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New Business Cards!

04/03/2011

I just got a new batch of Moo business cards and I love the final product, particularly the colours.  I feel like I’m starting to get a handle on defining the Yummy Nice brand.  And I’m delighted that I was able to find cake related quotes from Laura Ingles, 50 Cent and George Bernard Shaw!

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Using techniques from the Wire to sell baked goods

26/02/2011

This is the most wonderful idea, and maybe very appropriate for my market-street neighborhood:

These cookie bakers sell and deliver their cookies by string: they dangle a note out their window, someone gives it a tug and attaches payment, and then they deliver the cookie on the same string to the customer waiting on the street below.

San Francisco Cookie Merchants

Don’t they get a lot of folks pulling the string as a joke?  Maybe the kids are a lot better behaved in San Francisco.

 

oooh – update I hadn’t noticed at first – they’ve been busted.

FAB!

14/02/2011

I can’t believe this exists…. the Flour Advisory Board.

Their website has “fun” facts, recipes and…a podcast about TOAST.

Sort of handy for me as a baker, but it’s so Orwellian…. if Orwell was replaced with Jasper Fforde.

Cake a doodle do….

12/02/2011

Doodling on Yummy Nice branding and quotes for wedding cakes…

sketch for a wedding cake display

 

City made of cake

 

Based on the memory of a friend's birthday card in college - funny how images stick

 

What's this? Has she brought it home to them, or is it a changeling?

 

 

 

Minni di sant’agata – St Agatha’s breasts

07/02/2011

Some sources say that a Sicilian nun was inspired by the hills around her when she created this bun recipe…. but they certainly bring something other than the landscape to mind, and with a common name of minni di sant’agata or minni di virgini, meaning “St Agatha’s breasts” or “virgin’s breasts”, that seems unlikely.

The more interesting (and gruesome) story behind these sweets is that they are inspired by St Agatha, a Catholic martyr who died in 251. St. Agatha, like other female saints, had her breasts torn from her body before she was burned to death. She is the patron of several villages in Spain, as well as the patron saint of martyrs, wet nurses, fire, earthquakes, and women with breast cancer. She is often depicted carrying her breasts on a platter before her, and it’s easy to see her as the inspiration behind these little cakes, served on St Agatha’s feast day, 5th February.

Similar cakes, minni di virgini, are made the rest of the year.  The recipe seems to originate from cloistered convents, where the nuns also made cakes such as fedde di cancelliere or  Chancellor’s buttocks.  These recipes seem to have less to do with ritual and memorial, and more to do with a bit of fun.  Trying to find out a bit more about these cakes, and curious what other naughty cousins I might discover, I found a link to this book, which looks like a very interesting read:

The Women in God’s Kitchen

And then there is this webpage, which intriguingly lists several other erotic-inspired cakes of Sicily, but I think they’ve gotten the spelling or the stories wrong, because very few of the names brought up recipes or verification when researched.  Still, I think there might be a fun and promising line in making such unusual cakes?

I have never tried one of these little cakes, but besides being morbidly delightful, or just titillating, they also sound delicious – delicate little cakes topped with sweet ricotta, chocolate and marzipan and a maraschino cherry.  Having sought out reviews and recipes, it sounds as though the few American bakeries that do make them don’t do a very nice job of it, as is often the case with commercial bakeries, using cheap ingredients and turning out a greasy over-sweet result.  And some insist on covering the poor things in sprinkles, which ruins the brilliantly rude context and also seems a poor tribute to St Agatha.  But all that just makes for a perfect challenge for the home baker – to take a maligned recipe and show it justice.  And, as St Agatha’s feast day was just last week, I think it’s a good time to give them a go.

Link

Link

Springtime baking!

22/04/2010

gluten-free simnel cakes, originally uploaded by YummyNiceBaking.

Simnel cakes for Easter with family in Scotland, Birthday cake in shades of lemon and raspberry for a friend’s birthday back in London. Hurrah for the return of colour! Check out the whole mini-set of photos on Flickr.

Cookie Spoons

27/03/2010

Edible spoons with a dollop of something delicious.  Lick the spoon and then devour the spoon as well!  The perfect canape with no clean up.

Skimming through all the wonderful baking blogs out there,  I found yet another gem in Sprinkle Bakes.  The many clever cakes and cookies were already looking pretty good, and then I saw these:

Sprinkle Bakes - tuile cookie spoons

But as these are tuile biscuits, that means they are spread with a spoon into a very expensive stencil that doesn’t seem to be available in the UK.  Surely I can make something similar, with a different batter?

I tried this out on Friday with my favourite cut-out cookie recipe, and at first I thought I’d cracked it.  Cute delicious spoons, perfect.  But I forgot two important things – this recipe makes pretty fragile cookies and they soften up the next day, meaning they make pretty floppy spoons.

So the hunt is on.

After I told my mother about my dream of the perfect cookie spoon, she said, “They sound like a Martha thing.”  Which is shorthand for they sound wonderful, but too fussy to bother making.  Martha Stewart is awesome, but she’s a robot with an army of design and art school graduates churning out dream crafts.  And funnily enough, after a little internet searching, the next recipe I find for cookie spoons is from Martha herself:

Ice cream sundaes with cookie spoons

This is a much flatter cookie, but maybe more doable.  For now.  Until I give in and stump up the cash for the spoon stencil.