A few weeks ago my friend asked if I would bake some cupcakes for her mum’s birthday. She requested lemon cupcakes with a lemon icing drizzle on the top instead of buttercream.
The recipe for these came from the new cookbook from GBBO winner Frances Quinn, the same as where Sophie got her recipe the other week. Sophie very excitedly introduced me to the book, which I of course bought immediately (and recommend!). It used a basic recipe and shows you several different ways to add to it to make it more exciting, the illustration is beautiful as well.
The feedback from the cupcakes was all very positive, they had a really nice strong lemon flavour to them. These were based on Frances’ fried egg cupcakes, simple but delicious.
At the end of the summer my cousin’s daughter turned 4, so of course a birthday cake was needed. She had a frozen themed birthday party, I was originally going to be making an Olaf cake but after a big pleeeeease it changed to Elsa.
The cake underneath was chocolate with a chocolate ganache between the layers. I used vanilla buttercream icing for the decoration, as you already know our thoughts on fondant. I used a variety of piping nozzles to get the different definitions, I think next time I would smooth out her skin and use buttercream icing instead of icing tubes for her eyes as they went a little dark.
I love making cakes like this, the effort that goes into them before the baking even starts in my favourite bit. I searched for a few weeks before for a good image of Elsa to draw that would be able to transfer to a cake. This was copied from a lunchbox I found in a shop. Kids cakes can be so creative and are exciting to plan.
On to the next birthday now, Peppa Pig take 3!
Here’s a picture 🙂
Two weekends ago we had the absolute pleasure of adding cake to an old friend’s wedding day. When Ceris got engaged, after saying congratulations, my next comment was naturally about cake. She sent me some pictures from Pinterest about some ideas of what she wanted and so we began.
We decided to go for three different flavours and order them so that when you cut the cake there was an ombré look inside. The bottom tier was chocolate, middle tier was coffee and walnut and the top tier was white chocolate. We covered each tier with white fondant icing and the music sheets were from sugar paper.
Soph and I were so pleased with the final result and so happy with the reaction it got. The comments from the bride and groom as well as some guests have been lovely. Thank you Ceris and Gareth for trusting us with a centre piece of your day, we wish you many more slices of cake together in your years to come.
Love Chloe and Sophie Xx
Jen, a fellow baker friend of mine, had a birthday in July, she asked (well told) me to bake her a cake. Of course I didn’t mind! Her favourite colour is blue, if you hadn’t guessed… And I’ve been wanting to do an ombré cake for a while so I took the opportunity. Decided on earl grey flavour because it’s a good flavour and something slightly different. This cake tastes so lovely and stays moist for a long time, if the cake manages to last that long.
I was going to make a fondant mini to go on the top as Jen is very much a mini fan and I had managed to find icing in the colour of her car, but unfortunately due to time constraint I couldn’t. Next time definitely!
I went to work one day with Jen while I was back in Pembrokeshire, bringing cake with us of course. We had to stop her boss from eating it all, which is my favourite cake response!
I was very pleased with the colour, loved the look on Jen’s face when she cut into it.
For the penultimate week of term it was our department’s turn on cake Wednesday. No pressure to finish on a well baked final week!
I wanted to go for something summery and something I’ve not baked before so I searched through my many baking books and found this. I loved that it was a tweak on the classic Victoria sponge, with a homemade lime curd. The lime curd had lots and lots of lime in it so it added a good zing to the cake. The cake had slices of fresh strawberries, whipped cream and lime curd between the layers, was covered with cream and topped with more strawberries.
I decided to double the cake mixture as it said it would only serve 8-10, this resulted in a rather large cake. There were a few comments about how I had made a wedding cake and a couple of people pointing it out with a comment of “have you seen the size of this cake?”.
The baking was so good from the department that there was a 3-way split with the win, this cake being one third of that!
So it’s my turn to talk brownies with you. The recipe for these brownies is top secret, it was given to me by my friend Jen, after I begged her for it! These can be whipped up in a couple of hours and eaten much quicker. I always keep the ingredients for these in the cupboard, as you never know when emergency brownies are needed.
Jen often adds a raspberry coulis to the top after baking, which sets beautifully and goes perfectly with the rich chocolate. I decided this time to add vanilla fudge chunks to mine for the extra fudgey flavour as well as extra chewiness!
So this week’s mission was to bake a massive cake – fine, that looks like a princess castle – exciting! We had the order a few weeks ago and have been getting increasingly excited/nervous about making it. The request was made from a friend who has ordered with us before (go back to see the rainbow unicorn cake) and the idea came from a children’s cake design book I lovingly got for Christmas.
When we told people what we were making the first question was “ooo how old is she?” There was usually then a surprised reaction when we said 30! Personally I think this is an awesome 30th birthday cake, why should you stop wanting to be a princess?
Anyway down to the nitty gritty – our lovely creation took 13 long hours over two evenings. The cake was a two tier chocolate sponge (same recipe as the Minion cake) topped with mini marshmallows and surrounded by crispy pearls. Everything was covered in buttercream and all the windows/doors/flags and princess were from fondant. The four towers were constructed from 76 chocolate chip cookies, held together with melted white chocolate and topped with an icecream cone (very nice broken up with a cuppa so we were told today!).
All in all it was a definite proud moment when we finally stepped back and could say we had finished.
Check it out!
We went to see Tom’s friends on Friday for dinner for one of the boys birthday’s – so of course cake was needed! When Tom asked me to make a cake he mentioned the Minion idea straight away and of course I was very excited. I am basically a big kid that loves Despicable Me!
Had to go for a chocolate cake on the inside, I tried a new German cake recipe from the new Hummingbird Bakery book (which is awesome!). Also got to use the leftover icing from my mums birthday cake as a bonus (chocolate cake with chocolate and more chocolate). The sponge was nice and light, definitely on the new favourite chocolate cake recipe list!
My brother invited me to visit recently and every time I’ve been so far I’ve had some form of baked item to bring with me. The occasion this time was his housemates birthday party, so of course cake was needed! I decided to try out a new recipe and go for hot chocolate cupcakes, I used options Belgian chocolate hot chocolate and they went down very well.
The sponge was nice and light with a lovely hint of chocolate and that something different from the hot chocolate. Definitely a winner in my books!
It was our turn again for cake Wednesday at school a couple of weeks ago. So the pressure was on to win the Star Baker award! I thought I would try a new recipe out.
I turned to the wonderful Nigella for this recipe, making the curd was surprisingly easy and very satisfying (and tasty!). Managed to get 2 spare jars of it – so any ideas with how to use it up are welcome!
The cake went down nicely, I personally think it could have done with having more of the curd in the middle, I was originally worried about putting too much in! Oh well, looks like I’ll just have to bake it again!