Tuesday, 31 May 2011

Old School Post Of The Month - Lemon Drizzle Cake!

OK so I thought I would set up a regular post as I see a lot of bloggers are doing, I really want to try more old school recipes so I thought this would be a great way to inject some retro tastes into my blog.

I have done this particular lemon drizzle recipe a million times, I love it - it made me fall in love with lemons. I wasn't sure how a cake without icing would work as I'd never had a plain loaf cake as such. However this was in one word - incredible. I also love making it in the summer as it just instantly makes you feel happy that you don't even think about calories as you tuck into another slice! Don't be fooled by it's simple look, people will probably wonder what the fudge you are serving them, but when they try it...game over - no other lemon drizzle will do.

  • 3 eggs
  • 240g caster sugar
  • pinch of salt
  • 180g plain flour
  • 1tsp baking powder
  • 70g butter, salted
  • 100ml double cream
  • grated zest of two lemons - please, never use artificial flavourings, use real lemons people!
  • 100ml water
  • 80g caster sugar
  • juice of one lemon


Preheat the oven to 160 degrees. Grab a mixing bowl and slowly whisk your eggs, now slowly add the sugar, flour, salt and baking powder. Grate the zest and add to mixture,  melt the butter and add that too along with the cream and whisk. Grease and line a loaf tin, pour in mixture and bake for 45 minutes... I find mine needs about 15 minutes more! But every oven is different.

About 12 minutes before it's done make the drizzle. Boil the sugar and water together at 140 degrees (measure with a sugar thermometer), add the lemon juice and let boil for 10 minutes. When you take the cake out of the oven immediately lacquer on the drizzle, use all of it too, it will sink in.

Once it's cool -if you can wait....eat! Nom! Pin It Now!

Monday, 30 May 2011

Lemon and Lavender Drizzle Cupcakes

One of the loveliest cakes I have ever made myself is the lemon drizzle cake, which I will put up when I have a reason to make an other one, hopefully soon! And I really wanted to use lavender in a recipe ever seeing lavender and honey ice cream on It's Complicated.

So I thought I would combine the two of these into cupcakes to give it a bit of a twist. It's a bank holiday so I had hoped for some sunshine today as it always makes baking a bit more special, but rain it was so I had to make sure they were good to make up for it! I even got the lavender flowers from my own plant..which I called Leonard! (sigh)

  • 100g butter
  • 100g fine caster sugar
  • 2 free range eggs
  • 100g flour
  • 1tsp baking powder
  • rind of 1/2 lemon, finely grated
  • 1tsp lavender flowers
  • 100ml water
  • 75g fine caster sugar
  • 3 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 tsp lavender flowers
  • Lilac food colouring
Lilac icing
  • 100g icing sugar
  • water
  • lilac food colouring
  • lavender flowes
  1. Beat sugar, butter, lemon rind and lavender together until light and creamy.
  2. Beat in an egg and sift half of the flour, mix well and repeat with the remaining ingredients and add the baking powder.
  3. Whisk until well combined.
  4. Put into a preheated oven (180 degrees)
  5. Cook for 12-15 minutes until golden
  6. Mean while make the syrup, bring sugar and water to the boil and up to 140 degrees, use a sugar thermometer to measure this. 
  7. Add the lemon and lavender and boil for 10 minutes, add the coluring.
  8. When the cakes are ready to take out, immediately slather the syrup on the cakes, the lilac coloured syrup will seep down into the cake and give it a great blob of colour.
  9. Make up the icing by adding teaspoons of water until thick and glossy but still a bit runny.
  10. Add the food colouring and spread on the cupcakes, sprinkle some of the lavender flowers on the icing and eat, NOM!
Pin It Now!

Friday, 27 May 2011

Chelsea Football Birthday Cake

So this week my task was to make a birthday cake for a boy turning ten, and he loves Chelsea.
So they asked for a cake with the badge on, I was a little worried about this as I hadn't done a badge before, and they can be very fancy and fiddly, and they have to be perfect! I decided the best way to do it was to make a stencil, so I printed the badge off the internet and used that as a guide.

The cake itself was Bournville cake, the best baking chocolate that there is I think. With chocolate buttercream, again, very important, only ever make buttercream with BUTTER! You can always taste the difference, don't skimp. I dirty iced it Cake Boss style on my icing turntable, which is amazing (and from Lakeland). I usually make Victoria sponge cakes so cover them with jam, however buttercream made it a lot easier to put the fondant on and gave it a smoother look which you don't get with jam.

I covered the cake in white fondant as thats the main background colour on the badge, then using dark blue fondant I laid out the cut out figure and with a very shark knife cut around it. I managed to do it in one piece apart from what it's holding which was brilliant.

The lettering used was with patchwork tappit cutters. They font was quite similar to the one of the badge so it worked really well. These are really tricky to use and hard to get out clean so I had to spend ages finely cutting away excess to clean up the egdes.

I was really happy with how it turned out in the end, and adding the name Jacob around the end to personalise it a bit. I also didn't write Chelsea Football Club on it, but opted for Happy Birthday as it looked a bit more celebratory. Pin It Now!

Wednesday, 25 May 2011

Sexy Eggs Benedict

I know this isn't a cake...but it's bloody gorgeous so I had to include it. It's a recipe I'd wanted to try for a long time and while ago I decided to try it....it was stunning.

It doesn't take as long as you may think so do give it a try, you'll be so happy you do. This recipe serves two.


  • 2 Large farm eggs, free range if poss and from a real chicken farm if you can get them, they give a better yolk colour and quality.
  • 4 rashers of streaky bacon, I just think they taste better.
  • 2 English muffins ( I hadn't used these before, but loved them!)
For the quick hollandaise
  • 2 Large egg yolks, beaten.
  • 10ml lemon juice (2 tsp)
  • 10ml white wine vinegar (2tsp)
  • 115g butter (NEVER margaringe ok? It's just bad)
  • 15ml chopped fresh tarragon (1 tbsp)
  • salt and ground pepper
If you can poach the eggs, then excellent, do it now. I havn't triumphed over it yet so I fry them. Meanwhile grill the bacon until cripsy and gorgeous, you'll know when it's ready..it'll look a bit bubbly (odd I know, but trust me, it's good).
Toast the muffins, I find they toast easier than bread so keep an eye on them, no one likes a burnt muffin, luckily they usually come in packs of 4 so you have 2 extra just incase.

Now for the sauce, season the yolks, beat well in a medium bowl. You can do the next bit with a food processor, but I don't have one so I use a whisk (or a stick blender will do), put the lemon juice and white wine vinegar in a pan on a medium heat until it starts to boil. Starting whisking the eggs and immediately add the boiling liquid to the yolks. Met the butter until it starts to foam, again turn on the whisk and add the butter to the mix in an even stream. You can now add the tarragon, you may need to add some water to thin it out but I like it this thick.

Place eggs onto muffins, top with cripsy backon and add lashings of sauce. Feast, nom!! Pin It Now!

Sunday, 22 May 2011

Are You Hungry Tonight? Elvis Presley Cookbook

I have a lot of odd cookbooks I have discovered...so I thought I would start to write a bit about them, I'm all for quirky cooking, add a bit of novelty here and there and I'm set.

This one we discovered in my cousins house in Norway, I am a huge Elvis fan and just had to have a copy for myself! Aptly name 'Are You Hungry Tonight' by Brenda Arlene Butler.

Now we all know that Elvis wasn't exactly known for his healthy eating, and this book is full of nothing but indulgence, which on one hand is brilliant, just what my blog is about....on the other hand, I wouldn't advise eating these recipes daily unless you have a strong heart!

The book has a real retro feel with lots of old photos of Elvis and really old fashioned photos of food, just what you would imagine him eating during that time in America.

In this book you can find such beauties as
Chicken a la King
Banana Coconut Chiffon Pie
Fried Cornmeal Mush
Potato Cheese Soup
The Royal Wedding Cake
and his ever famous Fried Peanut Butter And Banana Sandwhich.

I'm not sure If I will every try any of the recipes in here myself....worryingly some of the desserts don't look too bad! I think I would do it for an American themed evening with an Elvis twist maybe!

My mum though, did make me a cake from this book for my 21st over two years ago, a tier from the wedding cake! My obsession with him was probably at the height at this point so it was perfect. She also hadn't tried a bit cake like this before so it was something new for her but she did an amazing job!

I love how they called this the royal wedding cake, I wonder if William and Kate took any inspiration from this?....Probably not!!

Check out my mums version here, I think all that is different is that she added some colour so it didn't look so bridal...actually, I personally think it looks better! It tasted absolutely gorgeous! It took something like 40 egg whites....so my pour family attempted to eat pure egg yolk omlettes so they didn't go to waste....heart attack on a plate...Elvis would have been proud! (They didn't make it through the meal though!) Pin It Now!

Friday, 20 May 2011

Lavender And White Two Tier Birthday Cake

It was one of my best friends birthdays recently, and as I couldn't be there for her birthday I decided to whip her up a little birthday cake.

I had some new cake decorating gizmos from a great cake decorating shop in Oslo when I was visiting called 'Cacas'. It was my haven, an official supplier of Wilton it was filled with everything you could ever want to decorate with, it's just a shame it all cost a fortune!

I usually do the big pink cakes, so I thought I would do her something different, a victoria sponge cake, made up of two layers, one being pink and the other lilac so there was a little surprise when you cut into it.

I covered it in lavender coloured fondant and decorated it in plain white for a classic look. For the decorations I used this Wilton mould where all you had to do is push the fondant into the moulds and lift them out, the trick to this is to dust it in icing sugar first so it will come out clean.

This mould came with ribbon and button designs which is the type I use the most so it's worth the crazy import rate.

The lettering on the front spells 'cheeky', this may seem odd, but it's kind of a catchphrase around here, and they named their new place 'cheeky towers' so it fit quite well. I also piped peals around the seam of the bottom tier to top it off and complete the look.

For an added extra bit of detail I used the brownie stencils I also bought in Cacas, and spread icing over them, lifted of the stencil and was left with a pretty pattern that took no time but looked cute and tied in the colours. I love this cake because it's sleek looking, really pretty colours and was girly without going too pink for once, and of course, it was very cheeky... Pin It Now!

Monday, 16 May 2011

Fairground Toffee Apples

It's that time of year again where the air is filled with candy floss, anything fried! and of course, toffee apples! I remember this being the one sweet item I wanted to buy from a fairground...even now, I feel a bit cheated if I go to one and don't manage to get one. So I thought it was about time I finally found out how to make my own, and it was really simple! They're a great little extra for a childrens party..adults one too!

  • 225 g demerara sugar
  • 115 ml water
  • 0.5 tsp vinegar
  • 2 tbsp golden syrup
  • 25 g butter
  • 6 sweet apples - I just think these are better than sour ones, all about the sweet!
  • Ice lolly sticks
  • Red food colouring

 Now you'll need a sugar thermometer here, these are easily and cheaply bought, if not your nan will almost definitely have one. They did a lot of jam making etc back in the day.

How You Do It

1. Dissolve the sugar in the water over a medium heat. When dissolved, stir in the vinegar, butter and golden syrup. Bring to a boil and cook without stirring until it reaches hard-crack stage (138C)You can test this by dropping a small drop into a glass of water and seeing if it forms a ball. This should take around 10 minutes boiling time.  Now add the red food colouring.

2. While this is cooking, stick the lolly sticks in each of the apples, when the toffee is ready dip each one into the toffee and spin it round to make sure it's covered, you may need to use a spoon to pour it on the top parts of the apple.

3. Leave to harden on a lightly oiled tray before serving. This is the point where you can add some sprinkles etc if you want to jazz them up a bit but sometimes plain is best.  Make them look really professional by wrapping them in cellophane when cool and tying them up with some ribbon.

Eat! Nom! Pin It Now!

Tuesday, 10 May 2011

The Booby Cupcake

Another week another cupcake. Giant cupcakes are starting to become my signature bake, which is fine because I love making them, you can do pretty much anything to them as I discovered with this beauty.

It was my sister-in-laws birthday this week...and she is very proud of her boobs, so it was a natural decision to put this into her cake.

I really wanted to make her a boob cake like you get in the shops, but wanted to make it from scratch myself, a bit like the babyshower cake that I did. However, she really wanted one of my cupcakes. We moved house this week so a lot of my tins etc were packed away, so I thought I would yield and do the cupcake.

But to make both of us happy I combined both cake ideas! A cupcake, with boobs on! The boobs themselves are just made from lightly coloured pink fondant with red fondant heart nipple tassles - why not! I made it a sexy pink to help make it a bit more risque too. I then added pink polkadots to a chocolate brown fondant for some extra cuteness.

Could there maybe be a new route in booby cakes? Pin It Now!
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