My Blog

Bramley Apple Cake with Rhubarb & Vanilla Mascarpone

If you’ve had a chance to read my other cake recipe blogs you’ll know me well enough by now to know that I really love using what’s in season wherever I can – so for this Spring I’ve opted for our fantastic Bramley apples, complemented by vibrant forced rhubarb.  These two sharp flavours marry perfectly… Read More »

Christmas Spiced Chocolate Cake with Chocolate & Orange Buttercream

We’re starting to feel the winter chill, a wonderful season change which calls for another recipe!  I wanted to create a nice centrepiece again for you to bake for the Festive Season ahead and this one is a move away from the more traditional bakes, especially for those of you who fancy a change (or… Read More »

The Wedding Industry Awards 2015

Last week I was lucky enough to attend The Wedding Industry Awards as a Regional Finalist for the London & South East Region. Many of my wedding industry friends were there too, unfortunately I wasn’t a winner, but Pete from Falcon Wedding Cars and Jenny from Bellaboo and Beau were both announced as Regional Winners, so… Read More »

One Day Chocolate Course at Sylvia’s Kitchen


Well, today I opened up the doors of Sylvia’s Kitchen in Sussex to four lovely students and what a wonderful day we had with chocolate. Ruby, Clare, Annette and Caroline booked on to this course some time ago (Clare’s was a Mother’s Day present and Ruby’s had been bought by her Dad Peter as a… Read More »

Sticky Salted Toffee Apple Cake

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Sticky Salted Toffee Apple Cake As the seasons change I start thinking about our insulation and hibernation habits again – so here is a delicious and fulfilling cake that I’ve adapted from a Victoria Glass recipe perfect for this time of year, with the addition of grated cooking apples which gives a wonderful moist texture… Read More »

Market Trader for A Day – Stoke Newington, London

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As some of you already know my Dad Phil Hook is in partnership with my brother Stephen Hook and together they trade as Hook and Son, based in Hailsham, East Sussex where they have their organic dairy herd producing raw organic milk, cream, butter, buttermilk, and ghee – well today it was a bit of  Hook… Read More »

Let’s Get Naked!

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Naked” or “un-iced” wedding cakes certainly took off last year and are still proving to be an extremely popular trend this summer to0 – they lend themselves so well to any setting either the rustic, relaxed and unfussy feel of a marquee, barn or village hall setting where they can be set on a beautiful… Read More »

Tropicana meets Neon – A Styled Shoot

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Well I’m absolutely delighted to have been involved in this amazing styled shoot by Jenny Sinclair from Bellaboo and Beau and superb photography from Rebecca Douglas Photography.  The team that Jenny and Rebecca pulled together from across Kent and Sussex really worked well from the outset so huge credit to the venue Chunkez Boating Pool and… Read More »

Rhubarb, Rhubarb, Rhubarb!

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Who has got lots of rhubarb this year? It’s been a fantastic season for it and my wonderful 83 year old neighbour has brought me round several carrier bags full! I have therefore created another recipe to make the most of what is in season and at it’s best and also to have a different… Read More »

Easter Time with Allergies – Gluten & Nut Free Light Fruity Simnel Cake

Gluten & Nut Free Light Fruity Simnel Cake With Easter just around the corner (and hopefully some improved weather too) here is my different take on a very traditional and favourite seasonal recipe, the Simnel Cake.  The Simnel Cake is characteristically a light fruit cake with both a layer of marzipan running through the centre… Read More »

Working with What’s in Season…

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Parsnip Cake with Grapefruit Marmalade & Mascarpone Filling I was keen after the indulgences of the Festive Season (seems ages ago now!)  to not only give you all a recipe with some fruit and veg element but also a recipe that included seasonal ingredients.  One of the loveliest cakes I’ve tasted is a parsnip cake… Read More »

Fluffy Fun – Marshmallows!

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I’m having one of those rare weekends off (I’m usually racing around Sussex and Kent with wedding cakes), but you know, I just can’t stay out of the kitchen.  I suppose I see it that I can fiddle-diddle around when it’s not something I have to make for work, much as I enjoy my work it’s always… Read More »

Sylvia’s Kitchen & HB Ingredients Chocolate Cake Course – Lewes

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Well, what a day Jayne and I have had with our amazing students in Lewes, East Sussex today, we were so proud of them all!  After booking on (some had the course as a present, some just treated themselves) everyone had been looking forward to this special one day course for some time (including me… Read More »

2013 – A Review of my First Year in Business

As promised, here’s a round up of my first year in full time business as Sylvia’s Kitchen – there have been many highs, laughs, new friends, clients and acquaintances – together with a steep learning curve of life in the wedding industry. My lovely friend Clare has had her first baby, so I called upon my teenage… Read More »

A Christmas Couronne

Here is a brand new recipe from Sylvia’s Kitchen – no history here I’m afraid, but a delicious, adaptable recipe that I have developed to create a lovely centre piece, especially for the Festive Season (although it could be adapted for any time of year with seasonal produce).  I’ve opted for the packet all butter… Read More »

Brides The Show Preview VIP Night – Battersea Evolution

I was lucky enough to be invited along to Brides The Show at Battersea Evolution with my very talented cake buddy Sada from Flutterby Bakery. With friends and superb suppliers exhibiting, some from Kent, Sussex and London including Emma Tindley Couture, The Gallivant Hotel, Matt Maurice, Hamish from Eternal Imaging and Emma Drew from Cake Maison.… Read More »

The Blackberry Bushes

Pear, Blackberry & Frangipane Tart Anyone else started their blackberry picking yet?  The cultivated huge ones are all ready for the picking and the wild smaller variety are almost there.  Here’s another fruity recipe from me, this time for the autumn season but it just had to be – foraging some blackberries is great, they’re… Read More »

The Wedding Picnic Parcels

After a long day of sugar roses, I’ve at last got around to a quick blog about the Wedding Picnic I delivered to Bolney on 27th July 2013, ably assisted during the preparation week by my sister, Caroline, and on the day by two of my children, Harry and Millie.   The bride and groom,… Read More »

It’s Summer Berry Time!

Sylvia's Kitchen Summer Berry Roulade

Summer Berry Chocolate Roulade Who doesn’t love a bit of berry picking in the summer? It’s a great afternoon out and so good to bring all that luscious fruit home, ready for a recipe, or just for munching.  We are very lucky to live in the South East with fruit picking farms across East, West… Read More »