Cakes are wonderful. They are celebrations. Even if it’s only a Thursday afternoon at Granny Brown’s house, a freshly baked cake hot from the oven really takes a cup of tea to another level. And throughout our lives there have always been cakes - from the picture of me on my first birthday dwarfed by an enormous hundreds-and-thousands-covered-cake, to visiting my Gran up in rural Worcestershire where there was always, without fail, a leafy green tin containing a Victoria Sponge heaped with icing sugar and filled with her own strawberry jam. My Granny used to make an infamous 'Holiday Cake', a fruit cake made using the lard collected from a term's worth of cooked breakfasts, which my Dad remembers fondly but I never tried...
When we got engaged we were presented with a delicious Orange Polenta cake decorated with huge letters spelling out congratulations, which didn’t all quite fit on the cake but were all the more wonderful for being squeezed on, and for our wedding cake we had towers of tray-bakes from our good friends The Exploding Bakery who make our favourite cakes still (pictured above just last week). And perhaps the most special cake I’ve ever received, left on our doorstep the day after our son was born - a seeded loaf cake, whacked full of protein to help with recovery - handmade, wrapped in paper and tied up with string from my best friend.
Cakes are a way to say thank you, say sorry, or just to say hi to a new neighbour. A universal language concocted from eggs, sugar, butter and flour. Or bananas, agave, coconut oil and ground almonds. Or yoghurt, strawberries, honey and spelt flour. The list goes on. So we've made a collection of bakeware, for when only a homemade cake will do. A mixing bowl, a measuring jug and a lemon juicer. The essentials.
A large bowl, the largest we've ever made. Intended for mixing, but also excellent at serving, holding big salads, roast potatoes, a mountain of fruit, veg… or one of those to keep on a table at all times, that’s slowly filled with receipts, bits of lego, crayons and the odd apple. With a gently dimpled profile and a hand-painted rim of Cobalt or 22k Gold, logo stamped underneath. Comes in a bespoke gold-foiled greyboard box, ideal for gifting.
We’ve made a measuring jug, pretty essential kit for all baking. With a subtly dimpled profile, a large hand-painted handle, elongated spout and hand-drawn measurements screen printed onto each jug. More accurate than our soon-to-be-replaced measuring jug at home. Can hold everything from hot stock to beaten eggs, and can also double up as a gravy jug - fancier than the Pyrex, but v. importantly has an excellent pour unlike the drip-machines that are the classic gravy-boats.Capacity 500ml, or 1pt. (568ml to be precise)
A shallow bowl with a juicer in the middle, for making a restorative hot toddy, or the drizzle for a traybake, or a lemonade. My oldest friend’s mum Maggie used to make lemonade every summer, and my first port of call when visiting - sometimes even before saying hello, or visiting her doll’s house of dreams (with electric lights! And a garden!) - was always the fridge door, where the concentrated lemony syrup was kept. I can remember the taste so distinctly, less sweet than a shop bought one, sour, tangy. Delicious. Perhaps time now to try to recreate it, if I can wangle the recipe… With a hand-painted handle and elongated spout, for a perfect pour. Logo stamped on the base.