Archive | September, 2012

Digital Biscuits

28 Sep

digestive biscuits

At work we eat a lot of biscuits, and when I say a lot I mean at least a large packet of chocolate digestives each week. And when I say we, I mean mostly me. So because I’m the one mostly scoffing them, I thought it only fair that I make a batch to bring in.

making digestive biscuits

So, why digital biscuits? Well, I work with digits, mostly. It just seemed to fit. This recipe is another from Hugh Fearnley Whittingstall, his River Cottage Digestive Biscuits, deliciously spelty with an almost shortbread-like sandy texture. Must be all the lovely butter in them. Yum. Hugh doesn’t mention dousing them in chocolate, I hope he’ll approve.

chocolate covered digestive biscuits

Certainly too crumbly for the cycle jersey pocket, but just about perfect for that midday cup of tea break.

Dart Marathon Swim

25 Sep

Dart 10k swim cap

This weekend Mr Cakes, a handful of chums and I travelled to deepest darkest Devon for the Dart 10k swim. Some of us were swimming, some of us were supporting, and all of us were having a ruddy good time! The swim started from Totnes, and as luck would have it the swimming Thompson Twins* Dad lives just round the corner. From the moment we arrived we were treated like swimming kings and queens – an especially designed lentil bake for dinner, with a large glass of red. What better preparation for the marathon swim awaiting us?

Dart 10k swim start

Saturday morning was a crisp, chilly yet sunny affair but by the time we wetsuited up and lined up for the safety briefing, the sun was out and warming us up nicely. Good job, as when we entered the water to begin swimming one by one, boy did it feel cold even in said wetsuit! Still, a few hundred metres later and my head, hands and feet had acclimatised and I hit my stride. Next stop feeding station #1 where I was hotly pursued by none other than Mr. Cakes. We were hoping for flapjacks, but we got jelly sweets and energy drink. Sugary treats that kept us going for the next wee while until feeding station #2, which appeared much quicker that I was expecting. They told us we were at 7k already, after only 2 hours and 20 minutes. Fast, I thought, I didn’t know that Thompson Twin junior had already finished after 2 hours and 20 minutes swimming…

Only 3k to go. No problemo, I thought, but my body – or maybe my mind, thought differently. While Mr. Cakes was off in swimming euphoria, I struggled to find my rhythm and dawdled around combining breast stroke with trying not to drag my fingers through the mud and avoiding those around me standing up in the squishy dark stuff. 3 hours and 30 minutes after those first breath-taking few strokes, and I emerged from the water – a marathon swimmer. Slower than the rest of my number, but happy none the less.

Plum and Walnut cake

There must have been cake? But of course! Our generous hosts laid on a Devonshire Cream tea as soon as we arrived back from our aquatic adventure, although I went clotted cream followed by jam – which may well be Cornish.

I couldn’t resist baking for the event either. Nigel Slater’s Plum & Walnut Cake was the order of the day. I used pretty blush pink Victoria Plums, and a 20cm cake tin – the cake took about 1 hour to bake. Tasted pretty good, too.

*Not strictly twins, just siblings. But twins sounds better.
+Many thanks to Dr. Thompson for the snaps of our beautiful blue swim caps, and the red lot entering the river.

Happy Birthday little sister

20 Sep

Dan Lepard Sour Cream Chocolate Cake

Happy Birthday to you, Happy Birthday to you, Happy Birthday new little sister-in-laaaaaaaaaaaw, Happy Birthday to yoooooooooooouuuuuuuuuuu!

Dan Lepard Sour Cream Chocolate Cake ingredients

That’s right, I got married. Which means I have a new sister. Whoooop! And it’s her birthday today. Fandabbydozy. Cake time!

Dan Lepard Sour Cream Chocolate Cake icing & cake

More chocolate cake, this is very out of character Mrs Cakes? But other people seem to like it, so Dan Lepard’s Sour Cream Chocolate Cake it is. Only, don’t do what I did and substitute Wilton’s Candy Melts for the chocolate in the icing. It seemed like a bright idea, but they contain oil among other things. The icing therefore didn’t set, as you can see below.

Bad icing!

Still, it got scoffed – so it must have tasted good.

Bone Voyage

3 Sep

Salty Devil's Food Cake

To my dear friends Mr & Mrs Bone, who leave east London this week for the motherland. Me & Mr Cakes will miss them lots. They’re off to Scotland with its lochs, mountains, whiskey & irn-bru and so we say “Bone Voyage”

making mini bunting

salted caramel icing

chocolate devil's food cake

chocolate cake with salted caramel icing

The best leaving gift? A chocolate devils food cake with salted caramel icing. First make yourself just the cake part of Nigella’s Devils Food Cake recipe. Then you ice with the Salted Caramel icing from this recipe. (Mr Cakes did the artex style icing application)

Then, to make it super pretty make some mini bunting to string across the top. I found the template at b.loved weddings. Good luck chums, can’t wait to come & visit.