Good morning, you gorgeous lot! I am going to be in full weekend prep mode today. Behind the velvet curtain on the life of a travelling showgirl chef involves a great deal of work – from weighing out all of my ingredients for a weekend of baking demonstrations, to setting my hair, giving myself a sparkly gel manicure, and choosing my frocks.
Most chefs don’t take two hours to get ready. I am aware that my dedication to retro glamour is a rod made for my own fabulous, corsetted, back! I’ll not change.
I am particularly excited to be back at The Truman Brewery in London for the first of two Foodies Festival Xmas shows. This will be my third year appearing at this show, which never fails to kick off my festive season. If you are in London or can get to London this weekend, come along and you won’t regret it.
Why? OK, here are some reasons.
- You can buy fab food from small suppliers for Christmas. I know that is probably not a popular word right now but don’t leave it too late to stock up on cheese and booze.
- You can eat until you burst with no judgement because it’s a food festival and it would be so rude not to attempt to eat everything in sight. That old joke about being on a ‘see food diet’? Yes.
- You can get inspired by fabulous chefs in the Chefs Theatre for main courses and in the Cake & Bake Theatre for sweet treats. Guess where you will find me?
As if this was not enough to tempt you, I will be demonstrating two different approaches to Christmas Cakes daily. In my Classic Christmas Cake demonstration, I will talk you through baking the perfect traditional fruit cake and show you how to cover it in marzipan and fondant icing. I will decorate the cake with a glamorous twist so that you can go away and wow your friends and family over the festive season.
However, because I know that the thought of fruit cake and marzipan fill some people with dread and horror, I thought I would offer a Contemporary Christmas Cake option with what I consider to be the natural alternative to heavy, boozy cake; Carrot Cake. There will be no marzipan and no fondant icing to roll out, but rather a generous helping of Cream Cheese Frosting. With the spice and fruit in this cake, decorated in a festive way, you will certainly not feel that you are missing out if you prefer a lighter option.
Oh, and when I say ‘lighter’, I mean in texture and actual weight – this is no healthier!
As an extra treat, I will be on stage with a couple of rather fabulous celebrities over the weekend.
At 1:30pm on Friday 18th November, my glamorous assistant Jamie Laing from Made in Chelsea will be joining me to create a festive cake using his rather delicious Candy Kittens sweeties. Expect lots of laughs and, yes, I will be getting all the gossip out of him from the latest goings on in Chelsea.
Then at 12:30pm on Saturday 19th November, I will be chatting to Great British Bake Off Winner, Candice Brown as she bakes up a storm on stage. I will be asking her all about those famous bakes in the tent, her road trip plans with Jane, and I think we may even get a little gossip about all things retro fashion too! If you love GBBO and want to see what it takes to be a winner, you won’t want to miss this. Candice is a hugely talented baker and I think she will have plenty of tips to share with us all.
I am so looking forward to the weekend but must get back to my weighing out… and my manicure!