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Bye bye 2012, 52/52 Classic Sponge

31 Dec

So I wasn’t as good at keeping up my cake or bake weekly challenge as we were at making a monthly munching scheme happen! I have kept up the baking and a good deal of it has been sold for charity!

This year we have moved house, I got a pony, did a sports events that I would never have though possible and went on an amazing safari. Did I mention that the safari was on horseback? All in all an amazing year. So I don’t feel too bad about my baking lapses!

Just bad enough for one final post. A Victoria Sandwich with a recipe from the grand Dame of baking herself, Mary Berry. It’s nestling in my cake tin, waiting for tea time.

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Really pleased with its appearance, it’s glistening with caster sugar like a jewel. The ruby red of my home made strawberry jam peaks out from the sides and the cakes are a lovely gold. Hopefully the taste will live up to the looks!

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Roll on 2013 and some occasional blogs!

25/52 Rhubarb Merengue Pie

2 Jul

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Home made rhubarb curd, topped with a mountain of merengue and served to friends.  Yummy!

Sour cream and rhubarb cake 14/52

2 Jul

A really scrumptious cake from the excellent good Housekeeping 101 Cakes.

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A basic cake mix enhanced with sour cream combined with rhubarb and topped with a sweet and nutty crunch. Delicious and definable one I will be making again 🙂

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18/19/20 a blip, but I have made lots and lots of cupcakes…

27 May

But there are no pictures 😦

They were for Charity, for a 60th birthday and for general munching.

Next week there will be a new cake I promise!

Banana bread 17/52

27 May

A quick and tasty bake. Perfect for freeing your house of manky bananas 🙂  This one had the welcome addition of figs for a bit crunch.

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A good addition to any (every) lunchbox.

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Sea Salt millionaires shortbread 16/52

27 May

So we attempted to make sea salt caramels that were mean to be hard and crunchy. This however didn’t work, the caramel refused to set!

So a few days later I whipped up a batch of shortbread and pressed it down into a square tin for baking. Whilst it was in the oven I reboiled the caramel.

Once the shortbread was cooled the caramel was poured over it. A few Maldon sea salt crystals graced the mix. Dark chocolate covered the caramel and had a touch more salt on it.

Om nom nom 🙂

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Pistachio cake with marzipan and strawberry jelly 15/52

27 May

This was a whole day cake baking extravaganza! Myself and my friend both have the Adriano Zumbo cook book. A page of ingredients and a number of elaborate techniques meant that this was far from easy to assemble!  Was it worth it? I think yes. This cake is also gluten free.

A flour free pistachio based cake mix also contained rhubarb. This kept it moist and tangy. The cake was meant to have homemade strawberry pastilles in it. We have them a go, but they didn’t set. Instead we used the resulting goo to smear a layer on top of the cake under the marzipan.

The cake was finished with green marzipan and sprinkles.

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The strawberry goo was lovely to make pink cupcakes with and very tasty as a drizzle for meringues.

We also had a go at making some salted caramels. These also didn’t set, but more on that later 🙂

Sour cream and rhubarb cake 14/52

27 May

A really scrumptious cake from the excellent good Housekeeping 101 Cakes.

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A basic cake mix enhanced with sour cream combined with rhubarb and topped with a sweet and nutty crunch. Delicious and definable one I will be making again 🙂

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Chocolate, Pear and Hazelnut cake 13/52

8 Apr

Mmm. Yummy if I do say so myself.

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This cake benefits from the moistened of the pears combined with the richest dense crumb that comes from supplementing the flour with ground hazelnuts. Shards of dark chocolate stop the sweetness of the pears from becoming overwhelming.

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Another classic from the Good Housekeeping 101 Cakes and Bakes we had this whilst it was still warm as a desert with creme fraiche. Today I will serve it with tea for a mid afternoon delight.  Definitely one to make again.

Lemon and Blueberry Muffins and Floral Cupcakes 12/52

1 Apr

A week of small delights. MUFFINS for the team and cupcakes showing off the joy of decorating with edible flowers!

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The lovely local green grocer provided me with a great excuse to add some blueberries to my normal muffin mix au citron. 6 punnets (of slightly manky berries of blue) for a £1? Yes please kind sir.

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I whipped up a basic muffin mix (wet and dry ingredients are mixed separately and then combined to make a slightly lumpy batter) with plenty of lemon zest. At the end I rolled some blueberries in flour (to help ensure even distribution of them) and voila – muffins were ready for baking.  25 minutes later they emerged from the oven with a light tan. I treated this batch to a lemony glaze and fed them to my colleagues. Hopefully a win!

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Part 2of this week’s culinary adventure were some cupcakes that took advantage of the edible violas in the garden. They look gorgeous and didn’t taste too bad either!

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