Halloween baking 

A couple of weeks ago, on the 29th October to be precise, I did a lot of baking for my families Halloween party but unfortunately due to work commitments eating through my time I don’t seem to have gotten round to posting my pictures!

So here they are, my final Halloween offerings for the year. 

Between me and my little monkey we made: 

  • Butterscotch chocolate monster cakes with chocolate ganache topping (and some great eyes that I bought ages ago!)
  • A bleeding cake which was a chocolate and vanilla sponge with an extra surprise of being full of smarties which fell out when the cake was cut 
  • Vanilla and raspberry bad teeth cupcakes 
  • And finally, my monkeys offering of green fairy cakes which were actually strawberry flavoured. A great idea and confusion for the brain all at once 

My sister was fascinated how made the piñata cake with the smarties inside. She asked how they didn’t melt when baked – hehe. I politely explained in all of my big sisterly kindness how I cut out a hole and filled the cake after it was baked. 

The cake actually was iced this way due to an accident from me. Because I forgot to put jam down the sides before icing so the icing slipped down and tore.

I was determined not to be stressed out by it so I filled the ‘cut’ with strawberry jam which left it looking like some gruesome surgery. Phew! 

Onto Christmas next and this time it’ll be properly iced. 

Marshmallow Halloween faces 

I quite like Halloween, not as much as Christmas but there’s something extremely childish about it.  I think it’s the chance to dress up and eat some cake?  That may have something to do with it. 
Today after dinner I was cleaning up the kitchen and noticed I still had half a jar of big white marshmallows left.  Instead of just snaffling them very quickly I had an idea. 

I took out my edible inks and realised that I could paint little faces onto them. So I shouted my little monkey to see if she wanted to do something fun. 

Me and my little girl painted silly faces onto them and I think they look pretty good for what they are!  I might use them at the weekend as cupcake toppers. 
If you need some kid friendly Halloween ideas then definitely try it. A little food colouring, a paintbrush and a bag of marshmallows (only a few were eaten) and it gives an hour of entertainment. 

Earl Grey Tea Bread 

Surprisingly for someone who loves tea as much as I do, it took me until my 32nd birthday to try tea bread. 
I don’t know why I never had this before its lovely!  And as you’d expect from the name it goes perfect with my copious amounts of tea. 

My boyfriend bought me my first ever one as a birthday present and it came from an expensive artisan shop so when I tried it it was beautiful.  The next one I tried was from Aldi as I never noticed it in there before but now I suddenly saw it. Now had I tried the Aldi one first I’d have loved it but as I had the Buxton tea bread it just didn’t taste anywhere near as good. 

As usual this prompted me to try and make my own version. 

Good to know – Tea Loaf

This is the recipe I have used for my base but instead of Roobios I have used a lovely loose Earl Grey tea to infuse my fruit. I left it for about 5 hours to soak and I also added some extra mixed spice and some cinnamon. To top the cake off, for the last 20 minutes I have sprinkled the cake with a mix of brown sugar and cinnamon. 
Now unfortunately I can’t tell you how this has come out yet because although the cake looks and smells amazing, it says to wait at least two days! 

Now I’m stuck looking at a lovely hot cake which I can’t eat. I really hope it’s worth it because I don’t have much restraint for resisting cake but if it makes it special then it’ll be worth it. 

The cakes who can travel: standby brownies 

Today it was Mcmillan charity cake day at work and naturally I offered to bake something for it. 
The problem was that in my head I was going to bake a quick fruit cake and ice with a nice funny phrase. What actually happened was the day of the bake sale I had to work 50 miles away from my office at another site and the day before I had to do a 100 mile round trip for work! Dilemma. 

I wanted to bake but they had to be something sturdy, easy to transport and ok to sit in my car whilst I drove around and attended a meeting. In the end I settled for chocolate brownies, the wonderful sturdy baked goods. Not fancy but very tasty and most importantly able to withstand my driving. 

The recipe I used was from Donna Hay: http://www.lifestylefood.com.au/recipes/15140/standby-brownies

I saw her bake this recipe on TV one day and then my auntie bought me her cookbook as a present when I was visiting in Australia.  Since first seeing it on TV I’ve never used another brownie recipe since, honestly this never fails and chocolate doesn’t keep in my cupboards (yes. I mean I eat it!) so this is perfect. 

I was going to put the chocolate chips inside but I kinda forgot so they became a good sprinkling. 

Although I didn’t get to go to this bake sale, I did hear that the brownies sold quickly so I’m glad I got to make a small but chocolatey contribution. 

And the place I went for work today had their own cake sale so I had cake for breakfast and lunch… Shh. 

Watching the world go by

It’s only been a couple of months since I started getting back into the wonderful world of blogging and I’m enjoying it. The only downside is the nostalgia it has bought back with it.
I am quite a reader of other people’s posts, especially any food or cake ones and a couple of years ago when my first blog was in full swing there were quite a few people I used to follow. I had a look at them today and noticed the dates of when they last updated were similar to my own.

I hope that all of them still enjoy the baking, crafting or businesses that I read about so often.

So here’s to making and following new people – may we all carry on for a long time and enjoy what we do.

My (Christmas) birthday cake 

It may or may not be weird but I have a tendency to make my own birthday cake. The reasons for this are:

  1. I love birthday cake
  2. I make everyone else’s so no one bakes mine 

    This year I finally decided to do what I say every Christmas and make myself a birthday Christmas cake! Confused yet? 

    I always make Delia Smiths Christmas cake recipe each year, it’s rich, dark and has never failed me. I made this for myself for my birthday. With quite a lot of brandy in it, it’s a good way to celebrate and will hopefully last me a few weeks (till I’ve eaten it) not that it will ever go off. It’s more sozzled than granny at a wedding. 

    Unfortunately the lurid shade of icing came from asking my nearly 4 year old daughter what colour she thought would be good and naturally it is pink. Still, as long as it has marzipan and icing then it can be any colour and I’ll love it. 

    Happy birthday to me and a big thank you all my lovely friends, family and of course my boyfriend who made it very special and made sure I was spoilt. As I’ve also had a bbq for my birthday I plan on trying to cook sweet things and bread on my bbq, I’ll let you know how it goes. 

    Only one month to go and it’s time to start the real Christmas cake…

    Nutella stuffed chocolate chip cookies 


    Have you ever been thinking about what to bake but you don’t really know what you fancy so you start Googling and then suddenly you see a recipe which stops you! It says “BAKE ME NOW!” 

    How could I resist? 

    The recipe that grabbed me was Nutella stuffed chocolate chip cookies

    I just didn’t realise how big these would be once baked, they’re HUGE but they also look and taste fantastic. They were easy to make and with a good dusting of flour on my hands and work surface I started to make them looking uniform by the end. 

    The only difference is that I added a bit of my favourite flavour – Moka Varnelli. 

    Hopefully they’ll enjoy these at work tomorrow.