For July’s Twilight hour we went for floral cocktails with Sammi-Jo Gascoyne who not only created the delectable cakes for Helen’s wedding but used to be Head Chef at none other Peggy Porschen.
How did you get into baking?
I had a place to do fine art at Falmouth university and realised my heart wasn’t in it. I have always been creative but just couldn’t find my canvas. I went to work as a waitress and kept asking them to let me into the kitchen when one day they finally did and I loved it. I quickly realised that I had a fair for sweet treats and baking. I moved to London and landed a job as a Pastry Chef working for Michel Roux Jr at Le Gavroche. I then enrolled on a Patisserie Course at Le Cordon Bleu to obtain some formal training. Following that, I started working as a Baker at Peggy Porschen, and eventually worked my way up to become the Head chef. Peggy is a total perfectionist and I learn a lot of my attention to detail while I was there. When I left there I started up Blushing Cook and haven’t looked back, that was 4 years ago now.
You use edible flowers a lot in your work – are there many flowers you can eat?
There are so many! Many of them can actually be found in your own garden although I use Maddocks Farm Organics Edible Flowers as I know they aren’t sprayed and are the very best quality.
Which edible flowers are commonly found in our gardens?
Pansies, lavender, rose, cornflowers, dahlias, there are loads of leaves and herbs. You can find a list here.
You use a lot of pressed flowers in your work, do you press them all yourself and do you have any tips?
I press them all myself but it’s been a long process of trial and error. My main piece of advice would be to go for colourful flowers and ones with interesting markings.
Where do you get your inspiration from?
I get inspiration from all around me. My original pressed flower designs were inspired by a Liberty print fabric. I like anything natural. I am inspired by art and ceramics and I love prints.
Helen’s cake table looked incredible, what cakes did she have?
She had mini Victoria sponges with fresh flowers, shortbread with edible pressed flowers and then a two tier cake with Italian meringue buttercream. The top layer was lemon and passionfruit and the bottom layer was raspberry!