Despicable Me Minion Birthday Cake

despicable me minion birthday cake homemade silver goggles blue fabric effect overalls

Another year, another birthday for Rob, complete with epic cake!

This year he requested a minion – and of course I was only too happy to oblige. We are big Despicable Me fans and I’d been wanting to create one of these yellow cuties for a while.

For a bit of a change, I wanted to use a flavoured Madeira cake for the centre. I cannot rave enough about Paul Hollywood’s Coconut Madeira cake. Not only was it super easy to make (who doesn’t love a one-bowl recipe), but it came out so moist and light. Absolutely delicious!

madeira coconut cake paul hollywood recipe easy moist

I combined it with a lime buttercream, made using Sugar and Crumbs key lime icing sugar. More on this to come as it was a perfect combination between sweet and tangy, and a perfect compliment to the coconut cake.

On to the decoration – once the cake was shaped the fondant work was relatively easy. I covered the top half in a bright yellow, and the bottom in a rich blue. There was only a small overlap between the two as I didn’t want the fondant to be too thick for people to eat! The hands and feet were covered in some chocolate fondant dyed black, and pressed into shape.

minion birthday cake step by step yellow and denim blue fondant overalls

To finish the overalls, I created a mottled effect, using gel food colouring and a painbrush, to give a more realistic denim / fabric appearance. And of course the all important ‘Gru’ logo – painted on with some black food colouring.

minion birthday cake fabric effect overalls painted fondant icing gru logo in black

And the key feature – those all important goggles. I used white fondant for both the goggle rim and eyes, painting the rim with silver edible shimmer before adding to the cake.

despicable me birthday cake minion face goggles eyes silver edible paint

Of course – what minion would be complete without that cheeky smile! Did someone say ‘bottom’?!

minion from despicable me birthday cake face and cheeky smile silver

The finished cake – I was really pleased and especially so as it was all made in one night.

minion two eyed birthday cake from despicable me silver goggles blue overalls gru logo

No birthday cake is complete without candles…

minion birthday cake with candles

… and Rob was of course delighted!

happy rob with minion birthday cake

Creme Egg Cookie Pizza

creme egg minis cookie pizza white and milk chocolate recipe for easter

Ah Easter. That one time of the year when excessive chocolate consumption is not only allowed, but positively encouraged. A four day weekend with little else to do but gorge on milk, white and dark goodness. Perfect!

My Cadbury Creme Egg Cheesecakes – Two Ways are incredibly popular at this time of year, being the most popular post on the whole blog for at least the past couple of months. This year I wanted to use those gooey orange and white filled shells for something equally as amazing, combined with an early with an early birthday treat for Rob.

As soon as I saw this fantastic cookie pie recipe from Averie Cooks, my mouth started watering and brain whirring. I loved the way she sliced it into pizza-style slices, and with Rob’s love of everything biscuits and cookies, I was onto a sure-fire winner.

Jazzing up the recipe with extra chocolate, and of course those mini creme eggs was as easy as converting to UK measurements. The ultimate Easter indulgence!

Ingredients
110g butter
130g light brown sugar
1 tablespoon golden syrup
1 teaspoon vanilla essence
200g plain flour
1 egg
100g chocolate chips

To top
1 pack mini Cadbury Creme Eggs
2 squares each milk and white chocolate

Method
– Melt together the butter and golden syrup, try not to over-heat
– Stir in the sugar and vanilla essence, add the egg and mix well
– Add the flour and chocolate chips (reserve a small handful for the topping), and mix until just-combined – this is some seriously good cookie dough that’s rather moreish eaten raw!
– Spoon into a greased, lined tin, I used a large pie dish with silicon lining for easy removal, flatten evenly
– Grate over the white and milk chocolate squares, sprinkle the remaining chocolate chips
– Lightly press in the Crème Eggs – either whole or halved, I used a mixture of the two. They are easy to cut in half if slightly warm
– Place the cookie pizza in the oven at 180 degrees for 20 – 25 minutes. Check it’s done by inserting a cocktail stick / small skewer in the middle and seeing if it comes out clean
– Allow to cool in the tin / pie dish before removing and slicing into pizza segments

pie tin greased and lined for cookie pizza dough recipe

 

cookie pizza dough chocolate chip recipe uk

 

chocolate cookie pizza grated white and milk chocolate topping

 

creme egg chocolate cookie pizza topping ready to bake recipe

creme egg cookie pizza chocolate toppings milk and white chocolate chips

freshly baked chocolate creme egg pizza cookie

creme egg cookie pizza chopping board easter baking easy ideas recipe

creme egg cookie chocolate pizza cutter easter

chocolate pizza slice creme egg cookie giant

 

creme egg cookie pizza slice recipe

As easy as (pizza) pie – pure Easter indulgence in every bite. How do you eat yours? Very quickly in this case!

mini creme egg giant cookie chocolate pizza easter baking recipe ideas

Hen Party Cupcakes

hen party cupcakes ideas l plates flower bouqets mr and mrs shoes underwear sets champagne

This weekend I was part of a great hen party and delighted to make cupcakes for our afternoon of fun and games (before descending into evening chaos!)

The wedding in 6 weeks time is to be safari themed, at the fantastic Chester Zoo. So anything animal went as a theme – and I bought these fantastic zebra and leopard print cupcake cases from Scrumptious last weekend at the Cake and Bake Show.

scrumptious cupcake cases animal print leopard and zebra

The cupcakes were a rich chocolate, topped with a salted caramel butter cream (thanks again Sugar and Crumbs!)

To top – I made 18 different toppers out of fondant, sprinkles, edible glitter and edible ink, time consuming but creatively great fun! Anything hen party themed went –

Moet and Veuve champagne bottles

moet and veuve champagne bottle cupcake toppers hen party

Sparkly learner ‘L’ plates

L plate learner hen party cupcakes glittery red

Bingo balls & cards – as we were heading for a few inebriated games that evening

bingo hen party cupcakes cards and number balls wedding

The bingo balls I made into the two dates – one for the hen party, and the other for the wedding:

bingo balls hen party cupcakes wedding date black edible ink

Beautiful bridal bouquets (centred with edible gold soft pearls)

red pink blue white flower bouquets fondant cupcake topper gold soft pearl centres hen party wedding

Sparkly, SPARKLY shoes

fondant sparkly shoes on chocolate cupcakes hen party celebration

And one of my favourites to make – pretty underwear sets and sexy basques

hen party cupcakes basques and underwear sets glitter and sprinkles decoration black pink and nude

Can someone please have an underwear and shoes party – I want to make more of these!!

They were the perfect centrepiece to the afternoon and quickly devoured by some hungry hens.

hen party cupcakes l learner plates flower bouquet bingo balls shoes and underwear hen party cupcakes learner plate bingo balls underwear set sparkly shoes

And amid champagne, wine and presents – one very happy hen!

hen party cupcakes champagne and presents

CCC at The Cake & Bake Show, Manchester 2014

Yesterday I was privileged to be a part of the Clandestine Cake Club stall at Cake and Bake Manchester 2014. CCC founder Lynn Hill had wanted us organisers to be a part, spending the day explaining to fellow cake-fans our simple concept of baking, sharing and eating cakes. Simple and very social, needless to say we had a lot of interest!

After a gruelling 6am start, Julia, organiser of CCC Derby and I, soon perked up once we were on the stall!

clandestine cake club stand cake and bake 2014 manchester central derby organiser julia

And it wasn’t long before the crowds started to arrive.

clandestine cake club stall at cake and bake show 2014 crowds gathering for taste on the table judging

Each day CCC was hosting a ‘Taste on the Table’ competition, for members of near and far clubs to enter their best bakes, to win fab baking prizes from Renshaw and Nordicware. And they did not disappoint – before long we had a fantastic array of cakes adorning the stall.

clandestine cake club taste on the table competition at cake and bake manchester central 2014

And the icing on the cake as you may put it… I was kindly volunteered by the rest of the team to judge the competition with none other than Peter Sidwell from Britain’s Best Bakery. Nerve-wracking doesn’t even describe it – tasting 10 cakes sounds like a lot of fun, but surround by crowds of eager bakers was a little over-whelming! Thankfully the girls were on hand to snap me at my most flattering…

clandestine cake club taste on the table competition judging with peter sidwell britains best bakery

Peter was a real pro, and between us (conferring with me hidden behind the banner!) we chose a Chocolate Porter Cake with Baileys icing as the winner – baked by Heidi from N. Yorkshire & Tees Valley CCC. She too was rather overwhelmed but a very worthy winner, for a great combination of flavours and lovely light texture.

Judging duties out the way, I had plenty of time to wander round, sample and shop!

Of course I had to try this fantastic cupcake dress, made of 800 cupcakes and over 5000 sugar flowers – simply stunning.

cake and bake show 2014 purple cupcake dress

And some fantastic things to see at the other stalls – Nielsen-Massey were making cocktails with their extracts…

giant nielsen massey vanilla extract cake and bake show

… and Billingtons had created a brilliant Sugar Market, with lots of fudge made from their different varieties. Handily placed very close to our CCC stand, we stopped by there more than a few times!

billingtons sugar stall cake and bake show

Around the show there were some absolutely fantastic display cakes, of Disney, Pixar, and other famous ‘faces’:

cake and bake show cloudy with a chance of meatballs display cake cake and bake show 2014 frozen reindeer and snowman cake disney monsters university cake sully mike wazowski sugar art cake and bake show 2014

I just loved this tray of ‘savouries’ – how great an idea to have the scotch eggs with creme eggs inside!

edible art cake scotch creme eggs pork pies all as cakes

At the heart of the show was a giant jungle-themed installation, with the show’s main competition inviting bakers to create everything animalistic and evergreen. Some more absolutely outstanding cakes – they must have taken days if not weeks!

cake and bake show manchester 2014 jungle peacock and monkey cakes edible art cake and bake show 2014 jungle art cakes lions head cake and bake show crocodile cake life size all edible

Back at the CCC stall we were thrilled to have some familiar faces drop by. Glenn, Christine and Kimberley from 2013’s Great British Bake-Off – all of whom were absolutely lovely and only too happy to chat everything cake.

clandestine cake club team with glenn cosby and christine wallace gbbo 2013 cake and bake show 2014 clandestine cake club ccc at cake and bake show 2014 with kimberley GBBO 2013 finalist

And the delightful GBBO Series 4 winner Frances Quinn. She was such a sweetie, genuinely a lovely person, although seeming a little rushed off her feet!

clandestine cake lynn hill and team with francis quinn gbbo series 4 winner

Over by the Bakery we bumped into (ok stalked a little), Eric Lanlard of Cake Boy fame. He is a huge CCC supporter and so enthusiastic about everything baking related.

cake and bake show 2014 ccc clandestine cake club with eric landlard

After a hard days cake-chatting I made it home a little after 9 – rather weary after a 14 hour day but delighted to have met so many fantastic people on the stall. Here’s to spreading the Clandestine Cake word!

And of course I didn’t come back empty handed – a combination of shopping with free samples from Dr. Oetker, Rainbow Dust and Sugar & Crumbs – plenty to keep me in the kitchen trying new things over the next few weeks.

cake and bake show manchester 2014 goodies new covent garden cookbook billingtons sugar tin colours sugar and crumbs icing

Dad’s 60th Birthday Liquorice Allsorts Cake

happy birthday dad liquorice allsorts cake homemade black cream filled tube yellow coconut and blue aniseed round

You may have guessed from the title, but today is my lovely dad’s 60th birthday. If this doesn’t call for a cake, what does!

Liquorice allsorts are one of his all-time favourite things. For as long as I can remember they have been a staple birthday / father’s day / christmas present when stuck for any other ideas. While trying to figure out what to call the individual allsorts, I came across this brilliant h2g2 guide. Very entertaining but not sure I’d agree – why on earth would you leave chocolate until last!

As I was making 3 cakes I wanted them all to be different flavours, so they truly were allsorts!

First and most time-consuming from a decorating perspective – a replica of the blue sugar ball covered allsort, which normally has an aniseed jelly inside. This one was much sweeter however – a lemon madeira cake centre, covered with a blueberry buttercream, and finished with rolled circles of blue fondant.

liquorice allsorts blue aniseed ball recreated as birthday cake fondant blueberry and lemon

To make both the round cakes I used the smaller of my Ikea Sockerkaka moulds – a perfect size so we wouldn’t be eating cake for the rest of the month! And very quick & easy to clean between recipes as well.

ikea sockerkaka silicon cake mould small

Next up, in the same circle mould, the yellow coconut covered allsort. Sticking with the coconut covering made it easy to recreate the look, and inside I used my Tropical Fruit Cake recipe. A simple circle of black fondant on the top finished the liquorice look.

liquorice allsorts birthday cake yellow coconut and black and white tube

Finally, and sneaking into the above picture, the black liquorice tube filled with a white cream, for want of a better name! This one was an easy chocolate swiss roll , filled with a vanilla buttercream. To get the outer look, I wrapped white fondant around the ends, before rolling the whole cake in some black-coloured chocolate fondant. My hands were rather black too after kneading the food colouring into that!

black and white liquorice allsort made of cake chocolate swiss roll covered in fondant

By the wonderful power of hindsight, I do wish I’d made the swiss roll a bit smaller. Putting all the cakes together on the board I realised that the planned “60” was actually rather tricky to read!

60th birthday cake liquorice allsorts black tube yellow coconut and blue aniseed round

liquorice allsorts birthday cake blue aniseed balls created from fondant yellow coconut tropical fruit cake and chocolate swiss roll with fondant covering

Still, with black hands and a bomb-site of a kitchen, it had to do! I’d bought a pack of allsorts to model the cake on, so used some of these to decorate the edge of the cake board, and the others as well-earned reward for a tired baker 😉

Trying to spell out a message with allsorts was not a big success, so a piped message in matching liquorice-black took their place. And more allsorts for me to eat!

happy birthday dad hand piped icing liqourice allsorts cake board

liquorice allsorts birthday cake tropical coconut fruit chocolate swiss roll blueberry and lemon aniseed balls made of fondant

We celebrated with afternoon tea at Perkins Restaurant in Nottingham, (as it was THAT good last time), alongside some suitably over-sized helium balloons.

60th birthday giant helium balloons afternoon tea at perkins restaurant nottingham

And of course it was amazing as always! The staff let us while away the afternoon with plenty of tea refills, and just when dad thought all the cake was gone – out they came with much, much more! One happy daddy 🙂

dads 60th birthday at perkins restaurant nottingham liqourice allsorts cake handmade

Happy 60th dad! x