Happy Birthday Dad

We decided that this year instead of buying birthday gifts for each other we would make them.

It was my Dads birthday yesterday and here is what I made him.  I always struggle with what to buy my Dad, he is so hard to buy for!

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Birthday cupcakes

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Family Tree picture

I think I am going to be spending many an hour on Pinterest looking for ideas for the rest of my family.

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Auntie D, Birthdays and Snow

PicMonkey Collage

*My lovely Auntie Doreen has been over to visit from Australia.  I hate having to say goodbye to her, even if it is only until September.  *We took Honey to see Disney on ice, we had rink side seats and the show was amazing.  *My Brothers Birthday cake.  *Family meal at the 50s American Diner, the food here is amazing and the staff are super nice  The names of the burgers always make me smile, you can have an Elivs Presley, a Bobby Darin or a James Dean.  *My birthday cake.  *Lovely Birthday presents, personalised necklace and Everything Alice book  *Snow, Wellies, Snow angels and Snowman.

Afternoon Tea

In a previous post I mentioned going to a Christmas Fayre in Derby, after a hard mornings shopping we decided to have afternoon tea at Darby & Joan, who had the cutest pop up tea shop at the Christmas Fayre. I am a real sucker for anything like this, I love the whole vintage feel and the fact that there is tea and cake involved makes it all the more brilliant.

Afternoon tea 4

There was bunting hung up and table cloths on the tables. Each table had a vase of flowers on with the vase being made from an old treacle tin or something similar. I loved how the staff were all dressed for the part too.

Afternoon tea 1

It was so nice drinking tea from a proper cup and saucer instead of mug! I had gone with my Mum and my Sister and we all had lemon cake, it was so scrumptious.

Afternoon tea 2

According to their business card, Darby and Joan do Weddings, Tea Parties, Hen Parties, Baby Showers, Christening, Birthday celebrations. I love the thought of a pop up tea shop being able to transfer anywhere into your own little bit of vintage.

Fat Rascals

This recipe makes about 12 fat rascals, a bit like the ones that a well known tea room make.

Here is what you will need….

4oz butter

8oz self raising flour

a pinch of salt

1oz caster sugar

2oz currants

4 tablespoons of milk

Preheat the oven to gas mark 5.

Rub the butter into the flour and salt.  Add the currants and sugar and then mix in the milk to form a soft dough.  Split the mixture into 12 individual lumps and place these on a lightly greased baking tray, make sure you leave some room in between then.

Bake in the middle of the oven for approx 15 minutes.

 

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Has anyone else done any weekend baking?

Share the cake love, what did you bake? 🙂

We are not amused

A while ago I came across some individual Victoria sponges and thought they looked rather scrumptious.  I did a bit of searching and found a few places that sold the individual cake tins but they were quite expensive, so, I decided to have a go at making them in a normal cupcake tin.  I have made these a few times now and they have always turned out really well.

Here is what to do…..

I normally use my tried and tested sponge recipe but if you do not want to start from scratch then a packet mix will be just fine.  Grease your cupcake tin and fill with cake mixture to about half way up each section.

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Pop them in the oven for approx 15 – 20 minutes (I normally check on them after 10 minutes) on gas mark 4.

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Once they are done I place a cooling rack on the top of the tray and then turn the rack and the tray upside down………I hope this makes sense!  I give a quick tap on the bottom of each part of the tin, this should release each cake.  I then turn each cake the right way up and leave to cool.

Once cooled each cake needs to be cut into two.  Now I know that most people put jam in their Victoria sponge but I prefer lemon curd (I do have a bit of a lemon curd obsession!).  I place approx a teaspoon of lemon curd on the bottom half of  the cake and then a dollop of cream on the top half.  I use double cream and whisk it until it goes thicker.  Don’t worry about spreading the lemon curd and cream out as when the two halves are sandwiched together it spreads them out.

Place on a pretty cake stand with a sprinkle of icing sugar and there you go, individual Victoria sponges.

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WARNING – These are extremely moreish!

Happy Birthday

Pony 1

I can’t believe my beautiful niece is nearly 4.  Her birthday is not until 17th December but she has had her party this weekend.  Her party theme was My Little Pony, I love that Honey is starting to play with toys that I used to play with when I was younger.

With this being her 4th birthday party it was only right that I made her a 4 tier cake!

After her princess castle cake and now a 4 tier My Little Pony cake I am going to struggle to top it when she turns 5! 🙂

If I knew you were coming…

Cakes I have made…

For my Neice’s 3rd Birthday she had a princess theme. This was definitely the most challenging cake I have had to make. I was very happy with how it turned out though. This is probably my favourite cake that I have made.

My Dad is a big Dr Who geek……..I mean fan, so, for his birthday I wanted to have a go at making him a Tardis cake.  I must admit that I kind of made this cake up as I went along which is not really my style, I am a planner!

For my cousin’s wedding I made a cupcake tower with a main cake on top.  The brooch on the top cake belongs to my cousin, it was a really nice little touch to be able to  include this in the cake.

One loves a cupcake!  These are the cupcakes that I made for our Jubilee party earlier in the year.

My first mistake with this cake was asking my Sister In Law what cake she would like for her birthday as her answer was this Dior lip gloss! 🙂

Hope you enjoyed looking at some of the cakes that I have made.  If you have any questions please don’t be afraid to ask 🙂

We took a back road

Happy Halloween!

I have been waiting for ages to use my new Wilton mold.  I spotted this a few months ago and had a ‘just have to get it’ moment.  I know there is a huge choice of Wilton products on the internet but I got this from a local-ish shop to me  called Sweet Success.

I discovered Sweet Success a few years ago when I first got in baking.  This is the best shop in Nottinghamshire that I am aware of for range of products when decorating cupcakes and cakes, seriously this shop has everything!  If you are local to Nottingham and are into cake decorating then this shop is a must.  Not only do they have a huge range of products but their prices are the cheapest I have seen.  I normally stock up on candy melts when I visit as they are only £2.99 a bag and they have lots of colours to choose from.  The staff are super helpful too which I love, every time I go in I ask advice on something, there is always someone who knows their stuff and is willing to help.  A product which I will not buy from anywhere but Sweet Success is cupcake cases, they have lots of different colours and they are really good quality, not like the really thin supermarket ones you can get.  Sweet Success also bake cakes ready for you to decorate, the smell in the shop is so good it makes you want to eat the air!

These molds are really easy to use, it’s just a matter of melting your candy melts, pouring it in to the mold and sticking it in the fridge for half an hour or until it is set.  I know you can melt your candy melts in the microwave but I always end up burning it……stupid microwave!  I melt mine by boiling a pan of water and resting a bowl on top of the pan which has the candy melts in (I think there is a special name for this but I can’t remember it).

Anyway, back to my Halloween cake.  I have cheated with this cake as I have used a Betty Crocker packet mix, I know, I know, it is not proper baking but I love this cake and it is super quick and easy to make.

I used a square cake tin as I had got a really cute square black cake board (another Sweet Success purchase).  Once the cake was baked and cooled I cut a thin layer off the top of the cake and crumbled it into a bowl.  Next I covered the top of the cake with a messy layer of Betty Crocker chocolate  butter cream icing and sprinkled the crumbled up cake back on the top.  It was then time to place my candy melt skeleton pieces on top of the cake and there you have it!