February 2015 brought a visit by one of our own – Claire Kemp and voting for our 2015 charity. As always we started the night with this month’s WI business. We really are busy ladies with more activities than ever – we have nearly every base covered: You can gorge on tasty food with SHWI Eats, then burn off the calories with SHWI Runners and the SHWI Slimming group, whilst keeping busy with SHWI Mad Skills, SHWI Crafts, SHWI Cine-Club, SHWI at Night and SHWI Mummies! And now, with a SHWI night out in the diary, we can even get our groove on. Anyway, back to business …
Our wonderful Fundraising and Campaigns Officer, Sarah Willoughby, introduced the charity voting process. We had 5 truly deserving charities to choose from this year put forward by our members. But the winner was The Sheena Amos Youth Trust (SAYiT), an independent young people’s charity based in Sheffield that provide support, information and opportunities for young people aged up to 25 who are lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender (LGBT) or who are affected by HIV. Now onto the cake…
Claire kicked off the evening by explaining how she became a cake queen. Originally from an architecture and design background, Claire created her cake empire to combine her passion for baking with her professional design skills and artistic flair.
She launched Claire Kemp Cake Studio, in 2011, with a 1:100 scale cake of The University of Sheffield’s Arts Tower building that was almost 80cm high. Her bakes are extraordinary, not only are they very pretty but they are mini feats of engineering.
Claire gave us a demo of her exquisitely smooth icing skills – divulging a few secrets along the way. So what did we learn? Claires’ top tips included: · Use icing sugar to roll out icing, but only on the underside. DO NOT flip over the icing (like one would with dough). · Avoid wooden rolling pins. · Always roll forward (rolling backwards creates air bubbles). · Grey icing is surprising gorgeous!
I was really impressed with Claire’s cakes and will definitely be trying out her tips – I hope everyone else found it just as informative as I did! Next month we have jewellery-making with another one of our wonderful members – Lauren from Bobbins & Buttons (extra materials charge of £2 per member, and the start of our fundraising for SAYiT … see you there!
Alice Bullas Commitee member
P.S A big thank you to The Broadfield for donating voucher for a pie & a pint for our raffle.