We lost our good friend to cancer a few years back. It was when the pandemic was still rife and we couldn’t have many at his funeral/ wake.
Today would have been his 44th birthday, and we were able to have a big celebration charity fundraising event last night. It was Las Vegas themed as that was his favourite place where he visited at least once a year… Sometimes even more.
I didn’t organise the event, but I did get asked of I would make the birthday cake so that’s exactly what I did …
The event was amazing – raising nearly £5,500 for Macmillan. We drank cocktails, gambled, bid on things at the auction, and celebrated a truly amazing man.
My Niece, Amber, Wanted a ballerina cake for her sixth birthday. I got it in my head that pink ruffles would be the way to do this… how much did I regret trying these when the icing kept dropping off the cake?
I suppose the plus side is that when I am not a professional and I am not getting paid, I don’t have to worry too much when things go wrong.
Another birthday treat was some chocolate cupcakes made for my sister in law’s birthday:
Nothing overly exciting for these – chocolate cake with chocolate buttercream. I chucked some Cadbury Miniature Heroes on top and some blue sprinkles to bring some colour.
My workmate finished working with us a few weeks back. Normally in the office I’d take a cake in to say goodbye, but we’ve all been working from home thanks to the pandemic. Thankfully, he lives quite local so I dropped a cake to him in person to say goodbye and good luck.
He had told me he liked cheesecake. I don’t like making the crust though so I decided he could have the baked cheesecake layers sandwiched between red velvet cake layers:
I had stacked the layers with a cream cheese frosting, which was also used to ice the outside of the cake.
To finish the cake, I shaved some white chocolate shards to coat the outside, and topped it off with red velvet crumbs:
I got started on Christmas stuff earlier this year, and ended up with all my “home made treats” completed at the end of last week. As such I took a load around to friends’ houses to share the sugary goodness.
The offerings were:
These were Oreos, coating in various chocolate, and decorated to look Christmassy. Sadly I made the error of putting them in the fridge, and by the time they got delivered the milk and dark chocolate ones had bloomed.
Made with white chocolate, condensed milk, ginger spice, and gingerbread cookies all broken up. Topped with some Christmas sprinkles! I used this recipe from Janes Patisserie.
The eggnog truffles are AMAZING if I am allowed to say so. Made with white chocolate, cream cheese, rum flavouring and nutmeg. They are very easy to make, but taste delicious. Recipe from Six Sisters Stuff.
Made chocolate fudge brownies, cut into squares, then topped with some edible eyes, a red m&m, and pretzels for antlers.
The dogs don’t get forgotten at Christmas – these were Peanut Butter dog biscuits made with all natural Peanut Butter. I stamped the bigger ones with dog names, but they didn’t quite show up once they had baked, hence trying to use icing pens to show the names
How is it that we’ve been in lock down since March, and I still feel that there’s no time to do anything (aka keep this blog updated). Looking back through my photos, I’ve got loads of bakes that I hadn’t uploaded from the last few months, so I suppose this means I’ll have quite a few posts to add over this week!
First up – soft baked Pretzels!
I’ve been following Neurotic Mom on Instagram for quite a while now. Amy adds her bakes there, as well as other channels including You Tube. I took this upon myself to follow one of her recipes by making soft baked pretzels back in May!
I usually only bake cakes, as bread seemed scary. I had some quick yeast in though so decided it was time to try some bread baking. Following Amy’s video made it all really easy – and I had yummy pretzels to eat that week (including some beer cheese I made the next day to go with the savory pretzel)
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!