Little Black Book: Milk Street Kitchen
That's right, it's time for another edition of Little Black Book. This week we're talking to Ellie, the baker behind Milk Street Kitchen, purveyor of delicious cakes. We're working with Ellie on a wedding next year so we thought now was the perfect time for us to get to know each other a bit better, so Ellie tell us a little bit about yourself...
Hello. I’m Ellie and I run Milk Street Kitchen, a wedding cake bakery based in the Surrey Hills. Running my own cake design business is something of a dream come true for me after I made the move from a career in PR to pursue my goal of studying patisserie at the world famous Cordon Bleu school. When I’m not in the kitchen I can usually be found hanging out with my baby daughter Adelaide who was born earlier this year.
Why did you start making wedding cakes?
The very first wedding cake I was asked to make was for my sister and her husband, which was really special. It was actually doing that cake that gave me the final push to pursue patisserie as a career. Whilst starting out as a pastry chef I began making wedding cakes for friends, I loved it and word began to spread. It’s fantastic getting to know couples at such a special time in their lives, hearing all about their plans and working with them to create something special for their big day.
How would you describe your style of cakes?
My cakes are inspired by the flavours that fill them and the beautiful details of each wedding. I specialise in contemporary styles of cakes, such as naked cakes and those covered in lashings of luxurious swiss meringue buttercream, as well as simple and modern iced numbers. I love to use natural decorations as much as possible, from blousy roses and seasonal fruits, to fresh herbs and sweet treats such as meringue kisses and macarons.
How do you come up with flavours for sponges and fillings and what are your favourites?
One of my favourite jobs is concocting new and interesting flavours. I try to give classic combinations a fresh twist and I look for inspiration in seasonal ingredients, from bursting summer berries to tasty autumnal fruits and warming winter spices. Each year I develop a new menu of flavours but I also love working with couples to create something bespoke for their wedding.
My favourites are the raspberry and white chocolate cake which is one of the most popular, the zingy and fresh lemon and blueberry cake and when I’m in need of a chocolate fix, it's got to be chocolate and hazelnut praline.
What's your favourite part of the cake making process?
That’s a really tough question! I love the alchemy of baking the perfect sponge and the magic of making jams and curds, but it’s hard to beat the final set up of the cake on the day of the wedding. It’s lovely to see the cake I have designed brought to life and finished with all the final details. I love to see how the cake fits in with all the other personal details the couple has chosen and imagine them cutting it later on in front of all their friends and family.
What advice would you give to a couple who aren't sure what kind of wedding cake to have?
There are so many options for wedding cakes it can be a bit daunting, but equally there is lots of inspiration out there to whet your appetite, so spend time looking at different styles in magazines or on Pinterest and Instagram to narrow down the styles you like.
Finding a supplier you trust is also so important. Even if you’re not sure exactly what you’re looking for, your cake designer will be able to give you plenty of ideas once they hear a little about your wedding plans. Most importantly, get tasting! Most bakers will give you the opportunity to sample a selection of flavours without obligation so you can make sure you have an utterly delicious cake to look forward to on your wedding day!