Saturday, April 30, 2011

Royal Wedding, part 2

And here we have the interior of the 'spiderman'/Wedding cake.  It tasted great, and went down a storm with the friends (the kids especially thought it looked amazing, bless them). 
Part 2 of our Wedding theme involved mini cupcakes.  Lots of them.  After a conversation with a friend, Claire, who runs Baby Sensory classes in our fair city we agreed that I'd set up a table in her class with a selection of mini cupcakes (all vanilla with white and blue vanilla buttercream icing and delicately rose-flavoured red buttercream icing) , info and an honesty box and see how many sold.  So I  made about 90 to ensure there were enough to cover all the possible purchasers from both classes she was running on Wedding Day, and over half sold.  Woo hoo!  The rest got devoured by friends and family at a playdate, then by neighbours that evening.  Gosh that was a good feeling.  Claire made some very helpful suggestions, the best of which was that we could try doing this monthly and see how things went...
The cupcakes in their lovely tiered display stand

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Royal Wedding, part 1

We're having afternoon tea with old friends tomorrow, and it's Prince William and soon-to-be Princess Catherine's wedding on Friday, so I felt I ought to bake accordingly.  I had this fab idea to do a two-colour sponge and ice and layer it with jam and buttercream icing.  I had the red and the blue and the 'white', but unfortunately not quite the right equipment.  My sandwich tins seem really quite shallow, so I figured I'd just use a normal cake tin and slice it horizontally.  As they say, the best laid plans...
Seems a good idea, right?  I put the red mix under the blue, and kind of just assumed they'd stay in those positions.  Didn't quite work out that way, more like a Spiderman blend of sorts.  Still, I sliced, layered and iced and this is how it turned out.  Will take an interior shot tomorrow, once it's been cut.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Looks aren't everything

We found out at short notice that a friend of mini-Becca #2's from nursery could come over to play this morning.  We decided we'd like to make biscuits for her and her mum for morning tea, dotted with mini Smarties and choc honeycomb chunks.  We only had 40 minutes until they were due, and this was just the right amount of time in which to weigh, mix and bake the cookies.  I don't think the problem here was time, but rather too much mix per cookie.  I had recently bought us a portioning tool (i.e. an old-style ice-cream scoop) and used this to decide how much mix per dollop - bad move.  The old-fashioned method of a heaped teaspoon would have been fine.  Still, they went down a storm with Ava and her Mummy, us, our Daddy and with Billy the reptile man after school (but that's a whole other story)...

Friday, April 22, 2011

We do savoury too...

For a fun dinner, we made our own sausage rolls using chicken hotdogs (so I could eat them too).  Here's our lovely littlest Becca Team member brushing the finished items with milk before we put them in the oven.  I was really pleased to discover that they all got eaten (with my help too).  It rarely happens that they love something new so much, yey.  Here's the finished product, before the empty plates...

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Rocky Road for Liz and co

We have a playdate with friends whom we don't see very often tomorrow, so felt we wanted to bring them a treat that we'd all love to eat.  And it's been sunny for the last wee while, so gold glitter and yellow sugar sand seemed ideal.  This Rocky Road is truly divine, and has (so far) worked every time.  The recipe is quite similar to that of the Sweet & Salty Nut Crunch Slice, which is equally delicious. 
If you live locally, we make this to order...

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Reaching out

I recently had business cards printed up to match the stickers, and decided to ask our local library if I could leave some on the desk (cards, not stickers).  As a sweetener (although they love us already, we're in there nearly weekly) I dropped in a couple of slices of the Red Velvet Cake, and the ladies were well-chuffed.  Flatteringly they ooohed and aaaahed and said it looked and smelled amazing, let's hope they help me spread the word.

Lemon Drizzle and Red Velvet

Thanks to a new item (Flora Cuisine, a sort of liquid butter but with 45% less sat fat) and an offer at one of the supermarkets, I made this Lemon Drizzle Cake.  The recipe was in the supermarket's magazine, next to a full-page ad for the product and it was easy and tasted great!  The whole team loved it, and it could even have done with more lemon and not been too tart.  There's also a recipe for Carrot Cake using the new butter, so I'll try that soon.

I've been busy baking, but not busy blogging so you get two cakes for the price of one in this post!  This is, rather obviously, a double decker Red Velvet Cake with cream cheese icing.  I'd previously done it as cupcakes and really liked it, but felt it didn't taste of chocolate at all.  So this time I exchanged some of the flour for extra cocoa and it's better.  Smells fab, lovely and light texture and there's a touch of vinegar in the icing (seriously) to take the edge off the sweetness - yum!  It was a birthday gift to my friend Paula, and she and her kids (plus our Team) all cleaned their plates without any prompting.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Sorry Rich, sweet & salty crunch nut slice

We caught up with an old friend today, Rich, meeting at Stirling Castle (about halfway between our cities).  He is an avid follower of our Facebook page ( and so knows that we bake often.  Thus he was most disappointed when we arrived empty-handed.  I was secretly pleased, because I didn't think he'd mind.  So, as a way to ensure I don't disappoint anyone else this week, I whipped up a Sweet & Salty Crunch Nut Slice for our picnic lunch at Falkland Palace tomorrow (yet again, about halfway between us and tomorrow's friends).  We're seeing different friends on both Tuesday and Wednesday, so I'm not yet sure what we'll do for that.  Cupcakes are the best bet, because a batch goes a long way... But we've done them a lot lately, so perhaps something new?  Or at least different.  Any ideas?

Wednesday, April 06, 2011

Jaffa cupcakes

I fancied trying something new and turned the page of one of my recipe books to find their Chocolate Cupcake recipe.  It was an unusual way of doing things, but basically chocolate (not cocoa) flour and sugar.  The end result (I only tasted one so far) was pretty darn good.  This was also their Orange Cream Cheese icing - again, basically a buttercream icing with cream cheese and zested orange peel.  We bought ourselves some new food colour yesterday, plus some more fun sprinkles, hence the need for orange zest.  The icing is delicious and smooth, can't wait to taste the whole thing together.  I feel I've been most restrained...

We just bought a new camera, and as it's all new and modern it can take better close-up photos.  Thus my experimentation with different zoom options and staging of the food.  What do you think?