Sewing box cake

Best challenge ever! This is by far the funnest cake I’ve ever made. I made a chocolate fudge brownie cake with chocolate ganache buttercream. I used rice crispy squares to shape the top of the box and coated the whole thing in ganache. 


I weaved brown coloured icing together and then plastered it to all the sides of the cake box. 


I twisted some icing together to give the weaved sewing box a nice edge. I made some peach icing to make a cosy lining. I filled the box with a LOT of wool , cotton and buttons. I plopped an iced lid on it too and voila! Finished!


Happy birthday Catriona! I hope you like your cake 😋

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Winnie the Pooh cake


This week’s challenge was a baby shower cake with a Winnie the Pooh theme. I am a massive Winnie the Pooh fan and was delighted with the idea. Can’t think of a better way to celebrate a baby than good old Pooh bear. Peppa pig just isn’t as good in my humble option. 


Pooh in his thinking spot.


He’s bouncy, trouncy, flouncy, bouncy, fun, fun, fun, fun, fun! 


Oh bother. 


I think there are enough characters guarding the cake’s lemony interior. May the baby shower be a roaring success. Good luck to the mum-to-be!!! 😀

Olive oil fennel poofs!

I felt like a baking something a bit weird and wonderful tonight. I think for the first time in a very long time I put down the butter. I know. Unheard of in these rather confusing political times. So I googled olive oil biscuits and found a doughy situation on the following website :
Super Quick and Easy Olive Oil Biscuits

I followed the recipe and then decided to just keeping adding things so I threw in some semolina, sugar and 2 tablespoons of fennel. They baked really fast and I was glad I oiled my tray well. I sprinkled the golden dollopy looking biscuits in icing sugar and had a taste. Not bad! Actually rather interesting. Fennel it turns out is delightful in a biscuit! 

And if you do pick up the butter and smother it all over it , it’s even better!!!!

So much for putting the butter down. 

Buttery bacon & basil gnocchi

Sometimes you just gotta eat bacon in a buttery form. I’m sure there are scientific studies out there that link bacon directly to happiness. Gnocchi is quick and easy to cook especially on a school night. 

  • One packet of gnocchi
  • Chopped up garlic clove
  • A few rashers of bacon
  • Chopped up mushrooms
  • Sweet tomatoes (I used Sugardrop)
  • Lots of basil leaves
  • Olive oil 
  • Parmasan 

Cook off the bacon , mushrooms and tomatoes in a little oil. Add the chopped garlic until cooked (careful not to burn it!). Boil the gnocchi in salted water until it starts to float to the top of the pan and drain. Mix the gnocchi together with the cooked off ingredients then stir some basil, oil and Parmesan. Season and eat! Feel free to add a good knob of butter to make it extra tasty. By god I love gnocchi. Gnocchi is easy to make as well, I think I’ll leave that for a weekend activity…. 

WW2 cake

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I made a WW2 cake for my boyfriend’s grandad’s 90th birthday. Ken was from the East End but somehow ended up in the Welsh regiment of the British Army….. I’m sure there is a story there but I need to dig that one up! The badge on the cake depicts the ‘Prince of Wales’s feathers’ with the phrase ‘Ich dien’ which means ‘I serve’ in German. Ken likes to tell stories about the war without much prompting in addition to where he likes to walk his cat. Thus, it only seemed right to put his cat ‘Bobby’ on the side of the cake.

This cake is a sticky vanilla sponge with a very thick layer of vanilla buttercream and strawberry jam. Happy 90th birthday Ken!

BB-8 birthday cake!

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I made a coffee and walnut cake smothered in dark chocolate ganache for my boyfriend’s birthday. Matt is a huge Star Wars fan and fell in love with BB-8 when the film was released. I saw this as an excellent cake challenge. To make this cake, I used a half sphere cake tin and baked two halves and stuck them together. Icing the sphere was quite tricky but nailed it in the end! Several orange shapes later and a good dusting and BB-8 looked mucky enough to me. 🙂

I popped a candle in BB-8’s belly to give him his ‘thumbs up’. The birthday cake went down pretty well, check out the birthday boy!

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Check out this link for tips on making a BB-8 cake:

Pasta con pancetta


Ever in the mood for fusilli ? Well this meal is a quick one with bags of flavour. I pan fried the following ingredients together whilst the pasta was boiling away.

  • 1 chopped up garlic clove
  • Handful of mushrooms
  • Half a courgette
  • 3 rashers of chopped pancetta 
  • A few ripe tomatoes

After the pasta had boiled and still had a good bite, I stirred the drained pasta into all of the vegetables and mixed in some Parmesan and chopped up fresh coriander leaves. Drizzle of olive oil and black pepper & finito! Un delizioso pranzo. The trick to good Italian food is having is only using a few ingredients that have bold flavours.

Pancetta pizza!


It’s been a while since I made pizza but the results were awesome tonight. I turned up my oven to 300 degrees and got cracking! 

  • 250g strong bread flour
  • 1 yeast sachet
  • Good pinch of salt
  • Tsp sugar
  • 150-200ml warm water 

I mixed the above ingredients together and let it rise in a warm place for 25 minutes. I rolled it dead thin (the dough makes two pizzas and a batch of dough balls) onto semolina covered worktop. I made a sweet tomato base from fresh yellow and red tomatoes. Yum! Dead easy, boil some water and soak the tomatoes in it for a few minutes and peel off the skin. Chuck them in a pan chopped up with some oil and garlic. Reduce down until it looks thicker and sweeten with sugar if needed. I plopped the sauce on, mozzarella, capers and pancetta. Bake in the oven for about five minutes and sprinkle with rocket and basil leaves. Done! Took no time at all.

Pizza needs good wine. FACT!

One big buttery cake!!!!

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Now, everyone knows I am very fond of butter but I have to say I’m even MORE fond of my sister!! D’accord, I decided to give her the gift of beautiful butter colours shaped to perfection. What a lucky girl. I’m pretty proud of this one… you can probably pick up on the positive butter vibes surrounding this blog post.

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I made 1.75 kg of vanilla buttercream for this cake. BY HAND. My electric whisk died during the first 30 seconds of making the buttercream. I developed several blisters on my hands from making this one – worth it though, but I am looking into another whisk.  I coloured the icing and then plopped it into large piping bags. I put the cake onto my turn table and piped a layer of each colour round the edge of the cake and spun the table. I tried to get nice even layers with a good amount of buttercream present. I then took my cake spreader at a 45 degree angle to the cake and smoothed it all over whilst turning the table. I put the cake in the fridge to harden up and then put some dowelling in it to support the top layer. Bit of piping round the middle and bon, c’est fini mes amies..

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Happy 24th birthday to my really FUN sister!!!! You deserve a fun cake. 🙂

I have to say the washing up for this was a BUGGER. But that is the price of butter love.

 

Hobbies cake!

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My dad turned 60 at the end of April and to celebrate I made him a very sticky chocolate cake. I have decided that this is my favourite chocolate recipe (see link below) and it’s LOADED with chocolate ganache. I decorated my dad’s cake with a sprinkling of his hobbies… scrap booking, dinosaurs, bird watching, being nosey (hence the binoculars) and a love of cars. My dad also has an unusual habit of placing glacé cherries on top of any starter he makes for fancy dinner parties… prawn cocktails, crab cakes, you name it, if he can float, balance or wedge a glacé cherry on it then it will be present! Naturally, I respectfully put a cherry on top…..

http://www.bbcgoodfood.com/recipes/3092/ultimate-chocolate-cake