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Cake Building

19 Mar

lego cake

What a lucky little man my nephew is. Not only was it just his birthday, but big sis Cakes made him this amazeballs Lego Cake. Look at it, what a beauty! Decorated with edible lego blocks and lego men. How cool is that?

fondant lego pieces

Of course, you’d have to be pretty good at sculpture to craft all this without a *little* help. You might want to invest in one of these ice cube trays. Very clever big sis. Can’t wait til my next birthday…

lego men mould

Mister Bakes

12 Oct

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Mr Cakes is a savory chap, preferring a salty snack over anything sweet. So when he decided it was his turn to bake there wasn’t a chocolate chip or an ounce of sugar in sight, not even a raisin crept into the kitchen.

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Biscuits for cheese, good old water biscuits were Mr Cakes fancy. Thin, crispy and sprinkled with the lightest dusting of sea salt. Perfect for cheese, or the delectable smoked salmon pâté from H.Foreman & Son.

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Mr Cakes Water Biscuits
Ingredients
200g plain flour
1 tsp baking powder
50g unsalted butter
1 tsp sea salt
120ml chilled water

Method
Preheat the oven to 180C/160C fan/Gas 4 and line two baking sheet with grease proof paper.

Put the flour, baking powder and butter (chopped into cubes) in a food processor & whizz quickly until sandy. Then, with the mixer running, add the water 1 tbsp at a time until your dough is soft. This could be anywhere between 4-8 tbsp. Try not to add too much to make the dough sticky.

Flour your work top and roll the dough out, it should make a thin 35cm by 35cm square. Brush with a scant amount of water and sprinkle all over with the salt. Prick the dough with a fork and cut into squares, you should get around 25. Transfer the biscuits to the lined baking trays.

Bake for 10-15 minutes until very lightly golden & place on a wire rack until totally cool…if you can wait that long. Once cool they’ll keep for a couple of weeks in an airtight container.

Two-ti Fruiti

28 Feb

Lemon Yogurt Cake

First of all, possibly the least photogenic cake I have ever witnessed. Mary Berry’s Lemon Yogurt Cake, from her Baking bible. I mean, look at it Mary! Had I been baking to impress on first sight, this just wouldn’t cut the mustard. This is not a bake-off winner. Luckily, it tasted good and was fairly easy to make – a saving grace. As it has yogurt as a major ingredient, Mary suggests you keep the cake refrigerated – fat chance, Mary! I scoffed it all pretty quick.

Slice Lemon Yogurt Cake

I even processed these photos to make them look more classy, using the “Italian” setting on my camerabag app.  Hmph.

You can find the recipe and another incarnation of the cake (looking just as un-inspiring, albeit with a little sugary lemon decoration) on A Kiss of Cookies blog

And now for something a lot more beauteous, a creation from Samalamadingdong, Cover Girl extraordinaire! Look at this beaut – a blueberry crumble CAKE! It’s cake AND its crumble. Woah there…

Blueberry Muffin Cake

What you need to know about Sam is that her cooking is A-MAZING for a start. Mostly this is because she is very creative, and makes the most delicious meals every time I’ve been round her house – and seems to do it all so effortlessly. Oh yeah, I’m just throwing in some doo-dah wotsits into this. I’ve never done it before, lets just see what happens.  She says. And it always works. Every ruddy time!

So, thankyou Sam for sharing this recipe  – which can be found here on Allrecipes. Hang on a minute though. You didn’t think Sam followed the recipe to the letter did you? Where would the fun be in that? Here’s what the crafty madam had to say…

I didn’t have ground cinnamon to add to the crumble so I added about a teaspoon of French almond extract – is yummy! Also I cooked for an extra 10-15 mins but oven was on at 150 (as have fan oven so dropped the temp a bit). Think it’d make nice warm pud with ice cream! Num num.

Num num indeed Sam, when do you want me?

Sam's Blueberry crumble cake

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Sweet! Corn relish

14 Feb

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This is the third instalment from the kitchen of big sis Cakes. She’s been a busy bee over the last few weeks making preserves. I asked her to fill 80 jars for me, so far we’ve got Damson chutney, marmalade, rhubarb and strawberry jam. And now! Sweetcorn relish. I’m dreaming of home-made burgers to put this on. I could eat one RIGHT NOW please. Doesn’t it look good?

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What would you eat it with?

Roobarb and Strawbs

6 Feb

rhubarb and strawberry jam

She’s been at it again, that sister o’mine. Preserving I mean – this time Rhubarb and Strawberry Jam, c/o Jam, Jelly & Relish by Ghillie James.  I can tell it’s going to be a fantastic combination, strawberry-rhubarb pie is all the rage over the pond so why not here?  One day soon I’m going to force myself to try this one by baking goddess Smitten Kitchen. And did you know, if you add a couple of tablespoons of strawberry jam to your rhubarb tart, it’ll taste like pineapple? (according to the Flavour Thesaurus)  You could just make a pineapple tart, but where is the fun in that?

How do you do this rhubarb and strawberry jam then?

Strawberries for jam

Chop up your strawbs

Rhubarb for jam

and your rhubarb, and guess what next?

strawberry rhubarb mascerate

MASCERATE!!!!! (we learnt this word last week in the marmalade session)

strawberry rhubarb jam boiling

boil boil boil….

test for jam setting point

Chill a plate, put some jam on it, test for setting point by seeing if it will wrinkle when you squish it. And look at the zebra! Nice plate sis. Then put into you sterilised jars, or straight on your freshly baked scones like Louise did. Nom nom nom. Can’t wait to try some myself.

Lady Marmalade

1 Feb

Oranges and Lemons

I’m not the only one in the Cakes dynasty with a gift for the sweet stuff. My big sis, Louise Cakes is a dab hand in the kitchen too. Believe me, you should taste her Pavlova – to die for! So, imagine my delight when she was totally and utterly up for making a me 1, or 2, or 80 jars of preserves.

Yesterday, the marmalade making began. It all started with a text…

“Just about to start macerating the oranges to make Seville marmalade 2moro, never done it before so wish me luck!” Errrr mascer-what-ing now? Goodness me. “Good luck!” I replied, after asking what on earth mascerating means.  If you really must know, it means softening or breaking into pieces using a liquid. So now you know!

So yesterday, the mascerating began, and looked like this…

mascerating

This is step one – squeeze out all the juice from your oranges, then chop up the peel. Use a food processor if you’re clever like big sis! Soak the peel & juice together with some water overnight.

mascerated

The following morning you should wake up to a bowl full of mascerated goodness! Boil this lot up for a couple of hours til the peel is tender, then add loads and loads and loads of sugar, and a wee bit of lemon juice

sugar and lemon

Stir until your sugar dissolves and then boil rapidly until your marmalade reaches the holy grail – setting point.

boiling marmalade

To check put some marmalade on a chilled plate and squish it with your finger. If it wrinkles, it’s ready. Beware though…molten hot sugar and fingies don’t alway like one another….

setting point

When it’s ready, pour into sterilised jars….

marmalade jars

And put a lid on quick sharpish!

finished marmalade

Et voila! Perfect Seville orange marmalade. It’s been given the seal of approval by Big Bro in Law, and fellow blogger Dave of Dave Johnson’s Photography, so it must be good.

By now you must have noticed that I have a bit of a soft spot for Hugh Fearnley-Whttingstall (actually I prefer his 3 hungry boys at the moment, but that’s between me and you…) Here’s his version of Seville orange marmalade. It’s Seville orange season, so get out there and get some and get making some marmalade. Yum! Thanks sis.