Margot Bakery.

 

When I started the lavender bakery in 2008, the plan was to move into a retail bakery at some stage. Two children later and the moment has arrived; I hope it will be all the better for what I have learned in the interim from baking cakes for so many celebrations. Some of my customers have been with me from the beginning and I hope to continue to bake birthday cakes and wedding cakes as well as bread and other wonderful things for you all. Thank you to all the customers who have made the Lavender bakery a success and a pleasure. I hope you will enjoy Margot Bakery just as much if not more – you can come and have a coffee, buy some bread or babka and order cakes to be delivered throughout London as before.

 

The bakery is in East Finchley, N2 in the old post office. There will be a small seating area and a view through to the ovens. The plan is to bake delicious, nutritious and well fermented bread daily in the bakery and to offer the opportunity to come and learn to bake or just have a chat about bread and good food and the local community with the staff.

 

I felt that a new bakery needed a new name; Margot is named for my Grandmother and my husband’s Grandmother and is inspired by beautiful French patisserie.

 

Please come and visit, I look forward to the chance to meet some customers in person for the first time and I’m so excited to have the space to welcome you and bake for you.

 

Michelle

 

Margot Bakery opening early 2016

121 East End Road

East Finchley

N2 0SZ

 

margotbakery.co.uk

michelle@margotbakery.co.uk

@margotbakery

 

Tahini meringues and sourdough challah.

challah east finchley

Sourdough challah

A bit of test baking this week; I’m working on some recipes which should be available on the Lavender Cooks blog soon. I am making sourdough challah for Rosh Hashanah this year; with swirls of grated apple, tahini and honey, it is a full flavoured bread which keeps well and isn’t overly sweet. It has taken a long while to get sourdough challah to work so I’m very excited about it. They are available to order and not just for the holidays, do get in touch if you need a very special challah; it can be collected from East Finchley by arrangement.

The meringues below are baked Italian meringues, they are small and delicious. I made two versions today; one with dark chocolate, honey and tahini and plain tahini ones. I am now having visions of an amazing tahini pavlova with honey whipped cream and chocolate ganache… Meringues also available to order, email for more information.

Tahini mini meringues

Italian meringues.

Cakes decorated with fresh, edible flowers; available to order now.

I’m as fond of brightly decorated cakes as anybody but I have always felt that the more natural the cake the better. Fantastic ingredients and cakes covered with delicious and beautiful Italian meringue buttercream  have always been the signature offering at The Lavender Bakery. I happily put colouring in the piped decoration – it can be removed easily before eating – and occasionally in the cake or frosting by request (hello Red Velvet cake lovers!) but I just love the idea of nothing but natural, fresh ingredients in a cake and these edible flowers make beautiful cakes that are perfect for a special birthday, a tea party or a summer wedding. They can be ordered in an array of bright colours or in a single colour of your choice. The price will depend on the exact design but do get in touch to discuss your ideas and requirements. A combination of flowers and fruit would be wonderful too!

 

Natural cake.

Cake with lavender and cornflowers.

 

All natural cake.

Cake decorated with real flowers.

Little Christening cake.

This cake was part of a tradition not so much observed these days with cupcake towers and sponge cakes so widely embraced for weddings; it was the top tier of a wedding cake which was saved for a Christening. The old covering was peeled away and the little fruit cake (can you tell the size is from the photos? It was small!) re covered with fresh marzipan and rolled fondant icing. White roses and blue and purple flowers complete the decoration. Did you save your wedding cake for a Christening? I’ve heard fruit cakes keep for 25 years though why you would keep one so long I couldn’t say!

Recovered Christening cake

Mini Christening cake.

 

Tiny Christening cake.

Fruit cake.

Animals in party hats, bunting and birthday cake!

Animals party hats and bunting cake.

Animals in party hats!

 

This cake was a collaborative effort and we were very pleased with it. My fellow baker and neighbour needed a birthday cake for her sweet boy and with a party to prepare for asked me to help out with some baking. I can’t tell you how handy it is to have a fellow baker next door. We split egg deliveries from Rookery farm, flour orders from Shipton Mill and borrow the occasional cup of sugar over the garden fence when the need arises. The bunting came from Sew sweet violet. I baked the cake and put some buttercream on it. It is extra tall with four layers of sponge because  generous cakes are wonderful! Chocolate sponge with vanilla Italian meringue buttercream.

 

animal bunting cake.

Fox in a hat!

 

Animals in party hats cake.

Fox on a cake.

 

Animals in party hats cake.

It looks like the dog is guarding the cake!

 

birthday cake.

Animals and bunting.

 

layer cake chocolate inside.

Chocolate sponge layers with vanilla buttercream.

Red velvet cupcakes.

Cupcakes with cream cheese frosting and swirl.

Cupcakes with royal icing decoration.

A recent order for a London law firm who appreciate their staff! 195 red velvet cupcakes with cream cheese frosting and a red royal icing swirl; they were individually boxed for the recipients upon arrival. The bright morning sun (where has that got to?) made taking pictures difficult but you get the idea! The other problem with red velvet cake (besides the mess it makes in the kitchen!) is the fact that you can’t see the intense red colour of the cake itself; also a problem with rainbow cakes! To avoid the cakes coming out a dull brownish red you really need to use paste colour for red velvet cake, not natural food colouring – I like Sugarflair.

Red velvet cupcakes with cream cheese frosting.

Cupcakes in the morning sun, boxed and ready for delivery.

Valentine’s day: Fondant fancies and salted caramel biscuits.

 

lemon lavender fondant fancies

Sweets for my sweet. Fondant fancies for Valentine’s day.

There is still time to order for Valentine’s day this year. Fondant fancies are available in lemon and lavender or vanilla. They are soft squares of sponge cake, soaked in syrup and dipped in fondant for a smooth finish. Available in whichever colour your Valentine likes best and as always they are decorated to order so feel free to have them convey your own words of affection! Nothing nicer than to say it with cake (particularly marriage proposals, which are especially good on cake!). Or we can send out a box of this years signature design, see images below. 9 for £20.

hand decorated fondant fancies.

Fondant fancy designs.

 

Bespoke fondant fancies London.

London fashion week inspired fondant fancies.

 

salted caramel valentine heart cookies.

Sandwich biscuits with salted caramel filling.

 

Salted caramel heart biscuits are delicious and buttery shortbread 6″ in diameter sandwiched together with homemade caramel. A little Maldon salt helps keep the sweetness in check and there are plenty to share. And really very good with vanilla ice cream if you need a pudding for your Valentine’s dinner at home. Box of 3 for £12.50.

Orders can be picked up Thursday and Friday from East Finchley, N2 or delivered across London. Call or email to place your order cakes@lavenderbakery.co.uk / 07507 863502

 

salted caramel Valentine's gift.

Delicious salted caramel filled cookies for someone special!

 

Bespoke cake design, London.

Love.

 

Gingerbread house bakery.

Gingerbread house bakery.

This gingerbread bakery is the kind of project I like best. It was the first time I had designed an entire structure myself but the most enjoyable part was sculpting the tiny cakes and loaves of bread for the inside. … Continue reading

Battenburg cake.

This order was a special birthday request and I enjoyed reading about the history of the Battenburg cake – see here for a fantastic analysis of the myths that surround its history – and trying a technique I had not had good cause to attempt before. Many of the recipes I looked at for inspiration seemed likely to turn out quite dry and besides the obvious visual appeal of a cake in two colours; it is important to me that any cake is as delicious as possible. As there is no icing to speak of other than a little jam, it really was going to be all about the cake so I came up with the following recipe. The pale sponge is almond flavoured and the pink sponge is raspberry flavoured. I find the addition of food colouring to cake troubling (though don’t have the same problem with colouring icing, it can be discarded before eating!), and tend to be a purist about such things though can occasionally be persuaded otherwise. I was able to reconcile this slightly nonsensical hesitation by ensuring the flavour was a reflection of the colour. In fact the raspberry puree contributed significantly to the pinkness of the cake, so very little colouring was needed. This would be lovely served at a tea party or as a children’s birthday cake.

Battenburg cake

Makes an 8″ x 4″ rectangle cake to serve 8-10 people.

You will need an 8″ square tin, well greased with butter and with the base and sides lined with baking parchment. Line in such a way that there is a folded divider of parchment sticking up in the middle (see picture below) – this way you can bake the cakes in a single pan at the correct height. Strengthen the dividing section with some foil folded underneath the paper.

battenburg cake divider tin

Lined cake tin and raspberry puree.

Ingredients:

250g unsalted butter at soft room temperature

250g caster sugar

250g lightly beaten egg (approx. 4 large or 5 medium)

200g plain flour

2 tsp/8g baking powder

Pinch salt

100g ground almonds

250g fresh or frozen raspberries

1/2 tsp vanilla extract

1/8 tsp pink paste food colouring (I like Sugarflair claret)

1tsp almond extract

50ml whole milk

1 jar apricot jam

A 500g pack of marzipan – get the nicest brand you can find.

Royal icing to decorate.

A cake board or flat plate of some description, to serve.

 

 

Begin by placing the raspberries in a small saucepan with a squeeze of lemon juice or a little water. Cook over a gentle heat, stirring occasionally until they collapse in a puddle of bright juice. Remove from heat and push through a strainer (I find a ladle useful for this) into a bowl. Do persevere until as much of the liquid has been pushed through as possible, there should only be some brown seeds in the sieve when you are done. Place the puree back in the saucepan and simmer very gently until it is reduced by about half. You should have 50-80g of bright pink raspberry puree. Allow to cool.

Preheat oven to 170ºC/Gas mark 3

Sift the flour, baking powder and salt together. Stir through the almonds.

Place the butter and caster sugar in a bowl and using a freestanding or electric handheld mixer, cream at a medium high speed until very pale and fluffy; approx. 10 minutes. Scrape down the sides several times during this time.

Reduce the speed of the mixer a little and add the beaten egg in 6 or 7 additions, scraping down as needed.

Fold in the flour and almond mixture gently and thoroughly.

Using scales, place half of the mixture into a separate bowl (should be  just under 525g). To one half add the vanilla extract, pink paste colour and raspberry puree. I find it easier to mix the food colour into a little cake mix at the side of the bowl before stirring it through the rest of the mixture. This avoids streaks and knocking too much air out of the batter. When it is well mixed, scrape into one side of the prepared tin.

To the remaining mixture, add the almond extract and the milk. Place in the other side of the cake tin. Level both coloured mixtures with the back of a tablespoon and ensuring the divider is firmly in place, bake for 40 – 50 minutes or until the cake springs back when pressed lightly in the middle.

When baked, allow to cool for 20 minutes or so before carefully turning out onto a rack. When completely cold you can begin the trimming of the sponges. This will be easier the next day, in which case wrap the cakes in plastic wrap overnight – or wrap and refrigerate for a few hours before working with the cakes.

You need four long rectangles to form the traditional chequered pattern. Use a sharp serrated knife and a ruler. Begin by cutting each coloured sponge longways down the middle. They should be straight on all sides and all the same height. Use a ruler and trim lightly – you want to take off all the uneven and any slightly browned edges while retaining as much cake as possible.

When you  have the four rectangles and are satisfied that they are as level and equal as possible on all sides (ridges will show up under the marzipan!), warm up the apricot jam. If it is quite lumpy then push through a sieve while warm before using.

Roll the marzipan into a rectangle on some icing sugar to approx. 5mm depth so that it is large enough to wrap round all four long sides of the cake. Place the cake on the marzipan and use a ruler to trim the long sides to the exact width of the cake – the ends are traditionally exposed (though I covered them on the cake I made as it was not going to be eaten until the following day and I didn’t want the ends to dry out, so this is up to you). Start with one rectangle of sponge and using a palette knife or similar; spread with the warm jam, place on the marzipan at one end using jam to stick it down and then jam the sides of that piece, place the next piece on and continue until the four rectangles are stuck together with jam and the outside of the now assembled cake is covered with jam on the long sides. Carefully roll up the cake inside the marzipan so that it is completely wrapped. Neaten up the join where the marzipan meets, sticking the ends together with a little water. Smooth all over with your hands. Place on the board with the join underneath.

Decorate with piped royal icing or leave plain as you wish.

Store at room temperature in a suitable container.

battenburg cake

Trimmed sponge for the Battenburg cake.

Battenburg birthday cake.

Iced cake with royal icing roses.

1st Birthday Party.

1st birthday party dessert table.

London bus birthday biscuits.

 

first birthday London bus party.

Bus biscuits on lolly sticks.

 

London bus cake.

Two birthday cakes.

 

London bus birthday party.

Chocolate cake and London bus cake.

 

red and blue cakes.

swirl cupcakes.

 

Bus biscuit.

London bus cookie.

 

First birthday party dessert table.

London bus dessert table.

 

London bus first birthday cakes.

The wheels on the bus birthday party dessert table.