Friday, 9 November 2012

Chocolate Fudge Cake

Sometimes, you just want chocolate cake.

When I was younger, we had this old recipe book, inside was possibly the best chocolate fudge cake recipe that has ever existed. It was this thick brown book without a cover, with pages falling out all over the place, but this one recipe, we used every time.

During a big clear out, this book tragically got lost, and my family had been mourning it ever since (ha, ha). I've looked everywhere on the internet but it seems that we won't get the recipe back. All I can remember is that this cake had buttermilk in it, because I was always fascinated by my sister making milk curdle before adding it to a cake! (Thats buttermilk, if you didn't know!)

Thursday, 8 November 2012

Spicy Butternut Squash Soup with Paprika Halloumi Croutons

I love butternut squash, and I love halloumi.. so when I found both in my fridge I decided to make something using both. This soup is lovely- the smoked paprika and chilli complement the rich flavour of the roasted butternut squash and the grilled halloumi works surprisingly well!

I love autumn, how the seasonal vegetables are vibrant and orange, and how the leaves all follow suit- its lovely. This soup has a nice kick from the chilli to warm you up on a cold autumnal day, and is heart enough to fill you up, too.

The only thing is, the croutons are so moreish that they probably won't last as long as the soup!

Wednesday, 31 October 2012

Hallowe'en Post

Nothing to do with cooking, but I left buying pumpkins too late this year and had to go on a pumpkin hunt! I finally found two little ones in a green grocers and carved them while watching The Lost Boys.. festive, right?

Here's how they turned out!

Emily! :) x

Tuesday, 30 October 2012

10 Minute Tasty Superfood Dinner

I'm not sure how healthy this actually is, but based on how much I love it, how quick it is, and that a few of the ingredients are healthy- i've talked myself into believing that its the healthiest thing that has ever existed!

The bacon (i know, not healthy) adds saltiness, whilst the lemon cuts through it with a sharp addition and the tomatoes bring sweetness. The kale reduces a lot so you eat more good stuff without realising and.. cheese is just awesome. It's a balanced meal that includes two of your 5-a-day, protein, fibre and calcium. You should definitely try this whether you agree that its healthy or not. You can choose which cheese to use, I've tried this with mozzarella, brie and camembert. Camembert is my favourite, but always with parmesan sprinkled on top!

Monday, 29 October 2012

Butterscotch Cookies

So here's another recipe with my new favourite ingredient- burnt butter!

A lot of the stuff I bake ends up at work- because there aren't enough people in my house to eat it all- but a friend of mine from work is fussy and doesn't like chocolate so I asked him what I could bake that he would eat and enjoy. He came up with butterscotch cookies.

I tried making butterscotch chips to go in the butterscotch cookies, but they never fully set; when chilled it was like toffee, but when heated it melted again! In the end, I made butterscotch flavour cookies, make a hole in the middle and put a lump of butterscotch in there, then rolled them up and baked them like that. This kind of worked! But, they tasted great either way!

Wednesday, 24 October 2012

Risotto alla Milanese

The first time I had this wonderful saffron and parmesan risotto was earlier this year when we took my mum on a surprise birthday treat to Milan. Milan is a beautiful city, however, in order to visit this stylish city, you must pack only your best clothes. We spent far too long getting ready and dressed up each day- even if we were just going shopping or sight seeing. Everyone, everywhere, is immaculate. It really puts London to shame!

We saw an opera at the world famous Tetro alla Scala, went to countless art galleries including seeing Da Vinci's Last Supper, saw the incredible Duomo and, of course, we window shopped at all the fancy designer shops. One of the best parts of Milan, however, is the food (no surprises there!) with Gelato cafes on each corner, we ate Italian ice cream for breakfast lunch and dinner, as well as the amazing fresh pasta and breads, then gorged on aperitifs and cocktails in swanky bars in the evenings.

One of the aperitifs we had was Risotto Milanese. It's so simple- with only two main flavours- yet so tasty! It's normally a wonderful bright yellow colour, however my saffron wasn't the most expensive, hence the paler colouring. I recommend using a high quality extra strong parmesan and good quality saffron- powdered if possible in this recipe to get the true Italian flavours.

Monday, 22 October 2012

Khao Niew Mamuang - Sticky Rice with Mango

I spent part of this summer in Thailand with my family. I love to travel, but this really was a once in a lifetime experience and I would recommend everybody to jump on the next plane and see all the incredible sights before they disappear into a tourist crazy oblivion.

Thai is my favourite cuisine (well, it was before I over-indulged on it in Thailand) so I jumped at the chance to complete a Thai cookery class at the multi award-winning Boathouse restaurant in Phuket. We cooked and ate and cooked some more all day, it was delightful. I digress.

Coconut sticky rice, served still warm with ripe mango and coconut ice cream. Doesn't that sound nice? Yes is the answer. Especially with this recipe fresh from Thailand.

Saturday, 20 October 2012


One word. Bodeans.

This food is the reason obesity is a problem in America. Eating here is the closest I have (shamefully) ever come to being sick through over eating.. but i'd do it again tomorrow.

Bodeans is a BBQ smokehouse with four restaurants dotted around London. Think American portions, American beer, American sports on the TV screens and proper American meat! The place itself has a great feel to it, with bar stool type seating in the top area with sport on the big screens and then proper table seating downstairs.

Friday, 19 October 2012

Chocolate Cupcakes with Cookie Dough Filling and Toasted Marshmallow Frosting

The first thing I was told when I presented these to my family was 'I resent you for not discovering these sooner'. These are really that good. You almost feel guilty with every bite, but the sickly moreish-ness of these cupcakes diminish any sense of guilt you may feel.. even after you've gone back for a few more.

These aren't the easiest cupcakes to make, but they are oh so worth it. I would give you the speech about saving them for a special occasion, but, I made them on a Friday- I always spend my weekdays looking forward to Friday's (TGIF!), so I class each one as a special occasion and baked these in accordance. I love how the whole house fills with the wintery smell of toasted marshmallows when making these. As you can see, I made half of mine vanilla, but everyone agreed that the chocolate ones were best, so that's the recipe i've given!

Today is a Good Day

Today is a good day. Today I get to use my blowtorch. That makes today a good day. I've missed my blowtorch.

Take a look later for the outcome

Emily :) x

Chocolate Hazelnut Crêpe Cake

You think it sounds wrong, but its not. This cake is so right. My sister lives off of nutella crêpes every time we go to on holiday, I thought it would be fitting to make her one for her birthday this year. I layered each crêpe with three fillings- a dark chocolate ganache, a hazelnut milk chocolate cream and sprinkling of chopped hazelnuts.

This was amazing with chopped strawberries piled on top and vanilla ice cream or fresh double cream poured over. Needless to say, it didn't last long in my house full of chocolate lovers.

Thursday, 18 October 2012

Pretty Nutty Cake

Maple and pecan is my favourite flavour combo like, ever. I've never had it in a cake before, so when I wanted to try out my new colour pastes and piping nozzles and found maple syrup and pecans in my cupboard, I thought i'd give it a go! The vanilla and maple syrup in the icing give it an amazing flavour, too.

This cake would look just as good without all the fancy icing, maybe just covered in buttercream with a handful of pecans in the middle. I made this a while back so the icing isn't great- but the taste was! I promise!

Cake Ingredients
755g caster sugar
150g brown sugar
225g softened butter
4 eggs
225g self-raising flour
1tsp baking powder
1-2 tbs maple syrup
1 tsp vanilla
200g pecan nuts, chopped

Maple Buttercream Ingredients
140g soft butter
280g sifted icing sugar
1-2tbs maple syrup (depending on consistency required)
1/2tsp vanilla

(preheat oven to 180 Celsius, line a deep sandwich tin)
  1. Cream together butter and sugar
  2. Whisk in eggs one by one, then vanilla 1tbs maple syrup
  3. Gradually sift in flour and baking powder
  4. Add second tbs of maple syrup if needed for consistency
  5. Stir in pecan nuts
  6. Pour into baking tin and bake for 18-20 minutes or until pick comes out clean
  7. Leave to cool in tin for 10 minutes
  8. Meanwhile, blend together all buttercream ingredients
  9. Remove cake from tin and leave to fully cool
  10. Ice cake with buttercream and serve with cups of tea!

Enjoy! :) x

Wednesday, 17 October 2012

Burnt Butter Blueberry Muffins

These muffins are the one. I was a little apprehensive about burning my butter, but omg, these taste so good! The burnt butter creates a smokey wintery taste to the muffin and with the sharp blueberries make a great combo! This recipe is taken from Joy the Baker, one of my favourite bakers and bloggers. I love her style or writing and her recipes are divine!

I have changed the measurements from American to English as I always spend ages converting them in all the recipes I use from America.

100g unsalted butter
80ml whole milk
1 egg + 1 egg yolk
190g plain flour
150g caster sugar
1tsp vanilla
1/ 1/2 tsp baking powder
3/4tsp salt
300g fresh blueberries

For Topping
40g butter (cubed)
64g plain flour
45g caster sugar

(preheat the oven to 190 Celsius, line a muffin tin with 12 cases)
  1. Melt butter in a small saucepan over medium heat.  Keep an eye on the butter.  Melt and cook down the butter until little brown bits appear in the pan.  The crackling will subside and butter will begin to brown fairly quickly after that.  Keep a close eye.  Remove from heat.
  2. Whisk milk, egg, yolk and vanilla until combined.  Add the brown butter and stir to combine.
  3. Whisk together flour, sugar, baking powder and salt in a medium bowl  Add milk and butter mixture all at one and stir gently to combine.  Gently but thoroughly fold in the blueberries.
  4. Divide mix between the 12 cases and make the topping my combining the 3 ingredients in a bowl then crumble over muffins
  5. Bake for 18-20 minutes then cool in pan for 15 minutes before serving
Enjoy! :) x

Rainbow cake #2

So, after the 'success' of my first rainbow cake, my best friends niece chose to have one for her birthday, too, and as it was a joint party- the calling was for two!

Although I would never make 2-6-level cakes in one day again, the girls were over the moon which made up for my rather stressful day! And the cakes were infinitely better than my first attempt!

The thing I struggled with is the colouring: growing up, we had those liquid food colours that would dye anything any colour with just a few drops (think cakes, icing, clothes, fingers...) however, now- probably because of all this e number fuss- these have been discontinued and replaced with gel food colouring- which takes about half a tube to colour one cake, and begins to change the flavour!

So what I have found are these colour pastes from the wonderful Cake Craft World. They're a little more expensive, but you only need the tiniest amount so they last for ages- plus, they give a really nice rich colour rather than the slightly fake colours from the dyes.

Each layer of cake is just less than half of a victoria sponge mix, but I trimmed all of the edges off after baking to help them to sit flatter. I also use baking butter for the cakes, but real butter for the buttercream. I used 3 of each colour sugar paste to cover the cakes, which left me with plenty for decorations and a bit left over.

Tuesday, 16 October 2012

Proper Cheese Straws

So.. I've decided to give food blogging another go after obsessing over The Great British Bake Off for weeks on end (and being completely gutted when the beautiful James didn't win!) and what better way to revamp a food blog than with the best food item ever? CHEESE!

Before last week it had never occurred to me to bake my own cheese straws because the ones from m&s are just so tasty! But I was feeling lazy, craving cheese and had the ingredients so I thought I would give them a go- and they turned out good!

 I made these whilst sitting in front of the TV which really proves how simple they are! They're a great way to use up eggs and the last bits of whatever cheese you have lying around! I used parmesan and extra strong cheddar in mine with some cayenne pepper, paprika and black pepper for a kick :)

200g self raising flour 
125g cold butter (diced) 
2 eggs (one of them separated) 
50g grated parmesan cheese 
75g finely grated cheddar (plus extra for sprinkling) 
pinch of cayenne pepper 
pinch of paprika 
sesame seeds 
salt and pepper 

 1. In a bowl, rub the flour, butter and spices together until they resemble breadcrumbs. Mix in both cheeses
2. Add one whole egg and the second egg yolk, keeping the spare white to one side. Mix until everything is incorporated
3. Wrap the dough in cling film and refrigerate for 10-15 minutes, then turn on the oven (180 degrees) and tip mixture onto a floured surface
4. Roll dough out until roughly 9x12" then cut into 24 straws. They may shrink slightly when cut so you can roll them again, separately if needed. Twist each straw once at each end, brush with the left over egg white and sprinkle with sesame seeds and left over cheese, then arrange them on greased baking sheets
5. Bake! I only cooked mine for 15 minutes but if they look pale you can leave them for an extra few minutes! These are a must have straight from the oven when they're still warm, possibly dipped in more cheese (unless that's going too far?) and definitely with a glass of white wine. Enjoy :) x

Sunday, 25 March 2012

Lilac French Macaroons with Raspberry Buttercream Filling

When I was in France last year, I loved staring through the windows of all the posh patisseries, marvelling at the stacks of beautifully coloured macaroons.

The reason I was staring through the windows? They are so expensive!!

For a lovely pack of 6 mini macaroons it can cost up to €20! As much as I would have loved to, I could not justify spending that and so when I was reminded of them last week, I had to give them a go!

Next time, mine would be smaller than they are here- I was under the impression that the mix would stay where I piped it (like a meringue) - wrong! It spreads!

Recipe to follow!

Emily :)

Tuesday, 13 March 2012

Individual Lemon Meringue Pies

I made a batch of these and a proper sized lemon meringue pie at the same time and talked my mum so far into believing that the large quantity of eggs and lemons in these pies make them pretty much healthy that she ate the whole full sized pie in one evening! 
What do they say? The proof is in the pudding pie?
These came about in a two-fold way: Firstly, I love anything miniature. Secondly, I really wanted to try out my meringue piping skills!!

The orange juice in the filling subtracts the tartness from the lemons which is why these pies are so lovely. I also made the pastry myself, which I don't normally do and managed to convert myself to making my own pastry from now on!

Pastry Ingredients
200g plain flour
100g cold butter, cut into cubes
2 egg yolks (save whites for meringue)
1tbs icing sugar
A little milk to loosen
You will also need tin foil and baking beans, or some heavy dried pulses such as pinto beans
Filling Ingredients
2 level tbs corn flour
100g caster sugar
2 lemons grated finely
125ml lemon juice (about 3 lemons)
Juice of 1 orange
85g butter, cubed
3 egg yolks
1 whole egg
Meringue Ingredients
4 egg whites
200g caster sugar
1 heaped tsp cornflour

(preheat oven to 180, have a 12 hole cupcake tin greased, or 6 mini fluted flan tins)

  1. Put all of the pastry ingredients into a food processor and blend until pastry is formed, add a little milk (no more than 1tbs) to loosen
  2.  Roll out pastry onto a lightly floured surface. I like a very thin pastry, around 2mm. With a cutter, or a cup if you don't have the right size. 
  3. Cut out your 12 pastry rounds and press into cupcake holes. Prick all over with a fork and chill for 15 minutes
  4. Cut out 12 tin foil squares and place them, shiny side down onto the cases. Pour baking beans or pulses into each one and place in the oven and bake blind for 5 minutes before turning the oven down to 160, removing the foil and beans and baking for a further 5 minutes or until a light golden brown
  5. While the pastry bakes, prepare the filling: mix the cornflour, sugar and lemon zest in a medium saucepan. Strain and stir in the lemon juice gradually. Make orange juice up to 200ml with water and strain into the pan. Cook over a medium heat, stirring constantly, until thickened and smooth. Once the mixture bubbles, remove from the heat and beat in the butter until melted. 
  6. In a cup, whisk the egg yolks and whole egg together with a fork, stir them into the pan and return to a medium heat. Keep stirring vigorously for a few minutes, until the mixture thickens and plops from the spoon. (It will bubble, but doesn't curdle.) Take off the heat and set aside while you make the meringue.
  7. Whisk the egg whites in a large bowl till they form soft peaks then begin adding the sugar, spoonful by spoonful. Half way through, add the cornflour, all the time, whisking until thick.
  8. Spoon lemon filling into pie cases- make them level with pastry.
  9. Attach a large round nozzle to your piping bag and spoon meringue into it. Pipe meringue onto your pies, beginning at the edge before curling into the middle
  10. Put pies back into the oven and bake for around 10 minutes or until meringue has colour to it and is slightly crisp.
  11. Remove from oven and leave in the tins for 10 minutes before removing from tins and leaving for a further hour.
Enjoy! x

Saturday, 3 March 2012

Millionaires Shortbread with Sea Salted Caramel

I made up this recipe myself, it's a mixture of 3 amazing things combined into one; shortbread, salted caramel and white chocolate. Salted caramel seems to be the new 'in thing' and I am so on board with this; it's amazing. I first had it around christmas time in ice cream form at a West End show and it was like heaven (if not, slightly over priced). 
The white chocolate addition was a bit of a trial but I think it worked really nicely. It's really your choice which chocolate you use to top them, or be greedy like me and use both!
I also made a very large mix of them so i'm going to post my recipe, halved!

Shortbread ingredients
175g butter (room temp)
75g caster sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla
225g plain flour
Salted caramel ingredients
1 397g can of sweetened condensed milk (i used carnation)
175g butter
1 tsp sea salt
2 tbs golden syrup
To top
400g Either milk or white chocolate- depending on how adventurous you're feeling!

(preheat the oven to 180 degrees Celsius, grease a square cake tin)

  1. Put all of the shortbread ingredients into a large bowl and using your fingers, form a rough dough
  2. Press the dough into your cake tin and prick all over with a fork
  3. Place in the oven for 5 minutes, then turn the heat down to 150 and cook for a further 35-40 minutes
  4. Meanwhile, place all of the caramel ingredients into a big saucepan, stir on a medium heat until the butter is melted then bring to the boil for 10 minutes, stirring
  5. When the shortbread is out, pour the caramel over and place in the fridge until the caramel is cooled and slightly firm
  6. Melt the chocolate, pour over and leave to set, once again
  7. Cut into squares
Enjoy! x

Thursday, 1 March 2012

Butter Cookies.. with no butter!

Okay, so these cookies taste and almost look like something out of a packet  which is a nice change from post things I bake which have that 'home-made' look about them. I came across the idea of using an American ingredient called 'Butter Crisco' to replace butter in baking and thought it was a terrible idea but the next day I happened to come across an American food section in a farm shop which I love and there, right in front of me was this big tub of Butter flavour Crisco and, I couldn't resist!

It smells and looks so processed and fake 
(I know, i'm really not selling this recipe to you) 
but I used it anyway and the cookies turned out really well, however, if you don't want to use this odd ingredient, or, can't get hold of it- just use the same amount of butter!!

240g butter flavour Crisco (or, butter!)
200g caster sugar
90g brown sugar
2 eggs
1 1/2 tbs water
1tsp vanilla
350g plain flour, sifted
1tsp baking soda
1/2tsp salt

(preheat oven to 190 degrees Celsius, line 3 baking sheets with greaseproof paper, this recipe makes loads and they do spread out)
  1.  In a large bowl, beat together Crisco, sugar, brown sugar, eggs, water and vanilla until fully mixed, get everything off the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula and mix again
  2. Sieve in the flour, baking soda and salt and mix well
  3. Make the mixture into a ball in the mixing bowl and cover with cling film, then put it in the fridge for around half an hour (if you're too impatient to wait, leave for 10..)
  4. Now, remove from the fridge, and begin forming 1-inch balls with the mixture by rolling them in your hands.
  5. You can make them more like biscuits by making smaller balls, or big cookies by making them slightly bigger
  6. Place them, spread widely apart on your baking sheets and slightly flatten the balls
  7. Put in the oven for 8-10 minutes, till light brown. They should still look slightly undercooked when you remove them from the oven, this keeps them chewy as they will keep cooking after you have removed them from the oven

Enjoy! x

Tuesday, 28 February 2012

Testing Piping Nozzle Techniques with American Vanilla Cupcakes

I 'splashed out' today and brought myself new baking stuff from Lakeland! How exciting..! Basically just brought a set of cupcake icing nozzles which are huge compared to all of my other icing nozzles so I had to go home and test them out. I've grown to really like the American batter cupcakes so I made an easy vanilla batch then some basic buttercream frosting to test out the nozzles.

Cake Ingredients
180g self raising flour
210g caster sugar
80g salted butter
180ml whole milk
1 large egg/ 2 smaller eggs
vanilla extract

500g icing sugar
200g butter
25ml whole milk
few drops of vanilla

Preheat oven to 170 degrees Celsius, have 12 hole muffin tin lined
  1. Put flour, sugar and butter in a bowl together and beat until all combined; like very fine breadcrumbs.
  2. In a jug, mix egg and milk then very gradually pour it into the flour mix until smooth, but do not over mix
  3. Pour mixture into cupcakes and bake for 20- 25 minutes
  4. Take out of the oven and leave to cool
  5. For the frosting, beat the butter till fluffy, then gradually add the icing sugar; it will get quite stiff but it will get looser when the butter melts a little more and the milk is added. At this point, you can add cocoa powder or colouring as you wish
  6. When all the icing sugar is incorporated, add the milk and vanilla, spoon into piping bags and you're away!
This is my first attempt at cupcake icing, so they're not great. My favourites are the rose style ones!

enjoy! x

Monday, 20 February 2012

Perfect Pancakes!

To make perfect pancakes you need the perfect pan, and this is it Lakeland Non-stick Crepe Pan. This pan, honestly, will not let you ruin pancakes. You won't even need to loosen the pancake- it just won't stick! It's even got shallow sloped sides so much easier to flip!
I use a fork rather than a whisk for this recipe, but, its really up to you!

110g plain flour, sifted
2 eggs
200ml milk mixed with 75ml water
50g butter
pinch of salt
plus, whichever toppings you like- mine are with lemon wedges and white sugar

  1. Sieve the flour into a mixing bowl
  2. Make a well in the centre of the flour and break the eggs into it
  3. Whisk the eggs into the flour, incorporating all the bits from the side
  4. Very gradually begin to add the milk-water mix into the flour, while whisking. Make sure to do this really slowly as it will reduce lumps
  5. When this is done, the mixture should be very thin. Now, put the butter in a non metallic ramekin and melt in the microwave. Spoon 2 tbs of melted butter into the batter and keep the rest to hand
  6. Get the pan very hot, turn down to a medium heat then dip a piece of kitchen roll in the melted butter and wipe it round the pan
  7. A ladle is easiest to make the best pancakes because the batter all goes in at once. Fill the ladle about 2/3 of the way and pour into the pan.
  8. As soon as the batter hits the pan, tip the batter from side to side, evenly coating the whole pan, until it stops moving
  9. The pancake should take about 30 seconds to cook, give the pan a shake to loosen it and check if the bottom is golden brown with a palette knife
  10. Flip the pancake over- either using your 'pancake flipping skills' or with a palette knife! Leave for just a few seconds on this side and then slide onto a plate
  11. Squeeze your lemon on, sprinkle with sugar and either roll or fold into quarters

Enjoy! x

Tuesday, 14 February 2012

Red Velvet Valentines Cupcakes

Okay, so I hate romantic crap, but I had such a craving to bake, and all the valentines baking is so pretty that I thought I would bake these for valentines day this year. Its another recipe with amazing cream cheese frosting (this time vanilla) and I got to test chocolate piping which was, interesting! Red velvet cupcakes are so tasty; the slightly chocolately vanilla flavour is made more intense by the buttermilk in the recipe and the best thing is that because it's an American recipe, the cake mix is more of a batter, so you can literally put it in a jug and pour it into the cases- SO much easier!

Cupcake Ingredients:

125g sifted flour
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoons (10 g) good quality cocoa powder
57 g unsalted butter, at room temperature
150g granulated sugar
1 large egg
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
120 ml buttermilk (milk, with 1tsp lemon added, left for 10 minutes so it begins to curdle; sounds gross, makes good cakes)
1 tablespoon liquid red food coloring
1/2 teaspoon white distilled vinegar
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
Cream Cheese Frosting:
227g cream cheese, room temperature
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
60 grams icing sugar, sifted
160 ml whipping cream (make sure its cold, as this can turn very runny)

(Preheat oven to 175 degrees C and have a 12 hold muffin tin lined)

  1. In large bowl, beat the butter and sugar until light and fluffy
  2. Mix in egg and then vanilla
  3. In a cup, add food colouring to buttermilk, and in a separate bowl sift together flour, baking powder, salt and cocoa
  4. Slowly alternate adding the flour and buttermilk to the butter mixture, beginning and ending with flour
  5. In an eggcup, combine vinegar and baking soda, let it fizz and fold it into the cake batter quickly
  6. Then quickly pour the batter into cases and smooth the tops
  7. Bake for around 20 minutes or until a skewer comes out clean
  8. For the frosting, beat the cream cheese till smooth
  9. Add vanilla and sugar and beat until incorporated
  10. Gradually add the cream and whisk till thick
  11. You can then either pipe or spoon the frosting on to cakes

While my cupcakes were baking, I melted chocolate and added a little oil, put it into a piping bag and piped some valentine-y words and hearts onto my icing mat, put it in the fridge to set and then used them to decorate my cakes, but you can decorate them however you like.

Enjoy! x

Saturday, 4 February 2012

Rainbow Cake.. my way!

I saw this cake on the internet and knew I wanted to attempt it for my best friend, who luckily has a rather large family! I love how people think its just a lovely looking white cake, then they slice into it and their faces light up!
However, the blog I found it didn't have a recipe, just the instructions to use 'White cake mix' and 'grape soda'. So I decided to use a plain and simple victoria sponge mix, and treble it...
My thinking was; one lot of the recipe makes two sponges, so i need three lots to get six sponges- no thought was there for A) the height of the cake and B) how was it not going to slide!
If you are making this cake , following my recipe, it will hopefully turn out smaller than mine and look a little more professional.. that said, my cake was huge and got mistaken for a wedding cake!

Utensil-wise, obviously a 6 layer cake seems daunting! I went out and brought 3 sets of Sainsburys Basics Cake Tins (cost around £2.50 for 2). They are slightly smaller than the average cake tin, which is a good thing for this cake! And ensured that they are all the same size. I also brought a set of 6 pint glasses (also very cheap) to ensure the cakes are the same size and to save on washing up!

Cake Ingredients (x3 for rainbow cake)
225g caster sugar
225g softened butter
4 eggs
225g self-raising flour
1-2 tbs milk
Your 6 gel food colourings (I couldn't find purple or orange, so mixed the other colours)

(preheat the oven to 190 degree's Celsius, grease your 6 tins)
  1. Cream the butter and sugar together until smooth
  2. Beat in the eggs
  3. Sift the flour in whilst mixing
  4. Add the milk as needed to make a good consistency
  5. Divide the mixture into the 6 pint glasses, add the colours 1tsp at a time to achieve a nice bright colour
  6. Put in the oven to bake for 18-20 minutes or until a cake tester comes out clean. If, like me, you have a smallish oven, you may only be able to fit 2 or 4 cakes in at a time. If this is the case, put the bottom colours of the cake in first, so that they can begin to cool as the others cook!
  7. The cakes may well be slightly brown on the top and sides but when the cake is iced, you will only see the colours in the middle, anyway!
  8. When the cakes are cooled, brush off the crumbs, trim the edges with scissors and begin to ice! I found it easiest to hold the sponge underneath with one hand, whilst icing the sides with the other hand, then placing it down and doing the top (repeat!)
  9. Try and give a thick layer of buttercream, but both the buttercream and cakes need to be completely cooled, or else they will melt and slide (speaking from experience!)

tip: put a blob of buttercream on your cake board so the first layer sticks

Enjoy! x