Tag Archives: cake

Great Bloggers Bake Off: Chocolate Piñata Cake

Piñata cake

Wow! What a great final it was in the Great British Bake Off! Who guessed that Nancy was going to win? My money was on Richard but the luck was not with him during the final unfortunately. For the last great bloggers bake off, Jenny from Mummy Mishaps has challenged us to make our own showstopper.

Piñata cake

Therefore, I would like to present you with my technical showstopping chocolate piñata cake! I am calling it a technical showstopper as during the final, the bakers had to make 12 mini Victoria sponges as part of the technical challenge. A piñata cake is basically a Victoria sponge with a hole in the middle and some extra decoration to make it look really special. I have seen them for ages on Pinterest and always thought they might be quite hard to make, however I could not believe how easy and quick it was to do. Daniel was in the kitchen with me and happily played in his walker while I got on with it.

Chocolate Piñata Cake
Ingredients (makes 1 large 8 inch cake)
For the cake
  • 200g unsalted butter, softened
  • 200g caster sugar
  • 150g self raising flour
  • 50g cocoa powder
  • 1tsp baking powder
  • 4 large free range eggs
For the filling and outside decoration

 

  • 125g unsalted butter, softened
  • 250g icing sugar
  • 100g milk chocolate, melted
  • 1 large bag of Minstrels
  • 2 large bags of Skittles/Smarties for the filling and the top

Method

 

  1. Grease and line two 8 inch sandwich tins and set aside. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees Celsius.
  2. In a food processor, add in all the cake ingredients then mix until combined.
  3. Divide the cake evenly between the two tins and then bake for 20-25mins until a knife comes out clean from each cake. Leave in the tins then set aside until completely cool.
  4. Meanwhile, make the buttercream. In a food processor, add in the butter, icing sugar and melted chocolate until combined. Add a splash of water if needed until you have a spreadable consistency. Set aside.
  5. Once the cakes have cooled, remove them from the tins and using a chef’s ring (or a cup/small saucer) draw a circle on both cakes with a sharp knife. Do not cut all the way through the cake. You only need a tiny bit. Remove some cake from both these circles but do not remove too much otherwise your cake will fall apart.
6. Add some sweets into the middle of one of the circles. As much as you can fit in and still get other cake on top. Then spread buttercream on the outer edge next to sweets then put other cake on top. Using a palette knife, cover with buttercream and then decorate with the rest of the sweets. Allow to set at room temperature then eat and enjoy!
* you may not want to go to dentist immediately after eating this cake LOL!
Thank you to Jenny for organising the Great Bloggers Bake Off again!

 

 

 

 

 

#teamhonkbakeoff – Mr B’s Hidden Red Nose Cake

You may remember that a little while ago, I took part in the Team Honk relay and was one of 200 plus bloggers taking a baton from Lands End to John O'Groats. Well my, Great Bloggers Bake Off friends and I decided that we would like to help Team Honk in the only way we can and host another bake off to raise funds for Sport Relief.

So, without any further ado, I present my 'Mr B's Hidden Red Nose Cake'. Mr B was the nickname the baton was given as he travelled across the country. The cake is a Victoria Sponge Cake with glacé cherries inside (the red noses!) sandwiched together with strawberry jam and decorated with a picture of Mr B, with three stars to represent England, Scotland and Wales. Here is how I made it:

Mr B's Hidden Red Nose Cake

Ingredients

  • 175g unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 175g caster sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 175g Self-Raising Flour (take a tablespoon of the measured flour out into a separate bowl and mix the glacé cherries with it)
  • 1 teaspoon baking power
  • 1 teaspoon Vanilla Extract
  • 100g glacé cherries
  • 3/4 jar of Strawberry Jam, for the middle and to help stick icing
  • 750g red fondant icing
  • Icing sugar, to help roll out fondant icing
  • Selection of coloured icing for the decoration including blue for the baton and yellow for the stars

Method

  1. Grease and line two 8 inch sandwich cake tins
  2. In a bowl, cream the softened butter and sugar together. Add the eggs and the flour and mix lightly until combined. Gently fold in the baking powder, vanilla extract and cherries. Divide the mixture evenly between the two tins and bake in a preheated oven at 180 degrees C for about 25 minutes or until a knife comes out clean when inserted into middle of both cakes
  3. Leave the cakes to cool completely in their tins. Once cooled, sandwich together with the majority of the strawberry jam. Leave behind a bit to stick the fondant icing to the cake.
  4. Once sandwiched together, using a pastry brush, cover the cakes in the remainder of the jam.
  5. Roll out the red fondant icing, using icing sugar to prevent sticking to a round circle bigger than the cake. Using the rolling pin, place the icing over the cake and use a cake smoother to smooth out the icing. Trim away any excess.
  6. Using the other fondant icing colours, cut the out the shape of the baton and long strips of different coloured icing for the ribbons. Use a star cutter to cut out the three stars. Stick them on cake using a tiny bit of water. Admire your handiwork, eat and of course enjoy! Feel great about yourself for supporting a much worthy cause!!*

*the cake was decorated at 11pm at night after 3 hours sleep the night before, and after the bedtime from hell routine from Thomas followed by two glasses of wine! It is probably not my best work but I am very happy I made it and supported the amazing work of Team Honk again :-)

Mummy Mishaps

 

Feel Good Fruit Cake

Hello everyone. Sorry for the lack of blogging recently. I have not been feeling myself. I will not go into much detail here but you can read my post on my parenting blog here if you like.

When I am not feeling 100%, I retreat to the kitchen and bake. Today I have made something I have wanted to bake for a while. When I was a child, I used to go to my Nan's after school, she used to give me a slice of Mr Kipling's Farmhouse Fruit Cake. I loved it and it is a real memory of childhood for me. I recently tried some again after many years of not having it and although, it tasted ok, I was disappointed to see that it contained dried egg, dried milk and a few other non-appetising sounding things so I decided I could do better and make a better one myself.

I adapted the recipe here. I added an extra 30g of dried mixed fruit and 50g of glacé cherries. In my fan oven, the cake took just over an hour in my fan oven. The cake looks and tastes better than I remember from childhood. I will make it again soon!

 

 

Great Bloggers Bake Off – The Masterclass: Sticky Ginger & Treacle Traybake

The Great British Bake Off is now finished until sometime next year, however Jenny from Mummy Mishaps and Helen from The Crazy Kitchen gave us the whole month of November to make anything from the series that we wanted to make again or try for the first time. As ever, I am leaving it until the last minute to link up and take part.

After watching the four Masterclass episodes I decided to make Mary Berry’s ginger and treacle spiced Traybake. I liked the look of the combination of flavours and thought it was very different to the usual traybakes that you see around. It was very easy to make and I only made one adaptation to the recipe. I added in a teaspoon of dried ginger instead of the mixed spice and allspice as I did not have any in. I think the recipe needed the extra ginger in it to work, however I really love ginger! I took this into work on Wednesday for my last day in the office before maternity leave. Everyone loved it and it disappeared very quickly!!

 

Great Bloggers Bake Off Week 10 – Thomas’ 2nd Birthday Lightning McQueen Cake

It was the final week of the Great British Bake Off this week and wasn't it a good one. The final three were challenged to make a picnic pie, pretzels and a wedding cake (three layers). As ever, Jenny from Mummy Mishaps and Helen from The Crazy Kitchen are asking us to do something similar. Fortunately for me, the final week of the bake off has landed on a week when I was planning a large baking project anyway. Thomas is 2 years old on the 29th October and his birthday party was today.

Thomas loves cars, buses, planes and most other forms of motorised transport and his favourite film is Cars. Therefore, I decided a couple of months ago to attempt a Lightning McQueen cake for his birthday. Originally, I planned to make a 3D Lightning McQueen cake but could not find a tutorial online that made a good enough replica of Lightning McQueen for me. After a bit of searching I discovered this tin from Wilton and I snapped it up on eBay as soon as I saw it. However, this tin was not going to be big enough to feed 25 toddlers along with friends/family too. Therefore, I borrowed my friend's 12 inch cake tin that she brought from Lakeland a few years ago so that I could make a base layer to sit the car cake on.

I used the recipe here for the 12 inch cake and the recipe here for the car cake. The instructions for the decorating of the car cake is that it should be piped on with buttercream in various colours, however I am not the best at piping so I decided to sugar paste the entire cake. I used white to cover the base cake as it shows off the car the most. Before the base cake was covered, it was cut with a cake slicer and sandwiched back together with strawberry jam. I used about 1.5kg of sugar paste to cover the 12 inch cake. The car cake was covered separately with red sugar paste and then carefully placed onto the base layer, using a black strip of sugar paste to cover the gap. Using the car tin template as a guide I stuck Lighting McQueen's features using more sugar paste with edible glue and then outlined the features using black writing icing. In total, the cake took about 7 hours to do from baking to completely finished over three days.

Everyone loved the cake at the party and could not believe that I had made it. I enjoyed making the cake and it was probably my biggest baking challenge to date. I will now be taking a few weeks off baking for a well deserved break. Thank you to Jenny and Helen for starting the Great Bloggers Bake Off and inspiring me to bake many new things :-)

 

 

Great Bloggers Bake Off Week 1: Rhubarb & Custard Sandwich Cake

The lovely Jenny of Mummy Mishaps and Helen of The Crazy Kitchen have created a new linky for all bloggers who are fans of the Great British Bake Off. Each week, we have to cook something related to that week’s challenges on the show. This week it was cake and the contestants had to make sandwich cakes, an Angel Food cake and a chocolate creation. I would of loved to have attempted an Angel Food cake but being a bit short of time, I did not feel brave enough to give it ago.
Inspired by one of the contestants on the show and determined to take the normal Victoria Sponge to the next level, I have dreamed up a rhubarb and custard sandwich cake. This recipe is a hybrid between my normal sandwich cake recipe and Nigella’s custard birthday sponge. I am not going to put the full recipe down as I mostly followed the Victoria sponge recipe for the cake. I only added a couple of tablespoons of custard powder to the mix at the same time as the flour. I followed Nigella’s recipe for the buttercream with an added bit of yellow food colouring to make it more custard like. The rhubarb (from my Nan’s garden) in the middle was roasted for about 20 minutes in a hot oven with a tablespoon of caster sugar, mashed up slightly with a fork and then cooled. The top is decorated with more buttercream using the duo icing kit from Lakeland.
I served the cake this morning at my local NCT branch coffee group. Everyone loved it. It is one I will make again. :-)

 

Jamie Oliver’s Sticky Toffee and Chocolate Cupcakes

 

I was recently contacted by the good folks at jamieoliver.com and was asked if I fancied trying one of Jamie's recipes out and letting you guys know about it. As I am currently craving chocolate, a recipe where it was one of the main stars of the show seemed the best way to go. I decided on the sticky toffee cupcakes with chocolate topping as I always tend to make vanilla cupcakes and wanted to make something a bit more interesting. The recipe was very simple and easy to follow. The cake mix smelt very lovely and full of traditional sticky toffee flavour. The cakes rose quite well. The chocolate topping was very simple and easy to make too.

I was also sent some dark chocolate from the Jme range to use in my baking. It is called 'Tall, Dark and Handsome' (just how I like my men LOL!) and it was some of the best chocolate I have ever tasted. I had to use most of it to decorate the cakes but I did get to try a bit. It was rich, very smooth and did taste more luxurious than most dark chocolate I have eaten. I will definitely use it in my baking again.

Disclosure: I was sent the chocolate to use in my recipe and review. All opinions are my own. I was not required to write a positive review.

 

Product Review: Baker Day’s Letterbox Cake

 

I was recently asked to try a Baker Day's letterbox cake. I have never been known to turn down an offering of cake and I was intrigued, could they really send me a perfect cake through my letterbox?

With Valentine's Day fast approaching, I decided to order a cake for Stuart and let it be a surprise. When it arrived, my initial impressions were very good. The cake was packaged in a box and sealed in a tin within the box so could pretty much take whatever the Royal Mail could throw at it. The cake even came with instructions for how to remove it from the tin.

Once I got the cake out of it's packaging and onto a plate, I was sadly disappointed. The cake was very small (the picture on the top of this post is the cake on a side plate.) I was not expecting a massive cake to come through my letterbox but thought the cake might be slightly bigger. The decoration on the cake was excellent. However, the sponge was average and very dense in texture for my taste.

Overall, I like the idea of a letterbox cake but think the idea needs some refining. I am sure that many people will enjoy the novelty of having a cake posted to them but think the actual cake, especially for the price you pay (£14.99) needs improving.

 

Disclosure: I recieved a Letterbox cake to review. All opinions are my own.

 

The Best and The Laziest Brownies In The World!!

As it is the new year and everyone has lots of resolutions to drink less, eat healthier and get fitter, I decided to do the complete opposite of that and share with you, the best and the laziest brownies in the world recipe. These brownies are so good and so easy to make, I am sure they will counter any back to work/school January blues!!!

I originally discovered this recipe through Twitter/Instagram where a couple of blogging friends were discussing something called ‘Slutty Brownies’. Even the name seemed intriguing to me and I knew I had to find out more. I was pointed to the apparent source for the original recipe on The Londoner blog. The recipe only contains three ingredients; chocolate cookie dough mix, chocolate brownie mix and Oreo cookies. Anyone can make them as they are so easy. They are called slutty as they are made with ready mixes/packages but I am sure you could make your own brownie and cookie dough mix if you like. My version of the recipe is below. For other versions, please see my fellow blogging friends:

Mari’s World

The Boy And Me

Slutty Brownies

Ingredients

  • 1 packet of chocolate brownie mix
  • 1 packet of cookie dough mix
  • 1 pack of Oreos
  • Eggs or water to make up packet mixes as described on the packet
  • A greased foil tray, a normal tray lined with tin foil or a greased silicone tray (The Boy And Me used a loaf tin which I think I will do next time)

Method

  1. Make up the cookie dough mix and chocolate brownie mix as per the package instructions
  2. Put the cookie dough as a thick layer at the bottom of the tin
  3. Top with as many Oreo biscuits as your tin allows
  4. Pour the chocolate brownie mix over the top and bake in a preheated oven at 200 degrees C for 20-30 minutes
  5. Eat and enjoy!!

I really urge everyone to give this recipe a go. It is so easy and delicious. It really feels like a treat which is perfect to sort out any case of the January blues!!

 

Forman and Field’s Jubilee Bake Off

You may that remember that last year, I took part in the Forman and Field’s Valentines Cook Off, well this year they have invited me to take part in a Jubilee Bake Off with lots of lovely bloggers. The other bloggers taking part are:

 http://athomewithmrsm.blogspot.co.uk

http://iheartkatiecakes.blogspot.co.uk/

www.renbehan.com

http://www.lavenderandlovage.com

http://www.frugaliciousfood.com/

www.Cupcakesbysarah.co.uk

http://www.workinglondonmummy.com

http://whatkatebaked.blogspot.co.uk/

We have all been lucky enough to be sent a fabulous box of inspiring ingredients and told to bake to our heart’s content in honour of the Queen’s jubilee. In the boxes we received:

ORIGINAL BEANS CRU VIRUNGA 70% DARK CHOCOLATE A new chocolate producer that is rapidly becoming the choice of top Chefs, chocolatiers and restaurants including Marcus Wareing, The Fat Duck, Galvin at Windows and Damian Allsop to namedrop but a few.

DOVE’S FARM FLOUR This general purpose white flour is milled from English wheat grown by organic farmers to Ethical Trade standards which involve a fair price for the farmer and fair treatment of workers, as well as involvement with local communities. This is great for baking pastry, cakes and biscuits.

LONGMAN’S UNSALTED FARM BUTTER Proper butter from a family run Dairy farm in Somerset.

FORMAN & FIELD LEMON CURD Our own handmade lemon curd from the Forman & Field kitchens. Tarter than most with a good hit of lemon zest so it’s makes for a mighty fine baking ingredient.

CRÈME ANGLAISE More homemade goodness from our kitchens. We make this daily to order with lots of fresh Bourbon vanilla.

ELDERFLOWER LIQUEUR This heavenly elixir is made in small batches with hand-picked elderflowers by Bramley & Gage down in South Devon. They’re a family business with son Michael recently having taken over from his old man Edward.

MULLED PEARS The final contribution from the F&F kitchens, pears poached in a mulled red wine syrup.

From this selection of ingredients I have somehow managed to make three baked treats. Don’t ask me how I found the time but I did. I will now explain what I made, why I was inspired to make it and give the recipe.

Lemon Curd Butterfly Cakes

What is more British than a butterfly cake? I remember having them a lot as a child but they seem to have disappeared out of fashion now. The lemon curd was so delicious I knew I had to make it the start of the show in one bake. These are traditional butterfly cakes minus the cream. All they have is the lemon curd inside of them which can, depending on the lemon curd make them quite tart and not really suitable for children.

Ingredients (makes 12)

  • 125g unsalted butter, softened
  • 125g caster sugar
  • 125g self raising flour
  • 2 large eggs
  • Zest of an unwaxed lemon
  • Juice of half a lemon (or a whole one if you like it sharp)
  • A generous teaspoon full of lemon curd per cake

Method

  1. Preheat oven to 190 degrees C. Put cupcake cakes into a cupcake tray (British flag ones if possible!)
  2. In a food processor, add in all the ingredients except the lemon curd and whizz until a smooth batter is formed. Do not over mix as the cakes will not rise
  3. Spoon the mixture into the prepared cupcake cakes and cook in the oven until lightly golden brown and a knife inserted in them comes out clean. Leave to cool for 10 minutes and then remove to a wire rack until they cool completely.
  4. Once cooled, cut a small disc out of the top of the cupcake and then cut the disc in half. Leave to one side and spoon the lemon curd into the hole you have created in the cake. Put the disc pieces back into hole vertically to create butterfly wings. Decorate the cakes with appropriate jubilee decorations and dive in!

Mulled Pear Crumble with Crème Anglais Ice Cream

I love crumble and am constantly trying to make new variations of them and the mulled pears were calling to me to be put into one. The crème anglais was full of vanilla and as it had a short use by date, I knew I needed to do something to preserve it for longer.  It is the perfect accompaniment to the crumble as the creaminess cuts through the richness of the mulled pears.

Ingredients (makes 1 small ramekin but please adjust recipe to suit whichever bowl you want to use)

For the Crumble

  • 1 and a half mulled pears, chopped into small chunks
  • About 100ml of syrup from the jar of mulled pears
  • 50g unsalted butter, softened and cut into cubes
  • 100g plain flour
  • 50-75g caster sugar, depending on how sweet you like your crumble

For the Ice Cream

  • Jar of Crème Anglais ( or homemade custard)

Method

  1. Pour the Crème Anglais into a suitable container with a lid that can go into the freezer. Pop into the freezer and stir every two – four hours with a fork until completely frozen to prevent large ice crystals forming.
  2. Put the mulled pear chunks into your baking dish and put the syrup into a saucepan. Reduce the syrup until slightly thickened. Do not reduce it too much as it will cook more in the crumble. Set aside and leave to cool.
  3. Meanwhile, make the crumble topping by rubbing the flour and the butter together. Add in the sugar and mix together.
  4. Pour the reduced syrup over the mulled pear chunks and top with the crumble topping. Bake in a 180 degrees C oven until lightly golden brown and bubbling.
  5. Take the ice cream out of the fridge 10-15 minutes before you want to serve it. Serve a generous scoop next to the crumble and tuck in.

GB Dark Chocolate Cake

This is a very quick, made in one bowl simple but amazing chocolate cake. It is moist and very yummy showing the flavour of the dark chocolate to its full potential. I do not usually get this quality chocolate to bake with so I knew I had to show it off in some way. I did add some milk chocolate to mix as I think too much dark chocolate can be overpowering. I decorated the cake with Renshaw’s Great British Icing Pack and followed the instructions on the box to make the Union Jack.  I took this cake to the Merry Hill Centre Mummy Morning  Jubilee Cake Club today and despite the fact it did not win, I still got lots of comments of how moist and delicious the cake was despite the fact I baked it on Sunday night. If you only make one of these baked treats for this coming jubilee weekend, then I urge you to make this one. Everyone will love it!

Ingredients (makes 1 20cm square cake)

  • 100g dark chocolate, buttons or chop a bar into chunks
  • 100g milk chocolate, buttons or chop a bar into chunks
  • 200g unsalted butter, cut into chunks
  • 200g caster sugar
  • 100g plain flour
  • Pinch of salt
  • 3 eggs, beaten
  • Any decorations or toppings you like

Method

  1. Grease and line a 20cm square cake tin and set aside. Preheat the oven to 190 degrees C.
  2. Put the chocolate and the butter in a heatproof bowl over simmering water and melt together, stirring frequently.
  3. Once melted, remove from the heat and stir in the sugar until combined.
  4. Fold in the flour and salt and finally add in the eggs. Stir to combine and pour the batter into the prepared cake tin. The batter will be quite runny but don’t worry as this makes a more moist cake.
  5. Bake in the oven for 40 minutes or so until a knife inserted into the centre of the cake comes out clean. Once cool, remove from the tin and decorate however you see fit.

Many thanks to Forman and Field for inviting me to take part in the bake off. I had a great time thinking about and creating the recipes. If you are on Twitter, you can follow all the bake off action using the hashtag #formansjubileebakeoff :-)

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...