Tuesday, 30 December 2014

Weird, White & Wonderful

I don't think I've ever had a bad Christmas. Even as I've gotten older and the whole presents thing has lost its appeal I've still loved Christmas. The food is obviously one of the best parts of it, but the best part for me (queue rolling eyes and/or 'aww's) is being with my family. They are by far the most hilarious, intriguing and incredibly diverse group of people I know, and they are just as weird as I am, and I love it.

Our Christmas plans are pretty much the same every year, my dad's cousin and her family come round on Christmas day and then for New Year's Day we go to her house. This arrangement has been in place for the last 25 years. I maintain that my mother really pulled the short straw on that one. That being said, for the last three years my sister and I have tried to make sure that our mother stays out of the kitchen as we do as much of the Christmas cooking that we can without her assistance. When I say we 'tried', its not because we can't cook. Its because our mother just doesn't stay out of the kitchen...

Enough gushy rambling and onto what you came here for, the cake. 

This year, I did the unthinkable - I used a recipe I'd never made before and made it on Christmas Eve with very little time for cake resurrecting or re-making. It was a risky move; but hey, what can I say? I'm an adrenaline junkie. Or some toned down baking version of that. 

Making last year's cake was a breeeeeeeze. This year, not so much. I pretty much had to do the recipe twice because it turned out I used the wrong type of flour and that was a big no-no. READ INSTRUCTIONS CAREFULLY PEOPLE. Do naaaaaht follow my awful example and just assume you can interchange certain ingredients as you please - you definitely cannot. 

Anyway, after much fist clenching, grunting, eye-rolling, deep sighing, time-outs and pep talks from my mum and sister, I had a cake. A vanilla cake with caramel buttercream in between the layers and then a light and fluffy vanilla buttercream to cover the cake. 

Oh and a little surprise on the front...

I won't lie - its not my best work. It could have been a lot better - but hey, at least I had a cake that was edible and that my family enjoyed!

Speaking of family, here are a few snaps I took on the day.

Also, got my sister Ruby Woo lipstick from MAC for Christmas - how GREAT does it look on her?!

I hope you all had a beautiful Christmas and if not, hey, there's always next year! Or just eat some cake, works for me!

Enjoy this timeless tune, oh and have a great New Year!

Wednesday, 17 December 2014


I know. Its been a while. Theres a very good reason - university. Over the last eleven weeks I have baked four times. Thats right, four times in eleven weeks. I know - its unacceptable, I can't apologise enough; but hey - I've been living life, which is the most important thing...right?

Anyway, apologies! Hopefully when I get back in January I'll be a little better...I hope.

In the meantime enjoy this gem of a Christmas song, and expect a post soon afterwards about the cake I make for Christmas!

Wednesday, 17 September 2014

Jammy Dodger

I love classic recipes. Simple easy recipes that are delicious and hassle-free to make, as well as catering to the super-refined palettes of those picky eaters we all know. One of my favourites is the Victoria Sandwich Cake. Its so easy, sweet and perfect for any occasion, as well as being super easy to decorate. So when my mum asked me to make some cupcakes for herself and a friend, who was coming over for a coffee, I thought about what would be quick to make but at the same time truly delicious.

So I found a really easy and super fast vanilla cupcake recipe from Natasha's Kitchen, and added a little something extra...

After the cupcakes had fully cooled, (which by the way takes so much less time than regular cakes and is one of the reasons I love cupcakes so much) I used a teaspoon (not the measuring kind, but the normal one), to make a teaspoon sized hole in the middle of the cake, just less than an inch deep and filled it with my favourite, strawberry jam. Then I whipped up a little whipped cream (pun totally intended) and piped it on top. The result, absolutely divine...

I give you, the Victoria Sandwich Cupcake!

Just look at all that delicious strawberry filling!

I should also confess that after making these cupcakes, I proceeded to pipe the remaining whipped cream into my mouth. Now I'm not proud of it, but I definitely don't regret it. That cream was goooooood.

Enjoy the song :)

Next post is another classic, you'll enjoy it!

Friday, 12 September 2014

Chocolate Adventures

So here it is, finally, my first ever recipe! Its adapted from the famous chocolate cake recipe that you can find here.

This recipe is for one 6-inch cake baked in one pan 3 inches tall.

3/4 cup & 1 tablespoon Flour (I use self-raising)
2/3 + 1/4 cup Sugar
3/4 teaspoon Baking Soda
1/4 teaspoon Baking Powder
1/4 teaspoon Salt
1/4 + 1/8 teaspoon Cocoa Powder
1/6 cup Egg (whisk one egg in a cup then measure it into a 1/6th cup)
1/8 cup Vegetable Oil
1/4 + 1/8 cup Buttermilk
1/4 teaspoon Vanilla Extract
1/4 + 1/8 cup freshly made Coffee

Step 1:
Whisk together the flour, sugar, baking soda, baking powder, salt and cocoa powder in a large bowl on medium speed until combined.

Step 2:
In a smaller bowl, whisk together the buttermilk, vegetable oil, egg and vanilla extract until fully combined.

Step 3: 
Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients slowly, mix them until full combined, then add in the hot coffee and mix until combined. 

Step 4:
Line your 6-inch wide, 3-inch high cake tin and pour in your mixture. Bake in a pre-heated oven on 350 degrees/gas mark 4 for 40-50 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.

With this cake, you can pretty much do whatever you like when it comes to serving and decorating. It is absolute perfection when served hot, with some whipped cream or some sour cream warmed with some granulated sugar. The other day however, I decided to give it a little more and make some light chocolate buttercream to ice my cake. Take your pick, and enjoy!

Have a go, let me know how it goes and enjoy!

Friday, 5 September 2014

It's Personal

Its not healthy, its never been healthy, it will never be healthy, but who doesn't love a little chocolate cake now and then?

I don't really know why, but small, personal cakes, for just two or three people, served warm, with a little whipped or warmed sour cream on top, are simply, perfection.

I've been working on adapting my favourite recipe for the ultimate chocolate cake for a smaller, more personal 6-inch tin. Its coming along nicely, but I thought that whilst you all wait with baited breath for the recipe (its on its way don't worry), I thought I'd share with you some of the progress that's been made...

Experimenting is delicious...

Here's a song that I've become slightly obsessed with recently after hearing it in the film 'Begin Again', which by the way is really good! Enjoy!

Until next time...

Sunday, 10 August 2014


I've never really been one for sprinkles in or one cakes.

Its not that they don't look cute, but I just feel like the crunch of the sprinkles ruins the fluffy goodness of the cake. However, I've recently been converted. I found a great recipe for Vanilla Funfetti cupcakes that are as delicious as they are pleasing to the eye.

They are gorgeous.

Sufficed to say, I am now an advocate for sprinkles in cupcakes, and on cupcakes, and just everywhere. They just add a little sum-sum to your creations!

Current musical obsession:

Until next time...

Tuesday, 5 August 2014

Beauty Laid Bare

I love icing.

I love the way it dresses the cake, the different colours, and shapes you can create with it, and I really love the way a piping tip can make it look.

However, icing is not good for you and I. Neither is cake, but not in the same way. If I was to explain how many cups of icing sugar were in each kind of cake I have posted on this blog you would probably throw up, and rightly so, but, fear not, for two reasons: one, its okay to indulge in a little bit of icing now and then, and two, there is a way to have your cake and eat it too - but with a little less icing.

I give to you, "Naked Cake".
Or "Rustic Cake"
Or "Naked-Rustic Cake"
Or "Rustic-Naked Cake".
Either way, you get the idea.

They are just as beautiful as fully iced cakes, if not moreso. With this kind of cake, you can get straight to the source of all that fluffy, cakey, goodness without having to swallow the icing followed by a guilty feeling.

This was also the first "naked cake" I had ever made, and the first cake I had decorated with fruit. It was also very tense because this cake wasn't just for fun, or an experiment, it was a request, from a young lady very very dear to me, who had just graduated from University, and was also turning 21.

We had a barbeque for the occassion and I ultimately I was extremely happy with the way the cake turned out. I had a slight nightmare the day before but I'm almost glad I did because it meant that I had to think on my feet, and make do, and not panic (which was a miracle believe me) and just make the best of what I had. Thank God it turned out beautifully, and was gone within minutes. This was just a classic carrot cake recipe with delicious cream cheese frosting in between the layers.

I might even go as far as to say that I'm starting to love my carrot cake even more than I love my signature chocolate cake. Is that wrong?

 photo courtesy of the birthday girl's Uncle

 photo courtesy of the birthday girl's Uncle

The beautiful birthday girl with her cake!

There's just something about the look of this cake, the carefree beauty of the icing spilling out of the layers and the mouthwatering fruit glazed with jam sitting pretty on top. I think I'll be making "naked cakes" more often!

Here's a little something I've been listening to recently, enjoy:

New post coming very very soon, but until next time...