What's happening

Friday 22nd of September 2017

   Loooooots has happened since the last update of our "What's happening" page ... So let's go back to June shall we? It all started a bit like this ... (grab a chair) 






   And of course with festivals, macarons and cakes in between ... 




   By the end of June, our AK logo went up on the wall of the new building, and we absolutely love the result!!!


   And that of course, stopped the local rumors of who was moving in ... NOT! ...
"Will they have a seating area?"..
"Will they be serving tea and coffee?"..
"Will they do bread?"..
(*All will be answered further down, we're still in June right now)

   July brought us from France, a very special guest we had been expecting for a long time! Armelle's goddaughter (and Princess) Camille. It was her very first time flying over on her own, so for an 11 years old, you can imagine it was a massive adventure! She was our helper in the kitchen for a few days (there was touristy stuff and some shopping to be done too you see) and she was an absolute delight to have around. She learned a lot and practiced her English with local people and customers ;-))

A dirty apron is a sign of hard work!



   Camille went back at the of July (her parents asked for her back ... )
And we did our last wedding cake in our now old shop, before the big move!


   
   First of week of August: measuring, varnishing, painting, levelling tables ... 




   Then on Thursday 3rd of August...
With the help of friends, local people and a trolley ...
We moved ...
Across the road ... 
By foot ...
From "Kilcullen next to Ger's veg shop"..
To "Kilcullen next to Nolans Butchers" ..

Thank you Roy!!!

Thank you Jane ...

New kitchen!!!

   And then of course more cakes ...





   Before we knew it, it was the end of August and time for the Kilcullen River Festival 2017 edition!! We had a fantastic day, and are very grateful for the support and lovely comments on the day ( hard work does pay off then ;-))




   The festival also marks the end of the summer for us, and while kids are going back to school ... guess what .. we were just making more cakes .. 






   September has also brought a very special challenge that I adored: a family tree cake! The pictures speak for themselves: 







So what's next ?!??

   Well, we have promised a special day to celebrate the big move, and that will happen in November. We have to go through Halloween (yaaaayyyy!!!) first and start preparation on the big "C word in December" as people are already enquiring. 
   We are also getting a higher demand for ready to pick up kind of cakes for last minute celebrations, so we are working on a list of entremets and afternoon cakes that will suit all occasions on shorter notice. 







   Finally, we owe a lot of "Thank You" around, which we will do properly when we do our big move celebration day, but in the meanwhile,

  Kenny and I would like say a massive THANK YOU to Jane who has been working with us for over 2 years now and who is simply a little gem for her hard work, dedication, believing in us, and well... just being herself ;-)) *wink wink Jane*

*I guess we owe you the answers to the 3 questions now:
No
Yes to take away eventually 
No, too busy with cakes ;)

Thank you!!! Thank you!!! THANK YOU!!!





















































   

What's happening

Wednesday 7th of June 2017

If you follow us on twitter or facebook, you might already know our big news...


We're moving!!!

And here is where:

   We have out grown the shop where we are now and we simply cannot produce anymore pastries than what we are doing now! Our little kitchen has served us well for the past 7 years though ;-) 
   So we are moving in the fantastic building next to Nolans butchers where we will have much more space! There is also a lot of work to be done to comply with the health & safety regulations... 

Here is our very soon to be new kitchen:



The progress is starting to show... the walls and flooring are done:







   We will keep you updated as progress happens... we're aiming to move for the end of July/start of August... can't waaaiiiiittttt!!!!

Have a sunny week end !!!


What's happening

Saturday 11th of February 2017

It's Valentine's week end!!!

   We are at our usual markets at the week end: St Anne's Park in Clontarf/D3 today Saturday, Herbert Park and Marlay Park in Dublin tomorrow Sunday, and our shop in Kilcullen is open as normal today and on the big day Tuesday of course!! 


We are baking a loooot of macarons so there should be enough for everybody ...
and some special Valentine ones ;-)


We are also doing some red velvet Valentine's cakes:


And lots of other treats!! 
Tartlets, logs, and there's mini cakes in the oven as i'm typing ;-)




Have a lovely and loving week end ;-))






what's happening

Wednesday 21st of December 2016

   Here are our opening hours over the festive season for all your treats and goodies needs:

Tue 20th: 8.30am - 6pm
Wed 21st: 8.30am - 6pm
Thu 22nd: 8.30am - 6pm
Fri 23rd: 8.30am - 6pm
Sat 24th: 8am - 4pm
Sun 25th closed (sleeping)
Mon 26th closed (having turkey and Champagne)
Tue 27th closed (recovering from turkey eating)
Wed 28th closed (recharging batteries)
Thu 29th: 8.30am - 6pm
Fri 30th: 8.30am - 6pm
Sat 31st: 9am - 4pm
Back to normal hours after that ;-)

We wish you all a very Happy Christmas 
and a Prosperous New Year!!!






what's happening

Thursday 1st of December 2016

     On a regular basis, the FSAI ( The Food Safety Authority of Ireland) publishes new guidelines for food businesses to comply with. While in the past couple of years it feels like we have to concentrate more on educating people (allergen lists, calories on menus, warnings regarding some colourings for example) than the actual safety regarding the food we produce, artisans like us do comply with the rules and just get on with it….

The last guideline published came out yesterday… and it has my blood boil …
The food industry is being given definitions for the following words:

§                        Artisan/Artisanal
§                        Farmhouse
§                        Traditional
§                        Natural
The goal is to make sure the consumers are not being misslead by those words when used in the marketing and publicity of food products. Presumably the aim is to stop big factories from using words that don’t apply to their product, and by doing so, protecting the businesses whose product is defined by one or more of those words.
So far so good… couldn’t agree more …

I have, however, a massive problem with the definition of artisan that is being given … here is the official definition:

5.1 Artisan/Artisanal

The terms ‘artisan’ or ‘artisanal’ or similar descriptions using these terms should only be used on foods or in advertising of foods that can legitimately claim to meet all of the following criteria:

1. The food is made in limited quantities(5) by skilled craftspeople(6)
2. The processing method is not fully mechanised and follows a traditional(7) method 3. The food is made in a micro-enterprise(8) at a single location
4. The characteristic ingredient(s)(9) used in the food are grown or produced locally(10), where seasonally available and practical


(5) Limited quantities means total production by the food business operator of less than 1,000 kg or litres of food per week on average over a year (this limit is aligned with the higher limit in other national rules covering an activity which is considered ‘marginal, localised and restricted’ see S.I. No. 168 of 2012 and S.I. No. 340 of 2010).
(6) A skilled craftsperson is someone who has special expertise in making food in a traditional manner (see footnote 7).
(7) Traditional has the meaning defined in Council Regulation 1151/2012 on quality schemes for agricultural products and foodstuffs: “....proven usage on the domestic market for a period that allows transmission between generations; this period is to be at least 30 years;”.
(8) A micro-enterprise is defined as an enterprise which employs fewer than ten persons (or whole time equivalents) and whose annual turnover and/or annual balance sheet total does not exceed EUR 2 million. (Commission Recommendation 2003/361/EC).
(9) Examples of characteristic ingredients are milk in cheese, pork meat in ham, strawberries in strawberry jam, oats in porridge. This is not intended to be a definitive list of characteristic ingredients. As a rule of thumb, the characteristic ingredient(s) are those that would normally require a quantitative ingredient declaration (QUID) under the food information regulations.
(10) Within a 100 km of the manufacturing/food service establishment (this limit is aligned with the sale and supply limit set in other national rules covering an activity which is ‘marginal, localised and restricted’, see S.I. No. 168 of 2012 and S.I. No. 340 of 2010)

     Will it stop big non artisan factories from using that word? Probably … But it will also limit and restrict the real artisans like us, and that’s where the real danger lies in my opinion….Let me explain by taking back the 4 points of the definition:

1    – food made in limited quantities (1000kg or ltr per week max): why limit the quantity of what an artisan can produce???? Surely there’s no limit, the artisan just trains more people as demand grows!
      –  a skilled craftsperson: artisan or not, everybody is skilled in the position they work at I would have guessed …
        traditional manner: here they are telling us that you can’t create a new product or it won’t be “artisan”

2 – traditional method: same as previously, this limits the creation of new products …

3 – micro enterprise: they don’t want the artisan to develop too big. By restricting quantities and turnover, there’s a clear risk of prices going up for the consumer as an artisan won’t want to go over the threshold to remain in the artisan category. The only way then to keep on increasing the turnover is to increase prices, very unhealthy way of doing business in my opinion…
   - single location: I don’t see how the location affects an artisanal product. That’s just more restrictive nonsense… When we had our shop in Dalkey, we had a lovely young Lady working in the shop who we regularly asked to do trays of sugar flowers. I would then bring those back to Kilcullen. That didn’t make our cakes any less artisanal …

4 – ingredients used grown or produced locally: this is going to be the most controversial bit here … they are touching on a complete different subject!!! One simple and straight forward example: you will never have an artisan mince pie in Ireland if you follow their logic: we don’t grow raisins, sultanas, oranges, lemons … The core ingredient of our macarons is ground almonds: Ireland doesn’t produce almonds …. See the problem ?!??



One final thought:

The fact that artisans make products by hand is completely left out of the definition, and the “art” bit of artisan is completely ignored …

Signed: a very angry artisan
Armelle



What's happening

Thursday 10th of November 2016

     Well the past couple of months have been full of events, as always ...

   September started with the (then) temporary closure of the Tramyard restaurant in Dalkey while they were carrying some work to comply with their latest court battle. While we stayed open in waiting of the next developments, the footfall dropped as expected, and we ended up serving coffee to try to attract more people down the alley.  Then the hammer came down before Halloween week end when the court ordered the Tramyard site to be closed from the following Friday... So we were left with no choice but to pack our cake stands and close the door sadly... There has been a lot of rumours going around since the start of September, adding to what was already a complicated and long going situation. 
     We can only thank Dave and Evelyn to have welcomed us within their Tramyard family for the short few months we were with them in Dalkey, and cannot speak highly enough of their dedication and hard work. A page is turned however, and even though it is not our wrong doing, we had to shut a shop that we thought was going to do very well in the future. We also wish Dave & co the very best in the months to come.
     But we are strong cookies!!! While it is a set back it's not the end of our baking world!!! It's business, and if it was easy everybody would do it .... We will start to look for possible premises for a 2nd shop in the new year.
     We have started to look at joining a second market on Sundays and maybe another lunch time one during the week, so we are concentrating on that for the time being. 

So we are hiring!!! 
Please spread the word and get in touch if you or someone you know might be interested:

click to enlarge

     We haven't had much time to breathe with all that *as always anyway*, and were grateful to have some fantastic orders to fulfill,here are some of our favourites:


Croquembouche!!!


Giant purple macaron ...


Black Forest "a la Armelle's Kitchen"


layered genoises with raspberry & vanilla buttercreams ...


Cake pop fun ;-)


These were a lot of fun to make :-))

And I'll leave you with these since you know ...
The big "C" is already next month and I've updated the page ... 
(PS: we made those a couple of weeks ago for a corporate event, 
it's starting early this year!!!)



Be happy and keep baking =^.^=