Monday, 12 December 2011

New website

Dear All,
So here I am again after a disappearing act! Go on, yell at me, you know you want to! I have missed you all immensely, and just so you know - there's no one else in this relationship, ok? I only have eyes for you :-*

I've just been really busy with spurts of procrastination! I just cant help it, do you guys ever feel like that? There's like 101 things on your to-do list but you just cant get on with it. It's like there's an invisible force around you wanting you to sit and take it easy. It's so frustrating.

And as for the busy stuff, I've been making cakes!! Thats the highlight of my weeks! I get such a sense of achievement from baking that cake to putting the final touches on it. Boy, it's stressful but oh so satisfying once the cake is delivered. I love it!

I have done baking but nothing really new and sadly nothing from my bake list but all that to change in 2012.... I can feel it in my bones, I will be back with a truckload of recipes for you! Ok, maybe more like a mini cooper full of recipes ;-)

So I've been updating my facebook with the pics and now have copied them to a brand spanking new website which I hope you all will check out for me and comment with any suggestions you may have.

I'm gonna love you and leave you now. I promise to update soon with a great tried and tested recipe for you all to try!

So everyone coming along well with Christmas baking??

Much love xxx

Tuesday, 21 June 2011

While I was gone…..


I have no excuses for not blogging other than life took over… Do forgive me, I didn’t mean to leave you in the lurch [hangs head down and gives puppy eyes]…

It started with me needing to give all my attention to finishing a college course, which I handed in last month, Yay! But then it seemed like I was juggling 101 things at the same time. Mr WWW got a new job which is quite a distance away and therefore means I am on school/nursery runs all the time. And then the cooling fan on my oven went haywire! It just does not switch off, at all!! So we had to manually unplug it at the back of the cooker. That had me depressed for a while as I couldn’t bake [saddens at the memory] but the mastermind that I am, I have found that if I get my daughter’s stepping stool up to the front of the cooker and tilt the cooker forward, I can just about reach the plug and socket! So I’ve now started to plug it in when I need to bake and unplug it half hour after baking…. Will need to do for now!


A couple of months ago I purchased a giant cupcake tin, they look sooo good I just couldn't resist! And I had my first chance to use it for a birthday order. I had loads of fun and was very happy with the end result of a shabby chic style cake!


It was such a hit on Facebook (find me and “like” me on ) that it was shortly followed by another order of a giant cupcake and 50 matching cupcakes for a wedding mendhi party!!


The theme was green, red and gold. The bride was very pleased with the results! P4151841

Very glitzy, sparkly and hopefully captured the Indian influences.


I even found a designer piece of chiffon material that happened to match the cake quite well….!


I hope you have now forgiven me and we can start again, what you say??? I shall be taking part in this month’s Daring Baker’s Challenge and I sure have missed my fellow Daring Bakers! Cant wait to start rocking and rolling baby!!

Wednesday, 6 April 2011

Biscuit Joconde Imprime with Double Chocolate Mousse Entremet

A bit of a mouthful, hey? Well, let me tell you – once you’ve tried a slice of this pure happiness, you’re gonna want to learn the name too double-quick!


In other words, a sponge cake where a pattern is imprinted in it and is used to create the surrounding shell of a filled dessert.

This was the Daring Baker’s Challenge for January 2011. When I saw the challenge, I was soo excited. How fancy schmancy is this for a dinner party! It’s a pure showstopper and you can play around with the cake wrap with colours, designs and size. The choices were countless. Unfortunately, I couldn’t do the challenge as I had to travel to South England when we heard my Grandma had had a  brain haemorrhage and passed away the next day.

But I knew it was something that I just had to do at some point and just needed an occasion. I had seen so many amazing pieces of work by all the fellow Daring Bakers, they really had exceled on this challenge. I was in total awe of every single one of them!


I made a gift basket for my sister-in-law’s new addition (see Baby Shower cupcakes) but felt a tad bad for the three nephews so I thought I’d make a cake for them. And I knew exactly which cake I wanted to make…

I also made it nut-free so my sister-in-law could have some too. That was a bit of a hurdle as the recipe specifically asked for almond/hazelnut meal, and I guess that added to the flexibility needed to wrap the cake around the entremet. I threw caution to the wind and used the recipe for the decor paste (which didn’t need any nuts) to do the design and also the sponge layer. Put it in the oven and prayed to God that it would come out right.

And it did. Wahey!!


Don’t you just love the spun sugar squiggle, love it! And the gold dust, so beautiful with the chocolate ganache layer.

It’s not exactly how I had envisioned it as I really wanted the white chocolate mousse showing over the biscuit Joconde imprime but I guess my measurements weren’t right and I needed to make more of the white chocolate mousse than the milk chocolate mousse. Oh well, tasted just as gorgeous. And I would definately like a glossy smooth finish next time.


The layers are (from bottom to top): 1.  Biscuit Joconde Imprime  2. Rich dense chocolate cake  3. Milk Chocolate mousse   4.  White chocolate mousse  5. Chocolate Ganache

I will definately be making this again, possible with a strawberry twist to it. I loooove my strawberries… or maybe something totally wacky. You’ll need to wait and see, lol.

The recipe is quite lengthy but don’t let that put you off, it’s so totally worth it!

Click down for recipe xx

Sunday, 27 March 2011

Daring Baker's March 2011 Challenge: Yeasted Meringue Coffee Cake



I’d like to start off by telling you all how much I really enjoyed the challenge! A big big thank you to Jamie and Ria for hosting such an amazing challenge! And a huge thank you to all the brilliant inspiring Daring Bakers for all the hints and tips which ensured my cake turned out delicious!

The image I envisaged when I read the title is nowhere near what the cake actually is. I was in for a shock! After reading the ingredients list on the recipe TWICE, I realised there is no coffee in this coffee cake! After a moment or two of realisation, I remembered something my dad had told me once about the coffee cakes he would have in the mornings, they were cakes to be had with coffee but do not actually contain coffee. Hmm…interesting. Will definitely need to give this a try!

The March 2011 Daring Baker’s Challenge was hosted by Ria of Ria’s Collection and Jamie of Life’s a Feast. Ria and Jamie challenged The Daring Bakers to bake a yeasted Meringue Coffee Cake.

I’m not sure what I really expected with the meringue inside the cake (which was more like brioche – which I LOVE! LOVE! LOVE!). Thinking back, at that time I probably thought it would form a sort of marshmallowy layer inside. But it didn’t take a lot of wondering as by day 2 there were completed challenges up already!


I decided to split the dough three ways and make two sweet and one savoury cake.

Left - Chocolate chip, hazelnut and orange zest. Middle – Cranberry, pecans, white chocolate chunks, cinnamon and cardamom. Right – Tomato puree, mozzarella, spinach and basil.

I finished baking them last night at 7.00pm and by 3pm today (as in less than 24 hours!!), the choc chip and the tomato - mozzarella are totally gone. As in there’s no crumbs or evidence of them anywhere. Jamie and Ria, that’s the biggest compliment we can give you! While I had the chance, I sliced up the cranberry yeasted cake and have frozen it in an airtight container Smile If the freezing turns out well, I am onto a double winner here!


I followed a few hints and let the dough rise twice whilst in the bowl and a final time once it was filled. I also used a 2-egg white meringue instead of the three which was just perfect and I had no over-spilling or mess. Hurrah!

tomato yeasted

According to my hubby, the savoury Yeasted cake tasted like a deep pan pizza all rolled up in a bread. The bread was extremely soft and fluffy and the filling was substantial without being overpowering. (Sidenote: I didn’t put any sugar into the meringue for this one)


The baby spinach in the cake was just so delicious – I will definately be making it again. It really did taste like a pizza!


I cannot really comment on how this one tasted because I froze it as soon as I saw the others being snatched up like hot cakes (lol, get it??) but the filling is a guaranteed hit especially with the adding aroma of cinnamon and cardamom. I think my bet is safe with that one!


This was was just totally amazing. I kid you not, it tasted better than the chocolate chip brioche loaf that I get from our local supermarket and that tastes damn good (so how would you describe something better than “damn good”?). My 2 year old daughter was ripping it apart so she could have just the chocolate bits and my 4 year old had about three slices in one go and she is a fussy eater. Me, I sat down with a nice cup of coffee and and a slice of this delicious, soft, luscious yeasted meringue coffee cake and loved every moment of it… I also decided then, that I would definitely make this exact one for my dad very very soon!

I have linked to the original recipe which is actually quite flawless if followed through and obviously please use my suggestions on the extra rise and less meringue if you want to.

The meringue is totally absorbed into the dough and cannot be seen once it’s fully baked but I’m sure it holds a significant presence in the cake.

Follow this link for the recipe and don’t forget to check out all the fabulous Daring Bakers and their creations here

Sunday, 20 March 2011

Strawberry cheesecake-inspired cupcakes!

Be totally honest with yourself and tell me, do you not feel like grabbing that spoon off that plate and devouring that piece of cupcake delight???
And then grabbing the rest of the cake too??
That's how I felt when taking the photo. Sad, I know!

So let me tell you how I done this edible eye-candy.... It all started when a lovely friend of mine gave me 2 packs of these gorgeous chic cupcake/popover/muffin cases...

They are just so pretty. (They are available currently in IKEA if you fancy some gorgeous cases)

So then I need to think of something equally gorgeous to bake, to suit the gorgeous cases. I love everything with strawberries so knew I had to incorporate that into the design.

I had a full tub of cream cheese in the fridge and some digestive biscuits. Aha! It's gotta be Strawberry cheesecake style cupcakes. Mamma-mia, it just gotta be done!!

Fold chopped strawberries into your favourite vanilla cupcake recipe (find the recipe I used at an earlier post here)

Li'l Beauties! Bake for the whole 20 mins.... Sit on your hands if you have to, do the washing, make a list of things to do. But just make sure you're back by 20 minutes!

Bring them out and let them cool. I've done an earlier post on Vanilla cream-cheese frosting so while they're cooling, go ahead and make the lip-smacking cream-cheese frosting. Trust me, it'll be worth it!

Oh yeah, and don't forget to crush some digestive biscuits (graham crackers) while you're at it! Up to you how many you want to do, anything from 3-6 biscuits should be fine.

Once the cupcakes have cooled, smother or pipe some frosting on each cupcake, sprinkle crushed digestives and top with juicy red strawberry halves.

Et C'est Voila! Bob's your uncle!

Gorgeous cupcakes to suit the gorgeous up-coming weather!!

Perfect for afternoon tea.... actually any time of the day, week, month really :-)


Can't wait for you all to try it and let me know what you think! I'll be right here waiting for ya!!

Monday, 28 February 2011

Baby announcement cupcakes and an easy buttercream recipe

My sister-in-law has had a baby girl! Yay! She will now be lost in the world of princesses, tiaras, dressing up and then later - handbags, shoes, jewellery etc. It's never-ending! My two daughters have recently taken an interest in nail polish, lord save me!

So before I get side-tracked.

My sister-in-law wanted to announce the birth of the baby in a thoughtful way. One which involves something that we share a common interest in.....Cupcakes! Once again - Yay!! Close family and friends would get a box of cupcakes with a tag announcing the birth. Erm....the final figure was 110 cupcakes in total. No pressure :-/

4 vanilla cupcakes and 2 raspberry cupcakes.

There was madness, there was mayhem. But the end product was worth it all!
The madness happened the night before when I received a text from my post-labour, still pregnancy hormonal and sleep-deprived sister-in-law. It read "It's all going wrong.".
We had decided to divide the baking of the cupcakes between us and bake them the night before. That meant 55 cupcakes each (I preferred to see it more as 2 large batches of cake mixture) and definately psychologically seemed more manageable.
My cupcakes were going well and stress-free. I rang my sister-in-law to find out what was going wrong. I wasn't prepared for what she was about to say - "Erm...I think I forgot to put margarine in the cupcake batter. The cupcakes seem quite dry."
(cough cough - ahem) LOL.
Then she says, " I think I forgot to give sugar in the other batch."

Poor woman, I told her to go to bed!

 We had a good laugh about it and we both had made more than 55 each so it was fine. We had decided on the basic easy buttercream because we wanted something that would pipe well, easy to make and would last for a while.
More than anything, we had fun making these even though it was a very long and chaotic process and we can happily look back and laugh now.

The buttercream piped quite nicely and the trick was to get enough milk in there to give the buttercream icing the perfect, smooth consistency. There are a few different ratios out there for butter to icing sugar. I prefer the ratio of 1:2 so the icing sugar is double the weight of the butter because it's alot more smooth. And this is the one that you will find when you click down. 

See you soon xx

Easy buttercream icing  - makes 12 cupcakes

140g/5oz butter, softened
280g/10oz icing sugar
1-2 tbsp milk
1/2 tsp vanilla or chosen flavouring
few drops food colouring
Preparation method
1.Beat the butter in a large bowl until soft. Add half of the icing sugar and beat until smooth. Cover bowl with a tea towel or similar or you'll be in the middle of a cloud of icing sugar!!

2. Add the remaining icing sugar and one tablespoon of the milk and beat the mixture until creamy and smooth. Beat in some more milk, if necessary, to loosen the mixture.
3.Stir in the food colouring (optional) and flavouring until well combined.

Tuesday, 15 February 2011

Cheesecake Bars

Sincere apologies for the lengthy break, I didn't mean to. I did miss blogging while I was away.

The thing is, my grandma passed away. She was so dear to me, it still pains me now when I realise she's gone. Luckily we were all around her in her last moments and have had a share of her love and kindness. She really was one of a kind.

While I'm writing this, I cant help thinking about her love for a piece of sponge cake whilst still warm from the oven. Will be doing the victoria sponge cake post soon.

But now, for my first (fashionably late) entry of 2011, I bring you Strawberry-vanilla cheesecake bars which has been patiently waiting on my to-bake list for a while!

With a chocolate digestive crumb base, a creamy vanilla cheesecake filling and a ruby red strawberry jelly glaze, it was striking in a simple form.

These bars were made for a friend who had just returned from overseas and I knew she loved my sweet treats! I can confirm that they were well received and enjoyed by the recipient and her husband.

I chose to make a baked cheesecake so the filling would be more firmer. It was the safe option seeing that I would need to pour quite warm, if not hot, strawberry jelly on top.
The jelly didn't seep into the cheesecake filling, unlike all the nightmares I was imagining. It came out surprisingly quite well. Probably next time, I will play around with flavours and colours and maybe even try mini bites to put in cupcake cases but soo glad I can tick that off the list now, phew!

I'm back to blogging now so hope to catch up on all the blogs soon. xx 

Find the recipe after the jump