From drip cakes to macarons…
When we discovered Bake in a Box, it was those pretty cakes that adorned the Instagram page that got us excited about this new business near Croydon.
We had a good chat with the founder, Hannah Scholfield about how Bake in a Box all began and what anyone with a sweet tooth can get their hands on if they were to make an order.
Bake in a box – the name, the cakes; tell us all about it?
I have always been obsessed with food, I started cooking from the age of about 7 years old!
I went travelling last year and when I got home, I was between jobs and I needed something to do with my spare time. I saw Chetna from Great British Bake Off had posted a Ferrero Roche drip cake on Instagram and it looked so divine I just had to try and make it. It was my Grandad’s 80th so I decided to make it for him as a surprise. It was amazing to see how much joy a cake could bring to a group of people – it was that encouragement from family and friends that spurred me on. I then set myself a new baking challenge each week from mastering a cake batter to tackling macarons.
As for the name….Bake in a Box – it was SO hard to think of a name, I wanted something exciting yet simple that could reflect the joy of gifting a cake. It came from jack in a box, I loved the idea of a cake popping out of a box (shout-out to my boyfriend Reece who designed the logo!).
Your Insta page is so pretty and full of gorgeous cakes. What sort of baking goodies is someone able to order from you?
Thank you! People can order a number of delicious baked goods:
- 4 tier cakes fully buttercream’d and decorated
- Macarons (chocolate, vanilla, pistachio, strawberry and coconut)
- Brownies (various flavours)
- Cupcakes (various flavours)
Oh my, that swiss meringue buttercream cake looks unbelievable. What top tips would you give any keen baker who wants to bake at home?
It tastes even better – it’s so light and mousse-like I could eat a whole bowl to myself! My top 4 tips would be:
1) Patience – I couldn’t stress this enough, you need to have A LOT of patience. Especially when trying to get those smooth edges on a round cake.
2) Creativity – When thinking up a flavour combo/cake design try and think outside the box. Do some sketches, have some fun when thinking up new ideas!
3) Tool kit – It goes without saying, you must have the correct tools and make sure you invest in good quality ones. I wouldn’t be able to do anything without my turntable, spatula, pallet knife, side scraper and thermometer!
4) Positivity – Things will go wrong – I’ve had many-a disasters in the kitchen. The only way to overcome the disasters is to learn from them, move on and you’ll become a stronger baker.
We’d love the recipe too, could you share it with us?
Yes of course, here you go:
4 egg whites
400g caster sugar
300g unsalted, softened butter
1 tsb vanilla extract
80g freeze-dried strawberries (blended)
1. Slowly whisk egg whites and sugar in a bowl over a bain-marie of simmering water until all the sugar dissolves, for about 6 minutes (the egg whites pasteurize in this process)
2. Once dissolved, pour the mixture into a stand mixer and whisk on a medium to high speed until the bowl comes to room temperature. This will take about 10 minutes.
3. Once the bowl is cool, gradually add the butter, spoon by spoon, and whisk thoroughly between each addition
4. Whisk in the vanilla and freeze-dried strawberries until incorporated. And….. Voila!
So tell us more about what excites and inspires you when it comes to designing your cakes?
I love the process; from thinking up an idea, making it, seeing the end result and hearing wonderful feedback from clients. The process starts with asking what the clients favourite flavours are and then I come up with an exciting bespoke design for them. I love offering the homemade cake toppers like meringue kisses and macarons as it adds such a special touch to the cake. I try to keep my designs elegant and classy, focusing mainly on pastel colours but also like to keep the element of fun in there!
What are you seeing people constantly calling you up to order?
Macarons are a firm favourite. One person said her boyfriend has an addiction to them!
Right we want you to dish the secrets if you can and tell us what makes a perfect macaroon?
Macarons are most definitely a labour of love. They must have a light crisp outer shell, a soft just-cooked centre and a small rise to give them ‘legs’. I make the buttercream centre using the French method so I don’t waste the yolks!
Now here’s a question, if you could name a person, perhaps it’s a celebrity or a company that you’d want bake in a box to be most like, who would it be and why?
Growing up with food being one of my biggest interests, there are so many chefs/bakers in the industry who have inspired me. Caroline Khoo who runs the Instagram account Nectar & Stone, her work is absolutely flawless – I love how timeless and classy her creations are. One day I hope to be as skilled as her!
Where would like Bake in a Box to go?
My dream is to open a full-time bakery where I can sell all my delicious treats and run classes to teach people how to bake and decorate.
And finally, we can’t possibly end the interview without asking you, what’s your go to sweet treat? It’s okay if it’s one of your own creations 🙂
I absolutely adore tiramisu! And I would never say no to a macaron 😊
If you’d like to find out more about Bake in a Box, get in touch with Hannah via her Instagram page here.
We have teamed up with Hannah to give away two boxes of yummy macarons.
To enter simply head over to our instagram page @croydonfoodies:
- Make sure you are following us
- Following @bakeinabox_
- The hashtag “#Ilovemacarons”
Competition is open to all UK residents and the winner must be able to collect the macarons from Croydon.
A winner will be selected at random. Competition will close on Thursday 29th March. We will contact the winner directly. Good luck!