It’s a struggle to try and pretend that everything is normal at the moment, but I still wanted to do some baking and spread some joy to people (whilst keeping my distance, of course).
I had two people to make some cakes for and do a doorstep drop & run (cakes on doorstep, knock on door, run away).
The first batch I made were Red Velvet Cupcake Baileys cupcakes. This was made using the limited edition “Red Velvet Cupcake” Baileys, and resulted in some pink cakes (no food colour used, this was solely the colour of the Baileys).
FOR THE CAKES
1/4 Cup Butter
1/2 Cup Sugar
1/4 Cup Baileys (red velvet)
1/4 Cup, + 1/4 of the 1/4 cup Self-Raising Flour
1/4 Cup + 1/3 of the 1/4 cup Plain Flour
FOR THE ICING
1/4 block butter
Red Velvet Baileys
The second cupcakes were for my Sister-in-law and these ones were chocolate cake with chocolate buttercream icing.
The weather so far this month has been awful! High winds, multiple storms, and what feels like non-stop rain. It’s been sad to see people’s homes and businesses impacted yet again by the weather. Sadly, some of my old roller derby friends were impacted by flooding again, so I wanted to do a little something to cheer them up a tiny bit.
I made some PB&J blondies and boxed them up to post to them anonymously (unless they read this blog, in which case – oops!)
I used this recipe that I found online for the blondies. I then added a small bag of chocolate chips to the mix, and topped with white chocolate ganache.
Once they had cooled down, I cut them in to squares and put into cellophane bags. I posted them and thankfully I knew that they had arrived as my friend put a post on Instagram asking who the sender was (I still haven’t owned up).
Next up, I need to think about what to bake & give away in March!
I’d never actually use the “Secret Baker” name, but I laughed when someone used it when talking about January’s cake.
This one was a last minute change in nomination due to a change of circumstances, but it went to a work colleague (anonymously). He was nominated because he is an amazing colleague who gives up time in work to listen to others and is always willing to go out of his way to help. Outside of work, he gives up his time to work with the Scouts.
I was told he was a fan of bourbon, so this led to a chocolate whiskey cake being left on his desk on Monday Morning:
I got told that the recipient looked very confused at first, and maybe a little concerned that someone knew about his love of bourbon and work outside of work with the Scouts. Oops!
Next month I’m going to try find someone not in work to give a cake to. Watch this space!
I get so much inspiration from Instagram bakers. In December, Neurotic Mom posted about donating a number of cakes to people who were nominated by her followers. Her cakes went to some of the most deserving people, and it made me feel inspired! I decided that each month in 2020 I would bake and give a cake to someone who had been nominated as a recipient.
Being me, I actually started this in December when I was feeling in the festive, giving spirit. I won’t give all the info on here, but here are pictures of the cakes that I baked to bring some cheer to the recipients…
Another idea I had when making cakes for Halloween was to try making some “stabbed” cupcakes. I’d seen the idea on Instagram and thought it would be a good one to try. I had obviously made cupcakes before, but never tried anything with sugar work.
I had to begin by making the sugar mixture for my “Glass” – 2 cups of granulated sugar, some water, and a tube of liquid glucose. I had to heat this to 300 degrees F, whilst constantly stirring. It took nearly an hour!
Once the mixture was heated to the necessary temperature, I poured it out onto baking parchment and allowed it to cool down and set for a few hours
After setting, I hit it with a knife to get it to break up into the “shards”
I already had some cupcakes baked, and some leftover buttercreams. I used chocolate buttercream first, then added a vanilla swirl to the top mwhich i “stabbed” with the sugar shards
Finally, I added some red coloured icing drizzles to make the “blood”:
I was planning on making a cake for my work colleagues for Halloween, but then work announced a Baking Contest so I had to get creative. The idea is that staff enter a cake that gets judged, and then they sell off slices of cake for our nominated charity.
I had three ideas, but could only enter one. I ended up making all 3 anyway (further posts to come) but entered one and just gave the rest for selling to raise money as it was all for charity anyway.
The cake I decided to enter was my Brain Cake
I made one of these last year, and it is surprisingly easy to make. The Gallery below roughly shows the steps, but essentially:
Bake 3 round cakes (I used vanilla cake dyed with pink food colouring)
Stack the cakes then cut the edges from the rounds to create the curved pieces for the dome
Cover with buttercream
Colour some fondant with ivory colouring and a drop of pink
Roll out the fondant into ropes
Apply to cake
Cover in jam
The bakers in work are really good so there was some stiff competition! The next gallery shows some of the cakes that entered – you’ll see that the decorating work on the cauldron was really good!
Judging took place based on Appearance and taste. I was happy to say that I won the contest 🙂
I get to go have Champagne Afternoon Tea for 2 at Cloud 23 at the Hilton in Manchester.
My brother and I were never sporty when we were children. As a teen I started to do more cardio at the gym, and when I was 25 I discovered Roller Derby which I played for 6 years. It was great to feel a part of a team and it really helped build my confidence. As a child I was fatter and never did well at sport. As an adult, I was actually good at roller derby and it was a great feeling.
I imagine my brother was in a similar situation, and he discovered all-inclsuive rugby in recent years. He’s really blossomed in the sport and he’s doing amazing – I am very proud of him!
I like an excuse to bake, and as this month is Pride celebrations all over the place i decided to try make something to celebrate Pride and send them to him (secretly) in the post. I just really hope they have shipped OK…
I used this recipe from All Recipes to make the blondies, and then topped them with a white chocolate ganache. I used a 3:1 chocolate to cream ratio and coloured some of this with gel colouring.
To begin with I covered the full tray of blondies with white chocolate ganache, then I added rainbow stripes which I then feathered:
I posted these to his work without him knowing, so hoping they get there in one piece. Time will tell!
I love cinnamon. I love cinnamon rolls. When we go to America, I love the smell of Cinnabon when we go shopping in malls (though I have to restrict how often I eat it as I know they are so full of calories). With this in mind, I wanted to try making some cinnamon rolls at home for the first time.
The dough was made with flour, salt, milk, yeast, and sugar and had to prove for 90 minutes. After this, I rolled it out to try make a rectangle:
You have to coat the dough with butter, and then sprinkle a LOT of sugar and cinnamon over it
I followed a recipe that allegedly made 12-14 buns. Instead of cutting it into thinner buns, I cut it into 8 instead.
A second prove is then needed to allow the buns to puff up before baking:
I believe that I over-baked them a little, but it was nothing that a little cream cheese frosting wouldn’t fix:
And finally, the inside of the bun as I was eating it. Yum yum yum yum