Five Go Mad

Monday 17 January 2011

Hmmm... Valentine's!

So Valentine's day is looming. A bright light on the horizon of gloomy wintery days and dark evenings. Can't wait for Spring!! We at FiveGoMad HQ are a bit sceptical of Valentine's day. There is huge amount of pressure to send a loved one a card, flowers, chocolate, or go out for that slightly tacky meal. Is this the busiest day in a restaurants calendar? If so, why do they charge so much and do so little? All awful, and you wouldn't catch us doing any of that, but there better be a card through our door!! So for that very reason we are going to share with you our favourite Valentine finds for all you romantics out there!!!

We can't help but love Twisted Twee's Combat Pillows. Why sleep when you can have  a good fight? We are also curiously drawn to the Coalition Love Pants for the loving couple, HA HA HA. Twisted Twee's Man Bags for the disgruntled male shopper made us chuckle. How many of you men out there have said "whatever I get will be wrong" and why is it that you lovely men have a tendency to forget what her indoors sent you out for?

Twisted Twee's valentine bunting is totally fab, 'It will end in tears', for all you eternal pessimists.

Now, if you want to score brownie points for your other half I strongly suggest getting a candle. You can't go wrong with a candle. The candles by Pure Light are wonderful; handcrafted from soy wax  and environmentally friendly.

Their new scent is Rose Geranium and Black Pepper, which naturally soothes and seduces, and gives a true sense of well being.  Apparently black pepper essential oil also acts as an aphrodisiac. Whoop whoop!

Another winning Valentine's Day offering is… well, anything that’s sweet and yummy actually. Talking of which, Yummycard does personalised ‘Cake Cards’ which would be perfect for an after dinner Valentines indulgence. They are organic and Fairtrade and, cleverly, small enough to fit through your letterbox! So economical and - importantly when time is in short supply - easy.

For you men, who don't have a Valentine and want to treat yourself, we strongly suggest a spot of redecorating. Go on, order yourself some She Wallpaper by Beware the Moon. You know you want to....

Alternatively, for you single women our advice would be 'Valentine yourself"  and treat  yourself to a gorgeous 'I love you' necklace by Marte Frisnes. 'cause if you don't love your self  how can you expect anyone else to?

Monday 10 January 2011

Interview with Karen Murdoch from Yummy Card

How did Yummycard start out?

I have a degree and background in Interior Design, but cakes have always been my first love. Between jobs designing hotel interiors and kitchens, I've made wedding and birthday cakes. The idea for Yummycard came when my daughter Polly told me about people sending each other virtual cakes on Facebook. It struck me how much nicer it would be to receive a real cake. In September 2009 Yummycard was launched so people could send individual personalised cakes to their friends.

What is your earliest memory of baking? 

My earliest baking memory is of making profiteroles and cheesecake when I was about 14 for my mother's dinner parties in the 1970's - everything was piped with loads of whipped cream!
Tell us what makes your cakes different to others? 

Yummycards are different because they're designed to fit through a letterbox, so they're wider and flatter than cupcakes. They're cut from a large cake into different shapes and iced with fondant icing before being hand-piped with a name or message. They are sent by First Class post and can be ordered up to 4 months in advance (for really organised people! ), although I bake them just a couple of days before the requested delivery date and they're posted the same day so they're fresh when they arrive.
What or who inspires your cakes?

The internet is an constant source of inspiration and new cake trends emerge on blogs almost daily. Usually like-minded friends bring them to my attention.
Which person would you most like to bake for? (past or present).

I'd like to bake for Prince Charles because he's passionate about organic food and sustainable farming and I think he'd enjoy my cakes,  but really it's more about the cake - I like a  challenge especially when I get a commission for an unusual cake that I've never done before. Today I've been asked to quote for a cake with a teacup shaped top tier - I love that!

What are you working on at the moment?

At the moment I'm getting ready for Valentines Day. Last year this was really busy so we'll see!
What is your personal favourite cake? 

For looks I like the giant cupcake I make - its really fun and impressive, but it's baked in a specially shaped tin which makes it quite easy. For flavour, I like fruit in cakes, so apple cake or a vanilla sponge with strawberries and cream...delicious!

Any favourite ingredients/flavours you use for your cakes?

All Yummycards are made with free-range eggs and organic or fairtrade ingredients. I use a lovely vanilla extract called Ndali which is fairtrade and comes from Ugandan vanilla beans.
How did you get involved with FiveGoMad? 

I was asked to join which I'm thrilled about.
What's next up for Yummy Card?

More baking!!

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