Wednesday, 28 August 2013


Earlier this month, Leeds witnessed an array of grey cakes taking over the Corn Exchange in the form of a pop up shop devoted to raising mental health awareness.

The Depressed Cake Shop, as mentioned in my previous post HERE, was part of a global network of shops, founded by Miss Cakehead, aiming to sell grey coloured cakes to raise awareness of mental health issues and provide a platform for discussion.

I played event organiser for the Leeds pop up and could not have even predicted that it would have been successful as it was. With over fifteen bakers donating cakes throughout the day there was a fantastic range and variety of cakes to keep the public happy and intrigued.

We raised £536.74 from selling grey cakes, a silent auction for a picture and from external donations with all funds going to two very worth local mental health charities, Inkwell and Dial House.

I would just like to say a massive thank you to all those who participated with the event, whether it be through baking cakes, promoting the event, eating our delicious grey baked goods or through kind and generous external donations.

Photos: Mark Murphy

Sunday, 4 August 2013


A few weeks back I had the exciting ordeal of making a cake one of my much-loved lemon and poppy seed polenta cake's to be sent down to Duke Studios in Leeds for a fancy photo shoot to be featured in the August edition of the brand new and fabulous online culinary journal Food&_.
....the actual feature is listed HERE and below you can see the recipe for a delightfully moist gluten free lemon drizzle cake!
200g Unsalted Butter
200g Ground Almonds
100g Polenta
2tsp Baking Powder (Gluten-free if this is for wheat or gluten intolerant people)
50g Poppy Seeds
2 Eggs
1tsp Vanilla Essence
3tbsp Plain Yoghurt
2tbsp Lemon Juice
2-3tbsp Milk
Zest of 3 Lemons

Crunchy Lemon Glaze:
Juice of 3 Lemons
130g Icing Sugar
50g Granulated Sugar

Lemon Icing:
1 tbsp Lemon Juice
115g Icing Sugar
Poppy Seeds and Lemon Zest to Sprinkle on top of the Icing

1.  Line and grease a 9" springform cake tin with baking parchment and butter and then pre-heat your oven to 180°C.

2.  Cream the butter and sugar together with a hand mixer or standing mixer until light and fluffy and pale in colour.

3.  Add the eggs and the vanilla essence to the butter and sugar.

4.  Weight out the ground almonds, polenta, baking powder and poppy seeds and fold into the wet mixture.

5.  At this point fold in the lemon zest, lemon juice and yoghurt. Mix it until it is all evenly combined. If the mixture feels quite stiff then add between 1-3tbsp of milk to loosen it.

6.  Place the mixture into the cake tin and bake for 30-40 minutes until firm in the middle.

7.  Whilst the cake is still in the oven, prepare the crunchy lemon glaze mixture. Once the cake is removed from the oven, whilst still hot, prick the cke several times with a skewer and top with the crunchy lemon glaze using a pastry brush or pallet knife.

8. Leave to cool and refrigerate over night. Before serving top with the lemon icing and top with poppy seeds and lemon zest.

Photography and Styling: Jonathan Finch and Katy Lanceley

Thursday, 1 August 2013


I've been super busy with any spare time organising The Depressed Cake Shop pop up event for Leeds which will take place this Sunday 4th August from 10.30-4pm at the Leeds Corn Exchange.

The Depressed Cake Shop is part of a global network of shops, founded by Miss Cakehead, selling grey coloured cakes and cakes which represent mood to raise awareness of mental health issues and provide a platform for discussion.

One in four people will suffer from mental illness at some point in their lives, a key theme will be also be reflected in many of the cakes designs.

The symptoms of depression can be complex – and vary widely – and so will the cakes on sale, many aiming to visually represent mental illness. This will be a cake shop like nothing else seen before, the grey sad looking but delicious tasting cakes powerfully demonstrating the effects of depression.

Cakes on sale at the Leeds Corn Exchange will include cakes and baked goods fitting within the theme, baked by over fifteen local bakers, both professional and non-professional taking part in the event. 100% of sales from each and every cake will be donated to Inkwell and Dial House, two very important and worthy mental health charities within Leeds.

Many of our cakes will also be made by those with personal experiences of depression, using baking as a way of expressing their struggles with, and experiences of, the illness. 

For more information on the event please see below:

It would be great to have your support - See you Sunday!