Thursday, July 25, 2013

Meet The Pretty Baker!

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We have been really lucky to have some wonderful sponsors supporting the work we do here with our blog.  To say thank you, show our appreciation and highlight to you how awesome they are, we are going to have a couple of posts sharing a little bit more about some of the business that have jumped on board to help with the Baking Makes Things Better journey. Last month we posted about The Vintage Table and today we want to let you know all about The Pretty Baker, if you haven’t checked out out all the amazing supplies available on Lisa’s too pretty website, you must!

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Wh
o runs (are the people behind) ‘The Pretty Baker’?
Me!  My name is Lisa Courtney. I’m a mum to three little monkey’s; 7, 5 and 2, so you’ll often hear yells of “Muuuuum” in the background when I’m fielding calls, posting orders and kid-wrangling at the same time.

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Where did the idea for your business come from?
It really all began when I had my first daughter (how clich√© is that?!).  After scouring the net for her parties I discovered there was a need for nostalgic party supplies and things that are...well pretty of course!  A friend and I started the search for products we knew other mums would love too and it has just grown from there.

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You have an amazing range of products what would you say is your favourite product?
Oooh this one is a tricky one for me, I find it hard to choose just ONE thing.  I would have to say our Ice It Pretty! Icing Kit.  It gives the average home baker confidence to take their cakes and cupcakes to the next level.  I literally use it every few days.  The jumbo tips make icing a breeze and we include our favourite icing recipe so your creations will taste as good as they look.

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What are your favourite things to bake?
I definitely bake a LOT of cupcakes but I actually really enjoy making pies.  There’s something therapeutic about making pastry I’m sure!My ‘go to’ cake would be a white chocolate mud cake with Italian meringue frosting.  I like to add freeze dried fruit powders to my icings too.  They look good, are natural and taste amazing.
 
What do you most enjoy about your business?
Gosh there are many things I love about The Pretty Baker.  It never feels like work for a start so that’s a bonus.  I find it exciting to watch it grow, I love interacting with my lovely customers – especially when they’re showing me what they created with our products.
It works around my family so I get the best of both worlds really.  I can play ‘Mum’ but have my own ‘work time’ when no one needs peanut butter removed from their hair.

Where do you go for baking inspiration and ideas?
Occasionally I’ll search the web but I’m pretty old school and love a great baking book.  Some of my favourites would be Hummingbird, Cupcakes from the Primrose Bakery, Sprinkle Bakes, The Caker, and Home Baked by the trusty Women’s Weekly of course.  I also love to try out new cafes and bakeries, there are so many talented and crafty people putting their own spin on old favourites.

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You have thrown your fair share of parties , what is your favourite?
Well this is even harder to choose just one!!  I honestly LOVE kids parties, it’s one of my favourite things to do.  Even when I’m stressing about it, the cake is failing and the cookies haven’t been started (we all have those days) I still love it.  Seeing them come together and watching all the kids get really into the theme is just awesome.  It helps too that I have some super talented friends, one of which is a party planner that could create a fabulous theme out of chicken wire and feathers.  It’s a good trade – I bake cakes for her parties and she helps make mine look great!
I think my favourite would be our most recent.  The theme was “School Days” to celebrate our daughter Meg’s fifth birthday.  Lots of The Pretty Baker products came to the party (so to speak) including cute apple picks for the cupcakes.  A bookworm cake, pencil place settings, individual lunch boxes filled with delicious treats and paper planes for the kiddies to throw made it a really fun celebration.  The little guests were thrilled to take home school stationery supplies in our gorgeous treat bags.  (You can check out even more parties here on The Pretty Baker’s blog!)

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Your products add the special touch to events, what are your 3 must have decorations?
Jumbo balloons always make a great visual impact with little effort required.  Tissue fans in matching or clashing colours.  Mini milk bottles for drinks, flowers or straw holders - so versatile!

Do you have a recipe you’d like to share?

Easy Peasy Rhubarb, Strawberry and Apple Pie

Apple rhubarb pie

Ingredients:
8 stalks of rhubarb
1 orange
300g of frozen or fresh strawberries
2 Granny Smith apples
¼ cup of sugar
Freeze dried strawberry powder
Sweet short crust pastry (make your own, or store bought is fine!)

Method:
Preheat oven to 180˚C on fan bake. 
Chop rhubarb into 3 cm chunks.  Peel and chop apples into chunks.  Add all your fruit, sugar and juice of one orange to a small pot and simmer till slightly soft.  Set aside to cool slightly. 
Roll your pastry out between two sheets of baking paper (about 1 cm thick) and place in a 22 cm tart tin.  Blind bake for 10 minutes. 
Fill your pastry case with fruit filling.  Top with second sheet of pastry (or get fancy and create a lattice effect).  Brush the top of your pie with a little melted butter or egg wash and sprinkle sugar and freeze dried strawberry powder on top. 
 
Bake for 25-30 minutes.  Serve with vanilla ice cream, or a dash of cream drizzled on top.

For more information and to keep up to date with The Pretty Baker, check out The Pretty Baker on facebook or their website

Thanks Lisa for answering our questions and all the support you have given us!

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