Serving Suggestions

I love The Candle Kitchen’s cake candles, and, it seems, so do you.  They are still our most popular line.

However, I’m the first to admit that the natural beeswax colour lends itself more easily to the chocolate, caramel, hazelnut, ginger and coffee end of the icing colour spectrum.  What if a certain birthday someone loves strawberries, pink icing or marshmallows?  Maybe they hanker after a cake that resembles a football, a unicorn or a beluga whale?  Birthdays are days for getting what you want with a cherry on the top.

So I’m now making cake candles with white beeswax.  Nothing added, just the colour taken out, they still have that long burn and mildly honey-like scent, and they look great on a wide range of celebratory cakes.

Fairy cakes with white beeswax candles

Psst… a little secret here, one of our trade customers is currently trialling our first batch of mixed coloured cake candles.  Ask me, and I’ll let you know where in the UK they are.  Ask really nicely, and I’ll pop some of the left-over pink ones in your box when you order.  (While stocks left-over pink ones last).

The flowers on the fairy cakes above were made with sliced marshmallows (lightly oil your knife first) dipped into coloured sugar.*

White beeswax cake candles on a cake

*recipe from Betty Crocker


Let Them Eat Only the Very Best Cake

I’m about to reveal the secret ingredient that will make every cake taste better. It works even if you aren’t the person who baked it. Even if it resulted from a packet mix, an ill-advised experiment or a six-year-old’s messy afternoon; from a hand-whipped, double-choc, mocha sponge to a gluten-free, paleo friend of the villi, you can make any cake more delicious.

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The secret is candles. A study published in Psychological Sciences in 2013 concluded that the ritual of making a wish, singing and blowing out candles has a significant impact on how the taste of cake is perceived. In short, rituals make food taste better.

I’m a fan of traditions and rituals. Not so much the televised self-important kind, but the smaller ones, the ones that knit up the fabric of our lives and mark the seasons and staging posts. They recognise and build connections between people and it warms my cockles that so many of you have lit up birthdays with my candles. They were The Candle Kitchen’s best-selling product last year, so thank you.

The candles in the study were made from paraffin wax, mass-produced in large machinery and shipped from China to the US. If they can make a cake taste better then just imagine what hand-dipped cake candles, made from beeswax molten with renewable energy, could do.

Slice of cake and cake candles

Just one more thing, the study said that to get the full benefit you really need to take part yourself.  So if you’re not blowing and wishing then sing. Or if singing doesn’t bring you joy, do a little dance or something, find a way to join in and get everyone else to join in too.  You’ll be rewarded with fabulously tasting cake.

Gifts for Friends: Is it the thought that counts?

Many Decembers ago, as I was visiting a busy friend, a horrified look came over her face and she told me she’d forgotten to buy me a Christmas present. We were in her kitchen at the time and she was making preparations for a Christmas dinner she was going to cook for 26 people. No, you didn’t read that wrong, it actually was 26 people. A few hours later, she presented me with a wrapped gift that turned out to be A Daily Calendar of Calm. I think someone had tried to give her calm for Christmas and had failed, but she pulled off a wonderful Christmas dinner with it in short supply.

Aside from the usefulness of having a neutral, wrapped gift tucked away for the kind of emergencies that happen to us all, what struck me about this event is how often what we give a friend is bath oil, a bracelet or a scarf. And what we’d really like to give her are more hours in the day, an appreciative boss and the ability to love her thighs.

Gifts for Friends

One birthday, I watched a hostess unwrap the books, Women Who Love Too Much, Loving Him Without Losing Yourself, and Men Who Hate the Woman Who Love Them in succession. Each gift had been from a different guest and there was a small silence before someone’s partner said:

“Hmm, I think there’s a theme developing here..”

Then there was another small silence before the birthday lady was simultaneously offered more white wine, a filo spinach roll and a non-book shaped gift that turned out to be a rather attractive teapot. The thought can be loud and clear but there are times in our lives we’d rather have the teapot. And the wine.

So I’m not someone who thinks it’s only the thought that counts.  I’d like it to be both. The thought that says, I know you, I value you, and the carefully wrapped, handmade original things of beauty that we’d never have found or bought for ourselves.  Something that carries that thought and communicates it every time we use it.

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In the spirit of offering both the loving wishes and an original object of beauty, I highly recommend these candles.  They each have meaning and are embedded with semi-precious stones. My customers have been reporting back that recipients are delighted by them and there are few things more delightful than delighting a friend.

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Just this weekend, you can get 20% off crystal cubes

by using the order code GIFT15.

Offer ends: 7pm on 07/12/15.