As we slowly put 2013 to bed and start pouring ourselves a glass or two of bubbly, it’s easy to feel a little too eager for the New Year to begin. I am beside myself with excitement as I scheme and dream of all that could be around the corner but want to savour this quiet moment to think about how fabulous 2013 has been.
Will you indulge me in this?
2013 was the year in which I signed my first book deal and wrote my very first book, Burlesque Baking. It transpires that this is a different discipline to writing individual articles and I loved every second of the challenge! From my initial meeting with the gorgeous people at Ryland Peters & Small on Valentine’s Day, through the Spring spent writing, and the Summer photoshoots, I loved it all. The first copy of the book in glorious colour arrived just in time for Christmas and was the best present ever!
2013 was a year of wonderful Weddings. I met some truly amazing couples and was able to create some really exciting cakes. Thank you to each and every one of you beautiful Brides and Grooms who allowed me to be a tasty little part of your big day!
Bookings for 2014 Weddings are coming in thick and fast and I am so looking forward to creating even bigger and better cakes for you all. I should say that, if you are planning a 2014 Wedding, give me a shout now and let’s get together to try cake flavours and talk bespoke design… don’t pick your cake off the shelf!
2013 was a big year for Bake Offs! I was invited along to Comic Relief in February to judge their very first office Bake Off. It was an incredible event and pretty much everyone in the office had got into the spirit and baked something delicious.
I was asked to create a little something of my own to be auctioned off to raise some more dough for Comic Relief so I made a little T-Spex in Red Velvet cake. The gorgeous folks at Comic Relief were unable to cut him so instead took him everywhere with them! He went to see Russell Brand at Wembley and to Graham Norton’s Big Chat! He even went to the very last filming of Red Nose Day to take place in Studio One at BBC Television Centre – I was there too but he was backstage, hobnobbing with the celebs.
In March, I was invited to judge the Ideal Amateur Cake Decorating Competition at The Ideal Home Show. It was not at all easy to pick a winner but we had the very best time announcing the winner when The Jive Aces surprised John Quilter, Phil Vickery and I with a special fanfare!
I absolutely love getting involved with The Ideal Home Show and spent several very festive days at their Christmas Show a few weeks ago. I have had some lovely tweets and messages from some of you who watched my little show and went on to create your own stunning Christmas cakes!
I also had the opportunity to work with the fabulous Laurence Llewelyn-Bowen, which was a pleasure and a delight!
Picture: Michael Townsend
I have loved being able to demonstrate my own little style of cake decorating at some wonderful shows in 2013. In September, I took Burlesque Baking to The Cake & Bake Show and I am thrilled to announce that I will be at the Manchester show 4th-6th April 2014!
In November, I took Rockabilly Rebel Cupcakes to Taste of Christmas. My 18+ cupcake decorating class was packed out with students, eager to learn why on earth I was brandishing a bottle of vodka as an essential cake decorating tool!
As a part of the publicity for Taste, I was asked to meet up with James Moore of The Daily Star to give him a little festive baking lesson. Well, this ended up getting a little bit messy! If you missed the newspaper, you can read the article here and see what happened when I let James loose in my kitchen!
Picture: Humphrey Nemar
The staff at Macmillan Cancer Support made a little less mess when I came in to show them a few cake decorating tricks ahead of their own Bake Off in September. I was very proud to offer a little support to the World’s Biggest Coffee Morning appeal and have already started dreaming up more ways to fund-raise using cake in September 2014!
Picture: McCauley Photos
This would probably be a good time for me to wish you and your loved ones good health in 2014. May you be nothing but healthy, happy, and entirely fabulous!
*Those who know me well will know how tempted I was to add ‘horny’ to that magic three, but I am far better behaved than that…*
One of my highlights of the Summer was being invited along to the Scripps Networks Summer Party to teach cupcake decorating to their guests. Scripps is the parent of The Food Network UK, my favourite channel, and they placed me in my very own retro kitchen set for the event! How cool is that?!
2013 was also the year that I got my very own Celebrity Chef page on the Food Network UK website! I have been contributing recipes for some time now and hope to send over many more in 2014, so bookmark this page.
Who knows what exciting things 2014 may bring? Can I beat appearing as an expert on The Great British Bake Off? Did you catch my episode on 8th October? In October, I signed up with the fabulous Fork Off Management and we are discussing more ways for me to bring anti-twee, glam cake decorating to you.
My passion remains creating delicious works of art for my beautiful couples; cakes that truly taste as good as they look and make your guests gasp with delight. My obsession with cake decorating endures and I am loving every opportunity that I get to share my tricks and tips with you. I hope that we shall see each other again many times in 2014! In the meantime, if you ever need any advice, you know where to find me… on Twitter!
Thank you to each and every one of you who has made 2013 a year to remember. You know who you are and I dare say that you will receive a tipsy text tonight to remind you!
Happy New Year, you gorgeous lot!