The little disco company has come to an end - after 6 years of family disco fun. Time moves on, life moves on. I would like to thank everyone who joined in, danced, played with their children to our fun tunes, had a drink at the bar and told other people about us.
It's been an incredible journey, started with 2 new mums finding someting to 'fit' around family life...
Thanks a lot for your energy and time - we really do appreciate it!
Today we meet Etta, the woman behind the amazing creations at Henrietta’s Handmade Cakes. She lives in leafy South East London with her husband, 3 children and cat, Carwash. Here is a little insight into how it all started and her top tips when choosing a cake for your special occasion.
Where did your passion for baking come from Etta? Have you always loved cakes?
I have loved cooking, and particularly making cakes, as long as I can remember. My mother was always baking when we were little and she managed to create the most birthday amazing cakes for me and my brothers and sister when we were young. I remember an amazing space shuttle with flames coming out of the bottom and a big dinosaur cake, as well as a life-size ice hockey stick.
I guess I became interested in cake as a creative outlet in about 2006 or 2007. After I stopped doing art before my GCSEs, I didn’t really do anything creative for a while. I don’t think I really realised how much I missed being creative until I made my first wedding cake 8 years ago, and it has grown from there.
Until very recently I was also working as a Patent Attorney and there wasn’t much room for creativity there, so it’s been great to have a way of expressing my creative side, and in such a delicious form too.
So what made you take the plunge into starting your own business?
Being a Patent Attorney and working long hours started to get difficult with having 3 small children, so I decided to take a break from that to indulge in my passion for cakes. It sounds as simple as that but it took a while for me to finally decide to go for it. But now that I have, there’s no looking back.
But you’re still pretty busy, so how do you fit it all in?
I do most of my baking when the children are either at nursery/school or in the evenings. I have strict rules when I am baking – no kids and no cats! A clean and uncluttered kitchen is essential.
Do your children enjoy baking with you Etta?
They do, they love baking and the older two who are now 4 and 6 can actually make quite a good cake all by themselves. They also love modelling with icing. It’s really nice to be able to share my skills with them and see how they adapt and make their own creations.
So you must be pretty experienced with children’s birthday cakes?
I actually started off by making a lot of wedding cakes. I made my own wedding cake and cakes for a few friends and family and the word just got out. But yes, having 3 children means that I get to create wonderful cakes for them too. And I have to be honest, birthday cakes can be a lot more fun too!
What’s the most unusual or challenging cake that you have made?
The most unusual request that I have ever had was for a 3D Stegosaurus cake – for a wedding! It was green with orange spikes. The wedding was at Banqueting Hall in Central London which is a beautifully grand venue. I thought that they were joking at first, but it turned out that the couple were obsessed with dinosaurs and there were a few private jokes shared on the day. It was a real talking point of the wedding.
Did you watch the Great British Bake Off?
Yes of course! I am in awe of the bakers on there, they are all so knowledgeable. I might make an amazing cake, but I’d be lost with bread and pastry.
What advice would you give to someone considering purchasing a celebration cake for their next event?
Think about your audience. Children are generally less interested in eating the cake and more interested in what it looks like. You might like to theme your cake to go with your party, select coloured icing and decorations. Whereas for a wedding where your audience is predominantly adults, you definitely need to make sure your cake tastes fantastic as well as looking amazing too.
Think about your favourite cake flavour. Just because your cake is covered in white icing, or is a green dinosaur cake, it doesn’t need to be a plain sponge inside.
Think about transporting your cake. If it’s a very intricate design or a very large celebration cake, then it can be difficult to transport safely. Maybe think about asking your cake maker to deliver to ensure that it gets there in one piece.
If you need any advice or inspiration for your next cake then check out some of Etta’s amazing designs at www.henriettascakes.comand you can enter our competition to WIN a delicious birthday cake by Henrietta's Handmade Cakes by signing up for The Little Disco Company VIP Club monthly newsletter between 02.11.15 and 22.11.15.Get more details.