Guess who's back, back again...

So I think this is about the third time I've made a return to blogging after a long hiatus now. I really thought I'd thrown in the blogging towel this time, but I've been tempted back yet again. This time I'm planning on changing things up on here, and am currently fiddling about with themes and planning on changing the name of the blog. The main thing I want to do is write about what I've made in the kitchen, for the sole purpose of my own enjoyment, so I want to get the ball rolling with posting otherwise I'll get bored with fiddling about and give up before I've even started!

I was thinking of closing this blog entirely and starting again, but I didn't really want to lose my old posts and so I'm just going to carry on where I left off. As I can't bear to miss anything out, I'm therefore going to post a quick round up of what I've been making during the past couple of years. Not much detail, I'm lucky that I can remember mostly wha…

Coffee and Cardamom cake with Pistachio cream

This is one of those cakes that I want to make again immediately after looking back through the pictures.I just don't think the pictures really do it justice - it's such a humble looking cake but packs a big punch of flavour.

It ticked all the boxes for me so was bookmarked as soon as I saw it in BBC Good Food - coffee, cardamon, pistachio, no fuss decoration. Oh yeah.

I absolutely love cardamom in cakes after making the Hummingbird's Cardamom loaf cake for a Cake Club a few years back - I do have a slight hesitation when sharing it as I overheard a comment at the meeting about it 'tasting like curry' which rings in my ears to this day, but I love it anyway. I took this into work and even had to note it in the obligatory 'there's cake in the kitchen' email I sent to try and pre-empt comments!

The flavours all work really well together, and it was nice to have the contrast of the warming flavours of coffee and cardamom with the fresh cream of the fillin…

Bloodied brain cake

Not a very seasonally appropriate bake, unless you like your Valentine's Day filled with blood and gore!

I like to make something Halloweeny every year, and this was 2014's effort. To my utter horror when I started to write this a few days ago, I realised that I didn't note down anything at all about what recipe I used for the cake! However, as luck would have it, I was sorting through my recipe binder today and I found some notes I had made for it scribbled on the back of another recipe - hurrah!

It was inspired by Lily Vanilli's brain cupcakes but I wanted to make a giant version! The cake itself was Rachel Allen's hedgehog cake but with the cocoa powder omitted. Before pouring the mixture into the prepared bowl, I spooned out 6 tablespoons and coloured it pink, swirling it back in with the main mixture before baking.

I used the buttercream from the Lily Vanilli recipe, and used the 2A nozzle instaed of the No. 10 due to it being a bigger cake. For the blood, I ju…

2014-2016... the lost bakes

So after boldly claiming I'd hardly baked anything over the past year or so, I've just been through my phone pictures and found plenty of evidence to the contrary. Sadly (or not, in some cases), these are all bakes that never got the full photo session treatment for one reason or another, and some of them I don't even remember making!

In the interests of completeness I am therefore posting this random selection of poor quality phone pictures plus scant notes of what on earth they were for and why.

Most annoyingly, one of my favourite cakes that I KNOW I made over the last year was the Salted Caramel Bonfire bundt (recipe here from Kat the Baking Explorer)... I made this at a family Bonfire gathering and it went down very well along with a generous glug of custard. I can't believe I didn't at least get a phone snap! Gutted. Ah well, excuse to make it again this year...

1.  7th September 2014: unidentified loaf cake. Presumably for Mike's Dad's birthday, goin…

Pinata cake

Only very occasionally can I make a cake that I can stand back, admire, not pick any faults and on the whole just feel really proud of myself. Mike's sister's birthday cake of 2014 was one of those cakes. I usually try to think of something vaguely novelty for Louise, but the previous year's ginormous Rice Krispie cake was going to take some topping. I'm not sure I quite managed it - or ever will! - but I was certainly pleased with what I created.

I'd seen a few 'surprise inside' cakes doing the rounds and so decided to make a Pinata cake. At first I got carried away by googling images of complicated donkey type Pinatas but quickly decided to keep it simple and just make a normal cake with Pinata inspired decoration... I like to think of it as a 'stealth Pinata' as it just looked like a normal cake from the outside.

The cake itself was just good old vanilla sponge - I used this Pink Whisk recipe for the sponges and instructions for hollowing out th…

Percy Pig bundt cake

This was the cake that I made for a friend's birthday last year. Alex is more of a sweets person than chocolate or cake, but the law is that you have cake for your birthday, so I attempted to combine the two here.

And what better sweets are there than the Percy Pigs from Marks and Spencer? Although I must admit that I am more partial to a Phizzy Pig tails than a 'standard' Percy Pig... I prefer my sweets sour and fizzy - I'm definitely more of a Tangfastics rather than Star Mix kinda girl!

Dolly Bakes had fiendishly turned the Percy Pig into cake form, so I used her recipe, which is available on her blog here. I even shameless copied the decoration - why mess with something that looks so good?!

Unfortunately I didn't get any pictures of the lovely swirly inside. But this was a very good cake - as all Dolly Bakes bundts are, I've yet to make a bad one (or even an average one!).

Salted caramel cupcakes

It's probably become quite apparent by now that baking and blogging have taken a bit of a back seat in my life over the past year or so. There's a few reasons for this... the main one being that planning our wedding has sort of taken over my life. But also I've just not been feeling the baking love - I've still busted things out for birthdays and occasions but there's not many things I've baked for pleasure. I've let my blog reading/commenting slide and the longer you leave that, the harder it is to get back into it. Plus, there's been some things I've baked that I never even took pictures of! BAD BLOGGER!!

Anyway, I've got all these draft posts (subject titles only, no notes or anything, so thanks for that, past self) about things I baked ages ago and can't really muster up anything to say about them! However, there are a couple of things that I couldn't *not* include and these salted caramel cupcakes are one of them.

Made last August …