Gourmandises at the Cutty Sark with NAWP
It’s been a very busy and exciting year here at Gourmandises. So much so, that I haven’t always had the time to tell you about the many events we have been involved with in the last few months. Here is one that I truly enjoyed being part of: the NAWP networking event at the Cutty Sark.
The NAWP (National Association of Wedding Professionals) is an organisation aiming to promote professionalism and integrity within the wedding industry since 2013. Gourmandises has been a member for over a year. The Association organises a variety of events each year and they are always well attended.
The evening at the Cutty Sark was one of their regular networking events. And what an evening!
For the occasion, guests had champagne on the upper deck. As it was a beautiful summer evening, they were able to enjoy the most amazing views over the Thames.
Beautiful and mouthwatering canapes were served by Moving Venue under the hull of the Cutty Sark.
I provided a delicious table of patisseries with traditional gateaux such as Opera and a three tiered layered cake, pastries and macarons. I made some gorgeous mini Opera Cakes filled with a raspberry meringue butter cream, mini passion fruit tarts in a sweet shortcrust pastry case and filled with a fresh passion fruit curd, I also supplied a beautiful macarons tower filled with chocolate ganache, raspberry and vanilla.
If you are looking for something similar for your event, check my gallery for inspiration.
The Cutty Sark itself has been licensed for weddings for over two years. If you are looking for a stunning and iconic venue in London, this is definitely one to check out.
Event organiser: NAWP
Photos credit: Toby Lowe Photography
Venue: Cutty Sark
Food: Moving Venue
Floral Display: All For Love
Red Velvet Cake: a beautiful and delicious recipe for you to try at home and a very popular cake at weddings in the UK at the moment.
In America, the red velvet cake is often served at Christmas and Valentine’s day.
It is not such a difficult cake to make if you follow each step carefully.
Ingredients for your red velvet cake:
250g caster sugar
25g baking powder
25g cocoa powder
2 big eggs
1 bottle of red food colouring
250 ml buttermilk
1 tsp of white vinegar
1 tsp of bicarbornate of soda
1tsp of vanilla extract
for the frosting:
400g mascarpone cheese
150g double cream
115g icing sugar
1 tbsp of raspberry liquor
1 tsp of vanilla extract
Set your oven to 180º C. Grease three 8″ cake tins and add a circle of baking parchment at the bottom of each tin.
In a food processor, cream your butter and sugar until light and fluffy (your mix should be white at this stage), then add the vanilla extract and slowly incorporate your eggs one at a time.
Sift your flour, cocoa and baking powder. Mix the food colouring with your buttermilk.
Now this is where you have to be a bit careful, with your food processor set on low, add a third of your flour and a third of your buttermilk, mix and then add another third of flour and buttermilk and so on until everything is mixed to a smooth consistency.
Another important step to follow, add your bicarbonate to your vinegar, it will immediately make a white foam, add it straight away to your mixture and slowly fold in with a spatula.
Transfer this mixture to your cake tins, and put in the oven for 20 to 30 minutes until a skewer inserted in the middle comes out clean.
Leave your cakes to cool in the tin for 10 minutes, then transfer to a wired rack to completely cool.
For the frosting, using a food processor whisk your mascaporne, double cream, vanilla extract and raspberry liquor until nice and fluffy.
Then place the first layer of your cake on a cake stand and spread the top with the frosting, place the second layer on the top and spread more frosting, place the third layer and add more frosting, with a spatula start spreading the rest of your frosting around your cake turning your cake stand as you do it so the frosting spreads evenly.
The top of your cake does not have to be smooth, on the contrary, using the back of a spoon try to make a spike pattern, then sprinkle with cocoa powder. I added a few raspberries and a bit of mint on top, but you could add whatever you like to make it look pretty.
Planning a party? Here is a simple doughnut recipe for you to try
I am warning you though, this is a diet buster, guaranteed to please both adults and kids, so what it’s not to like?
40g butter (cubed)
75g granulated sugar
7g fast acting yeast
2 egg yolks
200g caster sugar mixed with 2tsp of ground cinnamon
3/4 tsp salt
In a bowl, mix the flour and salt together, then using your fingertips, rub the butter into the mixture, until you get a breadcrumb consistency.
In a pan, warm-up your milk, don’t boil it, you have to be able to touch it with your fingers without burning them. Then mix in the sugar and the yeast and then add the whisked egg yolks.
Pour your mixed flour into a food processor and pour in the yeast mixture and using the bread paddle, let it knead for 5 to 10 minutes, until the mix is shinny and elastic. (By the way, you can of course knead with your hands). Cover the bowl with cling film and put it in a warm spot for a good hour or more, until the dough has doubled in size.
Then knock back your dough and knead for a minute or 2. Roll it to 1 cm thickness, use a small cookie cutter (5 cm one) and cut out some rounds and use the handle of a wooden spoon to cut the hole in the middle. Then roll them around with your thumb to increase the size of the hole.
Prepare at least 2 baking trays, with baking paper and dust them with flour, place your doughnuts and cover with oiled cling film. Let them rise for another 30 minutes to an hour depending on how hot your room is. (until they’ve doubled in size.)
Meanwhile heat the oil in a deep fryer if you’ve got one or like me use a deep saucepan with at least 5 cm of vegetable oil. Once your doughnuts are ready, deep them in the oil and cook them on each side until golden brown. Watch out as they’ll brown really quickly!
Remove from the oil and toss straight away in the sugar, et voilà!
Tip: if you’re having a ladies night in, these with a glass of Prosecco are just heaven!