OK. So confession time. This is the first time I have purchased corn flakes as an adult. I know, I know, but I’m just not a cereal guy! I’m a toast or pastry kinda guy. And so as the cereal box made it’s way down the conveyor belt I couldn’t help but smile at that very the very first time I am buying them as an adult is to make…a giant chocolate cornflake nest. Is there anything more reminiscent of childhood at Easter than that?
It’s official: I love bundt cakes and I plan to make plenty more. This week, I’ve been in the mood for something pretty chocolatey – which is pretty bad after the amount I consumed during Christmas! But, I am weak-minded and so gave into my gut. And out of that weak-willedness came these coffee and cocoa bundt cakes.
These lil’ guys are something I have been wanting to make for ages but just haven’t got round to it. Over Christmas, I ordered this incredible 6-hole mini bundt tin from Amazon and I set myself to work. There is something humbling and relaxing about making mini cakes. I think it’s going something to do with the fact you’ve got to decorate each one and – for me anyway – each one has to look identical, so you’ve got the extra challenge. You’ve got to spend that little bit more time and offer up that bit of a delicate hand and so all in all the whole experience becomes simply more therapeutic.
First off: I’m sorry. It’s been a while. It’s been, well it’s been too long. It’s been over a month since I posted anything and that, I have to say now, is not acceptable. Life got in the way, for a start, and then I became a little…disenfranchised, should we say, about this whole baking lark.
It’s official. I’m slightly obsessed with caramel. And chocolate. And drip cakes. In fact, as the weather gets colder, all I seem to want to eat is bad for me. Standard. I want to dive into whatever is comforting and whatever feels like it’s going to wrap me up and keep me warm. And this, this cake ticks the boxes. We have chocolate cake and actual chocolate, we’ve got caramel and we’ve got biscuits. The idea came from a work friend, who asked me to make a Millionaires Shortbread cake and I thought it was a stroke of genius.
Ahead of my very first wedding cake I am making next week, I wanted to get in the kitchen and bake something that I didn’t feel an enormous amount of pressure baking. Something to just simply bake and eat and not worry too much about the outcome or spoiling the biggest day of someones life.
I just wanted to bake. Unwind after a couple of hectic weeks and cake-less weekends and bake.
Don’t get me wrong – I am full of adrenaline at the prospect of the upcoming challenge – it’s exciting for me and I will relish it while also inwardly freaking the hell out. But it not as a big a day for me as it is for them and I should remember that – all nerves and excitement I am feeling will be quadrupled for them.
I was tasked with baking my sisters 30th birthday cake. I wanted something a bit spectacular. I needed something that would feed quite a few and I knew her favourite cake was lemon. With all of that in mind, and my current obsession with macarons, I knew exactly what I wanted to create for her – putting it into practice, however, was a different ball game.
So. How does this work? A Creme brûlée cake. Anyone who reads this blog regularly knows I love French food and I especially love creme brûlée. It’s one of my all time favourites. So I thought, why not mix together my love of cake with my love of this French classic.
The single most satisfying bit when eating a creme brûlée is cracking through that caramel top to get the goodness below. So why not replicate that, here?
I spent a while thinking how this would work. It would need caramel, it would need custard. The custard was the easy part – logic says to sandwhich it in-between layers and the result is somewhat satisfying to say the least. I thought about sprinkling with caramel pieces, decorating with caramel shards and then I realised I was missing the point.
One of my most favourite chocolate bars is a Crunchie bar. Thick chocolate covering a golden slab of crunchy honeycomb. It brings back many a memory and due to an advertising campaign when I was a child, it always reminds me of a Friday. They had a slogan ‘Get the Friday feeling’ and so memories of chasing this chocolate bar as my Friday night treat and sitting down to a movie was something I recall fondly.
Firstly, apologies for the little break – life has been catching up. But expect some more recipes over the coming weeks. More cakes and some savoury treats, too. Perfect for picnics and the summer, wherever you may be. I promise a wider selection of recipes, soon. I know there have been a lot of cakes but I’ve just been feeling mega British and enjoying experimenting with new tricks i’ve learned in the last few months.
This week, I was asked to make a wedding cake for later in the year. It’s not something I’ve ever done before and if I’m honest, I’m a little petrified. It’s one of the most important parts of a wedding to many and something people look forward to seeing – it’s such a personable thing. A wedding cake often represents both those who are getting married.
When I made this cake, I simply wanted to name is ‘Bubblegum & Marshmallow’. I felt it needed nothing else and was enticing enough to whet the appetite and get you baking it. When I showed my mum, she asked me if it was a celebration cake. “Well it looks like one”. What does a celebration cake look like, I thought. For me, anywhere there is a celebration, there should be cake. And anywhere there is cake, the same applies. So yes, I answered. It is a celebration cake. For it is a cake, so we should celebrate.
What does a celebration cake look like, I thought. For me, anywhere there is a celebration, there should be cake. And anywhere there is cake, the same applies. So yes, I answered. It is a celebration cake. For it is a cake, so we should celebrate.
I did not make this cake. Well, I did. But more specifically, it was a cake made by my 8 year-old self. My inner child. It’s every sweet treat I loved when I was younger. It’s dominant flavour, bubblegum, was very much a treat. I wasn’t allowed it often, but when I was, I revelled in it. And there was always a competition of who could blow the biggest bubble. The marshmallow screams to me those times round a fire, roasting them until they began to melt. They were sticky and sweet and fun. It was the rare occasion that playing with your food was deemed acceptable. Finally, the sprinkles create a crunchy shell. As I child I found it difficult to have ice-cream without sprinkles and on this cake they create the perfect eye-catching colour punch.