Kingfisher cake

My dad is a fan of Kingfishers, so I plopped one on top of a log cake for his birthday. I used my favourite chocolate cake recipe from the BBC good food website. 

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


Happy birthday dad! X

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Double chocolate cookies 

This cold January night calls for some double chocolate cookies. For anyone who’s doing a healthy new year thing, it’s worth scrapping it for this treat. You barely need any ingredients, it doesn’t break the bank (just good habits). To make these delicious beauts, you need: 

  • 200g dark chocolate 
  • 50g unsalted butter
  • 1 tin of condensed milk
  • 225g self raising flour
  • white chocolate buttons 

Melt the chocolate and butter together and mix in the rest. I know. That’s it. Lazzzzzyyy. Place the mixture in the freezer for five minutes and prepare a baking tray with parchment. Make small balls with the mixture and pop on the tray with good spaces between them. The mixture tends to spread in the oven. I always put extra white chocolate buttons on top of each cookie. Gives a sense of occasion in my opinion. Bake for 15 minutes at 160 degrees. They are done when they have spread and sort of cracked. My advice is eat them warm with a blob of ice cream. Goodbye rubbish January. 

Reese’s Pieces cake

Reeses Pieces

I was asked to make a Reese’s Pieces birthday cake for a dear friend. I made a chocolate cake and filled it with a layer of peanut buttercream inside and out. I topped it off with lots of dark chocolate ganache and cut up Reese’s Pieces.  Sometimes it’s nice to play with chocolate and buttercream instead of icing for a change. Peanut buttercream is quite possibly one of the best substances on the planet. You have to use smooth peanut butter as I think crunchy peanut butter would be much less magical. No-one wants non-magical peanut buttercream. It’s a good thing I bought extra Reese’s Pieces as my nephew of 18 months was found eating the toppings whilst I was out of the kitchen!

This recipe is definitely worth checking out.

http://www.goodtoknow.co.uk/recipes/542441/reeses-pieces-chocolate-peanut-butter-cake

Spring wedding cake

Spring has officially sprung! What could be more fabulous than a spring themed wedding cake? I have to say, for my second wedding cake I’m very proud of myself! Working from the top to the bottom, the tiers contained almond cake, lemon cake, chocolate cake and fruit cake. This cake can feed up to 134 people or 120 without the top tier. The flowers and butterflies were prepared by myself and the help of my sister in January out of modelling paste. I coloured the sweet peas to the colour of the bridesmaids dresses and kept the whole cake very dainty. Everything was cemented in place with Royal icing including the topper which was ordered from Weedots & Just Toppers based in Essex (link below). Such lovely bunting! All of the piping detail on the cake was also done with Royal icing with different sized piping nozzles. I lost a bit of sleep over delivering the cake to the venue as I thought the butterflies might flutter away during transit. Luckily, only one butterfly was sacrificed during the journey and was promptly replaced by a spare one I had made!

wedding cake

Many congratulations to Mr & Mrs Percy on their wedding and a big thank you to Pam Percy for asking me to make it!

https://www.etsy.com/shop/weedots

 

 

Pearl wedding anniversary cake

I made a pearl wedding anniversary cake with a pair of flumpies on! The bottom tier is a lemon & poppy seed drizzle cake and the top tier is a vanilla sponge smothered in lots of chocolate ganache. I love making chocolate ganache, it’s an excellent medium to spatula onto a cake. The best part is licking out the bowl though, and later finding it all over your face after having had several long conversations with different people throughout the day. Hmmm… anyway,  I always use dark chocolate with 70% cocoa solids for a good strong flavour. I let the cake cool before icing it to give a solid surface to work on so that the cake looks nice and smoooooooth.

I gave this cake to my boyfriend’s parents to enjoy as a surprise. This cake was also put together to celebrate a new engagement in the family, thus I popped a horse shoe on it as well! Maybe I should start putting horse shoes on all of my cakes… after all, everybody needs a little bit of good luck.

flumpy

 

 

One big jazzy

It’s my brother’s birthday today and to celebrate I made a GIGANTIC jazzy. I baked a chocolate fudge cake and covered it in chocolate butter cream and coated it in hundreds and thousands. It dawned on me that perhaps taking the cake into the garden would be a better idea than chucking hundreds and thousands of hundreds and thousands all about the kitchen. It is safe to say that the cake (and the garden) have been decorated.

DSCN6256This cake was baked using one of Juliet Sear’s recipe from her book ‘The Cake Decorating Bible’. Juliet is amazing, I have learnt so much from her book and thoroughly recommend buying it or at least googling her for inspiration. My sister told me last week that Adele is one of her spirit animals and I must admit that I think Juliet is one of mine.

http://www.fancynancy.info/index.php/fancy-nancy-book/

 

 

Wedding cake practise 

I have been practising one of the tiers for a wedding cake I’ve been asked to make. I’ve been trying different chocolate cake recipes and have finally found one that is structurally stable enough to hold two other tiers, easy to carve and tastes fabulous. The recipe I went for uses plain flour only with no raising agents and LOTS of eggs. The cake has a brownie-like texture and took a long time to cook on a low heat.


The cake has to be 4 inches thick to match the other three tiers. On the day, the cake will have white regal icing on top but today I smothered it with a rich chocolate buttercream. I added several layers of buttercream by popping the cake in the fridge to solidify each buttercream layer to get an even finish. I grated some white chocolate on top and served it to my family for testing.

My sister is lurking in the background of the next picture. This is definitely the tallest cake I’ve ever made.


I have to say the cake went down well and everyone liked it. Mission completed. Next challenge construction ….


All the sugar flower preparations are underway as well….

Chocolate torte

Makes sense to me to bring in the New Year with something very chocolately… I followed Jamie Oliver’s wisdom on this occasion.  
This recipe is dead simple. Roll out your shortcrust pastry and blind bake in the oven until golden.

Pour in the chocolate mixture and allow to set at room temperature for a few hours (so that the chocolate keeps it’s shine).

The finished product is pretty scrummy looking! Finish off with salt flakes or grated white chocolate.

Bring on 2016!

http://www.jamieoliver.com/recipes/chocolate-recipes/rich-chocolate-tart-with-salt-flakes/#Wq0mJpM41R77AJgU.97

Delicious éclairs

I felt like making some choux pastry  so naturally éclairs came to mind. Not made these since my school days. I followed Paul Hollywood’s choux pastry recipe and used the crème pâtissière recipe from my apple & ginger crumble the other day. Making choux pastry is dead fun because it’s so different to making normal pastry and it’s always good to get the piping bag out. Choux pastry has a lovely shine and consistency to it before it’s baked. Here’s my army of piped éclairs….

  

….baked and filled with vanilla crème pâtissière …

  

…. and then dressed with dark chocolate.

  
Cup of tea and an éclair sounds bob on to me. 

http://www.bbc.co.uk/food/recipes/pauls_chocolate_clairs_59944