Monday, 28 October 2013

Crafts for Christmas & Hobbycrafts and Art Materials Live + Cake International Ticket Giveaway

It's ticket giveaway time again!

I went to these events last year and loved it, so I can't wait to give you a chance of grabbing a pair of tickets to the event. I'm holding a giveaway for Crafts for Christmas & Hobbycrafts an Art Materials Live (7th - 10th November) and also Cake International (8th - 10th November).

Crafts for Christmas & Hobbycrafts an Art Materials Live

"Get into the festive spirit at the NEC this November at Crafts for Christmas, where the magic of Christmas really does come alive! Your Christmas shopping has never been so enjoyable, with everything you need under one roof - from stunning decorations and Christmas accessories, to handmade gifts and specialist food and drink. There will be a host of fabulous features on offer; inspiring craft workshops from the Prima team to enjoy; and some special show offers too. Plus, you can even have your newly bought presents wrapped by the experts too!"

I don't know about you put I actually cannot wait for Christmas, I know Halloween is first, but I DON'T CARE! CHRISTMAS! There's rows of stalls, great items, gifts and stallholders full of knowledge and even some gorgeous food to be had.

Good luck! I will be drawing the raffle on sunday and will let the winners know as soon as I do!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Cake International  

I don't know about you but I could walk up and down stalls of cakey gadgets, tin, glitters and many, many other goodies for HOURS, and I invite you to do the same! This is easily one of my favourite events and I could happily spend a small fortune....why not! :) 

The world's largest sugarcrafting, cake decorating & baking show is making a very welcome return to the NEC Birmingham for it's 20th year!
Cake International - The Sugarcraft, Cake Decorating & Baking Show attracts cake enthusiasts, renowned industry experts and professional cake decorators and sugarcrafters from across the globe, who all share a passion for all things cake! Boasting the world's largest display of competition pieces, and an unrivalled range of supplies, exciting features, Workshops and Demonstrations, there's no better place to be inspired.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Tuesday, 15 October 2013

Go Sober For October - Mocktails!

I was recently contacted by Macmillan Cancer Support to play around with their mocktail recipes, hello! Playing bartender? Yes please!

Although there is a twist, they're current campaign is 'Go Sober For October' in which all of the money you would usually spend on boozing it up, you donate to the cause. It's always good to detox before Christmas and you're doing a good deed in the process so get involved yourselves, it's not too late. You can even just donate what you would have spent on a couple of nights out to help.

Proceeds from this event will go straight to Macmillan Cancer Support to help improve the lives of people affected by cancer.

The number of people with cancer is growing every day. Macmillan wants to reach and improve the lives of every one of those people. By taking part in Go Sober, you will help Macmillan in providing practical, medical and financial support and push for better cancer care.
For further information about Macmillan’s work and how to get involved visit their website at

 So in the post I got a lovely little package of bottles to test out containing Bundaberg Root Beer and Bundaberg Lemon Lime & Bitters. I also got some recipes with them, I changed them up a little to make the cocktail I wanted and they turned out really well. I would definitely be tempted to make them in general for a girls night in or for when you have people over that have to drive it feels a bit nicer to give something that hasn't 100% come out of a bottle or can.

Below are the ones I followed.

Lime and Ginger Fizz
fresh limes
mint leaves
lime juice
Bundaberg Root Beer
 sugar for rim

Grapefruit Ginger Mocktail
built tall
pink grapefruit juice
Bundaberg Root Beer
sugar for rim

Apple Julup
apple juice
orange juice
pineapple juice
Bundaberg Lemon Lime & Bitters
fresh mint leaves 

orange juice
Bundaberg Root Beer
pineapple juice

Make, drink and enjoy!!

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Sunday, 15 September 2013

Josh's 7th Birthday - Minion Edition

NEWS FLASH! A couple of weeks ago my little brother turned seven...I can't believe it! Which also means I started uni seven years ago, he was born a week before I started uni, ugh. But the big story here is that this is the first cake he didn't insist on having Super Mario on. He didn't have it last year, but he did beg last minute for - but not this year.

We both love Despicable Me, who doesn't? Minions of course rate quite highly so I couldn't have been more excited when he wanted a minion cake, yay! My dad made all of our cakes when we were little so he wanted to join in and help decorate it. My favourite was the Mr. Blobby Cake, I will tell you more about that cake later.

The cake itself it a vanilla sponge sandwiched with jam and smothered in buttercream. For the decoration I covered the cake in sky blue fondant, with white cartoon-like clouds, grey tarmac (from a level in the Minion Rush game he's completely obsessed with) and of course a fondant minion! For the minion, we used a stencil, I say we, but this is the part I my dad did. We're both fans of the stencil technique but as we forgot to print any out we made makeshift ones from tracing an image in my iPad, and it worked pretty well actually.

So my dad cut out and assembled the minion, who is called Carl (true story), and I piped the black royal icing outline.This was actually a lot easier than I expected, thank God for 2D images! By this point I had already iced the cake and we started laying on the fondant minion and getting him (sorry, Carl) in the right place. I thought he looked really cute his dungarees and huge eye. The piping part was quite simple actually the only artistic was I did was to give him hair. I always buy ready made black royal icing to pipe as it's such a hassle to make and takes quite a bit of black colouring.

So after the minion was piped and ready to go I added the white fondant clouds and my little brother wanted to put the candles on himself, he did a pretty good job too may I add. So, the cake was finally ready. He loves the whole deal of singing happy birthday, blowing out the candles and everyone clapping.

The piece he wanted, is the piece all children want - the eye! And I made sure he got it too. BECAUSE - when I was little, 7 infact! I had a Mr. Blobby one judge me, I loved him and I will always love him. Anyway, all I wanted was the eyes, I don't know why - I just did. And this was of course the only piece sent away to someone, and I have never forgiven him and keep telling my dad he owes me another Mr. Blobby cake so I can eat the eyes. So it was very important that my little brother was not also scarred by a memory like this (I'm trying to guilt trip my dad here, if you can't tell...I want the eyes next year....) so this is exactly what he got...even though the piece as huuuuuuuuge!

Everyone enjoyed the cake and he loved it which is all that matters in the end anyway isn't it. I loved my week down in the south with him doing lots of fun stuff in the last part of his summer holiday. Here's a few pictures from the week too.

I clearly make him pose for too many pictures with me... but we spent some days at the beach with my older brother building epic sandcastles and burying each other, spent his birthday at Legoland which was AMAZING, baked biscuits, went to Fort Nelson, drove around with the roof down like pimps and generally had a lovely time doing lots of silly stuff, same again next year!

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Thursday, 29 August 2013

I Heart Cake!

This month I was asked to join in a fun baking challenge, I have vowed to do more of these so I was extremely happy to receive a pretty cake mould* in the post to use for the challenge.

So, the challenge! To use the I Heart Cake Baking Mould to make any cake of our choice and the winner of the best one wins £100 of kitchen goodies! Everyone loves kitchen goodies, so it's always worth a go. Now I'm not saying my entry is my greatest work, but I made a Victoria Sandwich, which I've never done before....right stops your gasps, I know! They've also ended up being covered in fondant so I've never had a chance to do it the classic way.

The thing about this mould I loved was that the cake slices come out as hearts, which is a really sweet idea, pardon the pun. But for occasions like Valentine's, anniversaries and even weddings, I think this would be a really cute idea.

So as I said I chose to make a Victoria Sandwich, I used a classic recipe from the dairy cookbook which I got from my mum after using hers so much it's nearly fallen apart, true story. I got my design inspiration from Jo at The Secluded Tea Party, I love how she fills her cakes with buttercream and wanted to do something along the same lines.

Now mine got nowhere near as high as hers, I guess I should have made it thicker but then I can be such a pain to pipe. I halved the cake and filled one side with swirls of vanilla buttercream and the other I covered with strawberry jam with the idea that it would drip down the swirls, which, if I'd had enough height - could have happened.

I covered (drenched) the top with sifted icing sugar, which is slightly heavier in one side as you can see...but I didn't want to overdo the decoration and keep it classic looking. Here you can see I've cut a very cute heart slice, it's really affective and I can't say I didn't love the whole gimmick of the heart slice, who wouldn't?

The mould itself was really strong, baked extremely well, I always worry about silicone which I know it ridiculous but it didn't stick, gave an even bake and just popped straight out right at the end. Couldn't ask for more out of a mould really, it will definitely take residence in my baking room and be used again. It's a pretty looking mould anyway so could be used for other designs, and more than cake such as jelly or maybe even flapjacks or something with a rice crispy base, would do you think?

The mould itself can be bought from Find Me A Gift for £14.99. Here's a bit of technical info from the site:
  • Clever cake mould which produces 6 generous sized heart shaped portions!
  • Made of food safe non stick silicone
  • Measures approx 25 cm x 25 cm x 6 cm
  • Use for cakes, jellies and other desserts
  • Oven safe to 220c (do not warm mould empty)
  • Freezer safe to -40c
  • Microwave and Dishwasher safe
  • Does not come with cake mix - sorry! ( I love this one)
I would definitely recommend it, and has changed my mind about baking with silicone, I use it for my giant cupcakes or for chocolates etc but this is the first one for cake, I may well be converted. Pin It Now!
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