Friday, 24 August 2012


When I found out I was having a little boy, over three years ago now, I envisaged baby blue blankets and sleep suits with vintage airplanes on them and going for adventures in the woods. Little did I know what else having a little boy would entail!

J is absolutely awesome! No two days are the same and from when he awakes at 6am, we hit the ground running right up until we crash and burn at around 7.30!

There are the lovely moments where he tells me that he missed me and loves me when he wakes up in a morning and the crazy times when he comes out with gems like, "Mummy, pterodactyls are not a true dinosaur, they are actually flying reptiles!" (!!!!!!!!!!). There are also the times when he pulls something so obscure out of the bag, that I begin to question where he gets his ideas!

After a lovely lunch at the local deli, I noticed that they had started stocking Nordicware that you can hire for a few days. The tin that caught my eye was a totally amazing galleon ship. I pointed this out to J and asked if he would like a pirate ship cake for his forthcoming birthday. He stared blankly at me and the assistant, who had kindly told me it was available for hire, shook his head and stated "Me want a spider cake, hexagon shape". What???? The girl just laughed nervously and proceeded to edge away from us politely!

So the frantic brainstorming for decoration ideas started along with some rather choosey vetoing from J. (Who knew a three year old knew his own mind so well?)And here is what we came up with.

I made a vanilla and chocolate marble custard cake, covered with a buttercream crumb coating and iced with royal icing.
The spider was made using a chocolate covered donut iced in black buttercream icing with pipe cleaner legs.

As you can also see J got in on the action making his own spider and getting a tad covered in icing!

Tuesday, 7 August 2012

Berry Nice!

After the cake for mum's birthday, I feel like I need to get back to baking, just for fun. Over the last couple of weeks, I have been baking for other people and for events, and have thoroughly enjoyed coming up with the concepts and then baking them. However, it has been something like three months since I baked a cake just because I can. For no other reason than for the love and enjoyment of baking.
All of the last few cakes have been round or moulded, and I felt like doing a loaf cake. The next important question was what to bake? I decided to approach this with a considered and thoughtful approach (read, stood staring into the fridge for 5 mins seeing what needed to be used up and what was on its last legs!!) and decided on a summer fruit loaf cake.
Now the only thing with a loaf cake is that when I make them, they always appear to be quite a standard cake. By this I mean that they are just what it says on the tin. A cake in a loaf shape. Nothing more, nothing less. Delicious, but not very sexy. I needed to think of a way to "jazz it up" as my hubby would say. I did not want to start heading towards doing sugar paster flowers or candied fruit, but definitively wanted something simple yet effective. The answer was simple. Crumble! So the summer fruit crumble cake was born!


110g butter
90g dark muscovado/demerara sugar
2 large eggs
1 tsp vanilla paste or extract
125g self raising flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
210g summer berries ( if you want to use frozen then do, though you don't need to defrost them before using)

15g butter
15g flour
15g demerara sugar

Preheat oven to 150C fan/160C/ gas 4.
Line a loaf run.
Beat together the butter and sugar and add the eggs one at a time.
Add the vanilla extract/paste.
Add the sifted flour and baking powder and fold in.
Spoon half of the batter into the tin.
Add half of the berries.
Spoon the rest of the batter on top of the berries.
Add the rest of the berries onto the top of the cake.
Mix the crumble four and butter by running together until the mix resembles bread crumbs and add the sugar.
Sprinkle the crumble mix on top of the cake and place in the oven for around 50 mins until cooked.
Cool the cake in the tin.

This is not a pretty cake and has a certain tartness to it, which always goes down well in our house. But it is delicious and goes down well with a cup of tea in the afternoon when your fingers start to wander towards the biscuit tin!
Enjoy! X

Wednesday, 1 August 2012

Birthday Ladybirds

It is Mama's birthday and it has called for something a little bit special. I really wanted to do an all singing all dancing tiered cake, but as there is only going to be 7 of us and a gorgeous puppy, it might have been a little bit excessive (especially as each tier would have fed about twenty people!!!). I asked J what I should do and was met with the answer; "Spiders and bats.". After pointing out that maybe Grandma might not be as keen on this, he suggested ants. Again I pointed out that this might not make the best decoration for a cake. After ten minutes of discussing (ahem arguing ) and discounting ideas as broad as crocodiles and penguins (???), we settled on ladybirds.
We made a strawberry jelly cake (as per previous post) and baked it in a bundt style tin. Then we made some sugar paste ladybirds and baby ladybirds to decorate the top of the cake.
As time was against us, we just sprinkled the top of the cake with green edible glitter and attached the ladybirds to the top of the cake with buttercream.
Needless to say that the entire thing got devoured within quarter of an hour. Not bad going for the seven of us!