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Designer Feature Series: Meet Claire's Handmade Cakes

About Claire's Handmade Cakes:
My name’s Claire and I bake cakes and desserts. I pride myself on the quality of the ingredients I use – they are fair-trade and organic wherever possible, and they are also seasonal and local and you won’t find me using raspberries in December! I started baking as a very small child (my earliest memories are in the kitchen, making a mess!) and have baked all of my life. The last 5 years have seen me take this more seriously and in October 2009 I started my business. Two years on, I am still going strong.

Inspirations come in many guises. I find bakers and chefs inspirational (I’m somewhat in awe of Dan Lepard, Nigel Slater and Yotam Ottolenghi, for example). I can walk around the patisseries of Paris (or anywhere in France!) for hours and stair covetously at the works of art in the windows! There are sugarcrafters who are so incredibly talented and who I admire greatly, such as Alan Dunn and Elizabeth Finch.
Seeing what others can create with an ingredient or with sugarpaste inspires me to challenge myself to be the best that I can be.

Best Sellers:
I mostly make bespoke cakes – for weddings, birthdays and other celebrations. My ‘Traffic Jam’ is popular (gooseberry, apricot and strawberry jams) in the summer and in the winter, my mince pies (with homemade flaky pastry and homemade mincemeat) are best sellers.
We Make Christmas Pop Up Shopping Experience:

 I will be selling lots of cake! There will be chutneys, jellies, marmalade, jams and curds to give as gifts (or keep for yourself!). There will be biscuits – biscotti and biscuits which have been decorated which you can take home and hang on your Christmas tree. As I love the flavours or Christmas and winter, there will be gingerbread, clementines, cranberries, hazelnuts and chestnuts (though not all used together!). Christmas wouldn’t be Christmas without mince pies and fruit cake, so of course they will both be there and finally a selection of cupcakes, for both children and adults!

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