How to decorate your Christmas cake

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

It really is very quick to do and is bound to elicit much ooohing and ahhing from your guests.
It's all in picture instructions, as I find it the easiest way to show what I mean.
You will need some modelling paste (mix 1 teaspoon of gum trag with 250g of fondant, knead together for 10 mins and leave overnight) a  medium sized paintbrush (size 8) and a small one for outlines ( size 0), a palatte  boiled water, kitchen roll and colours (egg yellow, baby blue, dark brown, pink).
You can download the template here.
Here's how it's done!

Covering your cake

Making your snow globe

Painting your snow globe

 Rectifying mistakes

Finish off with a nice big bow and maybe a few decorative snowflake sprinkles.

Harrods hamper winner

Congratulations to Betty who has won the fabulous Harrods luxury hamper. I have emailed you.
I hope to have some more lovely giveaways next year, I only wish I could send you all a hamper.

Christmas goodies

Monday, December 17, 2012
I thought you may like to see some of this year's Nevie-Pie Cakes Christmas designs.

ps if you are in the UK don't forget to enter my fabulous giveaway here.

Book club cake of the month...December

Saturday, December 15, 2012

This was another slightly unofficial book club, as we went out to a cocktail bar as a Christmas treat and a catch up. However we had all decided to read 'A Christmas Carol' by Charles Dickens. 
I don't think that any of us had read the book before, even though we all knew the story back to front. As I was reading all I could see were images from 'Scrooged' in front of me. And now I really want to see the film again, I love the Spirit of Christmas present! 
We all enjoyed the book, it's more of a novella so it is a quick read and guaranteed to make you feel the Christmas spirit. We also felt that Dickens is an amazing writer and was ahead of his time in showing how upbringing can lead to character traits later in life. I must also admit to shedding a tear at the end, (and to constantly singing 'Put A Little Love In Your Heart' from Scrooged'.)
We marked it 81/2 and then moved on to cocktails and a cheese board.

(The Spirit of Christmas Present)

I decided to make little Christmas treats for all the book group members. So I made them gingerbread cookie baubles and illustrated some of the books we had read this year. I then made them guess which ones they were, fortunately they all got them or I would have been worried about my illustration skills.
I have labelled them underneath for you.

Every month we meet we try to remember past marks, and never can, so as a book club service I thought I would recap.
January - The Silent Land by Graham Joyce 5 1/2
February - The Observations by Jane Harris 8 - 8 1/2
April - War of the Worlds by H G Wells 8
May - Cry The Beloved Country by Alan Paton 7 5/8
July - The Snow Child by Eowyn Ivey 8 1/2
August - Fifty Shades of Grey by E L James 6 1/2
September - Money by Martin Amis 5 1/2
October - The Hundred Year Old Man by Jonas Jonnason 6 1/2
November - The House of Mirth by Edith Warton 8
December - A Christmas Carol by Carles Dickens 8 1/2

I really enjoy meeting every month with these fabulous ladies and giving myself the challenge of making new cakes for the books.
Here's to a very literary New Year.

Previous book club cakes of the month;
November 2012

Harrods hamper giveaway

Friday, December 14, 2012

What's that? you cry, two posts in one day, I know, I'm spoiling you!
But I couldn't say no to this giveaway, could I?

I am so excited that Harrods have very kindly offered to giveaway a luxury chocolate hamper to one of you fabulous chocolate lovers, although I'm feeling a bit jealous too. 
They gave me the pick of their food hampers and this beauty caught my eye. It is a presented in an edible gingerbread house and stuffed with lollipops, cookies, jelly beans and other confections. It retails at £95 and would make a lovely Christmas treat.
I am hoping to create a sweet theme Christmas display this year and so I felt that this hamper was the one I should pick.

How can I win? You ask.
Well, first you have to live in the UK (sorry rest of the world!)
Then have a look at Harrods hamper selection and let me know in the comment section which one you would love to find under your Christmas tree, please leave an email address with your comment too.
Leave a separate comment if you follow me, if you link to this post via Facebook, Twitter or your own blog. So you could have up to five chances of winning.
The competition will close on Wednesday 19th December at 12pm.  The winner will be drawn using
Good luck.
(I haven't received any payment or products for hosting this giveaway)

Yummy mince pies

Your mincemeat should be nicely matured and ready to break out of the jar. So I thought I would share a mince pie recipe. 
My Gran was a real Lancashire lass and a fabulous baker, she was amazing at pastry, I can still taste her meat and potato pie. However, I have always found pastry really difficult to make, although it should be in my genes! This all changed when I got a fabulous recipe in a free baking booklet, and now every time I make pastry I have to elicit comments on how amazing it is (to much rolling of eyes). I have tweaked it a little as it was originally a savoury pastry recipe. Here's my secret trick to making this pastry Granny-Snape-fabulous, 10-15 minutes before you start, put a beaker of water in the freezer, so that it really is ice cold.

I forgot to add that you should rub the flour and fat together with your fingers until they are like fine breadcrumbs. I hope you really enjoy your mince pies, you can download the recipe here, and the mince meat recipe here

I had to wait a day for the light to return to take pictures of the final products and these three pies were all that was left! (I won't admit to how many I ate)

Homelessness at Christmas

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

I have about three or four blog posts hiding in my head and camera at the minute. However they will all have to wait as I have been asked by Shelter to help with their Homeless at Christmas campaign, and I really couldn't say no!

This year they are highlighting the number of children who will be homeless, more than 75,000 which is truly shocking.

Campbell Robb, Shelter’s Chief Executive, said:
‘No child should be homeless at Christmas. Every December, Shelter’s helpline and advice centres deal with thousands of people at risk of losing their home. We need everyone’s support in the coming months to prevent families becoming homeless; and to help them find a new home if they do.’

Anyway as a way of considering homelessness Shelter are asking us all to think about what we would save if like some people this Christmas we were made homeless and lost all our possessions.

When I was little it was always Big Ted and if I'm honest he would still be pretty high on my list. However now, and this may seem really sad, it would be my phone. It is my life wrapped up in a little box, emails, photos, games etc.

You can join in, leave me a comment about your one treasured possession. Tweet a picture with the hashtag #justonething.

And of course the most important thing, you can give to help families facing homelessness by donating here.