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!
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
Happy 2014! Sorry guys i’ve been way too quiet the past month, even though the truth is i’ve been making and baking more than ever. I’ve found my new favourite snack… sweet n salty pretzel bites:
crunchy and delicious!
They are so addictive! I made a NYE bundt cake too… marbled, sparkly, and looks just like fireworks! (Well I hope so anyway!)
I stayed in this NYE and made homemade pizzas and pasta for dinner – and watched the fireworks of course!
Happy New Year and here’s to 2014!
Death by Chocolate
This cake is a chocoholic’s dream… the ultimate cake for any chocolate lover! It’s a dense but moist chocolate cake, sandwiched together by not one by TWO different buttercreams, decorated with chocolate and drizzled with home-made salted caramel sauce. Drooling yet?!
All the chocolate!
As you can see, Mr Cadbury made a bit of an appearance here….! This cake is so rich that one slice is enough, and must be accompanied by a hot drink!
I adapted a Telegraph recipe for the cake, and made my own chocolate and Speculoos buttercream, as well as salted caramel sauce to accompany the cake.
Ingredients for the cake:
- 450g unsalted butter, softened
- 450g caster sugar
- 6 large eggs
- 350g self-raising flour
- 100g cocoa powder
- 3 tsp baking powder
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 200ml milk
- Sift flour,cocoa powder and baking powder together in a mixing bowl and add in caster sugar and butter at room temperature
- Mix using a stand or hand mixer until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs
- Add in eggs one at a time, using the mixer on slow speed to incorporate
- Add the vanilla to the milk and do the same, adding bit by bit until all combined
- Pour the mixture into 2 separate tins (you can use 2 8 inch cake tins here)
- Bake on 180oC for 35-45 mins approx, until cooked though (you can test this by inserting a skewer, you want it to come out clean, or with only a few crumbs)
- Cool the cakes, and make your buttercreams and salted caramel
I used Nigella’s recipe for salted caramel sauce.
I made a speculoos buttercream by whipping together about 400g sifted icing sugar with 50g butter, and spooning in the speculoos spread until it reaches a thick creamy consistency. You can but the spread here. I used this buttercream to sandwich the cake together.
To top the cake I made a chocolate buttercream:
- 450g icing sugar
- 65g cocoa powder
- 230g butter
- 2tbs milk
- 2tbs cream
- Sift together icing sugar and coca powder
- Add in butter and whisk well
- Pour in milk and cream, adding more if needed, and whisk until it reaches a buttercream consistency
- Feel free to add in more milk/cream if needed
- This will make more than you need!
When the cakes were cooled I sliced the tops off to level them, and used the speculoos buttercream in the middle and topped with chocolate buttercream. I decorated the top of the cake using mini Cadbury chocolate bars, and drizzled the caramel sauce around the edges to keep it moist. This was a truly decadent cake, made for a birthday.
As you can see, birthday boy and the whole family (including me!) enjoyed it!