The best things in life are sweet

We are very excited to tell you about a local Laidley business who may come in handy for your wedding at Branell Homestead. Baked by Brooke creates delicious masterpieces, with each cake individually designed. One thing we admire is that all of the ingredients are locally sourced and the batter is made from scratch (not a packet mix in sight)! We have been lucky enough to steal a few moments with Brooke to find out more about her business. She has also offered some great tips when choosing your wedding cake, so grab a cuppa (or an ice cold drink in this weather!) and have a read below…

 

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Tell us a little about your business… Baked By Brooke is my home-based business, baking all things sweet, decadent and delicious! I truly enjoy turning the simplest of ingredients into something that makes you say “mmm, yum”, before you know the words have even come out of your mouth. My specialties are mudcakes and cupcakes, made using good old-fashioned recipes – some of which have been in my family for years. I bake with locally sourced ingredients whenever possible and the eggs I use come from the happiest, most free-range chickens you will ever find, from a farm close by in Gatton.

When did you decide cakes were your passion? Baking is something I enjoyed from the time I was old enough to lick the beaters in my Mum’s kitchen! Growing up, there would always be home baked afternoon teas waiting for my siblings and I after school. Mum taught me how to bake in primary school and I’ve adored it ever since! I first tried making a decorative cake when I had no idea what to get my (now) husband for his birthday years ago. He is a photographer, so I made him a cake in the shape of a camera. My “trial” cake worked so well that he got his cake a week early!

What distinguishes you from your competitors? I’ve often been complimented on my cakes not only looking great, but tasting great as well. I’ve heard so many disappointing stories of cakes for special occasions that looked amazing, but were dry or bland to eat, and left on the plate. All my cakes, and buttercreams are made from scratch. Packet mixes and pre-mixes would be quicker, but they taste nothing like the real thing!

Favourite flavour? I have to admit I like cake mixture more than baked cake! It’s a little hard to give out scoops of cake batter at a party though, so when I’m selecting a flavour for my own celebration cakes, I go for cookie dough cheesecake or a mocha mudcake.

A favourite or funny memory from a previous event/client? I recently created a Thomas the Tank Engine cake for a gorgeous little boy’s first birthday. The cake took hours and hours of crafting and assembly and I was really happy with how he looked. I was sent some party photos of the cake after the event… in the final photo there had been a train wreck and Thomas’ face had been bitten off completely by the birthday boy’s older sister! At least I know Thomas was enjoyed 🙂

What advice would you give couple when thinking about a cake for their wedding? Firstly “It’s what’s on the inside that counts”. There are some stunning cakes that look smooth, elegant and classy, that are decorated with fondant icing (that’s the smooth icing you see on many wedding cakes), but do you like the taste of it? Many couples and their guests peel it off and eat just the cake – so why pay for something that you won’t eat?! Consider other styles and designs, too. Secondly, think about how your cake will be transported and stored leading up to your event or wedding. It only takes minutes in a warm car or room for a cake to become a hot mess, so plan ahead and crank the air-con in advance! Finally, I won’t use the line that the secret ingredient in a good cake is love, but you can tell when a cake maker loves what they do, and this shines through in the taste, texture and appearance of your cake.

Now don’t you wish you had a piece of one of Brooke’s cakes to go with your cup of tea! You can contact Brooke via her Facebook page or email. If you want to taste test some of her creations, she has a cupcake stall at the Laidley markets every Friday.

 

The morning of…

It’s the morning of your wedding and you are full of a mix of different emotions – happiness, nervousness, excitement, anticipation and just plain pure joy. There has been so much planning leading up to the day and you have everything in place. If you are a list person you will be in your element because this is the best way to stay on top of everything and get a good nights sleep. Here are a couple of tips to make sure nothing is overlooked. (These are mainly directed at the bride because lets face it, they are the ones who will have the most going on!)

 
Timelines/Schedule
You can never be too organised. You will have lots of people involved who will all need to work together. Make sure you have your hair and makeup finished in plenty of time to get dressed, have your photographer take some photos, enjoy a glass of bubbly and relax. Make sure everyone knows what is going on so they are not having to check in with you every 5 minutes.

  • When you get dressed pre hair and make-up make sure you put on something with a zip or a silk robe (this is the perfect comfy and feminine option). Just make sure it does not need to come off over your head.
  • Check with your hairdresser and make-up artist to see how long they need for each person.
  • The space where you are getting ready needs lots of natural light.
  • Organise for someone to be in charge of deliveries – for example: the flowers and the cake.
  • Take the dresses out of the bags and hang them up. This is especially important for your wedding dress – it needs time to breathe! This will be a great opportunity for your photographer to take some snaps.

Food and Drink
It is important to stay hydrated and also have something in your stomach. EAT BREAKFAST! Smoothies are a great solution which tick both boxes. You definitely don’t want your tummy rumbling in the middle of your ceremony. Make sure you have enough for everyone. Fruit or sandwich platters are a good idea to munch on during the morning and can be easily prepared the evening before. According to stylecraze.com, these are the best fruits for glowing skin: bananas, lemons, oranges, apples and papaya.

Emergency Kit
Expect the unexpected and don’t panic. Think about everything that could go wrong and pack a kit that can fix all of these problems! You could include things like a sewing kit, scissors, tape, tweezers, extra pairs of stockings, mints, lip balm, moisturiser, pain killers, deodorant, spare toothbrush and toothpaste, nail file, safety pins, hairspray, cotton wool balls, straightener and hair dryer.

Relax
Let everyone take care of you. This is the one day you do not have to be thinking about anyone else.

  • Don’t worry about what the groom is doing. You can rest assured his morning will be much less busy than yours! He will most probably be watching TV or sport with his bridal party…
  • Take some music. Create a special playlist for the occasion.
  • Think positive and be yourself.
  • Breathe, laugh and have fun!
We love this selection of photos Just For Love Photography captured of Jade and Sam getting ready for their big day. These photos give the bride and groom an insight to each other’s time before the ceremony and are a wonderful addition to your wedding album. Jade was already on the property at the Homestead, while Sam got ready offsite and arrived at Branell for the ceremony.
~ The Bride ~
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~ The Groom ~

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Branell Site Map

We have a very unique set up at Branell Homestead. It is often very hard to explain the layout of our property over the phone which is why we encourage people to come out for a visit. Situated on 80 picturesque acres of both farming and bushland, the property offers the perfect setting for a quiet weekend away or to celebrate your wedding. We have developed the site map below which will hopefully make things a little clearer.

SiteMap_Property

We have three distinct areas on the property – The Homestead, Pavilion and Luxury Cabins. The Homestead and Pavilion are the hub of activity on the day of an event. Our covered Pavilion overlooks the dam and offers a private space for wedding receptions, corporate event or parties. Our three luxury cabins are located on a hilltop offering spectacular views over the Lockyer Valley. Imagine sitting on the deck with a glass of wine to watch the sun set – we think this is a pretty good way to spend an afternoon!

If you would like to come out for an appointment to get a feel for Branell first hand, you can make a booking via the home page of the website. Or if you would like to talk to one of our professional team, please do not hesitate to call us on 07 5465 1788.

Make sure you look out for following posts over the next couple of weeks, which will provide details on the accommodation floor plans and Pavilion area.

Something for Catering

EVENTS ~ WEDDINGS ~ FESTIVALS

Something for Catering is a Sunshine Coast based business who are taking the event scene by storm. We have been lucky enough to steal a moment with owner/manager Brent Colautti, to tell us a little more about the stylish packages they have to offer.

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Tell us a little about your business:
Something for Catering was born when a group of long time school friends and passionate hospitality professionals came back home to the Sunshine Coast from Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane to create a unique events concept.  We consistently strive to design and offer a range of innovative, beautiful, seasonal and sustainable local food and beverage options. Our catering van which is a 22 ft commercial kitchen and bar, was hand made by ourselves with the intention of bringing restaurant quaility food and beverage to any wedding or event in one stylish, no fuss package.

The team:
Our small, hands-on team includes an events specialist, chef, sommelier and front of house professionals. We work closely with our clients, dedicated to providing a personalised experience.

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When did you decide food and events were your passion?
We all travelled to different parts of the world as soon as we left school and as most people do when they travel, grab whatever job you can. We all, at different times, found ourselves in hospitality and from there on in never looked back. Our events passion started back at home when we returned and had nothing to do. We would always get together with local musicians and operaters to create pop up parties at venues or even car parks. We now run the bar operations for some of the largest festivals in South East Queensland.

What distinguishes you from your competitors:
Definitely our van! It looks so much better than a tent with cooking equipment and it’s self sufficient. We go beyond traditional catering services, using our diverse range of skills, knowledge and experience to provide a unique and memorable occasion for you.

Savoury or sweet:
Savoury but if you through a packet of lollies in front of us at a meeting they would go in seconds!

What is your all time favourite food/dish:
My favourite dish over summer was slow cooked pork belly with watermelon, asian street salad and salsa verde.

A favourite memory from a previous event:
The groom was in the middle of his speech and then all of a sudden pulls out a trumpet and signals to the band behind him to start playing. The groom played the most amazing song walking through the crowd until he found his wife, dipped her and kissed her. As you can imagine all 150 guests went crazy!

What is one piece of advice you would give couples when thinking about catering for their wedding:
Shop around, look for quality and ask a lot of questions. I would also always decrease the guest count and up the spend on food and booze.

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If you are interested in using the expertise of the Something for Catering team for your upcoming wedding, you can get in touch with them via their website, email, Facebook or Instagram (@somethingforcatering).