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:
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!
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!