I was trying to keep myself busy a few weeks back to distract from feeling sad (one of my friends had died and we had been to his funeral). This resulted in me spending a Saturday afternoon in the kitchen baking up some random loaf-cakes. I didn’t originally plan on making three cakes, I just got carried away again.
The first cake I made was a lemon + gin pound cake. This is made using equal weights of egg, sugar, butter and flour, and then adding gin and lemon juice to the mixture. Normally you can really taste the gin, but on this occasion I must have gone too easy. It’s topped with a gin + lemon soak.
The second cake I made was a vegan cake: spiced courgette cake with a lemon glaze. This was made following a recipe from Domestic Gothess that turned out so well I made the cake again the weekend after!
Again, this turned out really well and was very tasty!
As I wasn’t ever going to eat 3 loaf cakes to myself, I ended up slicing them all up and packaging them into cellophane wrappers to send to some people in the post as a pick-me-up / thank you for their help over recent weeks. It was a LOT of cake:
Back in January, i made a unicorn cake for my eldest niece. When I posted a picture of it on the socials, a friend (jokingly) commented when her birthday was. I noted to make her a unicorn cake for her birthday which I dropped off at her house as a surprise.
It was only after I dropped it off and looked at the pictures did I realise that I had forgotten to make some ears for the unicorn. Oh well! She liked it anyways.
The cake was made with red-velvet Baileys so the pink colour actually came from using the Baileys.
Luckily for me, there was spare cake at the end from trimming the top layers, so I made some mini cakes for me & my Husband:
One of the girls who I used to play Roller Derby with got in touch with me earlier in the summer to ask if I’d be willing to make her son’s first birthday cake as she had always loved my cakes (what a nice compliment!). I can be fussy when it comes to making cakes as I don’t usually like using fondant – at least not to cover cakes.
She asked for chocolate cake, with something jungle themed. went for this:
The cupcakes were made to have little animal cake toppers on, which were a tad easier than icing a full cake in fondant. I was happy with this one, although I couldn’t get the buttercream quite perfect. I need to buy a new cake scraper to see if a metal one works better than plastic.
It was my birthday this week. As the world is still on lock-down I decided I wanted to make my own cake.
I have some small cake tins so I made 2 small rounds the weekend before that I froze to keep for decorating this week. I wasn’t 100% sure what my plan was – at first it involved Jammy Dodgers and Party Rings, but ended up only using the latter.
I wasn’t feeling adventurous on flavour, so I went with the good-old Vanilla cake, vanilla buttercream and strawberry jam combo. I smeared some random pink colours around, and used a white chocolate drip. The gin was just as it was colour co-ordinated and made the cake more grown-up!
The top of the cake was decorated with some of the pink buttercream and Party Ring biscuits.
Finally, when I baked the cake layers, there was a bit too much cake mix. I didn’t want to over-fill the cake pans so I decided to make 2 x cupcakes with the remaining mix. I decorated these to match the cake:
Even with a smaller cake, there’s still 2 Party Rings worth left even though I also gave some to friends on Monday! I miss being in work where I could force cake upon my workmates… I love making it, but there’s only so much I can eat myself.
Friday 8th May was the 75th anniversary of VE day. Though we couldn’t have any actual celebrations due to lockdown, I wanted to make an afternoon tea to do something typically British
I had purchased my afternoon tea stands quite a few years ago but had not used them in quite a while. This was another bake where I managed to make everything with ingredients already in the house – sadly this meant no cream for the fruit scones (though I did have jam).
Cream cheese sandwiches
Cheese and red pepper mini quiche
Fruit scones with jam
Oat and raisin cookies
Chocolate chip cookies
Red velvet cake
I started on the baking on the Thursday my making the cookies and macarons. I was following a Neurotic Mom recipe for the macarons for the first time, then being an idiot I went in the loft to hunt something and forgot they were there – thus over-baking them! Thankfully they didn’t end up too burnt.
The red velvet cake was some of the excess made for the birthday cake I’d made (see last post) so I didn’t need to do anything special for them.
The Viennese whirls were a recipe from Mary Berry that I had used a number of times and they always turn out well. So crisp and buttery!
I made the scones in the morning on Friday morning. They baked up well and I don’t really have any stories for these ones. As mentioned before, you’d usually have these with jam and cream, but I had no cream in and was unwilling to go out and buy any.
The trifles, sandwiches and quiche were the last items to be made. Nothing much to mention about these except my pastry on the quiche got stuck to the pan so they ended up more like little egg-bites.
Oh, finally, I had made so much extra that I ended up boxing-up a number of afternoon teas to take to family members as “doorstep drop-offs” (as we still can’t see each other due to social distancing)
Well before social distancing and UK lock-down, I agreed to make a birthday cake for a family friend. I was adamant that I was still making the cake – and thankfully I had everything in the house that I needed to get it done.
The cake was made using a recipe from Chelsweets which I made the week before and kept in the freezer until I was ready to decorate. I made enough mix to make multiple layers, as well as some cupcakes and smaller bite-size cakes to decorate.
The cake was decorated with Cream Cheese forsting (what else?) and a dark chocolate ganache drip.
I didn’t actually have any cream in to use to make the ganache, so I used a method involving milk and butter instead – it worked great! I used this method and had no issues whatsoever.
Another new thing I tried was making icing roses – again, these turned out well for my first go. I didn’t have a cake nail, so I improvised by using some baking paper on my cake turntable. It just about did the job!
I can always find fault with a cake I’ve made, but overall I was happy with how this one ended up. Even more so as I didn’t have to venture to the supermarket for any supplies!
I can’t believe that it’s the end of April already. I was looking back through Google Photos and saw a number of things that I’d baked this month but not posted about, so here goes:
First off, the mountain of cookies I made after learning to bake soft, gooey cookies. I had some “pumpkin spice baking chips” from our USA trip last year, and used these for the cookies.
Next up, was the cupcakes I made for James’ birthday that I left on his doorstep. Chocolate cake with PB icing, PB drizzle, and chopped up nuts
Whilst sorting out my kitchen cupboards, I also found out that I had 2 bags of vegetarian marshmallows left. They were a few months past their best before dates, so I decided to make these into a combination of Rice Krispie treats, and White chocolate Rocky Road:
And the final bake to post about, was a chocolate banana & rum bread that I made when I had a couple of ripe bananas that I’d not got around to eating yet
Worryingly, we’ve eaten all of these bakes between the two of us this month (well, except for the cupcakes). Maybe I should avoid baking anything for myself in May!
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”: