Sunshine, sugar and a spring showstopper in Sheffield

You may recall way back at the end of summer I was creating towers of autumnal cakey goodness for the Delicious Alchemy Bake Off? (If not, here is my proud creation in all its glory). What I maybe didn’t report quite so loudly was that I was delighted to win the competition with my ‘showstopper’ bake!

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My prize? Along with a hamper of goodies, an invitation to visit the company’s HQ, recreate my cake for professional pictures, along with an overnight stay and afternoon tea with my family.

After all kinds of complicated logistics, we settled on the first weekend of spring; and it couldn’t have been better timed. I made my way on the TransPenine Express train from my brother’s in Manchester, and the entire surroundings were glowing green with the most wonderful March sunshine.

Appropriately I had chosen to give my original recipe an update for the new season, replacing the cascade of pumpkin and blackberry flavoured macarons and autumn leaves with spring flowers and speckled egg shaped macarons, all transported precariously from Windsor in my case.

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It was a real pleasure to work in such a lovely light and airy photography studio with a friendly team, if perhaps a little daunting to be nominated ‘art director’ for the shoot, then to have to get in front of the camera myself completed with sugar-smeared apron and unbrushed hair. “Smile, remember you’re enjoying this!” prompted the photographer – I really was! Apparently I suffer from ‘moody concentration face’.

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The sunshine prevailed for the rest of the glorious weekend – illuminating the fabulous blossom in Sheffield city centre, then creating the most gorgeous golden hour at Chatsworth House the following day, where I was reunited with my tiny tribe for excesses of sandwiches, tea and cake.

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What a lovely weekend, and a reminder that I should take more time out to absorb the seasons, to visit new places and indulge in my favourite hobbies.

Big thankyou to Delicious Alchemy for a fabulous time. I can’t wait to see the photographs and recipe on their site soon.

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