Tag Archives: cake

A Pretty Panda Packed Birthday

At 11pm I started baking this ursidae of a cake! It was herself’s birthday and I needed to make something that would feed the army in the workplace.

I nabbed Nigella Lawson’s divine Malteser cake (which you can’t get online, but can get in Feast) for the recipe and decorated it with buttons (I have an aversion to black food colouring and icing generally, so I had to adapt the black and white colours of the panda!).

I used Ovaltine instead of Horlicks and of course doubled the recipe to ensure I had enough to build the ears and snout.

Hello Panda

It went down a treat.


Tagged , , , , , , , ,

The Zingy Lemon Curd Cake

Ready to Nom Lemon Curd Cake

350g self raising flour

3 level teaspoons of baking powder (this is my trick, you really want a bouncy fluffy sponge!)

350g butter, at room temperature, unsalted

350g caster sugar

6 eggs

rind of 2 lemons

juice of 1/2 – 1 lemon (depending on how zingy you like it)

Get the sponges on, this is quick and easy. Grab a hand held whisk or a food processor and through all the above into a bowl and mix together. If you want to be fancy, sieve the flour first (but for some reason self raising flour is the poofiest thing and just flies everywhere, so I avoid that where possible). You’ll end up with a lovely consistent cake batter, which you should split equally between two 20cm cake spring form tins, lined with greaseproof paper at the bottom.

Bake for 40 minutes at 175 degrees celcius (335 degrees fahrenheit). They’ll be ready when golden brown, when a skewer comes out clean and when it bounces back on light pressing. Cool for a couple minutes and turn out on to a wire rack. Allow to cool fully.

Sponges Cooling

300g caster sugar

zest of 4 lemons

juice of 4 lemons

8 eggs

200g butter, unsalted

While the cake cooks, make the lemon curd. In one bowl (one that fits nicely over a pot of water) pop the sugar and lemon zest. In another bowl beat the eggs and add the lemon juice. Mix into the first bowl with the sugar and place the unsalted butter in little bits into the bowel. Heat the pot of water, with the bowl on top. Stir at intervals, allowing the sugar to dissolve and the butter to melt. This might take up to 30 minutes, but you’ll get a lovely thick lemon curd at the end of it. I always make more than I need. It’s the best on a slice of toast in the morning!

Wait for the curd to cool a little. Go back to your now cooled cakes.

Curd Delicious

With a wonderfully sharp knife, a steady hand and a good eye – cut each cake horizontally into two, to double the layers of the cake. Place the bottom layer on a cake stand or plate and spoon a big dollop, around a cup of the curd in the middle of the bottom layer. Spread outwards, add the second layer and add curd again. Repeat with the third layer. Finally, add the top layer, ensuring that the gold brown side of the cake is on top.

Dollop that curd

Half way there with the layringFinished layering

With the juice of half a lemon and 50-100g of icing sugar (go for a consistency you like, we like a thin runny icing on the top), make your icing and pour into the middle of the top layer of the cake. Smooth outwards trying to cover everything. With the rind of 1-2 lemons decorate the top. For the occasion I used some lime zest too!

Extra Curd Saved for Breakfast

Slice and serve. Moist, tangy, sweet, nommy. (Is moist even allowed to be used anymore? Totally un-food related.)

Tagged , , , , , , , , ,

An Unbelievable 50th Feast

Ever wanted a birthday menu. This is what whipped together for our parents joint Birthday celebrations. All home made by the children. We were a little too busy cooking for 35 people to take photos, but the menu is better than nothing!

Champagne Aperitif



A hot spicy crabby ginger tart with salad garnish and a chili dressing

White Wine

 Sophie Bertin Sancerre 2011


Ballyhaunis, Co. Mayo, Ireland Sirloin Beef

with Roast potatoes, Salsa Verde and a Rosemary Jus

Red Wine 

Ch. Puygueraud 2005 Bordeaux cotes de Francs  (3L bottle=Jeroboam)

Ch. Latour-Martillac 1999 Pessac-Leognan Gand cru classe de Graves (1.5L bottle=Magnum)

Torbeck 2009 Barossa Valley Grenache-Shiray-Mourverdre

Villa Novare 2009 Valpolicella Classico Superiore Ripasso


Lemon Drizzle Cake or Chocolate and Hazelnut Torte

or Both! served with Berries and Creme Fraiche

Dessert Wine

Chateau de Rolland 1989 Barsac


A large selection of Irish, French and Swiss cheeses served with rye crackers with linseed.


A bottle of Dow’s 1963 Port (from the year of Mom and Dad’s birth) and a bottle of Taylor’s 1977 Port (supposedly the best vintage for port of the entire 20th century)

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

The German Cherry Strudel Cake – Kirschstreusel Kuchen

This is the gf’s favourite dessert nom. It’s delicious and fruity and it’s a wonderful centre piece for a dinner party! Here we made double, but I have given the ingredients for ONE cake. It should serve anything from 10-16 people depending on how you cut it!

120g caster sugar

200g unsalted butter

1 egg

350g plain flour

1 teaspoon of baking powder

1-2 bottles of sour cherries (I like sour ones, but get morello or whatever ones you like! I also substituted with blueberries, as I had some I needed to use!)

Firstly get the pastry made by sifting the flour and baking powder in to a bowl. Add softened butter, egg and sugar and mix thoroughly using a hand held mixer. If the pastry is still sticky add a little extra flour until it firms up.

Dough ready

Let the pastry rest in the fridge for 10-20 minutes.  (The picture above is two lots!)
De-stoned cherries

If you can, buy bottled pitted cherries – I bought ones that still had the stone in them and spent some time de-stoning them!

pastry/dough case

Roll out dough and spread over a 23-26cm tin, making sure to build a good solid wall up the side, this will hold the fruit and the juice mixture in place later – on reflection the wall I made here was a little thick.

gelatine cherry juice

Pop the cherry juice, left over from the bottled cherries into a pot and dissolve 1 sachet of gelatine (18-25g of powdered gelatine or one leaf of gealtine). The gelatine isn’t meant to make a jelly, but rather provide structure to the cake and prevent the strudel from collapsing in on the fruit! Heat fruit juice plus gelatine until boiling and then remove from heat, make sure to stir continuously!

Berries and CherriesFruit is evenly spread across the cake case.

Filling the case

Pour the gelatine-cherry juice mixture over the fruit evenly, making sure to fill all the gaps!

Then get the Streusel going by grabbing the remaining dough left over from making the case and pop it back in to another bowl. Add four tablespoons of flour to this, because it needs to be extra crumbly! [Germans at this point would normally add a little sachet of Vanillazucker, from Dr. Oetker or some other similar baking company] I add half a teaspoon of vanilla essence and a dessert spoon of icing sugar.  Crumble this mixture between your fingers until its like fine breadcrumbs, but still sticking in small clumps in places.

Drizzle over the juice covered fruit in the cases. There should be enough to not leave any gaps!

The streusel starts!

The streusel-ing continues

Bake in the preheated oven (175 Degrees celcius) for 50-60 minutes.
Baked to Perfection

Cut a slice and serve.

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , ,

A Mug Inspiring Compilation

3 ingredients

A very interesting trend started in the last few years, cooking cakes, pies or other easy make dishes in a cup. I like my cup of soups and that, but have always been a little sceptical about mug cakes. Here are a few I’m trying currently and I have to say they are absolutely nom! Not to mention how easy they are to make, some with as little as three ingredients!

1. Good ol’ Chocolate Chip Mug Cake – and it only takes 5 minutes!


Chocolate Mug

2. Red Velvet – for those that love a well coloured mug cake!


Red Velvet

3. Eggless Microwave Brownies – very light, absolutely nom! 


Eggless brownies

4.  Nutella Mug Cake – Nutella?! Sorry I started drooling the minute you said it. 


Nutella mug cake

5. French toast in a mug – sounded quirky to me, but a really lovely quick and a little bit of a decadent brekkie! 


6. Peanut Butter – anyone for some nom?


Peanut Butter Mug Cake

7. Sugar Cookie – Cookies in a cup also seem to be a thing!


Sugar cookie

8. Blueberry crumble – seriously nom. I had some blueberries spare and try this one if any of them!


Blueberry Crumb

9. Christmas Mug Cakes – some people like their seasonal mug cakes too!


Christmas Candy Cake

10. Strawberry mug pies – fresh, tangy and nom!


Unbelievably Nom Mug

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , ,