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No Smoking Rules‏

I’ve just returned from a weekend in Austria and there are 2 food related opinions I’ve formed (and reinforced)!

1 – Austrian/German food is just a bit weird… That may sound like a wild sweeping generalisation (and to be fair it probably is) but where else would you be able to buy refried pig fat spread on toast and topped with onions?!

Unfortunately we sampled this delight through the mistake of not really understanding what we were asking for!!

On the other side of the equation we ate some hotdogs which were surprisingly nice and I am still fooling myself into believing they are healthy as they are boiled not fried… I’ll stay in my blissful ignorance thanks!!

The second point to comment on was what a wonderful difference having a smoking ban in British restaurants makes. Apparently you are still allowed to smoke in cafes, bars and restaurants in Austria.

Unfortunately this meant our choice of restaurant and cafe was somewhat restricted, which was a real shame as many of the places recommended in the guide book did not differentiate between smoking and non smoking areas/customers.

I’d forgotten just how unpleasant it is to eat in a room full of smoke! As a non smoker I am probably slightly more biased, however I do think it ruins a tasty meal, and  if answering genuinely I reckon even most smokers would agree!

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To decorate or not to decorate…

Whilst I love baking, and regularly make cakes good decoration skills are not something I have ever managed to learn.

Don’t get me wrong, I always want the cakes to look good but I always thought decorating took a kind of patience I just don’t have!

For my 30th birthday earlier on this year one of my friends gave me a gift voucher for a cake course of my choice at Cakes4Fun in Putney. Having browsed their website, I decided that now was the time and opportunity for me to start with acuiring the skills required to make cakes look pretty.

I did a course ‘individual iced cakes’ yesterday, and not only was it so much fun, everything was so much more straightforward than I expected.

From having no sugarcraft skill whatsoever, I learnt how to make beautiful sugar lilies, miniature sugar flowers, a gold edible bow and how to smoothly coat individual victoria sponges. 

In a nutshell the key is to have the right tools and not to be scared of the cakes – they are so much more sturdy than I ever gave them credit for!

If you have ever wanted to learn to ice cakes, I would whole heartedly encourage you to visit www.Cakes4Fun.co.uk and enrol on one of their courses!

The output of my class!