Before our European wanders we were lucky enough to catch up with cake extraordinaire and all time mega babe Francesca McConchie, Queen of the kitchen & founder of Cake of Dreams. Believeing there is nothing sadder than a souless, tasteless cake she set to create towering, cherry topped, creamy, dreamy creations that exist in your childhood imaginations. And she does it time and time again with more glitter cherries, dripping caramel, budding blooms and piped icing than you could ever have thought existed. So here's to gorging ourselves on cake and cream this winter..... and as if made of magic her creations taste just as wonderous as you would expect!
Give us the low down on 'Cake of Dreams'/ I initially started making cakes for friends because there seemed to be a real gap in the market for cakes that looked and tasted as wonderful as I felt they should. I love birthdays and celebrations and felt like that magical childhood birthday cake element was often missing, replaced by gross supermarket sponges or a restaurant pudding with a candle in. I wanted cakes that looked like they came straight from childhood fantasies, the kind of thing you would see in a book illustration as a kid and almost taste.
What is your background and how did you get here?/ I have always loved to cook, to bake, to host, to party. I spent my 20s in extremely dull desk jobs agonising over the fact that I had no idea what I wanted to do, or be. I just knew I wanted to do something creative, and something that would make people happier. I really fell into doing cakes by accident - I was doing them for fun/as a creative outlet for friends’ birthdays and as I got better/made more people who attended the parties started to enquire about commissioning them. Once I had two kids I realised I could make as much from doing just a few cakes as I could working my dull desk job and paying for childcare, so I took a leap of faith and the orders came flooding in straight away. Looking back it’s funny that this job totally reflects what I wanted out of a career all along.
What is your ultimate inspiration?/ My amazing troupe of creative, supportive friends who do such an array of incredible things, and absolutely keep me going. My grandmothers for instilling a love of baking and sharing love through food. My childhood adventures across America. My children for their generosity, enthusiasm, wonder and magical imaginations. And always always music, Bowie can cure any inspiration drought.
What is your mantra?/ Be brave. Be kind. Stay up late!
What piece of jewellery can you not live without?/ My wedding ring made for me by one of my all time best friends Christopher Thompson Royds, who fortunately for me makes the most gorgeous jewellery.
What is the most thought provoking thing that you saw/heard/read in the last week?/ y son wrote a letter to Theresa May asking her to let the refugee children of Calais jungle come to England. - see it here >>
They know about what is going on as we have been to a couple of the marches in London. It’s so amazing to see how baffled children are by this, they immediately just want to help and for people to be happy and safe. My four year old daughter immediately said “I know, let’s take some - no, almost all - of our food at home, and put it in a box, and send it to them. And then they won’t be hungry anymore.” We go on about teaching children to share but it comes naturally to them. Getting older makes us greedy!
What Songs do you have on repeat at the moment?/
Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds - Rings of Saturn - Listen here >>
Kishi Bashi - Carry on Phenomenon - Listen here >>
Gabriel Bruce - Come All Sufferers - Listen here >>