Giant Creme Egg Cake

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With only a week until Easter, the world seems to be under the usual magic spell cast by Cadbury’s creme eggs – and who can blame them! My two previous Easter posts – Creme Egg Cookie Pizza and Creme Egg Mini Cheesecakes are more popular than ever. Check me out (and some other amazing suggestions) over on Buzzfeed’s ‘17 Creme Egg recipes that should be illegal‘!

We’ve been visiting friends this weekend and I’d promised something creme egg-themed for dessert. A couple of weeks ago an amazing idea struck me – a giant creme egg cake! So the idea grew into fruition, and as you can see a monster of a cake. If you want to recreate the madness amazingness, here is how to do it…

Ingredients

Chocolate Madeira Cake
300g butter
350g sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla essence
100g cocoa powder
300g plain flour
3  teaspoons baking powder
6 medium eggs
100ml milk or water

Chocolate icing
100ml milk
100g icing sugar
50g butter
200g dairy milk chocolate
50g cocoa powder

Creme filling
100g dairy milk chocolate
500g white fondant icing (ready to roll)

Method
– Start with the cake mix by beating the butter and sugar until creamy and fluffy
– Whisk in the eggs, vanilla essence and cocoa powder, until thoroughly combined
– Sieve the flour and fold in two tablespoons at a time, alternately with a tablespoon of milk
– Divide the mixture into 3 rectangular tins of slightly decreasing size. I used 12 x 7 inches, 10×7 inches, and 9×6 inches. If you don’t have exactly these sizes it doesn’t matter at all – work with what you’ve got. Your layers will be a bit thicker/thinner depending on the sizes, but you can easily shape the ‘egg’ still.
– Bake at 180 C for 15-20 minutes until firm and springy when pressed. Cooking time will vary slightly for the different tin sizes (and thicknesses), so make sure you check each one before removing from the oven
– Turn out from the tins and leave to cool

– Next onto the chocolate icing – in a saucepan heat together the milk and butter, until just starting to boil
– Turn the heat off and add the 200g chocolate, broken into small pieces. Stir well; the residual heat should be enough to melt the chocolate after a couple of minutes
– Sieve the icing sugar and cocoa powder – very important or you’ll get lumpy icing! – before stirring into the chocolate mixture. Once fully combined, set aside to cool

– Once the cakes are cool, cut the largest into an oval/egg shape using a serrated knife. Make a paper template beforehand if you’re worried about doing it freehand! Be sure to keep the offcuts (don’t eat them all!) as they’re needed later on.
– Place the next size of cake on top and cut to the same size. Then, cut the sides at slight angle to start creating the curved effect of the edge of the egg
– Once you’re happy with the size and shape of the two bottom layers, sandwich together with a thin layer of chocolate icing
– Next, use the offcuts from the first two layers to create a third outer ring layer – like a wall around the top of the cake. This is what the fondant / creme filling will sit in. Arrange the pieces ‘dry’, and once you’re happy with the whole layer, ‘glue’ into place with a little more chocolate icing. Secure with cocktail sticks if needed, until the icing sets. Be sure to leave the tops of the cocktail sticks poking out so you can remove them later. At this point, put the whole cake in the fridge for at least an hour, to set

– Melt the remaining 100g of chocolate in the microwave / over hot water
– Using the back of a teaspoon, coat the entire inside of the cake (bottom and sides) in chocolate, being sure not to leave any gaps. This will form a sealed space for the fondant to sit in – so it won’t soak into the cake or leak out the sides. Remember there’s no such thing as too much chocolate, so add more if you’re not sure the edges are sealed or not. Refrigerate again until the chocolate has set.

– While the cake’s in the fridge, you can make the filling. Grate or finely chop the fondant (if it’s colder this’ll be easier), and put in a large bowl / a stand mixer if you have one. Add a tablespoon of boiling water and start mixing. You should slowly find the fondant starts to meld back together in a firm, buttercream like consistency. If it’s too stiff to mix, add a little more boiling water, a teaspoon at a time. You want the mixture to be firm enough for a spoon to stand up in – or it will run everywhere when you cut the cake! If you accidentally add too much water, a little icing sugar will firm the mixture up again
– Transfer two tablespoons of the fondant mixture into a separate bowl, and mix together with a drop of orange food colouring
– Remove the cake from the fridge and spoon in two-thirds of the white fondant
– Create a well in the centre and add the orange fondant. Try not to mix it around too much, you want the colours to remain separate
– Spoon the remaining white fondant over the orange, to cover it. Don’t feel you need to use all the fondant, if there’s too much for your cake. You don’t want it spilling out the sides!
– Cut the final piece of cake into a smaller oval shape, so it will cover the fondant filling. Use a serrated knife again to slope the sides and form the edge of the egg shape
– Put a little chocolate icing around the top edge of the cake, before placing the final cake piece on top
– Cover the cake in the remaining chocolate icing – I’d recommend a thin crumb coat first, refrigerate for half an hour, then a second smoother coat. Finish with a star design on the top and lines around the outside, using a thin knife.
– Chill until ready to serve, slice, and enjoy!

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(Serving with extra creme eggs entirely optional – there’s more than enough chocolate and sugar in the cake itself!)

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How do you eat yours?

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60th Birthday Cake

60 birthday cake happy sixtieth sixty shaped homebake fondant decoration green grass flowers and butterflies

It’s been ahem a few months since my last post – what can I say, things got rather busy! Rest assured I’ve been busy baking and have plenty of recipes photos waiting to be shared. And how could I not share this wonderful excuse for a celebration. Last month was my mum’s 60th birthday (sorry mum, it’s public knowledge now!) and of course I was tasked with making the all-important birthday cake.

I used my number and letter pan to make the two number-shaped cakes. Both were madeira cake as it makes a great stable base for decorating onto. One was vanilla flavoured with a blueberry and raspberry buttercream, and one was lemon with a lemon buttercream. Even though the birthday party was only a few weeks ago I can’t actually remember which was which!

After the buttercream I covered the cakes entirely with a pale green fondant icing. Next up came the grass in a rich, fresh green. I rolled long strips before cutting the blades by hand and wrapping round the cakes. It took some doing but I was so pleased with the effect 🙂

Last but by certainly no means least, the cake was finished with fondant flowers and butterflies, in bright spring colours of orange, purple, and pink, edged with edible glitter. These took up most of my evenings in the week leading up to mum’s birthday, to ensure they were fully dry and set in time. In the absence of enough flower-forming cups, I made temporary ones out of a strong tin foil. This meant all the butterflies could set in a v-shape, and gave the flowers a rounded-3d effect. The centres of the flowers were filled with a tiny piped circle of white royal icing.

edible glitter purple orange and pink flowers handmade fondant icing

edible glitter on fondant butterflies birthday cake homemade

fondant icing edible flowers with glitter edging pink orange purple

sixtieth birthday cake garden themed fondant flowers and butterflies

As ever that’s not the end of the story – just the small matter of 50 matching cupcakes for the birthday party! These were chocolate, half of them filled with caramel, and half with nutella. To top I cut matching circles of the pale green fondant, and curved pieces of the darker green grass, before finishing with butterfly and flower toppers.

matching cupcakes for 60th birthday cake green grass with fondant flowers and butterflies garden themed cupcakes flowers and butterflies on green grass fondant topping

Surprisingly enough we didn’t fit 60 candles on the birthday cake – in all honesty we didn’t really try! It was still quite an impressive inferno nonetheless 🙂

60th birthday cake flowers and grass with candles burning happy 60th birthday mum blowing out candles on cake

The party was great fun and the cakes went down an absolute treat – it was of course a pleasure to make them for my lovely mummy! ❤ Happy birthday again!

sixtieth birthday cake garden themed fondant flowers and butterflies

Gluten Free Lemon Drizzle Showstopper

three tier round and square cake with autumn leaves flower and gold soft pearl decoration gluten free lemon drizzle recipe

So the Great British Bake Off is over for another – Wednesday nights won’t be the same again! I was really pleased that Nadiya won though, she was my favourite going into the final and really excelled with her 3 bakes. A very worth winner and so humble too. Was anyone not crying in that final scene??

I wanted to pull out all the stops for my final bake for the Great Bloggers Bake-Off, and loved the idea of a three-tiered classic British cake. I asked Rob what he’d like and lemon drizzle was the answer – can’t say no to that!

This gluten-free lemon cake really vamps up the lemon, and is deliciously easy to make and moist when done. It’s very well complemented by the lemon curd filling (keep reading), but works just as well as a standalone cake, without any filling or frosting. And it’s one of those great bakes where you can’t even tell it’s gluten free!

Gluten Free Lemon Drizzle Cake
(makes 1 each of 8 inch round, 7 inch square and 4 inch round cakes. Halve the recipe to make one 8 inch round cake)

300g butter
300g caster or granulated sugar
Grated zest and juice of 2 large lemons
50g ground almonds
3 medium eggs
200g gluten free plain flour (I use Dove’s Farm)1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
20ml milk or warm water

Lemon Drizzle
100 ml lemon juice (approx. juice of 2 large lemons, I used bottled for this)
150g caster or granulated sugar

Method
– beat together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy
– add the almonds, and beat in the eggs, one at a time
– add the lemon juice, zest and milk and beat again until smooth
– sieve in the flour and baking powder, and gently fold in until all combined
– split between 3 greased, lined tins – a 4-inch round, a 6-inch round, and an 8-inch round
– bake at 180 degrees C until the cakes are springy to touch and starting to come away from the sides of the tine. If you’re not sure then check with an inserted skewer, which should come out clean.
Each cake will need a different amount of time. Check first after around 20 minutes to see if the first is done, if not give another 5 minutes. The middle will take around 30-35 minutes, and the larger around 45 minutes. The time is very dependent on your oven and tin so keep an eye on them! Once you’ve taken the smaller one out, check the other two at least every 10 minutes, if not more often.
– Prepare the lemon drizzle by mixing the lemon juice and sugar. Microwave for 20-30 second until all the sugar is dissolved
– Once each cake is removed from the oven, prick small holes all over the top with a skewer or cocktail stick, and generously spoon over the lemon drizzle. Leave to cool fully in the tin.

gluten free lemon cake easy recipe three tier showstopper

I took a great tip from Nadiya on the show and popped the cakes in the freezer once cool, (wrapped in baking paper) for an hour or so before slicing in half and levelling the tops. It really did make it much easier – no cracking and much less crumbs.

Whilst the cakes were cooling and freezing I made the lemon curd – as this did take quite some time to cool as well. I used Delia’s recipe as a starter – but halved it (3 jars of lemon curd seemed a bit excessive!), and upped the cornflour to give a thicker set that would hold in the cakes. Maybe a bit of a blonde moment but I’d never realised that lemon curd was made mostly of eggs! I would say though that it is really easy to make and waaay better than shop-bought stuff, I’d highly recommend trying it!

Lemon curd

Grated rind and juice of 2 large lemons
3 medium eggs
175g golden caster sugar
100g butter
20g cornflour

Method
– in a large saucepan, beat together the eggs then add the remaining ingredients
– put on a medium heat and whisk continuously for 7 – 8 minutes until it starts to thicken. At this stage cook for another minute, before transferring to a bowl to cool. It will continue to thicken as it cools as well.

homemade lemon curd easy recipe from delia for cake filling

As the curd was cooling I went onto the next step. Nadiya had made marshmallow fondant look and sound so easy (“I make it all the time…!”), so I thought I’d give it a go. Well I’ll be honest. I’d like to meet Nadiya and introduce her to ready-to-roll fondant. It’ll save hours and countless amounts of kitchen cleaning!

Needless to say my attempt was rather less than successful. The online methods I read in advance made it sound relatively easy, however completely failed to mention that it is the stickiest substance ever made by man. Seriously, super glue has nothing on this stuff!

marshmallow fondant kitchenaid disaster sticky hands

The other downside about marshmallow fondant is that it uses a lot of icing sugar. Add that to the sugar in the marshmallows and you’re practically bouncing off the walls with every bite! I’d put in as much sugar as the recipe recommended and it was still nowhere near a fondant consistency, I was struggling to see how this would ever roll out. Additionally I was starting to run out of time – it was nearing midnight and I wanted to get the cake assembled at least that night! So I improvised and turned it into a marshmallow frosting – with the simple addition of a little more water and lemon juice. The good thing about this frosting is that it keeps well (in a sealed container), and if it starts to harden up before you’ve used it all, it can easily be ‘melted’ back down again by popping in the microwave.

Another grumble about these marshmallow icings is that I found it rather tricky to locate all-white marshmallows in the UK shops. I went to a good 5 or 6 big high street retailers / supermarkets, and was just about to give up when I found what I needed in The Range. Really though, does anyone know why they come in pink and white in the first place?!

Marshmallow frosting
(sufficient to cover 3 cakes as made above)

200g (white) marshmallows
400g icing sugar
1 teaspoon lemon juice
2 tablespoons water, plus additional as needed

Method
– put the marshmallows, lemon juice and water in a large bowl. Microwave on 30 second intervals, stirring in between, until the marshmallows are fully melted to a smooth paste
– add the icing sugar and beat well to a smooth consistency (no lumps)
– the consistency should be thin enough to spread, but thick enough to hold its shape without dripping (hold the spoon upside down over the bowl to check). If it’s too thick, add a little more water and beat again, if it’s too thin, add a little more icing sugar. Once ready use straight away, or keep in the fridge in a sealed container until you need to use. Microwave to melt back to a spreadable consistency on removing from the fridge.

With the lemon curd filling and marshmallow frosting finally ready the cakes could be assembled. I layered up with lemon curd in the centre of each tier, and marshmallow frosting between the tiers and all round the sides. After refrigerating for half an hour to set the first layer, I added a second layer of marshmallow frosting to ensure a good thick coating.

luscious lemon curd homemade generous filling inside gluten free drizzle cake spreading marshmallow frosting onto tiered showstopper cake greatbloggersbakeoff

As the weather in the UK has recently taken a turn for the chillier, I decided to theme the decorations with an autumnal twist. To go with this rustic look I dimpled the frosting all over to give a more weathered effect.

textured effect stipling on marshmallow frosting tiered lemon cake

The leaf and flower decorations I made from coloured (normal) fondant – no more marshmallow icings for me! I may be blowing my own trumpet but I love how these marbled autumn leaves turned out. They were really simple to make too – I started with some green, yellow, orange, red and brown fondant, and mixed together in varying proportions, rolling out while they were only part combined. I used a leaf plunger cutter to get the veined and pronged leaves.

ombre marbled fondant icing autumn leaves for cake decoration

The marshmallow frosting stayed quite sticky so it was easy to attach the decorations the next day. Starting with some yellow flowers (a nod to the lemony inside), I arranged the leaves in an ombre graduating colour pattern down the cake. To finish – what showstopper is complete without a little sparkle – gold soft pearls around the base, in the flower centres and amongst the leaves.

gold soft pearl edging decoration around cake base

Fondant leaves and flowers with gold soft pearls decoration on autumn showstopper cake

Despite my various doubts (and wanting to give up!) in making this cake, I’m so pleased with how it turned out. Everything came together perfectly in the end and I’ll be honest – it tasted amazing! The homemade lemon curd had such a great zing, I want to put this in all my cakes going forward 🙂 I’m less enamoured with the marshmallow frosting – it really does taste just like marshmallows, which personally I’m not a fan of on a cake. I’ll stick with buttercream and ready-to-roll fondant from now, thank-you-very-much.

gbbo lemon drizzle gluten free showstopper three tier autumn decoration cake recipe autumn leaves decoration

The inside of the cake had a perfect wow as well – not to brag but look at those layers!

gluten free lemon drizzle three tier cake with homemade curd and marshmallow frosting moist recipe

lemon layer cake three tier showstopper with flower gluten free homemade lemon curd marshmallow frosting

Although I’ve not been able to participate every week this year, I’ve really enjoyed being a part of the Great Bloggers Bake Off again. As always massive thanks to Jenny for being an amazing organiser. Please click the banner below to visit her blog and for more information on the bloggers bake-off.

Mummy Mishaps

Mary Berry’s Chocolatines

mary berry chocolatines with gluten free sponge for great bloggers bake off gbbo

This week’s Great Bloggers Bake Off comes thanks to the lovely people at Stork, who sent me a voucher to try out their new Stork with butter. It’s a thank you not just for providing the butter – but also making me get into the kitchen and make something. Had I not had this review to write I would very likely have not contributed… again!

stork with butter new baking product test and review recipe

This week was patisserie week on the Great British Bake Off. I really did feel for Paul and his not knowing how to make a genoise sponge for the technical challenge, I’d have been in exactly the same boat having never made one before. And it’s not one you’d easily work out for yourself – whipped eggs and melted butter are not the normal start for a sponge!

The technical challenge was the one that took my fancy this week – however rather than the mokatines the bakers in the tent had to tackle, I opted for Mary Berry’s other recipe for these little patisserie squares – the chocolate version. The recipe is very similar and the method identical – using melted chocolate instead of coffee extract for the creme buerre (fancy buttercream to you and me) filling, and soft chocolate icing topping.

In a bit of a risky move – having never made a genoise before – I made a bit of a crazy decision to adapt it to gluten free. Low and behold, it worked perfectly! The adaptation was actually quite simple – instead of the recommend 65g of flour, I used 50g of gluten free flour and an extra 5g of cornflour. I won’t recount the full recipe but you can find it in Mary’s Baking Bible, or online in many places.

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The Stork with Butter was also great for using with this – it melted down to a lovely creamy texture, with a rich buttery taste. Perfect for the richness that is needed in patisserie.

melted stork with butter review and recipe for genoise sponge gluten free sponge

Once the sponge was cooled and cut into squares I actually found the two icings quite easy to make. It was the assembly and piping that was rather more of a faff!

The buttercream was quite difficult to spread on the delicate sponge, so it was more of a splodge and hope for the best. Once the two halves were pressed together it was easier to neaten up round the sides. Then just the not-so-simple task of piping tiny rosettes round the side of each square.

piping rosettes on patiesserie genoise sponge for mary berry chocolatines mary berry chocolatines piped top and filled inside chocolate buttercream

And finally – the smooth chocolate icing. I’d refrigerated the cake squares so the buttercream rosettes had chance to firm up a little – meaning they formed quite a good barrier to hold the top icing on. I also had to use a little paintbrush to ensure it got into all the corners!

chocolate smooth icing on the top of mary berry chocolatines

And with a final blast in the fridge, the chocolatines were finished!

chocolatines mary berry recipe chocolate buttercream icing and genoise sponge

Although not perfectly neat I was still really pleased with how they turned out – and they passed the Mary and Paul test of having a neat layer of filling in the middle!

layered filling in chocolatines made with gluten free genoise sponge

They had a lovely creamy, smooth richness, as any good patisserie should, and the Stork with Butter was a perfect base to use for this. I’d be more than happy to use it in my baking again.

Thanks again to Stork for supplying the ingredients and to Jenny for being as ever a great organiser for the Great Bloggers Bake Off. Click on the image below to find out more and look at what the other bakers have been up to this week.

Mummy Mishaps

Disclaimer: The Stork with Butter was provided to me for the purposes of this post. The reviews, opinions and baking however are all my own.

Ombre Flowers Gluten Free Wedding Cake

ombre flowers cascade tiered wedding cake white pink orange

Last month, in celebration of mine and Rob’s upcoming nuptials, the lovely ladies of Derby Clandestine Cake Club held a wedding and hen-party themed meet-up in my honour! You can read the full details by clicking here.

For obvious reasons (hello planning busy-ness, no more stress needed!) I’m not making our actual wedding cake, so used this an ideal opportunity to try out a bridal design of my own. Inspired by the recent Gluten-Free baking course I took, I combined and adapted a few recipes from various sources to make a gluten free fruit cake for the two layers.

Gluten Free Wedding Fruit Cake
500g dried fruit (I used a mix of dried apples, apricots, bananas, raisins and mixed peel, but anything would work)
250g light brown or golden caster sugar
250g butter
4 medium eggs
100ml milk
200g gluten free flour
75g ground almonds
2 tbsp cocoa (not essential, but adds a lovely richness)
2 teaspoons gluten free baking powder

– chop the dried fruit into small pieces if needed (around 5mm maximum is best), and mix together with the ground almonds
– beat together the sugar, butter, eggs, milk, flour, cocoa and baking powered
– add the dried fruit and mix until just combined
– pour into greased, lined tins, sizes as needed. I used a deep 7 inch round for the base, and 3 inch round for the top
– cover with foil (to stop the top doming) and bake at 150 degrees until an inserted skewer comes out clean. The length of time needed in the oven will depend on the size of the tins you use. My 3 inch cake took around 30-40 minutes, the 7 inch around 1 1/2 – 2 hours.
– remove from the tin and leave to cool completely before icing.

dried fruit for gluten free cake recipe banana apples apricots raisins baking gluten free fruit wedding cakes foil top tip to stop dome gluten free wedding cake two tiers recipe easy

For my cakes I used a marzipan layer to give a smoother finish for the white fondant. It’s not at all necessary though, you could use jam or even buttercream. The two cakes need around 500g of marzipan, and 500g of white fondant, to generously cover both.

marzipan on gluten free wedding fruit cake easy recipe

white fondant iced two tier wedding cake fruit gluten free recipe

Once the cakes were covered and stacked it was onto the flower decorations. I’ll be the first to admit that I may have got a little carried away here! I started doing them one evening, a bit more the next night, and so on, the final count was over 500!! I started with two colours of gel icing sugar – an orange and a pink, and mixed varying amounts of these into small quantities of white fondant to create the full spectrum of ombre flowers, from dark to light.

ombre fondant flowers for wedding cake white pink peach orange ombre sugarpaste fondant icing flowers hand cut for wedding cake decoration orange pink peach white pastel

I stuck them on the cake using a little plain white icing dabbed on with a cocktail stick, and starting with the palest flowers at the top, I started sticking and curving round the cake, all the way to the brightest orange and pink at the bottom.

white and pastel peach orange pink cascade of ombre flowers on wedding cake orange and pink wedding cake fondant flowers cascade ombre flowers cascade fondant icing on tiered wedding cake spring and summer ideas

The finished cake – a little wonky depending on the angle you look at it from (not a pro wedding cake maker by far!) – but I was really pleased with it.

cascade of ombre flowers two tiered wedding cake white pink orange peach gluten free recipe for clandestine cake club pink and orange cascade ombre flowers wedding cake on white icing

Of course we had a great time at cake club devouring all the wedding and hen cakes – who doesn’t love to sit and chat over a good cup of tea and huge slice of cake?

My cake turned out really well inside too – you really couldn’t tell it was gluten free, so would be perfect to serve to any wedding guest.

gluten free wedding fruit cake slice with marzipan white fondant icing and ombre spring brights flowers

As for our actual wedding cake… you’ll just have to watch this space. Not long now!

Marshall Amp Stack Cake

marshall amp stack birthday cake guitar lover ideas

Last week was Rob’s birthday, and as I was going away with work I wanted to leave him a big sticky cake to devour. He asked if I’d make him a Marshall amp stack, to follow up where his Guitar Cake left off a few years ago. After my initial bewilderment, a quick Google image search later and it was an enthusiastic yes! Two square cakes? Simples 🙂

I started off by making two rectangular cakes – one in a larger long tray, cut into 3 and stacked to make the base cake, and one in a smaller, thinner square, which I cut in 2 for the smaller top cake.

chocolate sheet cake tray bake layers for birthday

Chocolate cake simply calls out for chocolate icing, so I filled and crumb-coated both cakes with a sticky buttercream.

chocolate buttercream crumb-coated square cakes for birthday

Leaving the cakes in the fridge to cool and harden, I set about making the front pieces for the amps. Starting with a base of black fondant, I used a blunt straight edge to mark out the grid of the mesh, before using some white piped icing to line the edges and add the iconic ‘Marshall’ script in the centre.

marshall amp speaker front fondant icing with piped details black and white

For the top section I used a similar approach, adding a strip of cream fondant (white chocolate flavour!) with some added ‘buttons’.

marshall amp front buttons and piped logo made from icing

marshall amp front made out of fondant icing hand piped

Leaving the fondant pieces to set overnight, I covered both cakes in black fondant, adding a matching handle onto the smaller one.

black fondant covered birthday cake marshall amps leather look handle

Assembling the cakes was just a small matter of sticking the front pieces onto each cake, before stacking one on top of the other. Easier said than done when the front pieces of fondant started to crack!
A little gentle persuasion and sticking later, the cake was ready!

marshall amps small and large stack birthday cake hand piped details marshall amp stack black and white music lover birthday cake homemade marshall small amp with buttons and handle recreated in cake fondant icing marsh

And as no birthday is complete without them – an added inferno of candles to finish.

marshall amp stack birthday cake lit with candles

Inside the cake was deliciously sticky, with chocolate oozing from the layers! The birthday boy certainly was happy, as was I – it was a fun cake to make and even more so to eat 🙂

gooey chocolate cake food porn inside of birthday cake homemade

Lolly Cake

lolly cake slices new zealand recipe ideal for kids no baking required

The ingredients and recipe for this cake came in one of the most amazing Christmas presents ever – a baking package all the way from my brother and sister-in-law in New Zealand! You may remember a couple of years ago now, my post on Cakes with the Kiwis, when we were lucky enough over travelling round for a couple of weeks. Of course lolly cake featured – and they were so amazing to remember how much I loved it and send me the kit over.

lolly cake ingredients christmas gift from new zealand

The name might be a bit confusing to UK readers – it doesn’t have anything to do with lollipops on sticks, or even ice lollies. Over on the other side of the world, ‘lolly’ is the kiwi word for sweets, much as the US call it candy. The lollies in question, the main part of the cake, are these Eskimos.

pascall eskimo sweets lolly from new zealand

They’re not readily available in the UK, I understand there is a similar version called Fruit Puffs, also not available here! The closest thing I would describe them too are foam fruits – you know the pink shrimps, yellow bananas etc? I’ll be sure to try a version with these soon and post the results, watch this space.

eskimo lollies lolly sweets foam brightly coloured kiwi

Once you’ve got hold of the sweets, the most difficult bit is out of the way! Other ingredients are simply crushed biscuits, melted butter, condensed milk, and a little desiccated coconut to roll on the edges. This would be a great recipe to make with kids – supervising the lolly cutting of course, the rest is all hands-on stickiness with no baking required.

The original recipe (as sent to me) can be found on the Griffin’s website. They make an amazing malt biscuit which adds that certain something to the cake. I’m hoping the same effect can be made with a malted milk biscuit or similar over here when I attempt a UK version….

The  cake is made as simply as crushing the biscuits, cutting up the lollies, then mixing with condensed milk and butter.

The mixture needs to be rolled into a log shape and chilled for several hours before I eating, which was a bit sticky to start with but made infinitely easier using a big sheet of greaseproof paper.

lolly cake rolling tips with greaseproof paper

Likewise, to coat the edges in coconut, another roll around in the greaseproof paper saved my kitchen from an otherwise nutty mess!

lolly cake being rolled in desiccated coconut new zealand recipe

Once chilled the log is inconspicuously ordinary as a cake…

finished lolly cake log covered in desiccated coconut ready to eat

… until you cut in and reveal the amazing brightly coloured lollies!

This is one seriously addictive cake, I just cannot describe. The malty warmth of the biscuits melts into the creamy condensed milk, and the lollies come through with a squishy tangy marshmallow like texture. Sooo good!

lolly cake slices biscuit eskimo lollies condensed milk and coconut brightly coloured sweets

Unsurprisingly this batch didn’t last long at all in our house, and hence the hunt begins to track down an Eskimo lolly alternative in the UK. More here as it happens!

lolly cake slices brightly coloured pieces of marshmallow sweet in biscuit mixture

Baby Shower Cupcakes

baby shower cupcakes bottle teddy footbrints pram duck toy dummy pacifier handmade gift ideas

I’m going to come right out and say it. This is one of my proudest makes to date. I am SO pleased with how the fondant toppers turned out for these cupcakes – and so they should, god only knows how many hours they took!

This was my first ever baby shower, and I was so pleased to be able to make some cupcakes for the lovely mother-to-be. She and the rest of the party were delighted, as was I when they went down a treat.

The base was a light lemon cupcake, with whipped lemon buttercream, but of course the pièce de résistance are the fondant baby-themed toppers. You may guess from the colour palette that it’s a boy!

18 baby shower cupcakes party ready handmade fondant sugarpaste toppers toys blue and green

All the toppers are hand-made of course. Although one of the party asked if I’d bought them – what a compliment! I tend to get an idea for my projects then spend a bit of time on google looking at images for further inspiration and to figure out how I’m going to make the idea a reality. That was exactly the case with these – I sat with google image search open on my iPad with all my fondant and tools in front on the table, colouring and shaping the pieces and fixing together with a little edible glue.

I had 18 cupcakes in total, so decided to make 3 of each of 6 different varieties of topper.

First up – and probably taking the longest to make, smiley happy teddy bears.

handmade fondant teddy bears smiley happy for baby shower cupcakes

Teeny tiny baby footprints – blue for a boy, of course.

blue footprint pairs made from fondant icing sugarpaste for baby shower cupcakes its a boy baking ideas

Three little ducks; these were great fun to make. Can someone please have a fowl-themed party, so I can do some more?!

three yellow ducks made from fondant for baby shower cupcakes handmade

Baby dummies (pacifiers) – I used a pastel green so the colour palette was not overwhelmingly blue.

fondant dummies dummy pacifiers for baby shower cupcakes green

Teat-topped milk bottles, with hand-painted markers, using a little gel food colour and a very fine brush.

sugarpaste green and white baby bottles baby shower cupcakes

And finally – what every baby needs, a first set of wheels! Turquoise prams complete with little white cushions inside.

baby prams puschairs strollers ideas for handmade baby shower gifts cupcake toppers

The finished set – absolutely love them!

baby shower cupcakes homemade handmade decorations pram duck dummy bottle teddy footprints ideas

And because I’m so pleased with the result – more pictures, just because…

baby shower cupcakes with handmade toppers bottle duck blue boy footprints baby shower cupcakes pram teddy bear dummy pacifier handmade giftsbaby showe cupcakes different themed toppers baby shower cupcakes gift ideas unique handmade teddy ducks toys blue and green

I took my Cath Kidston blue floral cake stand to the shower – a perfect display piece for these little babies.

cupcakes for baby shower on cath kidston floral ceramic cake stand

HOW cute are these baby shower napkins?

its a boy footprints cupcake on baby shower napkin party ideas

The only problem I have? That I can’t pick a favourite! What do you think?

baby shower cupcakes handmade sugarpaste toppers

Red Velvet Valentine’s Cake

valentines red velvet bundt cake beetroot and hand decorated chocolate hearts

Continuing in what has become an annual tradition, what would valentine’s day be without a red velvet cake?

This year I decided to mix it up (no pun intended) and try a different recipe – red velvet cake made with… beetroot! The colour is a great natural alternative to the normally used red food colouring, and the texture of the beetroot makes the cake lovely and moist. The recipe I used is this one from All Recipes.

I’ll be honest I’m not a massive beetroot fan, so have never cooked with it before. So I nearly fell at the first hurdle, the ingredients list, of boiled and grated beetroot! A few googles later and I gave it about 20 minutes boiling, before cooling and grating. It was easier than it sounded although a little messy 🙂

grating beetroot for red velvet valentines cake

The rest of the recipe was really easy to follow, and filled up by bundt tin perfectly.

Once baked, the cake smelt amazing although I was a little disappointed by the lack of, well, red-ness! Maybe it could have done with less cocoa?

chocolate bundt cake perfectly moulded

But if you can’t paint a cake red on valentine’s day, then when can you? I applied a light glaze all over, using a couple of drops of red food colouring, 2 tablespoons of icing sugar, and enough water to make a light paste. Much more satisfyingly red!

red glazed bundt cake velvet valentines chocolate and vanilla

To ice, there really was no question. Red velvet cake without cream cheese icing is like… valentine’s day without red velvet cake 🙂
I made my cream cheese icing thick and plentiful, drizzling it all over the top of the bundt.

cream cheese frosting oozing on red velvet valentines cake

To finish, I used a thin silicon mould to create some hearts out of dark chocolate and red candy melts. These ones were actually Renshaw Colour Melts – I like these ones as they don’t taste as artificial as some of the others.

moulded chocolate hearts red candy colour melts and dark

moulded chocolate hearts on red velvet valentines bundt cake chocolate hearts and cream cheese icing frosting on valentines red velvet beetroot bundt cake

Adorned with hearts – et voila, my red velvet cake masterpiece!

valentines red velvet bundt cake made with beetroot natural colours one of five a day

Happy valentine’s day ❤ x

Mocha Meringue Cake

mocha meringue cake gluten free dessert recipe and method brownie cake

A few weeks ago, the lovely ladies at Sugar and Crumbs got in touch to ask if I’d like to try some of their new flavoured icing sugars in my recipe. I’m pretty sure you can guess my answer!

First up is their mochalicious icing sugar, which does exactly what it does on the tin. A chocolate icing sugar with a hint of coffee, not too overpowering and subtle enough to use in a cake.

sugar and crumbs mochalicious flavoured icing sugar review and recipe

My inspiration for the recipe came from this BBC post, and adapted to be both gluten-free and icing sugar friendly! It’s one of those cakes that looks more complicated to make than it is, so is a great showstopper-dessert to serve to friends.

Ingredients

Brownie cake
175g dark chocolate
150g butter
75g mochalicious icing sugar
75g caster sugar
2 large eggs
85g ground almonds

Meringue layers
3 large egg whites
175g mochalicious icing sugar
1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar

To finish
200ml cream, whipped
20g icing sugar
20g cocoa powder
Hot water

Method
– start by greasing and lining 2x 6 inch sandwich tins. They will be baked twice so it’s worth doing this well!
– melt the chocolate and set aside to cool slightly
– beat together the butter, icing and caster and sugars. Add the eggs and almonds and beat again until well combined.
– once the chocolate has cooled to room temperature, fold it into the rest of the mixture
– divide between the two tins, smoothing the top for a flat bake.
– bake at 180 degrees C for 12-15 minutes, until the top is turning crisp, and the middle does not wobble when you move the tin
– set aside to cool while you make the meringue (leave the brownie in the tin, as the meringue will be baked on top of it!)
– whisk the egg whites and cream of tartar to soft peaks (I highly recommend using a stand mixed for this)
– add the icing sugar a spoonful at a time, continuing to whisk after each addition
– continue whisking until the mixture is smooth and glossy, and holds its shape
– spoon on top of the two brownie bases, making one with a smooth top, (so it will hold the top layer), and one with a decorative pattern (to top the cake)
– bake at 150 degrees C for 30 minutes, until the meringue is crispy and starting to brown
– allow to cool completely before carefully removing from the tin
– make the chocolate drizzle for filling and decorating, by mixing the cocoa powder and icing sugar with enough water to make a thick sauce
– layer the cake up when you are nearly ready to serve. Start with the flat-topped brownie/meringue base, then the whipped cream, drizzled with some chocolate sauce, and finally top with the decorative meringue/brownie layer, and finish with a final drizzle of chocolate

brownie layer cake recipe gluten free mocha icing sugar chocolate and coffee mocha coffee and chocolate meringue made with flavoured icing sugar recipe and review swirl meringue topping on brownie cake layer recipe gluten free dessert baked mocha meringue topping for cake using sugar and crumbs mochalicious layering up mocha meringue cake whipped cream and chocolate drizzle

As long as the cream is well-whipped, the cake will hold shape well until you are ready to serve. Don’t leave it too long though – or the cream will start making the meringue soft.

mocha meringue cake layer recipe fresh whipped cream brownie chocolate sauce

I love how the layers came out – wonderfully separate but oh so tasty when combined! layered cake mocha meringue recipe chocolate and coffee brownie layers

The cake is best cut with a large knife and served in thick wedges, too thin and the cream will ooze out from the middle as you slice.

slice of mocha meringue cake chocolate and coffee with cream filling and brownies

Disclaimer: Icing sugar was provided to me by Sugar and Crumbs for the creation of this post. Recipe and reviews are all my own!