Mother’s Day Afternoon Tea

It was Mother’s Day last weekend here in the UK. I made afternoon tea, complete with cakes, for my mother-in-law. I made Coca Cola Cake as min loafs, Cherry Bakewell slices and a Victoria Sponge (that was guzzled before I could take a pic). Anyway, enjoy the images. The Cherry Bakewells were particularly nice and was a recipe the Hubster pulled out of our Asda magazine.  There is a scan of the recipe below.

Enjoy, what did you bake this weekend?

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Nigella’s Coca Cola Cake

There is nothing I love better than CAKE!  (apart from my hubby and my son, oh and the rest of my family… and… you get me yeah?).  So CAKE!  Something to soothe the soul, make you feel better and deliver a yummy, sugary chocolate fix.

This is one of our kitchen staples, Coca Cola Cake as introduced to the UK by the Baking Goddess that is Nigella Lawson. This recipe is not available on the website but in the How to be a Domestic Goddess cook book which most woman in the UK probably own.

This is a blissfully simple, quick to assemble moist cake.  You get your dry ingredients together, you get your wet one sin another jug, you melt your butter with some coca cola and some cocoa.  And then bang it all together.  Suddenly it comes together in a gloopy, chocolate, gloriously smelling batter.  Pour this into a well lined tin and bake.

A bit of icing, and VOILA!  (no images of icing as it got eaten v quickly…..)

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Sticky Orange Cake

This weekend we had lots of snow, about 5 or 6 inches. It isn’t a lot but it manages to make the world go crazy, at least in the UK. Three snowflakes and the country grinds to a halt. Madness. Anyway, whilst everyone was off sledging, I invested some time in a Sticky Orange Cake. I managed to use a whole jar of Seville Orange Marmalde…..

This recipe is from the book for the second series of Great British Bake Off, How to Bake: The Perfect Victoria Sponge and other Baking Secrets. I’m secretly in love with this book, there are lots of brilliant recipes and if it wasn’t for Boy Wonder (my 5yr old) picking this one out, I probably would have struggled to pick. Recipe was super easy, creaming butter, adding sugar, eggs and then flour. Finally some milk and marmalade. Bake, glaze with warm marmalade and then ice when cool. Yummy!

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Apple Sponge Pie

Recently shopping in the supermarket, my 5yr old asked me if we could make ‘apple sponge pie’, so I asked him what was in it.  He replied – eggs, flour, sugar, vanilla and apples, about 5 apples.  So I bought some apples as I usually have all the rest in and came home and Google’d it.  He was quite particular about how it should look and eventually we found one he was happy with.  We made something akin to it, your basic sponge mix with chopped apples and a sprinkle of sugar, and voila!

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Finally images of Christmas baking….

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I went a bit baking crazy at Christmas.  Firstly are my Scandinavian biscuits, I bought the cutter on my magical trip to Oslo with my hubby.  I only have four, two animals, a person and an angel.  They were very lovely, although I would have added more ginger and cinnamon.  I made the dough and then chilled it over night, there were no eggs or butter, just cream to bond it all together.  It was hard to roll and as the cutters were so small, I made the worlds biggest box of them.

Also in the images, are some pictures of my Star Stack, which was our alternative Christmas cake.  Lovely, we had about a third of it and then we found my sisters cats helping themselves to it… damn them…

Its getting close to that time of the year….

Very shortly I will have to start the Christmas baking, I’m quite excited and I already have lots of ideas and things I want to try.

When I was in the US, I picked up two Christmas magazines to provide new inspiration.  The first is Food Gifts, filled with great ideas of recipes you can make and how you can present them.

The second is called Holiday Cookies, from Land O Lakes, again lots of great recipes to test and eat!  Yummy

Of course, I’ll be sharing images and letting you know how they go.  Wish me luck!

Weekend Baking – Crispie Cakes and Self Saucing Chocolate Puddings

Back from holiday in NYC where I went a *little* nail polish crazy… posts on purchases to follow.

But this weekend, we got back into the baking mojo. Firstly, the Boy Wonder wanted to make Crispie Cakes, based on a recipe his teacher shared with the class.  He was very insistent on how it should be made, so he pretty much made them himself.

Then for the grown ups, I made a self saucing chocolate pudding I saw in the hubsters Olive Magazine.  Very simple and super yummy! Although worth noting that you have to chill it for 4/5 hrs before baking.

Having lost the plot, here are all the phases from two onwards

After my last post I got stuck into the baking hard core.

I made 50 chocolate cupcakes, as see in the previous post, and then 50 vanilla cupcakes. Then I iced them. Then I make a large cupcake cake for the happy couple to cut open.

In terms of time, we are talking about 5 or 6 batches of each.  I planned ahead, weighing out my dry ingredients into large jugs, so that I could whip them together quickly.  This worked surprisingly well as I know that just doubling up the mixture can cause problems with the bake.  Each set of 12 took about 20 mins to bake, so we are looking at about 8 hours of prepping, mixing, baking and icing.

Here is the gallery of images, enjoy!

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Baking baking baking….

I am in the middle of baking 120 cupcakes for a wedding.  I ran my tests, all went fine, baked them, iced them and waited to see how long they would last so I could space out the baking.  Today was the first phase of three.  Phase one is bake chocolate cupcakes!

Batch One of Phase One

Sorry, been a bit slow this last week….

Plus, I’ve been away and not been in the kitchen/painting my nails.

Swatching posts to follow as I now have the new Chanel Matt Top Coat!  Very excited, but have you seen the new Holiday colour?? Beautifully swatched here on The Beauty Look Book.

And next week, I’ll be baking 120 Cupcakes for a Wedding…. eeekkk!