Monthly Archives: December 2011

Festive Baking

It is the season for excess especially in terms of eating lots of sweet things and this year for me as been no exception. I have made two Christmas Cakes. One for myself and my family and one for some friends. I made my first Christmas Cake last year but did not blog about it as I used Delia’s kit from Waitrose. This year I have made and decorated both cakes completely all by myself.  I used Delia’s recipe which is here and used the techniques I learnt at the cake course I went to at the start of the year to cover the cake. The decorations for both cakes and some of the icing/marzipan was kindly supplied by Dr Oetker.

This Christmas, I have also been busy making cupcakes. I made some vanilla and mince pie cupcakes for a family gathering we had this week. To make the mince pie cupcakes, I added some mincemeat and extra spices to the usual cupcake mix and added some brandy into the buttercream. The idea was inspired by my friend and Cupcake Queen of the Cotswold’s, Louise of Cirencester Cupcakes. My family loved them and I will be making them again soon.

That’s it for my Christmas baking. Please let me know in the comments what you have been making and add links if you have done a post about it. I am always looking to try something new for next Christmas.

I will be back soon with my New Year resolutions post, a cookbook review of the year and a new monthly blogging challenge for everyone. Hope you have a great party tonight, whatever you are doing.

Happy New Year! :-)

Happy Christmas Everyone!

A festive message from Brian Turner

Happy Christmas

From Jo, Stuart and Thomas x

Christmas Gift Review: Oil and Vinegar Fire Extinguisher

We all know at least one person who has it all, everything they could ever want or need. They are a pain to buy for at the best of times, but even more so at Christmas when you have so many other people to buy for too. Its even worse when they are foodies. Seriously, what do you get them!

I think Ideas By Net may have come up with the perfect solution, Oil and Vinegar Fire Extinguishers. These may seem a bit of a gimmick, novelty item but they do actually really work. They provide just enough oil and vinegar to dress your salad. The spray they give does depend on what oil and vinegar you use. I achieved quite good results with olive oil and balsamic vinegar. I am quite looking forward to see my friends and family react to these at a party during the Christmas season.

Ideas By Net usually sell promotional items in large quantities for business needs but they are selling these at £19.99 plus p+p without personalisation for Christmas stocking fillers. The perfect last minute novelty gift for the foodie you have no idea what to buy for.

Many thanks to Carla for sending me these to review :-)

English Mum’s Big Christmas Bakeoff

English Mum is back with another Big Bakeoff and as it is Christmas and I have not taken part in one for ages, I could not give it a miss really, despite having a 7  week old in the house and the time constraints they provide.

This time, I have decided to make a Christmas tree giant cupcake. I love giant cupcakes as they are really easy to make and look really impressive. I made this one for my local National Childbirth Trust’s (NCT) Children’s Christmas party where Thomas got to see Santa for the first time (see below). I made it originally to be sold on the cake stall but it ended up as a raffle prize. I hope the lady who won it enjoyed eating it as much as I enjoyed making it.

I used Dr Oetker’s Cake Release Spray to ensure that I could get it out of the tin and I was really impressed, the cake came out very easily. The cake was a 6 egg Victoria sponge cake mix and the icing on top was simple buttercream.

You have until midnight tomorrow to enter the Big Christmas Bake Off, so won’t don’t you get your mixers out and have some fun. I did. I will be back with more Christmas baking soon :-)

Many thanks to Yasir for the Dr Oetker products :-)

The Winner Of A Vegetarian Christmas with Linda McCartney is…

Hello everyone. Sorry for the delay between posts. I have been suffering with a cold this week and lack of sleep due to a grumpy 5 week old. However onto business, I am pleased to announce that the winner of the vegetarian Christmas with Linda McCartney is Lisa Day. Congratulations Lisa! I have sent you an email with what to do next. Please let me know your contact details so I can arrange for the prize to be sent out to you as soon as possible.

115 people Linda McCartney Competition Entrants entered the competition which is amazing! Thank you everyone. I wish you all could win. Thank you as ever for your support. I will be back with another post soon :-)

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