Day mini cakes

Mothers' Day mini cakes

Mothers’ Day mini fruit and marzipan cakes for the best Mum in the world :)

Rainbow mini cake

Rainbow mini cake

One of my most popular cakes: rainbow layers. This time in miniature! This has been reposted, tweeted and pinned all over the internet. Cute and colourful xx

Mini anniversary cakes

Mini anniversary cakes

The first mini cakes I ever made, for my parents’ wedding anniversary :)

Pink Lemonade

April 15th, 2012 by Gilly
Pink Lemonade

Pink Lemonade

I made pink Lemonade today. Yum! The recipe will be coming out in the summer issue of UK Handmade…. x

Happy Easter :)

April 6th, 2012 by Gilly
Blossom

Blossom

So lovely to have a bit of sunshine for Easter despite the drop in temperature!

Spring Garden Necklace

Spring Garden Necklace

A few of my favourite things…

Easter biscuits and cupcakes

Easter biscuits and cupcakes

Arctic Christmas: Polar Bear Cake

December 23rd, 2011 by Gilly
Polar Bear Christmas Cake

Polar Bear Christmas Cake

Its lovely to be back home for Christmas and have some time to get crafty in the kitchen. I’ve really  missed baking while I’ve been away at university. I thought I’d do something different for my festive baking this year….

Christmas Polar Bear Cake

Christmas Polar Bear Cake

… I couldn’t resist making a polar bear Christmas cake – I’ve named him Henry :)

Merry Christmas!!

Gilly xx

Close up of Henry the Polar Bear

Close up of Henry the Polar Bear

Free September Shipping at Gillyflower!

September 1st, 2011 by Gilly
Calendula Long Knotted Necklace

Calendula Long Knotted Necklace

I’m celebrating! There’s free shipping on ALL orders at Gillyflower Jewellery throughout September!

I’m leaving for university in a few weeks and while I’m studying I might need to close my Etsy and Folksy shops. So… September is a great time to celebrate and offer free shipping to all my customers :)

My online Folksy shop is mainly for buyers in the UK, and my online Etsy shop is for UK and International buyers. Do drop by and have a little browse – all my colourful and funky jewellery is handmade by me in Lincolnshire and features my trademark glass flower focals. Gilly ✿ xxx

Cherry Blossom Cupcakes

August 19th, 2011 by Gilly
Cherry Blossom Cupcake

Cherry Blossom Cupcake

Just a few cherry and almond cupcakes this week, decorated as I did once before with pink fondant tops and pink flower adornments. The sponge is almond, containing almond essence and ground almonds, and is filled with cherry jam and a preserved whole cherry. The cakes are topped with a thin layer of almond buttercream and then the rolled fondant. I ♥ cherries!