The countdown to the big day continues – can you believe it’s almost December? You may have seen these cute little houses I posted earlier in the week and this is what they were for. A fruit cake is a wonderful thing, and as traditional as a Turkey and cranberry sauce, but it’s also divisive and many a member of the family would rather have something else … well here it is – the alternative Christmas Cake!
So it’s the middle of November and…dare I say it, I’m feeling festive? My Christmas shopping is over 50% done – a record for me – and I’ve already purchased the wrapping paper and my Christmas baking has started in earnest. Last year, I did very little – I made a not-so great Christmas Cake and some mince pies and I would say that’s about it. This year, I knew I had to make more of an effort, so here I am, in November, putting ginger in everything.
Another week, another classic American recipe and another pie. Pecan Pie – an American staple! This cake takes all the best elements – the caramel and the pecan – and used them in various ways. You’ve got the caramel drizzle and roasted pecans as decoration, the pecan brittle which offers incredible texture against the sponge and a more intense bitterness to offset the sweetness of the buttercream and finally the gooey, nutty and chewy caramel inbetween each layer.
The Great Bakes of America continues and we’re using a classic American pie once again. To mix things up a little, we’re also adding spome zesty passion fruit – lime and passionfruit are a wonderful combination, complimenting once anopther brilliantly. And I love passion fruit. With a…erm, well with a passion.
Autumn continues. I set out to escape the winter of the UK and head for the bright lights of New York City. What followed was 5 days of exploration – everything from the architecture to, of course, the food. And it got me thinking about some classic American recipes and desserts that I could work into something. And so I introduce to you the Great Bakes of America series.
It’s official. It’s autumn. The leaves are sitting on the tarmac, covering the ground with an orange and red carpet. The season has changed. And that means…CINNAMON.
Seriously. It’s like a light switch: at some point in the year I will just feel autumnal. Some years it happens in October. Sometimes it’ll not hit me until November. This year, it happened earlier than normal. But am I complaining? Am I hell. Cinnamon and spice is one of my favourite things in a dessert. Whether it be a spiced cake, a pumpkin pie or a cinnamon pastry. Like this one.
My deepest apologies that things have been a little quiet – I’ve had a tough time recently, because my OVEN BROKE. Oh the hysteria, the drama, the tears and the trantrums. No baking. For over two weeks. A glimpse of what my life would look like without baking was akin to the ghost of Christmas future for Scrooge. That’s to say it enlightened me to exactly what I currently get out of baking; how lucky I am to enjoy such a thing and how I sometimes take it for granted. Never again.
Hey folks, hope you’re keeping well – eagle eyed readers will have seen that I teased this cake on some social media last week, and here it is in all it’s glory.
What can I say? The Snickers Brownies proved so popular that the crowd demanded
more – and they wanted it big. So it was with my sister’s birthday approaching, I decided to give into peer pressure and give the crowd exactly what they wanted: this epic Snickers layer cake!
So…I’ve been nominated for a Liebster Award – I feel like the blog might be a little old to receive it, but I’ll take it and run because, well…any excuse for a rosette, am I right?
I’d like to thank Start In A Kitchen for my nomination! Brella provides great insight from a working chef so I urge you check out her blog! Below you can find the answers to my questions.
- What made you want to start blogging
Honestly – it was a whim. I started a blog called ‘BOY WHO BAKES’ back in 2014 and made a grand total of… zero posts. I deleted it and never spoke about it again until right now. So…exclusive!
Fast forward to 2016, and my love of baking was only manifesting itself by my eating it, rather than baking it. I baked my second ever cake and I kind of liked it. So naturally, the next step is to start a blog without any back catalogue of recipes and then, well…panic!
- Where do you get your creative ideas?
A variety of places! Sometimes it might be just a cocktail I have and I think how I could turn into a cake, sometimes it comes from memories of childhood – like my Rhubarb and custard Cupcakes and sometimes it’s turning what is already a sweet treat – like Pecan Pie – and using all those elements to create a cake, or a brownie.
- What are three things that you do that help you stay organized
I’m massively organised in most senses of my life, but this blog, I do struggle. My job takes up a lot of time, and my family too. This is purely a side project I’m very dedicated to but if I am honest, I don’t do social media enough or possibly even post as many recipes as I do. Going forward, there is massive room for improvement.
- What do you want to accomplish?
At the very least: a dedicated, decent chunk of followers – I already have the dedicated part of that, and if I’m honest, I’d like to grow it substantially. At the very best I’d like to make this a second income for me – and there are plans – and turn it into my own book.
- What do you do for a living?
I work as an Account Manager at an international publishing company – I help clients with their marketing. It’s the best and I love it.
- What’s do you like to do for fun?
Other than baking, I enjoy writing now and again, I enjoy going camping and on long dog walks with the fam. And you can’t beat an afternoon in front of Call of Duty, right?
- When you aren’t working what are you doing?
Either baking, sleeping or drinking tequila.
- Where are some places that you have been to that you would recommend?
Food wise? Of course food wise! Locally, I love Micatto in Warwick, UK – it was there I tasted one of the best desserts I’ve ever tasted – a ricotta sponge, with orange, peaches, honey and candyfloss. It was divine.
I absolutely love Paris and Barcelona, but the food in Italy is incredible and I’ve only just begun my culinary journey around that country. Last December I went to Venice and discovered a tiny pizza place – I mean tiny – The whole place was a door and window width and there was around 12sq ft of standing space. The pizza slices were twice as big as my head for about 3 euros. I was so worried I wouldn’t find it again that I had to order some and eat it right away. At 10.30am.
Next stop: New York!
- What are three tips on life that you would give to someone?
Eat what you want, get a dog and never drink tequila with tabasco sauce because it will ruin your life.
- If you could own a vacation home where would it be and why?
New York. Hands down.
- If you could speak another language which one would it be and why?
Italian, probably, because I plan to spend a great deal of time there in my lifetime.
- How long have you been blogging for?
- What are your long term goals for your blog?
- Where do you get the inspiration for your posts?
- If you could give any tips to new bloggers, what would they be?
- What motivated you to start a blog?
- If you could blog about any of subject, what would it be and why?
- Why did you choose the subject you blog about?
- How do you unwind?
- What do you do for a living?
- Cats or dogs?
- What’s your next holiday destination?
- Recognize the blogger who tagged you.
- Answer the 11 questions you were asked
- Tag 5-11 new bloggers who you think deserve some love.
- Create 11 new questions for your nominees.
- For the full list of rules, check out the Global Aussie page, and you can also choose your Liebster Award image there!
Go, go, go!
It’s official! BAKER MAN has officially surpassed the 1k followers mark, and I am over the moon. 1k followers, for me at least, is a big deal. Yes, it might be a drop in the ocean to some others out there, but considering it’s different incarnations, it’s sometime slack of recipes as I go through a blip and the overall massive learning curve this has been from me, I am pretty damn chuffed!
We have a winner, ladies and gentlemen! BAKER MAN’S Facebook competition ended, and these guys were the very yummy result – and what a result! Chocolate and Honeycomb go absolutwly wonderfully together – balance it all out with some creamy vanilla spiked white chocolate. Heaven!
What a week! Firstly – welcome new followers and readers, it’s great to have you. Following the site profile on Discover, Baker Man has been ‘discovered’ hundreds and hundreds of times in the last few days and many of you joined to follow in the fun! So thank you, whether you’re brand new to BAKER MAN or have been around since Day 1. Each and every one of you is totally awesome!