Cake, Sunshine and Good Times

Summer has well and truly arrived. With the hottest July day ever on record this week, we knew we were on for a weekend filled with sunshine.

Taste of Hampshire 2015

It had been a busy week of prep at Martha’s Tea Party HQ. A full wash and wax for our lovely little van was on the cards on Wednesday, ingredient shopping on Thursday and a Bake-a-Rama on Friday. It had been a year since we were last at Taste of Hampshire and we were determined to make it there in our van this time! This photo was spotted in the Southampton Airport Magazine a few weeks ago 🙂

Saturday started early, and our Sat Nav took us on some rather interesting roads through Leckford. Thankfully it was 7:30am so we didn’t pass a single a car. We were on site by 8am and raring to go for 10am when the first visitors started arriving.

We had lots of yummy cakes on the menu:

* Victoria Sponge
 * Peanut Butter Goo Bar
 * Chocolate Nostalgia Cake
 * Peanut Butter Cup Brownies
 * Gluten Free Vanilla Cupcakes
 * Chocolate Orange Brownies
 * Lemon & Poppyseed Drizzle Cake
 * Rocky Road
 * Gluten and Dairy Free Chocolate Brownies

Our pitch was right by the entrance and we stuck a sign on the front of our van so people could see what we were selling without having to walk round to the front.

We’ll be checking the papers for coverage of the event during the week, but we already spotted this little write up on the Daily Echo online.

Our stand looked lovely with all the cakes in domes, the bunting and the fresh flowers, many people came and commented. Made the extra effort flower arranging the day before worth it.

We sold out of Victoria Sponge, Chocolate Nostalgia Cake and nearly out of Lemon Drizzle. The crowd were loving a slice of cake in the sunshine. We also nearly sold out of our Char Winchester Breakfast, think we’ll need to restock before the next event!

We had a truly brilliant day, thank you to everyone who came down to support us and say hello!

Lots of Love

Martha’s Tea Party x

Sparsholt Food Festival

When we had a last minute opportunity to get on board with the Taste of Hampshire Food Festival at Sparsholt College we leapt at it! Sparsholt Food Festival Two days of solid baking during some of the hottest temperatures of the year so far made for some sweltering heat in the kitchen (31.4 degrees!). Tray bakes and layer cakes were on the cards for Thursday. It’s been a while since we made Peanut Butter Goo Bar – and it’s still as dangerous to have in the kitchen as it always has been. Peanut Butter Goo Bar Lurking beneath this innocent (ish) crumbly topping is the most gooey, sweet, peanut substance known to man. It really will change your life. We promise.

It was certainly a relief when at 5pm on the Friday afternoon when the final batch of cupcakes was done that we could finally turn the ovens off. Then it was just a case of waiting until the sun had gone down and it had cooled off so we could start making the buttercream. The final Smarties were added to the Chocolate Nostalgia cake about midnight and with the van packed we set our alarm for 5.30am and hit the sack.

Saturday morning arrived, it was drizzly but the forecast looked promising. We set off about 7:40am, the engine started on the first go and we slowly set off into the road. By the time the momentum of the inclined driveway had worn off, it was suddenly apparent that no amount of revving was making the van move. It was a heavy hearted moment when we realised that we would not be taking our van to the event. However, there wasn’t much time to dwell on it with an hour to get to there and set up and before any of that could begin the issue of what to do with a 3 tonne vehicle blocking both lanes of a road pre-8am. Thankfully, there were a few people out of bed and in their cars trying to leave the village, so a few kind souls offered to help push. With some expert steering, lots of shouting and A LOT of pushing the van was back up the slope onto the driveway. Then it was time to unpack the fridge/freezer to get them plugged back into the mains and the challenge of how to cram two chairs, two tables, a crate of vintage cake stands and a shed load of cake into the back of a Peugeot 206. Before we set off, there was time to have a quick look under the van. This is what greeted us… Detached Drive Shaft The drive shaft had become detached from the wheel. It looks a bit daunting, but hopefully its just a case of replacing the bolts…only time will tell.

We made it to Sparsholt College in good time to set up the gazebo. Once it was up, the tables were unloaded and it was time to set up all the cakes onto the cake stands. Martha's Tea Party On offer we had:

Individual Cakes:
* Chocolate Flake Cupcakes
* Vanilla Cupcakes
* Red Velvet Cupcakes
* Carrot Cake Cupcakes
* English Madelines

Tray Bakes:
* Mega Mint Chocolate Brownies
* Gluten Free Chocolate Brownies
* Rocky Road
* Peanut Butter Goo Bar

Layer Cakes:
* Chocolate Nostalgia Cake
* Victoria Sponge

Doors opened at 10am, and there was a steady flow of people through. Many people resisted the cakey temptations on offer because it was “too early”. We’d be lying if we said this response didn’t alarm us. It is NEVER “too early” for cake. Never.
Pink Vanilla Sprinkle Cupcakes Chocolate Flake Cupcakes

Anyway, by early afternoon there was a buzz around the stall – and some people even coming back for seconds!

It was lovely to speak to the wonderful folk enjoying the sunshine and the other suppliers. Special mention has to go to one of our own suppliers Purbeck Ice Cream who we ended up set up next to. Also Spade and Spoon, Chillicious (in a shiny Citroen H Van) and Upham Brewery. Victoria Sponge Rocky Road Mountain

The crowds had started to head home by about 4.30, so we started packing up to head on home for a well deserved slice of leftover Chocolate Nostalgia Cake with a glass of milk.Lemon Drizzle Cupcakes
Carrot Cake Cupcakes

Final Thanks has to go to Sparsholt College for thinking of us last minute, we hope to be back up for an event soon, hopefully in our van next time!

Lots of Love

Martha’s Tea Party x

Martha and the Chocolate Factory

This week has been all about chocolate. 1.1kg of deliciously dark chocolate to be precise.

First up was a birthday cake to celebrate 4 years in business at AFS CrossFit.

AFS CrossFit Chocolate Cake

We made 3 layers of moist Chocolate Sponge, sandwiched them together with Chocolate Buttercream and covered the whole lot in Chocolate Ganache. The cake was decorated with a variety of orange and white sprinkles to complement the logo and some gold stars for good measure. We finished it off with an icing logo from Eat Your Photo and 4 orange candles as it was a birthday cake after all.

Icing Logo

“#arterialdestructionaccomplished” was the feedback we received, so it’s fair to say that the level of chocolate involved did the job!

Next up was some Mint Chocolate Brownies for a networking event in Winchester. It’s the first time we’ve done the whole networking thing, so what better way to make an introduction than to give out edibles with business card details attached. We made our brownies with a mixture of plain and mint chocolate and added a chopped bar of chocolate for the chips. After mixing up the Brownies there was a real moment of internal debate about whether to sack off the whole event and just sit down with a spoon and eat the mixture or to put them in the oven. Thankfully, we managed to get them into the oven without mishap.Baking Brownies

Once they had cooled down, we sliced them up into small squares, slipped them into bags and sealed with a branded card with our contact details on. The finished product was simple, but effective. These would work well for party favours or alternative place settings.

Promotional Brownies

We’ve got more bakes coming to the blog soon, along with the long awaited post about the interior of the van. Wishing you all a wonderful Bank Holiday weekend!

Lots of Love

Martha’s Tea Party x

Chocolate Nostalgia Cake

Some say that margarine has no place on this earth. Whilst we would usually agree, there are times where it really does make a cake or dessert something rather special. Not special in a grand way, just special in the way it evokes old memories.

This is where Chocolate Nostalgia Cake comes in.

Chocolate Nostalgia Cake

You know those chocolate cakes you had as a child? This is one of those. It’s all the birthday cakes topped with Smarties, the summer picnics trying to keep it safe from wasps, the glasses of squash alongside after a bike ride with friends. You will all have a relative who still makes cake like this.

It’s simple cake; no exciting ingredients, just a simple sponge mix using margarine in place of butter. Without the richness that the butter would usually add, it forces the other ingredients to shine – and they do just that. It’s a deliciously sweet chocolate cake that would be as at home at a 1 year olds birthday party as it would a 100 year olds. There’s something about it that just makes everyone smile.

What we like about this cake is that it provides a blank canvas for decoration. Be it sprinkles, glitter, sweets or buttercream roses, or a combination of all of the above. It can tailored to any occasion.

Chocolate Nostalgia Cake

We’ve decorated ours with Smarties and a bright pink buttercream rose right at the centre. If you have a special occasion coming up, or just want a trip down memory lane, drop us a line and we’ll make it happen.


Martha’s Tea Party x