Things have been quiet around here lately, but very busy in real life! In my spare time, I tend to ping-pong between knitting projects, baking projects and sewing projects. Exciting plans are currently afoot in the baking world. Plans which have been laid, hatched, and gotten extremely excited over.

First off, I am very excited to announce that I will be blogging monthly over at Manchester Cake Club! I hope to write about some tricky baking, and will be attempting some challenging recipes. Time to get that sugar thermometer out… My first blog post is right here, and looks at the perfect end-of-Summer cake: the genoese sponge. So please enjoy!

Another exciting development is the establishment of Birch Bakes: my first baking enterprise. As I do a lot of home baking for friends and family, and have been asked to make my friend’s wedding cake next year, I decided that I’d like to bake more often and for more people, so went ahead and ordered some business cards.

I’m not intending to make this my full-time job, or make lots of money; I just love baking, and would like to offer my services to the masses. It’s still a very new idea, and Birch Bakes doesn’t even have a website yet! In the meantime you can keep up to date with my baking endeavours over on flickr. Jim has been helping me to devise ideas to set Birch Bakes apart from other bakers, and there has been talk aplenty of cake stands, more icing sugar decoration and even personalised cakes and cake toppers. So watch this space…

The first official Birch Bakes venture came via the very kind offer of Laura, owner of the delightful Laura’s Attic. Throughout September 2012 she is taking part in Helfa Gelf, North Wales’ biggest open studio event. Over 100 artists are taking part, from potters to painters to jewellery-makers to photographers, and will be opening their studio doors to visitors during the September weekends. I visited Laura recently and took some photos of her studio with my trusty film camera. Here’s a peek…

Laura asked me to collaborate with her and provide free cake to her visitors, and in return she would encourage them to take a Birch Bakes business card. We had a Very Important Business Meeting, which involved drinking tea, deciding on baked goods and getting very giddy over cake toppers.

Laura’s first open weekend offered lemon drizzle cake…

This weekend it’s coffee muffins…

And next weekend is tiffin! So if you are in the North Wales area, do pop in and visit Laura, my incredibly talented painter friend Jonny and the other participating artists. What a brilliant excuse to meet some of the finest artists North Wales has to offer! And, of course, have a nosey around some really interesting studios. And really, isn’t that the best bit?

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