Who likes Haliberry cakes? Here at Soroptimist East London, we do! We’re impressed by Haliberry cakes and by Halimot, who bakes them. So, we’re introducing Haliberry Cakes to you!
We asked Halimot to tell us about her journey to set up a baking and catering business in east London, her cakes and what she’s doing now. This is her blog.
Who is Haliberry Cakes?
Hi! I am Halimot and I run Haliberry Cakes and Catering based in east London. I also run on-line baking classes. I love cooking. When people enjoy eating my cakes or food, I feel really happy.
How did I get into baking and catering?
You might wonder how I got into baking and catering. The answer is: it’s been a long, long journey. When I was young I wanted to be a doctor. I never imagined that I’d be running a baking and catering service.
I don’t like talking about the past because I experienced a lot of adversity and pain. In 2015 I reached a really low point. Then unexpectedly, I met the first person I trusted and could tell my story – a doctor. On that day my journey to setting up Haliberry Cakes and Catering started.
The first big step in my journey happened when I met the great people at Ella’s Home. They put me in contact with the Luminary Bakery where I started training in baking and business skills. At the beginning, I felt worthless. I didn’t think I’d be running my own business. But at Luminary I was able to grow and develop. I felt like a seed in fertile soil growing into something beautiful. My passion for cooking flourished and I developed entrepreneurial skills.
Finally in 2017, with a loan and support from Ella’s Home plus some crowdfunding I was able to raise a little money to buy equipment. Finally, I set up in business as Haliberry Cakes and Catering.
You can learn more about my personal journey by watching the video featured here in Insider or reading this article in Vogue magazine.
What’s special about Halibery cakes?
So, what’s special about Haliberry cakes? My customers say that they taste delicious and look beautiful. I make a whole range of different cakes including gluten-free, dairy free, nut free and vegan. I’m especially known for my bespoke cakes which are made fresh to order and personalised for each customer.
All of my cakes are made with great ingredients and a lot of love, care and attention. The most popular cake is lemon and coconut. But I’m always learning and trying out new recipes! I love brownies – and I’ve put my personal brownie recipe at the end of this blog.
I have so much excitement for cake decoration and love making something special for a special day. I especially enjoy making bespoke cakes. I bake and decorate each one differently for each customer. I love getting the wow factor!
For example, if a customer wants to buy a cake for their mum’s birthday, I ask lots of questions about the mum. I could ask what movies she likes, what dreams she has. I want to know all about her so that I can come up with something she’ll love.
I get my decoration ideas from all sorts of places. So I carry a notebook with me to make sketches of things I see which might turn into a cake design!
Has Haliberry been affected by covid?
We have been baking cakes right throughout the covid crisis! We arrange for them to be delivered safely directly to customers if its local or for them to be picked up.
But, the business is only 3 years old, so yes Haliberry has been affected by covid. For example, normally we cater for parties and events, but right now with covid meeting restrictions that is challenging.
Are you running online baking classes?
During the covid crisis we started running online baking classes via zoom. So, you can try baking a Haliberry cake yourself at home. You can cook along with me and the other students or just watch and ask questions. The online class on Friday afternoons is really popular (more may be coming) and I’d love for more people to join. If you’re interested, email Haliberry2016@gmail.com or telephone 07933196797.
We make sure that the classes are affordable and good value. Once you’ve signed up, a few days before the class you’ll be sent a list of all the ingredients and equipment which you’ll need. This means you have time to prepare for baking day!
What’s the future for Haliberry?
In the future I’d love to be able to provide employment opportunities for other women who had a difficult start in life. Already I volunteer to give baking classes to women victims of trafficking with Ella’s Home and I’m hoping to give an online class to The Ideas Partnership Girls Club in Kosovo.
It’s been an amazing journey. Along the way I’ve been helped by great organisations like Ella’s Home and Luminary. I’ve even had the opportunity to meet Meghan Markle (you can see what happened in this video in The Telegraph and the website What Meghan Wore ), be featured in Vogue and other magazines as well as being interviewed on TV.
Soroptimist East London have helped me on my way. Members are really supportive and keen to empower budding women entrepreneurs – like me!
Would you like to learn more?
To find out about ordering a cake or attending a Haliberry baking class, get in touch with Halimot by email Haliberry2016@gmail.com or telephone 07933196797.
You can follow Haliberry on social media: instagram “haliberrycake” and Facebook and check out her website Haliberry Cakes & Catering too.
You can learn about the harsher side of Halimot’s history and her amazing journey to freedom in Artefact magazine or The World.
Interested in Soroptimist East London?
New members are always welcome to join our friendly club, so, if you’re interested to join, or just find out more about Soroptimist East London get in touch.
And, to stay up to date with our latest news and events, follow us on twitter or like us on facebook!
Here is Halimot’s brownie recipe. It’s easy and can be made as vegan or non-vegan.
- 90 g plain flour or 85g almond flour or 85g oat flour
- 200g caster sugar
- 200g butter or dairy free spread (we really like Vitalite)
- 3 eggs or 150g/150ml soya milk
- 45g cocoa powder
- 200g dark chocolate (remember to check the ingredients if you are making a vegan version since dark chocolate often has a small amount of milk in it)
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- ½ tsp salt
Equipment: Spatula, Bowl, Scales, Whisk, Rectangular baking tray or a foil tray.
- Turn on oven: 160 fan oven otherwise 180 (gas mark 4)
- Line your baking tray with greaseproof paper
- Mix together the egg and sugar or the soya milk and sugar and add the vanilla extract
- Melt the butter and the chocolate in a microwave for about 3 minutes, depending on your microwave power. You can also use a bain marie if you don’t have a microwave (if using the bain marie method place the butter and chocolate in a bowl and “sit” the bowl over a pan of boiled water until the butter and chocolate melt).
- Stir together the melted chocolate and butter and then add to the egg or soya mixture.
- Sieve the flour into the mixture and whisk together until fully combined into a smooth runny batter.
- Pour the batter into the lined baking tray.
- Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, or until firm in the middle and a knife comes out clean.
- Leave to cool and then cut into squares.