Summary

Give me cake or give me death cookies.

Saturday, 27 October 2012

Pumpkin Pie with Gingered Cream and Shortbread

As autumn rolls on with a chill in the air and we celebrate things like Halloween and Bonfire Night, I really appreciate a good cosy pumpkin pie, as I always do around this time of year. For this one I used my own shortcrust pastry recipe, the same one I used for my cherry frangipane tart (also basically just shortbread), and for the filling I just used the recipe on the back of a can of Libby's solid pack pumpkin (usually I love experimenting and adding my own spin to things, but for some occasions old habits die hard, and I know what my family and I like).

The gingered cream was double cream whipped with the syrup from a jar of candied ginger.

Notice the cute little 'home made' shortbread heart? I made a batch of these and 'eat me' biscuits out of the leftover pastry dough.

They're so adorable you could almost eat them! Wait...

Friday, 19 October 2012

NEWSFLASH

I've submitted my entry for the Great British Bake Off 2013.

Ohmygodwhathaveidoneaaaaargh.

Wednesday, 17 October 2012

Xbox 360 Cake- My First Fondant Cake

As word spreads that I'm baking a lot these days, I'm getting the odd request here and there. My dad came home from work with a request from one of his colleagues after showing off this blog to him.

At first, his colleague wanted a TARDIS cake for his son, who was turning 13. Now I'm a firm believer in not agreeing to do anything you're not sure you can actually do well in business, so I relayed the message (feeling a little guilty but also that I was going the right thing), that I was sorry, but I didn't think I could pull off a TARDIS. After all, I don't really make cakes that look like stuff and don't pretend to have any experience or skill in making cakes look like stuff- I just make generally pretty cakes. The last thing I wanted to do was agree to make a cake, take money, and make a cake ending up looking like crap.

My dad's colleague was determined, though. What about an Xbox cake?

Hmm, this did seem to be less potentially less fiddly than a TARDIS. I had reservations, but dad, in his own way of encouraging me, said 'it's just a box shape, isn't it?' Well- yes and no. It's a box with a subtle curving shape, vents in the sides and top, and a number of buttons and things. And, like a TARDIS, it'd need fondant icing to make decorate, which I've never used before (I'm a buttercream and ganache kind of girl).

However, I agreed to do it, choosing to ignore my doubts. I made a vanilla sponge with strawberry jam and buttercream filling, covering it and decorating it with fondant. It took me around seven hours to make, and I had a lot of fun making it. It won't be the last fondant cake I make, certainly, now I've been bitten by the fondant bug.

This cake was IMPOSSIBLE to photograph.


Not  precisely perfect, but not too bad for my first time using fondant to cover and decorate a cake, I think. The recipient was apparently pleased though, and that's all that counts.

Tuesday, 16 October 2012

Mini Chocolate Fudge Cupcakes

I brought these into work for my colleagues in honour of my birthday. I felt kind of bad for once again being a rotten old office feeder, but at least they got good feedback!


Sunday, 14 October 2012

Blood Forest Gateau- A Very Spooky 25th Birthday!

Myself and my friend Lucia both turned 25 this weekend, and to celebrate we threw a Halloween-themed murder mystery party for nine! We had a three-course dinner of smoked paprika tomato soup, coq au vin, and a cake made by myself and Lucia that I have dubbed a 'blood forest gateau'. Check it out!


RE the chocolate curl coating: when I told Lucia I couldn't have done it without her help, she remarked that I could, it'd just take me a lot longer- to which I added 'and with a lot more swearing.'

The portion sizes were, I admit, a bit ambitious.

The cake was three layers of dark red velvet cake instead of the standard chocolate sponge for your average black forest gateau (I added more cocoa powder than the usual for red velvet), sandwiched with chocolate truffle 'mousse', cherries and jam, finished with cream and cherry pie filling. This is how I got the even cross-section slices:

Pipe concentric circles to get an even stripy cut!

I was Morticia, so I got to wear my corset. (A pretty mean appletini in the background).

Sunday, 7 October 2012

Stem Ginger and White Chocolate Biscotti

I love all things ginger. I can eat it sweet, savoury, raw, pickled- anything. So, wanting to make biscotti today but to try something different too, I made these.


I used my usual recipe for biscotti, but added some chopped stem ginger (the kind you can get in a jar in syrup) and white chocolate chips. Aromatic almonds, zingy ginger and buttery white chocolate- an awesome combination. The only thing I'd tweak about the recipe next time is to add more of the white chocolate because it got a bit lost here- bigger chunks rather than small chocolate chips would do the trick, I think.

Served as it should be- with a very strong coffee.

Saturday, 6 October 2012

My First Attempt at Cake Pops

Yes I'm aware that the green ones look a bit like they've sneezed.

I can't believe I've never tried making cake pops before, they're so tasty and cute! These were made with some leftover vanilla sponge I had in the freezer from levelling cakes, some homemade strawberry concentrate to bind the resulting crumbs (you're supposed to use buttercream or cream cheese frosting, but it didn't feel right to add even more butter and sugar to a cake that already has plenty of that in), and coated in strawberry flavoured white chocolate. I didn't have anywhere to stand the pops up, so I just stuck them upside down in mini cupcake cases as you can see- I actually quite like this sweetie-like look.

A note on the poor decoration: as this was a leftovers venture, I decided to try and use up some of the crappy pre-made writing icing I have in the cupboard and made little dots, thinking to make the pops look more strawberry-like. Alas, not only was the shade of green a bit questionable, but the condensation that resulted after taking the pops out of the fridge to decorate resulted in a rather unfortunate slime effect. Ah well- live and learn!

Friday, 5 October 2012

Vanilla Cupcakes: The Rose Swirl

Two-toned buttercream time!

Pic taken with Instagram by my colleague Anna

I've was perfecting my rose swirl for a couple of colleagues last night: this was the result.