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”:
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.
I love the autumn. One of the reasons I love going to visit the USA in “fall” is because of the amount of pumpkin flavoured foods I can get. Whenever I can, I try to make things at home too that have been inspired by my love of the USA.
Today, this inspiration let to me making mini pumpkin cakes.
I started by making my basic cake mix and adding in tinned pumpkin and pumpkin pie spices. I baked these in my mini bundt pan:
I trimmed the cakes to make them shorter, and then stacked them. I sandwiched the layers with a cream cheese icing.
The next step was coating the cakes in orange buttercream
I shaped the cakes using a yogurt pot to smooth the edges and add ridges too. The final stage was to add a stalk made from tootsie roll:
I wanted them to look a little more professional, but they didn’t turn out too bad overall.
I feel really into Halloween this year. I’ve got plans to carve two bulldog pumpkins (One for work and one for home) and I’ve just spent today decorating mini pumpkin cakes made from mini bundt cakes.
Yesterday, we went to our friends’ house for a Halloween gathering.
Although we went Day of the Dead style (thanks to some half price outfits purchased last year), they had a “mad science” theme so I decided to have a go at making a brain cake.
I started earlier in the week by baking some vanilla cake layers and dyed them with red food dye. I had ran out of gel colour though and had to resort to liquid – this resulted in pink cakes and not red. I covered in a buttercream coating, and shaped it as best as I could work out freehand…
I used fondant (dyed ivory and pink) to make the “brain tissue”. I then just attached it in swirly patterns to make my brain.
After completing the first half of the cake, I continued the “twizzling” with the other side of the cake until it was fully covered.
To finish the cake, I covered it in a seedless strawberry jam which gave it a shiny, bloody glaze:
Everyone told me that it turned out well – I was really impressed with it as it was quite a low effort cake!