For a while after finishing Vintage Cakes, I suffered definite cake-fatigue. The book contains more than ninety recipes and I made every single cake you see in the book. Each shoot required nine or ten cakes to be ready to photograph (no baking on the day, too much else to do), so the run-up to each one was full of shopping, testing, experimenting, making, icing, decorating, finishing. I've never bought so much butter, sugar and flour in my life, and I got through dozens and dozens of eggs, gallons of cream, catering size bags of icing sugar, many jars of jam, and inordinate amounts of glacé cherries and dried fruit.
There were plenty of disasters (one Angel Food cake which looked great when it came out of the oven sank horribly and ended up looking like a deflated rubber ring), but also plenty of successes and new discoveries. Phoebe was my helper (but she couldn't come to the photshoots because of school), recipe-tester, decorator, and calming influence. She also knew what to do with all the leftover cake. She put it in tins and bags and took it on the coach to school. The coach has about four times as many boys as girls, and the boys were brilliant cake-eaters, although the girls at school also did their fair share to help out. I kept getting messages via Phoebe about who liked what best - and it was often surprising; one boy loved the French madeleines, while Phoebe surprised herself by liking the parsnip cake.
For several months after finishing the book, I craved savoury, salty, spicy food, and couldn't face cakey, spongey treats. But now I'm over the cake-fatigue and I'm starting to think about baking again. Today, I just fancied making something small and tasty so I looked through a few books for ideas, before realising that all the recipes I like are in my own book. So Alice and I made raspberry friands (page 108) - sweet, damp, almondy cakes which will not be going on the coach tomorrow.