Today we welcome Jenni and her super awesome bakery Two Little Cats to Design Splat!
Hey Jenni! You’re the first ever food designer we’ve had on Design Splat so, get the readers started and tell us a bit about what you do:
Hello! Two Little Cats Bakery provide custom made goodies for any occasion! We do cakes, cupcakes, cookies and more for any event that you may have, or simply because you fancy something yummy.
How did you get into baking and designing these beautiful creations?
I always have fond memories of baking with my mum as a child, but when I went to University any form of cooking/baking went straight down the list of my priorities! During a year off after graduation, my boyfriend bought me a really cute cupcake stand as a present, so I wanted to make something for him to put on it. I was ridiculously proud of them at the time – lemon cupcakes with frosting and a shop-bought daisy, but now when I see the picture I smile. They tasted lush but definitely were lacking on the presentation front!! Everyone starts somewhere though hey?! I took some classes to give me some of the decorating skills, put some photos on Facebook and that was that!!
Where do you get inspiration for your designs?
So many different places!!! Nature, science, fashion and different fabrics, books, and of course other cake makers are an incredible source of inspiration. I have never replicated another bakers design though – I think it’s so important to put your own twist on things.
How do you go about keeping the ideas fresh and original for your cupcakes/cakes/cookies?
Mostly by trying out different methods and techniques, and always being curious as to whether something might work.
Have there been any outrageous design requests from customers?
Not so much from customers, but I have come up with a collection for a fantastic Halloween event this year. It’s based in the pathology museum in London, so everything will be anatomically correct. I’m not a massive one for gore, so I went with Microbiology – the collection is based on the appearance of venereal diseases under the microscope! As much as I love a vanilla sponge with jam and buttercream, and it certainly has its place, I do love to get involved with things that are a bit different and unexpected!
Do you have any specific qualifications in baking or did you jump straight in and get stuck in?
No qualifications at all! My background is in Law and Economics so everything I do is from creativity and practice! I still like to attend to courses every now and then to teach myself something completely new though – I never want to stop learning and bettering what I do.
I see you have recently added cookies to your ever growing collection of goodies! Is there anything you can tell us about other things you’d like to add?!
Yes! The cookies are so much fun and so adaptable. I love them. They can literally be made in any shape, in any colour, for any excuse, and always go down well with any age. I’ll be expanding my wedding collections later this year, and looking at starting to do items such as cheesecakes in yummy flavours too – perfect for those that don’t like the traditional sponge and icing.
Where do you see yourself and Two Little Cats in 5 years?
I work full time alongside Two Little Cats, so I’d like to get the business to a stage where it can be my sole income. I’d like to be doing a lot more weddings too, I really like the creativity and originality of wedding cakes these days. It’s come a long way since fruit cake and royal icing!
What’s the dream ambition?
A little shop/café with loads of yummy goodies, and a studio for design consultations! I love the bespoke part of what I do and will never get rid of that.
Does fame attract you?
I think what attracts me more is the recognition of my business, as opposed to me personally. I’d like Two Little Cats to be known for its quality and creativity, as opposed to my own name being known.
Who would you most like to see eating one of your cupcakes?
Sounds pretty corny, but my Nan and Grandma – they were both very traditional ladies, who died when I was very young. One of my earliest memories of baking is that my Nan always made us Welsh cakes whenever we would visit. I think they’d both be pretty proud of what I make.
Three words to describe yourself?
Ambitious, creative, fluffy
Three words to describe Two Little Cats?
Bespoke, delicious, personal
Hobbies and Interests?
Baking genuinely is a main one. I absolutely love what I do – you would have to to put up with the crazy late nights sometimes. I love going on random days out too, and I absolutely love the beach!!! Have an idea for a sea shell /starfish collection which I really want to do – just have to find the time!
Have there been any cake disasters along the way?
Not so much disasters – I think it’s only a disaster if you can’t learn from it, and I always try to salvage something from any mistakes (and there have certainly been a few of those!) Hmmm….having said that, dropping a cake on the floor after spending 3 hours on it definitely felt like a big disaster.
Which has been your favourite cake to make to date?
That’s a really tough one to call as they’re all so different – and whenever I make a cake it always becomes my favourite – until the next one! I really loved doing the painted cake, as it is so delicate – I’d love to do a tiered version of it one day. I also love doing the chocolate cakes with strawberries – they have about 2kg of chocolate in and on them, and a whole punnet of strawberries – pure indulgence!
Any tips or advice to share with aspiring food designers?
There’s not much which hasn’t been done yet, so always add your own twist to a design. Be creative, with flavours and decorations, and if you have an idea just go for it! It might not work, but it could turn out to be the most yummy thing ever!