Social Distancing Baking

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).

Cupcake baking

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).

Red Velvet Cupcake Baileys
  • FOR THE CAKES
  • 1/4 Cup Butter
  • 1/2 Cup Sugar
  • 1 Egg
  • 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
  • Icing Sugar
Red Velvet Baileys Cupcake

The second cupcakes were for my Sister-in-law and these ones were chocolate cake with chocolate buttercream icing.

Double Chocolate Cupcakes

For the Cakes

  • 1/2 Cup Sugaer
  • 1/2 Cup Plain Flour
  • 1/4 cup Cocoa Powder
  • 1/2 tsp Baking Powder
  • 1/4 tsp Baking Soda
  • Pinch Salt
  • 1 Egg
  • 3 Tablespoons Milk
  • 2 Tablespoons Vegetable Oil
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • 1/4 Cup Coffee

For the Buttercream

  • 1/4 block butter
  • Cocoa Powder
  • Icing Sugar
  • Milk
Chocolate batter and Red Velvet Baileys batter before baking
Straight out of the oven

Anonymous Cake – February

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!

First Cake of 2020

It’s my niece’s birthday on the 4th January and she sent me a video in December asking me to please make a “Unicorn Cake with all the colours” because “I love unicorns”.

I hadn’t been asked to make a unicorn in well over a year, but it seems 5 year olds still like them.

The inside was 5 coloured layers to make it rainbow-esque and these turned out a bit brighter than I thought they would be.

Glass Stabbed Cupcakes

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”:

Brain Cake

In my last post I showed the cake that I entered for my work’s Halloween Baking contest. I entered a “Brain Cake” which is exactly what it sounds like – a cake shaped like a brain.

It’s surprisingly easy to make …

  • Bake cakes (I coloured them pink)
  • Stack cakes, then trim the edges. Take the off-cuts and put on the top to create a dome
  • Cover in buttercream (I had some red left over from other cakes so I added this too)
  • Colour some fondant using ivory food colouring and a tiny amount of pink
Cake on left, fondant on right
  • Roll the fondant out into “ropes”
  • Apply the ropes to cake to form “brain matter”
  • Coat in strawberry jam
Brain Cake

Work Halloween Baking Contest

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

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 ­čÖé

I get to go have Champagne Afternoon Tea for 2 at Cloud 23 at the Hilton in Manchester.

Rainbow Pride Blondies

The Typhoons all inclusive rugby team

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…

Rainbow “Pride” Blondies

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:

cooling in the tray
fresh out of the tray, just before cutting.
Small squares of blondies
Yummy dense blondies, with a rainbow ganache topping

I posted these to his work without him knowing, so hoping they get there in one piece. Time will tell!

A Cake Buffet atWork

It’s been a year since I got some software in work that I never thought I’d get, so I used this as an excuse to bake a load of cakes and share them with my work colleagues…

The Blue theme was literally because I bought a Dr. Oetker sprinkle-mix that I liked the colour of. Some more details on each item follow:

Cakesicles. These had a chocolate cake and salted caramel  centre with dark chocolate coating
Chocolate cupcakes: Chocolate cake with a chocolate buttercream swirl
Vanilla cake with strawberry compote and vanilla buttercream
Lemon Cupcakes: Lemon cake with lemon curd filling, topped with lemon flavour buttercream
Vanilla Cupcake: Vanilla Cake with vanilla buttercream
Cakesicles: Blueberry muffin filling mixed with jam and buttercream, coated in white chocolate
Not on theme, but I made a gin bundt cake too!

A Birthday Cake

I was asked to create this birthday cake based on a design I got sent over email. A simple pastel cake (though not quite as pastel as I’d have liked – damned bold food colouring!).

It was a vanilla cake with strawberry filling and vanilla buttercream (my standard go-to cake).

A close-up of the cake – the topper was added after delivery.
Cake

Rainbow Birthday Cake

Rainbow Cake – pre delivery

My niece turned 4 at the start of January and her request was for a “Colourful rainbow” cake. I asked if she wanted the inside to be the same, and the response was “purple and yellow”.

I clearly do as I am told!

insides of the cake
a nicer shot of the cake with candles on top