Showing posts from 2012

Banoffee Cake

FINALLY, I have actually made something on my To Bake list! I started the list to catalogue all the lovely things I see online that I want to try, but the list has just ended up getting longer and longer and actually multiplying because I also have a list in my notebook for things I've seen in magazines. Argh!

Anyway, for Mike's Dad's birthday in September I had a feeling that the Banoffee Cake I had seen on the Goddess' Kitchen might be just the ticket. I'm not really sure why, because he really will eat anything cake-wise, but I think he has a sneaky preference for fruit type cakes and this one just felt right! I believe the recipe is from Make, Bake, Love by Lilly Higgins which looks like a beautiful book and one that's gone straight onto the Christmas list.

This was such a great recipe - so quick and easy and no faffy ingredients, so a great one to make use of the sad looking bananas left in the fruit bowl! The cake was lovely and moist and banana-y and the…

Rocky road cupcakes

I've made three forms of Rocky Road in the past couple of months, and thought that I should post about them today, what with it being Bonfire Night and all that. Rocky Road just feels bonfire-y to me - I'm not sure if it is a Bonfire Night thing or not, but anyway, here we are.

The first was for my best friend's partners birthday back in September, who is a big fan of Rocky Road. I decided to make a cupcake version and after a bit of research went with this recipe from Baking Mad. Unfortunately, it was a disaster! I don't know if I was just a bit out of 'the zone' as I hadn't baking in over a month and had just come back from holiday, but the first batch just wouldn't seem to cook and by the time I was satisfied they were cooked, they were actually completely burnt. ARGH! So I reverted to my bog standard usual chocolate cupcake recipe and used the topping from the recipe and they worked a treat!

Sadly that's where the pictures dry up since I didn…

Marble cake

After the resounding success of the mocha marble cake I decided to make another marble cake for Mike's Mum's birthday in August (yep, still a tad behind here!).

I really don't know why I haven't made this before because not only is it so simple, it is also one of my favourite types of cake. The only moment of stress with this cake was when I was deciding what to top it with. In the recipe, it was just a plain cake but I knew I wanted to ice it to jazz it up a little. I remembered eating marble cake with royal icing on when I was little, but I was torn between that and chocolate frosting.

A plea on Twitter added the potential of white chocolate into the mix (argh!!!) but as you can see, in the end I went with chocolate icing - fudgy chocolate icing, to be precise! I used the icing from this Mary Berry recipe which I'd seen Jo raving about on her blog a few weeks before. It was a definite winner. This was the scene in the kitchen moments after I let Mike loose on the…

Mummy cupcakes

Considering that I LOVE Halloween, I have been shockingly poor on the Halloween baking front in the past. Two years ago I made some spider cupcakes and last year I made.... nothing. I think I get so caught up in buying tacky decorations and any kind of chocolate or sweets in the shape of witch hats or pumpkins with faces that I end up overlooking the baking (and being unable to justify more sweet things in the house).

This year however it is a different story! I have restricted myself to two bags of chocolate eyeballs from Tesco and therefore must force myself to bake. A couple of years ago Mike bought me the Lily Vanilli 'A zombie ate my cupcake' book and I decided to go for something from there. It's a great book if you love your Halloween baking, some of the stuff looks so realistic that it actually turns me a bit! - click here for a few examples.

I decided on the Monstrous Mummy cupcakes - I must admit I went for the simplest one because I had a bit of a bake-a-thon o…

Mint chocolate whoopie pies - United Bakes of America

Ever since eating my first whoopie pie from the Hummingbird Bakery back in April, and with the exciting discovery of marshmallow fluff in Asda, I have been itching to try making them myself. And finally, I have! I had a couple of bags of mint chocolate M&Ms hanging around that I had forbidden myself to eat as I wanted to bake with them, and with Halloween around the corner an idea started to form... I would make green slime whoopie pies! Due to lack of decent quality food colouring, green-tinged slime would be more accurate, though.

For those of you who haven't heard of whoopie pies, they are like a spongey cookie sandwich with a fluffy marshmallowy filling. The basic chocolate whoopie pie recipe I used is from the Hummingbird Bakery Cake Days book, and I added some crushed mint M&Ms to the sponge batter, and some peppermint essence and green food colouring to the filling. Mint and chocolate is definitely one of my favourite flavour combinations cake-wise now, it always…

Cakes Not From Kim: Betty's Tearooms

Another part of my 30th birthday celebrations (yes, I really did string it out!) was a trip to Harrogate in May with my best friend, who turned 30 back in February. We stayed in a gorgeous apartment with our own patio and were really lucky to have roasting hot weather while we were away... almost a bit too hot!

Anyway, no trip to Harrogate would be complete without a visit to Betty's and so we went along to check it out. We'd been past earlier on in the day and noticed that people were queueing down the street to get in, so went back about 5pm when it was a lot quieter.

It was a lot different to what I was expecting - a lot posher! It was very airy and light inside, and somehow felt like we'd gone back in time. I loved that you had to 'ask to see the cake trolley' and a waitress dutifully wheeled it over and gave us a rundown of what was on offer. I was a bit disappointed that there wasn't any 'proper' cakes on it (I was craving a slab of victoria spong…

Grandma's Gingerbread Cake

The theme for the Runcorn and Widnes Clandestine Cake Club in July was 'Inherited Indulgences' so I immediately knew I was going to have to bake something from my Grandma's cookbook collection, which I've blogged about before.

I also knew I wanted to make her ginger cake. It was always my favourite cake that she made, and it would also force me to find the recipe once and for all. Looking through her books before I hadn't seen anything I thought looked right and I thought that I would just have to make every gingerish cake I could see in the books, but on closer inspection, I came across a 'gingerbread' recipe that had a few tweaks scribbled on so I reckoned I had struck gold!

The recipe caused a bit of confusion -1 gill of milk and 1 egg reconstituted?!? Turns out a gill is 1/4 pint and a normal egg will do (I'm still not sure what a reconsituted egg is...). I had a practice go as I wanted to test the recipe out and run it past my Mum to confirm that i…

Cheshire Food Festival and my first Cake Off!

I love me a good food festival, and today I went along to the Cheshire Food Festival at Walton Hall, Warrington. I'd previously been to the Great British Food Festival there over the Jubilee weekend and decided to be brave and throw my hat into the Cake Off ring this time!

I entered the Chocolate Delicious category where the brief was 'whatever you like as long as it's full of chocolate!' I decided to enter my chocolate and peanut butter cake, which has proved quite popular in the past and made a couple of appearances on the blog before (here and here). As soon as I got there and saw the other entries though, I knew I should have raised my game - they all looked great but some were magnificent!

So I'm a little bit gutted to have to report that I was in the bottom 3 out of the 7 entries. I'm not very good at losing (as anyone who have ever played any kind of game with me and witnessed my jutting bottom lip will testify!), but once I got over the initial disappoi…

Mocha marbled loaf cake

Marble cake is one of my favourite cakes - when I was little we always used to get iced marble half moon cake from Somerfield - but for some reason I've never really bothered with making it myself.

I'd done a marbled mocha cake before and it was delicious so when I saw a recipe for a mocha marbled loaf in the August 2012 edition of Good Food magazine I knew it had to be made! Mike's boss has been giving us eggs from his chickens and so I thought I would give them back to him in cake form to say thank you.

Although the cake itself turned out lovely, I completely botched the white chocolate ganache. I've really no idea what I did wrong as I thought I followed the recipe to the letter, but it was runny and awful and full of little lumps of chocolate. For some reason I still dumped it on top of the cake when I should probably have left it off. This is why there are hardly any photos of this cake!

I think this is definitely one to save and eat the next day if you can, the f…

Cocoa Boutique - a review

Well, this is my 100th post!!! I know usually people do giveaways for these kind of posts, but being the selfish brat that I am, I decided to indulge myself by accepting a box of luxury chocolates to review from the newly established Cocoa Boutique! (sorry loyal readers... but there is an opportunity to get a free box for yourself though, see the bottom of the post for details!)

Cocoa Boutique is an artisan chocolate tasting club, where after purchasing an initial 'introductory selection' box of chocolates, you can then have boxes of chocolates dropping through your letterbox on a monthly basis, for £19.95 per month. And they really are just the right size for your letter box, so no need for screams of dismay when you get home from work desperate for a chocolate fix to find a 'sorry we missed you' card telling you that your chocs are at the sorting office which closed half an hour ago. Each month you will get a different selection, all of which have been hand picked a…

Dr Oetker and My First Bundt

Dr Oetker recently sent me some baking products to try out and I received alphabet sprinkles, orange and lemon slices, cake release spray and easy swirl cupcake icing.

As soon as I got the cake release spray I knew it was the perfect opportunity to try out my bundt tin. The poor tin had been festering away in the cupboard for over a year and I've lost count of how many bundt blog posts I've commented on claiming I was going to try the recipe! I think I was a bit scared of it really, but now I had officially ran out of excuses! The orange and lemon slices meant I was going to go for a citrussy cake and where else to find a recipe but the Bundt Queen herself, Rachel of Dolly Bakes?!

I used Rachel's lemon drizzle bundt recipe which also meant facing another fear: whipping egg whites! With all the cakes I've made by now you'd think I'd be over it, but eggs really do freak me out. I used my nifty new egg separator from Lakeland which helped me avoid jiggling the egg…