Last month, my family and I celebrated my Grandparents’ Diamond wedding anniversary. That’s SIXTY years people. SIXTY! To celebrate, we held a tea dance, and I was privileged enough to be asked to bake some surprise cupcakes for the happy couple!
The celebration was really a double one, as I has just gotten engaged about 2 weeks before! So the diamonds were particularly apt!
I made chocolate and vanilla cupcakes, in silver foil cases, and dusted with silver glitter.
Congrats to the happy couple, I just hope my fiancé and I make it that long!
Classic flavours, modern twist. Bloody delicious. Three phrases that pretty much sum up the 3 tiered baby shower monstrosity of a cake I made for a work colleague!
I made a vanilla sponge, vanilla buttercream and a chocolate double cream ganache.
To assemble to cake, I sandwiched 3 sponge cakes together using the buttercream and a few dollops of ganache.
I then coated the cake in a white crumb coating and refrigerated for 30 mins.
Next, I separated the remaining vanilla buttercream into 3 bowls. 1 bowl I kept white, 1 bowl I added a small amount of blue to, and 1 bowl I added a LOT of blue colouring to!
I then worked my way from the bottom up, starting with the darker blue at the bottom, blending medium blue into the middle, and finishing off with the white buttercream.
I then coated the bottom of the cake in different shades of blue and purple sprinkles. Then I poured the cooled ganache over the top of the cake, and dusted it in glitter!
This took me a good 3 hours from start to finish, but it was worth it!
This cake is the epitome of summer. Light, refreshing, I could eat an ENTIRE loaf in one sitting. Just don’t dare me to do it… because I will…no self control clearly! Anyway, this cake is perfect to take along to a summer picnic, as indeed I did!
- 100g butter, or dairy free spread – I used Trex
- 75g Greek yogurt (I used the Total 0% variety)
- 175g caster sugar
- 3 eggs
- 225g flour
- 3 ½ tsp baking powder
- 90ml milk (I used almond milk)
- 10 ml elderflower cordial
For the elderflower drizzle:
- 4 tbsp elderflower cordial
- 4 tbsp white or golden granulated sugar
- Splash of warm water if needed
- Sift all dry ingredients together
- Melt butter or dairy free alternative or let it come to room temperature
- Mix all wet ingredients together until fully combined
- Combine wet & dry ingredients together, mix well
- Pour batter into greased loaf tin
- Bake on 225oC for 35-45 mins or until cake is cooked in the middle.
- Mix together cordial and sugar drizzle whilst you wait
- When it comes out of the oven, prick it lightly all over with a fork and pour the drizzle on top
- Wait to cool, and serve!
Brownies just got better. Yup, you’re reading that right! These brownies merit a LOT of your attention. Upon tasting them, a pastry chef friend exclaimed to me that my brownies were better than his. Life=made (if you’re reading this Bobby, here’s the recipe!)
- 185g dark chocolate
- 185g olive oil
- 250g caster sugar
- 3 eggs
- 85g plain flour (If using gluten free, also use 1/2 tsp xanthan gum)
- 40g cocoa powder
- 50-100g dark, milk or white chocolate chips
- Melt chocolate in a bain-marie
- Mix in olive oil and leave to cool
- Whisk eggs and sugar together until thick and frothy
- Pour in cooled chocolate & olive oil
- Sift flour and cocoa powder over the top and mix until just combined
- Stir in chocolate chips
- Pour mixture into well-greased tin (I use a square tin)
- Bake for 25 mins on 185oC
- Leave until totally cooled then cut into squares and stuff your face!
I served mine as dessert to a BBQ as well as to feed my friends the day after!
The dairy/lactose free theme continues with this recipe for No-butter Shortbread! Shortbread is one of my favourite things, buttery, flaky and so delicious! I wanted a treat that I could serve to guests over tea, that I could also enjoy myself… which is where this Olive Oil Shortbread recipe comes in. I have to say, the texture isn’t quite the same but it’s a good alternative. Try it for your dairy-free friends, or even if you want a healthier alternative to butter-heavy shortbread!
- 190g plain flour
- 160g icing sugar
- 1 tsp fine salt
- Zest of 2 lemons
- 1 cup (225g) extra virgin olive oil
- Caster sugar, for sprinkling on top
- Preheat the oven to 160oC
- Grease (using olive oil) a square baking tin and set aside
- Whisk together all dry ingredients, and zest the lemon over the top.
- Pour in olive oil and stir together until all ingredients are combines.
- In a medium-sized mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, salt, rosemary and lemon zest.
- Pour in the olive oil and stir until all of the dry mixture is incorporated.
- Scoop dough into your tin and press down lightly
- Bake for between 40-55 mins (until golden around the edges)
- Remove from oven and prick lightly with a fork
- Sprinkle caster sugar over
- Let cool 20 mins, then slice into little rectangular fingers
- Serve once completely cooled!
There’s no better way to kick off a new week than with a totally DELICIOUS, dreamy cake! You’ll be looking forward to baking this beauty I guarantee. I baked this on the weekend for my own birthday (yes, I do make my own birthday cake, but because I love it, not because I have to!)
Chocolatey, caramelly goodness
The cake is a vanilla sponge recipe, the “buttercream” is actually whipped coconut cream, and for an extra touch, I added salted caramel sauce! The added bonus? The entire cake is dairy-free, to accommodate my lactose-intolerance. The plus side to this cake is also that we could have it for dessert after a meat meal!
- To prep in advance, put 2 cans good quality Coconut Milk in the fridge overnight (I used Waitrose own, when I tried Tescos own, it did not yield the same result, do not use!)
- Make the coconut cream first – on day of cake baking (or before) open tin of coconut milk, and you’ll see that the “fat” has rise to the top.
- Scoop this into a mixing bowl, and discard (or drink!) the coconut water underneath
- Using a hand or stand mixer, whip the coconut cream with some cocoa powder, icing sugar and vanilla (to your taste) You could also add in coffee extract for a mocha buttercream!
- Refrigerate until you’re ready the ice the cake
For the cake I made my standard Lily Vanilli plain victoria sponge cake.
I drizzled caramel sauce in between the layers and also over the top of the cake.
Caramel Sauce Recipe:
- 75 grams margarine (or butter if you’re not dairy free!)
- 50 grams soft light brown sugar
- 50 grams caster sugar
- 50 grams golden syrup
- 125 ml oat or soya cream (or double cream if you’re not dairy free!)
- 1 teaspoon fleur de sel
- Melt marg, sugars and golden syrup in a pan over low heat
- Let boil away for 4 mins, stirring occasionally
- Add in cream and salt to taste and mix well
- Leave to cool
To assemble the cake, let the super-soft sponge cool completely. Sandwich the layers with the cocoa buttercream. Stir in some caramel if it.s too hard. Drizzle caramel over tip of buttercream and put on another layer. Put some more buttercream on top and drizzle with yet more sauce! Decorate however you like, I like the sprinkle effect!
Slice, serve, enjoy!
It’s well known that we Brits love tea time. Whether it’s tea and crumpets, or tea and cake, we’ll munch through it all! Today’s post is a lovely spiced tea cake recipe, perfect with a cup of tea when it’s cold outside.
I added some dark chocolate and raspberries to top these off, but you could also use a dollop of whipped cream or add some frosting, or just serve warm!
Ingredients (makes 24):
- 360g plain flour, sifted
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 2 tsp cinnamon
- 340g butter or dairy free spread (I used margarine)
- 400g caster sugar
- 6 eggs, separated
- 1 tsp vanilla bean paste
- 250ml milk of choice
- 200g dark chocolate (optional)
- Raspberries or any other fruit (optional)
- Preheat the oven to 200°C
- Grease 2 12-hole cupcake/muffin tins
- Mix together the dry ingredients (flour/baking powder/spices) until combined
- Cream together the butter and sugar until pale, then mix in the vanilla bean paste
- Add in the butter+sugar mixture to the dry mix and add milk about 100ml at a time. Mix well.
- Separate the eggs and mix in the yolks. Beat the whites until stiff peaks form
- Fold the whites into the mixture until you cant see them and the mixture is light and fluffy
- Divide the mixture into the cupcake tin (I use an ice cream scoop for this!)
- Bake for 15-20 mins – until lightly browned and a skewer in the middle comes out clean
- Transfer to wire rack and leave to cool
- Whilst cakes are cooling, melt the chocolate in a bain-marie
- Once cakes are cool, spread the chocolate on the top of the cakes and top with fruit of choice
- SERVE with a nicely brewed cuppa!
*Recipe slightly adapted from Lily Vanilli