What is your most memorable wedding?
All the weddings I have been involved with have been memorable because each couple is so unique and different & the settings are always so beautiful & individual. Perhaps one of the most memorable was delivering my first combined savoury & sweet cake. The couple were so excited that their vision had come to life & delighted that the cake was such a hit with their guests.
Describe your style in 5 adjectives.
Sometimes classic, sometimes adventurous, delicate, often floral, sometimes with a twist.
What about your business are you most proud of?
I am most proud of my work when clients have told me that the cake I have made for them is the best that they and their guests have ever tasted. Wedding cakes should be beautiful but it is even more important that they should taste wonderful.
What is your No. 1 wedding planning tip for couples?
Make sure that you attend a tasting and design consultation with your wedding cake maker in good time so that you have the opportunity to find out what you really like and can add those little touches that make the cake really personal to you both.
What is your favourite personal touch you have seen at a wedding?
I think it is always lovely when a couple design their own monogram for their wedding cake, even if it is a small detail that only they will really notice.
Describe your typical process with a couple.
Couples sometimes have an idea of the sort of taste and style of cake that they would like when they email or call me but often this is not the case. Once I have an idea of the number of guests, date of the wedding and venue then, if I still have that date available, I invite couples to come and attend a complimentary, no obligation tasting in Avington. I ask couples to let me know 3 or 4 flavours that they would like to try at the tasting appointment. They can choose from the flavours listed on the "Cakes and Flavours" page at cocoaandwhey.co.uk or if there is a particular flavour that couples would like to try then I am happy to accommodate this where possible. I also try to make the appointment at a convenient time which can include evenings and weekends where required. Tasting appointments are relaxing and enjoyable and a chance for couples to find out what is possible in the world of wedding cakes and also to discover what they both really want their wedding cake to be like .
A few days after the tasting appointment I will make contact with the couple and provide them with a sketch and quote for their chosen cake and any favours that they also wish to have made together with a copy of Cocoa & Whey's Terms. If the couple are happy with their choice and wish to proceed with their wedding cake booking then I take a non-refundable deposit of £50 to reserve their wedding date in my diary. This deposit is deducted from the final balance payable for the cake which will be due 4 weeks before the date of the wedding.
I am usually in contact with the couple in the weeks prior to the wedding to discuss any last minute details about the cake and reception. I also liaise with the wedding caterer to make sure that the final arrangements for the cake have been made. On the day of the wedding I deliver the cake to the wedding venue and make sure that it is set up and looking beautiful in readiness for the reception.
What is your signature cake?
Raspberry & Marc de Champagne Cake is my favourite sweet cake and loved by many clients. For savoury wedding cakes Cheddar, Walnut & Apple is very popular though my personal favourite is Gruyere, Apricot & Hazelnut Cake.
What is the most original creation you have baked for a wedding?
A 4 tier combined sweet and savoury wedding cake with savoury tiers of Cheddar, Apple & Walnut Cake; Tomato, Olive & Basil Cake; Gruyere, Apricot & Hazelnut Cake and a sweet tier of Carrot Cake.
Describe how you got into making wedding cakes.
I have always loved food and art but never anticipated a career in wedding cakes in my youth. I was originally a lawyer before children but was unable to return to work when my son was diagnosed with a serious illness. My love of making beautiful cakes grew while at home and eventually developed into starting my own business, Cocoa & Whey Cakes. The business is so called to represent sweet cakes as well as savoury cakes. There is no reason that savoury cakes can't look equally as beautiful at a wedding! though I adore sweet cake too!
What would be your show stopper in the Great British Bake Off?
An elaborate combination of sweet and savoury tiers with lashings of gold detail.