My Transition to a Cruelty Free Business

Hey my guys. This has been weighing on my mind A LOT! I’ve been baking professionally for over 10 years now and it’s been great. My business is getting stronger and stronger, and I’m actually finally making money. But I’ve been listening to the universe big time, and it’s time I start to re invent my business. I’ve been vegan for 2 years now. Much more strict for the past year. My husband has joined me on this journey and it’s been such a fun, and educational experience so far. Our kids aren’t quite vegan…our little girl is definitely much more aware of how our actions impact animals and our planet. Our little boy, he struggles a bit more. But there is a growing list of vegan meals that he absolutely loves, so baby steps πŸ€·πŸ»β€β™€οΈ

This is NOT a blog about convincing any one to go vegan. I have my reasons, mainly to do with not hurting animals. And if I can’t kill an animal with my own hands for food, I am certainly not ok with turning a blind eye to others hurting an animal for my taste buds. Protecting the environment and my kid’s future home, and just trying to make less of an impact on Earth is another reason. And because I know that my body doesn’t depend on the flesh of another sentient being…then I’m definitely all for it. It just doesn’t make me feel good.

I digress (easy to do when you get a wee bit passionate)

I just felt like if I’m going to be an advocate of veganism in my personal life, I needed to make more of an effort with my business. I was scared. Not gonna lie. I was worried people wouldn’t want to order my cakes and that I wouldn’t be making any money. It was very scary. But then I went inward and realised that I can’t deny my truth…for monetary gain. So over lockdown I experimented, and baked, and tried recipe and recipe, tweaking and substituting until I was happy with all my effort.

Weirdly enough, the smell of butter now makes my stomach turn, and it’s just so strong. My new favourite chocolate cake recipe just so happens to be vegan, and I’ve discovered the most DELICIOUS vegan butter that honestly tastes better than the real thing. I try not to buy the spreadable kind as I can literally eat a whole tub in a day, slathered on slices of thick artisan bread.

I replace my eggs with vinegar and plant milk (which is fabulous for leavening) or apple sauce, and sometimes even an egg replacement easily ordered online and really….there’s not much else you need to create a delicious cake once you’ve added the rest of the ingredients. There are so so many plant substitutes that there is literally no reason whatsoever to be using animal products. Not one.

I still make gorgeous buttercream and also create creamy ganache without the cream and milk. We are so lucky to have such fantastic products right on our door step. I quite often make vegan desserts and not tell anyone, cookies, pies, bars, breads, cupcakes…and no one realises they’re plant based. Because it’s much harder to tell the difference these days, if you’re using quality ingredients. And trust me, I’ve done my research. It’s taken me a while to find the perfect recipes, so I’ll only share them once they’re 100% up to my standards 😍

From now on, all recipes I share with you will be plant based, cruelty free, and tried and tested by yours truly. I’ve even developed a gorgeous vegan Italian Meringue buttercream because I couldn’t find a recipe that didn’t involve Aquafaba or bean water. For the amount of baking I do, I’d have to be consuming a LOT of chickpeas and I love chickpeas, I do, but I would have to be eating it for all meals of the day.

I use Naturli Block Butter. It’s the best vegan block butter I’ve found in the U.K. I’ve tried to get Earth balance here but it’s impossible, and the flavour of Naturli is gorgeous so I’m sticking with it πŸ₯°

Going vegan in my business also means getting to bake for so many allergy sufferers. So many people can’t have dairy or eggs so now they can have their cake and eat it. Win win!!

Let me know what vegan recipes you’d like to see and I’ll do what I can!

Sending so much love and light,

Carr x

Blueberry Pie And a New Candle

Oooooh! I LOVE a good old fashioned blueberry pie, with a dollop of whipped cream or ice cream. I’ve been creating some gorgeous new candles, that look like desserts and I’m so excited to share them with you! I will have them available to purchase very soon fromΒ Donut Eat Bakery .

Obviously I NEEDED to actually bake the edible counterpart, that’s where the blueberry pie comes in. My little boy was extremely excited for a hefty slice of pie, so I couldn’t disappoint.

If you’re short on time there is absolutely no problem using a store bought pie dough. I actually do this quite often, but seeing as I have a bit of time on my hands lately, I’m happy to create a delicious flaky pie from scratch (and not actually as time consuming as you’d think). And it’s deliciously veganised as well. You can use either fresh blueberries, or frozen. I used frozen because it’s what I had on hand, and my blueberry bushes won’t be ready for another season, I’m thinking. I’ve even got a pink variety…so is that a pink blueberry or a pinkberry πŸ€” Regardless, I’m excited!

This pie is so juicy, not too sweet, and not too tart. The perfect balance really. My kids couldn’t wait for their first slice so it was a bit liquid when we cut in to it. It’s easiest to cut and we all agreed, more tasty, when the pie has been left to cool down and set. It’s sooo difficult, but be patient. It’s well worth it πŸ₯°

 

So here’s the recipe, and a wee video to boot!

Vegan Blueberry Pie

Juicy Blueberry Pie with a flaky vegan crust
Prep Time20 mins
Cook Time1 hr
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Servings: 8 people

Ingredients

Filling

  • 800 g fresh or frozen blueberries
  • 100 g suagr
  • 30 g cornflour
  • Juice and zest of one lemon

Crust

  • 300 g Plain flour
  • 2 Tbs sugar
  • 200 g vegan butter, cubed, cold (not margarine) I use Naturli, you can use shortening as well, it will make a very flaky pie, just not as flavourful so be sure to increase the salt.
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 3 Tbs Ice cold water

Instructions

Pie Filling

  • In a large bowl combine the blueberries, sugar, lemon juice, zest, and corn flour. Mix until the blueberries are completley coated. Set aside.

Pie Crust

  • Preheat the oven to 180 degrees Celcius.
    Ensure all your ingredients and utensils are very cold. The colder the better.
  • Combine the cubed butter, flour, sugar, and salt in a bowl and use either your hands, pastry blender, or even a food processor to squish (technical term) the butter in to the flour until you have pea sized pieces of butter.
  • Add the ice cold water to the flour and butter mixture and mix until you form a shaggy dough. Do not over mix.
  • Turn out on to a well floured surface or a clean, floured tea towel. Cut the dough in half. Roll out one half of the dough until it overlaps your 8inch pie dish. Push the dough in to the dish so that the pastry comes up over the sides and cut off any excess dough.
  • Pour the blueberry mixture in to the pie shell and set aside.
  • Roll out the second half of the pie dough and either cut in to strips to create a lattice effect, or use the entire piece to cover the blueberries. If you do this, make sure to cut the top of the pie to create steam vents. Use a fork to seal the sides of the pie and cut off any excess dough. Brush the dough with plant milk and sprinkle with some sugar.
  • Pop it in to the oven for about an hour. You want the filling to be bubbling, and a lovely golden pie crust. Let the pie cool/set fully before you cut it.
  • Serve with a scoop of your favourite vegan iced, or whipped cream.

Vegan Peanut Butter Cookie recipe πŸ₯œ πŸͺ

Hey my guys! I think it’s safe to say that my all time favourite treat would have to be cookies! I would take a cookie over a slice of cake any day. Kinda weird being that I’m a cake decorator, but there’s something about a cookie that just makes me weak. I can’t resist them. What are you favourite sweet treats?! I needs ta know!

My family adores peanut butter, so when it comes to cookies, this flavour is a no brainer.

This recipe is almost like a shortbread in that it’s got a melt in your mouth tenderness, but a slight chewiness in the centre of the cookie as well. So for me, it ticks all the boxes.

I haven’t had any new videos for while because this whole lockdown thing has kept me BUSY! I honestly have been non stop with kids, school work, course work for myself, business goals, and baking. And video editing takes FOREVER! So today I treated it like a live video (so scary for me as I’m out of practice) with very quick editing, so that you guys can have the video, and the recipe all in one day. I hope you enjoy the craziness that are my kids! I’ll be bringing more videos for you featuring Yours Truly, because that’s just how I’m going to have to roll. It seems to work better for my crazy schedule 😜 So start getting used to this mug! πŸ˜…

Vegan Peanut Butter Cookies

A delicious, quick, and easy Peanut Butter Cookie recipe
Prep Time5 mins
Cook Time15 mins
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Cookies, Peanut Butter, Vegan
Servings: 15

Ingredients

  • 220 g Plain flour
  • 3/4 tsp Baking Soda (Bicarbonate of Soda)
  • 1/2 tsp Salt
  • 210 g Creamy or Crunchy Peanut Butter Do not use all natural peanut butter if you can help it
  • 100 g Vegan Block Butter softened, or Margarine
  • 200 g Brown Sugar
  • 1 Tbsp Vanilla Extract
  • 1 Tbsp Water

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 150 degrees . Line 2 baking sheets with baking paper or a Silpat liner.
    In a medium bowl whisk together the flour, salt, baking soda. Set aside.
  • Mix the butter, sugar, vanilla, peanut butter, and water together with a hand or stand mixer until light and fluffy. Slowly mix in the flour mixture. If you find the dough a bit stiff, add more water. Just a tablespoon at a time.
  • Using a scoop or your hands, roll out little balls of dough and place them a few inches apart on the cookie sheet. Press the dough with the back of a fork, and then again the opposite way to create a cross hatch. Place the fork in some flour before scoring if it starts to stick.
  • Bake for 12-15 minutes until golden around the edges. Let cool and serve.

Vegan Jaffa Cakes and Coping in Lockdown

Hey my guys! How is everyone doing during this lockdown? I hope you’re all thriving, or at least getting through it as sanely as possible. I had my first major breakdown last week. It’s not actually happened for a while but this night my emotions got the best of me and I uuuugly cried in to my pillow. It was just huge racking sobs and I just really hoped that I wouldn’t wake my kids. Kyle thankfully was on night shift so it was just me. I fell asleep from the pure exhaustion of it, had some crazy dreams, but in the morning I felt so much better. Eager to start my day with a clear and happy head, and heart. Burning incense, reading, exercising and creating. And making sure I’m not going too hard on myself when I just feel like eating cookies and drinking coffee all day πŸ™ˆ

I’ve been going through all my vegan cookbooks in this gorgeous sunshine and I came across a Jaffa cake recipe that I though I would try from Ms. Cupcakes Naughtiest Cakes in Town. I used her base recipe for the sponge but because I wanted a gourmet kind of Jaffa cake, and also I had zero marmalade in the house, I made a beautiful vegan orange jelly for the centre. Very much like the store bought Jaffa cake, except BETTER! Guys I’m not even a huge chocolate orange fan but THIS. Absolutely STUNNING. I mean, I could have consumed the whole batch. But I promised to drop some off with some of my favourite people so…

Any way. If you have marmalade, it’s much easier and I’m sure will taste beautiful as well. But if you’re feeling a bit adventurous, absolutely try making this very easy yet fancy orange jelly…you will need agar agar, which I get online. It’s fairly cheap and you don’t need much so it’s worth it as a lot of vegan recipes use agar agar to substitute the gelatin..because I really don’t like the idea of boiled pig skin in my desserts πŸ₯ΊπŸ€·πŸ»β€β™€οΈ

So here we are! The recipe is below. Along with a little video too! And if you love Chocolate Orange, you will love this spectacular Chocolate Orange Cupcake Candle available at Donut Eat Bakery.

Vegan Jaffa Cakes

Gorgeous Chocolatey Jaffa Cakes that beats store bought any day!
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time20 mins
Time to Set Jelly2 hrs
Course: Snack
Cuisine: British
Servings: 12
Author: Carrie-Anne Dallas

Ingredients

  • 250 ml fresh orange juice
  • 1 tsp orange extract
  • 1 tsp Agar Agar
  • 50 g sugar

For the Cake:

  • 100 g Self Raising Flour
  • 60 g sugar
  • 100 ml Plant milk Any will do, soy, oat, almond etc
  • 50 ml vegetable oil

Chocolate Ganache

  • 150 g dairy free chocolate chips
  • 50 g vegan butter or margarine
  • zest of half an orange

Instructions

  • Make the Jelly:
    In a smaull saucepan heat 125 ml water and 1tsp of Agar Agar. Once dissolved, add the orange juice, extract, and sugar. Heat until the mixture reaches a simmer. Remove from heat and let cool slightly.
  • Line a jelly roll pan with clingfilm. Make sure the clingfilm comes up the sides of the pan.
  • Slowly pour the slightly cooled orange mixture in to the pan. Let cool either at room temperature or in the fridge. It should take about an hour or 2 to set.
  • Make the cake Mixture:
    In a Small bowl mix the sugar, self raising flour and a pinch of salt. Add the plant milk and vegetable oil. Mix until you have a smooth batter.
  • Spoon about a Tablespoon of batter in to a greased muffin or bun tin.
    Bake at 180 degrees C until golden brown (about 8 minutes). Let cool.
  • Using a circle cutter roughly the same size or smaler than your cakes, cut out 1 jelly disc per cake. Using an offset spatula, place one disc on to the flatside of each cake.
  • Melt 150grams of dairy free chocolate (I use Callebaut) and 50grams of vegan butter or margarine. Microwave or heat on a bain marie until the chocolate is JUST melted. If you overheat the chocolate you can risk burning it and your chocolate will have an unatrractive 'bloom' or white streak through it. Mix until all the butter is incorporated and you have a lovely shiny ganache.
    Add the zest and mix in.
  • Let the chocolate cool slightly then spoon over each cake until the jelly is covered.
    let the chocolate set...or not, and enjoy! You're done!

Notes

You can skip the jelly step entirely and use marmalade instead! if you wanna be a little bit fancy and purist...the jelly is divine x

Homemade Tortilla Wraps

My daughter loves wraps. She will choose a wrap over sliced bread any day of the week.

Last week I made a gorgeous vegan burrito and I used store bought wraps. I had to hide them from my daughter because as soon as she saw them she wanted to open them…didn’t matter how many times I told her I was using them for dinner.

Next day all the wraps were eaten and she wanted me to go get some more. Guys I’ve just ordered a 16kg bag of flour, I told her I can’t just go to the shops as soon as we run out of something right now, so I’d make her some. Well she didn’t think I could do it….mainly because how was I going to get them so round and so thin?! I think she forgets I roll fondant on a nearly daily basis and I don’t think she realises I went to pastry school to learn how to make almost every type of bread in existence either. So I just guaranteed I would have wraps for her breakfast in the morning.

It took me less than 5 minutes to make the dough, another 15 to let them rest, and another 10 to roll them all out, and a minute to cook.

Hayden was NOT impressed with how my wraps were not very round, so she took the rolling pin from me, and showed me how it was done….and she did indeed. The shape of her wraps were absolutely perfect! Which was great because while I cooked, she rolled them out πŸ₯° win win.

She watched me put the first one on the pan and then was gutted because she wanted them to have freckles just like the store bought ones….so I flipped it and she gave a little gasp and squeal when she saw the ‘freckles’. Definitely my child this one ❀️

Both kids loved them (‘better than the shop ones’ πŸ™ŒπŸ») and now I can make them on a regular basis…and I’m pretty sure to make 8 wraps only cost about 5p….so it was definitely a win!

Here’s the recipe if you want to give them a go. I made 8….but I think I’ll make 16 next time as mine were sliiiightly on the thicker side even though the tortilla fit my whole pan.

Tortilla Wrap

Easy, soft tortilla wraps
Prep Time30 mins
Cook Time2 mins
Keyword: Tortillas, Wraps
Servings: 16

Ingredients

  • 380 g Flour Plain flour or Strong Flour
  • 1/2 tsp Salt
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 75 ml vegetable oil
  • 240 ml warm water

Instructions

  • In the bowl of your stand mixer fitted with a dough hook, combine your dry ingredients and give a little mix.
  • Add the warm water and oil and mix for a minute or 2 on medium speed until the all the flour has been incorporated. You'll need to push the flour down from the sides of the bowl every so often.
  • Once all the ingredients have come together to form a smooth dough, turn it out on to a well floured surface.
  • Divide the dough in half, then keep dividing until you have 16 equal sized pieces.
  • Roll each piece of dough in to a ball and flatten with the palm of your hand. Set them under a clean tea towel to give the gluten a litte rest. This will make it easier to roll out. 15 minutes is all it needs.
  • Roll out the dough very thinly until almost transparent. The thinner the better as you willg et a teeny tiny rise out of the dough.
  • Heat a large frying pan on medium/high heat. No oil needed! Place the rolled out tortilla in to the pan and cook for about a minute or until the underside has golden brown spots or 'freckles'. Cook the other side for about 30 seconds nd transfer to a plate. Do not over cook or you will end up with a brittle wrap.

 

These will freeze really well, and best eaten the day they’re made. To reheat you can place a damp paper towel on top of the wraps for 10 seconds in the microwave.

Enjoy!!

Vegan Hot Cross Buns

I absolutely ADORE hot cross buns. When it comes to most holiday type foods I try not to buy them store bought, because it’s too easy to just eat a whole pack in one sitting….and I can eat a whole bag in one sitting πŸ€·πŸ»β€β™€οΈπŸ™ˆ this includes things like Mince Pies, Stollen, and Hot Cross Buns. So I decided I wasn’t going to eat any more hot cross buns until I made them myself. I’ve put together a wee video on how I made them, but the full recipe is just below, and printable too!

Of course I made them vegan, but to be honest, you’d never tell the diference. A lot of store bought ones these days are unintentionally vegan anyway. So it’s a win all round. My go to vegan butter in the UK is Naturli. To be honest, we don’t have a lot of options here for vegan block butter. Thankfully, Naturli Vegan Block Butter is absolutely delicious. They have a spreadable version too which is so so tasty as well.

If you’re in the States or Canada, you can use Earth Balance.I’ve tried to get it here but it’s almost impossible.

Honestly, it’s such an easy and straightforward recipe.  I’m not a huge fan of mixed peel but if you’re feeling super traditional you can replace some of the raisins with the peel. I used orange zest as well, but lemon will do just as nicely. I used unsweetened Almond Milk in this recipe, but generally would use Oat milk. Almond is all I had because I’ve had to substitute with this Covid-19 Lockdown as Oat milk seems a bit more scarce. If you only have sultanas, use those! I prefer raisins, because they’re less mushy. I know! I’m a texture freak! πŸ€·πŸ»β€β™€οΈ

So experiment away, just keep the measurements correct and you’re good to go. An easy, fluffy, simply more-ish hot cross bun!

If you’re wanting to save even more time, forget the crosses! That’s just for show…but can you really call it a hot cross bun without it?

Vegan Hot Cross Buns

Simple, Fluffy, Delicious Hot Cross Bun
Cook Time25 mins
Course: Breakfast
Servings: 12 buns

Ingredients

  • 500 grams White Bread Flour
  • 75 grams White Sugar
  • 2 tsp Cinnamon
  • 2 tsp Mixed Spice
  • 1 tsp Salt
  • Zest of 1 Orange
  • 3 tsp Dried Active Yeast
  • 300 ml Plant Based Milk
  • 80 g Melted Vegan Block Butter

Instructions

  • Throw the Flour in to a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook. Place the sugar, spices, zest, and salt to one side of the mixer. Place the yeast in the bowl away from the other ingredients. Sugar and Salt will kill yeast if in direct contact. Turn on the mixer to combine. You might have to use a rubber spatula to combine more thoroughly.
  • Melt the vegan butter and add it to the plant milk. Mix until incorporated. There's no need to heat the milk too as you don't want the mixture to be too hot. Lukewarm will do!
  • Slowly pour the milk and butter mixture into the dry ingredients. Turn the mixer on medium high and beat the dough until it starts to come away from the sides of the bowl. This should take about 8-10 minutes.
  • Oil a medium sized bowl and form the dough in to a loose ball. Cover with clingfilm and set in a warm place to rise for about 2 hours or until doubles in size.
  • Once risen, knock the air out of the dough and add the raisins by hand. You can do this in the bowl or on a lightly floured surface.
  • Once the fruit is incorporated, cut 12 equal sized pieces of dough. Be careful not to tear the dough as this will damage the structure of the gluten.
  • Form the balls of dough tightly and place them on a parchment lined baking sheet or dish. Cover them with clingfilm and let rise for another hour.
  • Mix together some flour and water to make a pipeable paste. I used 50 grams of four and 40ml of water. Add the water as you need it. Place in a piping bag and pipe crosses on the buns. This step is completely optional!
  • Bake at 180F in a fan oven for 25 minutes, until golden.
  • Glaze the buns with warmed up apricot jam, or any other syrup you prefer.

Notes

These are best eaten the day they're made. You can freeze these beauties too or have them toasted a couple of days later.
If you prefer to prepare the dough the day before, you can let the buns rest in the fridge overnight and bake them in the morning so you have Fresh Hot Cross Buns for breakfast with a hot cuppa. Bliss!

 

 

Banana Cake, Baking and Creating through a Pandemic

Ugh you guys have got to, HAVE GOT to be soooo sick of hearing the C word this month. I thought I was doing ok. At first. Legit. I haven’t been panicking, I’ve been living my life as per usual, trying to stay away from the news. A few days ago though, it just hit me. I’m not worried for myself or my babies. We’re fit and healthy. But I’m afraid for my husband, who will be dealing with people that are panicked, angry, and scared. The people who might lash out at him because he’s got a job to do, nothing personal, I know. But I’ve seen the worst of people these last few weeks…though I’ve also seen the best. My husband unfortunately deals with the worst much more often. To keep his family and his country safe. I worry that he won’t have enough to eat, or that someone hurts him or that he’s too tired to drive home after a long shift. For the most part I don’t get concerned for his safety….because he’s strong, and smart and knows how to handle himself…but with all these other factors, it’s a LOT to take in.

The cake cancellations and postponements are overwhelming, but because of the circumstances is totally understandable, but I still get scared. Even though I KNOW how lucky we are, and how much more we have than so many. It’s daunting. So I’m surrendering to the universe, calling in my angels, spirit guides, and higher self, and really focusing on the positives.

During this lock down I’m going to make sure I’m creating new products and sharing recipes. Making videos, and baking ALL the things. I’ll knit with my babies, create art, learn sign language, create the vegetable garden I’ve been planning for months, meditate, workout, eat, drink and just BE!

So far so good. Jaxon helped me plant our potatoes, while Hayden sat in the sunshine painting oat milk cartons. I sat outside with them in the moment. Just enjoying their company. Jaxon ran around the garden playing zombies and war games with his nerf guns and they were just being kids. And they know they’re safe, and fed. And that’s the main thing. And I’ll keep them from worrying as best I can.

I made 3 videos already that I’m just editing as I type and I’m going to be making many more. My husband is enjoying having me home more (he’s a bit of a traditionalist) and to be honest, I’m enjoying it too. I was in major burnout! So I’m taking this negativity of this pandemic and turning it to all the positives. I’m listening to my soul, spending time with my babies , and doing all the things I keep putting off or just don’t usually have the time to do. And this introvert is LOVING it! I can honestly say I feel so in my element being ordered to stay home.

Of course I get a bit restless, but that just means having my cup of coffee in the fresh, frosty air, getting my workouts in, and making sure I’m moving and being somewhat productive. Being on lockdown puts so much in perspective for me too, it’s such a truly humbling experience. And I know people are getting sick, and dying, and I’m not trying my to take away from that at ALL. But I’m definitely seeing the silver lining throughout this pandemic. And it gives me so much hope, and it makes me realise all the little, ‘insignificant’ things in life that we take for granted every single day. Because they’re actually much more significant than we think.

So here’s my first lockdown tutorial…it was made for my friends daughter who just turned one and LOVES bananas 🍌 so I made a banana flavoured sponge with Swiss meringue buttercream, and carved the cake to resemble a cute and fun peeled banana. Hope you guys like it! My next videos will include some good ol’ fashioned loaves that are so simple and satisfying both to make and eat. Happy Lockdown my loves, we WILL get through this. And if you need to talk, or if you’re just not handling the situation well, please get in touch. I am always here to listen.

Sending all the love and light and healing energy I can muster ❀️

PS…SEND FLOUR!!!

My SkyDiving Experience! (And the intimacy! πŸ˜³πŸ˜…)

Teenage Cancer Trust SkyDive

Hello my loves!

Today I’m feeling a wee bitty bruised. Like I’ve had a really hard workout. Even though yesterday mainly consisted of waiting…and waiting, and then some more waiting…

A few months ago I signed up to do a charity Sky Dive. Being my usual self, I jumped (πŸ˜‚ no pun intended!!) at the chance when Siobhan from New Look mentioned it. It sounded like a good idea at the time. I can be very impulsive, although I’ve also conditioned myself to be that way over the years , because when you’re so busy saying no all the time, life kinda passes you by.

Anyway! I sorta kinda forgot about the whole thing. Well not really as we were trying to raise money and fundraise etc, but I had definitely pushed the actual thought of throwing myself out of an airplane at 10,000 ft out of my mind.

So then the day before the jump comes, and I’m at working coding drinks, while my manager is taking orders, and someone wants to leave a tip. So my manager says ‘oh, we’ll put that in the fundraising jar for Carrie’s Sky Dive that she’s doing tomorrow!’ And I felt like I’d been punched in the gut. I got a wee bit short of breath because although I knew I was doing it the NEXT day, hearing someone say it out loud made it that much more real.

So Siobhan and Kirsty (from New Look) and myself head down at 6:30am to make it to Strathallan for 9. We got there in plenty of time and waited to get our training!

At this point I think we’re all just pretty excited than we are nervous. And the team there totally put us at ease. We were so excited to have raised roughly Β£600 each when our goal was Β£500 for The Teenage Cancer Trust too!

So we go through our instruction video where the instructors really drum it in to us that the landing is by far the most important factor of the whole jump, so we practiced our leg lifting a bit.

Then after signing our lives away, we waited. Then our names are called and the fear sets in. And guys, I’ve said it before. I am not afraid to die. But I am terrified of the pain! (My instructor told me not to worry, because if my parachutes failed, I wouldn’t feel a thing when I hit the ground). And y’all I had a serious conversation with my spirit guide/angels before I left and they totally put me at ease by sending me 2 beautiful white butterflies, and also the suit I was given to wear was purple (my favourite colour as again it’s one I associate the most with my spirit guides)

So now Siobhan and I are suited up (poor Kirsty had to wait much longer than us as she was being filmed too 😣) and we’re strapped on to our tandem partners and not gonna lie guys. It was weirdly ‘intimate’. You’re basically sitting in between the legs of a stranger and you’re already feeling vulnerable as fuck, and you can literally feel every single movement they’re making, you’re trying so hard to relax and enjoy the view but all you want to do is take a huge breath and calm down but you can’t, because you’ve got a burly man right behind you. I mean, this gal needs dinner and drinks first, know what I’m sayin’? πŸ€·πŸ»β€β™€οΈπŸ˜‚ but then there’s Siobhan who was being filmed so she was literally in the middle of a man sandwich so that made me laugh πŸ˜† (and she also said she felt exactly the same way! πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚) so there’s always someone worse off guys…or better, depending how you want to look at it πŸ€”πŸ˜πŸ˜‚

So all of a sudden we’re at 10,000 ft and my guy (it’s much easier referring to him as ‘my guy’) shifts himself, and me, right on to the edge of the plane. Now I’m just looking out over the gorgeous Scottish landscape, but the ‘oh shit, this is it feeling’ washes over me and the fear sets in. Then I’m pushed out and allll the fear goes away. In a matter of a millisecond. And now we’re free falling I have my arms out and I’m in absolute awe. And the parachute is deployed and OMG in this moment I am so glad I’m not a man, because those straps grabbed my groin in such a way that I am bruised and a wee bitty tender today!

Throughout the whole dive I just can’t believe the feeling of pure calm I’m feeling. I totally expected an adrenaline rush, and something along the lines of a rollercoaster/fair ride. But I’m just gobsmacked for lack of a better word. It’s all just so surreal. At one point ‘my guy’ says ‘Are you still with me?!’ And I had to yell back ‘Yeah! This is just incredible, do you have many people faint on you?!’ Apparently it happens πŸ€·πŸ»β€β™€οΈπŸ˜‚ but no. I was far from fainting. It was more like I was in a meditative mode than anything.

I even got to steer the parachute a little bit which was pretty cool, because I had NO IDEA how much control a parachutist actually has. We did a few spins (which did not help my motion sickness, but was so worth it) and then we went in for the landing. Which I was the most nervous about. But as soon as we got close enough to the ground, I was told to lift my legs like I’d been taught to, and for real it was like landing on a mountain of candy floss. It was such a smooth landing. Not what I was expecting at all!

So when we got up, instead of walking away on shaky legs (again which I thought would happen) it was like I’d just finished meditating. I honestly felt like I’d had a glass of wine and was in total relaxation mode. It’s such a strange thing to describe, because it’s exhilarating, yet relaxing all at the same time. Would I do it again?! In a HEARTBEAT! And I urge anyone who has the opportunity to, to take the plunge! It’s an experience I’ll never forget. And when you get to do it in the name of a good cause, that’s just kinda cool too πŸ₯°

Calum!! (my guy πŸ˜‚) and me!

Rainbow Cupcake Tutorial

Rainbow Swirl Buttercream Tutorial

Everyone loves a rainbow 🌈 cupcake…am I right?! As an artist and customer..I love the look of a rainbow cake. But as a baker, I cringe at the thought. They’re actually a pain in the backside. We usually charge more…and if you don’t, you certainly should. They’re a faff. I internally groan when I hear that I have to make a rainbow cake. Yeah it’s the same vanilla cake recipe, but then you have to get out every bowl in the cupboard, divide the batter evenly, then use an ungodly amount of food dye to make sure the colour will still be vibrant after it’s baked. And then all the washing up. Oh, and you need to line 6 baking tins too. As I said, a faff! So it’s one thing to bake a rainbow CAKE…rainbow buttercream, slightly different, slightly easier. It’s still time consuming because… the BOWLS, and an all butter buttercream takes a lot of colour to get very vibrant, but I also used a very easy technique to get a gorgeous swirl with half the mess and all the colours.

What you’ll need:

Cling film (Saran wran)

Very large pastry bags

A Wilton 1B Piping tip

Rainbow Coloured Buttercream of your choice!

I actually used American buttercream for this project. Couple of reasons…it had been a very long week and I had to get 60 cupcakes iced and done before work.. (I managed to do it all in 45 minutes) Annd I also find my regular Swiss Meringue takes a little more time to for the colours to develop. I made sure I didn’t compromise on taste though. I will share my recipe with you at a future date.Β  It’s easier to make vegan too..

but you do you! πŸ˜‰ x

Method:

Lay down a large strip of cling film. Make sure it’s not too much longer than your piping bag.

Spoon your buttercream into long lines in the centre of the cling film. I went in order of the colours of the rainbow…but you really don’t need to do this.

Rainbow Cupcake Swirl Tutorial

Bring one side of the cling film over to the middle, then bring over the other side. It’s kinda like making sushi! Then take the ends and give it a twirl, almost as if you’re playing jump rope.

Rainbow Buttercream Swirl Tutorial

Cut one end of the cling film bag and insert it in to your prepared piping bag that has the 1B tip in it.

Rainbow Buttercream Swirl Tutorial

Rainbow Buttercream Swirl Tutorial

Then swirl away! It’s super easy, super fun, and you avoid all the mess that you’d have if you were to line the piping bag with each individual colour.

Here a little video of the piping!Rainbow Buttercream Swirl

Hope you guys ike it! Sending so much love and light,

Carrie xx

Dinosaur Tutorial!

Dinosaur Cake Tutorial

I get quite a few dinosaur requests. Dinosaurs have always been a pretty firm favourite for a lot of kids. My babies enjoyed them, but not near as much as me when I was a kid. As a child, when it came to dinosaurs I was OBSESSED! I knew the names of every kind, and I read ALL the books on the subject. I wanted so badly to be a palaeontologist…actually, it still kinda is a dream job of mine. I remember well, a summer that my dad decided he wanted to take us on a road trip and we ended up in Drumheller, Alberta, to visit their famous dinosaur museum πŸ₯° Thanks my dad, it’s a memory I’ll treasure forever….I’ll be sure to take my kids there one day too.

Diplodocus was my all time favourite dinosaur πŸ¦• probably because they just seemed to have the nicest nature..being herbivores and all. And I totally get the T Rex appeal. I actually think they’re quite sweet too, and Jurassic Park will ALWAYS be on my list of top favourite films, so most dinosaur cakes I make will usually feature a T. Rex. So here’s one I made from Rice Krispie Treats. I’d have loved to do a video tutorial but whenever I make cakes like these I always feel like I’m going to epically fail, so I don’t film, doubt myself the whole way through…and then I LOVE the result. Go figure right? πŸ€·πŸ»β€β™€οΈπŸ™„

So here’s a pictorial of my T Rex. I hope you like it!

To start, I made Rice Krispie Treats (RKT) . I usually eye ball this recipe. You want to use more rice cereal than marshmallows, and you want to heat the marshmallows quite a lot, because then it will set really hard, and keep its shape πŸ₯° I use gloves for this so I can mould the RKT without burning myself. And lots of butter or oil so it doesn’t stick to your hands.

Shape the RKT in to a large oval to form the head. Make a dent half way down to form the snout. I use the side of my palm to do this. Once you’re happy with the shape, set the head aside to set.

Roll out 3 long strips of fondant. They don’t need to be perfect. These will just make up the bone structure of the face.

Dinosaur Cake Tutorial

Using a bit of buttercream, ‘glue’ one of the strips of fondant down the and back of the head.

Dinosaur Cake Tutorial

Add the other two strips to either side of the head just as you did with the middle strip.

Using your fingers, pinch the fondant to make sharp edges to give the bones a bit more structure. This will be covered so I find the more dramatic you are with it the better as you’ll lose a lot of the definition once it’s covered.

Roll out 3 balls of fondant roughly the same sizes. This will be for the cheek bones and the snout.

Using a knife, cut in to the head to create a mouth. Pry the mouth open enough so you can create a cavity to place the tongue and teeth.

Press the 3 balls of fondant you rolled on to either side of the head as well as the snout. Press into the head to soften out the shape.

Roll out enough fondant to cover the head. I used a mixture of green and brown ProGel colours to achieve this green. Don’t roll too thinly or you will be able to see the rice crispies underneath.

Cover the head, and use the underside of your palm to secure the fondant to the head while giving the dinosaur more definition.

Once you’re happy with the shape, make sure to turn the fondant under the head as well as in to the mouth so there is no rice Crispies showing. Using a ball tool, create hollows for the eye sockets. I used another little tool (I forget the name) to create the nostrils.

I used the same tool as I did to make the nostrils to create some lines under the eyes. I rolled a couple of balls of yellow fondant for eyes and placed them in the sockets. I then used some black ProGel mixed with vodka to paint on the cat like pupil. I like to add a tiny ball of white fondant to the eye to create an animated effect.

Using a straw (bubble tea straws work great) and squishing it will make a great scale effect. Start pressing in to the fondant, but try not to overlap.

Once the whole head has been embossed, take the blunt edge of a knife and score the ridge of the middle bone going down the centre of the head.

Paint the nostrils with black paint to add a bit more shadow and depth.

Take a ball of pink fondant and press in to the mouth, making sure to cover any green, and Rice Krispie treats.

Using a smaller ball took, I made indentations for the teeth. I then formed a cone shape with pink fondant for the tongue. I pushed it down with my hand and scored a line down the middle.

I coloured some fondant with cream ProGel to get an off white colour for the teeth. I then rolled small pieces of the fondant into cone shapes that had points on either side. This just makes inserting them into the pre made holes a bit easier.

Before adding the teeth, centre the tongue in the dinosaur’s mouth. I then used a bit of water to fix the teeth in to place.

Once all the teeth are in place, roll out two long thin pieces of green fondant. This will cover the gum line to give it a clean finish as well. I scored the fondant with the back of my knife to add a bit more definition.

Once everything is in place you can use an airbrush if you have one to add some more realism to the dinosaur. You can also use some cocoa powder on a big fluffy brush (which I did here). I then finished it all off with a spray of edible clear glaze to give my Dino a lovely shine!

To make the leaves I just cut out green fondant free hand, then scored veins in to them. On other cakes I’ve used a magnolia leaf cutter, scored the leaves, and then arranges them around the dinosaur’s head. To cover the cake board quickly and effectively, I bllitzed some bourbon biscuits in the food processor. Not too finely as you wants more course bits to make its look more realistic. And that’s that folks. A fairly simple T-Rex Cake!