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I make cakes, cookies and other baked treats for delivery in the Wimbledon-ish area, please contact me to discuss any orders. Whether you are having a party, a family get-together or just need some cake, I can help!

Monday, 26 December 2011

'Tis The Season

Holidays! I went back to my parents' for the holiday period, where I am still. Mostly sitting and watching TV and eating everything that is not proper food. Aside from Christmas lunch, I haven't eaten a main meal in 3 days. Rad.

Here's some photos of things that have happened in the recent present.

First some glittery panettone. Panettone was a gift from my brother's friend Fabio, sourced from Carluccio's. So delicious and moist with and almond-y macaron-y crackle glaze thing. I sprinkled some edible glitter on (gift from the boyfriend), much as I have been doing with all food these past couple of days...

We went for a pre-Christmas lunch at The Butcher and Grill in Wimbledon village, family, boyfriend and I. I had a delicious espresso martini, but somehow managed to throw it all over a cushion, my handbag, and my phone. 

Cheese burger....

Lamb burger...

Sparkly mince pies. Lazily made with shop-bought pastry and Heston Blumenthal's pine sugar left over from a packet of his mince pies. I added a little brandy butter to the filling.

The cat was suffering from food-pouch induced excess. He had 3 all before lunch...

Chocolate, hazlenut and pecan pie. Recipe adapted from the Hummingbird Bakery. The pastry looks a state due to the wrath I was experiencing from the pastry gods. No doubt in penance for the aforementioned shop-bought incident.

Crispy wonton thingies. And lots of Spode.

Thursday, 23 June 2011

Bake Sale!

On Sunday the 26th June I will  be having a bake sale in my driveway (The Grange, Wimbledon) to celebrate the summer, moving house, new job, it being hot, and the middle weekend of the Wimbledon Tennis fortnight. 

If you're in the village, come and have a wander down, I'll be there from 10:30am (ish) until 4.00pm (or until stocks last!)

There will be some of this:

And this:

Also this:

And possibly some of this:

Come on, you know you want to...

EDIT: I will be using the profits to sponsor my friend Stef in his 10k run for Paul's Cancer Centre and will be selling my Mum's Wimbledon Scenes postcards with the profits going to the same cause. 

GUILT-FREE CAKE!! Who could resist?

Saturday, 11 June 2011

Call Me Ismail

Some weeks ago - never mind how long precisely - having little or no money in my purse, I got a Facebook message. A friend from school was wondering about buying some cinnamon rolls, and on Friday evening he did! I couldn't help but take a photo, and it was all I could do not to eat them.

He tells me that he and his family loved them. They're pretty more-ish. I'm trying to find a good recipe for a dough that can be refrigerated for baking in the morning. Then I will be the perfect housemate. Or at the very least I will be queen of the breakfast treat.

Pretty simple to make - make dough, roll and fill with melted butter, cinnamon and sugar. Roll up, cut, let rise again and then bake. Om nom nom.

Wednesday, 1 June 2011

Bank Holiday Birthdays

Two birthdays, one bank holiday and lots of cake. I made a carrot cake with maple frosting for my boyfriend (with his age in binary...) and a chocolate orange cake for my brother. Both delicious, but somehow I only managed to photograph my brother's one properly. Ah well.


Sunday, 22 May 2011

Marshmallow Fluff

Here's the recipe for marshmallow fluff. It can be used as a filling, topping, cake frosting and to dip strawberries and toast them on a BBQ. Or just shove your face in it. I'm not judging.

300g caster sugar
2 egg whites (at room temp.)
1 1/2 tablespoons golden syrup
1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

  • Put 6 tablespoons of water and ingredients (except for the vanilla) in a heat-proof bowl. Set the bowl over a pan of simmering water, making sure it doesn't sit in the water.
  • Beat with an electric whisk on high speed for 7 minutes until stiff peaks form.
  • Remove bowl from the heat and add vanilla. Whisk on high for another 2 minutes until stiff glossy peaks are formed. 
This recipe will make enough to frost a 3-layer cake, so I usually half it. You can put any left-overs in the freezer - it won't freeze but it does keep a lot better than in the fridge. 

Another great BBQ idea from my friend:
  • Cut a banana length-ways and open up like a little paper boat (leaving the skin on).
  • Push squares of milk chocolate into the banana.
  • Top with some marshmallow fluff and wrap in tin foil.
  • Put on the BBQ after you've cooked everything else and leave for about 10 minutes or until the chocolate is melted and the banana looks squishy. Scoop out with a spoon.

Thursday, 19 May 2011

At Least 3 of Your Five-A-Day

I have blueberries on the brain for some reason. I don't even really like them. But I love them in baked things. I was going to make some regular blueberry muffins but I decided that was boring and made these instead.

Hummingbird cake muffins with added blueberries. Recipe for the hummingbird cake here. There's banana, pineapple and blueberries. If that's not 3 of your five-a-day I don't know what is. Salad probably.

I was looking through stuff I'd put in the freezer the other day. There is a cake, several bran muffins, red velvet crumbled cake for decorating, marshmallow fluff, and some cream cheese frosting. Might throw out the bran muffins though...

EDIT - added some cream cheese frosting to balance out the healthy

Sunday, 15 May 2011

I'm Better Than Your Best Friend...

...because I will make you this cake for your birthday. Cracked out marble cake hiding under and innocent enough vanilla buttercream icing.
It was my friend's 21st birthday and she'd said some weeks earlier that she wasn't going to celebrate it. I asked her if she'd celebrate if there was a rainbow cake involved. Rainbow cake will make anyone do a 180. 
Apologies for the iPhone photo... Vanilla marble 2-layer cake with vanilla buttercream frosting. I love frosting. And so does my cat.


Tunnocks Tea Cakes. Ish.

I read an article in the Saturday Times Magazine (might have been Sunday) a few weeks ago, which had recipes for homemade versions of popular chocolate bars. This reminded me that my friend had suggested I try and make a Tunnocks Tea Cake. I have a great recipe for this '7 minute frosting' which is not so much like frosting, but a lot like marshmallow fluff. Then what to use as the biscuit base? I love that weird squishy biscuit in the middle of a tea cake so found a biscuit recipe that was supposed to turn out a little soft. So I started to make the biscuits. And then it went all tits over arse. 

Problem 1 - even after I'd chilled the dough for 1 hour, it was stupidly sticky and totally un-rollable. So I had to make it in to little cookie shapes instead.

Problem 2 - started to make the marshmallow fluff. 1/4 of the way through the time, the electric whisk breaks completely. Had to whisk the rest up by hand, ripping through the skin on my finger in the process.

Problem 3 - when trying to dip the biscuit base and marshmallow into the chocolate, this happened:

Fail. The marshmallow wasn't really stiff enough to support the chocolate. So, to plan B. I dipped the biscuits in chocolate and then just piped little dollops of fluff on top. Not quite a tea cake, but delicious nonetheless.

Now I need a new electric mixer. Crap.

Thursday, 12 May 2011

Rhubarb Crumble

I have nothing against Nigella, I just think she can be a little excessive with the butter and cream and that. Today I decided to give her the benefit of the doubt when I was making a rhubarb crumble. I doubt I'll be doing that again. TOO MUCH BUTTER NIGELLA. I'm not trying to make flapjacks, I just want a crumbly crumble topping. Geez.

Chocolate Chip Cookies. Standard.

I haven't made cookies in ages. I got a bit obsessed with cupcakes and frosting for a while. These are made from an adapted version of that infamous Neiman Marcus recipe. I don't put quite as much brown sugar (substitute with granulated) and use mashed bananas instead of eggs. You can even take out some of the sugar if you use really old and squishy bananas. 
I added some dates and used Bournville plain chocolate. I've never been a fan of using 'cooking' chocolate. It is less likely to cook when you melt it but I swear it tastes odd. 

Saturday, 30 April 2011

I Can't Make Brownies

I always seem to fail at brownies. I've made them countless times and they never come out how I want them to. Always edible, never quite right. Like the time I made Nigella's brownies. TOO MUCH CHOCOLATE. Made me feel sick. Most other recipes always seem to end up either too cakey or too gooey in the middle with the edge ones hard as a rock. So I thought that this time I'll try an American recipe. I used the recipe from a Hershey's cookbook that I picked up from the flagship store in New York. 
 I put some Hershey's chocolate chips (which you can now buy from Asda!) and salted peanuts in them. Sweet, chocolatey and salty. They tasted like how I imagine that cake from Matilda tastes.
They were fudgey in the middle but the ones near the edge of the pan had this odd crust. Rock hard, but only a couple millimetres thick. Weird.

Southern Humming Bird Bundt Cake

I've been meaning to try this recipe out for ages. I found it in a book of American recipes I got as a birthday gift a while back. It's been a traditional Southern cake since the 70s, and is basically a mash-up between banana bread and a carrot cake. But with pineapple instead of carrot... and some coconut. Oh, and cream cheese frosting. NOM. Easy to make, as over-beating or under-beating won't affect the crumb, and sifting isn't necessary. I will definitely make this again, I love it. However, it could use more coconut (but I'm obsessed with coconut). Recipe to follow.

 I used my Bundt tin because it doesn't get enough love. It's a huge big aluminium thing, cost a fortune but totally worth it. Cakes always come out completely evenly risen.

Hummingbird cake:

450g can of crushed pineapple
1 cup plain flour
1/2 cup self-rising flour
1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1 cup brown sugar (I used light Muscovado)
1/2 cup desiccated coconut
1 cup mashed banana (if they're really old and mushy, you might not want to use as much, the flavour can be over-powering)
2 eggs, lightly beaten
3/4 vegetable oil

  • Preheat oven to 180C, grease a deep cake tin - 9-11 inch diameter
  • Drain pineapple and save 1/4 cup of the syrup
  • Sift dry ingredients together. Mix in pineapple, syrup, coconut, banana, egg and oil
  • Mix until combined, then pour into pan
  • Bake for around 40 minutes, until a skewer inserted in the middle comes out clean

Cream cheese frosting:

30g softened butter
60g cream cheese 
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups icing sugar

  • Beat together the butter and the cream cheese
  • Add vanilla and slowly beat in the icing sugar, 1/2 cup at a time
  • Do not over-beat the frosting - this will cause the frosting to go runny
  • Frost fully-cooled cake

Monday, 25 April 2011

Cocktail Cupcakes

After making the giant chocolate cake, I never actually got to try any. I was working and it went to a better home. So when I got back I decided to make blue/green coconut cupcakes instead! Should have put some lime juice in the frosting, but you live, you learn. I do love a little cocktail umbrella. 

Made with desiccated coconut and coconut milk. 

Sunday, 24 April 2011

My Chocolate Cake Is Bigger Than Your Head

Happy Easter folks! Quick post to show you the uber chocolate cake. Triple layered, with chocolate buttercream frosting. I used about 700g of chocolate in this cake and the frosting... NOM.

Tuesday, 12 April 2011

Chocolate Celebration Cake

I was recently offered a job, and so thought I deserved a bit of chocolate cake. So I rustled this one up - dead simple, cheap (no eggs or butter in the cake) and super delicious. Chocolate orange celebration cake. Recipe to follow.

Chocolate orange cake -  

1 1/2 cups plain flour
1 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup cocoa powder (I always use Bournville)
1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
6 tablespoons vegetable oil 
1 tablespoon white vinegar (could also use apple cider vinegar)
1 teaspoon vanilla OR orange essence
1 cup cold water

  • Preheat oven to 175C and lightly grease a 9"x9" baking pan (or similar sized round pan).
  • Stir together the dry ingredients in a large bowl, make a well in the middle.
  • Mix wet ingredients together in another bowl, then pour into the well in the dry ingredients.
  • Stir until just combined and no large lumps are left - don't over-beat or the cake will become dense.
  • Bake in the middle of the oven for 28 minutes, until centre springs back to the touch or a knife inserted comes out clean. Leave to cool completely.

Chocolate frosting - 

1/4 cup unsalted butter
1 1/2 tablespoons cocoa powder
2 cups icing sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla essence
2-3 tablespoons milk
  • Beat together the butter and the cocoa until a smooth paste is formed. 
  • Add icing sugar by the 1/2 cup until thick and doughy. Stir in the vanilla.
  • Add some of the milk until the frosting is smooth, glossy and has the desired spreading consistency. Add more sugar for a stiffer frosting that can be piped onto the cake.

Sunday, 10 April 2011

Just Like Mama Never Used To Make

One of my favourite things to bake for others are Cinnamon Rolls. They are comforting and satisfying in a sweet and bread-y way. I wish we could get Cinnamon Rolls in a can as readily as you can in the States. This time, the request was from my brother, who was about to leave for his shift at a local pub on a sunny Sunday lunchtime. Translation: hectic and sweaty lunchtime with screaming children and ridiculously demanding customers. So Cinnamon Rolls it was. I hope he likes them.

Drizzled with milk and maple icing sugar glaze.